What to expect when they are adults?

Avatar for littleroses
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Registered: 03-28-2003
What to expect when they are adults?
4
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 12:16pm
I guess nobody knows that answer since there's such a broad spectrum and there's no crystal ball, but I have quite a bit of anxiety wondering how capable my daughter will be to take care of herself as an adult. Do you find yourself worrying about that a lot too? My dd has a lot of abilities I can be thankful for, but others that are of course, a disability. I have read a lot of books on ASD, but it seems after childhood...not a lot of attention is given to their adult lives. It is a lifelong disability, not just a childhood disability. Has anyone read any books or excerpts that addresses the personal lives of those with ASD as adults? I wonder if she would be able to hold a job, will she need (or get)help from the government? Will she live in poverty? I mean she "looks normal" and oftentimes people don't think of someone as disabled unless it's clearly visible. I am also wondering what life is like for them in their own words as well. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 11:56pm
Ah, what is life like for an adult Aspie? My DH (AS) says he doesn't really see how life is any different for him than it is for everyone else. He says he has felt 'apart from the croud' all of his life or 'not quite belonging'. He had it in his head, somehow, that he should be a part of some group and felt like he could never really find a place where he belonged. Sound lonely? Actually it's quite normal. The overwhelming majority of the population goes through extended and reaccurring periods where they feel like they 'don't seem to fit in'. A lot of people refuse to admit it except in their darkest hours and usually only when they are alone. They will only admit it to themselves and God because they are afraid of what others will think. Most people have the misconception that by telling others that they feel somehow seperate from everyone else that that in itself will cause others to reject them on some level. Aspies are actually a step ahead of the general masses on that one because they often don't see the point in hiding their loneliness.


As you said, there is no cystal ball and everyone is different. I do worry a lot about Jade and her future. I worry about all of my children's futures, but Jade's most of all. She currently recieves SSI because it is assumed that she will never be able to hold down a job and per evalluations of three different drs she cannot be schooled by 'traditional means'. She will be reassesed when she turns 18 and again when she is 25. If she still cannot hold a job she will be perminantly adressed to SSI, and Disability. She has aspirations of attending MIT and they have said that they do have a Virtual Docorate Program that was specifically designed for people like her, but they do not, as of yet, have the facilities to handle a student with her special needs there on campus. Stanford, her second choice in colleges, also has a quite extraordinary Virtual University that is available to everyone. We expect that she will never be able to really live 'alone', but you never know. She has made significant progress in the last two years, since she started on SSI. So it very well may come to pass that she is able to achieve her life long (almost 9 ys....she thinks she's getting old) ambition of working for NASA as a teraforming engeneer. But, I do have to say that I worry so much about her because she is so low functioning in most areas. She has an IQ of 72, which puts her just beyond the relm of Mental Retardation. However, many of her drs and I agree that the only reason she scored that high is because she is an autistic savant in the areas of Earth Science and Cosmology. Her scientific and mathmatical wording abilities 'distorted' her cognative testing to make it show higher than it actually is. We like to say she is boarderline between AS and HFA.

My other Aspies will probably turn out more like DH though. He leads a relatively normal life. He has his own family, complete with wife and children. He has a 'normal' job just like everyon else. He goes fishing with a buddie every so often and likes to play cards with my WP, Scott, and his wife. He says that since he found out he is autistic that he doesn't feel so lonely anymore because he knows that there are others out there just like him. We know quite a few other adult Aspies, and to tell you the truth, I can't see how the APA and ASA got their numbers that say only one in fifty Aspie men will get married and that Aspie women inevatably become housewives. Where the heck did they get this stuff from? ALL of the Aspie men we know are married and half of the Aspie women we know are proffessionals, some married and some not. (shrug) Personally, I think it takes an extraordinary person to be married to an Aspie. I am in awe of my MIL (who's DH is AS) and I feel sorry for my last two BILS....my sister (AS) has been married a few times.

I don't know how life will turn out for any of my kids. With my luck Jade will get several Phds and get launched into space on a a generational mission and my NT dd will end up in a car crash that will leave her halfway vegitablized. You never know, all you can do is pray, keep working with them, and pray some more.

peace,

Candes

Peace,
Candes  
Avatar for rissc
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 11:45am
I have to agree with Candes. I'm married to an aspie and I wouldn't want it any other way. Since ds was diagnosed with AS, it opened up a whole new world to dh. Dh could never figure out why he was the way he was. He thought it was some mutant gene LOL. Now, he understands why he sees patterns in everything....math being his favourite subject. Dh holds down a job, has kids and loves life. He has a small group of friends that we see often. He is rebuilding his '75 VW Westfalia, still in awe of owning his own home and spends lots of time with his kids and wife. Life is very sweet. Having said that, I worry about ds and his future..I don't think that a parent can help it:) He seems to be coping well. He is so interested in the world around him and his social skills are improving tenfold. This year we will be homeschooling for the first time so I'm rather excited and filled with trepidation. I hope that I can keep up with ds:) I feel that if we, as parents, take the measures to ensure that our kids are getting what we feel they need, they should come out running. I really believe that AS kids are our future. They are the ones with the ability to think outside the box and create a whole new future for us.

Larissa

Larissa
Avatar for littleroses
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 11:45am
Thank you for your reply. It was very insightful and informative. I learned a lot! I have a lot of worry in this area because my mother has some sort of significant learning disability. Never diagnosed. I believe it's fetal alcohol syndrome (her mother died of alcohlism at age 47.) My mom was a housewife (I am also a housewife). She is a great housewife and a great mom. She did a fantastic job and she was very loving. However, my dad treated her kind of bad, mentally. I think he's treating her better after all these years, but not enough to make up for it in my eyes. (I keep these things to myself, it's not my place to vocalize what their relationship should be). Anyway, when I see my daughter, who looks remarkably like my mother, I just can't stop thinking about her lovable and generous nature being abused. Of course, there are a lot of NT people who end up in such relationships. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Avatar for maresgood
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 1:24pm
Hi, I worry about this issue alot. My dd is 10 & I feel like she will always live @ home & I wonder if she will ever finish school( she hates studying), ever hold a job... I stay up @ night worrying some times. My older dd 14 is much more independent & has friends & is a good student & I know I shouldn't compare my AS dd to her, but I do in terms of the future. I am also afraid of schizophrenia which my dh's brother had & committed suicide. From what I've read there is some correlation in families with schiz. & the autistic spectrum. I'm not sure I understand alot of the genetics involved but if someone can help me out here, I'd appreciate it! I hope by having my dd start a social group in the fall with a psychol. this may help her out in some small way. I took her to summer school this AM & she went off by herself & took the "bent over stance" as I call it & didn't say one word to another kid. I just kissed her & took off. I feel like I just need to let go sometimes and she'll just do what comes naturally for her... Mary Ann