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carolgatto
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19 Jul 2008, 7:52 am

Well it's been a while since I have been on here. Things get a little crazy here with 4 kids, 3 on the spectrum and one with Type I diabetes and still no help. I could use some advice and support.
My AS/Bipolar son graduated high school and turned 18 in June. HS was not a great place for him and they didn't give us an IEP until his senior year, not that it helped him much anyway. The basically just pushed him through to get rid of him. He still cannot do basic math,and was given no help in social skills or life skills. Honestly they graded him on two class periods they didn't know what to do with him so they put him in a classroom with his old cooking teacher, where he sat and talked. He got a C and a B, I guess his conversations were better in one class than the other,lol. So now I am left with an 18 year old who is totally unprepared for life and to make things worse he doesn't want to do anything to help himself. He doesn't want to work, drive, or go to college. I set up an appointment at social security for him to see if he could get SSI and he wouldn't even go, I had to go fill out all the paperwork and bring it home for him to sign and return. He is subject to bipolar rages especially when his meds are off and he nevers remembers to take them unless I tell him to. These rages have caused huge problems in the house. He will go after his 13 yr old brother and break up everything, and he scares the other kids so much, so it is important that he try to keep his med levels even. I cannot get him to enroll in the community college, he says no more school. I finally got him to go to DMV and take his permit test, but he failed the first time and won't go back. I tell him he needs to find a job and he says, "I applied at two places and they didn't call me back"...this is over a two month time period. When I tell him in no uncertain terms he must find a job, he gets all flustered and asks me to find him a job. He doesn't help at all around the house, expects me to just hand him money anytime he wants it, and thinks this is perfectly ok. His only motivation in life is "what's in it for me". Now I know that can be the nature of AS, but when do you say enough is enough. I tell him he must adapt to the world a little because the world will not adapt to him and he says, " NO " flat out. Now I know there are things he can do, he is talented, artistic and pretty smart, but he refuses to do anything positive. The last rage he had, I told him to leave as he got in my face and threatened me and the little kids along with breaking things. He was gone about an hour when he called me asking to come home and promising to change. As much as I wanted him to learn a lesson I knew that he would not make it a day on his own and let him come home. It's like throwing a ten year old out. I just don't know what to do with him and to be honest I have the other three kids to help and just cannot continue to let his behaviors control every moment of our lives. How do I make him see that he can do things, and that he needs to take responsibility for himself? Do I just take him and enroll him in college anyway? Do I find him a job and should we tell his employers about his AS and bipolar? How do you make someone who is 18 but has the emotional age of ten become an adult? :cry:



KimJ
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19 Jul 2008, 9:08 am

I believe if he has an IEP, he should still be eligible for care/education under the school district.

I will disagree that an Aspie ought to be able to care for themselves independently at 18. Especially since it's obvious he got no training for it. However, I was able to hold down a job and do some things independently at 17 while going to college.

Do you ever sit down with him on a "good day" and explain to him why he must do these things on his own? Does he ever seem to understand why you can't continue to spoil him? It sounds like you both need a 3rd party to come in and help sort these things out.

It won't help if you do this during a crisis or on a "bad day". I also disagree with allowing him to live at your house without helping. My 8 year old has chores (he's autistic, not Aspie) and only gets money based on his completion of those chores. I had unpaid chores as a child, I was simply expected to do the family dishes and help around the house. It's impossible to expect him to be able to care for himself if he has no concept of responsibility. Simply telling him to get a job isn't going to cut it.

If I were you, look into the IEP/school thing. Try to see if he is eligible for work training or a job coach. You should not be his job coach. Don't enroll him in college. I wouldn't kick him out of the house but you need to put a stop to the cashflow and not helping.
The meds thing is complicated. I know bipolar people often don't like their meds and that's why they refuse them. On the other hand, my husband forgets his Blood Pressure meds all the time. Now that we're separated, I no longer remind him about them and he's gotten sick from lack of taking them. He needs a med coach, lol, for real.



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19 Jul 2008, 9:11 am

carolgatto,

I hate to say it, but this sounds like a problem with YOU! You let him get to be 18 with this many problems? I had problems in school. Things that, if I remembered the names of the teachers, the circumstance, had proof, etc... I would SUE!! !! !! ! Why should I pay THEM trough many taxes when they should be paying ME for FRAUD!

He also didn't deserve an IEP in highschool! The IEPs job, as I understand it, is not to teach, but to facilitate his getting a decent shake in school. He entered highschool lacking skills I was expected to have, and had, MUCH earlier! The IEPs should go to someone that could use them. I WOULD suggest something like sylvan if he were even 5 years behind, but I think he is too far gone. Frankly, he doesn't even deserve SSI! Maybe YOU can try to teach him. At LEAST get his skills up to maybe an 8 year old. Even basic math would be a start!

Still, your son doesn't sound like he has the emotional maturity of a 10 year old. He just sounds like a JERK! I wouldn't hire him if he were 50 times as smart as I am, and could do all the work. He ALSO doesn't seem to make a secret of it. That means he is pretty much unemployable. If he had a decent attitude and the most basic of math skills, he could do what I first did! Simply go to the unemployment department, and apply for a job. He would get it EASY(******IF****** his attitude were right, and he had the most basic of math skills).

You SHOULD have brought this up by say the 5th grade, FOUGHT for a GOOD IEP, and helped him at home. If that failed, you should have gotten him a tutor. That could have gotten rid of the bipolar. And how do you REALLY know he even has AS? I wouldn't trust ANYTHING based on a result of his actions.



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19 Jul 2008, 9:43 am

My goodness, 2ukenkerl ! !! You don't have to be so rough. Everyone makes mistakes and I'm sure it's even tougher for carolgatto having 3 children on the spectrum and another with diabetes.

Carolgatto, you did the right thing in coming here to the forum for some advice. I do it also when I'm in need of support.

Look, we've all made mistakes with our kids at some time or another, what's important right now is for you to seek professional help for you and your son/family and also set some very strickt rules and boundaries for your son. I don't know of any loving mom who would just kick there kid to the curb, BUT, you can't go on living like this either.

My prayers are with you.
Laura



carolgatto
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19 Jul 2008, 9:45 am

2ukenkerl,
Thanks for your reply, but since you have no idea what I have done for my son other than a few lines in a post asking for help ( not abuse) you really have no basis for anything you have said. And just for your info., I did start in 5th grade fighting for help, I did do everything I could to teach him at home, and where am I supposed to come up with the money for the tutors? Oh and explain how you "get rid of the bipolar", that he was dx'd with along with the dx of Aspergers. I live in a county that won't even give my Type I diabetic daughter a 504 plan, we always make 100 dollars a month too much to qualify for help and we are forced to deal with ignorant people like you. I guess in my time away this forum has gone from a place of support and help to this.....thank you.



2ukenkerl
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19 Jul 2008, 10:18 am

carolgatto wrote:
2ukenkerl,
Thanks for your reply, but since you have no idea what I have done for my son other than a few lines in a post asking for help ( not abuse) you really have no basis for anything you have said. And just for your info., I did start in 5th grade fighting for help, I did do everything I could to teach him at home, and where am I supposed to come up with the money for the tutors? Oh and explain how you "get rid of the bipolar", that he was dx'd with along with the dx of Aspergers. I live in a county that won't even give my Type I diabetic daughter a 504 plan, we always make 100 dollars a month too much to qualify for help and we are forced to deal with ignorant people like you. I guess in my time away this forum has gone from a place of support and help to this.....thank you.


I just got so upset seeing ANOTHER "graduate" that couldn't do BASIC math. I considered myself poor at math, but I could always certainly do the basic stuff in my head. I apologize. You didn't say you tried to get an IEP so relatively early. If they had given you one THEN, it could have concievably helped your son to do better, and tracked progress better.

As for the tutor, that is a last resort. TODAY, you COULD buy computer programs that could direct him to help himself. At this point though, he may be embarassed, and it sounds like he gave up TOTALLY! Until he is willing, it probably doesn't even make sense to LOOK for a job. Until he is willing, he might as well be a blithering idiot with no potential.

As for the depression, even CHEMICAL depression is exacerbated by regular depression, and a lack of intelligence, ability, and/or options leads to the despair that causes regular depression. Your son CERTAINLY has the later, and that will at least make the former worse.

Frankly, I think your ONLY hope is to sit him down, tell him about how you can't be there for him all his life, and that he has POTENTIAL! Make it clear that NOW is the time to strike, and let him know you are willing to help. The trick is that you almost have to push him off the cliff to get him to realize he has NO HOPE, UNLESS he does something different. Then you have to pull him up and give him a viable solution he feels he can do. If you can do THAT, he can THEN get a job if he wants. Until then, it doesn't sound like he can.

Get him a computer program, to teach the subjects he needs, that starts a bit below his ability. Tailor it to HIM! If he is at highschool level with english, get highschool level for that. If he is at elementary level with math, get THAT. Check out amazon, or some place to get the program with the BEST reviews.

ALSO, and this is important, MONITOR his progress. Try to NUDGE him to do better. Not TOO hard, just NUDGE! With any luck, in as little as a year or two, you can look back and laugh at this!(Having seen such great success)

If you can't do that, there IS FREE help on the internet! Check out "indian math" also! MAN I wish I knew about that when I was in school. It takes a bit less effort, and even some seemingly difficult stuff can be easily done.

OK, THERE! I helped! Sorry. If you look at what you wrote, and how the US is, you can't really blame me.



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19 Jul 2008, 11:21 am

I agree with the sentiment that you need to get your son to contribute. If he's not working he needs to be doing chores around the house - dishes, cleaning, yardwork, etc. I think you need to make clear to him that if he's not contributing, you're going to start taking things away from him (that's what's in it for him). I'd actually write up a contract for what you expect him to do and what he gets from the family in return and make him sign it. If he won't, or breaks the contract, you need to take as much "comfort" away from him as you can. You need to make clear that the only way out is to follow the contract.

carolgatto wrote:
He is subject to bipolar rages especially when his meds are off and he nevers remembers to take them unless I tell him to. These rages have caused huge problems in the house. He will go after his 13 yr old brother and break up everything, and he scares the other kids so much, so it is important that he try to keep his med levels even.


This part concerns me the most. If your other children do not have a safe home because of him, you need to do something about it immediately. I don't know enough about your situation to give a definate answer, but I think you need to separate the kids. Either "sacrifice" the elder and send him somewhere else, or send the other 3 somewhere else.

Quote:
I cannot get him to enroll in the community college, he says no more school. I finally got him to go to DMV and take his permit test, but he failed the first time and won't go back. I tell him he needs to find a job and he says, "I applied at two places and they didn't call me back"...this is over a two month time period. When I tell him in no uncertain terms he must find a job, he gets all flustered and asks me to find him a job. He doesn't help at all around the house, expects me to just hand him money anytime he wants it, and thinks this is perfectly ok. His only motivation in life is "what's in it for me". Now I know that can be the nature of AS, but when do you say enough is enough.


It's going to be tough (I agree that this should have happened earlier in his life) but you need to say "enough is enough" right now.
1) Are you handing him money anytime he wants it? Or you handing him money at all? If so, stop. Like I said above, he needs to be contributing to get anything back.
2) What punishments is he experiencing for not looking for a job?
3) If he's asking anything from you, you need to ask him, "What's in it for me?"

Quote:
I tell him he must adapt to the world a little because the world will not adapt to him and he says, " NO " flat out. Now I know there are things he can do, he is talented, artistic and pretty smart, but he refuses to do anything positive.


Would a trade school of some type be better than a traditional college?

Quote:
The last rage he had, I told him to leave as he got in my face and threatened me and the little kids along with breaking things. He was gone about an hour when he called me asking to come home and promising to change. As much as I wanted him to learn a lesson I knew that he would not make it a day on his own and let him come home. It's like throwing a ten year old out.


If this happens again, I think you need to call the police. As I said earlier, you can't allow your other kids to grow up in this environment. Giving them a stable home is more important than your eldest right now. You are the only chance your other kids have at a stable life.

Quote:
How do I make him see that he can do things, and that he needs to take responsibility for himself? Do I just take him and enroll him in college anyway? Do I find him a job and should we tell his employers about his AS and bipolar? How do you make someone who is 18 but has the emotional age of ten become an adult? :cry:


The problem is that you can't make him do or feel anything. And since he's unstable, you can't use logic to reason with him. You're going to have to make a really hard choice and stick with it if you want to give your other kids the chance they deserve.



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19 Jul 2008, 11:38 am

I wish I could give you advise on what to do with your son. The only thing I can do is relate to you. I have five kids my oldest son who is now 21 had early onset bi polar disorder. I also have a 16 year old who is diagnosed ADD but we suspect AS. A 6 year old son who is also in the process of being accessed. A 3 year old daughter diagnosed with ASD. I also have an 18 year old daughter who is dyslexic and her doctor thinks she has crohns disease......and I have recently been diagnosed with Asperger's.
So we have a lot of fun around here....lemmie tell ya.
My oldest has always been my most chalenging. We were never able to get him an IEP because we could not keep him in school long enough as he would run away and skip school. He got into drugs at a young age (around 12) . I had left my first husband and was ill equiped to take care of my sons problems. I tried getting help but eveyone just wanted to blame me instead of help me. To make a long story short we finally got help through law inforcement. He spent a lot of time in juvenile hall and rehab. After he reached 18 he had become a heroin addict. At this point I could not let him stay with us and I was forced to give him to the streets. We were fortunate that he ended up in jail before he could overdose like many of his friends did. He is now in a program called Drug Court. He is doing very well. He got a job with a very understanding boss. He got his drivers licence and he has his own little car. He is clean, he is taking his meds. Right now he is at a NA (narcotics anon) convention with his sponsor. He and I have been through hell to get to this point and one can never be sure that he will live happily ever after as he still has many problems. At least he is on his way to something positive. Be happy that your son at least graduated from school so he has the option of going to college when he is ready. My son has a 4th grade education (thats about the last grade he completed). He is very smart but he is also dyslexic and sometimes still seems to have the mind of a 12 year old but thinks he can do anything. Im hoping that he will go back and get his GED but right now I just want him to stay clean and on his lithium.
Like I said...I wish I had a magic solution to your problem....the only advise I can give is just to keep pushing, keep hoping, keep supporting but know you and your younger childrens limits. You cant let one childs problems overshadow your other children or yourself. He is an adult now and you may have to give him a shove.



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19 Jul 2008, 11:50 am

how did he finish high school if he can't do basic math?

In any case, I wouldn't enroll him into college against his will. That's just money down the drain. I say get him to work by whatever means necessary (I had Vocal Rehabilitation services to help me get into my current job). Even if its a low pay job that he doesn't like. Start threatening to charge him "rent" to continue living at home or, if he is being a problem for the family, threaten to toss him out, maybe into a group home setting.

I don't know what else to say.



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19 Jul 2008, 1:07 pm

carolgatto wrote:
Well it's been a while since I have been on here. Things get a little crazy here with 4 kids, 3 on the spectrum and one with Type I diabetes and still no help. I could use some advice and support.
My AS/Bipolar son graduated high school and turned 18 in June. HS was not a great place for him and they didn't give us an IEP until his senior year, not that it helped him much anyway. The basically just pushed him through to get rid of him. He still cannot do basic math,and was given no help in social skills or life skills. Honestly they graded him on two class periods they didn't know what to do with him so they put him in a classroom with his old cooking teacher, where he sat and talked. He got a C and a B, I guess his conversations were better in one class than the other,lol. So now I am left with an 18 year old who is totally unprepared for life and to make things worse he doesn't want to do anything to help himself. He doesn't want to work, drive, or go to college. I set up an appointment at social security for him to see if he could get SSI and he wouldn't even go, I had to go fill out all the paperwork and bring it home for him to sign and return. He is subject to bipolar rages especially when his meds are off and he nevers remembers to take them unless I tell him to. These rages have caused huge problems in the house. He will go after his 13 yr old brother and break up everything, and he scares the other kids so much, so it is important that he try to keep his med levels even. I cannot get him to enroll in the community college, he says no more school. I finally got him to go to DMV and take his permit test, but he failed the first time and won't go back. I tell him he needs to find a job and he says, "I applied at two places and they didn't call me back"...this is over a two month time period. When I tell him in no uncertain terms he must find a job, he gets all flustered and asks me to find him a job. He doesn't help at all around the house, expects me to just hand him money anytime he wants it, and thinks this is perfectly ok. His only motivation in life is "what's in it for me". Now I know that can be the nature of AS, but when do you say enough is enough. I tell him he must adapt to the world a little because the world will not adapt to him and he says, " NO " flat out. Now I know there are things he can do, he is talented, artistic and pretty smart, but he refuses to do anything positive. The last rage he had, I told him to leave as he got in my face and threatened me and the little kids along with breaking things. He was gone about an hour when he called me asking to come home and promising to change. As much as I wanted him to learn a lesson I knew that he would not make it a day on his own and let him come home. It's like throwing a ten year old out. I just don't know what to do with him and to be honest I have the other three kids to help and just cannot continue to let his behaviors control every moment of our lives. How do I make him see that he can do things, and that he needs to take responsibility for himself? Do I just take him and enroll him in college anyway? Do I find him a job and should we tell his employers about his AS and bipolar? How do you make someone who is 18 but has the emotional age of ten become an adult? :cry:


Okay first things first: Before he can go anywhere he has to get these rages under control.
I would set up a schedule on the refrigerator of when he takes his medication and let both of you keep track of it.

As for the violence: Call the police and have him arrested and charged. Then you might be able to work out some sort of arrangement with the district attorney and social services that if he goes into an outpatient behavior modification program, charges will be dropped. A little extreme? Perhaps. But in the end it will be worth it.

In fact even without the violence, make this a condition of living in the household or receiving any kind of assistance(i.e. that he must be in an outpatient behavior modification program). You might see if any kind of social services can help you on this one.

As far as college or post secondary education is concerned: For the time being put this on the back burner. If he went into the class with the maturity of a ten year old, he would be suspended or expelled. Ditto with the job as well. Employers will take workplace violence quite seriously.

For the time being, have him help with chores around the house. When he gets a handle on his rages and accepts responsibility then you can start helping him look for some kind of a job. I would take a look at an employment agency that has experience in dealing with individuals with disabilities.

Later on, after a year or two(or however long it takes), if the job has a "growing up" effect on him, you can start to consider post secondary schooling.

I hope this helps.


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19 Jul 2008, 1:24 pm

I dont recommend going through the police to get help. I know that people want to believe that if a person with problems gets put into jail they will try to get help for that person. That is just not true. My son was in Juvy and when an adult Jail several times. Actually his last stint in jail was over a year. They have many good programs but they do not offer them...they just keep them in jail and release them after they have done the time. I had to pay a lot of money to a lawyer to get him put into the treatment program that he is in. If it were not for the lawyer my son would be sitting in prison right now.
If you call the police and press charges for assult he will be put in jail (real jail) for at least six months ....unless you can afford a good lawyer. It seems people with mental illness either end up in prison or wandering the streets....we have little other help for them. Again, if you have money this is not a probem but who can afford 10,000 a month for treatment?



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19 Jul 2008, 2:14 pm

i don't reccomend going to the police for help unless things are totally out of control. sounds like things are getting there, though.

until he gets the med situation under control, IMO, there's not much else that will get him to get up & get himself going. i'd explain that meds are NOT a choice . either he takes them, or he gets hospitalized.your priority needs to be the other children in the house, and their safety. it's a hard thing to face-hospitalization- but i believe it's a necessity if you can't get him to follow his med routine.

once meds are under control, i'd work on SSI. he needs to understand that SSI is NOT an option either. either he contributes to the household, or IMO, he gets out.you and your children deserve to feel safe. it sounds like you don't feel that now.

good luck!



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19 Jul 2008, 2:14 pm

liloleme wrote:
I dont recommend going through the police to get help.


I'm not recommending the police as a way to get help for the elder. I'm suggesting it as a method of providing a safe environment for the rest of the family. Violence toward the rest of the family should not be tolerated.



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19 Jul 2008, 2:18 pm

i agree that violence should not be tolerated.....just have had bad experiences with the police and my aspies....police see the lack of eye contact as deceitful, non-compliant behavior. they( the police) also get quite irritated at having to phrase questions in a way that aspies can understand them....



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19 Jul 2008, 8:05 pm

Maybe the problem is your trying to treat him like he is 18 when hes not. I have faced this problem several times before and it has gotten me in trouble. Course next year I begin teaching so who knows what will happen. But back to him, irregardless o how he got here he doesn't seem to be 18. I know that we in America expect every 18 year old to be at such and such place in his life (generally drinking his ass off at nite and going to classes with hangovers in the morning) but needlesses to say, not everybody fits that mold.

So treat him like he is 10 (do not, I repeat do not! word it that way) give him some tutoring sessions yourself, get his levels up to a more proficent level in the next 4 years or 6 years or 2 years or however long it takes (and understand the frustrating he is having in not being able to do this). In addition to this see about if he can take art classes or whatever at the local community college. With chores, make it logical, there is nothing worse for an aspie then illogical chores. What I mean by this is have a one to one ratio of the chores everyone does compared to each other (yourself included). There was nothing worse for me growing up then being forced to clean the living room where I spent maybe 30 minutes a day probably less (and didn't ever make a mess in). If hes doing chores for you, make sure you show him equal amounts of chores your doing for him, and don't even try BSing your way through it (if you say you do such and such chore make sure you do such and such chore.)

The anger is the one serious problem getting in the way off all of this. And quite honestly I don't know how to deal with this. More shrink time and less meds come to mind (if they aren't working why use them?). Also martial arts might be useful here, more self-control would certainly help. Quite honestly this is the one area you really need to get through. With the rest just let him keep being a 10 year old, and if you can get through with the anger maybe use more 10 year old punishments.


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22 Jul 2008, 8:33 pm

is carolgatto still around? I was under the impression that she gave up on looking for help here after 2ukenkerl's comment.