You can ASK SYLVIA by clicking on ‘ASK’ above.
My 20 year old with asperger’s is having issues meeting people and making friends. He goes to the community college but does not have the skills needed to make friends. He really enjoys history, libraries and traveling. He likes to watch wrestling and the ghost hunter shows on tv.
–Ready for Suggestions
I share your distress that there are not more helpful programs for adults on the spectrum. Does your 20 year old understand and accept his or her diagnosis? If so, you could start by sending him/her an email with the video below (of an adult discussing how Aspergers affects him socially in professional and academic settings).
Before you write your email, read our handout on written explanations, and gather your thoughts. I suggest something like, “This video reminded me of you. I’d like to help you make and keep some friends if you want to. Here is what I think we could do:
If we meet anyone we like at these clubs, we can see if they ever would want to come over and watch ghost hunters on TV.
Is it OK with you if we try these things?”
I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes. –Sylvia
Almost every family I’ve worked with considers some kind of medication for their child with autism at some point. Lots of people end up getting prescribed some kind of medication. In fact, more than half the teens with autism that I know take at least one medication. They actually take some pretty serious stuff.
I’m distressed every time I go to look up research about meds for autism. It’s not that I think medication is bad–I’ve actually seen some kids really benefit from taking psychotropic/anti-psychotic meds – but I think the system and the background research is imprecise.
Consider the following:
I think kids (with and without autism) are better at their lives when they get to do stuff that makes them happy.
Many children (people) have to spend a large portion of their day practicing things they are bad at. This is especially true for a lot of kid with autism, who often have to attend a myriad of deficit-based therapies, in addition to going to school (which is usually inherently social).
I am actually really impressed with how well kids with autism manage to cope, considering how much of this negativity and criticism they put up with every day. Shoot, if someone even tells me two criticisms in a row about myself I feel like crying
In fact, on days that are packed full of stuff I don’t feel like doing, I’m a whole lot worse at my life. I’m more likely to be late, to be snappy or slow-witted, and I don’t have any innovative ideas. However, let me have a day where I get to go for a walk, laugh with somebody, hang out with some kids and watch/play sports–or even any ONE of those things, I’m so much happier and I get so much more done. I resent the hard parts less when I get to do stuff I’m good at too.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think kids (with and without autism) are better at their lives when they get to do stuff that makes them happy.
For more on increasing happiness etc, check out this great book by June Groden.