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18 year old..again


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#1 ktgrok

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:50 AM

So, he sucks at getting work done for me. So we started doing DE at the local CC. First few classes he did great. Last Fall he took 3 courses and got all A's, in US Government, ENC1101, and Intro to Art History. Then in the Spring he got a D in ENC1102, an F in Humanities, and an A in Art History. We had a hear to heart about it, he said he got behind and then it got too piled up. This semester due to a mistake in registering he just had ENC1102, to repeat for grade forgiveness. 

 

Monday he admitted he'd screwed up, was failing, and had withdrawn from the class. He's not getting the work done. 

 

He's lost his ADHD meds so I need to get more of those, but that's not the full problem. (also, it makes me giggle that he lost ADHD meds for some reason. Got to find humor somewhere.)

 

We are discussing depression but he denies it. Trying to convince him to talk to a therapist or someone. He needs to figure out how to get back on track. Gaming addiction is part of this.

 

Saturday he's going to go to a local bird of prey center to find out about volunteering. He can do that 3 days a week until classes start again in the Spring. At least get out of the house. Looking for other ways to get him out with people as well. He's agnostic so not interested in a youth group. No real interests which is why I think depression. Big family history of depression on his father's side and he was diagnosed with it himself at age 11. 

 

Mood is better though in a lot of other ways. He's kinder to his siblings than he was a year ago, our relationship is better. He's an all around more mature person. But he can't just play video games and take out the trash and that's it, you know? 

 

We are considering graduating him with a pretty crappy transcript and then having him do a year with Americorps. Not sure what else to do. Not sure how to help him succeed next semester. 



#2 hornblower

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 09:21 AM

I have mentioned before that I'm a way more involved and hands on person with my kids, past the age where many people think they should be independent. My kids are quirky & that's just how it is. 

 think it's like when they're learning to ride a bike - I don't let go until they're balancing and I grab if they're wobbling. He wobbled.  Grab back again.

 

Why did he succeed in the first semester?  How did he stay on top of things?  Is it possible that after the success of the first semester you took your hand off the back of the seat too quickly? Can he do anything online that would go on his transcript? Things that you would just help him with scheduling and he'd be submitting the work to someone else? 

Is he using productivity apps and trackers on his phone and computer? Rescue Time, Cold Turkey etc.? Does he know the pomodoro method? Has he had explicit instruction in time management and stuff like GTD? 


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#3 ktgrok

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:12 AM

He has refused to let me be more hands on. As in, huge war, him shutting down, shutting me out, not health for other kids to be around kind of stuff. So that's why I've been more hands off. It has saved our relationship and kept my house from being a war zone, but obvioulsy he has floundered. 

 

He has NOT had explicit executive function skills training. I use some apps like free time/antisocial, but don't know about the ones you mentioned. Will totally look into it and open to suggestions on the executive function stuff. 

 

I think honestly depression plays a role here, but need to get him to realize that. 



#4 TrixieB

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:36 AM

I have a hard time keeping all the details straight for everyone's kids...

 

Has your son had an eval?  If yes, is he receiving accommodations through the disabilities office at his CC?

 

My ASD kid #1 who attends a CC has found the disabilities office folks to be very helpful and proactive.  One counselor set up a "to-do" checklist which really helped.  My kid can select whether or not to request a note-taker for a specific class, whether 1.5 time on exams is needed for the class, etc.

 

I hear you about the depression.  My ASD kid #2 (in high school) just had another eval and received a couple of new dx but refuses treatment of any type.  No therapy.  No meds.  Sigh.  The psychiatrist said that openness to treatment may come in time, as the kid matures.  Which I wish would be soon, but probably won't.  

 

One last thing: dh and I attend a local support group.  Some of the members are parents of ASD kids.  Several of those parents have mentioned that somewhere around age 25, the kids gain a new level of more adult-like maturity.  I keep telling myself, only X more years...

 

:grouphug:



#5 ktgrok

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:51 AM

He had a work up with a neuropyschologist when he was 11, and was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, and depression. Also a gifted IQ. He has not wanted to really acknowledge the diagnoses, so has not requested accommodations because he says he doesn't need them. Of course, failing grades say otherwise. 

 

 



#6 mathnerd

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:04 PM

Why is he not doing physical activity? Like a sport or going to the gym or running, biking, swimming etc. A physically capable young person should burn a lot of their energy in fitness related activities. Lack of physical activities affects the brain function a lot more than what people expect.  If you have not already read it, here is the link to Spark by John Ratey.

https://smile.amazon...n/dp/0316113514    I heard him speak on Exercise and the Brain and to me it was inspirational. As for the gaming addiction, can you ask him if he can limit the gaming to 60 minutes a day and use a timer to time himself while he is gaming? 

 



#7 PeterPan

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:23 PM

Just to jump to the bottom, he does have an interest. He got As in two semesters of art history, yes? So go volunteer at a museum, mercy. It doesn't earn a living (my family has done it, haha), but earning a living is over-rated. He could be a curator or archivist and sit behind the scenes. He'd be fab at it.

 

Sounds like he shouldn't go back to non-preferred classes and classes in his areas of disability until he has better supports. He needs an educational therapist or other similar ADHD support person to be his weekly brain organizer, contact, keep you on track person. He should not be taking more classes till he has that. My dd has ADHD and you can doggone bet she has that. Every week she's in that office. He was eligible to use any services the college offers any of their other students. So whatever full-time ADHD kids get, he should be able to get, even if it's expensive to them.

 

I don't know, that whole question of acknowledging a diagnosis is interesting. It's a lot more awkward to walk up to someone and say I FOIST THIS LABEL ON YOU, than it is to answer the question the person is already having. He didn't have the question, and you went ahead and told him the answer, kwim?

 

Maybe back up and ponder what it would take for him to ask the question or when it will be his question. For some people, it isn't their question for a long, long time. He doesn't have the self-awareness to realize it should be his question, and he might have a whole litany of failures before he gets there.

 

Have you seen the Social Communication Profiles on the Social Thinking site? You might look at them. I'm just being straight here, not whitewashing. The profiles, when you find where he fits, will give you realistic assessments for things like ability to live independently, support required, best intervention paths, etc. Might give you some ideas or a reality check. My ds is in the category of "would live independently with supports for problem solving." That really tells you a lot, kwim? Like maybe your ds is like that? Or maybe he's one step more removed even.

 

And maybe you then go ok, what could we get him into that WOULD work for him, that might get him some experiences where he then goes ok I have the question and would be open to using a person to help me answer that question. 

 

Like say you ran with the art history thing. It could really work. And he volunteers at a museum. He doesn't need money, can live with you, probably was gonna have to live with you anyway, so maybe aim for the experience and broadening his questions, rather than having some "earn a degree and be able to make money" goal. And then you go hey, to volunteer at this museum in your preferred interest area or strength area, you're going to be with people. How about if we start attending this autism support group, to maybe get connected with some resources on hanging with people and interacting with people, so you'll be better prepared to do this thing in your interest area.

 

Then you're answering the question he has, kwim? 

 

My ds doesn't have that awareness either. He doesn't realize he's different. I can see why you got to where you are at 18, because if they don't know they're different then they're not looking for the answer. 

 

For the academics, he might do better with more structure. What worked about the art history that DIDN'T work with the other LA classes? What's the difference? Area of disability? Not preferred? Less structure? Bad time of day?


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#8 PeterPan

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:36 PM

He has not wanted to really acknowledge the diagnoses, so has not requested accommodations because he says he doesn't need them. 

 

Also, have you tried breaking these apart? Like that's screwball (on his part) to say he doesn't acknowledge the SPD. What's wrong with saying you have SPD? A lot of top notch, high level athletes have SPD. It DRIVES them to be top notch. 

 

The diagnoses and the accommodations are separate issues. The diagnoses just are. They don't have to be defects, and in some ways they're his super powers. If he doesn't see the super power side of them yet, maybe it got presented wrong? I guess first I'd be wondering why he doesn't want to identify with people who are out there in public about who they are. That just is. 

 

I guess I don't even know why he needs accommodations? Supports. Supports and accommodations aren't the same. Supports are *this is who I am and this is what I chose to do and bring in that makes me work better and be the me I want to be* and accommodations are *you're defective so we're gonna come along side you and change the rules*. Not the same. And my dd with ADHD uses accommodations all the time, very confidently, very liberally, so I'm all over that. But terms matter, kwim? How it's presented matters. How it is in his mind matters.

 

Being approached as "You're broken" is a real turn-off. It sounds like he attends just fine when he wants to and it is preferred. It sounds like he has some academic issues with LA that weren't making it easy for him to participate in the LA classes. Even that though could just be background. He might need a tutor. Maybe that's a broken issue? But just being hairbrained and not giving a rip about things and not able to problem solve, that's not really being broken. That's needing support.

 

You can quantify problem solving. Is there one normed to 18? He's about to age out. You might want to redo your evals, update everything, with a psych who really gets autism, and get some counseling on how to proceed. Maybe they can talk to him. Like don't go to the most expensive guy. Find someone who is really good at connecting with people. I found a psych who leads a support group, and he's really good at explaining things.

 

I'm not wanting to make that sound like I'm ragging on you. I think we could end up at the same place. I'm just thinking out loud here, because I know you're all over the find your superpowers approach. It's just interesting that it hasn't clicked for him.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 15 November 2017 - 01:37 PM.


#9 PeterPan

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:43 PM

He has refused to let me be more hands on. As in, huge war, him shutting down, shutting me out, not health for other kids to be around kind of stuff. So that's why I've been more hands off. It has saved our relationship and kept my house from being a war zone, but obvioulsy he has floundered. 

 

He has NOT had explicit executive function skills training. I use some apps like free time/antisocial, but don't know about the ones you mentioned. Will totally look into it and open to suggestions on the executive function stuff. 

 

I think honestly depression plays a role here, but need to get him to realize that. 

 

You're going to need fresh evals and some counsel to deal with this. Someone else needs to be explaining things to him, because it sounds like you're not connecting. They might have a different way of putting it. 

 

Also, I think at some point you draw some really b&w expectations. It sounds like college was important to you and not really to him. Does he have plans? Does he have a perseverative interest he could harness or a strength? Does he have a skill that could be done in a hireable way? You might want to just move on. There's way more to life than school, and he might not be that into it. 

 

The addicted to games thing is hard. My ds uses apps a lot too, especially connected to his area of special interest. He's young enough that I can make demands with it (first this, then that, etc.). I'm not sure there really is a let them learn the hard way kinda approach with that with autism. That's why I'm thinking you need to update his evals, see if you can get him in with someone who connects with him. Keep it totally positive. He's still just young enough that you might have some way to compel him. He's getting to where you won't be able to on any level, but you're gonna feel bad about kicking him out of your house. 



#10 ktgrok

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 02:19 PM

The classes he did well in required no output. Just show up, look at slides, listen to lecture, and then take a few tests. No papers/projects/etc. I'm not sure he actually loves Art History as much as it was easy. That said, I will absolutely look into if any of the art museums are open to volunteers!

 



#11 ktgrok

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 02:22 PM

He did very well in English the first semester. His papers were really good. He just stopped doing the work. Which is why I'm thinking depression....he just lost all motivation. 

 

I have never pushed college..that's all him. He wanted to go to the big 4 yr university, and he absolutely is not a candidate right now. I was the one to sit him down the other day and explain that his grades and such mean he can't go, not yet. That he can transfer later, though. 



#12 PeterPan

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 02:26 PM

The classes he did well in required no output. Just show up, look at slides, listen to lecture, and then take a few tests. No papers/projects/etc. I'm not sure he actually loves Art History as much as it was easy. That said, I will absolutely look into if any of the art museums are open to volunteers!

 

Oh see I actually found Art History really HARD. I dropped, super pronto. Too much bizarre stuff to memorize, stuff I didn't care about. So even with no papers, I think it's really interesting that he did that well. 

 

A psych could do career testing on him too... Or the college could do it for him. If they offer career testing to their students, he's eligible. (assuming he's a student) My dd did the Strong's Interest Inventory while she was DE at a university, and it was immensely valuable to her. Highly, highly, highly recommend.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 15 November 2017 - 02:27 PM.


#13 kbutton

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:13 PM

You can quantify problem solving. Is there one normed to 18? He's about to age out. You might want to redo your evals, update everything, with a psych who really gets autism, and get some counseling on how to proceed. Maybe they can talk to him. Like don't go to the most expensive guy. Find someone who is really good at connecting with people. I found a psych who leads a support group, and he's really good at explaining things.

 

https://www.linguisy...ay?itemid=10440

 

Nuts, the TOPS-2 only goes to 17 years, 11 months. However, out of level testing can be appropriate if it's an area of struggle. This is a really insightful test, and it might be worth finding someone that would administer it. Our ed psych had never used it before, but psychs can order tests with kind of a trial period attached to see if they like it. This test is now in her 2e ASD arsenal. I sat in on the testing, and it was very interesting. My son is early in the age range for the test, so it definitely showed room for growth. If problem-solving or self-awareness is an issue, I think it might be valuable even though your son is too old.

 

I think it could also be helpful for him to see a counselor that deals with addiction in people with ASD. I think there are some differences with ASD addiction vs. neurotypical addiction (and OCD/perseveration component, for instance).


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#14 PeterPan

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:16 PM

Yeah, if he's 18 and struggles on the TOPS, that would give you a lot of information, absolutely. I think Kbutton is right that you might get someone to fudge and run it for you. Since he's known to have ASD, it's very predictable that he's going to score low. It would give you fascinating breakdowns.



#15 hornblower

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:22 AM

Just saw this come up on twitter and I'm sending it to my ds. 

Thought it might be something your ds might look at....  Ultimate Guide to Personal Productivity Methods https://blog.todoist...campaign=buffer

 

Oh &  I wonder if he's checked out the studyblr tag on tumblr? I have to admit it's hard to find dudes on that tags; it's overwhelmingly a female thing and sometimes it's way more about the aesthetic rather than the actual process but I follow a number of studublr blogs and sometimes just scroll the tag because it's also inspiring to see other people be organized and serious about studying. A couple of the serious studyblr bloggers also have youtube channels where they talk about study methods and procrastination and organization methods. These might be something that speaks to him because it's coming from peers, in a medium that's youth oriented, kwim, not a fuddy duddy old book that mom hands you....

otoh, I know that showing ds all the books on this subject on amazon was really reassuring because he finally realized that many adults struggle with this stuff. There was a period of time where he was really convinced that he was completely hopeless because everyone else knew how to get things done. So then I showed him Getting Things Done and the whole section of productivity books and pointed out that if people already knew this, there would be no market for these books....