26 Year old son has just been diagnosed with ASD, how do I help

Hi,

My 26 year old son has just been diagnosed with ASD,  how do I help him?  how do I make my family understand that he's not "a waste of space? Where can I learn more about adults with Autism?  I just want to help and understand my son as much as I can. Please Help with any advice you have.

Thank you

  • Concentrate on what he is best at doing and go from there. Don't force him to do things because it will be good for him. It did not work for me. 

  • As an adult who only got a diagnosis recently I think what you can do to help will be really individual to your son and your/his circumstances. For me what I really want from family and friends is understanding and that they ask me what would help and listen to me and don’t impose their own idea of what life should be like on me. I’m lucky that they do that. Of course I haven’t always known what would help and it’s been a bit of a voyage of discovery for me over the last year to understand myself!

    I suppose it depends on your relationship with your son and his attitude to getting a diagnosis. If he’s very negative about it it’ll be hard (I wanted the diagnosis and see it as a positive which makes it easier). If you can why don’t you and he explore together? There’s a lot of great YouTube videos and blogs by adult autistics that might be a good place to start. Also see if there are any support groups for adults in your area maybe. I’ve found that a brilliant source of information.

  • from "the girl with the curly hair project"

    https://thegirlwiththecurlyhair.co.uk/?paged=2&s=adult+diagnosis

    from NAS main site

    https://www.autism.org.uk/about.aspx

    https://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/adults.aspx

    move to this thread "Books/Literature advice" in the "Autistic Adults" section of this forum  ---- there is a load of good books mentioned here available on amazon / your library

    https://community.autism.org.uk/f/adults-on-the-autistic-spectrum/16746/books-literature-advice

    search in youtube and TEDx channel in youtube for "adult autism",

    search twitter and facebook for "autism, autistic" 

    Look in the Mental Health section in your local library and borrow books on "autism", "temple grandin", "aspergers"

    Its probably quite a shock for him so give him time to let it sink in.

    Ask him to ask about any post diagnostic groups from the people who diagnosed him.

    Get him to join this forum/blog where we can help him.

  • I'm 25 and currently awaiting my diagnosis. The most important thing is that he knows you love and support him wholeheartedly, which it certainly sounds like you do. In terms of helping family to understand, I'd point them in the direction of some resources to learn more about autism. It's also worth challenging them (in a positive way, to help them understand) if you hear them speaking negatively about autism.

    I find Purple Ella's YouTube videos incredibly helpful - I'd encourage both you and your son to have a look at these. I've also found that reading about autism has helped me to understand it better; 'Odd girl out' by Laura James is really interesting, and was written from James' perspective as a late-diagnosed adult. 

    This website is a good starting point for finding information and resources. This forum, in particular, has been very helpful for me.

    Try and encourage your son to see his diagnosis as a positive thing; he's always been autistic, but now he can get to know himself better and access support if he needs it.