this is our first time posting. My partners adult son (20) was diagnosed with Asperges 3 years ago and depression 4 years ago. The diagnoses was when he was at college. He struggled making friend and keeping friends along with communicating in social circles.
After college he became very vacant, he doesn’t have many friends if any. He has never had a job and didn’t go on to university. He said that he found it too difficult and was too anxious.
He was on the waiting list for CBT and counselling through the NHS for atleast 2 years when he was then offered the help he insistent that this was Impossible for him. he needed to interact face to face. We explained to him about CBT, he agreed to do video call as long as my partner (his mum was with him). He has since declined the help.
He is currently going through a stage speaking over social media to multiple woman and has met some. He appears to jump from relationship to relationship. But is adamant he cannot get the help or work due to having to have face to face contact.
He will also sleep all day not get up until between 2pm-6pm sometimes as late 730pm and not help around the house. And when challenged he can become aggressive and sarcastic.
this is starting to take its toll on his younger brother, mum and myself. we always offer to be there for him to speak to face to face or even through tx or notes if he were to find it easier but he appears to shut us out and is more interested in either sleeping all day or talking to unknown girls.
we just want to help our son.
Would he accept help that is not face to face? It seems something regular, a routine would be good for him
Originally he said yes he would receive help via email. But no seems more distant and when we mention to him about support and help he shrugs it off and says he doesn’t want to discuss it. He has recently said he will only receive help via email.
We have tried to explain to him about a routine without using the words routine. So small things we leave him to do while we are working ie. putting the recycling out, hover, bring his washing down. To try to get him up and into a routine. He used to love designing cartoons or drawing in general so we have also Encourage he gets up to do that as he enjoys it but he doesn’t. We will still return home 10-12 hours late with him in bed.
The only thing he seems to want to do is speak to girls and stay up all night.
He must be feeling a tremendous sense of failure. And he may well perceive attempts to help as interference. And no doubt the spectre of unemployment looms?
It it difficult to know what to suggest, he clearly isn't a happy bunny right now. He needs to get some kind of sense of autonomy or independence for himself, but maybe fears that's beyond him.
Is there any way to get him into some kind of halfway house accommodation where he might feel he is starting to take on adult life on his own terms a little more?
We haven’t mentioned to either of our two but we are looking at moving. Somewhere bigger and closer to where we work. Where we are looking has more opportunity for the both of them with education, work and help via counselling/mentoring. One house we’ve seen has an annexe. We are thinking that will give him independence. He is still close to home but can start to be independent. we have mentioned the possibility of moving in the past and he has closed it down straight away and said he is not moving.
Regarding independence when we attended the GP to refer him to counselling she made suggestion that he were to do his own washing or atleast cook 1 meal a week for himself or if he felt ready for the family. Due to him not getting up till between 2pm-6pm he would just wake and eat a slice of bread. Or the rest of the family would be waiting till extremely late to eat. When explaining to him he cannot be in bed all day he will become very sarcastic and even shout in my partners face that he doesn’t care. Due to us both working shifts our other son tells us what’s going on at home but begs not to say it’s from him as he’s worried he will get it from our eldest. we are stuck in such a situation.
the idea of him being told he has to live somewhere else even if it’s a suggestion of an assisted living would tip him over he edge either into a panicking emotional reck or rage. On one occasion in lock down he snuck out to meet a girl. His brother is high risk and we’ve been extremely careful around him when he was aware we found out he was terrified we would chuck him out and was sweet as light, very helpful and getting up it was as if he thought if he didn’t he would of been thrown out
It’s really tricky. He is clearly depressed. However, allowing his behaviour to continue, particularly the aggression, is doing him no favours in my view. If he is refusing help then he is choosing to maintain the status quo. I say this as someone on the spectrum who refused MH support for many years when I was young despite very clearly needing it. Ultimately, he will have to have some degree of independence eventually as you and your partner are not going to be around forever. The fact that he was able to modify his behaviour when he thought he might be thrown out shows that he has some control over how he behaves and is choosing to treat the family badly in the meantime. I would say that you need to make your expectations clear (accepting MH input, speaking respectfully to the family, adhering to a routine) and that, if he will not work to meet them, then you will look for alternative accommodation for him. Undoubtedly, he will rage and attempt to reassert control, perhaps through emotional manipulation, but it essential that you and your partner maintain a united front and do not back down. Ultimately, this is for his benefit as well as for the benefit of the entire family- if you do not make this stand now, his issues are likely to be left unaddressed for the rest of his life leaving your son isolated and lonely as there are few others in this world that would accept the behaviour that he is currently exhibiting.
It has been explained to him that he has until September to either accept the help, get a job or atleast get out and live life maybe a volunteer job. The response we got was sarcasm and a I don’t care approach. It was left that if he doesn’t then we will. Our youngest son understands that this means he will be told in September we are not putting up with it any longer he will have to find else where to live if he doesn’t take this seriously.
I brought him a book with exercises in (preparation for work for autistic people) at the start he wouldn’t look at it. After a large argument (the fact we arrived home at 5:30pm and he was still in bed) he started to highlight parts of the book where he felt it fit him and how he felt. This was 1 week ago, again he has not looked at it since.
my partner and myself have constantly spoke about what we can do for him, what’s the next steps and what we are going to do if he doesn’t act. For me it’s easier to say he needs to find alternative living arrangements or assisted living because he isn’t my blood son I love him like he is my son but I don’t have that blood tie. My partner is finding this a lot more difficult. It’s starting to take its toll on her health also.
It must be extremely hard for all of you - are you accessing support for you and your partner? A carers group perhaps? It’s very important to look after your own MH too when you are living in such difficult circumstances.
I completely understand what you are saying about your partner and the difficulties emotionally she must have with setting these boundaries. I worked for ten years with families with children and YP who exhibit challenging behaviour. Ultimately, I would say to parents that either they could set the boundaries, knowing that they do so with love in the best interests of their child, or the outside world will eventually set the boundaries for them though social isolation, unemployment, and potentially contact with the criminal justice system. You have an opportunity now to change things for your son - if you do not, he will still be forced to change eventually but the road there will be far more challenging and the sanctions for his behaviour will be given by people that do not know and love him as you do. The fact that he can behave well when he chooses is a thought you both need to continue to return to - he is choosing not to. Whilst his ASD and depression are certainly motivating factors, they are not, in my view a reason to allow him to behave as he does. Just because some ASD behaviour can be misconstrued by society as bad behaviour does not mean that all bad behaviour is a result of his ASD.
No we aren’t seeking any help. I wouldn’t even know where to look we are at the end of our tethers. My partner is also currently going through some major health issues.
i have recently signed up to become a mentor there is an online course I am waiting on. We are so willing to help him. Like I said before I love him like my own I’d do anything for him.
he is clearly desperately seeking for friends but goes about it the wrong way. He speaks to multiple girls online. On several different apps that we know the girls charge money. This is a massively worrying factor for us but again the in information has come from our youngest son that doesn’t want us to say anything and dob him in.
ideally I really want to get him this CBT and other therapy that way he cannot keeping using his ASD as the reason for his behaviour.
Definitely seek support for yourselves so that you are better able to manage. Some useful info here: www.autism.org.uk/.../support-for-carers.aspx and helpline details are here: www.autism.org.uk/.../contact.aspx. If you have a little scope online, there will be something local for parents/carers of individuals with ASD or mental health.
Thank you I will take a look now.