Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org
CrazyRedhead

Worried about adult son with high-functioning autism

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Mods, I hope I am allowed to post about my son in this forum......If not, please feel free to lock thread.

This is a little long, but thanks for reading.......My son is almost 31 yrs old, he has high-functioning autism......Diagnosed at age 3......He has 3 college degrees and an excellent govt job....Currently he lives in his deceased father's house, which was left to him when father passed away about 2 yrs ago......He does really well at his work, and even has a few close friends.

However, he still has a few problems with some things.....Before his father passed away, he lived there with his dad, and his father was there to guide him on things he had problems with.......Now that his dad is gone, I am his only parent left.....He has some problems with common sense things that a neuro-typical adult might not have.

For instance, he hired some people on his own to do yard work.....The people said it would take 2 days to do......After the first day, he paid them the whole amount for the entire job.......And guess what, they didn't even show up the next day......Now, I realize that neuro-typical people sometimes get taken advantage of too, with this type thing.........I didn't find out till after it happened, but I advised him what to do in the future.

I have also advised him about his vehicle on how often to change the oil....Before, his father took care of all this type stuff....My son insists that he only needs to change the oil once a year, when he gets his inspection, but he puts about 10-11,000 miles per year on it.....It is a 2006, so not a new one........I recommended that he should probably get it changed about every 6 months at least......He still insisted that once a year is enough, so I gave up on that one.

Finally, last year, when he did his taxes, he tried to file as head of household, with his dog as a dependent.......the IRS caught that error pretty quickly, so he had to pay some extra taxes on his amended return......I will add that he was used to filing head of household when his dad was alive, claiming his elderly father as dependent.........I advised him that he will have to file single now, unless or until he gets married....I tried to explain that a dependent on your taxes needs to be a human being, can't be an animal.

These are just a few examples, I could give more, but I don't want to make this overly long..........

Anyway, to get right down to the issue at hand, he has applied for another govt job, that would require him to move about 2 hours away....Apparently there are quite a few applicants for the job, and they are accepting new applications until June, so he doesn't expect to hear back on that for a few months.

I am really worried about him moving 2 hours away, because of these things he has trouble with.......I want him to be successful and have a fulfilling life, but I am torn on how to feel about this.......Am I worrying for nothing?

Any thoughts appreciated, especially from the  great folks here on the autistic spectrum..........Thanks.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you are worried for nothing, and I think you are a great mom for being as concerned as you are. As for my background, I may or may not be autistic (back when I was a kid, autism was poorly known at least in my area so nobody diagnosed me).

Does he learn from his mistakes? If he does, then I would say that he is just an extreme example of a neurotypical because we all make mistakes and we learn from them. In that case, I think you just have to let him make mistakes in order to learn about life. We are all in a lifelong learning process.

If he does get the job and if he does move, then I think you can keep in touch by phone. I don't know how he likes talking to you on the phone, but I talked to my mom for an hour every day while she was alive and well and I was living far away. You can get a lot of insight into his life by phone and also give a lot of advice. Maybe you can even Skype or Whatapp chat with video.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm unsure what exactly you're asking, to be quite frank. I can't tell what the issue/concern is. He seems to be having standard executive function issues that most autistic adults have. The key with those is to learn how to capitalise on the strengths in a way that can help with those. In my opinion, he should be learning how to do that independently or being encouraged to seek out assistance on his own terms to develop the capacity to do that instead of falling back on you. 

It sounds like maybe you are too attached to him? He is an adult and you should be treating him like one. You probably didn't mean it, but you made him sound like he is lacking common sense when you said that he is having issues with things that are common sense to neurotypical adults. He isn't neurotypical, so it isn't wise to compare him to a neurotypical adult. I wouldn't appreciate it very much if a neurotypical person told me that I lack common sense, because they don't have any insight into my brain at all. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jt07 said:

I don't think you are worried for nothing, and I think you are a great mom for being as concerned as you are. As for my background, I may or may not be autistic (back when I was a kid, autism was poorly known at least in my area so nobody diagnosed me).

Does he learn from his mistakes? If he does, then I would say that he is just an extreme example of a neurotypical because we all make mistakes and we learn from them. In that case, I think you just have to let him make mistakes in order to learn about life. We are all in a lifelong learning process.

If he does get the job and if he does move, then I think you can keep in touch by phone. I don't know how he likes talking to you on the phone, but I talked to my mom for an hour every day while she was alive and well and I was living far away. You can get a lot of insight into his life by phone and also give a lot of advice. Maybe you can even Skype or Whatapp chat with video.

He very seldom seems to learn from his mistakes...He asked me again this year should he try to list the dog on his taxes...Of course I said, no you can't, you must file single, and dependents have to be a human....He said he doesn't think that's fair, because he provides all the care for his dog.........**SIGH**.......I then said, well, it may not seem fair to you, but the IRS's rules are that dependents have to be human beings, and also I said that it wouldn't be good to break those rules.

Yes, I can keep in touch by phone or Skype, I talk to him almost everyday on the phone......I'm just worried he'll make a mistake that can't be fixed by phone, and I'll have to get someone to drive me 2 hours to where he is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

I'm unsure what exactly you're asking, to be quite frank. I can't tell what the issue/concern is. He seems to be having standard executive function issues that most autistic adults have. The key with those is to learn how to capitalise on the strengths in a way that can help with those. In my opinion, he should be learning how to do that independently or being encouraged to seek out assistance on his own terms to develop the capacity to do that instead of falling back on you. 

It sounds like maybe you are too attached to him? He is an adult and you should be treating him like one. You probably didn't mean it, but you made him sound like he is lacking common sense when you said that he is having issues with things that are common sense to neurotypical adults. He isn't neurotypical, so it isn't wise to compare him to a neurotypical adult. I wouldn't appreciate it very much if a neurotypical person told me that I lack common sense, because they don't have any insight into my brain at all. 

 

The problem is, he refuses professional assistance now......He used to go to a support group, supervised by an  autism specialist,  for adults on the spectrum......But he quit the group, saying now he's a grown man and doesn't need any help with anything.....

Yes, I know I have to stop thinking of him as neurotypical, and just realize he's wired differently--I've been trying to work on that....I treat him as an adult, and if he asks me a question about something, I talk to him as I would any other adult......I have never told him he doesn't have common sense.....

I don't want to be a helicopter mom.....I guess I am just used to looking out for him, he didn't talk until he was 4.....His father was in his deathbed 2 years ago and made me promise to look out for my son after he died.....Like I mentioned to jt, I am just afraid he'll be 2 hours away, and make a mistake.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely understand your concern about being 2 hours away. But at this point, you could be worrying about nothing since he doesn't yet have the job and you said there are quite a few applicants competing for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atr

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

That's his choice. Not your responsibility to reap the consequences of that choice. I'm glad you don't tell him he has no common sense, but you did write that in your OP nonetheless. Its good that you look out for him, but I have to agree with jt in regards to life mostly being a learning experience. 

He can only walk on his own 2 feet by being given the space and chance to in the way that is possible for him, whether it meets anyone else's or society's standards or not. Its his life. 

I can only speak to my own life, but trust me, it is much harder for me to get a grip on life when others are expecting me to do it in a particular way instead of giving me the space to learn how to in my own way that is applicable to me. 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, jt07 said:

I completely understand your concern about being 2 hours away. But at this point, you could be worrying about nothing since he doesn't yet have the job and you said there are quite a few applicants competing for it.

Yes, I may be worried for no reason, that's true......I tend to worry about stuff before it even happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

That's his choice. Not your responsibility to reap the consequences of that choice. I'm glad you don't tell him he has no common sense, but you did write that in your OP nonetheless. Its good that you look out for him, but I have to agree with jt in regards to life mostly being a learning experience. 

He can only walk on his own 2 feet by being given the space and chance to in the way that is possible for him, whether it meets anyone else's or society's standards or not. Its his life. 

I can only speak to my own life, but trust me, it is much harder for me to get a grip on life when others are expecting me to do it in a particular way instead of giving me the space to learn how to in my own way that is applicable to me. 

Yes, ultimately it is his life, and I want him to have a good life.......I guess I need to let him make his own decisions, on his own terms, and not feel personally responsible when he makes a mistake.

It's just difficult for a mother not to worry about her child, even if the child is a grown man.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I must be honest and say I hope I'm not dismissing your experience CrazyRedhead, I never had real parents who cared about me so I don't have any experience myself with a parent-child relationship.

If its worth any salt, though, I personally don't seek out any professional treatment for my ASD either, but its not because I refuse to and don't recognise the challenges it creates, its because it isn't really professional at all. When the vast majority of professionals are not autistic themselves, it is hard to get assistance that is appropriate because they don't understand how my brain functions and a lot of the time, couldn't care to listen. 

Not to say your son has experienced the same, but I have been abused by so called autism specialists also, so I don't trust them or their claims of being specialised. The whole industry of autism specialists really ruined me and my life as a child, and I'm left to try and build some life and authenticity for myself as a result of it. 

I'm very wary of anyone who claims to help autistic people. So I stay away from it for my own sake. If I were to seek out services for autistic related things, it would be in the context of providing me the strategies and skills to use what I was given naturally to make it through life each day, not necessarily to "treat" me, if that makes any sense. 

Do you know if your son has much awareness of his challenges and how they apply to his life, or if he would be interested in developing such skills as opposed to seeking traditional professional help? Maybe that could be of use to him, again, if he chooses to seek it out himself, because it will only really benefit if he chooses it himself. 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the time, autistic people need the reasons behind the rules explained in great detail before they grasp them. Saying “Dependents have to be human” might seem arbitrary. Saying “The government gives tax breaks to families because it’s in society’s best interest to make sure that a new generation of children is born and raised, and no matter how much your dog costs, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to raising a kid.” Or “You don’t expect your paycheck until after you’ve done your work. Therefore someone who works for you shouldn’t get their pay until their work is done.” Or tell him to read the owner’s manual for his car and see how often he should change the oil, and let him know, in a format he processes well (YouTube? Written? Etc.) exactly what will happen to his engine if he doesn’t take care of it. It will cost him a lot of money!

This won’t always work. Aspires have a lot of trouble with rules we think are just stupid. But it’s worth a try, especially if your son is highly analytical.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

     Do you know if your son has much awareness of his challenges and how they apply to his life, or if he would be interested in developing such skills as opposed to seeking traditional professional help? Maybe that could be of use to him, again, if he chooses to seek it out himself, because it will only really benefit if he chooses it himself. 

To be honest, I really don't know how much awareness he has about his challenges......He tends not to ask for help until something has already happened and he wonders what to do........I do realize he will refuse help unless he's the one who chooses it......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Iguana said:

A lot of the time, autistic people need the reasons behind the rules explained in great detail before they grasp them. Saying “Dependents have to be human” might seem arbitrary. Saying “The government gives tax breaks to families because it’s in society’s best interest to make sure that a new generation of children is born and raised, and no matter how much your dog costs, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to raising a kid.” Or “You don’t expect your paycheck until after you’ve done your work. Therefore someone who works for you shouldn’t get their pay until their work is done.” Or tell him to read the owner’s manual for his car and see how often he should change the oil, and let him know, in a format he processes well (YouTube? Written? Etc.) exactly what will happen to his engine if he doesn’t take care of it. It will cost him a lot of money!

This won’t always work. Aspires have a lot of trouble with rules we think are just stupid. But it’s worth a try, especially if your son is highly analytical.

This, very much. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Iguana said:

A lot of the time, autistic people need the reasons behind the rules explained in great detail before they grasp them. Saying “Dependents have to be human” might seem arbitrary. Saying “The government gives tax breaks to families because it’s in society’s best interest to make sure that a new generation of children is born and raised, and no matter how much your dog costs, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to raising a kid.” Or “You don’t expect your paycheck until after you’ve done your work. Therefore someone who works for you shouldn’t get their pay until their work is done.” Or tell him to read the owner’s manual for his car and see how often he should change the oil, and let him know, in a format he processes well (YouTube? Written? Etc.) exactly what will happen to his engine if he doesn’t take care of it. It will cost him a lot of money!

This won’t always work. Aspires have a lot of trouble with rules we think are just stupid. But it’s worth a try, especially if your son is highly analytical.

Thanks for the ideas, Iguana..!!.....Some great suggestions here.....I think they are worth a shot.......He is pretty analytical.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that is what I meant by it is better to give him the chance to learn things by himself. Autistic people are very analytical and we are very good at researching things, especially how and why things work. It is our way of navigating life and the world. That is also what I meant by capitalising on the strengths to make it easier to face the challenges and deficits. That's what I do when I ask for assistance, to develop awareness of my strengths and how to use them in my life so I can function better. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when diagnosing an autistic condition, it's often about if they have friends, use eye contact, get and comprehend social norms, have strict routines, aren't used to changes in environment/holding sensory issues, and often  not get what's appropriate in specific social scenarios.

Your son seems naive for sure. But then there are other factors to account for, other than being socially naive. 

The thing is, does he feel that he isn't functioning? the point about the tax return is odd - since there's no way the authorities would allow a dog as a dependant. 

I do get why you think he has autism, as it is one of many possibilities here. 

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, coa999 said:

I do get why you think he has autism, as it is one of many possibilities here. 

He has been diagnosed with Asperger's (high-functioning autism) by several doctors.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, CrazyRedhead said:

He was diagnosed with Asperger's by several doctors.

I'm sorry.

 

i didn't read your OP properly. my apologies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...