Just had our 21 year old Autistic Nephew move in with us

Hi, I don't really know where to start. I am looking for some advice, tips, guidance... My husband and I just had our 21 year old Autistic Nephew move in with us. He is high functioning autistic, ADHD, with Reactive Attachment Disorder. He was living in a group home several states away and we just couldn't leave him there. My only concern is all he does 24 hours a day is sleep and play video games. Even when we get him to come out of his room, he has his cellphone with him with the remote version of ps4 on it and never stops talking to all these people on the game. I want what's best for him and don't know what is good or bad for him. He had a job at a grocery store for about 2 years before. I have to constantly remind him to take a shower, brush his teeth, take his medicine, pick up items on the floor, and eat. I don't know if I am underestimating his abilities or overestimating his abilities. Any advice or explanation would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to do the wrong thing and am ALL NEW to this.

  • I am having the same problems with my special needs son this summer, so I can relate.  I'm also high functioning autistic 49 year old.

    My first recommendation is to get a schedule into the calendar on his phone.  It should contain all daily tasks he has to do and when to do them.  This is what he is missing, and why he has retreated into defense mode.

    2nd- good that he has friends to go to in defense mode.  You should learn to play his games and join him and his friends online when possible.

    Sadly, during this virus is no time to work on job skills, for anybody.  40 million Americans are out of work, you're not going to find anybody willing to hire low skilled positions at this time who aren't already fully staffed.    But- it might be good to look into screen timers to help him remember to follow his schedule- use one where you can grant more Ps/4 time when he completes his tasks.

    And one of those tasks in his daily routine should be time with you and his father.

  • very good advice. routines very important.

  • I was not happy in a Group Home when I lived in one from January 1994 to October 1996 so my parents got me a flat.  In 1983 my Uncle and Aunt put me in a Therapeutic Community called Summit in Jerusalem  Israel one of the directors was Professor Stanley Schneider who since I left served four and a half years in prison for abusing women and lying about his Qualifications.  You can google that so-called Professor.   I was not happy in that Therapeutic Community nor was I happy in that Group Home.  I am happiest in my own flat and I think it is noble of you to take your nephew in and I do not know what is best for him.

  • The Group Home for special needs people was in London  I still live in London now.

  • Thank you, I have created a schedule this morning and will review with him tonight. Thanks for the advice.

  • Thank you. I definitely know he was very lonely in the group home. He also has reactive attachment disorder, so I don't think he should have ever been there.

  • Does he ever have times he's open to talking?  It can be hard to find that space where you could have an actual conversation about it. 

    You might get fast food and take it to the park or some open area ( covid- 19 ) safe. Just tell him you want to talk about what rules or structures the family needs to stay safe and sane. 

    He may be overdoing the games because there is no structure.  Games provide structure. You already have your own structures and if he can see them it will help him. 

    List the things he needs to do and give it to him and discuss exactly when it will be done.  Write it all down and post it in his room, the bathroom and maybe a notice board if you have one. If you don't get one.

     Make sure he knows you are also following these rules.  " we all take showers daily and brush our teeth. We all pick up after ourselves"write it down.  

    Nora who has been more or less on both sides of this equation 

  • actually he could do some online learning if you and he can find an area of interest. Just a thought