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Hilltopmom

ASD Evals for young adults? Added a new issue

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So if you wanted to pursue a neuropsych? eval for soon to be 18 year old....

Where to start?

We have one person in our area who does neuropsych evals for kids. Tbh her evals are slightly better than a school district ed psych eval (I’ve read a few of them she did for kids I teach).

 

The next closest place is about 3 hours away but I guess I need to find a place that works with adults, not a place for little kids.

Right now, kiddo in question isn’t agreeing to pursue this yet anyways. But I know it takes a long time with wait lists here.

 

So thinking perhaps we should at least start the process.

(He did have a neuropsych done at our Uni around age 8. There were some concerns at the time but no diagnosis and it wasn’t a great eval)

 

How is the process different for adults?

Thoughts?

** added a new issue down in the thread

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Unless he has SLDs or brain damage, it doesn't have to be a neuropsych. I would find someone in your area with a dc of similar IQ and presentation as your ds and get a rec from them. It's more important that the psych specialize in autism (which neuropsychs don't, they're more jack of all trades) and that they be good at EXPLAINING things.

 

You could look for a psych on the Hoagies Gifted list. Don't go to a hospital. This is not actually a hard thing, if there are no SLDs involved. It's really more like who is the one to talk with your ds about what to DO with the information, kwim? The diagnosis itself means nothing. It's just a word. You want a word and to know? Read the DSM. You already know. So just getting the word from some bland, soulless neuropsych will do squat. He's almost an adult. Find someone in the community who is counseling adults with autism. That's what you're really wanting.

 

Why now, btw? Is it his question yet? Yours? You want services? And he has no clue of his differences? Or he has a clue but is hard to work with? What do you want to happen as a result of the evals?

Edited by PeterPan

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DS19 was evaluated by a clinical psychologist when he was 17. She had a special interest in ASD and did a very thorough evaluation.

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I’ve always suspected. He does not. But has always been very difficult.

He’s having some other issues now (depression, lots of agitation and irritability, & gaming addiction) and I can see how a diagnosis may help in a few ways down the road.

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I think finding an adolescent psychiatrist would be the way to go given the other issues mentioned. He might benefit from medication and you'd need a MD to prescribe that.

 

I would also try to get him seen prior to his 18th birthday because for "paper trail" purposes it can be very helpful to have that diagnosis made while he is still a child rather than as an adult.

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I have consulted a specialist in my area who works primarily with adults. We were discussing the value of diagnosis for college etc. The feedback I received regarded proving how much a family is doing to support the disability. She pointed out that when it is affecting everyday life then a diagnosis is important. Often families do not realize their level of support and do not document it. For example executive function , school work, laundry meals, self management and support etc. This strongly affects getting an accurate diagnosis and ability to get services &medical support for teen and adult individuals.

 

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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I tried to get my son in for an eval privous to his turning 18 but there was a 6 month wait list so depending on where you live and how many options you have there may not be a choice.

 

My son was more than willing to sign a release for me to talk with the psych and for him to release info to me. It really is up to your child though if they refuse. The psych said usually the parents are the main communicators for 18-19 year olds and he did his original phone consult with me alone. Basically once my son consented and signed the release the doc dealt with me much as he would have when my son was underage.

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Ok I didn’t realize a psychiatrist could do that.

He’s staying with one this month, so we’ll start there.

Thanks

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I have consulted a specialist in my area who works primarily with adults. We were discussing the value of diagnosis for college etc. The feedback I received regarded proving how much a family is doing to support the disability. She pointed out that when it is affecting everyday life then a diagnosis is important. Often families do not realize their level of support and do not document it. For example executive function , school work, laundry meals, self management and support etc. This strongly affects getting an accurate diagnosis and ability to get services &medical support for teen and adult individuals.

 

 

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

Ah, that makes sense. Yes, I do a ton of scaffolding, he’s always needed it.

Head in sand here though, I was hoping he’d have it together by now. Instead things are getting worse.

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Really though -- it's good to realize while he is still at home! That's me looking on the bright side, but I think it's true, too.

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Ok I didn’t realize a psychiatrist could do that.

He’s staying with one this month, so we’ll start there.

Thanks

 

DS sees a psychiatrist for anxiety. Although she told me in her opinion he was on the spectrum (which I'd known for years and years) she referred us to a clinical psychologist for a formal evaluation. IIRC she said she could make a medical diagnosis but for college accommodations he needed the psycho-educational evaluation that she couldn't do.

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We had an ed-psych evaluate our son. She came highly recommended for 2e kids from a local gifted enrichment program (and she's on Hoagies' as well). 

 

I think it's super helpful to find someone who likes working with ASD young people and comes highly recommended locally. I wouldn't worry as much about credentials as long as they have the credentials to diagnose AND to do/document whatever else you want (or can work with someone else to get you what else you need).

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DS sees a psychiatrist for anxiety. Although she told me in her opinion he was on the spectrum (which I'd known for years and years) she referred us to a clinical psychologist for a formal evaluation. IIRC she said she could make a medical diagnosis but for college accommodations he needed the psycho-educational evaluation that she couldn't do.

 

Certain places like SSI want a M.D. to diagnose rather than a PhD./PsyD. psychologist. If there is a wait to see a psychologist and an 18th birthday looming, I would try to get the psychiatrist to give the medical diagnosis now, even if he/she still recommends a full NP or psycho-educational evaluation later on. It is helpful for the "paper trail" to have that medical diagnosis occur prior to the 18th birthday.

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Just a heads up for future reference in case you ever need it--the Dept of Rehabilitative Services in your state may do adult testing for free and qualify him for state services.

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Oh man... ds doesn’t chat much but when he’s upset and reaches a breaking point he will.

He just burst into tears about his STEM team because he suggested sharing code with other teams and making it open source but his team doesn’t want to. They were teasing him about it some and he thinks they were mad and yelling at him the whole meeting.... sigh.

Then he started ranting about being better than the rest of them who aren’t working as hard on their project as he is and complaining about “those two autistic kids on the team who are useless†and how it’s my fault we don’t live somewhere with smarter kids and a better team.

What do I even do with that sort of distorted reasoning?!?

I really had no idea he was having these sorts of issues until recently. Other issues yes, but these big “seeing the world through a different lens than the rest of usâ€, no.

 

Is that an ASD thing?

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Yes, autism involves deficits of self-awareness that would cause him to bugged by the issues in others but not see them in himself.

 

Social skills are the #1 determiner of employability, not brain power, IQ, degrees, etc. You're definitely wise to be pursuing evals and services pronto.

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Oh man... ds doesn’t chat much but when he’s upset and reaches a breaking point he will.

He just burst into tears about his STEM team because he suggested sharing code with other teams and making it open source but his team doesn’t want to. They were teasing him about it some and he thinks they were mad and yelling at him the whole meeting.... sigh.

Then he started ranting about being better than the rest of them who aren’t working as hard on their project as he is and complaining about “those two autistic kids on the team who are useless†and how it’s my fault we don’t live somewhere with smarter kids and a better team.

What do I even do with that sort of distorted reasoning?!?

I really had no idea he was having these sorts of issues until recently. Other issues yes, but these big “seeing the world through a different lens than the rest of usâ€, no.

 

Is that an ASD thing?

When I read this post, it makes me hurt for you and for him. That behavior does not bode well for college and career progression without major hurdles.

 

I tend to be a downer in these threads, so completely ignore me if you want positivity, bc that is not our reality. Skip the rest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would seriously consider the long-term repercussions of taking on debt or sending him across the country or enrolling him a highly competitive college without understanding exactly what he is coping with and without knowing if he can function. Homeschooling, attending public schools, and even living at home while attending college are far removed from the executive functioning and interpersonal skills required for living on campus and navigating college independently. The behaviors described in this post suggest poor college outcomes if he just moves forward like a typical teen bc team projects/dorm and roommate living can be stressful even for kids without coping issues.

 

Removing all family support (the scaffolding that your have probably been unconsciously providing that has compensated for his behaviors) simultaneously with college freshman experiences, especially if he needs to maintain a high GPA for scholarships in order to attend, is a high stress environment.

 

How do you think he will adjust to having all supports removed and juggling all adulthood balls simultaneously (roommate, new friends, laundry, cafeteria combined with lots of group assignments, complete independence for mainitng schedules and due dates, etc)?

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Well.... not very well, tbh.

 

We’re definately not taking on loads of debt to send him away (well, I’m not taking on any. Waiting on fin aid packages but he will likely need the stafford loan to live on campus)

I’ve pretty much taken the private schools he was accepted st off the table because needing to keep up gpa for the merit aid is too risky.

He can attend our local state school for free if he lives at home. But he can’t stand living with our very loud and energetic preschoolers and really wants to move out of the house.

 

He insists he will be just fine, sigh.

Of course he also thinks nothing is wrong, he needs zero help, etc.

He’s also dealing with depression and a gaming addiction right now that he is refusing any treatment for.

So, we’ve got big issues here :(

 

My best guess right now is he’ll attend a small state school a few hours away and fail out, then have to come home and face these things then.

It sucks. He’s a bright kid, but that only gets you so far and doesn’t overcome these other things.

 

Not feeling super positive today.

 

Any good resources You recommend, 8?

What kinds of supports could even be available?

Thank you

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Hilltop, what are you wanting to make happen? My ds is only 9, but I can tell you I was at this awkward stage too where it was like how do you tell someone they're broken, why would I do that, would the word mean anything. That's probably not what you're thinking with an 18 yo. You've said things about him not getting it together. Maybe this is kind of normal in your family and everyone else kinda pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and got it to work by 18? But he's clearly not.

 

My ds does a similar thing, where he's totally annoyed by a behavior that HE does also. But because his self-awareness is very poor, he has no clue that he does the very thing that annoys him about other people. So he'll be with other spectrum kids in public settings (sports, church, whatever) and say they're so WEIRD. LOL I can laugh. But to me, that means it's time and that he's ready for that explanation. You might get the Kathy Hoopmann books. Like just go ahead and get all of them. She has one each on anxiety and ADHD and two on ASD/aspergers. Just go ahead and get them. As I'm reading them to my ds he's going oh I'm like that! He doesn't do that on every page, but he does it on enough pages that it's helpful. He's 9. He's not gonna click as fast as your ds 18. But yeah, Amazon prime and you could have those books in 2 days. I just ask him hey do you know anybody from your sports like that, anybody from your church like that... It's kind of fun.

 

Another data piece for you. Social Thinking is a major place to look when you're wanting resources, books, therapies, whatever. They have a referral list for people who have been trained by them to do their Social Communication Profiles Dynamic Assessment. If someone on that list *happens* to be near you, like within 3-5 hours, they would be an invaluable resource.

 

Michelle Garcia Winner, the person behind Social Thinking, spends a lot of time in her workshops talking about her experience, unfortunately, with these really bright bright kids like ours. She says parents think getting them through college will solve everything, and then they get to the end with degrees and are unemployable. And when she brings these young adults into her clinic, obviously she starts teaching them about Social Thinking, starts them going through materials, but they get really straightforward jobs. Like Target or Walmart. Like just a job. 

 

So I'm looking at what you're saying, and with my own dd a freshman this year at a university, using supports for her ADHD and having that tension of keeping her scholarship, I'm with you that it's concerning. My observation is that you're only a freshman once. Why screw that up when he needs a little more bake time? He's on the cusp of self-discovery and more self-awareness. He's about to get a diagnosis that could/should rock his world. He's going to need time to adjust, time to connect with resources. He could take a year, WORK A JOB, get services, THEN apply to college.

 

A lot of college is social. All of life involves social. There is no rush. He could apply to all these places, accept, and then defer for a year. He could take some time to get some services and be on-track to have a better experience.

 

If you want services, you could talk more about what he's struggling with. In our house we've used a variety of people. We have a behaviorist (BCBA) who comes in and gives us inhome analysis and help. We've used a licensed social worker/phd counselor who has significant experience with autism who does CBT and can address stress relief, emotional regulation, making choices. And we've used a phd psychologist who specializes in autism who leads a support group and is very in the loop. That person is really good at saying it straight and cutting to the chase on what's going on with the autism and how the person with autism thinks. 

 

Autism, at its core, involves deficits in self-awareness. So when you surround him with people that he's ready to receive who can talk straight with him about his deficits and help him understand himself better, he can grow in these areas. 

 

You're seeing him, so you know what he needs and what you could help him have access to. I guess the one thing I think *won't* probably work is self-reform. You sound really hopeless and discouraged right now, and I'm just saying self-reform, where you tell him to get his (whatever) together, probably isn't going to get him there. And if this pdoc is pussyfooting around the autism thing and really not an expert in it, move on. Has he been to an autism support group? Is there anything like that in your community?

 

Are you considering meds for the depression? I lost that in the thread. That could be on the table. If he's having aggression, treatment for that could be on the table. With my ds, we're using a very aggressive dosing of niacin to get him stable. 

 

The thing about being in despair is that you're just one step, the right step, from maybe starting to turn things around. What other resources do you have or who else could you bring in to make a team to get him some help?

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:grouphug:   I wish I had some good suggestions.  I don't but I wanted to send support and hope.

 

 

(On a side note, this thread is something I am puzzling through.  DH seems to have really poor self-awareness.  He gets so upset with others for the same behaviors he is exhibiting and does not recognize that fact at all.  And he is pretty rigid in his thinking.  Very black and white.  He has little tolerance for the idiosyncrasies of people in general.  He can be a joy to be around but he can also be really, really challenging to live with.  Or work with.  Or be raised by.)

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If you want my real opinion, I would not let a teenager with a gaming addiction, depression, and undiagnosed issues move onto a college campus. It is a recipe for disaster. A kid without good self-discipline, addictive behaviors, and depression could end up in a MUCH worse scenario than being angry about living with preschoolers.

 

Fwiw, when my ds went through med trials, it was AWFUL. I mean really, really bad. (Like curling up in corners or carving on himself.)

 

Fwiw, our ds has a very high IQ. College was where everything fell apart (and we were paying a small fortune for him to be in autistic support system on the college campus and he still lived at home.) He still cannot juggle all of the adulthood balls at 25. The shift to adulthood is huge. Executive function deficits, depression, anxiety, social issues......they are all hugely magnified in adulthood.

 

I would work on finding a compromise that keeps him close and preferably off campus. (Maybe a nearby apt where you can monitor his behaviors. Defer for a yr. Maybe live at home and plan to transfer when he has more things under control. (My ds never got things under control. He does not function like an adult. He is disabled by his issues. I never would have guessed it when he was younger.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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I have a cousin who is similar in some ways and he got much more depressed on campus. He does not follow a normal sleep schedule without structure and when his sleep schedule gets off he really goes downhill.

 

There’s a lot of stuff about protecting young adults from having a downhill spiral because —————— frankly you describe someone with poor self awareness.

 

But your plan requires his self-awareness to kick in and cause him to recognize what he doesn’t currently recognize. Well — if you find out with the counselor that his self-awareness is an area where he has a deficit ——————— then that kick in just may not really happen the way it would be expected to for someone with greater self awareness.

 

I think he needs to be kept stable as far as some structure and some daily schedule that he follows to keep his sleep regular. Or maybe it’s not exactly sleep so much — but structure is a huge huge issue and if you are seeing him flounder while still living at home but with a removal of your support commensurate with your starting work....... frankly the floundering could be expected to multiply exponentially with the removal of the structure of home and family that he DOES currently have. These are massive, huge supports when compared with not having them.

 

My cousin had some little issues in high school but my aunt and uncle had no idea whatsoever how much structure he relied on until he didn’t have it.

 

Also your son is in a risk category for alcohol and drug use. Just to let you know. My cousin has never had an issue this way but he is in a risk category. I think it’s something to consider, I will post a link.

 

Edit: I just mean that like — it’s not necessarily a worst-case scenario to have him come home in 6 months in the same mental place and with no new problems. He is at risk to have worse depression that is harder to come out of, and he’s also at risk of using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Edited by Lecka

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https://spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/autisms-hidden-habit/

 

This is also a recent article about transition issues. I think the Social Thinking website has a lot of good articles about transition issues. They tend to be on the downer side unfortunately.

 

https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=Preparing+for+the+Transition+to+Adulthood+Part+1+Article&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_Preparing_for_the_Transition_to_Adulthood_Part_1

 

That’s not what I was looking for but their website is kind of hard to find things on.

Edited by Lecka

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Thank you all. I’m very overwhelmed right now with just realizing all of this. I’m a special ed teacher, I should know better, but I work with little kids.

I hadn’t thought about deferring a year, that’s a good idea.

 

Currently, he’s refusing to go see the psychiatrist I lined up or start meds for depression, or go to counseling, so we’re at a bit of a stand off.... an eval is not going to happen without his cooperation :(

 

I will look at all those resources.

I do have the same grave concerns about college.

Not letting him go may be just as bad though without some buy in on his part. He’s not easy to live with for the adults or little ones here.

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Hilltopmom, I'm late joining this conversation, but have been meaning to jump in.

 

We have one dd diagnosed asd2. Her older sister recognized many traits of ASD in herself, and asked for an evaluation last year.

 

She ended up just getting an anxiety diagnosis rather than ASD, which I still think may be present, partly because one questionnaire which the psychologist used was aimed heavily at behavior during the preschool years. I believe it was the Social Communication Questionnaire. I did my best, but I'm sorry, I really don't remember all the details of whether she used contractions at age four, or whatever they were asking. I had to leave a lot blank. The psych said well, if there had been problems, we'd remember them. But I think the whole point with high-functioning kids is that people *don't* often notice early, because the obvious strengths outweigh the odd little red flags.

 

So I wanted to bring that possibility to your attention. You might want to ask about how heavily they weigh early development. The psych we used was locally highly recommended, but I think maybe not used to dealing with really high-functioning teens, even though people said she was.

 

And, of course, she may be right, and dd may be just past the end of the diagnosable spectrum.

 

Beyond that, I can relate to so much of your recent post. Dd was miserable in public high school, loathed group projects ("I know how to do this, but they won't listen to me!"), always thought teachers were "yelling" at the class. And again, maybe they were. But she always overestimates how upset others are. And she can't wait to get to college, away from her annoying sister. So I've been reading along and appreciating the responses you've gotten.

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Well, I’m the same age as my cousin so I can remember him as a young child and compare to my son who was diagnosed when he was 3.

 

It’s so different. My cousin has some things that fit together in retrospect, but at the time? It would have taken having something like — knowing a relative was diagnosed to ever think of it.

 

It’s really different. I don’t think it’s something obvious you missed. It is something that shows up a lot more as kids get older who don’t have it as obvious when they are younger.

 

And it is a really, really broad category. Really, really, really broad. It’s not something that is easy.

 

Also your son does have a lot going for him, and still has all his skills and talents. They aren’t gone and they aren’t submerged. He still has them. I think that’s really important to remember. The context changes but he still has strengths and skills.

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Like — literally at the age my son was diagnosed, everyone thought my cousin was very advanced because he was very verbal and had learned to count in French and some French words from watching Pink Panther. Or he recognized the French flag on Pink Panther — something like that.

 

It’s pretty different and I don’t think it’s something you could have been expected to know.

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Ds had an eval at 4 that I pushed for, but no diagnosis (back then I don’t remember really high functioning preschoolers getting diagnoses), then again at 8 or 9 no diagnosis. Other people just weren’t seeing the things, just me. And all of his outbursts, aggression, etc were only at home or in social settings (play dates)- never at school. Then we homeschooled and yeah I set everything up for his life to avoid outbursts, demands, etc.

a mistake in retrospect.

 

Because of all As in his jr year DE classes, I thought college was going to work out Ok. Then this semester things fell apart- he refused to ask for help or tell anyone he was having trouble in a class and got a D. He knew the professor and was embarrassed to ask for help and didn’t say anything to me either.

And the gaming became completely out of control.

Attempts to curtail that lead to aggression.

 

So well, yeah, perhaps no so college ready after all :(

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Ds had an eval at 4 that I pushed for, but no diagnosis (back then I don’t remember really high functioning preschoolers getting diagnoses), then again at 8 or 9 no diagnosis. Other people just weren’t seeing the things, just me. And all of his outbursts, aggression, etc were only at home or in social settings (play dates)- never at school. Then we homeschooled and yeah I set everything up for his life to avoid outbursts, demands, etc.

a mistake in retrospect.

 

Because of all As in his jr year DE classes, I thought college was going to work out Ok. Then this semester things fell apart- he refused to ask for help or tell anyone he was having trouble in a class and got a D. He knew the professor and was embarrassed to ask for help and didn’t say anything to me either.

And the gaming became completely out of control.

Attempts to curtail that lead to aggression.

 

So well, yeah, perhaps no so college ready after all :(

Fwiw, my ds had a 3.8 GPA when we pulled the plug on college. There is a lot more to adult functioning than even college attendance (which is also a scaffolded environment compared to employment and independent living.)

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I don’t think you can know right now if you were doing things really good because that is the level of support really needed for him.

 

Or if you could have been slowly reducing supports over the past few years.

 

It’s too soon to say even with looking at “what if we had known earlier.â€

 

For him to be as stable and functioning well as he has been for the past several years — that is a good thing.

 

I don’t mean it wouldn’t have made a difference. It would have been nice to be acting on it sooner.

 

But as far as — have you really bombed things? Would you be having a miraculously magically outcome right now?

 

Probably not. Probably you would still have difficult times and feel good about times he was very stable and functioning well.

 

And he still has all the good things about him, too.

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1942197241/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1515347316&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=brenda+smith+myles&dpPl=1&dpID=51Ki7GM2yfL&ref=plSrch

 

I saw this woman at an autism conference I went to a couple of years ago. I thought she was excellence. She specializes in teens and it sounds like stuff for your son.

 

I’m sorry to hear you mention aggression, that is really hard.

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There's a high comorbidity of bipolar and aspergers, like crazy high if you google for stats. And the catch with that bipolar-ish is there's a strong connection with that and methylation issues. With my ds and his aggression, we've gone to a really aggressive niacin regimen to work on the over-methylation. It's taming down the aggress. That is making him easier to work with, more able to receive the rest of the instruction.

 

ODD, ADHD, Bipolar and Real Hope Thanks to Niacin! | WeHaveKids  Here's a really gritty, not happy kind of blog post that is, honestly, about where we're at. And that's the kind of results we're getting with upping the niacin. 

 

Thing is, some of the anti-depressants are going to raise methyl levels. I'm not trying to get in the weeds here, just saying. So if you put him on something that raises methyl levels and he gets worse, well then you've got a mess.

 

It had to hit the fan at some point. Better now than on a job where he gets fired. That's no consolation. 

 

People spend years trying to understand themselves. It's not going to be simple. Just try SOMETHING. Those books by Hoopmann aren't very expensive. Or get something else on spectrum. Nuts, just go through the stupid DSM 5 criteria with him. Like just get it out in the open. 

 

Do you have an autism support group in your area? You need to get connected with resources. Maybe you can find more resources you haven't thought of. I sent my dd (not ASD, straight ADHD) away early so she could be away from the stress of ds. Maybe you need some things you can put on the table. Just thinking getting connected in the community might open some doors you didn't know were there. I think if he can go to some college, any college, that you think will be within reach, that might be wise. Not going into crazy debt, but just to get him out of your house. But I would definitely make sure he knows he's on the spectrum and get him choices so he can actually make choices.

 

I just saw a book mentioned on another group, something called Make the A. The idea is showing things as choices. Probably doesn't apply at all. But maybe start bringing him things. Since he's so super smart, maybe he can sort some of it out. 

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Ds had an eval at 4 that I pushed for, but no diagnosis (back then I don’t remember really high functioning preschoolers getting diagnoses), then again at 8 or 9 no diagnosis. Other people just weren’t seeing the things, just me. And all of his outbursts, aggression, etc were only at home or in social settings (play dates)- never at school. Then we homeschooled and yeah I set everything up for his life to avoid outbursts, demands, etc.

a mistake in retrospect.

 

Because of all As in his jr year DE classes, I thought college was going to work out Ok. Then this semester things fell apart- he refused to ask for help or tell anyone he was having trouble in a class and got a D. He knew the professor and was embarrassed to ask for help and didn’t say anything to me either.

And the gaming became completely out of control.

Attempts to curtail that lead to aggression.

 

So well, yeah, perhaps no so college ready after all :(

 

In the absence of a diagnosis and supports, this is just what happens. You have to work with the information you have, and you have to get life done. Don't be too hard on yourself.

 

On the asking for help, even if he wasn't embarrassed because he knew the prof, he probably wouldn't have asked. It's entirely possible that he doesn't know how to ask. My 2e kiddo who has ASD has major trouble with this. I can't remember if it goes through adults, but the TOPS-2 test (a language test) deals with the skills needed in order to ask questions. I don't think it tests being able to ask for help effectively directly, but it tests for problem-solving skills that people need in order to be able to get effective help at times. I think that the effective part is that a lot of kids with ASD who are functioning without things being obvious often have different needs than we think they should--it becomes a guessing game or a "I've given you all the help I know to give you" sort of thing. It's HARD. 

 

I don’t think you can know right now if you were doing things really good because that is the level of support really needed for him.

 

Or if you could have been slowly reducing supports over the past few years.

 

It’s too soon to say even with looking at “what if we had known earlier.â€

 

For him to be as stable and functioning well as he has been for the past several years — that is a good thing.

 

I don’t mean it wouldn’t have made a difference. It would have been nice to be acting on it sooner.

 

But as far as — have you really bombed things? Would you be having a miraculously magically outcome right now?

 

Probably not. Probably you would still have difficult times and feel good about times he was very stable and functioning well.

 

And he still has all the good things about him, too.

 

Very, very true. 

 

:grouphug:

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I work with college students who live in dorms and my sense is that the available supports do vary quite a lot from school to school, as do the kinds of social environments in on-campus living. I used to work in a particular dorm community that was a ridiculously good place for kids with atypical social presentations and saw a lot of them do really well there both academically and in terms of friendships and so on, so it's not always a bleak picture. But no matter how awesome the college, willingness to engage with the community or the campus resources himself is absolutely key. I have never seen a parent have a lot of success in scaffolding this or getting students to do anything they don't want to do once the student is on campus, unfortunately. I would have huge hesitancy about putting any parental resources whatsoever toward college for a child I thought likely to crash and burn... especially with a gaming addiction in the picture. 

 

EDIT: I would be hesitant not because of $ but because failing out itself isn't the worst outcome. There is also debt to consider, and the exacerbation or development of anxiety/depression in a high-stress environment...

Edited by Sarah J.

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... I used to work in a particular dorm community that was a ridiculously good place for kids with atypical social presentations and saw a lot of them do really well there both academically and in terms of friendships and so on...

 

What in particular made it work so well? I'm all ears!

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Well it was probably the most nerdy-culture dorm on a campus with strong nerdy-culture (but not STEM-exclusive) tendencies, and also just really really accepting of differences. We never knew anyone's diagnosis but I'm sure there were quite a few students with and many without. There was a strong culture of student-led events and programming (rather than RA or staff-led... those happened too, but student-led was huge). We had one student I'll always remember who had a moderate speech difficulty including a stutter, and who I suspect may have had ASD also, and he was an active participatory member of the community and liked and respected (and admired for his brilliance, he was brilliant at math and music). There was space for students who wanted to do video games to play TOGETHER rather than isolated, but also spaces for other social stuff, cooking together, etc. I would say a small dorm where many students choose to live there for at least 2-3 years is ideal. But really it was kind of magic and I don't know another place like it. Sadly small dorms lack economies of scale, so the university shut it down.

Edited by Sarah J.

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That sounds nice.

Ironically that is the vibe we got frommds’s first choice. Small tech school, small freshman dorms set up as pods, lots of young men who seemed an awful lot like ds from walking around talking to students. Student clubs were game (think DND) and tech focused. Ds loved it and couldn’t wait to live there and make “friends like himâ€.

Not sure about supports there.

I think he’ll engage with other students but not with supports like counseling.

Sigh.

 

I’m liking the idea of deferring a year to try to get a handle on the depression and gaming before he goes, but I don’t think he’s going to buy into that plan at all. He can’t wait you get out of here :(. And like many before him... he has no idea how good he’s got it at home.

Edited by Hilltopmom

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A program like this is probably the only way I would send a teen with a gaming addiction and executive function deficits away to school. The mandatory study sessions and mentoring would force accountability. https://www.wku.edu/kellyautismprogram/collegeandcircleofsupport.php

 

Your normal college experience has zero accountability. A teen with a gaming addiction and no oversight could spend 15 weeks doing nothing but playing games. Kids with depression may seek out alcohol to cope with the depression. Since alcohol is a depressant, they will likely cycle lower.

 

If it were me, I would test him to see how much he really wants to attend college. I would tell him to hand over his remote and gaming console now to demonstrate his commitment to college and tell him they also can't go with him to college. This semester would be his opportunity to demonstrate maturity and self discipline. I would be blunt and say how he behaves this semester determines the outcome of any parental support for college in the fall. If he acts like a 2 yr old, he gets treated like a 2 yr old.

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You've got 9 months between now and fall when he'd go. Maybe really milk it, like get him in for evals, hook him up with someone who will do Social Thinking with him or some other kind of self-awareness counseling. Get him some books. You could accomplish a lot or at least enough. If he's got a really good placement like that, it could be part of the learning process.

 

If he hooks up with a good Social Thinking person while he's at home, he can see them when he comes back on breaks. If he's got 8 months of work under his belt, then college will be a chance to apply. Then on breaks he can come back and talk about how it's going and touch base. He wouldn't have time for it while he's there anyway.

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There are some middle of the road options too. I'm not saying 8Fill's program is not good, just that there are other levels of accountability at *some* schools. For instance, where dd goes the kids who present their disability paperwork are assigned to an advisor for mandatory weekly meetings. That person knows the system and all the classes and helps them problem solve and stay on track. It's a christian university, which is probably what gives them the ability to *require* it. 

 

There are also Executive Function coaches, certified educational therapists (it's a thing, you can search for them and find them), etc. So you could start him using a person like that now so he gets used to it and then make continuing it a condition of his enrollment. Where dd is there aren't certified educational therapists, that I could find, so I was really pleased that the univ had the service on campus. Sometimes it's one of those where the more you ask, the more you get.

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Is it possible that he's using gaming as an escape at  home but that in school, surrounded by other students, he'll pull it together and do what's needed?

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You've got 9 months between now and fall when he'd go. Maybe really milk it, like get him in for evals, hook him up with someone who will do Social Thinking with him or some other kind of self-awareness counseling. Get him some books. You could accomplish a lot or at least enough. If he's got a really good placement like that, it could be part of the learning process.

 

If he hooks up with a good Social Thinking person while he's at home, he can see them when he comes back on breaks. If he's got 8 months of work under his belt, then college will be a chance to apply. Then on breaks he can come back and talk about how it's going and touch base. He wouldn't have time for it while he's there anyway.

There are some middle of the road options too. I'm not saying 8Fill's program is not good, just that there are other levels of accountability at *some* schools. For instance, where dd goes the kids who present their disability paperwork are assigned to an advisor for mandatory weekly meetings. That person knows the system and all the classes and helps them problem solve and stay on track. It's a christian university, which is probably what gives them the ability to *require* it.

 

There are also Executive Function coaches, certified educational therapists (it's a thing, you can search for them and find them), etc. So you could start him using a person like that now so he gets used to it and then make continuing it a condition of his enrollment. Where dd is there aren't certified educational therapists, that I could find, so I was really pleased that the univ had the service on campus. Sometimes it's one of those where the more you ask, the more you get.

 

By no means do I think my way is the only option, but equally, I know that 8 months without already being established as a patient and already engaged in therapy or med trials is an unrealistic amt of time for actually accomplishing much of anything. The waiting period alone for testing/therapy can eat up most of that time. He needs a diagnosis to qualify for accommodations. He needs therapy to recognize that deficits are real. He needs to develop appropriate independent coping skills. All that with a hard deadline of immediate independence of moving away to college.

 

A teen without a buy-in is not going to be working toward positive change. The motivation has to be internal, not external.

 

Also, a gaming addiction can be a huge problem. If it is a real addiction, then it cannot be easily dismissed. I know several young men who flunked out of college due to gaming addictions.

 

Is it possible that he's using gaming as an escape at home but that in school, surrounded by other students, he'll pull it together and do what's needed?

That is not what my kids witness even amg kids without issues. By far, most students struggle with balancing social life and school. Making social life subservient to academics is far from a given. My neurotypical kids deliberately seek out academically minded peers bc most students like to party. Kids with low self-esteem, addictive behaviors, poor executive function, or depression are far more likely to struggle with the choices unless they are firmly grounded in what they believe and are goal-focused. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard about kids who really struggle academically bc of the poor social choices they make (far more the cause of poor grades/flunking than poor academic preparation before college.)

 

Fwiw, our Aspie is horrible at correctly reading social cues and thinks people are befriending him when they are really mocking him. I can easily see him having been the target of being invited to parties, of him going bc he desperately wanted to fit in, and of being taken advantage of for the joke of the party--made drunk and humiliated. He would have hit rock bottom if he had gone off to college. He could easily have even been one of those statistics of suicide or died from alcohol poisoning.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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I’m still listening. Thank you everyone for your perspectives. I have a lot of figure out and investigate. I didn’t expect us to be in this position this fall, at all.

I’m Working a ton of hours this week, but will probably be back with more questions.

Again, thank you.

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By no means do I think my way is the only option, but equally, I know that 8 months without already being established as a patient and already engaged in therapy or med trials is an unrealistic amt of time for actually accomplishing much of anything. The waiting period alone for testing/therapy can eat up most of that time. He needs a diagnosis to qualify for accommodations. He needs therapy to recognize that deficits are real. He needs to develop appropriate independent coping skills. All that with a hard deadline of immediate independence of moving away to college.

 

A teen without a buy-in is not going to be working toward positive change. The motivation has to be internal, not external.

 

Also, a gaming addiction can be a huge problem. If it is a real addiction, then it cannot be easily dismissed. I know several young men who flunked out of college due to gaming addictions.

 

That is not what my kids witness even amg kids without issues. By far, most students struggle with balancing social life and school. Making social life subservient to academics is far from a given. My neurotypical kids deliberately seek out academically minded peers bc most students like to party. Kids with low self-esteem, addictive behaviors, poor executive function, or depression are far more likely to struggle with the choices unless they are firmly grounded in what they believe and are goal-focused. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard about kids who really struggle academically bc of the poor social choices they make (far more the cause of poor grades/flunking than poor academic preparation before college.)

 

 

 

I can't agree with this enough.

 

 

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