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Noreen Claire

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(Please be kind - this is stressful enough.)

 

BACKGROUND: DS21 works at the local supermarket. It was hard work to get him to land a job (in HS). He is an introvert and non-neurotypical, which comes off as a touch goofy/odd to people who don't really know him. He likes his job (though he could do without all the people).  He had previously been getting close to full-time hours, but was 'promoted' to another position which put him at the bottom of the department and screwed up his hours. He now works 35+ hours at the beginning of the month and 15-20hrs towards the end of the month. Also, his schedule is seemingly random.  He has stated a preference for staying at this job for the rest of his life, and we would be totally okay with this plan IF he was getting full-time hours so that he could afford to move out on his own/with roommates/whatever. (People with this company do actually work there forever - I know a few. It's a great company to work for.) 

 

The plan has been that he would be working towards moving out the spring/summer that he was 22 (when he would have graduated from college, had he gone). That would be next June. He has agreed to this. He understands that he needs to go be an adult, responsible for himself. He just isn't doing as much as he needs to in order to make this happen. He has done a lot (get his license, buy a car, etc), but he just doesn't seem to understand that he NEEDS MORE MONEY. He says that he knows this, but he doesn't do anything about it.

 

THE SITUATION: My mother works at a *very large* company that is hiring. They are offering full-time, regular schedule, full benefits, vacation, starting salary is more than he makes now, regular raises, yada yada yada. Essentially, he would double his yearly income immediately. There are hundreds of people applying to this company all the time. He had an interview there maybe 18 months ago, though he didn't get the job that time. My mother managed to get DS another interview, tomorrow, and she's been told that if he shows up he's pretty much assured to be hired.

 

He doesn't want to go. He doesn't want to interview and he doesn't want to change jobs. *sigh*

 

I understand his feelings about change (he gets that from me) and his aversion to interviews (he also gets that from me). The more we talk to him about this, the angrier he has been getting. I'm trying *gently* to point out all the good things that this could do for him. However, he's an adult and, ultimately, it's his decision. I don't know what else to do. 

 

For what it is worth, I'm pretty sure if I say, "Get your ass in the car, you are going. Period." that he would go. He just would be so pissed that he wouldn't be hired. So... gah. Any words of wisdom for me and/or him?

 

 

 

Of course, if he doesn't go I will be back asking for help dealing with my mother... *double sigh*

 

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Sounds like he actually needs the reality of moving out on his own to understand he needs to make more money. Then maybe he would have enough of a motivator to get through the uncomfortable part of change. You could let him make his own choices about this but let him know you are sticking to your June deadline for him moving out. If you don't plan to stick to your deadline he will probably just continue to do what is comfortable and working for him and not make any changes.

 

If you are unable to actually make him move out (and I am a total softie here who would probably let my kids stay with me forever) then you could at least renegotiate in June for him to pay you rent so he can start getting an idea of what that will be like. You could always save that money he gives you and give it back to him for deposits/emergency money when he is ready to move out.

 

Not sure what kind of special needs you are dealing with here so I know that may alter the timeline for maturity and moving out, etc.. I don't think forcing him to change jobs will likely pan out well for everyone involved.

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If you are unable to actually make him move out (and I am a total softie here who would probably let my kids stay with me forever) then you could at least renegotiate in June for him to pay you rent so he can start getting an idea of what that will be like. You could always save that money he gives you and give it back to him for deposits/emergency money when he is ready to move out.

 

Not sure what kind of special needs you are dealing with here so I know that may alter the timeline for maturity and moving out, etc.. I don't think forcing him to change jobs will likely pan out well for everyone involved.

He's paying a small bit of rent now ($200/mo) plus all of his expenses (phone, car, car insurance, copays, etc).

 

I actually think that he'll enjoy the new job. He would get to work with his hands, he would have to interact with far fewer people, etc. But, I can't and won't force him.

 

His executive functioning ability is improving. I think he will be okay on his on/with roommates with some up-front scaffolding and occasional check-ins. He just needs the money...

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As far as your mother goes maybe you can tell her it sounds like an awesome plan and you hope she will talk to your DS about it herself, lol...

She has, but he's completely stopped responding to her messages/calls. The more we talk about it, the morning annoyed he gets. I would leave it alone for a while, but it's *tomorrow*!

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You said non-neurotypical. My Aspie would need a lot of lead time on this. I would sit down with him and compare the two jobs - financially, hours and job expectations. I would hope that he could see the benefit of the new position. I would address the realities of anxiety regarding interviewing and starting a new job stressing how he did ok landing the first job. But to expect him to get on board by tomorrow might be unrealistic.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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You said non-neurotypical. My Aspie would need a lot of lead time on this. I would sit down with him and compare the two jobs - financially, hours and job expectations. I would hope that he could see the benefit of the new position. I would address the realities of anxiety regarding interviewing and starting a new job stressing how he did ok landing the first job. But to expect him to get on board by tomorrow might be unrealistic.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This is a very good point. I've been taking about it with him since Monday, but I think a longer lead time would have been better.

 

That said, if he doesn't go, this door is closed. He won't be getting another interview.

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If you really think he'd be so upset as to blow the interview (I'm not trying to say that he'd do it on purpose, just taking as read what you said about the level of anxiety if you make him...I think that's your answer. Not ready is not ready, even if it's a great opportunity. I'm sorry.

 

The supermarket job being a good company and a good environment, just not high enough pay...is there a way to make it work, since he's happy and succeeding there. For instance, does he qualify for disability? Could he do anything to supplement his income? Does he belong to any class or therapy or other setting where he can learn to grow in some areas?

 

I agree with CaliforniaDreaming that you could maybe help him toward independence by amending your moving plan to letting him know that he may stay as long as he is working and follows house rules, and that you'll be charging rent and groceries (an amount that he can afford on his paycheck) beginning in June, instead. He can still grow up and pay his own way, if he's able to work, even if he's not able to get a high enough paying job to be totally self sufficient.

 

FWIW, I got a not-neurotypical kid to move out (when he could afford it) by telling him the date when I would start charging rent. He felt more motivated to live on his own terms if he had to pay his own way, which is what we wanted, and got over his anxiety about looking for a roommate. But he did want to move out and could manage financially, he just needed incentive. If your son doesn't want to move out, that may be one reason he doesn't want a better paying job. Maybe he is really not ready.

 

Have you considered a halfway house on your own property, if you need him to grow up and move on but he can't or won't, yet? My best working plan before ds moved out was an RV parked here. We nearly bought one! I found many available on Craigslist or eBay, used in good condition, that would be a fraction of apartment rent. This would have worked in our location but not in many locations...maybe you could think of something similar to suit your scenario. A finished garage or basement apartment, or tiny house.

 

Have you thoroughly researched efficiency apartments and section 8 apartments, as another path to explore? Could he rent s mobile home on what he makes? The poor people live somewhere. Again, I am in the Midwest where housing is cheap, so maybe this doesn't apply, either.

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If you really think he'd be so upset as to blow the interview (I'm not trying to say that he'd do it on purpose, just taking as read what you said about the level of anxiety if you make him...I think that's your answer. Not ready is not ready, even if it's a great opportunity. I'm sorry.

 

The supermarket job being a good company and a good environment, just not high enough pay...is there a way to make it work, since he's happy and succeeding there. For instance, does he qualify for disability? Could he do anything to supplement his income? Does he belong to any class or therapy or other setting where he can learn to grow in some areas?

 

I agree with CaliforniaDreaming that you could maybe help him toward independence by amending your moving plan to letting him know that he may stay as long as he is working and follows house rules, and that you'll be charging rent and groceries (an amount that he can afford on his paycheck) beginning in June, instead. He can still grow up and pay his own way, if he's able to work, even if he's not able to get a high enough paying job to be totally self sufficient.

 

FWIW, I got a not-neurotypical kid to move out (when he could afford it) by telling him the date when I would start charging rent. He felt more motivated to live on his own terms if he had to pay his own way, which is what we wanted, and got over his anxiety about looking for a roommate. But he did want to move out and could manage financially, he just needed incentive. If your son doesn't want to move out, that may be one reason he doesn't want a better paying job. Maybe he is really not ready.

 

Have you considered a halfway house on your own property, if you need him to grow up and move on but he can't or won't, yet? My best working plan before ds moved out was an RV parked here. We nearly bought one! I found many available on Craigslist or eBay, used in good condition, that would be a fraction of apartment rent. This would have worked in our location but not in many locations...maybe you could think of something similar to suit your scenario. A finished garage or basement apartment, or tiny house.

 

Have you thoroughly researched efficiency apartments and section 8 apartments, as another path to explore? Could he rent s mobile home on what he makes? The poor people live somewhere. Again, I am in the Midwest where housing is cheap, so maybe this doesn't apply, either.

He doesn't qualify for disability. He's already paying some rent, and banking a portion of what is leftover. I haven't considered section 8; we may discuss this at a future point. I wish there was a way for him to live here-but-not-here, but we don't have room for an RV or have an in-law apt. He talks about rooming with his two friends but that just isn't going to happen for a myriad of reasons. I wish he had friends that would make this possible.

 

My DH, his step-father, insists that he move out as agreed. (DH moved out at 18 and never went back. I was kicked out at 20 for being pregnant with DS21. Everyone in our immediate families, with the exception of my brother, had moved out by 22.) He isn't trying to get rid of him, he just wants him to go be a full-fledged adult!

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Can you ask him to go the interview but tell him that it is not a commitment.  Tell him he can decide after the interview if he wants it.  Maybe the whole idea of everything is too big and you need to break it down into chunks.  

 

Most grocery stores will also hire people back. If he tries the new job and changes his mind.  That is something to keep in mind that may comfort his fears of change.

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It sounds like he is not ready to be independent. I have a son with ASD. The hardest thing for me to learn (and relearn, over and over and over), is that he is not working on a typical developmental schedule. Arbitrary deadlines don't work with him. Moving out because it's the age at which he would have graduated college is fairly arbitrary. With my son, I don't expect him to be able to manage independent living just because he reaches a certain age. It's the maturity/developmental level, that counts. Your son simply may not be emotionally ready for independence and so he has no motivation to be financially independent. 

 

It also sounds as if your DH doesn't understand that your ds is not typical and what that means on a practical level. Moving out does't make someone a full fledged adult. It can be a recipe for disaster if the person isn't ready for it, financially and otherwise. I strongly encourage your dh to educate himself about the level of disability your son has and that he learn to relate to him as he is, not as he wants him to be. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TechWife
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Can you ask him to go the interview but tell him that it is not a commitment.  Tell him he can decide after the interview if he wants it.  Maybe the whole idea of everything is too big and you need to break it down into chunks.  

 

Most grocery stores will also hire people back. If he tries the new job and changes his mind.  That is something to keep in mind that may comfort his fears of change.

 

This is a really good approach. 

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He doesn't qualify for disability. He's already paying some rent, and banking a portion of what is leftover. I haven't considered section 8; we may discuss this at a future point. I wish there was a way for him to live here-but-not-here, but we don't have room for an RV or have an in-law apt. He talks about rooming with his two friends but that just isn't going to happen for a myriad of reasons. I wish he had friends that would make this possible.

 

My DH, his step-father, insists that he move out as agreed. (DH moved out at 18 and never went back. I was kicked out at 20 for being pregnant with DS21. Everyone in our immediate families, with the exception of my brother, had moved out by 22.) He isn't trying to get rid of him, he just wants him to go be a full-fledged adult!

 

22 would be young for someone with on the spectrum to be ready to live on their own.

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22 would be young for someone with on the spectrum to be ready to live on their own.

 

He's not on the spectrum.

 

He has some diagnosed learning disabilities, executive function issues, and a seizure disorder. 

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He's not on the spectrum.

 

He has some diagnosed learning disabilities, executive function issues, and a seizure disorder. 

 

The executive function issues are a huge issue in readiness to live independently. I can see this being something your son is not ready for at all. I expect my ds to need assistance with executive function skills for years to come. 

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Math. Show him the math. The numbers laid out in black and white.

 

IF you make X you can have and do Y.

 

IF you make A you can have and do B.

 

Let him decide whether he wants X or A.

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Well, after work last night, DH somehow managed to talk DS into taking the interview. He stressed repeatedly that he didn't have to take the JOB, but going through the interview would give him options to choose from.

 

The interview is this afternoon. Please keep him in your prayers.

 

Thanks, everyone!

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And if he blows the interview, or simply isn't hired - sounds like he has a toehold in a good company and if he stays there how long until he can ask for better hours, or a more hour-stable position?  He would not be at the bottom of the new department forever, right?  And perhaps age 22 is a bit too optimistic for him moving out...unless he gets a room in a place with other single people.  But then he'd need to be comfortable around strangers in daily life...hard on an introvert. 

Edited by JFSinIL
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He's not on the spectrum.

 

He has some diagnosed learning disabilities, executive function issues, and a seizure disorder. 

 

The same would apply to someone with executive function issues.

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