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Help for parents of an adult with Asperger's.
July 6, 2012 4:22 AM   Subscribe

Need help finding resources for parents of adult children with Asperger's.

My aunt has come to me looking for her help with her adult (27yo) son who undoubtedly has Asperger's Syndrome, though it was never formally diagnosed when he was a child.

She's specifically looking for help from a parenting perspective as she's totally at a loss trying to make decisions about how much she should be helping him (emotionally, financially) at this point while he's struggling to maintain his independence and simultaneously pushing her away. [Note: he lives on his own -but is not financially stable at the moment.]

Most of the information she's found online is targeted towards parents of young children, which isn't very helpful at this point. Note: none of the parties involved live in the US. My aunt is in France, her son is in Germany. Online resources are great as are any books, articles, etc.
posted by sonika to Human Relations (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm a big fan of self-advocacy for people with disabilities, and from what you say he doesn't want the help. Listen to him. Leave an open offer of help if things get serious. He might fail, he might get into terrible trouble. So might any 27 year old. You have to give the opportunity to fail to give independence.

More generally, I don't even know if this question is answerable; Aspergers covers people with a huge range of abilities and challenges. Yes, they have certain factors in common, but a lot of differences too. Think of the range of answers you'd get if you took the Aspergers out of the equation and posed the same question (how much to help out an adult offspring in financial trouble) to MeFi. There is as much diversity in young people with autism as there is in young people without autism.

I'm not even sure what Asperger-specific advice for this situation would look like, unless there are very specific social-communication problems that are coming up.
posted by Coobeastie at 6:21 AM on July 6, 2012


autismspeaks.org or grasp.org/ might help.
posted by basketballandinternet at 6:27 AM on July 6, 2012


The first thing that comes to mind is that it's so important to involve your cousin in this process. He is an independent adult and should be making decisions about what makes the most sense for him. This may or may not be an autism spectrum issue. Things like social anxiety, depression, ADHD and other issues can sometimes look to others like autism spectrum. I'd encourage him to find a psychologist or other provider who specializes in diagnostic evaluations, particularly for autism spectrum disorders. I would be happy to reach out to some colleagues to help locating someone close to him. Feel free to MeMail me.

For your aunt, here are a few resources that come to mind:

AAPC Publishing has a range of books geared toward adults with autism spectrum disorder and their families. You aunt may find something helpful there.

These books have also been helpful to families I've worked with:

Liane Holliday Willey holds a doctorate in education and also has Asperger Syndrome. She's written a series of books about living on the autism spectrum as an adult.

Asperger's on the Job speaks directly about vocational issues for those on the spectrum.

Preparing for Life covers issues about the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Might be geared toward slightly younger adults, and is also written more toward resources available in the US, but there may be some information there that would be helpful for either your aunt or your cousin.


One additional resource: Wrong Planet is a great on-line community for individuals on the autism spectrum and may be helpful for your cousin as a support.
posted by goggie at 7:14 AM on July 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Coobeastie: My question is specifically about finding resources to help parent an adult child with Asperger's, so yes, answerable. The details aren't particularly relevant - I might have been better off not including any.
posted by sonika at 8:23 AM on July 6, 2012


Came in to recommend Preparing for Life as the Mother (and partner) of Aspie males. The online support boards can be difficult to navigate unless you're very familiar with this type of engagement. I suggest your Aunt look up the ASC (many places still call it Autistic Spectrum Disorder, but our local centre is adamantly against this preferring Condition) unit in a large nearby Teaching Hospital and e-mail them for resources in her language or even nearby support groups where she might meet some other parents.
posted by Wilder at 8:36 AM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


You could pass on my name and email address. My adult ASD sons are 25 and 22. I have an outdated parenting website as well that is slowly being revived, which may or may not be helpful. You can find the link in my profile.
posted by Michele in California at 11:32 AM on July 6, 2012


I shared the books/websites that goggie linked and the response was that they were exactly what my aunt was looking for, so, thanks!
posted by sonika at 12:04 PM on July 10, 2012


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