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wittgenstein
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15 Mar 2022, 12:57 pm

I was diagnosed with aspergers. However, this post is not about me. I have friends and do well at work and other social occasions. My Fiancée has a 21-year-old son that has some problems with speaking but is VERY high functioning autistic. We have great conversations about WW1, architecture and something really cool that he introduced me to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N63pQGhvK4M&t=21s .
Tom was in special education and feels humiliated by the experience and the reactions of neural typicals. He is VERY SMART! However, he stays in his room 24/7 . His mother says that is typical for young men. I disagree. Tom is not my biological son. However, I think of him as my son and he thinks of me as his father.
Tom constantly gets upset and says his life is not worth living. He avoids his mother. I asked him about that and if his mother treats him badly when I am not around. He said, "no". Marcy is a very kind person. She says that Tom blames her for separating from his dad and having him go to special needs classes.
I have 2 goals 1. Get Tom a life and 2. Reconcile him and his mother. And yes, I already know not to force anything. Tom is miserable and takes no joy in life.


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wittgenstein
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15 Mar 2022, 1:05 pm

This video is a more philosophical understanding of liminal spaces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9wPjuuXgDk


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YES! This is me!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gtdlR4rUcY
I went up over 50 feet!
I love debate!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtckVng_1a0
My debate style is calm and deadly!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-230v_ecAcM


AquaineBay
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15 Mar 2022, 1:28 pm

I am sorry you are going through this and I can see that you care for him a lot and the situation is stressing you out. I would try and get a therapist for him. Your step-son avoiding his mother is a problem and from what I see it seems he is hiding something and not telling you. I would have to agree with your fiancee that for men on the spectrum him being in his room a lot is actually fairly common(usually due to anxiety, lack of friends, lack of places to go to, etc.)

Two things that should be touched on is the separation and special needs classes. He needs to have a talk with his mother as to why she did that and that being in special Ed. is not always a bad thing and doesn't mean he is less than anyone else. As for the separation, as a child that is really none of his buisness. What happened between his mother and father is their buisness not his which is something I would try and get him to understand. I use to resent my father a little back then for not coming to see me but, I had to realize that what happened between my mother and father is none of my buisness and I learned to not hate neither my mother or father for something that I couldn't control.

If those are their real names, in the future it's best to not use people's actual names when talking about them online. Safety is important and giving out real names online can put people in danger.



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15 Mar 2022, 2:33 pm

Would this be better placed in the Parents' Discussion area?

I'm not a parent but one thought comes to my mind. Since you and he share interests are there places you could go together? Museums, and such. (1)  It might be a way to get him out more that he would find palatable, and (2)  since you share interests, you both might enjoy the excursion...being able to enjoy something with someone else often increases the enjoyment.


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15 Mar 2022, 4:14 pm

wittgenstein wrote:
I was diagnosed with aspergers. However, this post is not about me. I have friends and do well at work and other social occasions. My Fiancée has a 21-year-old son that has some problems with speaking but is VERY high functioning autistic. We have great conversations about WW1, architecture and something really cool that he introduced me to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N63pQGhvK4M&t=21s .
Tom was in special education and feels humiliated by the experience and the reactions of neural typicals. He is VERY SMART! However, he stays in his room 24/7 . His mother says that is typical for young men. I disagree. Tom is not my biological son. However, I think of him as my son and he thinks of me as his father.
Tom constantly gets upset and says his life is not worth living. He avoids his mother. I asked him about that and if his mother treats him badly when I am not around. He said, "no". Marcy is a very kind person. She says that Tom blames her for separating from his dad and having him go to special needs classes.
I have 2 goals 1. Get Tom a life and 2. Reconcile him and his mother. And yes, I already know not to force anything. Tom is miserable and takes no joy in life.


I was shoved into special needs as a kid while in high school. It batters your confidence severely and to this day, my friends were a bit baffled as to why.

It appears to be common for kids with higher functioning autism to be thought of as less capable.

Tom is likely to get sucked into a death spiral as the early 20s never appear to be thought of fondly by many autistics. He's at a time in his life where his peers are transitioning (with clumsiness) into adulthood and he will really start to notice his differences.

If he has a hobby then let him embrace it but the whole staying in the room 24/7 saga will need addressing. Taking him out and about on fun trips might help. A restaurant from time to time might be a so.ple start. It's hard to say no to food.



kraftiekortie
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15 Mar 2022, 7:20 pm

I agree it's not healthy nor "normal" for a person of that age to stay in his room all the time.

I feel you should try, at a point, to include his mother in his going to restaurants or movies or other sorts of outings. Does his mother actually mistreat him?

I would also encourage him to join online discussion groups (like here on WrongPlanet). Or maybe a forum pertaining to World War I or something like that.



timf
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16 Mar 2022, 6:42 am

You might take him fishing. If it is a new experience for you as well, it can show him how to tackle something new and not be intimidated.

You might take him to get a "discovery flight" at a small airport and experience flying.

You might take him bowling during a week day (to avoid leagues).

Slowly you might be able to discover his interests and find ways you could help him to feel comfortable outside of a "shell" he may have built.



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16 Mar 2022, 7:49 pm

Focus on his special interest. Use that to bond with him and to take him out. Find WWI museums or events to go to together. Do things around his special interests. Let that grow into the basis on which to grow your relationship.


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16 Mar 2022, 11:39 pm

ASD kids like security and familiarity, and dislike change.

The mistrust of his Mother might be due to the domestic disruption caused by the divorce. If there was lots of upheaval, that's particularly shocking and upsetting to someone with ASD. It can remove one's faith in the safety and permanence of life at home.

I think I'm still angry with my Mum for divorcing my Dad about 34 years ago, not because they should have stayed together (logically I can see it wasn't going to work out) but because it ruined my own comfortable, sheltered little bubble. Logically it makes no sense but my PDA brain now thinks my Mum is The Enemy and it's very hard to override that feeling once it starts.



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19 Mar 2022, 8:42 pm

A lot of difficult issues to handle in the original post and the related issue post, above.

It isn't uncommon for young adults with ASD to feel therapy cannot help them, and to get depressed about their place in life. Even under the best circumstances, transitioning to the expectations of adulthood is difficult, and many ASD young adults are developmentally behind their peers and, thus, less ready than most.

I think the first move is simply to help the young adult find joy and confidence. That will generally come from finding success and joy in an activity, most likely one connected to a special interest. I'd be patient above all else, not trying to force anything onto a definitive timeline.

If someone can find meaning and satisfaction hidden in their own room, then let them; it isn't unheard of. But neither of my kids (one ASD, one other non-nuerotypical) can truly do that ALL the time, and both have had bouts of extreme self-doubt the last few years that left them ineffective at advocating for themselves ... but they still were reluctant to accept our help (sometimes offering help just emphasizes what they can't do). There is a very fine line there, and the more they can take action that helps them get closer to their own goals, the more it helps them.

My husband used to like to ask the kids for help with tasks he knew they were up to and didn't mind doing, and we did see that completing the tasks seemed to helped increase their sense of confidence. Like telling our daughter we needed something done at the post office that didn't fit into our schedules; asking my son for help selecting a new computer; etc.

If there is no spark that can be accessed ever, and no joy in anything, no small tasks that can get pulled together, then it is probably time to look at medication for depression.

Therapy is great, but hard to find right now, and therapy only works if the person believes it can help. It takes a lot of trust, and for many young adults with ASD, the ability to trust mental health professionals was broken long ago. So be careful, make it clear that if person A isn't compatible you look for person B, etc.

I'm not sure I've said anything useful, but maybe something here can help. Listen, truly listen, and be patient.


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