Young adults on the spectrum

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Fran, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I thought that some parents who have school age kids on the spectrum would be curious to see what adulthood looks like for some.
    This is a trailer to a documentary that will be coming out in 2013. My son attends the program and is in this trailer as is his girlfriend and his other roommate.
    It's an interesting mixture of young adults.
    I know I always wondered what adulthood looked like. It helps prepare you to direct your child towards as much independence as they can handle.

    PS: I'm not endorsing the program, I'm sharing this so we can get a glimpse of the future.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for sharing. How refreshing it was to hear positive and logical input on how our children and our economy can benefit from appropriate nurturing. Sigh. Actually it made me a bit teary eyed just thinking of all the lost potential around the world. DDD
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm shocked that 90% of people on the spectrum are unemployed. I can see where spectrum kids (most of them) would need a special job placement, but they can work. My son is currently in a sheltered workshop, but he has an interview with the Dept. of Workforce Development next week to get a job in the community. There is help out there. I just wonder if people know. I don't know if they can all handle a full time job, but certainly they can work part-time and many can live in apartments with a social worker checking up a few times a week.

    I wish they had a program like this one here, but they don't.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Midwest mom, I understand that your son can work in a sheltered workspace but our experience isn't that way. These adults see what n/t young men and women are doing at their age. They have the intellect, for the most part, to yearn for more. Meaningful work, a spouse, a home maybe even children. I'm not surprised at all at the 90% unemployment.
    Example, a young man did data entry and did it well for 6 months. Over the weekend they changed the keyboards on all the computers to something more ergonomic. He had a total meltdown with all the bells and whistles including threats to blow the place up. Obviously, he got let go.
    I believe my son and many of the other adults I have met don't do well packing grocery or pushing carts. It's repetitive, boring and people treat them like they are less than deserving to be treated with respect. They certainly can't live on that income. We expect both our son's to not go to the lowest rung but to push through to reach the goal that they have set using the potential they have. Most of the kids haven't held a job for very long, even the one's that have graduated from prestigious universities.
    I sure hope my difficult child gets marketable skills but I doubt he will ever work in an office with n/t's for a 40 hr work week. He would go nuts being so confined. He is working on film editing and creating small film shorts. No income yet. We are anxious for him to not require outside financial support. It will make him proud of himself to stand on his own two feet.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, Fran, how cool for your son, and I agree with you to a point. My son doesn't mind repetitious work. He isn't sure what he wants to do but the DWD will work with him to find him a job that is a good fit, not just stocking boxes, if he can do more. At this point, we aren't sure yet. He isn't a good multi-tasker. He's always been pretty good on the computer so perhaps he can do something with that. We just don't know yet. This is all so new to us. Sonic graduated in June, and we had to wait two months to get an appointment at Workforce Development.

    Sonic wants to move out too so we are working on housing, which will take a long time. At the same time, he doesn't have the desire or interest in marriage or children. Maybe he's not high functioning enough or maybe it's just his personality. When his neuropsychologist asked him if he wanted to get married this summer, he shot back, "Why would ANYONE want to do THAT?" lol. He does have a group of friends that he works with and plays sports with (Special Olympics) and seems very content. He is a work in progress. I have read that kids on the spectrum don't reach full maturity until thirty. I don't know if that is true or not.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It sounds like you are plugged into the system. We tried job coaches with the state. They tried hard but it was months and months for any appointment. It wasn't very effective for us. The few interviews that they accompanied difficult child were jobs we(me) applied for on line. They couldn't really seem to find any worthwhile employment.
    I agree that they aren't done cooking until they are much older than average young adults.
    I noticed how very different each adult was in terms of skills, strengths and weaknesses. Good luck to your sweet Sonic. Sounds like he found a niche for himself.
  7. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Very impressive. It takes vision to provide a work environment like that, but is obviously worthwhile.

    Fran, did a get a teeny-weeny glimpse of you? I think I did. I miss you.

    Love, Esther
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hello Esther, I think of you often. Hope all is well.
    You are sharp. There is an extremely quick glimpse of me during an interview.
  9. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I've missed you, all of your wisdom, and have been wondering how your difficult child is doing. This is an amazing clip! I've already bookmarked the site, am forwarding it to my husband, and can't wait to see the finished documentary!

    There was a very brief glimpse of one person in it who reminds me of difficult child 1. difficult child 1 found a fantastic job involving computers (of course, lol!). He is the youngest employee and the only one without a four year degree (he has an associates) ever hired by this company. He is supporting himself, has a nice apartment and a new car. He finally has friends who all have similar interests and spends lots of time socializing when he isn't working. He is very proud of his accomplishments and so am I. That isn't to say, he doesn't have any issues, however, he is doing a zillion times better then I ever thought possible. I am grateful every single day for how well he is doing and pray that he isn't "done cooking," as I think you used to say.

    I'm very happy to hear that your difficult child is doing well too! Thank you so much for sharing this clip. Years ago I would have loved to have been able to see this clip, get an idea, understanding of what the future might look like for my difficult children as young adults. As always, I'm sure your knowledge and experience is going to benefit many of us.

    Thanks again for sharing and it's really nice to "see" you. SFR
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Love this video and the hope it offers! How great that your difficult child is involved!
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran I so agree with you about everything you say. I think Billy is somewhat lucky in that he has actually found a paid job with Radio Shack but I dont think he will ever manage to climb higher because of his deficits. Oh he wants to but he is stuck because of his issues. He would be miserable bagging groceries or getting shopping carts from the parking lots. Right now he is upset because RS keeps changing the dress code on him! Just when he gets it down, they change it. Plus they dont pay him enough to buy a whole new wardrobe every couple of months. I really dont know how things are going to work out for him but I hope somehow it will be okay.
  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Thanks SFR. It's nice to be remembered.
    When difficult child was 14, I wondered if he would have to live in some sort of structured environment. Fortunately, he has developed emotionally and has strived for independence. He has exceeded the predictions for him. SFR, I'm sure you did trial and error as we did and have a sense of relief to see them moving forward. I'd like to see difficult child earn a paycheck but time will tell.
  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    You're so right - It's a such a huge relief to see my difficult children move forward! It is wonderful to know that difficult child 1 is capable of fully supporting himself, of giving back to society, not just taking from it. I feel like the most tremendous burden has been lifted - I know that he'll be OK when husband and I are no longer here.

    difficult child 2 has gone farther than we expected he would and for this, we are grateful. While like your difficult child and difficult child 1, he wants his independence, and has made tremendous progress in this area, he still has a long way to go. At this point his goals aren't realistic. He wants to work with primates, traveling to exotic lands, making megabucks, just as he did when he was much younger. He is still just as vague in how he is going to accomplish this as he was then, totally without a viable plan. He took a college level primate class on line over the summer and found it to be very difficult. He had to watch videos and explain what the primates were doing/ thinking. He couldn't figure any of this out and was very frustrated. However, instead of throwing in the towel like he would have done years ago, he asked for extra credit work to make up for his failing test grades. The professor allowed him to complete enough extra credit to do well in the class. I'm very proud of him for this!! However, all of the extra credit involved memorizing facts only. This is something he excels at. He still has lots of difficulty attempting to apply what he knows facts-wise to real life situations. While I'm always optimistic he'll continue to progress in this area, it is a major stumbling block for him, one I'm not sure if he'll ever be able to overcome.

    I can visualize him being a perpetual student, maybe some sort of teacher? In this way, he could continue to take classes, memorize facts, be at the top for once instead of at the bottom, and most importantly, feel safe. Feel safe because chemistry formulas don't change the way everything else in life does.

    It's beyond wonderful that our kids have come as far as they have and I really believe that someday, hopefully sooner rather than later!, your difficult child and difficult child 2 will have paying jobs!

    Got to get going. I'm still in my bathrobe! SFR