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Needsomeadvice
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30 Dec 2011, 3:07 pm

I live with an Aspie, He's male, he's 20. (I'm basically his step mom) and I'm trying desperately to be "nice" and understanding. But I'm at wits end. I've researched and read about Aspergers, that is how I joined this site), but I'm afraid I'm not being very successful at dealing with it. He takes advantage of the situation (but I have no way of knowing if it's on purpose of not, I think he might not even be aware of it, then at times I know he's perfectly aware of what he's doing). There are times he is very nice and polite to me, then there are other times he's manipulative, he lies, makes up these strange outlandish stories, show no compassion for anything or anyone, (i.e accidently hurt and cut his father foot and absolutely refused to apologizee,saying his foot shouldn't have been there to begin with, threw my cat across the room because he spit up a hairball, said the cat deserved it.)
He is extremely selfish to a fault, expects everyone else to buy and pay things for him, yet he will never reciprocate. He complained at Christmas that we didn't get him enough gifts, yet his father brought him a $1500 computer. (this is one of those times where I think he IS AWARE of what he is doing)
Nothing is good enough for him, he gets, wants and expect high end items all the time. His father and I both work and support him and try to explain to him that we are not rich; in the end his father always give in, (that may be part of the problem, I think, but again, not sure)
And I have another question? How do we discipline someone with Asperger's? How do we say no, in a ways that won't set him off? How do we explain things to him like right and wrong without hurting his feeling???
I love him and his father, but it's tug of war between the both of them and me. He has brought me to tears on many occasions....
Any suggestions? I could use some advice..
thank you



Sibyl
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30 Dec 2011, 3:41 pm

Sounds to me more like "Spoiled Brat" than Aspie.


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goodwitchy
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30 Dec 2011, 4:49 pm

Hi there,

I won't pretend to understand what you're going through with him, and I am no expert (in fact I've only just joined this forum yesterday), but as a person who likely has Asperger's, I will tell you it's my opinion that he's acting out and he's feeling things that he doesn't know how to express with words or "normal" communication.

Does he ever write things down? Perhaps he may be able to get some of what he's thinking and feeling out on paper.

A doctor could probably give you advice on how to handle his behavior.



bumble
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30 Dec 2011, 6:26 pm

Throwing a cat is incredibly creul.



Marcia
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30 Dec 2011, 6:41 pm

If I were his father that computer would either be on its way back to the shop now, or to a charity for those who can't afford such luxuries.

Throwing the cat is a horrible thing to do, and there would be extreme consequences for that one too.

I agree with the person who suggests this is more a spoiled brat issue than an Asperger's one. Not much help to you, though.

He's an adult, so is he studying, working ... ? Does he contribute anything to the household, either financially or in terms of domestic chores?

Has he always got what he wanted, or acted out until he got what he wanted?



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30 Dec 2011, 6:45 pm

Sibyl wrote:
Sounds to me more like "Spoiled Brat" than Aspie.


I was going to say the same thing. I think the characteristics you explained are just part of being a rude jerk rather than an aspie (rude jerks can be found both on and off the spectrum). I have classic autism, am certainly not mild by any means, and I know that a lot of what he does is not autistic behaviour. I mean, I might accidentally hurt someone because I am not always aware of my surroundings or the thresholds of other people. That being said, I am not dumb. If they tell me I've made a mistake and hurt them, then I do not justify my actions. I apologize. Who throws a cat because it gets sick?! I actually relate to animals FAR more than humans (as I hear many of us do), and I wouldn't throw a human baby for vomiting on me, so I certainly wouldn't toss a cat across the room either. Is he ever told that he is being rude? I mean, when he was growing up and did certain things that were "wrong" did anybody ever say, "that is wrong" or "that is inappropriate"? People--especially those of us who do not pick up signals instinctually--need people to correct behaviour from the time we are young. For example, I was always taught to be grateful for the gifts I received (whether I liked them or not). I've grown to understand that it IS the thought that counts, and I have NEVER told my parents they did not buy me enough. Of course, I've never felt that way either. My brother--who is not on the spectrum and who IS selfish despite being taught otherwise--used to say it every year at Christmas to them. That is what I mean: jerkish attitudes can be found both on and off the spectrum. Whether or not he is aware, I have nooo idea--only he knows that. What I do believe, though, is that these behaviours would probably exist whether he is an aspie or not.


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30 Dec 2011, 7:54 pm

It sounds like there's something else going on there. Perhaps BPD or something along that line. You will get more help with this in the parenting section. Welcome to WrongPlanet! :)


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31 Dec 2011, 10:12 am

[Moved from General Autism Discussion to Parents' Discussion]

(Good idea, Mick! :wink: )


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SylviaLynn
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31 Dec 2011, 10:36 am

His behavior is inexcusable. A disability is not an excuse for behaving badly. Why in the heck isn't your husband standing up to him? He should be. How do you discipline a 20 year old??? Send the computer back, or at least take it away for awhile. Remind him in no uncertain terms that he is an adult. Your obligation to support him is at an end. Help him start taking the steps to independence. There is no need to live as hostage to his bad behavior.


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31 Dec 2011, 10:48 am

I think that if he has been given everything he wants and shown no discipline for 20 years it might not be his "fault" he is acting this way. In other words, no one has taught him how to behave, given him consequences for his actions, and just always given in to him. That can create a very selfish 20 year old with AS who hasn't been given the proper guidance on behaving.

So instead of throwing him out or cutting him off, it might need to be done gradually and with kindness. His father may need to have a talk with him about how things need to change. He might need some therapy to help with the transition. He needs to be "shown" how to appreciate things and act well. This calls for boundaries and consequences that probably need to come from the father, or the boy will resent you.



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31 Dec 2011, 2:05 pm

I'm an Aspie. Of course back then nobody knew what that was. But if I had done that at 20, I would have been kicked out of the house so fast it wasn't funny!

I was spoiled, and I admit that, and also overprotected, but there is no way my mother would have put up with that. You shuldn't put up with that either. You should tell him that it's inappropriate and not give him anything positive for a while after he acts out like that, or smply kick him out. He's 20.

I can't tell his functioning level from what you have told me, however, if he seems to be able to handle the things he wants to handle, I'd treat im like anyone else.

I speak for me here when I say this, and don't want to offend. I know there are many different functioning levels of AS and ASD. Nobody owes it to me to walk on eggshells not to offend me. I have no right to not be offended in life. I have no right to have others inconvenience themselves to make me happy. I have no right to hurt someone physically unless they are trying to hurt me first. I have no right for my AS cause others to suffer who choose to live with me, without trying to find compromise, to the best of my ability. My personal ability for that, is pretty good. Not everyone else is the same. Some are much better at compromise and controlling themselves, others are much worse. It depends on your son's baseline.

I honestly do not feel that I would have ever attained the functional level that I have today, had my diagnosis been known when I was a child. My mother was the kind who would have used it to coddle and spoil me worse than she did. I am not saying that makng accomodations is spoiling and coddling. It is not. It is assisting the person to learn to either do things themselves or learn how to get the help they need to get whatever it is done. There is a difference.

People seem to forget that those of us with AS can truly understand concepts of civility and manners even though we may not be able to display them at first without a good bit of reminding and understanding. This should have started much younger than 20. I have never raised a child on the spectrum so I do not speak from that experience, I only speak from the experience of being a child on the spectrum, even though at the time I didn't know.

I do believe that it is a common, human trait, when anyone knows that something may be difficult for them, due to something they cannot help, and that there is a very real reason for it, to many times feel defeated before starting. Almost a "I can't do it, why try?" feeling which may translate into coming across as entitled. That is my conjecture, because I didn't know I had this then, and forced myself to learn and do things and somewhat fit in. I could very well see myself feeling and acting like that if it were allowed.

I'm not saying that you, or anyone else has done anything to cause this for your son, but I would encourage you to hold him accountable for his actions. Just as you would anyone else.


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