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What to do with this school-hating Peter Pan?


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What's with the ads?

#1 bzymom

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:28 PM

My ds is now 22.  Short version:  generalized anxiety disorder, much improved but still very present.  Asperger's.  Highly intelligent.  Hates school, always has.

 

He has been taking a few CC courses each semester.  Gen Ed.  Always great grades, always loathes it.  He works part time, but it is not a job that will lead to any career.

 

So we have this conversation over and over and over.  He cannot name anything he would like to do.  He can only tell me the things he does not want to do.

 

He likes tinkering, he likes computers (but does not want to be in the computer field in any capacity).  He says he "likes to work with (his) hands", but his personality and social presence is not really compatible with any kind of trade work that I can come up with.

 

WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS GUY??  How do I find some resources to figure this out with him?

 

If this is not the appropriate place for my questions, I apologize.  I am not sure where to post!

 

 



#2 luuknam

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:12 PM

Why does he not want to be in the computer field in any capacity?



#3 Arcadia

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:25 PM

Has he tried working for Best Buy Geek Squad? It is not just computers but all kinds of electronics he need to tinker with http://www.bestbuy-j...ily/geek-squad/

#4 Hilltopmom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 05:35 AM

Maybe try a different part time job in another field?

#5 DawnM

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:25 AM

Why don't you ask this on the teen/young adult Asperger boards?  There might be more advice there.

 

My son has Asperger's and we are facing some issues with all of that.  He is at the CC and 19 and if he takes more than 3 classes he struggles and wigs out.  He still gets good grades, but it is hard.  

 

We dont' know what the future holds.  We don't know if he will be able to hold down a job or listen to authority or not have so much anxiety about a deadline that he will get fired, etc.....

 

Those are all very valid concerns.  



#6 bzymom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:42 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I will mention the Geek Squad, though I don't expect it will appeal to him. His brother works in computers so has offered him a variety of ideas in the field, but none appeal.

He keeps saying he would prefer to do a trade school, though it is very non-specific and my research has not turned up much.

#7 Nan in Mass

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:55 AM

We found in our family of late bloomers that we had to separate out the different parts of growing up and let our children tackle them one at a time. Put all together, it looked like more than they could handle, so they were unwilling to do any of the parts, thinking that once the did one part, like getting a "real" job, they would be expected to do the other things as well, like find their own place to live, feed themselves, not mess up their credit, deal with insurance, buy a car, save for retirement, have a family, ... Ours have done better tackling those items one at a time with lots of support. We also had to point out that their grandparents were still helping us manage, even though we are old enough to have adult children, that yes, there are people who have to figure it all out on their own, starting at 16, and there are people who want to do so, but there are also lots of adults who need lots of help managing adulthood and that is fine. We had to present adulthood as a more-fun-than-school, embedded-in-your-pack, contributing-to-your-pack, pack-is-forever type of thing rather than a bye-don't-forget-to-call-me-on-mother's-day, you-figure-it-all-out type of thing.

Just in case that helps...

Nan
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#8 Nan in Mass

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:17 AM

What about something like this? http://www.neit.edu/...degree-programs

I know absolutely nothing about the school, just grabbed a random tech school list. Some schools have certificate programs as well as associate degree programs. Those are just the job training classes without the general education classes. We would have been hard put to talk ours into going to college if they hadn't had a goal in mind and a hands-on college.

Nan

#9 Bluegoat

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:05 AM

I would look into trades if that is what interests him.  There are obvious things like mechanical and electrical work, furnace and ac type stuff, machining, bricklaying or tile work (that's always appealed to me and is something I'd like to learn when my kids are bigger in a few years.) 

 

Aircraft mechanic is a great job for someone really handy.

 

You could also look into what would be involved in becoming skilled to work in the renewable energy sector.  It's only going to grow and there will be a need for people at every level - working in factories to make units, installing big systems, and also small systems for homes, that kind of thing.  The program for this at our trade school is called "energy sustainability engineering technology".

 

Stuff related to working on or with ships.

 

Drafting, CAD, techs who work with architects or engineers.

 

Print technology, aquaculture, fiber optic work, survey tech.

 

Really, there are so many types of work that could appeal to someone who wants to work with his hands, and plenty of them are great for someone good with computers but who would prefer that not to be their whole job.  I think it's actually a lot wider than the possibilities for those who go to universities.

 

 

 

 

 

 



#10 luuknam

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:17 AM

He keeps saying he would prefer to do a trade school, though it is very non-specific and my research has not turned up much.

 

 

Okay, so could he try to articulate what appeals to him about trade school? 

 

Anyway, I'd figure out which community colleges and the like are within a reasonable commuting distance from where you live (my personal cut-off would be about a 1.5 hour commute each way, because I'd want to include as many options as possible - in reality, I'd much prefer my commute to be less than 1 hour each way though), and make a list of all the different programs they offer... and then have him cross off options in sets. Like, if there are 30 programs on the list, I might start with "cross off the 10 you least want to do with this red marker", and then "cross off the next 10 with this orange marker", the next 5 with yellow marker, and then really investigate the 5 remaining ones, including talking to some of the instructors in those courses and trying to shadow someone in these fields for a day or w/e (one of the instructors might be able to hook you up with someone to shadow). Then, make a pros/cons list about each of those 5 fields, and if none of them appeal anymore, possibly look at some of the ones he marked as yellow.

 

In other words... learn more about the options, and what those options really entail. Also, I don't know how your finances are, but in some parts of the country an underemployed person might be able to get some of their training paid for via some workforce program, if it's for a high-demand field. And for some things you wouldn't need training necessarily - my wife got a minimum wage job at a small town cabinet shop without any specific training, though she had made a couple of pieces of furniture herself as self-taught DIY, so they probably would not have hired someone who couldn't tell a hammer from a saw, so ymmv. 

 

So... I'd try to get him to try something - and if he finds out that it doesn't work for him, at least he'll have learned something from the experience. 


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#11 bzymom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:20 PM

Thank you for taking the time to answer and for giving me some ideas/paths to research.

 

It is clear to me today after some discussions that the anxiety is still interfering significantly with his ability to move forward, and I am looking into more assistance with that piece.

 

I wish I had been able to focus more on possibilities during high school, rather than working on the assumption that if we could get through it, community college would be sufficient to transition into adulthood.  


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#12 Corraleno

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:42 AM

He likes tinkering, he likes computers (but does not want to be in the computer field in any capacity).  He says he "likes to work with (his) hands", but his personality and social presence is not really compatible with any kind of trade work that I can come up with.

 
This may seem like a random suggestion, but the machines that commercial printers use need constant tinkering, some of which is mechanical and some of which is electronic. There are usually multiple machines in a large room, and it's very noisy so people wear ear protection — i.e. minimal standing around making small talk. ;)  It would be a great job for an introvert who is good with computers, likes tinkering and problem-soliving, and wants to work with his hands. And it's not boring because every job is different; graphic designers are always trying to push the envelope and play around with different effects (metallic inks, tinted varnishes, printing on unusual stock, etc.) so there are always new problems to solve and things to tweak.
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#13 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:29 AM

No advice here, only sympathy. Our 25 yr old ds is so disabled by his anxiety and his inability to be flexible and open to non-routine days that he has spent the past 3+ yrs working at Goodwill after dropping out of school. School for him was not hard. He had a 3.8 GPA. Anxiety about open-ended assignments, not knowing what he wanted to do, refusing to take classes required for a degree bc he thought they were unnecessary, those are all part of why we refused to continue to pay for him to attend.

In hindsight, I wish we had established him in a small business. Ownsing something like a Magic shop or an online store trading cards and video games would have been something he could do and he would probably make as much as at Goodwill.

#14 Nan in Mass

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:12 AM

All three of my boys were intrigued by the idea of trade school.  We are only dealing with anxiety from being very high strung but I think the anxiety involved in a 4-year bachelors degree had something to do with that.  I think my boys found trade school/tech school appealing because they like hands-on stuff, but also because it looked much, much more manageable than a 4 year degree leading to a nebulous future career.  They also thought the shortness was appealing, something they had much more confidence that they could do.  In the end, they all are (hopefully) going to have a 4-year STEM degree, but none of them, even youngest who agreed to go to engineering school right out of high school, were happy about 4 years of sitting in a classroom.  Oldest, who refused to even consider going to college until he was 21 and his brother suggested a tech-type school, suffered through that 4-year degree only because it led to a concrete job at the end.  And because he was tired of lugging giant cast iron boilers up basement stairs and nearly lost an eye when a pipe fitting exploded.  His current job requires that he go to a trade school every year to either maintain or upgrade certificates.  This year, he did 2 2-week stints at school that he was truly excited about (he is 30 now).  One was a high voltage safety class, the other an advanced welding class.  We got pictures and excited texts once the first week of classroom was over and he was into the second hands-on part.  For him, this is the perfect structure - two weeks long, only one week in the classroom, then some really cool hands-on stuff.

 

I think the idea of having a small business of some sort is a good one.  Youngest has a friend who does that.  He doesn't make a living at it, but he makes the equivalent of a part-time job, I think, and it is something he enjoys.

 

I am not dealing with Asperger, though, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.  I am just very familiar with the school-hating-peter-pan thing.  Anxiety was half the problem and an inborn wish to be working towards a specific, doable goal, preferably one that didn't require sitting still in a classroom, was the other half, in our case.

 

Good luck!

 

Nan

 

PS - Youngest and middle one have worked as a tech for an engineering company.  In youngest's case, it was internships during his engineering degree.  In middle one's case, he began with a short internship and then started a small consulting business and worked for several companies at once, cobbling together a full time job out of it.  He used contacts from the internship to do this.  In both cases, their job was tinkering with things.  They used the milling machine to mill parts for test fixtures, assembled parts to be tested, ran the 3-D printer (which required a bit of tinkering), and generally hung out in the lab/shop area doing small jobs.  Another school-hating friend who under duress managed to get a 4-year degree (in something more like 6 years and involving 3 different colleges) and now works full time as a technician for a small start-up company.  The trick is to work for a tiny company where you will get to do more things, rather than a big, established company where there is a large hierarchy and many employees and each person does a specific piece of a job for a long time.