Sonic is rebelling lately...I suspect wants to be "normal"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    And I'm starting to think he is more normal than the professionals think.

    Sonic (as posted on WaterCooler) took our car on a road trip (ok, it was just three miles). The thing is, he has no license and could have been tossed in jail if Hub had called the police. He was about to report a stolen car, but then Sonic drove back into the garage. Sonic is grounded from everything he likes and some things he doesn't like right now, BUT I am shocked that he can drive, even without ever having driven before. When I asked him how he knew how he said, "Watching." When as ked how it felt to drive, he shrugged: "It was easy. Back up, straighten the wheel, drive."

    Needless to say, he will get his license and this will help him with his independence, which I'm starting to think he may be able to have. He is definitely on the autism spectrum. There is no doubt there. But he is clearly higher functioning than many people think, including us sometimes. Since he doesn't talk much, we have no idea what goes on in his head. He has trouble explaining, even when we do ask him.

    Lately he has also talked about moving out and buying a big dog. He can't move out. He has no way to support himself, and he knows it. And I have legal guardianship of him for now. I wouldn't allow him to move. Also, he has been stealing money from my purse...part of his grounding is due to that. His reason was, "I couldn't wait to buy the game!" Well, we took THAT game and several other ones and sold them at Game Stop and kept the money. He was mortified. Too bad.

    He also was very remorseful and cried like a baby and it scared me to hear him in his room talking about how he was horrible and didn't deserve to live. I do not think he was being manipulative. He isn't like that. He just gets more upset than most young adults and doesn't handle it that well, yet he has never tried to hurt himself. bad as the things he did were, his sobs and self-hatred ripped at my heart. He does not have a mental illness. He is just, like most autistic kids, very sensitive. We need to find a therapist who understands Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) adults. A regular therapist doesn't help. He can't talk to them. He won't even look in their directioin...his eye contact can be non-existant when he is tense with somebody.

    Our plan for after graduation now is to let him find a job with help from the Department of Workforce Development. I used to think he could only handle part-time work. Now I'm not so sure. Also, if he feels like college, one day, I would allow him to take a course or at a time. At this time in his life, he can't wait to leave school and go to work. We're going to let him do that and see how it goes.

    Austic spectrum disorder has me totally baffled. Sonic can do so much more than we ever dreamed he could, yet there are some things he still can not do (especially socially). I am beginning to think he will improve more and more as he ages, but I don't know. Living in limbo is hard. Any advice on how to do that?

    Before anyone suggests it, Sonic is not on drugs...he does not have wild friends. At home, he is happy to be alone all day so we send him to sports activities. He goes to Special Olympics. Although his IQ is not in the MR range, he usually tests around 75, so he can go and he feels like he fits in. He is, however, always one of the highest functioning people there. He would not be able to play sports in a regular group of young adults. He wouldn't do it.

    I am more than baffled by this beautiful boy that we adopted at age two who truly has such a big heart. I do not know what the future holds for him and it is so hard to plan.

    Since I know that so many of you have even bigger problems, I was almost afraid to post this here, but did not know where to post it, if not here. He is eighteen. He is graduating. He is a difficult child who has many issues, even if they are different than most of the young adults here. Do you feel it is appropriate to post about him here?

    Any thoughts from anyone who may know how hard this is? I know it probably doesn't sound so hard, but it is hard. We are older parents...58 (me) and 56 (hub). We can not live forever to take care of him. Know what I mean??
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes, you do know. Your mommy gut told you.

    If Downs kids can keep improving as they age... it's GOT to be the same for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These are ALL "developemental" disorders. And part of what nobody fully understands yet is how that affects long-term development. But some of the annecdotal stuff I've seen - including some of my own extended family - leads me to believe that kids with developmental disorders develop more slowly than their peers, but also keep developing longer. So, whatever most kids are by 25, is what they are... but for these kids? Not necessarily!

    He will probably always need "some" support. But... in the long run, it might be mostly financial, and general oversight (my cousin has a SW who checks up on him 2x/month... at HIS apartment, so that among other things the SW is aware if there are cleanliness or food issues developing).

    But... I suspect - and I think you do too - that in the long run, he may be able to "pay his own way", and live a fairly normal life. I hope, with all my heart, that Sonic is on the edge of the next layer of major development.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi. I have no information to give to you because this is not anything I know about. However, I just wanted to tell you I read your post and first of all, yes, I believe you certainly belong here, you are a parent of a child who presents you with some difficulties, so this is YOUR soft place to land too. Secondly, I don't believe we can compare our problems .......where one is 'bigger' then the other, we are all needing support, each and every "problem" is important and deserving of attention and support.

    Your situation sounds tough, not knowing how to plan, having your son be very good at some things but not so good at social interactions. You described him so well that I am left with a tender sense of him. Others will be along with some sound advice and information, I'm sure. I'm sending you hugs and prayers for you and your family, that you find the information and answers to soothe your mothers heart and give you peace of mind.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    There is a "hard to define" segment in our Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids. I have no doubt that he analyzed his choice and felt motivated to prove to himself he could do it. And...he did it. To me that is one of the scareiest parts of the just never know what to H is in there head because they don't communicate.

    Time to look into Voc/Rehab opportunitites for him. Based on our local services there are supports available and the earlier he knows of possibilities perhaps the sooner he will be able to focus. Hugs. DDD
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    How do you help him? You stand back and let him try, try again, and try again until he accomplishes his goal. You don't do it for him, you let him do it for himself, just like you would a child without Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Travis is quite a ways down on the spectrum, but it's not his autism that gives him trouble (much anyway), it's his other disabilities. He wanted to go to college. It took 3 yrs to make it happen but he got there. Once there he lived fairly independently on campus. (he had roommates) Did he have issues, well yeah he did, but he found solutions for most of them......and again they weren't related to the autism as much as the other issues such as his vision and LDs caused by the brain damage. He was gone for only half year but you wouldn't believe how much he matured in just that amount of time. Or what it did for his self image.

    My motto has always been, it never hurts to try. I tried hard not to give Travis any preconceived limitations. Except for driving......and well, there was no way that was gonna happen. And Travis at 26 is vastly different than Travis was at 18. :)
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM....Billy was so socially limited when he was younger. I had never even heard of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or I would have had him dxd. It is a shame. It took him into his twenties to be able to get the anxiety under control that should have been taken care of when he was younger. He did go to community college and got his degree. He learned to drive a few years ago but that is because he had a lot of fear of being on the road...and he scared us. We were very afraid to put him behind the wheel. However he has done very well in retail sales which we never would have thought an aspie could do. He has learned to look people in the eyes and sell like nobodies business. Im not sure how he taught himself this. He said he first started looking at a spot on their noses and then it became easier. Now I would say he is the most responsible of all my kids. He can watch any of the grandchildren. Change diapers and make formula. Pay any bills either online or in person, knows how to make all medical appointments or get a car fixed. He does everything for himself that has to do with himself. Completely. He is even my second on my medical power of attorney. Tony is first of course.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh I think it is all the same thing, just that the intensity rises and lowers and what you are thinking on here is big time LIFE stuff. You said he IS going to get his license? I have always wondered about that. My friend's son has that option too and his dad thinks he is being a wimp because he is scared to get it. He doesn't feel ready (he is in first year of transition). He has an electric scooter and rides the city bus. He has a part time job at MOA and that is alot of people to deal with every day! He wants to go to college so they are helping gain skills for that.

    I asked his mom, my good friend, how do you think he would do driving. She said what I thought....he would do great as long as everything was going along fine, nothing unexpected happened and everyone followed the rules. But how he woudl handle someone driving too slow or fast, if he had to think fast due to whatever, etc... she worries.

    The large therapy center Q goes to does a complete driving evaluation for people with disabilities. Do you have that. It has simulators and on the road with special instructors that help assess readiness to drive. It seems cool, I can get you a brochure if you ever are interested.....
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That was our issue. Billy did fine in straight line driving but if sudden issues came up, he froze. First snow storm, he ended up in a ditch.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all!!!

    Two years ago we sent Sonic to Driver's Ed because driving is so important in our society, especially out here where you have to take cabs if you don't drive. He took the class, failed the temps test once and never wanted to try again at all...said he was afraid to drive. Now he's! We will try to help him study for his temps. At 18 he doesn't need to go through drivers ed again (expensive). I suspect when he gets his license (and it will take a while for him to pass the test), he will not wish to drive in snow or rain. Even if he does, frankly I've ended up in ditches too and so have my other kids.

    He is not interested in college at all and, since there is no age limit to going to school, nobody is going to push it. He has no interest in living in a dorm and is tired of school. I am going to respect that. I may encourage him to try an online class, but he has to figure out what he is interested in first. His obsessive Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interests are not marketable. He is immensely obsessed with Sonic and Mario Brothers and even has a notebook naming each game and ch aracter that ever came out and when, but that won't get him a job. He is not particularly obsessed with computers, although that would be something he may be interested in. He did say "It's too hard." Maybe he needs to take an online class to see that he can do it. He always seems to be able to do anything he is challenged with.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He is probably higher functioning than anyone knows. Right now Wiz shows almost NO signs of aspergers as long as he is on his medications for the adhd and depression and insomnia. If you know him well you can see the signs but he really doesn't show them unless you know both him and aspergers very well. I NEVER would have thought this when he was younger. My dad is an aspie and other than the obsessive interests he shows little sign of it. He has taught himself to not talk about them and to listen to others, but that was NOT there as much twenty yrs ago.. The grands really helped him wth that. If my dad was still learning and growing after he had grandkids, there is a LOT of time for Sonic to develop.

    Just don't stand in his way and don't do things for him. Let him and make him do things, esp self care like his laundry, etc... if he isn't already doing it. Work with voc rehab and any other resources you can find. volunteers of america might be able to help him with some of what they offer.

    I think it is very wise to not push him to go to college. a vocational course at some point might help him, if and when he is interested. College isn't for everyone and I am sure he can start at a job and begin to learn how to function in that role with some help. I have always wondered if there was more going on in Sonic's mind that he was getting credit for. It is hard to know what someone can do when they don't talk much. As long as you don't let him just stay home and play games all the time, he will continue to grow and develop for years to come.
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Welcome to PE MWM! -RM
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, Sonic has always done his own laundry, cleaned his own room, cooked meals, taken out the garbage, mowed the lawn etc. We have tried not to baby him at all. He is pretty good at doing his chores and does not get angry when asked to do them. And he always did well in school too (with accomodations). He seems to do better ALWAYS than everyone expects him to do. It's time for us to expect that he can do more than we think as well.

    Thanks for your kind words.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much. I never know where to post about him because his issues are different than so many of the adult difficult children here. I am glad at least one person is happy I came :)
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    MWM, a very warm welcome to the PE side. :)

    Doesn't matter much what their issues are, once they're 18 you're a Pe-er. lol
  15. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    MWM, welcome to PE. I agree wholeheartedly with Susie's and Lisa's comments about what people on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum are capable of. You never know until they get there.

    The world of technology is a very welcoming environment for people on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum. Quirkiness is not just accepted, but embraced, and it's much easier to make friends with people who are (a) just as weird as you are and (b) not judging you by social norms.

    Even if Sonic isn't interested in computers directly, there are lots of careers that might suit. I just did a quick search on careers relating to video games. Here's what I came up with:

    Video Game Design & Development program graduates use their talents and skills to create exciting, immersive video game experiences for the entertainment industry.
    A variety of exciting and fulfilling outcomes are available to graduates of this program, including careers such as:

    • Video game designer
    • Video game developer
    • App developer
    • Animator
    • Web developer
    • Special effects specialist
    • Producer for commercials
    • Marketer
    • Educator
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MWM - this is an awesome place for you to post about sonic. He is a great kid but still has things to work on/develop, and just because it isn't sub abuse doesn't mean it isn't a PE topic. just like not every difficult child is autistic or bipolar or a boy or a girl.

    Encourage him, push him to do more in the way of learning to program/how computers work rather than just playng games, or whatever his interests are, and he will be just fine. work wth voc rehab and any vocational or tech school in the area. here they have programs that give a full free year after high school as part of the program, and if they have one he likes, have him try.

    i wouldn't write off reg tdocs just because they don't have specific Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) training. the best tdocs we have had learned about our problems as they were helping us. i have found the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experts and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) trained therapists often expect much less of people than others, and they think because they are 'trained' or 'experts' that they can somehow accurately assess the lmits - but we found they just put roadblocks up and wanted us to lower our expectations rather than to challenge Wiz and thank you and even me. thank you isn't Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), but he sure has some traits, esp expressing how he is feeling both emotionally and even physically. jess and i both end up interpreting hwo he looks and is acting to know if he is sick because he is not able to say 'i have a migraine' or 'my stomach is upset' - he just cannot express it in words other than 'ugh.. i am okay......' when he is pale and clutching his stomach and turnign green or cryng and shielding hsi eyes from light and holding his head on one side for a migraine. he is getting better, and that is the goal.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911


    When you say Sonic knows more than the professionals? Truer words were never spoken. It just gave me a chuckle. Thanks for that. He's a handsome kid....and you know you learn SOMETHING from everyone you meet. He just may be the ONE that teaches loads of people - a lot about things no one can understand. Dude has done that here with a lot of people. He reaches kids and others no one can. It's a gift....embrace it.

    Hugs and WELCOME to PE!