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advice for parent of ASD/High functioning aspergers child

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Replies to: advice for parent of ASD/High functioning aspergers child

  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek Registered User Posts: 4,311 Senior Member
    @Coloradomama This parent absolutely not need to change perspectives. This student has a disability. You have reduced his very real deficits to simplistic personal choices. That is not reality.

    As the parent of a 26 yr old Aspie who has an extremely high IQ but cannot simultaneously handle all of the responsibilities that come with adulthood, watching them struggle is very, very real as are the concerns about them beiin able to function.
  • sdl0625sdl0625 Registered User Posts: 553 Member
    I also have an ASD son, and this year he gets up on his own, and slowly we have been trying to "adult" him. He does shower, but its debatable as to how much he cleans when he showers :(. He also has a weight issue. We decided to go ED to RIT and we are very happy. We are signing him up for the spectrum program. He applied to a competitive school as well for EA (which we have to withdraw now), but even if he got in, I was very scared to how he would do.

    One other thing that has worked great this year, is through his high school he is a doing an internship. He has learned how to professionally interact , and stick to a "work" schedule. This summer he is hoping to be working a computer camp.

    I have thought about a GAP year for him, but in his case, I think it would not be helpful. I believe with RIT and a support program in place, he will do fine.

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,092 Senior Member
    Regardless of whether a family decides that gap or school is the best choice, what seems to be a common thread, here, for successful kids, is support. It's exhausting to have to parent to this extent, but it's the sort of loving gesture that helps them ultimately keep moving forward. Small advances are good enough.

    RIT seems to be another common denominator.

    Could people please weigh in on whether their RIT student is involved in a formal support program or not? Could they describe the support the child is receiving (I ask because maybe my gapping child might find a place there . . . )

    Thank you!
  • sdl0625sdl0625 Registered User Posts: 553 Member
    @Dustyfeathers we are not there yet, but from a FB group i have talked to other parents. They offer a mentor for your child either once or twice a week. you can read more about it at their website. https://www.rit.edu/~w-ssp/ All the parents i have talked to have said that it really helped their kid. They started with twice a week freshman year and has tapered off, and some of these kids are graduating now. They also offer a pre orientation program as well. Note that this is all of an extra cost, but worth it to me.
  • nativeNYernativeNYer Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thank you all for your advice!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing from all of you. And also know I g that other people have been through this.

    Just to clarify a few things - I completely agree with those of you who said that a school that has supportive ASD programs might be better for him than an Ivy, but he really wants to go to this Ivy, so we felt that we had to let him make his decision and hope it works out. He would never forgive us if we didn’t. Buying doesn’t get in, it’s great to hear suggestions about other schools like RIT and Case Western.

    Also, I totally agree on the GAP year advice and have suggested it to him but he doesn’t want to.

    Also, he is in therapy now as some people have suggested with and is working on some of these issues. By as many of you know, therapy can be a long process, so I appreciate all the other suggestions of things I can do, I was wondering if people had any experience with any other programs (maybe for the summer before freshman year) to help kids like this get ready for college.

    The list of things he should be able to do for himself was very helpful. I think that’s something we can work on with him now before he goes to school.

  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 1,328 Senior Member
    What an amazing success story @shawbridge !
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,487 Senior Member
    edited December 6
    I am on the ASD/autism spectrum, have attended highly selective colleges, and have several traits in common with the OP's son. I'd suggest trying to understand why he chooses the behaviors you listed, and trying to get him to understand why you believe they are problematic. I'd also suggest looking beyond reasons like it is what the average person does, and emphasizing what the advantages/disadvantages of that behavior are for your son.

    For example, you mentioned showering. Is his problem with showering that it feels unpleasant, wetness, temperature delta, that it requires leaving room, that he doesn't personally care and only does so for the benefit of others, or something else? is your problem with the lack of showering that you believe it is necessary to shower daily, that he smells bad, that he is sweating with athletic activity and not washing off, skin complexion issues, or something else? For most people, showering daily isn't necessary or even desirable from a dermatological perspective. However, if he is sweating with athletic activity or getting to the point of having body odor issues, then that's a different story,
  • nativeNYernativeNYer Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @Data10 I'd love your advice on the showering issue. I want him to shower more because sometimes he smells. I'm not even asking for daily - every other day would be acceptable at this point! I think he doesn't do it more often because he doesn't really care about appearances and would rather be spending his time doing something else.
  • nativeNYernativeNYer Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @Data10 Also, I just remembered that on the day he had a college interview for his first choice college, he came from from school and showered and shaved before the interview (without any prompting.) So he knows its important, but he still can't bring himself to do it often unless it's really important.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 72,399 Senior Member
    Are you sure its not his clothes that actually smell? I’ve worked with kids on the spectrum for years...and some prefer to wear the same clothes over and over. It’s hard to get them washed. Some fabrics also retain odor longer than others, even after being washed. The other thing...he might be showering just fine, but he might need to use a good antiperspirant deodorant.

    All of these things contribute to a person smelling bad...and sometimes it’s not that they aren’t washing.
  • nativeNYernativeNYer Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Trust me- it’s his body, not the clothing! I check in his bathroom and he showers about once a week.

    @shawbridge: thank you for your post. Those were incredibly helpful suggestions. I’m wondering: did you discuss his EF issues with the colleges before you applied? Or did you just figure out which schools generally would be more supportive. Also, I think the EF coach is a great idea. If you think your son’s coach is still around, I’d love to get her contact info. If not, I live in NYC so I’m sure there are plenty of EF coaches here. It’s just always good to get a recommendation.

    Thanks!
  • sdl0625sdl0625 Registered User Posts: 553 Member
    @nativeNYer my son has similar reasons for not doing well with hygiene. He just does care, but yes, when he has an interview or similiar he will make an effort. My H and I were hoping that he might want to eventually date, and then would start caring. My son showers every other day, but I cannot attest to him doing anything but letting the water flow. My bigger concern in my case is that the teeth brushing sucks. And he has had cavities so natural consequences have not worked.
  • shawbridgeshawbridge Registered User Posts: 5,547 Senior Member
    edited December 6
    @nativeNYer, in general, I believe that you are better off determining which schools are best for your son, not disclosing until he is admitted, and then disclosing negotiating with the schools at at that point. The admissions people are very different than the DSO. The DSO people may (or may not) be quite supportive and know how to make things work. But, the admissions folks may well ding your kid if they see a potential problem.

    I did not disclose anything with my daughter. With my son, they knew about his dyslexia because we partially homeschooled him in HS at the school's suggestion (they were not doing a good job of teaching him to write and, at the same time, the honors math curriculum was painfully slow for him) and the reason for the homeschooling was the dyslexia. We didn't disclose EF issues in either case prior to admission.

    I asked on CC and elsewhere about which elite schools were good for a dyslexic kid and which were not. The answers aren't always consistent. In my son's case, I thought the biggest variable was flexible curriculum. That way, he could add an art course if he had a heavier reading semester (he is actually reasonably artistic, though he has given that up to become a tech entrepreneur). I recommended he not go to my Ivy alma mater, which I loved (and he loved because he had attended at least two reunions) because of the distribution requirements. I could have been wrong, but it worked out generally very well. The Dean of Freshman became his advisor and sent my son back after he showed up with his proposed first semester schedule and said, "This schedule is too hard. I want you to learn how to succeed here. Come back with an easier schedule." He did and got two A+s, one A and an A-. The Dean also advised him against taking courses with certain professors who would be relatively unaccommodating. Once he knew how to do the work, he graduated with a 3.95 GPA. I had graduated magna cum laude. He desperately wanted to graduate summa. This was dependent upon a senior thesis. He did a smashingly good job. It was the first summa his adviser had given in 18 years and at the defense, they told him that it was the easiest decision they had to make. My son missed a Y-Combinator interview for that thesis defense, but he was very pleased.

    I will send you an interview with him shortly after graduation via PM. I will check with the coach as to whether she is still doing it. I suspect the answer is yes, though at the moment, I believe she is attending to difficult family issues.
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