Trying to move forward...seems like forever


New Member
Hi Everyone: I started reading this post awhile back and felt right at home. Learned alot too even after going through ODD Executive Functioning problems and substance abuse with my 28 year old son. I blamed myself for not being a perfect mother for years and the guilt really made me an easy target for my son. But most recently I realize that he is not my responsibility and his poor choices are not my fault. The shift has made a huge difference. My son has been clean from heroin for 5 years and alcohol for a year.
I have gone through some unemployment difficulties and he has been living with me. Helping me with the bills. He has tried to go back to school and works full time but the executive functioning gets him only so far. We get along ok but we both would prefer not to live together. Problem is the executive functioning affects and has always affected his occupational and academic functioning. He is able to hold down a job sometimes two jobs but they are very low paying. If he could just somehow get a job that would support him he would be good to go. Any ideas? Or anything that has worked for your adult children?
In all other areas he functions adequately enough. Once I gave up my expectations of how I wanted him to function and practiced radical acceptance it got much easier. My process has taken a long time
Still working on it but I am feeling alot better.


Well-Known Member
Go to your Dept. of Workforce Development. If he has a true executive function deficit, which (don't be scared) will be called cognitive disability not otherwise specified on his testing (which he will have to do) he can get services to place him in a suitable job for him. He may be allowed a job coach until he learns the job. He will also qualify for social security, Medicare and Medicaid. I'm sort of like your son and wish I had known the help was there sooner. I am quite bright, but there are many jobs I can't do or understand due to slower processing both and it takes me longer to catch on, due to slight neurological differences in my thought processes. Executive function and non verbal learning disabilities have been in my report as well.

I do not make a lot of money, but with the social security, I make enough to live a modest lifestyyle on my own (if necessary...right now I am married).

We have one son on the autism spectrum and he is young---21---he lives alone. He collecteds social security and works four hours each day as well. He was specially placed in a job that fit his needs and he is quite a happy, well satisfied and extremely nice young man who never has to worry about having to live with mom (because mom can't live forever). Don't listen to friends or family who tell you it's too hard to get Disability. I didn't even go to Workforce Development for social security, but they always do a job assessment and a neuropsychology test and one of my diagnosis. was cognitive disorder not otherwise specified. That alarmed me at first, but it was explained that all it means is that cognitively I think differently, not that I am a "low IQ." I have been very happy since all that happened and wish I had known about it much, much sooner. I see the confidence and happiness in my son. He does not feel disabled and is rarely sad.

That is my suggestion. Can't hurt. It worked well for us and your son does have something that impedes him from being able to keep a job or do a job, much like me. It got very frustrating and made me feel very poorly about myself and the entire low self esteem bit was not necessary if I had only understood.

Good luck!!!


New Member
I spoke to my son about it and he does not want to go on disability although he needs it. I guess I will have to put plans in effect for him to move out and maybe at some point he will change his mind if he realizes and accepts the situation.
Like Somewhereoutthere he is not low IQ but has cognitive deficits that affect functioning. It was always like that. School was a nightmare. He had a few neuropsychs and had an IEP in school but this is when the ODD really took off. He always scored high on intelligence and IQ testing asking why if he scores high he does not do well in school? All this has been explained to him many many times. I dont think he accepts it.
I am tired of it and would like to move on with my own life.


Well-Known Member
The toughest part here, to me, is the fact that he is 28.

If he were 10 years younger... maybe a bit more maturity would help (some kids make major gains as they near their mid-20s). But at 28, he is a WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get. Either HE finds a way to get decent employment and get on with life, or HE accepts that he has a disability and gets help. He does not have the right to hold you hostage forever. Even the most disabled kids turn into adults and need to leave home at some point and be cared for in "the system" because eventually their parents will not be there to look after them.


New Member
So true. I agree. I guess I thought the substance abuse also played a part. In other words it was hard to see exactly where he was at before the sobriety. I guess I had hoped for bigger steps after recovery from the heroin addiction. Often times people make big gains when they have been sober for awhile.