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Questions to ask an Adult with Asperbers
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abrieda posted:
My 24 yr old grandson graduated with honors in Math from college. He has never been able to hold down a job for more than a week or two. It is too stressful. He doesn't seem to be able to answer the common sense questions usually asked during interviews like "what would you do if this situation arose?" He is being treated for panic attacks, anxiety and depression and is on medication with limited success. He lives at home but is rebellious when requested to do chores or contribute to the family responsibilities. He had a girlfriend in college, but it ended badly. He began the relationship as though it was a marriage ie asking her father permission to begin the relationship. When it ended he could no longer picture his future. He wants to see exactly what the results will be before he trys anything. Therefore he is afraid to pick a course of action that will lead to independence. He is still stuck where he was over 5 years ago when he began counseling. His parents and relatives waffle between trying to help him and giving up on him. He has been labeled lazy, arrogant, too good to work, etc. I would like to know if there is a series of questions to ask him to introduce the idea of Aspergers to him and his parents as a possibility. what do other people think of the description i have provided? Does it sound like Aspergers might be a diagnosis?
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Laura2910 responded:
I am absolutely no expert, but I do have a 10 year old with High Functioning Autism. A lot of your grandson's traits, my son has too. It's frustrating for both of us as he is extremely smart, but extremely disorganized in thought. Counseling has helped him, as has group therapy with other autistic kids. The right kind of counseling has provided him with tools and coping strategies he can use during difficult situations for him. As he moves to the higher grades, with more homework demands, and more abstract learning required, it's been more challenging. We are considering looking into medication, as it does help a lot of others with these issue to focus better.

I think you should look to the Autism Society for testing centers and have your grandson tested. It's likely a free test, and will last all day. Autism is a spectrum and all people have different severities, so there is not "one approach" that will work, so the counselors at the testing center will be able to help with a recommended therapy program.

One thing with my son is that he tends to use his autism as an excuse why he can't perform the way someone else can. I try to discourage that, and as a result he's really come to have some confidence in himself that even given his obstacles, he's able to succeed. It's certainly a daily struggle for all, but if you can keep his mind on the course of "I'm going to fight this even harder!" rather than, "I'm destined to fail so why try" that will be huge for him! I believe the Autism Society can help with job placement too, if I recall.

Good luck!! I hope your grandson finds some answers because he sounds like he has so much potential!
 
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Bioguy22 responded:
Honestly I can see many of these traits in myself. I am a 22 year old with Asperger's Syndrome and I continue to experience these issues. I often have issues with following through and taking a course of action. One thing I am doing now that I think might help is making simple goals and reviewing my day to see how I am progressing towards those goals. I feel far more capable about getting a career than I have in 4 years of college. I would suggest talking to your grandson, his family and their doctor about Asperger's syndrome, because it seems like a possibility to me, based on my personal experiences. I hope it all goes well for you.
Bioguy22
 
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abrieda replied to Laura2910's response:
Thanks Laura,

It's difficult because of his age, 24. He is using his anxiety and depression as an excuse to avoid looking for a job. I shared with him the web site describing the symptoms and he agreed that it sounded very familiar to him.

I'm hoping that he will bring it up in his counseling session. He has a particularly hard time responding to questions like "what would you do if this happened?"

His current therapist seems to be giving him goals to achieve and that is a good start.

He is very rebellious with adults. He wants his independence, but doesn't have a clue what steps to take to get there.

It is a good thing that your son was diagnosed at an early age and he can learn skills as he develops. You can provide the discipline and support that will help him bridge the difficult years.
 
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abrieda replied to Bioguy22's response:
Thank you for the reply. I'm happy you are finding ways to make progress toward a career.

Reviewing the day and taking stock of where you are is an excellent way to live for everyone.

I wish you the best. I will be watching to see the next goal you achieve.


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