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DawnM

College and living away from home

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THIS IS MY SON WITH ASPERGER'S, NOT MY SON WITH ADD.  

My son (ASD) has far exceeded our expectations.  He graduated from high school and has had 2 solid years of college so far.  But he has hit a wall this quarter and may not be doing well at all.  He is depressed, has gone to one counseling session and not gone back (please don't suggest I just explain it to him better, that doesn't work for him.)   He has gotten sick this quarter, which didn't help, and will be losing  his scholarship due to this quarter's grades.

We are fine with the loss of scholarship.  We know it has been really hard for him and he can get it back if he gets his GPA back up (and we have a plan for that to happen) but he has to actually FINISH.

He wants to come home this Friday (Spring Break) and not go back until Fall.  It IS the end of the quarter, so he would just miss Spring quarter and summer.   However, I worry this will set him on a quitting streak and he wont' go back.

He is in an apartment with friends, and they are all respectful.  He has his own room, and we have offered to have him go to only 2/3 time next quarter to take some of the pressure off.

Please tell me he wont' be the death of me and he will be ok.   He is depressed and I can't help him.  He has refused medication, refused counseling, and I can't seem to get him to change his mind, although we may have some "if you don't do X, we can't send you back in good faith" discussions, but what we would LIKE to happen is for him to go to 2/3 time,  and spend some of that extra time going to see an on-campus counselor each week.

Just a vent to moms who may understand.

Adding info:  Oh my word.  He is home.  He got the flu during mid-terms and kept saying "I got sick and it screwed up this entire quarter."    Just as a background, he can be a huge "man cold" type and I didn't think a whole lot of it other than "he just can't get past this mentally."   Well, I am now worried he has been sick for over 5 weeks and may have pneumonia.  He has a horrible cough and says his chest and ribs hurt when he coughs or takes a deep breath.  I made an appt for tomorrow for the doctor, but I think I may take him to UC today (Sun).  I should have gone with my instinct 5 weeks ago and driven down there and taken him to the UC.  He kept saying he didn't think it would help and not to come.

Update:  No pneumonia.  Pleurisy.  Hoping he can knock this out this week.

Edited by DawnM
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I'm very sorry.  We are dealing with similar issues and it hurts my heart.

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1 minute ago, Kassia said:

I'm very sorry.  We are dealing with similar issues and it hurts my heart.

 

Mine too.  I spent last night in tears and praying for him.  I feel very helpless.  I WISH there were a school locally that would have what he needed academically and he could live at home but there isn't one.

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Very, very gently......it may come down to you having to redefine what is OK. Whether or not he finishes school, does that define who he is? Whether or not he has a successful career, does that define who he is?

I went through a (completely internal/silent) period of grieving for what I perceived as what my ds lost, but ultimately I realized that I was quantifiying him by my perception of what I wanted for him, not what he was realistically capable of achieving independently.  I am thankful that I have never verbally expressed what I grieved bc now he constantly seeks assurance that who is he and what he is achieving is ok.

He suffers his own sense of loss bc he sees both older and now younger siblings achieving goals that he has not been able to achieve. His younger brother is getting married in May and is i grad school. His younger sisters have both achieved career/UG goals that he let slip by when he dropped out of school. (He dropped out bc we refused to pay for him to continue bc he didn't want to take the required courses for the degree, only the classes he wanted to take.) He has gone back to school this yr (he is 27), but while like before he is maintaining very high grades (he currently has a 4.0) while still working full-time, both he and we are cognizant that whether he will be able to handle the job at the end of the degree is questionable.

We make very sure to not tie his job, his personal life, etc to who he is, our perception of his success in his daily life, but to celebrate each small victory he makes in whatever daily challenges he faces bc he needs affirmation that he is valued for who he is.  He suffers for his adulthood not being what he ever imagined when he was younger.  

No amt of parental or school or career support can accommodate him to accomplish what he just cannot do (and for him it is managing all of the balls of adulthood or multitasking responsibilities with any stress or pressure behind those job requirements.....he just cannot keep it together to manage them all simultaneously.)

All that said.....your ds may go back and thrive and move on without difficulty. Or, he may not. The point being is that either outcome is OK. He is who he is and that is all that really matters.

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Dawn, I get it and I'm sorry. I hope things work out for the rest of the spring. Like Kassia, we have our own versions of this, though my girls are a bit younger.

8FillTheHeart, thank you. I needed to read that. 

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

but he has to actually FINISH.

I think what 8 is saying is this is the part to be flexible on. Is it actually that important, or does he have paths forward that are without this? 

I haven't gotten to where you are quite yet, but I've sat in on sessions where they tell the data. 80% of kids on the spectrum live at home, and IQ does NOT decide whether that happens or not. The majority (also 80%? I forget) are also under-employed. 

So just as one human being to another, I would decide whether you're ok with him returning home. Are you? Or do you want him somewhere else? And what are the terms/conditions of that?  I just know my ds is challenging enough that there's going to come a point where I want some space. I wouldn't allow something to happen that you're not ok CONTINUING to happen.

If you're not cool with him coming home long-term (which has to be recognized as an actual possibility), then you have to figure out a placement/path/guidance for him that is workable. I would try to have a path forward that involves working and making it inescapable. So he lives somewhere but he has to work to help pay the rent because you only cover 1/2, whatever.

Can he be set up with a job that involves his perseverative interest? Or on the flip side, can he work a low stress job that leaves him free mental time to do things he enjoys or take courses online? 

If he likes his current living conditions and has a contract, can he stay there and simply take a job? Two jobs?

Edited by PeterPan

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

have him go to only 2/3 time next quarter

What would 2/3 time be? Just wondering.

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10 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

What would 2/3 time be? Just wondering.

Not Dawn, but I am guessing part-time hrs (around 9 hrs vs 12-15 as full-time.)

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Very, very gently......it may come down to you having to redefine what is OK. Whether or not he finishes school, does that define who he is? Whether or not he has a successful career, does that define who he is?

I went through a (completely internal/silent) period of grieving for what I perceived as what my ds lost, but ultimately I realized that I was quantifiying him by my perception of what I wanted for him, not what he was realistically capable of achieving independently.  I am thankful that I have never verbally expressed what I grieved bc now he constantly seeks assurance that who is he and what he is achieving is ok.

He suffers his own sense of loss bc he sees both older and now younger siblings achieving goals that he has not been able to achieve. His younger brother is getting married in May and is i grad school. His younger sisters have both achieved career/UG goals that he let slip by when he dropped out of school. (He dropped out bc we refused to pay for him to continue bc he didn't want to take the required courses for the degree, only the classes he wanted to take.) He has gone back to school this yr (he is 27), but while like before he is maintaining very high grades (he currently has a 4.0) while still working full-time, both he and we are cognizant that whether he will be able to handle the job at the end of the degree is questionable.

We make very sure to not tie his job, his personal life, etc to who he is, our perception of his success in his daily life, but to celebrate each small victory he makes in whatever daily challenges he faces bc he needs affirmation that he is valued for who he is.  He suffers for his adulthood not being what he ever imagined when he was younger.  

No amt of parental or school or career support can accommodate him to accomplish what he just cannot do (and for him it is managing all of the balls of adulthood or multitasking responsibilities with any stress or pressure behind those job requirements.....he just cannot keep it together to manage them all simultaneously.)

All that said.....your ds may go back and thrive and move on without difficulty. Or, he may not. The point being is that either outcome is OK. He is who he is and that is all that really matters.

 

It is literally all he has ever wanted.   I could talk a lot about it and be far more explanatory, but I just know this is all he has ever wanted for his career and he still wants it.

Do *I* think he has to do this?  No, but he is 100% sure.

And there is NOTHING locally for him school wise.  I wish there were.

And FWIW,  he is welcome to live with us for the rest of his life.  We have a very open door policy with our grown kids.

 

 

Edited by DawnM

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2 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Not Dawn, but I am guessing part-time hrs (around 9 hrs vs 12-15 as full-time.)

 

2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

What would 2/3 time be? Just wondering.

 

Quarter system, 3 classes = 15 credits.  He will go to 2 classes, 10 credits.  As long as he is 2/3 time, he can remain on campus and get his scholarship (if he gets it back) and his financial aid.

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Wow, I am not sure what to think.

One of my son's professors, one he has had before, came up to him yesterday and told him that he knows he is fully capable and knows he has been having a very rough quarter, and has offered him an alternative assignment for the final for a B in the class.  (the final was a project based assignment not a test.)

He has an A in one other class for his major (the only classes he likes and deems worthwhile), so even if he gets a D in his Art History (class he hates with everything. in him!), he can actually keep his scholarship.

He was in a much better mood last night, more over the compliment and belief in him, by the professor, than the actual grade.  That, in turn, makes me feel much better.

Here is hoping he can pull it through and do what he needs to between now and Thur, the end of the quarter.

Edited by DawnM
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That sounds great!  I am glad his professor talked to him!!!

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Just now, Lecka said:

That sounds great!  I am glad his professor talked to him!!!

 

I should add that the professor came up to him for something completely different, and they engaged in conversation, which lead to the offer.  I am proud of my son for actually engaging in conversation that lead to this.  He struggles with small talk and "networking."  It is something we are trying hard to get him to understand!  

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That's exciting!!!! What a relief. 

So did you say he could go to 2/3 and keep his scholarship? What I'm finding with my dd is the classes are getting harder each year, and that's making it pile up. It sounds like dropping the load could help or making sure that all the classes are in areas of strong interest if he's taking the full 3/3 load. Like if the art history was required but not of interest to him, that would bog everything down.

But yeah, what a miracle that you could get some resolution! Does this school offer any form of academic counseling or EF help or assistance for disabilities? Some schools have academic coaching for people with ADHD and other disabilities. My dd has used this service and I wish she still were. They were so overloaded, they tried to wean her off. What I find is it means she has less support for problem solving. It's not like she needs every single stupid thing overseen, but meeting regularly with someone who just asks how things are going and helps you problem solve and self-advocate is a big deal. I've been calling and doing it with her myself, and I wish the university were still giving her that. Technically by their policies they should be, and functionally they're not.

3 hours ago, DawnM said:

He struggles with small talk and "networking."  It is something we are trying hard to get him to understand!

There are SLPs who specialize in this. Maybe this summer he could have some hours and just work on it? Psychs suck for it. You would definitely want an SLP or BCBA or someone who actually specializes in conversation and the social thinking. In our area we have behaviorists and services that specialize totally in young adults (18-30) and transitions. They work on those soft skills. You've probably already heard this, but Michelle Garcia Winner says it's social skills, not getting the degree, that will decide his employability. So if he has any opening mentally there to work on it, it would be something. If not, maybe a book?

Well anyways, I'm relieved for you and for him that it's going to get back on track and he can finish out!

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10 hours ago, PeterPan said:

That's exciting!!!! What a relief. 

So did you say he could go to 2/3 and keep his scholarship? What I'm finding with my dd is the classes are getting harder each year, and that's making it pile up. It sounds like dropping the load could help or making sure that all the classes are in areas of strong interest if he's taking the full 3/3 load. Like if the art history was required but not of interest to him, that would bog everything down.

But yeah, what a miracle that you could get some resolution! Does this school offer any form of academic counseling or EF help or assistance for disabilities? Some schools have academic coaching for people with ADHD and other disabilities. My dd has used this service and I wish she still were. They were so overloaded, they tried to wean her off. What I find is it means she has less support for problem solving. It's not like she needs every single stupid thing overseen, but meeting regularly with someone who just asks how things are going and helps you problem solve and self-advocate is a big deal. I've been calling and doing it with her myself, and I wish the university were still giving her that. Technically by their policies they should be, and functionally they're not.

There are SLPs who specialize in this. Maybe this summer he could have some hours and just work on it? Psychs suck for it. You would definitely want an SLP or BCBA or someone who actually specializes in conversation and the social thinking. In our area we have behaviorists and services that specialize totally in young adults (18-30) and transitions. They work on those soft skills. You've probably already heard this, but Michelle Garcia Winner says it's social skills, not getting the degree, that will decide his employability. So if he has any opening mentally there to work on it, it would be something. If not, maybe a book?

Well anyways, I'm relieved for you and for him that it's going to get back on track and he can finish out!

 

I keep trying and trying to get him to go talk to people.  Thankfully, I am a school counselor, albeit K-12, but it does help as he calls me to talk through things, he just doesn't always take my suggestions, although he is getting better at it.  And he did say maybe he should talk to someone, so we will discus it more when he gets home next week for Spring Break.

The school just changed the way they do the Senior projects.  it is a 3 part project, spanning over 3 quarters, and you used to be able to start at any point.  Starting Fall of 2019, they are making it mandatory to only start in the Fall. This  has put us in a bit of a bind because he was going to start in the Winter of 2019 and blitz through the summers, to graduate earlier, but we are now forced to delay that.  I am realizing that isn't necessary a bad thing, as it will allow him to do some 2 class quarters, allow him to finish strong, and allow him some further maturity.

It will be some additional cost on our part for room and board, but we will figure that out as that is the least of our concerns right now.

And yes, as long as he is 2/3 he can keep his scholarship, but it will be 2/3 the amount, if that makes sense.   So a $15,000 scholarship  would be cut down to (roughly) $10K.  Overall, it will just affect us paying more for room and board, as they charge per class.

Edited by DawnM
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I didn't sleep well last night.  I kept panicking, thinking, "Crap, I sure hope he understood the professor completely and fully and that the professor wasn't saying, do this EXTRA assignment for EXTRA credit, and it truly is an alternative assignment."

Sigh.......just how I roll.  It is going to be a long few days until grades come in.

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I have a kiddo on the spectrum but younger (almost 15). I had a REALLY hard time in college, and I am NT. I had to recalculate plans multiple times. (I also did quarter systems, and I would remind myself that if I HATED something, it was over and done faster than a whole semester!) 

I needed to think what the worst case scenario is, figure out if was okay with that (or, in the case of college stuff, were my parents okay with it), and then work my way back to something reasonable. Starting with, "If all goes well from here..." when things are clearly not going well and could get worse really stressed me out. (I have a dearly loved parent that thinks this way, and adopting that mindset would demoralize me, lol!)

It sounds to me like maybe your son is struggling to predict the possible outcomes, and now that he's got a path forward, it's more familiar again. 

I know my son has less of a problem with change itself than he does with "How do you manage/decide/execute the change of plans?" 

I am glad to hear things are going better, and I am glad you are okay with him stepping back a little to 2/3 time. I ended up going to school an extra year PT because I changed majors multiple times; however, the summer before my last/fifth year, I did a paid internship that helped with room and board. It ended up being only slightly different in cost to my parents to go that extra year, and I appreciated having a slower schedule.

I understand your fear that taking time off vs. reducing hours will mean not starting again--my son is like that. It's so, so hard to get started once there's been a hard stop. I hope he is able to just keep going and make it work. 

Hang in there!

 

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And he just found out he got his first F.  In fact, he hasn't gotten lower than a B yet, but here it is, his first F, and not even in the class I was mentioning before.

He has until midnight to drop the class completely and it wont' affect his GPA at all, and he has emailed the professor because there is still one more (very minor) thing she hasn't graded.  But, he is close to a D, so waiting to see if she will bump it up or not.  Perfectly understandable if she doesn't......but we want to be sure.

This is a Gen Ed class.  He has to get all As and Bs in his major or he has to retake the class, but he gets all As in his major because he is good at it, he loves it, and he wants to learn.   

But Art History of the Greco-Roman world......yeah, nope!  And it is a requirement and the first of a series he has to take.  OY!

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We went through this with my DD now 23. (She was diagnosed with autism in college although that was not a surprise to me). She ended up leaving college with 1 year left, and honestly she stuck it out 1 semester longer than she wanted to. 

We have slowly changed our view of what her life may be like. She has had a lot of temporary and seasonal jobs since. She recently started her 2nd "real" job that is full time with benefits. It seems to be a good fit for her, but I thought that about her previous full time job which she lasted 6 months. She is aware now that higher paid, but higher stress, jobs are not right for her. She would really like to live on her own in the not so distant future. We have a plan for how that might happen, but it is not part of the typical path for someone her age. 

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I know this is not the main point of the thread, but about art history...

When I was in college, I took one semester of art history as an elective. Toward the end of the semester, the professor approached me and asked if I would help another student in the class study for the final, because he needed to pass the class in order to graduate. I actually knew the guy, so I agreed.

When I helped him study, I found that he was focusing on all of the wrong details. I found it hard to understand at the time how that could be so, but now that I have a son who does that same thing, I have found myself wondering if this old acquaintance of mine had high functioning autism or perhaps nonverbal learning disorder (my son's diagnosis).

All that to say that art history (at least the class that I took) includes so many details that it might be hard for your son to pick out which things are the important things to memorize and study. Getting someone to help him zero in on only the important details, so that he knows what specifically to study, might help raise his grade a bit in the next art history class that he is required to take. Having someone help highlight the notes for him, for example.

I realize that this might not be overly helpful, since asking for help is not his strong suit. But I thought I would mention it as something you could target.

I'm sorry he is struggling.

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4 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I know this is not the main point of the thread, but about art history...

When I was in college, I took one semester of art history as an elective. Toward the end of the semester, the professor approached me and asked if I would help another student in the class study for the final, because he needed to pass the class in order to graduate. I actually knew the guy, so I agreed.

When I helped him study, I found that he was focusing on all of the wrong details. I found it hard to understand at the time how that could be so, but now that I have a son who does that same thing, I have found myself wondering if this old acquaintance of mine had high functioning autism or perhaps nonverbal learning disorder (my son's diagnosis).

All that to say that art history (at least the class that I took) includes so many details that it might be hard for your son to pick out which things are the important things to memorize and study. Getting someone to help him zero in on only the important details, so that he knows what specifically to study, might help raise his grade a bit in the next art history class that he is required to take. Having someone help highlight the notes for him, for example.

I realize that this might not be overly helpful, since asking for help is not his strong suit. But I thought I would mention it as something you could target.

I'm sorry he is struggling.

 

She gave them all a study guide with EXACTLY what was going to be on the test!    His problem is, he doesn't see any value in it, so, therefore, not worth his time and energy.  ARGH.   It does see it as a means to an end, kind of......but not enough to give much attention to.  I am hoping there might be a professor who would teach it more with of a project based approach than memorization, but not sure that person exists.

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Ok, yes, the professor who said he could get a B, has given him a B.  He has an A in the class he loves, but we had to drop  the F.  THANK GOD she let him know today, the last day to withdraw from the class, she didn't have to do that.  She could have let it go onto his transcript and affect his GPA.

Edited by DawnM
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20 hours ago, DawnM said:

And he just found out he got his first F. ....This is a Gen Ed class....... And it is a requirement and the first of a series he has to take.  OY!

 

11 hours ago, DawnM said:

She gave them all a study guide with EXACTLY what was going to be on the test!    His problem is, he doesn't see any value in it, so, therefore, not worth his time and energy.  ARGH.   It does see it as a means to an end, kind of......but not enough to give much attention to. 

It was the courses outside of our ds's interests that made us refuse to pay for him to attend any longer. In his mind the requirements were bogus and he did not want to take the classes. Nothing would dissuade him from that position. It took him from age 20 to 26 to decide he might actually be willing to take the courses required vs just the ones he wanted.

But, like @City Mouse shared in her post, I am not sure the higher stress of the job at the end of the degree will ever work out even though it is a field he is very interested in and has a knack for. The reality of the responsibility associated with the actual job will probably make him not be able to hold a job in it. He'll get the degre, graduate with honors, and will still end up in a low paying, low stress, unskilled worker job bc it is all he can realistically handle due to the anxiety, stress, and expectations.

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20 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

 

It was the courses outside of our ds's interests that made us refuse to pay for him to attend any longer. In his mind the requirements were bogus and he did not want to take the classes. Nothing would dissuade him from that position. It took him from age 20 to 26 to decide he might actually be willing to take the courses required vs just the ones he wanted.

But, like @City Mouse shared in her post, I am not sure the higher stress of the job at the end of the degree will ever work out even though it is a field he is very interested in and has a knack for. The reality of the responsibility associated with the actual job will probably make him not be able to hold a job in it. He'll get the degre, graduate with honors, and will still end up in a low paying, low stress, unskilled worker job bc it is all he can realistically handle due to the anxiety, stress, and expectations.

 

Mine won't end up in an unskilled service.  He is adamant he will ONLY work in his filed, and he already has had an internship where they really liked his work, so I imagine it will happen, BUT, we are wondering if he will end up working part time, and from home, rather than in an office with others full time.

Only time will tell.  He has 5 more gen ed classes to take.  We have decided the 3 he will hate the most should just wait until he is further along in what he actually WANTS to do with the hope that he will "see the value" at that point because he is close to finishing and needs to get the degree (he still makes comments about getting a job without actually finishing and never taking the Gen Ed classes, which concerns us, but we will keep pressing forward.

It is hard.  And stressful.

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I'm sorry, Dawn. But I'm glad he was able to drop the one class and raise his grade in the other.

My son who is on the border of the spectrum is just about to turn 15, so we have not hit the college and career years yet. But I worry about these things. He is not likely to attend college, so we are working to set him up with job skills and vocational training. But if he does not see the point himself, he will not learn from the experiences provided to him; we have already discovered that during counseling and social skills classes that we have tried. It's frustrating and worrisome.

So I sympathize, even though we haven't reached college age yet.

It is promising that your son has a target career and some positive experience in it already! I really hope he is able to stay on track to get to his goals.

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Like Story, I'm SO relieved with you that his grades are going to work out and that he got to drop the class that was tanking him!! 

I really hope it works out for him to be able to be employed in the field he likes. Unfortunately, his passion won't decide that, sigh. Michelle Garcia Winner has stats (because she cleans up the floor after these cases) that social skills are going to drive employability, not degrees, IQ, or anything else. So the absolute best thing you can do to help him be employable is to help him connect with resources he trusts and is willing to work with on that. Like "don't see the value" is not just a college class thing. That rigidity is going to happen on a job too. Odds are internships are a bit more fun than real, boring employment and mundaneness. That's a social thinking thing. 

I hope he gets there, but 8Fills is right that it really could come back to bite him and that being realistic and quietly finding a resource he feels like he can trust might be good. I know you've tried. There's so much, I don't want to say incompetence, but there are providers that are well-intentioned who are NOT READY to handle a particular dc and connect with them. And the dc might not be ready to take advantage of what the person is ready to offer.

It's a really, really good sign that HE made the choice to get the ADHD meds. That is so, so huge. That to me says he might at some point decide to problem solve the social too. He might not realize the better resources out there. Not a counselor. It would have to be the right person, not entry level. There are sometimes BCBAs who specialize in transition to the workforce for young adults. I think it's possible to end up in those resources before you're asking the questions, and then it's like the person is foisting commands on you, which doesn't work. But if there's some convergence of him asking WHY he's having trouble and you saying well it's a social thinking gig and here's a list of people who specialize in that, it might work. But that's once he's asking the questions. 

Well anyways, I'm super relieved for you guys. It was a fiasco. You know I hear a lot about kids doing online courses to catch up on things they miss or can't fit in. Like can he get that art history online and knock it out? He's apparently capable, as quarter classes are already double-paced. If his university will transfer in some credits like that, it would be something to look into. Yeah, some of those classes are memorizing lots of junk. My mother's degree is in art history and I used to go to classes with her and watch her study. GAG. If the gen ed classes don't have to be art history, then maybe take something else entirely different online, something he WOULD be into.

Edited by PeterPan

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5 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

 

 Is this the same son? If so, is he willing to stay at that school and not pursue that major?

 

Nope.   Not the same son.  This is my oldest (this thread) and he is set, loves his college, loves his school, no plans to transfer......it is just these darn classes he deems "not worthy."

Son you are quoting about is my second son.

Edited by DawnM

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Like Story, I'm SO relieved with you that his grades are going to work out and that he got to drop the class that was tanking him!! 

I really hope it works out for him to be able to be employed in the field he likes. Unfortunately, his passion won't decide that, sigh. Michelle Garcia Winner has stats (because she cleans up the floor after these cases) that social skills are going to drive employability, not degrees, IQ, or anything else. So the absolute best thing you can do to help him be employable is to help him connect with resources he trusts and is willing to work with on that. Like "don't see the value" is not just a college class thing. That rigidity is going to happen on a job too. Odds are internships are a bit more fun than real, boring employment and mundaneness. That's a social thinking thing. 

I hope he gets there, but 8Fills is right that it really could come back to bite him and that being realistic and quietly finding a resource he feels like he can trust might be good. I know you've tried. There's so much, I don't want to say incompetence, but there are providers that are well-intentioned who are NOT READY to handle a particular dc and connect with them. And the dc might not be ready to take advantage of what the person is ready to offer.

It's a really, really good sign that HE made the choice to get the ADHD meds. That is so, so huge. That to me says he might at some point decide to problem solve the social too. He might not realize the better resources out there. Not a counselor. It would have to be the right person, not entry level. There are sometimes BCBAs who specialize in transition to the workforce for young adults. I think it's possible to end up in those resources before you're asking the questions, and then it's like the person is foisting commands on you, which doesn't work. But if there's some convergence of him asking WHY he's having trouble and you saying well it's a social thinking gig and here's a list of people who specialize in that, it might work. But that's once he's asking the questions. 

Well anyways, I'm super relieved for you guys. It was a fiasco. You know I hear a lot about kids doing online courses to catch up on things they miss or can't fit in. Like can he get that art history online and knock it out? He's apparently capable, as quarter classes are already double-paced. If his university will transfer in some credits like that, it would be something to look into. Yeah, some of those classes are memorizing lots of junk. My mother's degree is in art history and I used to go to classes with her and watch her study. GAG. If the gen ed classes don't have to be art history, then maybe take something else entirely different online, something he WOULD be into.

 

Different son is on ADD meds.  

Honestly, I am not overly worried about the job prospects yet.  He has already done an internship for 6 months in his field and they actually liked him and he did well.  This is something he is very good at (professor just used  his project as an example to the other classes on how to do it), and worst case scenario, he works from home or freelances.   There is no part of what he does that he thinks is "not worth it."  He knows he has to do the menial tasks to get to the prize and he actually will do it in that case......

He WILL do these classes, but we need to get him past this hurdle.

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7 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I'm sorry, Dawn. But I'm glad he was able to drop the one class and raise his grade in the other.

My son who is on the border of the spectrum is just about to turn 15, so we have not hit the college and career years yet. But I worry about these things. He is not likely to attend college, so we are working to set him up with job skills and vocational training. But if he does not see the point himself, he will not learn from the experiences provided to him; we have already discovered that during counseling and social skills classes that we have tried. It's frustrating and worrisome.

So I sympathize, even though we haven't reached college age yet.

It is promising that your son has a target career and some positive experience in it already! I really hope he is able to stay on track to get to his goals.

 

We were right there when he was 15.  We weren't even sure he would graduate from high school back then.  

One thing his therapist kept saying is that he is 3 to 4 years behind his peers socially.  I have to remember that, even now.  Eventually he will catch up with himself, but probably not until mid to late 20s.  

We were SHOCKED when he said he wanted to do dual enrollment.  And we were SHOCKED when he got all As and Bs, and SHOCKED when he applied to a 4 year school, got in, got a decent scholarship AND went away to school.

We know it might be a giant/expensive experiment, and we knew it was a huge risk.  We haven't gotten to the finish line yet, but I have to keep reminding myself how far he has gotten, how much his professors in his field have affirmed his abilities.

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25 minutes ago, DawnM said:

he works from home or freelances. 

That is BRILLIANT if he can do that!! I know someone on the spectrum who does well doing this.

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When he is home on break, can you make him appointment with his doctor? 

Sometimes depression is caused by some medical stuff.  Just an idea. 

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10 hours ago, lmrich said:

When he is home on break, can you make him appointment with his doctor? 

Sometimes depression is caused by some medical stuff.  Just an idea. 

 

I had already made an appt for this Monday (regular doc) and I have taken the day off (he doesn't drive and I want to be there anyway.) . When my son said he got the flu half way through the quarter and it "killed him" I thought he was just being melodramatic (as he can be).  But he came home last night and has a horrible cough still and says his right side/ribs hurt.  I hope it isn't walking pneumonia or something.  UGH.    I hope whatever it is, we can knock it out.

Next time when I offer to come down there and take him to the doctor, it won't be an offer, I will just be on my way.  

He keeps saying the illness is what affected him this quarter and that is all.  I still think it was more, but he may not be wrong that the illness affected him greatly and still is.  Poor kid.

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47 minutes ago, DawnM said:

But he came home last night and has a horrible cough still and says his right side/ribs hurt. 

Poor thing! Sounds like a trip to the doctor might be in order, just to get him tuned up and on track. That stress is hard on them. My dd has been sick a lot too, and it turned out she needed an inhaler, which we didn't realize. Is he home just for a week? Maybe his doctor will get him in? That way they can sort out whether it's bronchitis or pneumonia or what and give him stuff. They could do a steroid and something for the cough to let him rest and recover. Urgent Care could handle it.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Poor thing! Sounds like a trip to the doctor might be in order, just to get him tuned up and on track. That stress is hard on them. My dd has been sick a lot too, and it turned out she needed an inhaler, which we didn't realize. Is he home just for a week? Maybe his doctor will get him in? That way they can sort out whether it's bronchitis or pneumonia or what and give him stuff. They could do a steroid and something for the cough to let him rest and recover. Urgent Care could handle it.

 

Yes, appt was already made for Monday.  I made it a week ago.

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17 hours ago, PeterPan said:

That is BRILLIANT if he can do that!! I know someone on the spectrum who does well doing this.

 

Except I never said he doesn't get along with people.  There are times he struggles with noise levels and he can sometimes misinterpret people's intentions and get frustrated, but he has friends, is rooming with friends, likes being with people who are in his field of study to learn, and has a very good relationship with professors in his field.  As they say, if you have met one Aspie.....well..... you have met one Aspie.

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The person I know doing consulting work like that, working from a private office, IS very social too, absolutely. It's just people have how they like to work and the level of strain. I'm saying it can bring a lot of balance to life when he can choose to be with people and choose to work privately too. Not every field has that, so it is a really great thing that his field has that option.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

The person I know doing consulting work like that, working from a private office, IS very social too, absolutely. It's just people have how they like to work and the level of strain. I'm saying it can bring a lot of balance to life when he can choose to be with people and choose to work privately too. Not every field has that, so it is a really great thing that his field has that option.

 

Gotcha.  I think he thrives being with others in his field, but maybe something where he goes in some and works from home some would work.  My husband does that now.  He goes in twice per week and works from home 3 days.  He loves it.  Best of both worlds.

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Yup, I talk with people who confuse autism and introversion. He can be socially motivated, and he can be an EXTROVERT, actually energized by being with people, absolutely. So then he can have that mix of wanting to be with people, being energized by them, and needing breaks and down time to process too. And when he's self-aware and realizing what he needs, it's all good. 

And conversely, if he DIDN'T have that level of social time to meet that extroversion need, he'd probably be depressed and de-spunked.

Edited by PeterPan

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On 3/16/2019 at 9:26 AM, PeterPan said:

Yup, I talk with people who confuse autism and introversion. He can be socially motivated, and he can be an EXTROVERT, actually energized by being with people, absolutely. So then he can have that mix of wanting to be with people, being energized by them, and needing breaks and down time to process too. And when he's self-aware and realizing what he needs, it's all good. 

And conversely, if he DIDN'T have that level of social time to meet that extroversion need, he'd probably be depressed and de-spunked.

 

I wouldn't really call him an extrovert, but there is a mix of introversion and liking to be around certain people.  He likes being around people who motivate him and in a work environment, he likes being motivated.

Edited by DawnM

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X-rays today.  No pneumonia!  YAY!   But he does have pleurisy and a persistent cough. 

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12 hours ago, DawnM said:

X-rays today.  No pneumonia!  YAY!   But he does have pleurisy and a persistent cough. 

Gentle hugs. Hope he feels better soon!

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14 hours ago, DawnM said:

X-rays today.  No pneumonia!  YAY!   But he does have pleurisy and a persistent cough. 

Poor thing! Did they give him something for the inflammation and a cough syrup to help him sleep? Hope he feels better when he goes back to school.

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

Poor thing! Did they give him something for the inflammation and a cough syrup to help him sleep? Hope he feels better when he goes back to school.

 

They don't like to give narcotics out anymore, so she said ibuprofen and delsym over the counter.   

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Oh I thought maybe they'd give him prednisone for the inflammation. I had so many run-ins with lung stuff the last couple years. I started taking turmeric, which has some evidence for helping inflammation, and have only needed my inhaler twice since June (9 months, wow!) and haven't been on antibiotics or had pneumonia or bronchitis at all. So inflammation is sort of an interesting topic for me. I was reading more last night about the connection between methylation defects and inflammation. 

My dd goes on break too, but we won't be seeing her. I'm sure she'll be doing the sleeping thing too. Not rewarding as a mother, but it's what they need, sigh.

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19 hours ago, DawnM said:

X-rays today.  No pneumonia!  YAY!   But he does have pleurisy and a persistent cough. 

So glad it's something that will run its course, but pleurisy is hateful. I had it in elementary school. I hope he is well again soon. Delsym is great when you need something fairly long-acting.

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So sorry for the pleurisy - it can really impact the amount of oxygen one gets. It can drain you fast. I slept in a recliner for two weeks when I had it. (also pregnant) 

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On 3/18/2019 at 11:24 AM, PeterPan said:

Oh I thought maybe they'd give him prednisone for the inflammation. I had so many run-ins with lung stuff the last couple years. I started taking turmeric, which has some evidence for helping inflammation, and have only needed my inhaler twice since June (9 months, wow!) and haven't been on antibiotics or had pneumonia or bronchitis at all. So inflammation is sort of an interesting topic for me. I was reading more last night about the connection between methylation defects and inflammation. 

My dd goes on break too, but we won't be seeing her. I'm sure she'll be doing the sleeping thing too. Not rewarding as a mother, but it's what they need, sigh.

 

I wish they had!

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34 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

I wish they had!

Actually ibuprofen is the treatment of choice for pleurisy.

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16 minutes ago, TCB said:

Actually ibuprofen is the treatment of choice for pleurisy.

 

Well, he still has a horrible cough, week 8.  And he is still in pain in that area.  Just wish it would stop!

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