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I read the crazy stroller lady thread, then out of curiosity read much of the crazy dinner guest thread. The last part, where one poster states why she thinks crazy dinner guest may have Asperger's, reminded me SO MUCH of my brother, "J".

 

He is now in his mid 50's and has lived with my parents since 1996. Mom is now deceased but he still lives with our dad. Even before that, Mom supported him financially. After he had been "going to college" for at least ten years, the joke was that he was the professional student. He went off and on for fifteen years and has three degrees, two in science and one in linguistics.

 

He is odd and socially awkward. He says very rude things without realizing how he sounds. Most of the time he stays in his bedroom. He does speak to Dad, but not that much, and never about anything really personal. I'm guessing he either reads or spends time on his computer. (He hasn't had a job of ANY sort since the mid 80's when he was in a graduate math program and taught math to undergrads. He never finished his master's though.)

 

Example of rudeness: When our mother was alive, a good friend of hers picked her up and took her to church. My brother, J, never had her ready when the friend arrived so all the nearby parking spaces were filled when they arrived, causing them to walk further. My mother was frail, so the friend kindly asked if J could have her ready by a certain time. The next week, J was standing at the curb waiting when the friend pulled up, and pointed to his watch and said, "You're late. I have my watch set to internet time and you are LATE." And he STILL did not have Mom ready to go!!! The friend was so upset that she wrote my dad a note and told him she was sorry, but she could not take Mom to church anymore, without explaining why.

 

He takes naps off and on all day long. If we are all sitting in the living room, he will pull a blanket up over his head and doze off there. :confused: It upsets him to have his routine shaken up. When we went to my SIL's for Dad's 80th birthday party, he went to sleep on the living room floor after the cake and presents. He explained that it's hard for him to sleep "when he has an agenda the next day," even though my SIL and I did all the work for the party and all he had to do was show up with Dad.

 

His room is filled with cardboard boxes full of old papers he's copied or printed off, science articles, academic stuff mostly I think. He keeps boxes of magazines thinking he might go through them and cut out articles but never does.

 

Dad says it takes him all day "to do nothing". He wanders around piddling at this and that, making coffee, making food. When my SIL and I are there trying to clean out the junk, we give him jobs to do but he gets distracted or needs a nap, complaining that he is worn out.

 

He has never had a date (that I know of). I know he has liked certain girls. In his twenties, he liked a girl who worked at the same restaurant. She had a boyfriend, which he knew about, but he wrote her weird letters and would stare at her across the room, creeping her out.

 

He has NO friends. Well, he sort of has one friend from high school but the guy is married with his own family and lives about two hours away. They rarely see each other.

 

Does this sound like it could be Asperger's? I have always believed that my brother has something that could actually be diagnosed, although my parents have never pushed to get him help. They have suggested, but in the end he refuses.

 

What do you think? (Sorry for the long ramble! There are many more weird stories I could share.)

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In a nutshell - yes.

 

Aspies are all around us. I am convinced that in a decade, "social skills" will be a class taught alongside math and science at school, because just as some people struggle with math and science, others struggle with social skills. Aspies need to be taught them systematically and even then won't get them right as often as social people do.

 

Like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory.

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Thanks for the replies, and for reading my long-winded post! It is frustrating to KNOW something is wrong with a family member but not have it diagnosed.

 

The thing I am concerned with now, is how he will live after Dad is gone. Dad doesn't have enough money for my brother to live on for the rest of his life (assuming my brother lives another 20 to 30 years or longer).

 

It makes me sad that no one ever insisted that he get help. Maybe it was because it's harder to deal with your own kids, and also because Asperger's wasn't even a diagnosis back then.

 

Another story...when Mom was still alive, she and Dad and J went to Wal-mart one evening. Mom was in a motorized wheelchair. She'd been to Japan a couple of times years before, and had two kimonos. J was WEARING one of the kimonos over his other clothes. They turned around and Mom was gone. They were frantically searching for her. J was running up and down the aisles of Wal-mart with the kimono flying behind him, his long scraggly hair flapping. Dad said he looked like he was ready to take off!!! AND...that wasn't the only time he wore the kimono out in public. He sometimes wears it to the Chinese restaurant they frequent. Oh. My. Gosh. I asked my dad why he would want to be seen in public with J in his kimono. Dad just laughed.

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Yes.

 

I have a half-sister diagnosed with Aspergers and a son diagnosed with HFA, as well as several family members I expect would be easily diagnosed. My half-sister was diagnosed as an adult and receives SSI checks. She lives with her mother and has never really functioned as an adult.

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Yes.

 

I have a half-sister diagnosed with Aspergers and a son diagnosed with HFA, as well as several family members I expect would be easily diagnosed. My half-sister was diagnosed as an adult and receives SSI checks. She lives with her mother and has never really functioned as an adult.

 

I was trying to figure out HFA...must mean high function autism, right?

 

I wish my brother could be evaluated. If diagnosed, he could get some kind of support like your half-sister. I don't think it's fair that my elderly father supports him.

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It does sound like it. Dh's brother is very similar. Has been fired from jobs for not being able to arrive on time and being rude, etc. His parents could not afford to support him, however, and he has been managing on his own. He's 52 now. Do you think your brother could manage to find a way to support himself when your dad is gone?

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It does sound like it. Dh's brother is very similar. Has been fired from jobs for not being able to arrive on time and being rude, etc. His parents could not afford to support him, however, and he has been managing on his own. He's 52 now. Do you think your brother could manage to find a way to support himself when your dad is gone?

 

Oh wow, I don't know. He has had NO JOB since 1987! Who would hire him? Perhaps if he got help from social services, and was diagnosed, they could help him find employment. I don't think he will do it without any assistance.

 

I'm wondering...how do Asperger's individuals think of themselves? Do they think they're "different"? Does it bother them? Are they relieved to find out that this is what they have?

 

Also...I don't quite know how to approach my brother. My dh's sister, who works with children in the autism spectrum, suggested that I ask him if he is happy with his life, and if there is anything he would want to change. I just don't know.

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Well, dh's brother doesn't seem to think anything's wrong with himself. He thinks others have the problems. However, he is super intelligent and operates on a different plane than most other people. He was accepted for college at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and MIT. He went to Yale and got a degree in linguistics. He now lives in Taiwan and helps kids write admissions essays to college.

 

I think it might be a good idea to ask your brother what he wants to do with his life. If you have the energy, you could try to help him. If not, maybe look into some services that could help him.

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Well, dh's brother doesn't seem to think anything's wrong with himself. He thinks others have the problems. However, he is super intelligent and operates on a different plane than most other people. He was accepted for college at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and MIT. He went to Yale and got a degree in linguistics. He now lives in Taiwan and helps kids write admissions essays to college.

 

I think it might be a good idea to ask your brother what he wants to do with his life. If you have the energy, you could try to help him. If not, maybe look into some services that could help him.

 

Wow, your dh's brother sounds like my brother. I think he, also, thinks other people have problems, not him! He is also very intelligent and has a degree in linguistics and learned to speak Mandarin.

 

It's so hard to talk to my brother, but I will try.

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Wow, your dh's brother sounds like my brother. I think he, also, thinks other people have problems, not him! He is also very intelligent and has a degree in linguistics and learned to speak Mandarin.

 

It's so hard to talk to my brother, but I will try.

 

That is very weird! They sound remarkably similar.

 

My older son has been diagnosed with Asperger's and I'm doing everything in my power to get him to NOT act like his uncle. I make it clear to him when his statements and behavior are inappropriate or rude. He doesn't always understand why, but he does understand that he needs to apologize if he has offended someone. I also emphasize the fact that the world does not revolve around him and his needs, and he needs to try to realize that, even if he doesn't understand it completely. He's slowly realizing that he just has to do some things because they are social conventions (kind of like Sheldon on BBT), whether he understands the purpose or not.

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That is very weird! They sound remarkably similar.

 

My older son has been diagnosed with Asperger's and I'm doing everything in my power to get him to NOT act like his uncle. I make it clear to him when his statements and behavior are inappropriate or rude. He doesn't always understand why, but he does understand that he needs to apologize if he has offended someone. I also emphasize the fact that the world does not revolve around him and his needs, and he needs to try to realize that, even if he doesn't understand it completely. He's slowly realizing that he just has to do some things because they are social conventions (kind of like Sheldon on BBT), whether he understands the purpose or not.

 

I feel like I spend all telling ODS how rude he is. I cringe thinking about certain family members that he reminds me of (yes, HFA=high functioning autism; at diagnosis, he met the deficits in communication and socialization--they overlap a lot).

 

Some AS/HFA people are aware enough to realize they are different (whether they think THEY are normal and everyone else isn't is another matter), some aren't. Two that have written about their experiences that come to mind are Temple Grandin and John Robison. I have no idea how/if you'd go about trying to get a diagnosis/services for an adult who wasn't aware of their issues.

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I feel like I spend all telling ODS how rude he is. I cringe thinking about certain family members that he reminds me of (yes, HFA=high functioning autism; at diagnosis, he met the deficits in communication and socialization--they overlap a lot).

 

Some AS/HFA people are aware enough to realize they are different (whether they think THEY are normal and everyone else isn't is another matter), some aren't. Two that have written about their experiences that come to mind are Temple Grandin and John Robison. I have no idea how/if you'd go about trying to get a diagnosis/services for an adult who wasn't aware of their issues.

 

Be thankful that you KNOW what he has and can take steps to deal with it!! My brother is in his mid-fifties and at this point is not likely to change, according to my dh's sister who works with school kids on the autism spectrum. Be glad that you have the knowledge you do. I'm sure it's very hard though. :grouphug:

 

Yes, dh's sister mentioned Temple Grandin (whose name I had heard) and I found John Robison by doing some Googling. I will be looking for their books at the library. Temple has a movie out (not sure of the name) that is supposed to be very good. Whether she is in it, or whether it's just about her, I am not sure.

 

:grouphug: to everyone dealing with Asperger's and autism!

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