Jump to content

Menu

Help me help my Aspie ds


Night Elf
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm sorry this got so long. I don't know how to put things in few words.

 

My son will be 21 next month and he has Aspergers. It really does affect how he views thing and how he does things. He's made great strides throughout the years but he still has limitations. Right now, what's holding him back the most is he doesn't want to go back to college. He went part-time for one school year the school year before last and while he aced his classes, he was absolutely miserable. He begged to let him to quit. We agreed to let him if he would get counseling and at least a part-time job. He did those things and was really happy for a while. It was like a night and day change. He managed high school at home because we let him work at his own pace year round so he never had more than 4 classes at one time. He handled them all well and aced high school. He didn't tell me during high school that he hated it. He just seemed his regular self, but boy when he was out of school completely it was like a weight lifted off his shoulders.

 

He's always been a night owl so we figured the best job for him to begin with would be an overnight stocking clerk at a grocery store. Of course I never believed he'd be there more than a year before realizing he was tired of making $8/hr and knew he needed more formal training to get a better paying job. He's been there 8 months now and he's itching to quit. His problem, however, is the only two jobs he's mentioned wanting to do are pie in the sky dreams. First he wants to be a game developer. He has no education or experience and doesn't want to go to school for it. He quit talking about it for a couple of months so I figured he let it go, but no, he's back on it. Then within the past two weeks, he's talked about wanting to be a writer. He wrote the typical assignments in high school and did them well, but I don't think he can actually write a book. I think he believes it's an easy thing to do to sit down and write and then make money off of it. So when I was taking him to work last night, he informed me he was ready to quit his stocking job and devote those same hours to writing. I was flabbergasted.

 

See, I'd say the most important part of his day to him is his leisure time. He gets upset if he can't have a good chunk of his day to do his own thing. He feels writing is a job and would take the place of his present job and therefore he'd still have all his leisure time left. I just don't believe this is going to work.

 

So I told him to cut back his hours at work but he believes the boss won't let him because he has more hours than anyone. He's currently working 35 and they asked him to go full-time and he told them no, so they've left his schedule at 35. I told him the other employees likely told the management what they could work and are sticking to it. I want him to talk to the boss and tell him he can only work 3 nights a week. That's 21 hours. Then he can try writing and still be bringing in a paycheck. Then he has the option to increase his hours if writing doesn't work. I don't want to tell him it absolutely won't work out. I want him to pursue a dream I suppose. I wasn't raised to pursue dreams because staying in reality was hard enough. One needs to be practical. If he was extremely talented at writing and loved it, I'd definitely encourage him, but I don't think he's talented this way.

 

So he's really upset this morning. He believes he's stuck in a dreary 9-5 job that he hates for the rest of his life. How do we look into other career goals? Is there any type of job he can pursue that would let him work from home so he can set his own hours, which are all night? Or another job outside the house that would be all night? He can do day work if he needs to, and would probably do so for a job he really likes. So maybe I should be asking, what kind of decent money making career can someone without higher education have? What's out there? 

 

He doesn't talk well on the phone. We've practiced that skill and he hasn't improved. He doesn't type the traditional way, instead using just a few of his fingers, but he can type up to 50 wpm according to the software Typing Instructor. He used that program for more than a year in high school and never did adopt the touch typing method outside that specific practice time. He's never had an interest in cars, so something like a mechanic won't work even if he could find someone to take him on as an apprentice. He has an inversion to getting his hands dirty. He wears work gloves to stock. He's good at math and has a natural inclination for English skills like grammar and sentence structure. He did well in science but didn't love it. He's also really good at History.

 

What should I encourage him to do at this point? I don't like to see him unhappy but I think it's a bad idea to quit a paying job. Last week we talked about him moving to Costco since they pay better. Now he's saying he doesn't want to stock at all. In his mind, he may as well stay at Kroger if he's not going to be doing something new. He understands money but he's not working to live so how much he makes isn't important to him. He's taken on a lot of his financial responsibility over the past several months and saves the majority of his money. He doesn't drive and has no interest in learning, so he doesn't pay expenses for driving.

 

I'm stumped. I told him I'd ask my Board for suggestions.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you are filthy rich, he should not quit a job to become a writer. He can work at his current job, full-time. Like every other starving writer, he will have to write during off hours. Not many young people get to coast through life only working 35 hours a week and do nothing the rest of the time.

 

In regards to the game developing, DD17 currently works for a very large computer/gaming company. Everyone she works with has all told her to go get her degree. So even though she makes a living wage, she is going to cut back in the fall and start college. Life will still be there when she returns.

 

Just because one is an Aspie does not mean he gets a pass through the normal axe-grinding of being a young adult.

  • Like 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

well, step one, does he pay you anything for rent/living expenses?  Having to come up with $ can be a motivator to stick with a paying job.  My oldest dd we had to lay down the rule (which her siblings also follow now unless ill) of once out of high school, you either go to school full time, passing grades,  and can live at home free OR go part-time and work part-time and pay $300/month for room and board, or no school, and if live at home pay $600/month.    Still cheaper than moving out.  When kid/young adult balks, "I am an adult you can't tell me what to do" point out that YOU too are an adult, and don't have to support someone not working/going to school if YOU don't want to. 

 

You can save his money to gift back when he moves out someday, but he doesn't need to know that.

 

It may help him stick with a paying job, no matter how much he hates it, if he HAS to pay his own way at least a bit.  My almost 26-yr-old who had to leave school when mental illness took over after THREE years finally has gotten a p/t job..which he HATES.. but he needs the money.  And now that he is well enough to work some, (although staying at home since doesn't make enough to move out, and what if one of his six meds stops working again) he will be paying a % of income for room/board.

 

Gently yet firmly letting your son know he will be treated as the adult he now is and expected to pay a certain amount for room/board/transportation. Paying at least a bit for your time/gas to drive him around  may help him realize just sitting at home writing isn't going to cut it.  Or, maybe he will insist that will work - then have him PAY his room/board out of his savings (you can still save it for him, just don't let on, unless you need the money).  He needs to face needing to pay his own way now to help him decide to either stick with the job he has or find another.   You just have to calmly let him know the rules now that he is an adult.  He should be able to figure it out (I have to work! I need money!) then. 

 

My son HATES his job...(prepping lab samples - mostly POOP) I remind him that is why they PAY him to do it, and it is called WORK, not PLAY.  :-)  It is step one towards establishing a work record and later getting a better job, and/or finishing his degree to be able to get an even BETTER job and eventually move out.  And if mental illness rears its ugly evil head again we will always be the safety net. But if he has a job he damn well is going to stick with it until he can find something better.

 

We have all had awful beginning jobs at one time or another.  That is why those jobs go to the young with no other experience, or folks who have not been able to find jobs in their field, etc.  Sticking to a job until you find something better/resume school is what an adult has to do.

 

Note - tweak any of the above you might care to use to fit the circumstances.  My son drives my car to work and I sit next to him, as we need to be sure he feels comfortable driving again and is safe to do so on his meds before we find another gently used car and he drives on his own. Even then, he knows any day he feels less than 100% safe to drive I will drive him.  When our adult "kids" are ill or have a disability we adjust.  Part of our job. :-)

Edited by JFSinIL
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I've really got are  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: .

 

MIne's turning 19.  His been in CC since 16, because he just didn't have the patience for high school.  He does like college better, but... well, he's still an Aspie.  Brilliant, but little independent work ethic/executive functioning skills.  Talented, but in areas that he can't compete at the highest levels.  Kind, for the most part, but still lacking in theory of mind.  And still in the "don't really want advice from Mom" stage.

 

We have also seen SO. Much. Progress. made over the years, that we all definitely overestimated his preparedness for young adulthood/late teenhood.  I don't have any real advice, but I feel you!!!

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He does pay us some for room/board but also pays all his other expenses. He pays for food, entertainment, medical and clothing. In fact, I agreed to let him pay only half his medical but he said he could pay it all because it's not that much. He has a considerable amount saved up. At his current average spending, he has enough to last him a year easily without working. 

 

I'm not suggesting he get a pass of any kind because he has Aspergers. However, it IS Autism and there are limitations no matter what we want to believe. He thinks differently than peers and no amount of pushing is going to alter that rigid thinking. It is what it is. He has to find a way to live in the world on his terms or he won't be successful. He doesn't adapt well. Again, Aspergers. And also please understand that while there are common characteristics that all high functioning Autistic people share, it can still manifest differently in different people. What your Aspie son can do isn't necessarily what mine can do. One isn't better than the next because of what they can do.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no experience with Asperger's, and my oldest is only 16, so take this with a grain of salt (or ignore it completely).

 

Maybe you could look into careers that only require an Associate's degree so he would get out of school sooner.

 

Also, if he wants to write, you may look into NanoWriMo.  And I agree with the previous poster that he should not quit his job and should write in his free time if that's what he wants to pursue.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does your area have any vocational tech schools? Our local Applied Technology College has more than 20 programs, ranging from IT to electrician apprentice to automotive to aesthetician to dental assistant. If you have such a school maybe he could go tour it and learn about the programs, maybe something would spark his interest.

 

I know you say he is a night owl, but research following people who work night shifts has turned up some pretty hefty physical and mental health detriments. That schedule would worry me.

Edited by maize
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest is not diagnosed with anything but he's really asynchronous.  He's fairly unfocused and has no clue what he wants to do.  He is 16 so he has some time.  But I have set up in his mind it's school or full time work or both if he wants to slowly school.   Does he know most bloggers/writers and app creators that go viral are likely working while they're writing?  Many have specific training in those areas.  Very few people have the luxury and privilege of just quitting paid employment to pursue something that they may think is a passion. 

 

That sounds really challenging.  I think making him financially responsible including possibly charging some token rent is not a bad idea.  His thought processes do just sound immature yet.  :grouphug:

Edited by WoolySocks
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, he's definitely immature in some ways. That's why we haven't pushed driving yet. He doesn't feel able to control a killing machine as he calls it. When he tried, he repeatedly ran off the road and it scared him. 

 

While he's a very smart, gifted your man, we believe that on many levels he's about the age of 15-16. He's always been this way and it's my understanding it's typical of Aspie or Autistic children.

 

We do have a tech school nearby but it has limited programs. The main campus which is much further offers better programs like computer stuff. I was willing to drive him but he wasn't ready to commit to that. Instead, he started working. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that he'd get tired of his no where job and want to go to school to be trained for something else. He's not there yet. It has to come from him. We told him school or work, but the decision is his.

 

Only once has he expressed an interest in moving out. He asked me how much money he'd need to make to have his own place. We discussed typical costs and how they vary by location. I think he was surprised it's so much. He hasn't mentioned it again since then.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re: leisure time

That is very important for people on the spectrum. Most also have some sort of sensory processing issues and really need that downtime to process life.

My DS is on the spectrum. When he was younger we would joke about him putting himself in quiet time. He would go to his room and lay on his bed and just stare off into space. He would say he was rewinding and reviewing the day. He is in high school now and still needs a large chunk of downtime each day. DH and I are starting to see how that will affect college. DS is an only child, which will help us on the college front. We want him to take the min number of classes he can each semester to live on campus. We are not in a rush for him to get through college.

 

Did your son go locally to college? Can he take computer classes part time at a local college while living at home? What about CLEP? Can he find a mentor in the gaming industry? Many people in engineering/programming are on the spectrum and are understanding.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

While he's a very smart, gifted your man, we believe that on many levels he's about the age of 15-16. He's always been this way and it's my understanding it's typical of Aspie or Autistic children.

 

 He's not there yet. It has to come from him. We told him school or work, but the decision is his.

 

 

 

Why does it have to come from him?  If he is really at the maturity of a 15 year old, he still requires guidance.  Yeah, he may not like it, but yeah, Mom knows better.  On one hand, you want to treat him like his true age, but on the other hand, you acknowledge that his maturity isn't there.  Sometimes you have to push because you know best.

 

I say that as a sister to two Aspies, one of which we really had to push.  But he got through college, works full time in IT, and lives with my parents at age 32.  Yeah, he wasn't his happiest at college.  But yeah, it was't optional.  A person needs job training and/or education.

 

If it had come from him, by the way, it never would have happened.  Ambition and self-starter are not words in his vocabulary.

 

Is he good with computers?  The social communication requirements for IT jobs are not that high, as long as they can get the computers doing what they are supposed to.

 

One last note:  My brother originally was going to major in Computer Science, but could not handle the Calculus required, so he ended up minoring in Computer Science and majoring in English (lots of writing and reading).  He still easily got a job in the computer industry.  (I just mention this because it sounds a bit like your son's interest as far as writing.  Maybe he could take a lot of English classes to satisfy his need to write.)

 

((hugs)) It's not easy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, he's definitely immature in some ways. That's why we haven't pushed driving yet. He doesn't feel able to control a killing machine as he calls it. When he tried, he repeatedly ran off the road and it scared him. 

 

While he's a very smart, gifted your man, we believe that on many levels he's about the age of 15-16. He's always been this way and it's my understanding it's typical of Aspie or Autistic children.

 

 

Find a drivers ed program that works with older teens/young adults. I remember you mentioning the general area where you live before. That shouldn't be difficult in that area. Ask to have a hands on teacher that is calm & will reassure your son. Pay for extra driving hours on top of what comes with the basic  class package. It won't be cheap but with he's paying you in rent, etc, you'll have it covered. It's a basic skill that will hinder him later in life if he doesn't live in an area with excellent mass transit. Your area isn't it in that dept (it's okay, but not great). This is coming from the mom of a child with Aspergers who didn't want to drive either. He was older when he got his license. And he only drives to specific places. He still doesn't like it but he can do it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why does it have to come from him?  If he is really at the maturity of a 15 year old, he still requires guidance.  Yeah, he may not like it, but yeah, Mom knows better.  On one hand, you want to treat him like his true age, but on the other hand, you acknowledge that his maturity isn't there.  Sometimes you have to push because you know best.

 

I say that as a sister to two Aspies, one of which we really had to push.  But he got through college, works full time in IT, and lives with my parents at age 32.  Yeah, he wasn't his happiest at college.  But yeah, it was't optional.  A person needs job training and/or education.

 

If it had come from him, by the way, it never would have happened.  Ambition and self-starter are not words in his vocabulary.

 

Is he good with computers?  The social communication requirements for IT jobs are not that high, as long as they can get the computers doing what they are supposed to.

 

One last note:  My brother originally was going to major in Computer Science, but could not handle the Calculus required, so he ended up minoring in Computer Science and majoring in English (lots of writing and reading).  He still easily got a job in the computer industry.  (I just mention this because it sounds a bit like your son's interest as far as writing.  Maybe he could take a lot of English classes to satisfy his need to write.)

 

((hugs)) It's not easy.

 

We insisted he go to college. He went two semesters and while he got A's he hated it. So he asked us if he could quit. He's very rule oriented and believes we know what we're talking about so he listens to us. We told him he had to work and he got a job. So yes, we've been guiding him. However, he is now working and has been doing well. He was happy the first several months he said but he's tired of it now. He wants to do something else. I've already told him again it's school or a paid job. He cannot quit work to try to write a book. So yes, I'm still making some decisions for him. He needs to learn though. This is one time we do want him to make the decision, school or paid job. I was hoping he would choose school but he doesn't want to work a traditional job so he doesn't believe he needs formal education or training. This is our problem right now.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are online college courses (like Phoenix) which offer computer programming and other IT courses. How well does he understand how computer hardware and software work? My Ds made money for awhile fixing computers out of our home. It requires some customer interaction while you figure out what is wrong and what people want it to do. Computer programming requires less social interaction. You can get good pay.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he is not interested in living independently, perhaps you could still help him figure out what he needs to learn/do to be able to live independently in ten or fifteen or twenty years - someday when you simply need the roles reversed and he will take care of YOU. Also - could he come up with and write a short story based on a character who works nights stocking at the local store....use what he knows?

 

My oldest dd, the one we had to come down hard on, ended up dropping out of cc, got a job through a temp agency that turned into full-time work for the past three years, and she got so good at invoicing and dispatching trucks and solving problems etc. that a major client "poached" her and she is now at age 23 starting a new job at a base rate of $40,000 a year and room to train and grow in the company. The man who hired her, a vice pres. of the company, only had a high school diploma, as does dd. So not every decent job requires a college degree. But dd got extremely lucky. She really wants to open her own store and sell cupcakes. Only cupcakes. She loves baking cupcakes, and does some minor cupcake catering locally. But she also likes living in her own townhome (with two roommates - no way young adults can afford to live on their own in Illinois!) so she is keeping cupcakes as a hobby, not a career. Your son needs to figure on making writing a HOBBY and find a career path that can support him. Maybe he will be one of those who works long enough to save $ to stop work and write for a while, then work again to get $, etc. Except - he needs to afford health insurance once he ages off your insurance. You have a few years before worrying about that, though.

Edited by JFSinIL
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is hard to explain, but my cousin is an Aspie.  There are times when my aunt and uncle want So Much for him to assume responsibility and make a decision.  But he just doesn't.  So whatever the outcome of -- they don't decide for him -- is what happens.  So in effect they are going to decide for him either way.  They can either decide for him actively, or decide for him passively. 

 

It is what it is.  From my vantage point he seems to do a lot better when they decide for him actively.

 

He is pretty effected, though.  The comment above that I would paraphrase as "just gotta suck it up" just can't really apply to him, as he is really struggling in some areas and it is not a matter of "suck it up." 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gently, it sounds like he's not really happy, ultimately, no matter if he's going to school or working.

 

Since school will provide future benefits that you are aware of, even if he is not, I would have him go to school.  This decision does not have to come from him.  As an Aspie, in fact, it might not be able to come from him.  Wishing that he would make the decision to go to school might be a pipe dream.  For his own good, you may have to make that decision for him.

 

If my brother had a choice, he would stay in his room and play video games his entire life.  All the time.  All. the. time.  He wasn't given that choice, even though it would make him really happy.  Happiness must be balanced by practicality.

 

Again, ((hugs)).  Do what is best for your Aspie.  Don't hinder him by hoping he has the ability to make the right decision in this case.  You will probably have to make it, but it will ultimately be a very good idea.

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really that whole idea of "just leave young adults to themselves and they will figure things out and direct their own lives" is something you need to question as whether or not it applies to your situation.  As much as it is what you want, you don't desire to be in this kind of parent-child relationship with him at this age, etc. 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is he still doing counseling?

 

No, he played that out. They began rehashing the same topics and weren't moving forward. Since he seemed content in his job, we didn't feel it was necessary any longer. Now I'm rethinking that decision. I feel he needs career counseling at the very least. I'd like for him to try the same counselor for a while though because she was the only one I could find who was familiar with Aspergers. His last counselor wasn't and was giving him advice that just didn't work for him and she didn't seem to understand why he couldn't just stop thinking rigidly and get over it. I was surprised a professional didn't even have some basic grasp of autism.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What was the purpose of his counseling? Could there be some counseling focusing on career goals, how to reach them, and you setting up a ladder for him to reach them? I think you and your DH also need to decide how long you are willing for him to live with you. And then communicate that with him. You may have to set up the goals for him, and create the ladder for him to reach them. If his maturity is about 6 years lagging, then by the time he is 30, he should be able to live independently. (I realize it may not be linear, but that seems like a reasonable goal). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gently, it sounds like he's not really happy, ultimately, no matter if he's going to school or working.

 

Since school will provide future benefits that you are aware of, even if he is not, I would have him go to school.  This decision does not have to come from him.  As an Aspie, in fact, it might not be able to come from him.  Wishing that he would make the decision to go to school might be a pipe dream.  For his own good, you may have to make that decision for him.

 

If my brother had a choice, he would stay in his room and play video games his entire life.  All the time.  All. the. time.  He wasn't given that choice, even though it would make him really happy.  Happiness must be balanced by practicality.

 

Again, ((hugs)).  Do what is best for your Aspie.  Don't hinder him by hoping he has the ability to make the right decision in this case.  You will probably have to make it, but it will ultimately be a very good idea.

 

I do understand you but I disagree at this time. I've lived with him and know how he thinks for the most part. I know how he operates and the things that he has been successful at doing. I've also seen him improve on things so I know he's capable of growth still. I understand he's not happy right now. I think it's because he's realizing he is not doing something he loves for money. This morning he sounded so dejected as he said he'd never be a game developer or writer and that he was doomed to work a boring job he hates for the rest of his life. He has to process this and come up with some new ideas. I don't think school is the right place right now at this particular moment in time. Instead, I'd like him to find some type of job he can work that isn't as tedious as stocking grocery store shelves. I just don't know where to turn. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hesitate to offer any advice. As the mom of an Aspie I think I have a little bit of an idea of what you're going through, but that's all it is -- a little bit. As the saying goes, if you've met one person with autism you've met one person with autism. I do think that some career counseling might be in order. To a certain extent what he's dealing with is what the vast majority of all young adults deal with. It's the exception rather than the rule that teens/young adults know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Being an Aspie just compounds a common problem some (maybe a lot). If writing and gaming are his interests then I'd brainstorm some from those--try to figure out a career that involves writing (technical writing?) and/or something to do with computers (information technology?) that he could pursue. Most experts seem to believe that for a person with autism to be successfully employed (not under employed) they need a job that truly interests them. When it comes to Aspies I don't believe that the maxim of "find a good job so you can support your hobby" is the way to go.

 

Regarding the need for down time --

 

Re: leisure time
That is very important for people on the spectrum. Most also have some sort of sensory processing issues and really need that downtime to process life.
My DS is on the spectrum. When he was younger we would joke about him putting himself in quiet time. He would go to his room and lay on his bed and just stare off into space. He would say he was rewinding and reviewing the day. He is in high school now and still needs a large chunk of downtime each day. DH and I are starting to see how that will affect college. DS is an only child, which will help us on the college front. We want him to take the min number of classes he can each semester to live on campus. We are not in a rush for him to get through college.

Did your son go locally to college? Can he take computer classes part time at a local college while living at home? What about CLEP? Can he find a mentor in the gaming industry? Many people in engineering/programming are on the spectrum and are understanding.

 

DS18 is just like this. He's great at academics (2e), advocates well for himself, has been driving since he was 15, has good school/career goals. But the need for a ton of down time is always there and I think always will be. I don't know but I suspect it's very similar to the need people with a chronic physical illness have for more rest than someone who doesn't have a chronic illness. We've always urged DS to be careful of not overloading himself at college, and we've gone through the necessary steps for getting him a private dorm room. There is no way he'd be able to get the quiet alone time he absolutely needs while sharing a room. For him it is an absolute need, not a mere want. And we tend to believe that accommodating him for things like that sets him up to better succeed in other areas. So . . .based on personal experience this isn't an area I would recommend compromising on. I know for DS it would be extremely counter productive.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about looking into a different type of college? For instance, Western Governors has a program where you do it at your own pace, paying by the month or term or whatever it is. And the classes don't have busy work, from what I understand...it's instead based on competency...so pass the test or write the paper and you are done. Would a school like that work better? If he could get a degree he'd have a lot more options. 

 

If he's set on the writing thing, is he thinking of self publishing? He could try self publishing some short stories on amazon KDP to see how much money he makes/doesn't make. 

 

Edited to add: it's online. I'm speaking of the graduate part, but I think they have Bachelor's programs as well. 

Edited by ktgrok
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What does he do in his leisure time?

 

He likes to read History related websites, lately it's been alternative History topics. He used to love playing video games but now he spends much less time doing that and when he does play, it's not for a long time. I think he still likes to read about video games, hence his interest in game developing. He also has been following politics more and discusses it with DH. He's not a reader but he's been reading a book called The Next 100 Years that is predictions but I don't know what kind. He just asked if we could buy that book.

 

As for writing, I don't believe this is truly a major interest. The impression he gave me is that he thinks it's a money maker and he'd be able to do that and stay home. In other words, he thinks it's an easy job.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My aspie experience was different, in that I loved college, but had no idea what I should do with myself after graduation. None. I was twenty and very adrift. I'm so glad my mom researched suitable graduate programs, and hand delivered the applications to my bedroom. And made sure I mailed them on time. She decided for me, and I'm so glad she did. By my mid to late twenties I was able to make some major life choices on my own, but I just wasn't capable of steering the ship at 20. You may need to tell him what to do next.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about looking into a different type of college? For instance, Western Governors has a program where you do it at your own pace, paying by the month or term or whatever it is. And the classes don't have busy work, from what I understand...it's instead based on competency...so pass the test or write the paper and you are done. Would a school like that work better? If he could get a degree he'd have a lot more options. 

 

If he's set on the writing thing, is he thinking of self publishing? He could try self publishing some short stories on amazon KDP to see how much money he makes/doesn't make. 

 

Edited to add: it's online. I'm speaking of the graduate part, but I think they have Bachelor's programs as well. 

 

I'll show him but what I saw so far looks like it might not fit. It says the B.S. program is for people who already work in the industry and need a Bachelor's degree and for people with experience in the area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could he be talked into some trade with apprenticeship, like an electrician? He could make a wonderful living that way and it's not difficult, just precise and step by step, and tends to include good benefits and not overly much phone or face time with people, depending on if he does commercial or industrial electrical work instead of residential.

 

I'm sorry this is hard for him! I can imagine it's frustrating for all of you :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this age my favorite autist began to do very well with cognitive/behavioral therapy. He has learned work around strategies for his most destructive rigidities and has created lists he can follow when faced with questions, new situations, illness, etc. 

 

His puberty-to-adulthood hormonal changes made life a bit harder and therapy made all the difference.

 

Because maturity in general, and especially emotional maturity, is far below his years, we offered the same scaffolds one would offer a child of the same age while (desperately) trying to respect his own sense of adulthood. That is not to say we excused his adult requirements, but we did delay some of them and we did provide supports. He used the disability services at his university and he currently works for us--very successfully.

 

We found a therapist who specializes in young adults with autism and includes group work.  Working in autistic thinking has come before career counseling for my son because he would not have been able to accurately process the information without first working on other things.  This therapist accepted input from us, and, with our son's permission, helped us learn to work with him.

 

So, after all that, I support therapy and offering lots of supports until they are not longer needed.

 

Much love and good wishes to you.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a freelance writer, I can promise that it's not all that easy to break into writing. There's a ton that you learn just by writing writing writing and getting feedback on that writing.

 

He could join an online content writing service like textbroker and Writer Access to tighten up his writing skills. Also, a college class on writing would be excellent for him.

 

You said he' s more like a 15 yo in his thinking....this is age appropriate for a 15 yo to have such unrealistic expectations of life. It's still annoying though.

 

As far as college,

 

My dd had a hard time her first semester adjusting to the expectations of classes, homework, etc. Her counselor talked to her about this quite a bit. She told my dd that she always has choices. She can choose not to go to class, not do her homework, or do her assigned reading, but then she's also choosing the consequences of those actions--bad grades, losing her scholarships, and taking longer to get through college. She can choose to drop out of college. But then, she'll be choosing to not follow the path that she's dreamed of for so long and settling for a job that wasn't what she ulitimately wants.

 

I think for your son, I'd try to get him to think "Where do I want to be in 5 years?" Have him lay out 3 different paths. Then he needs to research what it takes to get there.

 

As far as programming, he can start researching on the online job search boards. There's a job that I really want to do after I'm done homeschooling. But, as I've looked at online job boards, I'm going to definitely have to go back to school to do it. I have the qualifications, as far as being able to do the job, but without that degree, they won't look at my resume.

 

I'd have him start looking at online jobs boards. Also, he needs to calculate how much of a salary is a good one. He needs to remember that at a certain age, he's no longer going to be able to be on your insurance. So he'll need to figure that out too.

 

But, no, I wouldn't let him quit his job. Many many people work while writing a novel or pursuing a "dream job." That's what responsible adults do. And yes, responsible adults sacrifice their free time to do this. That's a part of it. Perhaps calculating how many hours are in a week, how many hours he works, and what his home responsibilities are would help him see that yes, there is plenty of time to work on a novel, play around , and work.

 

And yes, I say it all the time to my older kids, " This is what responsible people do. "

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He likes to read History related websites, lately it's been alternative History topics. He used to love playing video games but now he spends much less time doing that and when he does play, it's not for a long time. I think he still likes to read about video games, hence his interest in game developing. He also has been following politics more and discusses it with DH. He's not a reader but he's been reading a book called The Next 100 Years that is predictions but I don't know what kind. He just asked if we could buy that book.

 

As for writing, I don't believe this is truly a major interest. The impression he gave me is that he thinks it's a money maker and he'd be able to do that and stay home. In other words, he thinks it's an easy job.

 

He needs to learn that anything that people will pay you to do takes effort. Nobody will pay you 100K a year to do a butt easy job. The butt easy jobs pay poorly because anyone can do them.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree about apprenticeships. There's apprenticeship programs for things in IT as well. They aren't going to lead to mega-bucks IT jobs, but they're good jobs. 

 

Maybe electrical engineering? That's computer-based, and just a matter of knowing how the little details have to (always and precisely) go together. Lots of Aspies in that field, I believe.

 

Is he interested in writing fiction? Maybe have him write a fanfiction for one of his games and post it on fanfiction.net. First, he'll see that writing good fiction is really, really hard and time-consuming. Second, he'll get feedback. Maybe, just maybe, it will turn out to be wildly popular and he can pull it off the internet, publish it, sell a bazillion copies and a Hollywood movie. Or maybe not. [some published authors post fanfiction stories, btw, they think it's a great platform to try out new concepts and new genres and get instant feedback].

 

As for game developer - has he done anything with coding or graphic design? If the answer is no, I hesitate about that idea. People going into that field haven't just sat and played games for years, they've been making games and/or concept art for years and years. It's a hard field to start from zero in your 20's. I mean, it's done, but doesn't usually lead to a nice job at EA. So if that's not really his passion anyways, I don't think it's realistic.

 

 

Also, maybe he could look into going to a different school? The school atmosphere, aesthetics, smells, etc. can't be discounted as a part of his dislike. Professor morale, class composition, and so on can also make a big difference. Just throwing that out there. He might just "click" somewhere else.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are lots of alternatives to the traditional school to work route

 

Campus based programs tailored to autism

 

Online Universities

 

Apprenticeships

 

Jobs specifically tailored to special needs

 

Work from home

 

Traditional jobs that require less interpersonal connection

 

 

If he really has his heart set on working at night, maybe he would enjoy being a baker.  The task is very goal-oriented, the environment is generally quiet, and while culinary school isn't required by some employers, it is very different from traditional classes.  The post-office also tends to have overnight sorting positions that require little schooling.

 

Personally, I wouldn't allow my autistic child to quit a paying job to pursue writing.  Change is hard.  Going back to full-time work after taking a break would be miserable.  The path for all writers (I can't think of a single exception, correct me if I'm wrong) is to work a paid career while writing on the side until their career is launched.  If he truly loves the grammar portion, maybe he is actually more interested in becoming a copy editor.  He could start with some classes or attempt to obtain freelance work to see if it interests him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather than arguing, you need to reality-test his dreams.

 

He could register as an at-home writer somewhere like textbroker.com and see the actual assignments and low pay at-home writers get.

 

Search on indeed.com and see how many game developer jobs there are in town and what degree and experience is needed to get them. Write a resume of his qualifications.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about looking into a different type of college? For instance, Western Governors has a program where you do it at your own pace, paying by the month or term or whatever it is. And the classes don't have busy work, from what I understand...it's instead based on competency...so pass the test or write the paper and you are done. Would a school like that work better? If he could get a degree he'd have a lot more options.

 

If he's set on the writing thing, is he thinking of self publishing? He could try self publishing some short stories on amazon KDP to see how much money he makes/doesn't make.

 

Edited to add: it's online. I'm speaking of the graduate part, but I think they have Bachelor's programs as well.

I have gone back to WGU for my baccalaureate teaching certification. I love it. No busywork, I skip the nonsense and I don't have to do group projects.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We really have no contacts outside of DH's coworkers. We don't have friends, none of us. We're all introverts unfortunately. 

 

How does one find someone willing to have an apprentice? He did once say being an electrician sounded good but I thought you had to go to school for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather than arguing, you need to reality-test his dreams.

 

He could register as an at-home writer somewhere like textbroker.com and see the actual assignments and low pay he'd get.

 

Search on indeed.com and see how many game developer jobs there are in town and what degree and experience is needed to get them. Write a resume of his qualifications.

 

He doesn't like his job, and that's fine. He just needs to keep researching options -- maybe going back to school will make sense once he has a goal that he is truly interested in. Look into the list of two year career preparation courses in your community college system -- the shorter programs might be a better fit for someone who hates school, especially if they are more hands-on than bookwork.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We really have no contacts outside of DH's coworkers. We don't have friends, none of us. We're all introverts unfortunately. 

 

How does one find someone willing to have an apprentice? He did once say being an electrician sounded good but I thought you had to go to school for that.

 

Just click on your state: https://www.dol.gov/featured/apprenticeship/find-opportunities

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We really have no contacts outside of DH's coworkers. We don't have friends, none of us. We're all introverts unfortunately. 

 

How does one find someone willing to have an apprentice? He did once say being an electrician sounded good but I thought you had to go to school for that.

 

Tech school's have programs for electricians. I'd work on the social stuff, even if it isn't easy. MeetUp.com might show some groups he'd be interested in. They are groups based on common interests. I have to pretty much make my Aspie socialize but he is almost always glad afterwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thought is something like construction flagging. It's not highly social but if you can stand there and follow basic instructions it's fantastic pay. Up here in is $25-30 per hour and the flagging school is a two week intensive with a certification test.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I highlighted my state but when I click on cities nothing happens. A little window in the upper right says there are over 2,000 apprentice jobs but I don't know how to view them. Another instruction does say to click on the city to find out more details. Is it working for you? We live in Georgia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I apologize in advance that my comments might come out a bit disorganized. 

 

First, my Aspie is not as old as yours. However, some of his needs are similar in that he needs a lot of down time, and school is a limited fit, so we aren't sure where he'll end up. Also, my Aspie really does like to work at a lot of different kinds of things. I am not sure a boring job would bug him because he would make up for it in his leisure time (if he had money to do what he wanted during off hours). 

 

He likes to read History related websites, lately it's been alternative History topics. 

 

As for writing, I don't believe this is truly a major interest. The impression he gave me is that he thinks it's a money maker and he'd be able to do that and stay home. In other words, he thinks it's an easy job.

 

If writing and gaming are his interests then I'd brainstorm some from those--try to figure out a career that involves writing (technical writing?) and/or something to do with computers (information technology?) that he could pursue. Most experts seem to believe that for a person with autism to be successfully employed (not under employed) they need a job that truly interests them. When it comes to Aspies I don't believe that the maxim of "find a good job so you can support your hobby" is the way to go.

Regarding the tech writing and your son's skills at grammar and such, he might look into copyediting or proofreading. I know some people who have some ASD traits (probably not a diagnosis) who were good at this sort of thing. School might be required, but maybe school could be PT while doing his current job PT. Anyway, the jobs in proofreading that I knew about at the time I was in touch with these individuals ranged from working for a textbook company to proofreading Supreme Court briefs. The fact that history is an interest made me think that he might enjoy doing some kind of proofreading in a legal or history-oriented field. If he truly enjoyed something that required school, it might be enough impetus to get him through school.

 

Really that whole idea of "just leave young adults to themselves and they will figure things out and direct their own lives" is something you need to question as whether or not it applies to your situation.  As much as it is what you want, you don't desire to be in this kind of parent-child relationship with him at this age, etc. 

:iagree:

 

We insisted he go to college. He went two semesters and while he got A's he hated it. So he asked us if he could quit. He's very rule oriented and believes we know what we're talking about so he listens to us. We told him he had to work and he got a job. So yes, we've been guiding him. However, he is now working and has been doing well. He was happy the first several months he said but he's tired of it now. He wants to do something else. I've already told him again it's school or a paid job. He cannot quit work to try to write a book. So yes, I'm still making some decisions for him. He needs to learn though. This is one time we do want him to make the decision, school or paid job. I was hoping he would choose school but he doesn't want to work a traditional job so he doesn't believe he needs formal education or training. This is our problem right now.

 

If he listens so very carefully to you and trusts you, could you potentially use that to teach him to cope with the feelings of boredom at work while he figures out what to do next (or what to do if he wants to do it PT and something else)? As long as he gets good recommendations from employers, would it be terrible if he works a series of jobs that he does well just for variety? I think I would use my influence in this situation to help him make the decision using some coping tools--he will likely need some day by day or week by week coaching through things he doesn't like no matter what he does. If he is like my son, it could be that he's been feeling stuck for a while, but he didn't necessarily realize it or know how to talk about it. When that happens with mine, then everything suddenly feels pressing even when it's not. If that is the case, the coping skills could involve needing to know how to predict that he'll be bored/stuck, etc. and then figuring out how to alleviate that. 

 

He does pay us some for room/board but also pays all his other expenses. He pays for food, entertainment, medical and clothing. In fact, I agreed to let him pay only half his medical but he said he could pay it all because it's not that much. He has a considerable amount saved up. At his current average spending, he has enough to last him a year easily without working. 

 

 

Does he contribute to a 401k/IRA or anything like that? If he's a good saver, he could potentially retire a bit early if he started investing well now. Just a thought that might motivate him to stick with things.

 

I would try really hard (and you probably already do) to praise his work ethic and his saving ability as ways he will be able to cope with uncertainty and boredom. Being financially sound gives him room to change jobs as long as he's not changing too often to turn off employers, for instance. Even if he doesn't opt for a change, maybe knowing that he's putting himself in a good situation to have choices would be enough of a release valve on his discontent that he'll manage his way through it. 

 

It sounds like he has a lot to offer an employer! It sounds like there are a lot of legitimate "No's" in your mind and his, and you just need some feasible "Yes" answers. I know how that feels myself, and it's frustrating. I hope you get them because it sounds like your son can be successful with the right fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do electricians generally need a driver's license? I mean, I'd imagine it depends on what kind of work they're doing - if they're working on new construction of a big building, then they could probably just take a bus there in the morning and then back in the evening... but if it's more repairs, they might have to go to multiple locations in one day, right?

 

My wife worked as a satellite TV dish installer - the company provided the only required training, which was I think a couple of weeks long? But it required the ability to drive. Likewise, truck driver is an option... that requires the ability to drive (it's not a forever option, what with self-driving cars in our future, but it could be something to do for a while, potentially at night). 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do electricians generally need a driver's license? I mean, I'd imagine it depends on what kind of work they're doing - if they're working on new construction of a big building, then they could probably just take a bus there in the morning and then back in the evening... but if it's more repairs, they might have to go to multiple locations in one day, right?

 

My wife worked as a satellite TV dish installer - the company provided the only required training, which was I think a couple of weeks long? But it required the ability to drive. Likewise, truck driver is an option... that requires the ability to drive (it's not a forever option, what with self-driving cars in our future, but it could be something to do for a while, potentially at night). 

 

I actually thought of that at dinner. I can't run him to and from work in that kind of job. DH wants me to talk to ds about the possibility of such a job but that he's absolutely got to learn to drive before he can get started. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is he passionate about? What is his current obsession in other words. Then point him in that direction. My aspie, now 17, got into writing fan fiction several years ago. He loves history and is into WWII and politics. So he wrote alternative historical fiction and fan fiction involving comic book, video game, history characters. Could he turn it into a job. Be involved in a think tank, possibly. Don't know. But because his passions lie that direction, we are going to encourage him to study political science. He was scared to death that as soon as he graduated, we were going to shove him out the door and he had to go away to college. Now that he knows he can go to community college nearby, it is less of a fear factor. We went on Naviance and did all the career and college awareness questionaires. You might want to do the same with your kiddo. If he lives and dreams video games like mine, the colleges now have bachelors degree in gaming design.

 

You said he wanted to be a writer but does he do any fiction writing now? Encourage him if so, but let him know the majority of writers have second jobs to support themselves.

 

The majurity level is going to take a awhile since our kids all mature at different rates. Have you considered online classes? Many college degrees can be earned online now. I know we try to get our kids out there to be social, but when you have an introvert who is happy at home, sometimes it isn't worth the stress of forcing them outside their box.

 

Enough rambling from me for the night. All the best.

Edited by Robin M
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if he wants to do computers -he does NOT need a college degree to make a decent living. with experience, he can make a very comfortable living.  I live in computer country (and have two, plus nieces/nephews in tech) - many nerds consider computers play.  more advanced play than gaming. for computers and engineering - aspies are almost a cliche around here.  I remember it being very notable, to me, the first time I met a boeing engineer who WASN'T an aspie.

 

there are even certs that can apply to facets of gaming. - do help him understand, comp graphics for gaming is extremely competitive.  1ds (serious gamer) was working towards a degree in that, and realized, he did not eat-breath-and-sleep the drawing like his classmates. so he dropped out.  he's now in engineering.

 

there are many certificate programs that he can do himself online, or through a cc.  some are sql, c+, ccna (ds let his lapse, but ten years ago he was making $15 an hour right out of high school), etc.  just doing entry cisco networking can make a good living. (you can look on the cisco site) going all the way through on cisco networking . . . can make a VERY good living.

 

look at many of the database admin/dev/comp etc. job postings to see what type of certs they want.  if he will apply himself - he can get a whole range of certs in three months, and get a job making enough to live on his own.  (around here, starting salary with just the certs would be at least $50K)

 

I have a nephew without a high school diploma - who got his ged, and got into computers and made enough to support himself from day one.  he learned a lot just from gaming - and went on to develope more skills since then.  

 

my dd has a BA in classics.  she got a bunch of comp. certs, gets to play in the guts of the computers (and fixes carp the devs get into) - and makes very good money.   she has worked with people in the past that don't have college degrees, and actually just hired one - because she knows what he's capable of doing.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...