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Social Skills for Adults with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Because Aspergers is an "invisible disorder," often unrecognized by those who may be unfamiliar with the disorder, socially inappropriate behaviors that are the result of Aspergers traits are often attributed to other causes (i.e., people often perceive these behaviors and the person who commits them as rude, self-centered, irresponsible, lazy, and ill-mannered). 

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==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

5 comments:

  1. This is a really good article that will help parents know what social skills need to be reinforced. I'm so glad that today there is so much help out there. I have a 37 year old son who is married and reading these articles about Aspergers have really helped me understand so many things about his childhood when they just called him an enigma and tried so many failed therapies on him.

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  2. I noticed something about what anonymous said. This person, just like I am, is reading this not because they have Asperger's but because someone they care about does. My son is 20 and could care less to read anyhting on how to help himself. Diagnosed a little over a year ago, he has the emotional age of maybe 13 or younger.I want him to be able to move along, but he is content here with me doing nothing but the chores I force him to do. Those, he does poorly and has to repeat them; and pair that with ADD it takes him all day to do simple things. No amount of prodding can interest him in anything but his dog, his fantasy/sci- fi books, and his computer games. I forced him to go to Technical school with horrible academic results and meltdowns when prodded to do work. He will not drive.I do not know where to turn. I have consulted an attorney but they are doubtful he will win his disability case because of this "invisible disorder" and the fact that he is very bright. He doesn't understand business dealings or employer expectations and I always wind up navigating for him. I still have to get him out of bed every day and tell him to take care of his grooming and hygeine. Help!

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    1. I really feel for you, Anonymous Feb 3, 2012. It sounds like you really need to take good care of yourself. This invisible disability is so hard on the ones closest to them. I suffer as well. I am married to Aspergers + ADD and my 14 year old son has it too. They both are extremely bright which makes it all the more confusing for neurotypicals. I haven't found too much that helps us.
      My suggestion is that some tough love is needed. Is it healthy for *you* to continue this way?
      Perhaps you can teach him how to use the bus. Maybe he could get a job at a pet store, video game store, book store, or something of his interest that he finds fun. . . a starter job. He needs to fail at business dealings and employer expectations, *on his own*. Experience is the best teacher. Perhaps hire a coach for him. Sometimes they rebel just because it's mom telling them the same thing a coach, teacher, or boss, would tell them, but they will listen to them.
      I also have to deal with hygiene and waking up issues. It is so hard to watch but I have to let natural consequences unfold.
      Perhaps set boundaries for yourself. Be precisely clear on what you expect from him, with firm deadlines, and clear consequences if not met. Don't threaten but do follow through. Maybe even write up a contract and both sign it. Aspies generally are rule followers and they like to know what to expect.
      I wish you all the best. I know it's not easy.
      Carol

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    2. I have a similar situation with a college grad son who isn't working. Doesn't care. His psychologist told him to take a break while he built a habit of exercise (he has, yay!), start new meds for depression/ADD (yes) and look for jobs (not really happening). Where do I look for a life/ADD coach?

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  3. I am reading this because one of my children has been detected with low social skills and is suspected of being a HFA. On reflection I was always shy and don't have any real close friends and there is a saying the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I do not pick up on social clues and can read people's body language and have difficulty starting small talk. I also detest being ordered to do anything. Now that I know I and my child have this we can start being mindful of the lack of social skills and try to develop skills. Anonymous with your 20 yr old son get him to do computer programming as it will suit his difference (aspie) and the logical requirements will suit. Also people interaction will be lower . I almost did computer programming but was talked into a degree in Commerce and regret not doing the programming as I would have enjoyed it and been excellent at it.
    Another area would be finance degree as it is logical and follows set formulas and you calculate expected results. Wish I had majored in Finance with my degree . Another mistake as I did not know about HFA at the time. Thinking back I excelled at Economics and Finance units at University. Now I know why and should have majored in them. I went to a Technical School and ended up leaving with electronics rather than trades. It was not until later in life I discovered that my low marks in Science was because I was wired for Business studies. You can't tell an aspie to do something . Use visual rather than words. Put a picture up on his wall of him doing whatever chore you want him to do. Maybe get a book on finance and leave it lying around. I got my fussy child to eat a piece of carrot by placing on small piece on her plate. Normally a refusal is what I get if I suggested eating carrot but she ate it without any resistance. I was expecting her not to eat it but instead to get use to it (desensitise) on the plate. If you want to teach your son you are going to have to take small steps. Like go for a short walk towards the bus stop. Wait at the bus stop . Get used to this and then suggest you both catch the bus and if he arks up don't push it just do it again slowly get him used to the idea. It may take time but he has to think about the idea of riding the bus. Maybe talk about why it would be good to catch the bus. Where he could go and why this would be good. Logic and deduction has to be given and he then has to process the ideas rather than being forced. I have watched a video from a physiologist on how to interact with a child with HFA or Aspie.
    Tough love won't work but feeding his need for logical reasoning and giving him time to think about it will work better.
    Brett

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