What to do with a thieving adult child?
August 28, 2007 5:39 AM Subscribe
How do we discipline an adult aspergers son?
posted by anonymous to human relations (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Some background: My son has aspergers and a chronic health condition that sometimes becomes dangerously acute. He is now an adult and does some volunteer work, goes to community college and is assisted by a welfare organization in work skills. He receives an allowance from the government for disability. We charge him $100 per fortnight rent and 1/3 of the utilities. I expect him to pay for his own medication but we pay for his health insurance.
I still attend some doctors appointments with him as he doesn't always give the doctors the information they need and can't relay their instruction back to me, which means the instructions are not followed.
I tend to over-parent. I am his mother. He was a very very very sick premmie. Almost two decades ago.
Current ground: I don't know how to parent a 18 year old who is allowed to vote, have sex, look at pornography. I don't know what rules I can or should enforce. And I don't know how to discipline him. He lives with us because it's not safe for him to live away from home with his current set of living skills and income.
This is not always a problem except today, for the millionth time, I found him trying to steal from my husband's wallet. I don't think he'd done it for a long time. I've threatened to throw him out for this transgression in the past, and once did (he had a night at the YMCA). But today he is actually quite unwell and I had to take him to the doctor yesterday. I also had to insist he stay at home today even though he wanted to go to college.
My husband is very very angry and I am very very sad. What do I do to stop this, how do I punish and what rules are reasonable to enforce and if you're in the mood for another part of this question - should I give him complete autonomy with his own money? I had told him to keep $50 in his account at all times and he agreed and now he has reneged on that and has no money till his next pay day.
He states that he was not stealing. I believe he was taking petty change which is his usual modus operandi.
He has never been good with money. He is terrible with boundaries with my property. He helps himself to all my technology that he likes. In spite of dire threats. He doesn't care about many things so I can't take them away as consequences of his actions. He doesn't have any friends.
If I ground him he usually does something "illegal" around the house like steal my ipod for his use or my cell phone to play games or take my cds.
Help me with my current dilemma regarding the wallet and please give any other advice you care to. I hope I have covered it all. I have a throwaway email account which is firstname.lastname@example.org .
In advance thank you. And apologies for the ramble.