Crises Situation - how to manage?

Dear All,

My son, Dan, is a 30 year old autistic man.  He is brilliant, as are many (most) of you, but doesn't deal well with unexpected calamities.  On his birthday, a tornado ripped through our town (EF3) and tore down his new home (moved in 5 days earlier).  Fortunately, he was able to make it to the basement with his cat before the tornado struck.  Now, he is having to deal with the insurance issues and finding an honest contractor and managing his expectations.  My concerns for him are these:  1) I am older and currently listed on the kidney transplant list, 2) his father is not in the picture at all, 3) as his Mom and, really, only friend, I take on handling the aspects of his life that he would let go and not take care of, 4) he shows his stress by overeating, and I am seeing him drinking more alcohol, too.

I want him to become completely self-sufficient so that when I am gone he will not flounder too badly and will be able to survive.  I want him to have a full and complete life.  How can I help him do that?

Because of the tornado, he is living with me.  His insurance won't cover all of the damage to rebuild the home, so I have started a gofundme for him to try to cover what they won't. ( but am not sure if this will help him or not.

Thanks for listening.

Dan's Mom

  • Sounds you have done a lot for him. It sounds like he is more self sufficient than most if he owns his home. Does he have a full time job & can he get a loan?

  • Yes, he works for me as my paralegal.  I am hoping that if something happens to me, he can work in that field for someone else.  He got the loan for the house, but I had to co-sign.  He is kind and friendly but is very shy and has a difficult time making friends, which I think is somewhat typical.

  • Just wanted to let you know I'm rooting for you guys.He'll be alright I'm sure you guys will find a way! Just stay away from the news media and I know everything will turn out fine.

  • Hi Dan's Mom,

    It sounds like you do a lot for Dan. Will his insurance cover enough to rebuild something smaller? Are they wanting to cover just repairs and you want him to rebuild? He got the loan, but you had to co-sign means the lender doesn't think he can pay the loan back on his finances alone. You sound like the decision maker here. I suggest you walk him through the different processes every chance you get instead of doing things for him. Get him as involved as possible. This will help him learn and eventually become as independent as you'd like to see him. 

  • HI Dan's Mom, would love to connect. I have a 28-year-old son who has Asperger's, also brilliant but has social challenges like most Aspies. You can reach me at  We live in North Carolina . I also have a law degree but went into legal publishing (22 years there). Renee