My son has Aspergers, among other diagnoses, and is having trouble transitioning to adulthood.

My son was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADD-inattentiveness, executive functioning deficiencies and he has visual and hearing impairment. So he has a few obstacles he is dealing with. He just turned 20, he graduated HS and got his Eagle Scout rank through the boy scouts, which I am very proud of. But since graduating, I tried to take a step back as far as parenting, to give him a chance to navigate through life without my thumb on him. However, he has had one setback after another.

First he lost his first job of 1 1/2 years because he stopped going in when he applied for another job and got an interview. I explained to him that did not mean he got the job and he should continue going to his current job until he actually gets hired and then he should give a 2 weeks notice. He did not listen and ultimately lost the current job and did not get hired onto the 2nd until a month later.  Effectively putting him in a situation with no income for a month. I thought it was a good life lesson.

But then once hired at this new job,  he started calling in because he was allowed "8 points" against his attendance. He chose to use them when he didn't feel like going into work. I explained to him thats not what those points are for. I have always pushed him about having a hard work ethic and being reliable and dependable. But he called in every chance he got against my advice. He was notified that the employer was closing their doors and would be laying everyone off as of July 27th. Two months of work till then and then he would have been eligible for unemployment while he looked for another job. However, he then chose to call in the next day to put in applications. He was fired for lack of attendance. No job. No unemployment.

He has attended two semesters of college but didn't do the work and wouldn't go to class half the time. Flunked out both semesters, one of which he is responsible for the bill.

He moved out and lived with a few friends for about 3 months. He got into frequent arguments and wasn't diligent about paying his bills. They were not understanding of his disabilities and subsequently he moved back home.

So with all these setbacks, he is beginning to have a few doubts about himself and his self esteem is waning. He has no way to support himself financially and I'm having trouble connecting with him and guiding him as I feel my advice and support is lossed to him. I want to see him be responsible and successful but not sure what to do at this point. He continues to make decisions that seem so out of touch with prudence and responsibility. In his mind they seem logical but then the consequences prove otherwise. And I can't have him just flooding at my house and he knows that is not acceptable.

As a child I feel I knew what he needed and how to help him. Or go where the help was. But now that he is an adult, resources are scarce, help at college is a joke, and I feel as though my role has changed and not sure where I need to be. I wish I could just step back and guide him but he doesn't hear me. When he makes bad choices he gets defensive. He's being a little receptive this time but doesn't know how to change his mindset or decision making processes. There is a disconnect that prevents him from truly applying and learning from his past mistakes. How do I help? How do I guide him to be self-sufficient? I feel as an Adult, help for aspergers and his other diagnoses is all but nonexistent. He's to high functioning for the resources offered to those lower on the spectrum. Yet he is clearly not neurotypical.

Specific needs that he has doesn't seem to be addressed specifically to asperger individuals. Like social skills that are more intricate then the basic social skills, like saying hi when you meet someone (this was a struggle when he was a child but he finally came around). Like the nuances of living situations, the need to pay your fair share and what that means. How tone of voice means just as much as the words you use. How attitude is a key to success. All these things I have repeated a thousand times to just fall on deaf ears. How do I get through. I'm desperate to reach him.

Thanks for any advice anyone in my situation may have. It is greatly appreciated. Also , if anyone knows a hotline that I might call that would help to. Apparently they don't exist either (specific to apergers and/or executive functioning issues) from what I'm seeing.


  • It is serious to have a disconnect between choice and consequence. Being a parent can be tough line to tow. Where the line is that you don't want the children homeless, yet as you say, you don't want them sticking around at home leeching off of you forever either.

    I am curious about where the male role models are in his life, such as a father or close relative. Also, if counseling has been tried or not.

    It may be a long shot, but finding a job that matches his interests/aptitudes (possibly undiscovered talents) may be worth investigating. Separate from Aspergers, there are personality tests that can match careers to ingrained communication styles.