Q: “Many people see children with Asperger’s and they don’t understand that their needs are lifelong. They don’t see that even if you watch your child succeed at a young age, there will be new territory to navigate as they get older and new situations arise.” This is so true, my son was diagnosed with Aspergers in the 90’s when there was not a lot of “buzz” about it. He did okay, but now as an adult he seems to be having difficulty especially with anxiety and confidence. I am worried for him, and keep directing him towards counseling, but he hasn’t yet. Any suggestions?




I can completely relate to this. Near the end of my high school days, I garnered several accomplishments and awards, but college was a completely different ballgame, especially since I was four hours away from home. Once I got out of college and moved back home, the working world was a completely different situation as well, and I struggled mightily at times. Each new job, new relationship, and new situation is a challenge, but an opportunity as well. Fortunately, my family could not have been more supportive of me over the years.

When I was first having problems out of college, my Mom directed me towards counseling, but I just didn’t want to go. I wish I had now, because the insights from a counselor could have been more helpful than I realized. As it was, I was left to fumble around in the dark, trying to figure things out. You can direct your son towards counseling, but as the expression says, “You can lead a horse to water….” If he goes because he has to, he may not hear anything the counselor says. If and when he goes, it has to be his choice. This may be disappointing to hear, but you can only do so much for someone.

Is your son on social media? If so, there are many groups specifically dedicated to autism and Asperger’s in particular. For me, these groups have served as a type of group therapy, and might help your son see that he is not alone in his struggles. For instance, someone will asked a question on one of the threads such as, “Do you avoid this or that social situation,” or “What would you do if faced by such and such dilemma?”

If he joins these groups, he can contribute if he’d like; if nothing else, it might help him put his own issues in perspective. You might want to go to Facebook, for example, and put “Asperger” or “autism” in the search engine and see what you can come up with. By the way, these groups, aren’t necessarily just for those on the spectrum. Several times, parents join the group looking for advice, or just validation.

Also, what are your son’s talents and interests? You might encourage him to go online and look up information on things that appeal to him, because you never know where this may lead. For example: Years ago I was looking up articles on Survivor, one of my favorite shows. I found a website that posted articles on the show, as well as other reality t.v. shows. Since I liked the show and liked to write, I submitted an article to them. They liked it, posted it, and to make a long story short, I ended up writing for the site for about 10 years before it shut down. No, I didn’t get paid, but I got the byline, and became friends online with many of the other writers. Some of the writers I still keep up with even several years after the website ended. Hopefully, your son can find people with similar interests to his.

Best wishes, and hope my answer helps!


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  1. My 24 year old was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 16 . I am at wits end everyday with him. I think it is effecting my marriage , MY husband and I are not on the same page with things . I work full time , and also have Multiple Scerlosis . Luckily , it is under control with medication . My husband retired in 2021 . He lost his whole entire family within 5 years , his mother died at 91 ,two years later his sister died at 62 from Kidney cancer, then two years later from that he lost his other sister from lung cancer at 69 years old. He has no relatives alive and I feel very sad. I am very blessed because I have both of my parents alive and my 4 siblings . I try to understand my son and it gets me angry when I come home and see my son playing games . He does do things when I leave him chores to do . He is a wonderful singer! He truly is blessed with some talent there . I wish he would do something with that. I have taught him to do his own laundry , wash dishes and do some chores around the house but I want him to be more independent and make money . I feel like I’m the only one that pressures him to find something. My husband never wants to hear me discuss it. . I just don’t know where to turn .

  2. Our son has been diagnosed with Aspergers at 45 years old. He is wonderful, very bright, talented and moral but has lost jobs and refused to file for divorce from his abusive, money-grabbing wife. He is thankfully employed now as an online 3rd grade teacher. He lives with us now and we’re tired of hearing him complain about his wife but do nothing. They have a 7 year old son who is doing okay, so far but will soon be very confused. My son goes to their home (they both own it but he won’t sell or get a buy-out) and watches his son three nights a week and she controls all weekends. He has been to several lawyers on our dime and still won’t file for divorce. He needs the “routine” and the abuse is almost comforting. This gives him a SCHEDULE. He gives her $1500 a month plus other money and he only takes home $3500 as a teacher. We are now asking for rent – only so she can’t get more money out of him. She was formally a Mexican citizen and feels we should be the bank as we are Americans. We do not know what to do. If the wife knows he has a disability she could use it against him. Should we seek a proxy or advocate to help him? He won’t go back to the psychiatrist, my therapist can’t help him and ethically won’t. He also refuses meds for OCD.

  3. Adult g’son diagnosed with aspergers as a child. We can usually resolve most any issue by simply talking to him. One thing he does that I’ve spoken to him about several times & he’s always apologetic but forgets & repeats the behavior. He was bothered by loud noises as a child but always spoke loudly. As an adult, he almost screams when he speaks. He has a very deep voice which seems to make it sound worse, louder, so loud it’s almost sounds threatening, which he is most definitely NOT. I worry that he will speak loudly while talking with anyone in authority or even worse, an officer who may take him speaking loud as aggression which terrifies me. He works & gives to charity, he’s the 1st person to give a helping hand anywhere he sees a need. He is a good, hard working man & probably the sweetest person I’ve ever known. Anything suggestions u could give us would be greatly appreciated. Thx so much

  4. I raised my son since he was 3 years old, and now he is 18 years old. He dropped out of school because of his mental sate and learning issues. He has been diagnosed at age 6 with Aspergers. He hates women deep down and he always said why did mom not want me. I tried my best to assure him that it was nothing you did and maybe she is trying to be better for herself. He lives at home and quits every job. He does not go to therapy anymore. I have been trying my hardest to stay strong, but after years and years I feel like I am broken. My long term relationship has been very rocky. I am shocked she tries with me. I tried to get my girlfriend to let me go and move on. She doesn’t understand that I cater to him even when he does bad. She said she is not giving up on me. This may sound very crazy, but I feel like I have to put my son first because he is always hurting inside. Maybe I will have to get therapy for myself to understand my role with a 18 year old Aspergers child. I am still asking for any advice and I am very open to any suggestions

    1. Hi

      Your post really struck a cord with me. I have a 28 year old son with Asperger’s and I feel his pain greatly. It is really hard being a parent and be strong.


  5. Son diagnosed late twenties. Extremely high functioning. My concern, as his dad, his only family member, is what is going to happen to his life without me? I will be 79 nest birthday and have cancer. He is unsociable to the point that when he goes food shopping he goes to a 24 hour market at 2 or three in the morning when people are not present. I found a computer dating site for people on the spectrum, but he won’t look at it. “Give it a try” I suggest. To no avail. Do you have any suggestions how I may help him to instigate him looking at an Asperger’s website? He is a brilliant man, has a degree in philosophy and a masters in finance. He found a job that he works from home and is very successful. All his work is done on the computer. Although he has been working for the same financial group for four years, he has never met any of his fellow workers in person.

  6. Hi I need help. I have a 19 yo . he has Asperger’s and well he at times says he feels lonely. He is very smart has quite a few hobbies. Though he also goes to Remote college and a Transitional program. But there he has not really made friend. In the neighborhood there are rarely people his age. I told him about the Autistic Spectrum site maybe to talk with others but nope. It really hurts to see him this way. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  7. My son is now 23 and is having trouble and asking for help with his struggles . When he was born he was very sick and had to be quarantined with meningitis he was misdiagnosed by doctors and eventually treated correctly he developed normally and around 4 or 5 noticed his behavior was identical to his cousin of the same age with autism. The cousin turned out non verbal but our son still went on to talk and joke but very intense at times and took change and noises and lots of activity and crowds very hard very over whelmed . He continued in school did well and graduated and went and joined the work force . Guess he hid his struggles pretty well till he finally broke down and couldn’t handle it anymore he was over whelmed at work with back ground noise and too many people and activities going on around him he broke and it broke us to see his struggle come out full force . We love our son and his struggles are heart breaking to see he wants to seek help or even get formally diagnosed but how do we go about that process and find counseling that would help us in our area ? Where do we begin ?

  8. Do you know of any video games, suitable for adults to either teach or reinforce social skills, or both?

  9. Hello. I have a 19 yo son who has Asperger’s and academically has done well. We are proud of him. Now he is in his 2nd year of a Transitional Program that he goes to 5 days a week. He has gone to interviews and gotten jobs with stipend. He has gotten his feet wet! Though, when people say negative things about him his likes dislike he gets very sad and gets to be stressed out. Emotionally. So lately he has been wanting to take a few days off from school. Why? I asked him he told me he was stressed out. He does take Lexapro for anxiety. 10mg. He does not get to bed till 1 and if there is no school, he gets to sleep at 3 or 4am. He likes being on Youtube making content and he is talented in many other areas. He has opportunities but he seems to let the emotional stress get over him! I have talked to him and yes, he has a counselor and a team at the school but at tome it is a different story. He is also taking a college course. I as his mom feel do not know what else to do. He also has a therapist that he speaks to via phone due to the Covid 19 restrictions. Any suggestions? At times I feel tired and burnt out. I had to leave my night job because he felt abandon and not loved. Even though he knew why I had to work. So now I am home during the evenings but there are some days he comes saying he is not going to class and others he is fine. At times I just think it is because he did not sleep at the right time. He feels this that and the other all balled into a big roll! Until he either stay silent or starts to get angry. I wait till he tells me. Also, he feels lonely no friends and has not met anyone. He does want a girlfriend but where we reside no people his age. With all that any suggestion and advice will be appreciated! Thank you!

  10. My son has alerted when this came to light in his twenties .in Ireland it was barely recognised and he meets with obstacles daily win social ,mental health ,and loneliness , he has lived with me and does currently ,he hates changes , collects things , then can’t reduce said objects, anyway no one could say to me how to comfort of help him when he is distressed , it’s always drugs that he is offered and he had a life skill worked for awhile she made a new man of him , she moved then there was no one ,, I’m sixty and at my wife and .after 14 years he has been offered an apartment then he was left money this sort of thing should present an opportunity to him but no life has taken a dive ,he won’t talk to me hates my advice .I’m so worried, I’m crying as I write this .

  11. My adult Aspergers son is hitting me and his dad. I’m in my late 50s my husband (his dad) in his mid 60s. He’s fractured my wrist, broken my husbands hand, bruised my ribs and broken so many things …Tv lamps tables. I fear he will kill me or his dad. I don’t know what to do. Help

  12. Hello,
    We have a 31 year old son who was diagnosed with aspergers’ at 17 years of age. We knew he had major difficulties with socialization but was very smart in school and graduated from West Chester University with a BA in science. He also is a juvenile diabetic since 5. He has not been able to fine work and the last job he did have he was not able to physically do it.
    He just needs someone to give him a chance. Can u help us in any way.
    Thank you,
    Mary Schmidt

  13. Hi! I seriously need help with my 18 yo son. He is very smart ectra. But stubborn to say the least. We were hit with Hurricane Ida and he says it, is causing him Pstd from a previous Hurricane we had up North. Hurricane sandy where we were homeless ectra. lost everything. Now, he just wants to stay home take virtual classes at his transitonal program. The counselor said no can do and he is adamant I do not want him to lose this educational opportunity know that he is stubborn ectra. But his education is important he is taking one class at a nearby college. Math and I know he is smarts and capable. I am at my wit’s end. h knows what he is doing is wrong! he needs to be with his peers not be home sulking and being anxious /depressive mode. But he won’t have it. He says he feels “GUILTY” ?! As well, because his father got hurt at his job. He has applied to jobs and jobs are limited here. All that with a side of ehh?. Is wat my son is feeling at this moment. We are in the same place we need to move which we will because this place is non livable. But in his mind he sees it differently. With that, that is why I want him to be out of the house not down and anxious be with people. But he begs to differ. Thanks, P

  14. Hi. My 24 year old Son is staying w/ me & Ive noticed his behavior checks a lot of boxes for having high functioning Autism & or Aspergers. I’m not sure how to approach this w/ him . I want to help & be supportive in any way I can , but I’m afraid to broach the subject. He has not been to any therapy or had any diagnosis. In the meantime, I’m educating myself & planning on joining a support group & seek therapy. I feel like getting a diagnosis can be a double edged sword. Will a diagnosis put him in a different head space as far as being labeled as being different? Or should he definitely get a diagnosis so he can manage this effectively?

  15. I have a son that has Asperger’s as well as ADHD I really have never been in his life as my life has been mostly in jail he is 20years old out of that maybe3and a half years I’ve been in his life I don’t no how to be a father at all when i think im doing good with him I’m notand when i think I’m doing wrong I’m not please I don’t want to lose my son I myself have been diagnosed with servere anxiety as well as server depression and server p.t.s.d I feel like I can’t help myself so how can i help my son please i want to do the things that i have missed out on i want to learn on how to be a loving father i want to understand him please if there is any way you can help me it will be much appreciated

  16. My adult son has asbergers. He lives with me and communication is difficult. The above article mentioned social media groups for asbergers but, I saw no links to access them. I’m so lost as an elderly mother as to how to help my son. Thank you.

  17. Hi,
    I have a 21yr old son with all the signs of Asperger’s. How would I deal with the fear of getting a job and driving? Do I not press him about it and let him deal with it? My son smokes marijuana and says it helps him with anxiety which we are now both figuring out he has asides, from Asperger’s I am doing my best to support by talking to him and getting him help. But how do you deal with every day life things in ex:……..working, driving, chores at home. I have to remind him every single time and he swears he forgets. but you ask him about politics he is on top of every current event. As a single mother it is very hard to understand what it is i am suppose to do to help him.

  18. It is about my grandson who lives faraway from me.Parents are divorced and father-my son who takes care of his son– tries everything to help or get idea what to do since son is now 18.Quit school in 11 grade.Sits home in basement, has cell phone and finds some fun in it- also playing basket.But refuses to seek special help.Refuses that he has Asperger in the first place.I am so worried about his future- something needs to be done.But what?Counseling is strongly refused.Good looking, good heart…sometimes like to cook or bake….but that is all.Help- any suggestions?Thank you.

  19. my son cannot drive, we have tried numerous times. he holds down 2 part time jobs locally, but we want to find a new place that may be farther from the center of town. tried to put him on state help, but i dont have records since he was diagnosed so long ago and i work because he is so smart that he wont qualify

  20. My 26 yr old son i believe had aspergers because he shows all the symptoms, he smokes weed n at times uses cough syrup to relax… we tried drug treatment an programs but he never stood.. my x husband n i agree to let him live on his own n work jobs that are meant to people who are on the spectrum . Are we doing the right thing to make him independent he struggles n i feel guilty but i feel he needs this… any advice please..

  21. Ken,
    I am so glad I found your page.

    My 29 year old son shows all the signs of Aspergers. He always has. His father and I always knew something was “off “ but couldn’t figure it out. He is academically gifted, has taught himself to play several instruments, plays in several bands and has written music but cannot handle loud noises unless it’s music. During gig breaks, he sits in his car. He knows everything about the genre he plays and every artist that wrote and performed the music. He is the same way about wrestling, conspiracies about the government, etc. There is no end to his obsessions with things he loves. He has no close friends, never has. He treats others as if they aren’t as smart as he is and he usually tells them. He has severe anxiety in crowds and doesn’t know how to have “ small talk “. It’s debilitating for him. He won’t keep a job because he can’t handle situations well so he quits. He gets depressed. He has outbursts.
    I guess my questions are, how do I get him help with a diagnosis and maybe help with bills that come along with this? He hasn’t medical insurance and has high blood pressure and kidney damage from it. We help all the time but he doesn’t ask for it. Mostly he refuses.
    We see him struggling the same as he always has. He is an Uber driver and he plays music to try to make ends meet. He lives alone.
    I am afraid what is going to happen when my husband and I die. We are in our 60’s. When I first learned of Aspergers I felt this had to be it. I never mentioned it to him then one day out of the blue, he asked me if it was possible if he had it. We talked along time and agreed it’s very likely. Thanks for listening.

  22. This adult is 23years old. He has thrown his bed away twice. He recently threw all his clothes away. I have not read anything about this.
    Can you help me.

  23. First of all don’t go with 50/50 custody or there’s never going to be an agreement. My son turned 18 and in order to get into a program they required he be evaluated. Father denied his son has any problem. Son can drive and now almost 21 but he still needs direction. He is not social and does not initiate a gathering. He has no interest in other work besides the work he’s currently at. Community Partner does not help and he’s not actively seeing them. We don’t talk and his words are usually one word or a sentence sometimes incomplete. I’m thinking he has mutism too but one expert disagree. My son still comes over to my house similar to the arrangement we had before he was 18. He lives with his father. He does not care to do research regarding his condition because it’s of no interest to him. He comes here to set up his computer and play game and spend the weekend. I asked him how much longer will you be coming over and that you’re old enough to be more independent. Maybe when I’m gone or dead? He just smile. He does not have a girlfriend. He talks to his younger sister but only in whispers. His father does not seem to be concerned. I’m basically parenting alone.

  24. My son is 25 and has Asperger’s. He has to always be right. If he does something wrong it is always someone else’s fault. He argues constantly. He has to always do things to perfection or he is mad. He cusses and throws things. He does not have a job do to his temper. He does not like to do what you ask of him. He also does not see a lot to be done. He walks over or around a bag of trash that is put directly in his path. He wants help but does not do what they suggest. I have practically read everything on Asperger’s/Autism. He has now started having panic attacks. What can we do to help him??????


  25. I need help . My 29 year old son I think has aspergers . He has moved back in with me. He has no insurance and needs help. What can I do?

  26. Hi, my son was diagnosed with Aspergers 10 yrs ago by that time he was turning 16 so it was difficult to get him to go to any sort of therapy or doctor’s appointment. He struggles with communication which seldom results in an outburst or him being destructive especially when he cannot express how he is feeling. We had to take him out of grade 9 and he has completed his secondary education at home online. He is very intelligent but lack the social cue, he never leaves the house unless myself or my husband takes him out ( he rarely wants to go anywhere). Now he is 25yrs and it is becoming a struggle for us as all he does in his room is play video games, he is 99% a perfect child when he is okay but when he gets in his mood it can be very unnerving. He is very routine with his everyday task, he sleeps the same time and wakes up the same time everyday. He eat his meals the same time and almost the same things. We just don’t know how or where to get the help for him. He is obsessed with Transformers and knives or swords which is concerning for us. If we push him to do other stuff he shuts down won’t speak or sometimes gets angry to the point in breaking things. Recently my older son got married and he had an outburst won’t go to the wedding broke all of his brother’s things at home since then he is showing signs of anger all the time ( he was very close with his brother and his wife now) but since the wedding don’t want to see them. Help!!!!

    1. Sometimes, we only see things in terms of how they affect us. As such, he may have felt a sense of betrayal when his brother got married, after initially having a good relationship with his brother’s wife. None of this excuses his behavior. Sometimes, the only answer is an ultimatum, i.e. tough love. It isn’t just alcoholics that become addicted. Sometimes we become addicted to situations and don’t want anything to change. That may be the case with your son. If he won’t help himself, you can’t help him, sadly. Let him know you love him, but he has to at least make an effort to help himself. A group home may be the only solution. I’d check city and county mental health organizations in your area.

  27. ken, how do you get a 25 yr old with Aspergers in for help? a late diagnosis is such a travesty, i f ind myself jealous of parents whose kids were diagnosed at a young age. so much damage has been done. little kids just want to be liked and included. kids with aspergers said and do the wrong thing at the wrong time. they are bullied and just as bad left alone. so as a mom you give them pep talks and they go back a try again…and again…and again. adults tell kids to just be yourself and when they do it still doesnt go well. they start to isolate a bit. alot of kids are awkward and not good at sports…a little more isolation. parents see it happening but pep talks arent working anymore. high school, more isolation and anger. then psychiatrist, medications and wrong diagnosis over and over. adulthood is almost total isolation. thats how they keep from being wrong in the world. they think screw the world, im doing it my way. everyone has been telling me do it this way, act that way. it didnt work. now they have their own little world where they are always right.the thought of going back out into the big world and being wrong and embarrassed again is terrifying. the unknowing parent ties to push, then that turns to yelling and doesnt realize that kid isnt going anywhere or doing anything no matter what. they would rather argue with the parents and blame them than leave the house, by the time they are diagnosed the family has stopped communicating. we thought we were good parents and we kept sending them back to school and out to play but they had no tools to cope and defend themselves with. why, because WE DIDNT KNOW DAMIT. we didnt know what we were dealing with. we lived every heartbreaking moment with our kids and still do. ill never give up but no matter which way i rephrase and which tone i use , he isnt budging and im getting tired.

    1. Chances are, he isn’t thinking about you. He may be in his own little world with his own thoughts, and it never occurs to him to acknowledge you, let alone show kindness. Whatever the case, please know that this is not your fault, and you can only do so much to help him. At some point, he needs to take responsibility for his own life. Good luck to you.

  28. I have read enough over the years to understand the behaviors and characteristics of someone with Aspergers. what i really want to know is, what is he thinking? for instance, when we arrive home at the same time and walking to the door, im lucky if he even glances at me. is he thinking , she isnt worth the effort to acknowledge?is he thinking, she is a bitch. the other day my daughter said, well he held the door for you. that shows he cares. when he is food shopping i wonder if his awkwardness calls attention to him and does he notice and does it make him feel bad. i feel like he is a child in that respect. out in the world and not knowing how to act and misinterpreting situations it scares the hell out of me so much so it takes my breathe away. if you fell he would help pick you up. if you were being bullied he would defend you. however, if i ask can you help me for a minute he will say “i just want to be left alone. he is brutally honest and sees no reason to lie not even for decency sake. in his opinion he has never been wrong and i have never been right. he is dismissive and condescending . the only one he will do something for is my mom. that maybe a total of 5 minutes a day. i dont think my interactions per day total 2 minutes and sometimes that just fine with me. ill say “im trying to help you. his response, “i dont want your help i didnt ask for it i just want to be left alone”.i believe i am a necessary evil to him. i dont understand how someone that depressed and seemingly lonely could not want help. i feel so helpless and scared for him. i want to go out into the world with him and see situations the way he does and explain them. that will never happen. im am angry, sad, frustrated, heartbroken and very tired. i wish i knew what my kid is thinking…i wish i knew my kid.

  29. I admire all of you parents for your courage to face the challenges on your plate. My heart goes out to you. Two resources: Lifecollegeoc.org is a program at Stanbridge University in Irvine, CA which has a 2 year college program for Aspergers adults to teach classes, life skills and gives students internships so they get hired!

    Another website has employers who hire people with disabilities. Abilityjobs.com
    Hope these help. God bless you!

    1. Thank you, Lois, for these two links. I’m here, like all the other parents, because I have an adult son with Asperger’s. Your links are like a little beacon of light shining on this long, and sometimes, lonely road. I appreciate your comment. I’m going to check the links out right away. God bless you, too, for reaching out.

  30. Ken,
    My son is 23 and a recent college grad with a good job. He is smart, compassionate, insightful and nonjudgmental. He is a calming force who doesn’t ever see a point to arguing about things that don’t have factual information to support the disagreement. That being said, he doesn’t socialize often with his peers, doesn’t participate in activities that could expand his social circle, he’s never had a girlfriend. I am concerned because he has said he wants to have these things but he doesn’t take the opportunities when given. He is in counseling.

    1. Hello, I have a 21 year old son who has Asperger’s. I really can relate to all your comments. As his mother, my heart breaks for him but yet am frustrated that he cannot help himself at times. It has been a challenge since he entered college – he’s now going into his 4th year and studying Mechanical Engineering. I guess you could say his specialty is music since he is in the Million Dollar Band (plays Alto Sax) and plays Bassoon and Contra Bassoon in the college Wind Ensemble. He is very talented in that area. As far as academics go, he doesn’t reach out with his classmates and try and form study groups or get help. He does get pretty good grades but has had to drop and retake a few classes. Engineering is definitely a tough curriculum and we are not putting pressure on him to graduate in time. This year especially he suffered with severe depression and anxiety and he was prescribed Zoloft. It helps somewhat but he still has tantrums- for example at our family beach vacation he had a meltdown and didn’t want to talk to anyone at times. Same as when he was young – he’d get overstimulated. Last night I brought up his laundry (he’s home for the summer interning at my husband’s office) and had a tantrum because I told him to put it away. I was so angry and reacted terribly- I told him I was tired of him acting dysfunctional. We both clash sometimes and we do push each other’s buttons. But I feel terrible for what I said. He is very picky with his eating and very rarely eats the food I cook. He tends to eat fast food or plain pasta with cheese and broccoli or cauliflower. He doesn’t exercise either and is overweight and that worries me too. He does get exercised during marching band season, but gains all the weight back afterwards. I’m worried that once he graduates he will become morbidly obese – right now he is about 25 pounds overweight. If he is in a social situation, he will eat what everyone else will eat, so he has adapted in that aspect. My son is very kind to others but has low self esteem and doesn’t stand up to people. He does have some friends at school but in the girlfriend department he has not had much luck. It breaks my heart. Sometimes my husband and I clash on how he should be treated. For example, he hates buying new shoes. I buy a new pair of sneakers every year before school starts because his shoes get so worn out and he marches quite a bit with the band. I brought it up the other night and my husband said I was pushing his buttons. I felt as though he should not be “babied” -for goodness sake it’s just a new pair of shoes. I worry that once he graduates (cross my fingers) and gets a real job, he will spend his free time in an apartment with roommates and not leave his room. He has spoken to a counselor a few times but I worry he only tells him limited information about his issues. Thanks for letting me vent – I would appreciate any feedback!

    2. I hope that counseling has helped him somewhat. He will participate in those activities if, and when, it feels right to him. If he wants these things but don’t take opportunities, he may be afraid to put himself out there and get rejected. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to support him, and I encourage you to continue in this. Best wishes.

  31. He’s 28 and he’s slowly driving me insane. My son was diagnosed with Aspergers two years ago at age of 26. As far back as I can remember, he’s always been a little different from my other kids. More confrontational and a temper that is out of this world. But he had a sweet side too, helping out his brothers sometimes, and even using his little bit of money from mowing lawns to buy me gifts. He graduated from high school with honours, and even had plans to go to college. But over the last ten years, he’s transformed into a person I don’t even recognize. At first I thought it was because of my divorce, but it’s just gotten worse. He’s obsessed with his weight and his body. He’ll look for health problems that aren’t there, and he’ll twist and turn so hard that he constantly throws out his shoulders and his back. He used to be a computer technician who made a lot of money, now he’s this skinny, pale, body obsessed nasty person, who calls me horrible names and constantly threatens to kill himself. I forced him to move to his own apartment a year ago, and he constantly blames me for all his problems, saying I tossed him away, and don’t love him and I’m the worst mother in the world. The truth is, I couldn’t take his rage and his verbal abuse anymore. My nerves are shot, and I can’t sleep anymore. Everyone is his enemy, and he has no problem telling them so. I am ashamed and afraid to take him anywhere, because he has no filter and no problem telling me to f off or calls me a b***ch or a c**t in public. He has alienated his family and friends. I feel sorry for him, so I constantly shop for him and bring him food, make all his phone calls, and do everything I can to please him….if I upset him, he threatens to kill himself, and then blocks all contact so I lie awake all night wondering if he’ll go through with it. I am losing my mind, little by little. He says he’s sorry sometimes. Other times, he pretends like he had every reason for saying what he did. His psychiatrist only saw him long enough to prescribe Dexedrine. Now he refuses to see him anymore. His doctors brush him off, and don’t take any interest in helping him. My fiance called off our wedding because he says he can’t deal with my son. I feel like the whole world has gone mad, and I’m going mad right along with it. He gets government assistance which helps him pay for his rent, but not much more. So I support him with food and other things. I wish the medical community would finally acknowledge that this horrible disease, or whatever it is, is something that needs more support and research. He is a lost soul trapped in a twisted body, and I am a mother who is wondering where her son is gone, and why he’s been replaced with this heartless angry beast. My heart is broken for him. He didn’t deserve this, and I don’t know how to help him.

    1. my son is 25 and im in pretty much the same situation. nobody else really knows what its like. by seeing the other posts on this site i know others are going through it too. but in the end it up to each of us because if not us , then who and that scares the hell out of me.

  32. Hi,my 17yr old son has aspergers and recent key diagnosed with ADHD,is violent to me,I have had so many injuries,broken ribs,fractured jaw,but one of the worst injuries was when he hit me with a golf club and he hit me so hard that it actually left the imprint of the club on my arm,but if I hadn’t put my arm up to defend myself it would have been my scull,because that was what he he was aiming for.I have tried so hard with so many strategies but nothing works anymore,my don is very clever and VERY manniplative,hevisva charmer,but at home it is a different story,I was about to call him a monster and I just stopped myself,he is my beautifull boy,and I am so desperately sad.I think my son has pda,but it is a real struggle to get that recognised in Scotland.Thanks to all that read this.

  33. Hi Ken & others, I want to talk about my 21 year old son. He is truly the best kid everyone says it not just me cause I am his mom. He has a great heart and always tries to help and assist in any way possible. He has not had schooling at all which is my fault and fear. He did not have immunizations because I was scared of them causing autism, And in large part it was my fear that kept him out of school ( Which in my biggest regret to this day ) I always felt I needed to be with him at all times to help him. I have babied him all his life and still do. He has not been diagnosed with Asperger Or Autism ever, But from what I see and hear and read, I Greatly suspect that is the case. He is kind of obsessed with politics and the stock market also. He talks like a genius he is so smart.. But he has no life honestly and I feel responsible for holding him back. He does not drive. Does not have a good education. But he is great at video games and the things he does have interest in he has deep knowledge in ( Politics, Sports, Stock Market, Banking, Geography) and when we talk to him about these subjects it’s like he has sooo much to say he just goes on and on without pausing it seems like cause he has so much to say and someone is finally talking to him about his own interests. He does not have any friends and does not get out much. He seems to have anxiety in crowded or loud busy places. We went to basketball football baseball games and although he enjoys watching he gets so nervous in the arena or stadium. He basically just wants to stay in his room but I can see he wants to learn and wants to try to do new things but has fear also. I honestly do not know where to begin to help him Ken, I want my son to be happy. Have a wife and children of his own some day. To have a job that he loves and to live a normal life. Is this possible at his age ?? Your story gave me hope to think so. I carry so much guilt and regret and feel I have been a bad mother for not helping my son earlier in his life. I can’t let him sit in his bedroom anymore. He is too smart and has so much potential. I feel there is a whole side to him I don’t even know. I and my husband and his sister try our best but it’s also hard to keep patience and understand what’s going on with him. Please someone tell to me tell me where to begin. I know he will need to see a Dr. first of all but after that then what? It there a school he can attend or can I hire someone privately being he needs basic schooling at age 21? I thank God for this site and all the stories I read and I hope and pray God blesses all of our children and thank You Ken

    1. Hi, Dee-
      I don’t know where you live, but many communities have support groups for those on the spectrum or suspect they may be. Here in San Antonio it is the “San Antonio Area Adults with Asperger Syndrome Meetup”. Also, you might go to your local Vocational Rehabilitation Services and see if they will assess him and put together a vocational plan. They may require a diagnosis first, so you would need a Psychological Evaluation.

  34. My son has been diagnosed with Asperger spectrum disorder . He is 41 years old . He lives with my husband and I. It is a difficult situation since the house is only 764 sq. Ft. His bedroom though is detached from the house , so it affords us a little bit of privacy. Nothing ever prepared me for this! I love him very much , but he is difficult to live with . He either is talking your ear off about a subject that nobody in the room can keep up with, or he isolates himself for days because he says he cannot handle the lights, or sounds ( tv, radio, us talking) in the house. I am constantly walking on eggshells, and my feelings are always dismissed. I never get thanked for anything , because it just simply does not even occur to him! He has been seeing a counselor for years , he goes every 2 weeks. I think I am the one that needs counseling, however, it does not seem to be helping him at all. I need help.

    1. I know what you mean Dede, this disease get everything out of you mentally, I am in the same boat, seeing our children so isolated and no happy as well as the aggressiveness some have
      What worries me the most is that he insults everybody for almost nothing, he fights (no physically) everywhere, he was kicked out of the gym where he was going and I just feel so embarrass with the people he argues, this situation is horrible , I feel for you all

  35. How do I get a advocate for my son to help him understand what is being told to him when appearing in Court. He is 34 years old and has Asperger’s. He does not live with me, he is married but his wife is not supportive of his condition.

  36. Hello, i am so happy to find your website/blog, I am autistic with Asperger’s and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, anyways my partner was diagnosed at 9 yo Aspergers, her mother never applied for disability, she worked till about 4 years ago, she’s on welfare, anyway she’s been hospitalized 9 plus times in all the hospitals in the state of Washington, anyways they say shes self-diagnosed autistic and told us shes bi-polar, borderline personality disorder, scetzofrenia, schizo-affective disorder, but in the hospital records she is Aspergers on the bottom of her diagnoses, she is very violent, demanding, the world owes her is what she thinks, recently she was diagnosed with anti-social disorder and narcissistic disorder, I don’t know what to believe anymore, I have had adult protection services out investigating the abuse of me from her, is it Aspergers causing all this or is it other disorders? they had her on meds and yet it doesn’t work, so i am curious what do you think I should do? send her out? send her away, I have many triggers and ticks yet it triggers me to feel depressed and more, she refuses to get help, she claims shes autistic only and none of the other diagnoses yet social security exhibit file says no autism is found, just bi-polar, I’m at my wits in , what do i do?

    Thanks for your time


    ~Reverend Rita Lee Shotts

  37. Dear Mr. Kellam:

    I am heartsick. My 34 year old son was diagnosed as having autistic tendencies, again and again, at the ages of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 years. We were assured by the school system that they would work with him, particularly on his social skills. We thought the school district was on his side. They mainstreamed him into “normal” elementary classes, but classified him to the state of Texas as “M”, which means modified curriculum. For money’s sake, they designated all his classes to the Texas Board of Education as “M”, which gave the impression that he was a full-time special education student. He was only in one “M” class, and that class was suppose to help him with his social skills. He is supersmart. Before he was mainstreamed, his second grade resource teacher gave him as much mathematics as he would handle. My son was performing fourth grade mathematics in the second grade. The principal’s response was to pull him out, discouraging his progress, because the principal had no comprehension that resource is not always for those who might be mentally slow, he could also be for very smart children, who just need a hand in the socializing department. Afraid that this narrow thinking would hinder him for life and feeling betrayed, my husband and I pulled him out of the Resource program, and ever since, have been working with and guiding my son. All throughout elementary school he consistently beat out the other children, all considered “normal”, on timed math tests. We always gave and still do give him positive re-enforcement. It was not until after he left elementary school, did we learn that the children would go on to compete against other elementary schools, but my son was never included. God, I can only imagine what he was thinking, when the school ignored what he could do, and passed over him. I do remember him seeming to go within himself, and I would constantly interact with him to get him to talk and to let him know he was so very special, and had I known that he was passed over, even though he was the fastest computer in elementary school, I would have confronted school authorities, but I did not know. Fast forward to May 2011, he graduated from college with a 3.5 GPA. His degree is in Marketing. But he is great at mathematics and has a fantastic memory. He memorized the entire school bus route of the school district. He memorized the bus numbers and everything. He always knew what time it was (to the very minute) without ever looking at a clock or watch. His sister possesses the same talent, but so far, she has been able to integrate herself into society (she has autistic tendencies also).
    My son took the third leg of Calculus (Calculus III) for the first time in the summer of 2009 and “A” -ced it, making 100 on his final exam. And yet he has only found part time jobs. To keep him relevant I have him doing marketing and analytical projects for my website. He is brilliant, but no one gives him a chance. I am at my wit’s end, not with him, but with society. I have interacted with people in good paying jobs that are not as good as he would be, if he were only given a chance. He is the analyst for that website, and when his sister is not available, he guest blogs for her. Several years ago, he authored of a web comic entitled “Rainbowtropoliscom” He is in the process of writing another web comic. He is a good man, and he is well aware of his circumstances.

    I do not wish for my full name to be printed. Thank You

  38. My son has Asperger’s but has decided his anxiety meds aren’t going to help. We didn’t really understand his diagnosis until he was 18 so he never got coping mechanisms as a child. He won’t got out the front door most days unless my husband forces him to come out to our store. He doesn’t want to do anything to help himself. He has no friends, not even online anymore. He can’t seem to discuss the future and can’t comprehend a day will come when we won’t be able to take care of him. Is there a town in the Southeast with resources that can help him? I think we need to move away from where we are, but I don’t know where to go.

  39. Hello,
    I am looking for with my son, Joshua.
    Josh has Autism.
    He is 25 and has not been able to keep his last 6 jobs.

    1. Author

      First, try to identify what has caused him to lose his jobs. Is it behaviors? Is it reaction to stress on the job? Maybe it’s something that simply isn’t for him. If you can find an underlying pattern in these six jobs or most of them, that may go a ways toward solving the problem. Then, determine what he likes doing, and go in that direction

    2. Author

      First, try to identify what has caused him to lose his jobs. Is it behaviors? Is it reaction to stress on the job? Maybe it’s something that simply isn’t for him. If you can find an underlying pattern in these six jobs or most of them, that may go a ways toward solving the problem. Then, determine what he likes doing, and go in that direction.

  40. How do I get help at 30, just realizing I have Aspergers?
    I have overdosed on heroin like 5 times and need to get a diagnosis so I stop self-medicating for anxiety.
    I have tinnitus and I think it developed because of lots of fighting, loud music, and no hearing protection when shooting guns.
    I have had a VERY hard manual labor job for the last 10 years while trying to fight back the symptoms and getting great exercise in.
    Now my mom has stage 4 cancer, she doesn’t work 16 hours a day anymore and she sees how much I suffer but I try to hide it so she can focus on what she needs to do.
    I have no one else to turn too because I look normal and have lived a somewhat normal life in the eyes of everyone else but I know this is not the truth.
    I used to be able to hyper-focus on things and learn them fairly quickly, now with the constant ringing in my ears from tinnitus, I can’t even do that anymore.
    I took the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test when I went to the local university and with no prep or even knowledge beforehand of having to take the test.
    I got a 26 when the minimum for the most advanced program was only 15.
    Now that I know I am not mentally handicapped and know I will actually thrive in the right environment.
    I am trying to figure out where to go from here.
    I have been sober for over 6 months and it has been one of the hardest things I have done but I know I will remain sober.
    A couple of questions for people with Aspergers or a family member that is an Aspie.
    What type of doctor should I see?
    What type of financial help is out there for people like me in the United States?
    What type of medications help with anxiety, tinnitus, depression, and irritability?
    What are some good online support groups?
    Is tinnitus a common thing with Aspies?
    How do I cope with tinnitus as an Aspie that is already overwhelmed by outside stimuli?

  41. We have had my step-son evaluated more times than I care to count during his childhood years. Doctors, Psychologists and Psychiatrists all gave different diagnoses but never Aspergers. I
    I never knew anything about Aspergers and met someone whose son had it. After researching it so I knew what she was dealing with when I was speaking to her, a light bulb came on.
    He was about 15 years old when a doctor finally diagnosed him but never officially, as he was obsessed with going into the Army and knew an official diagnosis would prevent that.
    Anyway, fast forward to now – he is 22. He graduated from high school but aside from that he has done nothing. He is currently working part-time and this is the longest he has kept a job (2 months).
    He has mostly lived with my husband and I for his entire life and it seems that he will never move out. He has absolutely no motivation. He doesn’t want to drive. He doesn’t care to go to school. He got into Army Boot Camp but became very ill, missed too many days and ended up back home. He can try again soon but he has mentioned nothing about it.
    He works 30 hours or less per week. He works 2 blocks from home. He could get a better job but since he doesn’t drive, doesn’t want to ride the bus for any length of time and we cannot take him because we both work, he just does whatever.
    I have spoken to him multiple times about saving money to buy a car so he can get a better job so he can move out on his own and he doesn’t seem to care for that idea.
    We DO NOT get along. I believe he despises me but then again that could just be the Aspergers. I try to be understanding but he is nearly 23 and, at the rate we are going, he will live with us forever. We cannot afford to continue to house him. He works for a grocery store and doesn’t help at all, not even by replenishing the food he eats out from other people. He seems to feel we owe him.
    He doesn’t have many friends. He has one best friend who has high functioning Aspergers – goes to school, has a job, is engaged, etc. but he doesn’t see him much because he has no way to see his friend, since he doesn’t drive.
    When he is not working, he is lazing around, playing video games either on the PS4 or on the computer. Money he has made at his jobs over the years, he has used to buy video games, computers, etc.
    I am at my wits end. My husband doesn’t see to understand where I am coming from and thinks I should understand because he has Aspergers and it is not his fault.
    I fear it will be the demise of my marriage.
    A couple of years ago when we tried to speak with my son, I told him I was giving him a time period to get a job or go to school or both and he said, “Well, if I don’t, can’t or won’t, then I guess I will be homeless and, in turn, commit a crime and go to prison so I have a place to live”.
    This is what I am dealing with.

    1. My son got into trouble with the law his senior year and went to juvenile jail. He turned 18 and was transferred to the big house. He then spent the next 2 years in a group home. He learned DBT and other coping mechanisms. He was release at 21 and did counseling twice a week for 2 years. He enrolled in a tech school for welding. He quit that and went to ND for 4 months and received 5 international welding certificates. When he came back home he did nothing for 1.5 yrs. I finally told him to get a job or I was kicking him out. He got on with the local plumbers union starting at 25 an hour. He bought his 1st house at 23. He was in for almost 3 yrs of a 4 yr program and got popped for marijuana. The gave him 3 chances and he blew them all. That was 5 months ago.

      He is now behind 5 mortgage payments, foreclosure, credit score dropped over 100 points and has tried to commit suicide 5 times since July 30th. Yesterday was the 5th time and he became violent with me. I had him arrested. He been hospitalized 4 times.They keep him for 72 hours and then release. He tells the doctors that he wasn’t really going to kill himself. One incident he got ahold of a gun and another time he swallowed a number of sleeping pills. I have already lost a child and I don’t want to loose my son. Suicide watch is exhausting. I am disabled and at a loss. I have no income and in the middle of a very ugly divorce to which I am representing myself.

      I need a break from all of this insanity. My son knows he needs help and refuses. I know you cannot help someone who doesn’t want help. It breaks my heart that he was doing so well and now jail and all of the fall-out that goes with it. He has even said that he would rather live on the street. Well it’s rainy season in the NW.

      Thanks for reading my post. Shalom

  42. My 21 year old Grandson was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 2. I had custody of him at this time. His mother passed when he was 2. He has lived with me on and off his entire life. His Father, my son, passed a year ago. My Grandson has lived with me since. I am desperately trying to bring him along with a job or career to get him established in life, and be able to live and survive on his own. He has no one else to depend on. He has gone from job to job; mostly unemployed. He has been to 2 psychiatrists and 3 therapists, briefly, because he says they are not helping him. He has a high degree of Anxiety and social skill problems. He has no friends and stays in his room most of the time. I give him much direction to seek help and a career. I desperately try to motivate him. I have given him many options to further his education. He finally made an appointment with another Psychiatrist for next week. He does get critical and snippy with me. In fact, at times he seems somewhat Paranoid. He has a good heart and seems to want to do the right thing. Also, he lacks organization skills and his room is a total disaster. I am at my wits end. He has and is hurting me a lot, financially. I go to therapy for grief and other issues I deal with, including this. I have a great therapist however she is unable to see me but 1 or 2 times a month due to her heavy patient load. I am open to any suggestions/help. Thank You.

  43. My 27 yr old son has Aspergers. He had a job through a California Regional Center agency but when his employer closed he lost his job. He didn’t want to go back to this Regional Center for a job because he felt he was not able to work to his full potential. Most of their clients are severely mentally handicapped. He has tried community college and applying for part time retail jobs but no bites yet. He is more social than most with Aspergers. He has not yet found a curriculum he likes so is floundering. Had anyone had experience with this or have suggestions?

  44. Ken: My adult son is 27 and has been living at home for the last 9 months. He was in a 90 day addiction treatment center, but I know is still using drugs. He has a job but does not like it and currently unable to support himself. We assist him financially. He is in the process of filing bankruptcy. He has high risk car insurance and may lose his insurance due to numerous accidents in a short period of time. He is rude, unsociable, and is depressed, stays in his room, and does not manage his money well. He is diagnosed Aspergers. We are at our wits end. My husband and I attend Al-Anon which is a huge help. I feel like he will be with us the rest of our lives. If loses car insurance he will have to work local to ride bike to work. We have been paying his car insurance, car rental with his numerous accidents, etc. He is a college graduate and has been trying to get promoted or better job, but has been unsuccessful. Is there anywhere we can get him help? We love him dearly but he is putting a strain on us emotionally and financially. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  45. My son is a UC graduate in business economics, is now 38, and is currently living at home with my husband and I. He has been homeless, sometimes living in his car, a tent or on the beach. When he works, he usually busses tables or washes dishes in restaurants so that his contact with others is at a minimum. He is only comfortable around children and adults who don’t question him about his life. Since he moved in with us 2 months ago, he has been unemployed but tries to help us around the house when he’s not reading or doing yoga in his room or watching YouTube about aliens. He is kind, intelligent, non judgmental of others, extremely handsome, and a pleasure to have around, but I worry that he is withdrawing further even though he keeps making promises to get work. I have suggested counseling believing he has aspergers or at least social anxiety, but he refuses to admit there is anything wrong with him that he isn’t already working on. The only thing I can think of to do is to get counseling for myself to figure out how to help him before we lose him altogether. Do you have any suggestions for me?

  46. My son is 36 married for the second time…he was diagnosed with Asbergers back in 2001 but stated nothing to do to help
    Well for the passed 5 years he has put me though he’ll…either my so not his wife feel the need to help me with the utilities or his past bills I am in debt big time and he still doesn’t understand to help me finically wise… he promises all who gives him money he will pay back even with signing a agreement still no action from my son!!! I don’t know wish way to go to make him understand how important for him to pay me money as well as his creditors…. he throws a fit and get exstremly upset I just can’t take it anymore don’t know how to make him understand the important of bills payment and me
    My husband his dad his deceased and it’s hard dealing with this by myself
    There is much much more but I just wanted to understand the money issue and to make him understand the importance of helping me financially
    Hope to receive your advice
    Sue Dalling

  47. Ken,
    Thank you for this site. I have read all the comments left by parents experiencing very similar situations with their children. My son is 21, he was diagnosed in 2010 with Asperger’s and then in 2011 he was in an automobile accident and sustained a head and neck injury which has changed his personality. After years of doctors appointments and therapy my son has developed anxiety about appointments. I attempted to get him on social security but his attorney wants my son to try and work. I am doing this all on my own. Florida has been a state of dead ends. I plan on moving us to Colorado in 2019. My oldest son just got out of the Army and plans on living in Colorado. My youngest and I both want to be closer to my oldest. I had a hard time in the beginning of his diagnosis I went through depression and guilt but I am grateful that I realized I needed to stay positive as much as possible. I am grateful my son grew out of the tantrums. I am grateful to have found a counselor and med therapist for my son. The anxiety and depression are some what better. My son has attempted to find a job but I fear his low self esteem holds him back. Plus his neck and back pain from the auto accident are daily. I used to worry about his future but the energy I was expelling in worrying was over whelming and a waste of time now I focus each day. I can’t change the past and the future is unknown. I will just keep reading and researching about ASD. Thank you.

    1. Author

      Thank you for writing Tracey. Asperger’s can be difficult enough to deal with on its own without head and neck injuries. I think it’s a good idea for you to move to Colorado, because you will have family there and won’t feel so alone.

      If the pain from his injuries is daily, obviously there are certain things he simply can’t do. A couple of years ago I sustained a back injury and although I am much better than I was, I’m not pain free and there are certainly things I can’t do. I wonder if a good vocational counselor could help him work within his limitations. Best wishes to you.

    2. First time I came across this site. I’m having a really hard time with my 25 year old son.he was diagnosed with aspergers in high school it took him a good year before finding a job,he worked there for three years then moved on to two other jobs ( all three just part time . His latest job offered him a full time position. it’s working for the state ( not the best job but working for the state has great benefits. Working any of those jobs he had never missed a day and has never been late. A couple of days ago he said he was having a panic attack and came home then went to work the next day and did the same thing . In the passed He has tried talking to a therapist,but says it doesn’t work. I’m very worried about him and don’t won’t him to lose this opportunity . Many of his issues are taking a toll on my husband and myself . I won’t give up on him but I need some advice and lots of help.im afraid if he stops working it will be more difficult for him. Can someone help ?? Thanks for listening

  48. My adult son with Asperger’s tells me he doesn’t like people . People have ruined the planet. He has been hurt by two people he was close to. One was his best friend of 10 years from college who betrayed him and the other was a girl he was in a relationship with but who was seeing someone else and lied about it. I believe these betrayals have caused him to be distrustful and he can’t forgive and move on. How can I help him?
    All his frie

    1. Author

      You can help him by simply being there for him. We Aspies tend to see everything in black and white and that may be what your son is doing here. In other words, because two of the people closest to him hurt him, he thinks others will too. While it is understandable why he would be mistrustful, you can’t make him forgive and move on; he will do that himself when he’s ready, if he can get to that point.

      If he gets out and starts to meet new people, he will quickly see that not all people are like the two who hurt him. Some day, he may even come to see that those relationships simply ran their course and it was time to move on. Best wishes!

  49. My son is 31 and I think he has aspherers syndrome. I’ve only realised this in the last couple of weeks. I saw a show on TV on mild autism spectrum, then did some research and I’m absolutely convinced my son has this condition. Problem is do I tell him to get tested or do I just not say anything. I thought he was suffering from depression and have asked him to seek help just doesn’t want to do that. I’m worried if I tell him he might go over the edge and the worse thing is he has moved to Canada and I’m here in Australia. So worried about him and just don’t know what to do. Would appreciate any out there that can give me some advice.
    Regards Sally

    1. Hello Sally, so glad you commented with your concerns! I feel you should discuss this with him as he probably knows there is something that sets him apart from his peers and this would give him insight into how he is wired differently and how that difference impacts everything in his life. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s an understanding of oneself and often a relief. My son has Asperger Syndrome and while we too searched for what was ‘different’ when we finally had that checklist in hand…every single described symptom explained the challenges my son faced on a daily basis. We immersed ourselves in applying and figuring out methods of assistance that helped with our son. 10 years of education, training and application and now he has found his stride on his way to total independence. It’s work and difficult at first, but knowing is so much better to gain an understanding of why we act the way we do. Dr. Tony Attwood and Dr. TEmple Grandin both write excellent books on Asperger Syndrome. A recent read from Dr. Gail Saltz: The Power of Different casts a positive light on brain disorders. Also Here are a couple of helpful overviews from our website…Take care, Jennifer https://aspergers101.mystagingwebsite.com/aspergers-syndrome/coping-excelling/ https://aspergers101.mystagingwebsite.com/aspergers-syndrome/hf-autism-spectrum-screening-questionnaire/

  50. Dear Ken & Jennifer,
    I recently found this website and just read all the comments of people suffering with their kids. It all hit home for us. I have a 26 year old son who was really never diagnosed with Aspergers until the last few years. We liked in McAllen TX where healthcare is the worst. It wasn’t until he flunked out of college his freshman year (too much depression and anxiety to even go to class), treatment programs for video game addictions and “failure to launch” that someone finally mentioned aspergers. He spent 3 years in Seattle barely surviving which of course we helped supplement, working until he was fired then finding another job. He finally moved home a month ago and is unable to find a job or refuses to try. He is seeing a psychiatrist and counselor and treated for depression/anxiety, but is so overwhelmed he can’t even leave the house. So unmovitated and plays video games all day. Has no friends and too distraught to try to meet people. The hardest part as a parent is he really could care less about our family. Wants no part of anything we do as a family and can’t relate to his other adopted siblings. Yes he is adopted too and I can sadly say, this isn’t what we signed up for. But we have always been there for him, however at this point we are at our wits end and don’t know what else to do. We have spent thousands of dollars on him for treatment so additional treatment is out of the question. Any recommendations on boundaries or outside outlets or groups he could participate in. Thanks

  51. My son is 42, has a good job and his own home. He has ALL the symptoms of Asperger’s and always has. As a child, he was diagnosed with ADHD; Asperger’s was unknown to us.

    We are considering selling our home and purchasing one with a separate apartment for our son. There are several reasons for this. One, we are getting older and may need assistance at some point. But the main reason is that our son’s house is a MESS!!! It is practically falling apart. He does not clean or do routine maintenance other than occasional grass mowing. But the biggest problem is that he is a hoarder. Can this be a symptom of his Asperger’s? His entire home is stacked to the ceiling with boxes and boxes – mostly canned foods. This includes ALL rooms except his bedroom, including living room, spare rooms, downstairs den, and entire double garage. You can barely open the front door. No room for cars. His kitchen is also covered with “stuff” except for part of the stove. If we shared a home, we would eliminate all the clutter and limit what he could bring into the house.

    Does this seem like a wise decision to you? He is agreeable to the premise, but we have not discussed details.

  52. I have been researching aspergers and came upon your site. My adult son is in his 40’s. He is very successful in his work. Makes good income and lives in lovely home. For all this I am happy. But he cannot express his emotions and has been this way since he was young. I have been blaming myself wondering how I failed him. After reading the stories of others in here I am certain he has aspergers. My father had it. My father was also high functioning and was a professional with a very successful career. He could not relate to any one and had no friends. He never hugged any of us or told us he loved us. He did have a serious anger problem. My son is the same. He can be very mean, but never violent. He suffers depression. He has not spoken to me for almost 2 yrs for no reason. His only son who is a teen realizes that something is wrong that his dad cannot express love. My son is also very critical of others. I had cancer and he never asked how I was doing. I feel like he hates me. Yet I was a good mom. He has trouble in relationships and was divorced twice. He gets very hurt when they leave him. He attracts women because of his financial success, but not for long. I don’t know if I should write him off or keep trying to show him love. He never responds to my texts or voice mails. I try to keep them simple but show that I care about him. Was feeling so guilty that I did something wrong to make him this way. As a child he was kicked out of every school. It’s never been easy with him. But he is my son and I do love him. Now I am older and do not want to leave this world with so much guilt over him. He never responds to birthday cards with money in them, never acknowledges me on mother’s day and never says ‘I love you.’ Any advice?

    1. Author

      I know you hate to write him off, but if you continue reaching out to him and he continues not to respond, it can only lead to more heartache. You can only do so much for one person, but ultimately, he is responsible for his behavior, not you. While it is not his fault he suffers from depression, how he handles it is up to him, and if he is unwilling to seek help, there’s not much anyone can do for him.

      I hope you will “leave this world” guilt-free, and be satisfied you did everything you could to reach out to him, and realize that how he responds, or doesn’t, is beyond your control.

      I think a good idea is to maintain a strong relationship with your grandson, which you may already be doing. His father may treat him the same way he treats you, and knowing Grandma loves and cares about him might make your remaining days more bearable, and might be good for his own emotional well-being.

      June, this is a terribly heartbreaking situation to be in, but know that it’s a two-way street, and you’ve done everything in your power to meet him half way. Best wishes.

  53. Ken,

    I believe your article hit the nail on the head for me and my son.
    My son was diagnosed with Asperger when we was 5, he’s now 18. I also believe he has OCD as well.
    His mother and I divorced when he was 2 years old. We both have maintained a working relationship and communicate openly in the raising of both our sons. My struggle is that either I don’t understand why he’s treating his mother poorly or due to her living with someone that is completely different methods then our. Or, I don’t know enough about Asperger with OCD to be more helpful. I would like to believe that he can benefit from someone else treating more straight forward, but my son feels second best in that house hold. This puts him in having low self-esteem.

    His mother tells me that he’s manipulating me. I think it’s more then that. I’ve been told that because of his Asperger he doesn’t know any better (or does he?).

    I’m looking for me and his mother to better understand (if any), is it better to treat him as a normal teenager of have an approach that benefits him in the long run.

    My question is, what can I find to benefit my sons growth? My education on guiding him through these difficult times or information for him to better understand how to cope.

  54. Hello
    My son David who was months premature was diagnosed with Aspergers. He currently lives with us and is now 30. He has a full time job but does not make enough to be on his own. My question is how can we route him in pathways that will help him become totally independent and with some social life? He is obsesive and hard to change even when he sees in a rational way that he will get the same outcome, doing the same things. He is a loner, no friends and it breaks our hearts. I will stand by him until we pass on if need be, but I’d like him to be on his own before then if possible. He lives in the shadow of his younger brother and actually is one of his obsessions, but he is on his own and out of the house. We live in Cedar Hill, TX. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hello Stephen and thank you for reaching out. First I must say I relate to you in more ways than our sons diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I am from Cedar Hill Texas! Small town and was much smaller when I graduated CH High School oh so many years ago. Everything you mentioned is so very familiar to our family. My first suggestion is learning what motivates your son. Could this obsessions/passion/talent be somehow tweaked toward a career? If he is interested in the galaxy then perhaps work at a Planetarium? You get the idea. Also manners and social skills (which may be difficult as they are wired differently) must be learned. At least, learned to maintain enough social skills to function in society. It’s been a lifetime of training for our son Sam who is now 22. I don’t think the training and learning ever stops but more and more businesses are on the brink of realizing the special skill set that those with Asperger Syndrome may bring. We have an event on April 19th of this year where are bringing Dr. Temple Grandin to San Antonio to discuss this very topic. Hopefully some of our blogs will aid you in your journey. You are not alone!

  55. Dear Ken,
    My daughter is 20. She is a wonderful, brilliant person. I believe in my heart that she has Asperger’s. She has some significant challenges and I am beginning to see that with each transition in life, new skills are needed that she doesn’t quite have. As an infant, she could not be soothed. Her speech developed a lot between 2 1/2-3. She often substituted her own words for things. She couldn’t read social cues. She was still throwing temper tantrums in high school. We knew she was intense and “different” but didn’t really know why. I’m embarrassed but I am a teacher and I can spot Asperger’s/autism a mile a way in other people’s children. Finally, when she was a sophomore in high school, we had her “tested” for Asperger’s. She had a tremendous amount of anxiety about having a label even though we told her that it’s about strategies and self care as she grows up. Also, many mental health issues are tied to Apserger’s-anxiety, depression-as well as ADD, all of which she has. The testers said, no, she doesn’t have Asperger’s, she has anxiety. In my heart, I feel they were wrong. Anyway, now she’s in college. School has always been a place she can shine. But socially she continues to struggle. Our main strategy has always been to shower her with love and encourage her to try many activities to see what sticks. She loves cooking, pottery, guitar, and participating in cultural groups at school. However, she recently told me she’s been feeling depressed and can’t shake it. So I have been hounding her to get a physical and see a counselor. This is a recent development and I can see it’s going to take a lot of reminding to get her to follow through. Much Asperger’s research is around boys, and I believe girls in many ways, present differently. I really want to help my daughter develop confidence, strategies for self care, and understanding about friendships and relationships. She tends to complain a lot and go on and on and doesn’t seem to get that other people don’t enjoy that. How important is it that she accept that she has Asperger’s in order to get the support that she needs?
    Thank you so much,

    1. Hi Ken and others in this thread,
      I am turning to this group for some support, advice and possible resources regarding a “stepson” with Aspergers who is breaking up my relationship with my girlfriend because of his rigid refusal to acknowledge or be in the same room as me. Here is the background:

      We have been together for 5 years. Her son is often compared to Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. He is a high achiever academically (although he screams and cries at less than an A “my life is ruined!”) has no friends, becomes easily overwhelmed with rage and depression, has no capacity for empathy or compassion, has rigid thinking, and can’t tolerate me in the home. He attends a prestigious college, but since it is not too far away, comes home every other weekend and every holiday and break. He rarely spends time with his retired father — who also has Aspergers and who is similarly isolated by choice — so he always returns to his mother.

      After years of trying to manage our relationship while he was living full time at home, I moved in with my girlfriend right after he went off to college last year (in retrospect too soon for him but he would never accept it any way). But, even though I now live in his home, he refuses to acknowledge my existence and “forbids” me from being in the same room as him. He will stay in his room if I am home, unless I go to our bedroom. He will not eat with me. I can’t even watch a ball game on the TV with him or do anything together the three of us. All he says about it is that I am a stranger and will always be a stranger. Nothing personal but this is his house. I am an interloper (or sometimes calls me a freeloader, although that is not correct).

      Since my girlfriend feels sorry for him — she is the only one he has — when he comes home, she divides her time between me and him. Friday night and Saturday morning they go out to eat (always the same 3 restaurants— he needs familiar places). I get time with her from 7pm Saturday until 11am Sunday. Then his turn again until he leaves at 8pm Sunday. Every other week with frequent full weeks/months of similar schedule when school is out. And he gets the lions share of the attention because he is so angry and unhappy with his life and only his mother can soothe him (he still cuddles on her lap nightly for an hour before bedtime).

      Now for the current crisis: as if this isn’t hard enough, I am not allowed to share holidays with my girlfriend because he would not tolerate it. He doesn’t spend much time with his father (he will see him for one day this whole month home) so he is always around.

      To keep the peace, I am reluctantly spending this week between Christmas and New Years visiting my aging parents out of town. I did the same last year (because it was his first Christmas since going off to college and he needs her). I’m Jewish so my girlfriend says “it’s not your holiday anyway” as part of the reason and “it’s better if you are not here.”

      My girlfriend feels that her son needs her because he has no one else and no other place where he feels safe. I understand that he can’t help that he has Aspergers and can not tolerate my presence, but I believe my girlfriend is not helping him prepare for the real world if she continues to coddle him and treat me as a second class citizen so that he can feel safe in his sanctuary. I feel it would be better to put him in conflict — give him the consequence of choosing to skip eating with her, have to watch a game in his room and overall spend less time with her if he refuses to allow me in the living room to watch with him, etc. I would try this before before building to toleration of spending Thanksgiving or Christmas with me. I need to see movement and it will have to come from her, because he is fine the way it is. He can erase me from his life even though we live in the same apartment, because she allows this in accommodation to his emotional outbursts and absenting himself when I am around.

      By the way I have my own kids and do spend other holidays with them, but I also want to share holidays with the woman I love. My kids are fine with my girlfriend so we could all do things together. It is her son that has the veto power because he can not tolerate his mother having a new man in her life.

      I am at the point of considering leaving my girlfriend, even though we love each other and have a very close understanding of one another. She says “don’t make me choose between my son and you.” I’m ready to make that choice for her. I don’t approve of her parenting process but, then again, I have made my own parental mistakes over the years and my kids have their own emotional scars (don’t we all?) so she says I should let her do what she knows is right for her special needs son. I point out she will never have happiness with a man if she continues to choose her son — especially because she is catering to his needs rather than helping him adjust to the realities of life. I firmly believe that learning to adjust to my presence will help him negotiate other social challenges necessary to live in the world as an independent adult. She disagrees and says that she knows best and that this is what is best for her son.

      Any advice on how to handle this situation? Is there a workable solution beyond this current stalemate? Any advice or resources would be greatly appreciated.

  56. Ken,
    I am so frustrated with my 18 year old son I could beat my head against the wall! His story is long, I seek to shorten it so I will present it in more of an outline/timeline form. I and my husband are Aspies’s. We did not know this until 2016. We married in 1997, son was my 2nd child, husband’s 1st, he was born in 1999. His older brother is NT. Son was ALWAYS the best baby, even born with a broken collar bone he was so good. He was literally sweet/affectionate/giving to others from very young. We always felt bonded. He was 1 &1/2 when we took custody of husband’s nephew. He is 17 months younger than son. He too (like husband’s mom and brother has ASD) – these 3 have more ASD symptoms – son, husband and I more Asperger’s symptoms. Both boys are high functioning, but on scale of 1 – 10 son is 10 & nephew is 7. Husband was an alcoholic, had severe temper, never any physical abuse only temper tantrums and he is very big guy. He scared the boys a lot. I smoked marijuana, tried to hide from my own fear, and not knowing what to do. When son was prepubescent his affection toward me became uncomfortable, I learned later that was because he was mimicking his father (ie, come up behind me and hug me while I was at the sink, something dad did all the time, staring into my eyes and smiling, etc, things 7 to 9 year old don’t usually do). In 2008 I left husband, moved out of state with my sons. I got clean then. Son was still sweet, kind, generous, but all his life had sensory issues (school used weighted vest, that odd shaped seat cushion that rocks in a circle, etc. – occupational therapy and speech therapy for years). So he touched others and behaved strangely and got bullied. He had awful screaming tantrums, would throw things, you could not talk to or reason with him. He was always so intelligent, you just explained it and he was obedient. It was a terrible year. In 2009 husband was sober, family back together. Episodes stopped happening. We thought he was doing fine as the years progressed. Then in 2014 he took pills, made a passive suicide attempt ( I say that cause he made himself throw up and then came and told me within 5 min). The doctors said he had ASD, before the change to ASD they said he would have been diagnosed Apsergers. They said he was about to turn 15 but had social functioning level of a 12 year old. It took me a year to accept this. Slowly, very slowly I started to and I got him into therapy with OT at a facility for Autistic patients only. The diagnosing doctors, when he was hospitalized for the suicide attempt said he wanted, even needed, an extreme amount of physical affection to feel loved and accepted by us. We tried, really we both did and we still do. But this is not in our nature. We are not affectionate with each other much. OK now he is graduated high school, in first year of college, living at home. He held his first job at fast food restaurant for year and a half, then when he finally told them he had ASD and they started treating him differently, and eventually he found another job and quit. But he is doing OK with that job, its night job and he works alone. He also has his first serious girlfriend. They have been together over a year I think. She has GOT to be an Aspie too!!!!! There could not be more similarities. And oh gracious help me they are both so immature and yet so determined to be adults. So this kid who I have always been able to talk to and reason with and explain things to has lost his mind! He is fighting with this girl at least weekly, it often ends up with the screaming tantrums he had in 2008. He will not go back to counseling, he is an adult! He will not reconsider going back on his meds for depression (which he has openly admitted he is suffering with again). I like the girl, I love my son. But I am at a serious loss, life is hard enough for me! I barely know how to navigate through my own day. And by the time I get home I feel like the world around me has overwhelmed me so much all I want is to be left completely alone. Just last night husband, jokingly says, “you need a deprivation tank”. God I wish I had one most nights! There are 4 people that share my office. It was designed for 2. I am stepping in for a sales person who quit and that means working directly with MORE people and then he chooses to do something absolutely stupid that I have already told him will bring a negative outcome and why, (see normally here, before the girl, he would have listened, considered, maybe come back with a couple questions but ultimately said OK Mom, I get it) I want to beat my head on the wall. My NT child, I expected that, that was all I got from him, let me do it my way, mom’s don’t know what they are talking about blah, blah, blah. But my Aspie, no way. He isn’t stubborn, angry, depressed, or difficult to convince to get help. Except NOW he is, he is all of that. And I don’t know what to do. How in the world am I supposed to navigate the world of male hormones in this boy, when I can barely cope? I am really torn between how much I love him and want to help him, and how badly I want to toss him out on his ear to go be an adult! So there it is – what will happen to him if I do say to him, you will go to therapy, at least for the depression, and you will take the meds if they recommend it or you will leave my home because I can’t live with you acting like this when I have spent the last 2 and a half years making sure you knew how to cope with life and ask for help and now you simply don’t want to use those skills anymore?

    1. Author

      What will happen? It’s hard to say. He may not take you seriously at first, in which case you have to be prepared to follow through. If you don’t, he’ll never take you seriously again. Make it clear the choice is his, (take your meds and go to therapy, or move out). If he refuses to abide by your rules, he will not be welcome in your house. It’s kind of like tough love.

      P.S. If and when his relationship with his girlfriend ends, be prepared for more tough times ahead, especially if he didn’t want the breakup. He may be perseverating on it for awhile, and won’t be thinking clearly. That’s where he most needs your support, and may realize you were right all along.

  57. Thank you! My son is almost 21 and he was just told he was on the spectrum. What a relief. He knows now he’s not strange or odd. As his mom I want to help him as much as I can. Thank you for this blog. I will be letting my son know about it and also direct him to look into other blogs.

  58. I am so relieved (I think) to have read through all of this information. My son is not officially diagnoses with Asperger’s but it has been suggested to us over the past couple of years, and I fear they are right. He is definitely a lot like Sheldon off of the Big Bang Theory, even he see it. He is so intelligent, but he lacks social skills and prefers to do things alone or one-on-one. The change to college caused him a lot of anxiety, but I hope it will pass. He no longer has a job, and gets so stressed out when I ask him to look. It is like he can’t handle both college and a PT job. It is just too much for him. I keep hoping new things will help, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I just want him to be happy, but it seems like that can be a challenge for him.

  59. I stumbled across this website early this morning and I really hope I can gain some insight from it. I have a 27 year old son diagnosed with aspergers. He is attending college, high functioning, but has a very poor work history and struggles socially, especially with women. I have encouraged him to seek even a limited part time job to help his resume’ but he insists he needs all his time to study or be online late at night. He is on social security but it almost seems to be a burden because he thinks he doesn’t have to work. Does work cause too much anxiety? I’m concerned as he gets older he will be unable to find work and will be homeless. I’m 64, I had a heart attack 6 months ago and am afraid if I die he won’t be able to support himself. He’s a smart kid but frankly, lacks common sense or motivation and I feel guilty telling you that. I lose sleep over this, my life feels on hold. He does have his license and is doing well in school but again, struggles socially. Just a side note but, I suspect I was an individual with aspergers that went undiagnosed. When my son was diagnosed I looked at the symptoms and I thought “that’s me?” Most of my teen and adult life was a lot of anxiety and alcohol and drug use. I was able to work as a printer so I didn’t have to interact much with people,which I preferred no interaction. I used to wonder “what the hell is wrong with me?”
    Thank you Ken, I’m glad I found your site.

  60. All these comments are close to home for me. I have a 20 year old son; Taiwanese/American. I’m American and his mother- we are divorced- is Taiwanese. My son was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 15. It was his idea. In America. Now, he denies he has it and yet he can’t speak or write hardly at all. He has no social skills. We all live in Taiwan where he has his own studio which we cover costs on. He does not work and never has. The military here rejected him and I want to take him back to the states where he can’t at least go to college, get counseling and work PT.. He wants nothing to do with me and does not talk to me anymore. His mother ignores me and the fact that he is autistic. She has blinders on and she is actually trying to enroll him in college here in Taiwan, which isn’t even possible because of his language skills in Chinese. Its insane. I want to leave and return to the states but fear that will be the end of my family. If I stay here, its as if I’m invisible. I can’t help my son unless he asks for help and he will not do that. And I can’t help him in this country… I’m in my 60’s now and I ‘m tired of this…. I want to quit. Can anybody relate to this?

    1. Author

      I think many can relate to this. The majority of parents with a child on the spectrum end up divorcing because they cannot agree on how to approach the condition, and even if they stay together, they aren’t always on the same page. Also, I suspect your ex-wife is poisoning your son against you.

      The key to your plight might be that your son will not ask for help. You can only do so much for someone, but part of it is out of your control, and if your son will not accept or ask for help, there’s not much you can do.

      He may eventually have a falling out with him mother and want to live with you after all, and may even be willing to move. But even then, he has many problems to address, and at your age, you may not have the energy to do this.

      You said you want to quit, and sadly, that may be your only option. If you can’t save your son (and it sounds as if you’ve tried), you need to at least save yourself. The stress of trying to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped can take its toll if you aren’t careful, and may lead to long-term health problems.

      Best Wishes for you and your son.


  61. Hello –

    I have a son with who is 20. He has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but his dad and I believe he also has aspergers. He shows a lot of the symptoms such as having sensory sensitivities, lacks social skills (distant, often unable to empathize with others, etc.) gets obsessed with certain things, severe anxiety about new situations and so on. This has gone on for most of his life.

    He was expelled from high school after he turned 18. He is currently living at home and doesn’t do much other than play video games, and mess around on his computer. He has been hired several times but quits only after a few days on the job, usually extremely angry about something insignificant.

    My son has also become violent at home, busting up furniture and walls. He has also become physically and verbally violent with me and verbally with his younger sister as well. One episode involving me landed him in the county jail for 5 weeks. Often we have no idea why he is angry. He’ll just come downstairs and begin acting out.

    He is under the care of a psychiatrist and taking medication which helps a little with his anxiety and angry outbursts. He has also been through counseling but is usually very uncooperative about receiving help.

    His dad and I are at odds about how to handle his unwillingness to better his life and bad behavior. I believe he needs consequences like taking privileges away, but his dad doesn’t want to do that because he feels sorry for him and thinks it will escalate his violent outbursts.

    I am at the end of my rope and don’t know where to turn. He has no friends, no job skills, not even a high school education. We are very reluctant to force him to move out because he’ll be homeless. We can’t afford to keep him in his own place. I seriously doubt he’d be able to manage on his own anyway and would end up back with us.

    We love our son but this is tearing our family apart. I plan to move away after my daughter graduates from high school in a couple of years if the situation doesn’t get better.

    Do you know of any resources that can help us or have any suggestions to pass along? So far everything we’ve tried over many years hasn’t helped much.

    1. Hello, I just read this about your son and can feel the sadness in your words. We are in the same boat. I don’t know who to turn to.

    2. Do you mind saying what ended up happening?

    3. I am going through the exact as you and your family. I raised my son since he was 3 years old, and now he is 18 years old. He dropped out of school because of his mental sate and learning issues. He has been diagnosed at age 6 with Aspergers. He hates women deep down and he always said why did mom not want me. I tried my best to assure him that it was nothing you did and maybe she is trying to be better for herself. He lives at home and quits every job. He does not go to therapy anymore. I have been trying my hardest to stay strong, but after years and years I feel like I am broken. My long term relationship has been very rocky. I am shocked she tries with me. I tried to get my girlfriend to let me go and move on. She doesn’t understand that I cater to him even when he does bad. She said she is not giving up on me. This may sound very crazy, but I feel like I have to put my son first because he is always hurting inside. Maybe I will have to get therapy for myself to understand my role with a 18 year old Aspergers child. I am still asking for any advice and I am very open to any suggestions

  62. Ken,

    All of the comments have hit home with me. I’m desperate. This is my son. I’ve known forever too. It’s miserable. My son does not live with me but he does live close. I feel like he is 24 and old enough to figure it out. I admit to avoiding him because he is so miserable and argues constantly. His siblings do the same and I believe he has no friends because of it. My question is, What can I do? I state the obvious, I call him out on his behavior, I tell him to see a counselor and I set boundaries. He has no one but me and sometimes his stepfather when he has the energy to spend time with him. Now that he is an adult he is seems too old to act like this. I feel he is making this choice to act this way. We overlook, and are forgiving of his rude and selfish behavior. I think he takes advantage of us. What do u think?

    1. Don’t create a bubble as the world will burst it. Let him fail and have consequences.

    2. I am so glad I got a hold of these comments because this is my 39-year-old son absolutely. He found out himself he has Asperger‘s and I feel like my son for the first 30 years is no longer in existence. So this helps me know that I am not the only one. I will Continue reading this and take suggestions. I think the not talking to me is the worst since I’m in assisted-living but I am capable of handling everything myself. Thank God at 70 I still have all my faculties.

  63. Ken,
    My almost 21 year old was just diagnosed with aspergers after 3 horrendous years of trying to discern what was going on. I am told although he “was born with it”, it was not triggered (by what we don’t know) until 3 years ago. He became a totally differant person – at this point he has told us he is “indifferant to us” and “he does not care about us”. Nothing like my son before! The counselor he has been seein for 6 months (required by us to have us support him in college) has no experience or training in this field (although a nice person). But he referred him to psychiatrist to be tested for anxiety and we ended up with the diagnosis of aspergers. I have been doing exhaustive research to find someone knowledgable in this field in Orlando, FL, for counseling for all of us but to know avail so far. I love your bio (training & experience) and that faith is part of your life —- so wondering if you can refer me to someone of your calibur in the Orlando area? Near 32816 or 32806? I don’t need you to post this – you can just reply to my email. Thanks!

  64. Ken,
    Thank you for your article.
    My son has been diagnosed with OCD and Depression and anxiety.
    He is in his 30’s.
    I suspect he may have Asperger.
    I am not able to bring this up with him because he seems moody he uses such a sophisticated language I sometimes do not even understand the words as English is my second language.
    Basically he is not capable of small talk. He may answer yes or not and can be very sarcastic.
    It may be a cliche and some people may be offended by what I am writing but my son seems to be just like Sheldon on the Big Bang.
    He has called me dense and not smart at all in front of one friend of is I was so shocked I had no idea what to do or what to say so I said nothing.
    I did however see a psychologist for myself.
    We ” suspect” he may have Asperger but my son always tells me if he wants my opinion he will ask for it thank you very much mother for your concern…
    He has no empathy with me but yet he loves animals.
    Yes he works with computer and in communication and if I am not able to understand something on my cell phone or laptop he calls me stupid and tells me my brain isnt working properly…
    Granted we do not even live in the same state and he is an adult but I visit him and he visits me.
    I recently got a new job and texted him and told him he was polite he told me it was nice. I continued texting saying I am so happy I will make more money it is not far from home. His answer was…. Mother I need to tell you about texting etiquette, if someone does not answer you after two texts of yours it means they are not wanting to speak to you, I hope you understand mother.
    This hurt me so much I was not able to stop crying.
    I thought he was so mean with so much indifference.
    Now I understand it is not his fault.
    However I feel it is not my fault either and while I am terribly sad for him I cannot have my son with Asperger calling me dense, stupid, pea brain … I just cannot.
    I was attached to my parents whom I loved very much, when I told my son I wanted to go on my parent’s graves and bring some flowers he told me what a waste of money it is to buy flowers for a pack of old bones with no souls no bodies. Again I know he has issues but this lack of empathy totally breaks me and I do not want to see him at all.
    He was supposed to visit me for Thanskgiving and I am trying to make up an excuse not to see him and at the same time I feel guilty. I am starting to wish I could have a small accident and be in a hospital at that time so my son would not come and not stay with me.
    I am sorry to sound so cold blooded and mean and heartless. I just saw your post and decided to answer.

    1. It is not offensive to say your son seems just like Sheldon on Big Bang, since that character shows certain Aspie traits. For him to call you dense or not smart, and in front of others no less, was extremely rude. You don’t talk to anyone like that, much less your own mother. Same for the comment “If I want your opinion I’ll ask you for it.”

      I think it is good you see a therapist for yourself. You can’t change your son, but you can change how you react to him, but more importantly, how you perceive his behavior. Realize it is his issue, not yours. As for calling your “stupid” for not understanding your laptop, since he is in the communications and computer business, understanding technology may be second nature to him, and the people around him at work, and he may not grasp that everyone doesn’t understand it as easily as he does. He also does not seem to understand how his behavior affects people around him. He may well be shocked to find out you are so hurt (and justifiably so) by his comments.

      My advice: Tell him how it makes you feel when he resorts to name-calling and you would appreciate it if he would refrain from doing so. If he persists you may need to end the conversation until he treats you better. But give him ample warning: If it’s a phone conversation, tell him if he talks to you that way again, you will hang up on him, and then follow through. If it’s in person, walk out of the room if it convenient to do so. Otherwise, tell him, “I’m not speaking to you when you talk to me that way.” He may not understand why it bothers you, but at least he will know he cannot engage in such behaviors around you.

      If you dread his visit on Thanksgiving, you might just tell him you have other plans this year. I know you hate to do this, but it might just be necessary for your mental health. You are under no obligation to spend time with a person who is verbally and emotionally abusive, and the fact he doesn’t realize what he is doing does not let him off the hook, or make you feel any better when he makes his comments.

      If he is coming for sure, you might want to set some boundries with him in advance: Let him know what you will and won’t tolerate, and that if he can’t abide by this, he will not be welcome in your home. With Aspies, you sometimes have to be this blunt and direct. And by the way, you do not sound cold blooded and heartless; instead you sound like a wounded person who is afraid of being wounded again. I hope my advice helps you deal with your son. Best Wishes.

      1. Loretta my son is exactly the same very rude. I understand where you are coming from. My family has been thrown out by my son. We all sitting there quite happily or so I thought when my son just screamed and told us all to leave including my poor 85 year old mother. We all got such a shock. He suddenly wanted his own space. Well now we know to just desend on him for a short time only. I have had to ask him to leave my house many times as he verbally and emotionally abusive. I still love him and try to see him but I keep my visits short. I don’t like my sons behaviour but it’s not his fault. I can’t help it but I do get angry and feel very hurt sometimes as he says such horrible things to me. He has said one time I’m a good mum and grandma so I try to focus on the good he says. Which is rare. I truly understand you.

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