Soon to be 18 y/o Aspie Son so many questions

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uworrn
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28 Aug 2006, 7:48 pm

My son will be 18 in september. He is a senior in High School. We just did the driver testing last friday and he failed tremodously.
He wont talk to me about it. He states as usual i fail at everything. It breaks my heart. We have been practising for a year and a half. Any way, School starts here in Wisconsin Sept. 1. I want this year to go well. I need to find out colleges that have aid for Aspies. Any suggestions? He wants to get a job too but I am so nervous. i dont want another let down for him. He needs positive reinforcement. Anyone out there give me a hand? uworrn



MrMark
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28 Aug 2006, 8:02 pm

Getting him to join WP would be a good start.


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LadyMcBeth
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28 Aug 2006, 8:56 pm

My son is in his junior year at college. It is a whole different ball game. My son is enjoying it, he doesn't get bullied. Its amazing people who are having to pay for there education don't wasted there time teasing others. I know his college would have help if he wanted it but he prefers not to get help and he is doing really well so far. The first year was a little rough because he was obsessing about something and let his grades slip a little and he almost lost his scholarship but he pulled it up. I think that was a really growing experience for him he had to deal with stuff he's never had to deal with. I'm sure they will have something to help your son.



HDIGhere
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29 Aug 2006, 7:16 am

uworrn wrote:
My son will be 18 in september. He is a senior in High School. We just did the driver testing last friday and he failed tremodously.
He wont talk to me about it. He states as usual i fail at everything. It breaks my heart. We have been practising for a year and a half. Any way, School starts here in Wisconsin Sept. 1. I want this year to go well. I need to find out colleges that have aid for Aspies. Any suggestions? He wants to get a job too but I am so nervous. i dont want another let down for him. He needs positive reinforcement. Anyone out there give me a hand? uworrn


You are doing a terrific job mum, with the systems that are in place to help you. The doctors have not used this term with my son but I am using it "classic autism" . . . . My son is 19 and willing to learn but does not have the available resourses. To be brief, he has delayed speech, is still at the elementary level when it comes to education and he will be dependent on me for life.

Thus, I was wondering if you and your son have had a chance to meet autistic children like my son. I say this because for your son to be a senior in High School and take his driving test and I believe he is doing many high functioning tasks I salute both of you. So when "He states as usual i fail at everything. It breaks my heart etc" lovingly tell him that he is doing great and that some children with autistic tendencies are like the character in Rainman and what makes it worst is they may not show any special skills for a long time.

Positive reinforcement is great. But this world is really tough and very few people he will meet in his daily activities will try to be positve to him all the time.

Uworrn from my experience "practising for a year and a half" alone says that you and your son will make it just continue to tell him the disappointment will pass and we will practice more. Remind him of things he thought he could never do but then succeeded after more than one try.

Keep up the great work to help him to function in this real world of "Animal Farm"

One step at a time.

It is not an easy road but Uworrn, as long as your health is good you will be able to be there for your son. Cry, rant and rage with your family and friends who support you. Then meet your son with a brave face to encourage him on.

From my view, every day it is like the journey has just begun.



jman
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29 Aug 2006, 7:56 am

if it makes you feel any better I am a 23 year ikd with AS and I failed my drivers test on the ffirst attempt :lol: But passed the second try



julieme
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29 Aug 2006, 10:18 am

Hi --

Try the University of Wi Madison - The Macburney disability center and the trace center do extensive work with LD, special needs, and AS students.

As for driver's ed - if the written part of the test was a problem - ask for ADA accomodations. If it was the performance - maybe the tester was not specific enough - I remember being told to turn left and going into the next driveway on the left. Again asking for exact words seems reasonable.

I'm out of town on business but if you have any questions about UW send an e-mail - I'll pm my e-mail to you



three2camp
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30 Aug 2006, 7:30 am

If you're worried about his ability to get and keep a job, how about starting as a volunteer somewhere? I'm sure he would rather get cash money, but knowing he can walk away without penalty might be a good start?



uworrn
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31 Aug 2006, 8:10 pm

I thank you all for your support. As far as trying, trying and trying again is something we just do. I hate to see him get so disappointed when he fails. I want to protect him. I want him to succede. I have always told both my boys that they can be anything they want to be. I have a friend who has an autistic son who still does not speak. I know she and her husband have had alot to deal with and heart aches. I am so lucky that my son is high functioning. But I still worry and fight the fights.
uworrn



pink
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02 Sep 2006, 4:06 am

Hi!

I have a 19 yr old AS son. He failed his driving test the first time also. I just told him they usually flunk guys the first time. Then I told him about my driver's test experience. We both laughed about it. He did much better the 2nd time. I think sometimes they just need to do a "practice" run before they can succeed.

Regarding college, there is a guide you can use on-line or at the library. It is Peterson's guide to colleges. It gives all sorts of information, but the most useful is which colleges make special accomodation for students with special needs. They also rate which colleges are most competitive and which are more likely to accept a student. My son is attending UW-Marathon Center this fall. He was at a small private college last year, but it was in St Louis MO and he really needs more family support than I could give him at that distance. If your son can attend a college closer to home so he can commute the first semester until he gets in the swing of things it might help.

My son worked for several years as a dishwasher at a family owned pizza parlor. He's a hard worker if not fast. The people were nice there. I think being owned privately made it a more tolerant workplace than a chain type business. He developed good work skills there. My son also did some volunteer work over the years. He volunteered at the local hospital pharmacy a couple of days a month. He also volunteered doing data entry for the local Democratic party during the last presidential election. That always looks good on a resume whether for a job or college.

I would also make sure you find what resources are available for study assistance at the college he chooses, like a math lab, a writing lab, tutoring, study groups, etc. Your son probably won't think to seek those out by himself. Mine sure didn't. Get the information for him, help him work them into his schedule, and insist that he go. Once he is in the habit, he will probably continue to go without prompting.

When your son starts looking at a major for school, make sure it's something that interests him. I read in a book about AS that these kids tend to excel in narrow fields that they find really interesting. The book called NASA a sheltered workshop for Asperger's people, a bunch of science geeks obsessed with their jobs. My son has always loved chemistry and wants to be involved in research, so he is a pre-pharmacy major. Hopefully that will work out for him.

Don't beat yourself up over your son's disappointments. I know from personal experience that you are doing the best job you can. Everybody has setbacks. Life plods on. I always stress to my son that as long as nobody died, everything is fixable. Good luck to you both.

Gwen



TheBladeRoden
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02 Sep 2006, 5:06 am

Well, I suppose I should advertise my own school. University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. It's all big on disabilities and stuff. I think wheelchair basketball is more popular than regular basketball here. Though the beurocratic structure at the Center for Students with Disabilities gets shffled around every year which annoys me. Only one year left, knock on wood!


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11 Sep 2006, 2:42 am

I'm happy to hear your son is wanting to succeed in life and gain independence. This is a good sign and by all means encourage it. College was a good growing up experience for me. Never got bullied there despite being tortured by bullies in my earlier schooling. Actually made friends in college. Getting a job was a challenge because kept getting turned down. I kept trying a finally got employed and ended up moving 2000 miles away on a wing and a prayer and finally got a real good job with benefits.

Volunteering like someone said is a good idea. Hospitals take lots of volunteers. Road cleanup volunteering is good too. It also will look as good on a resume as a job if you stay with it for awhile. Can he do lawn mowing and trimming or snowshoveling depending on where you live? Those are good beginner jobs for guys. Oh also golf caddying can bring large tips. Or at least a guy told me that so hope its true. He said he got $15 a hour in tips just to carry their clubs. He just had to brush up his knowledge of the game so he could feign some interest in what they were doing.



Callista
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12 Sep 2006, 12:56 am

You know what... A driver's license is not necessary for life.

I'm 23; I live on my own; and I don't have a driver's license. My main mode of transportation is a bicycle, which gives me about a five-mile radius--enough to get anywhere within my mid-sized city. When I need to travel out of town, I use a public transportation system designed to transport handicapped or poor people; they will even transport my bicycle, since it can be strapped in where a wheelchair would usually be. I live in a suburb that just borders the city, so it's easy to get where I need to go. Does your son have a bicycle?

Despite my native clumsiness, I have gotten quite good at riding a bike; and though it may take a while to learn, the gyroscopic effect will keep the bicycle upright once the rider is comfortable with higher speeds. The only thing one must worry about is making sharp turns on loose gravel or pavement covered with sand/rocks/rain; and I would suggest a helmet.

Many college students have bicycles instead of cars. At this age, they often cannot afford car payments, gas, and insurance, and will instead use buses and other public transportation (can your son endure a bus ride?), carpool with fellow students who have cars, or bike to the nearer destinations. He will need a good raincoat to protect his clothes when it is wet out, and good cold-weather clothing (because riding a bike adds to wind chill when it is already cold).

If your son lives on campus at a college that is near or in a mid-sized town (big enough to have a shopping mall and grocery store), he will not need a car. I would, however, suggest that he carry a cell phone with him so that he can call someone (pre-arranged) to get transportation if he is ever trapped somewhere.


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