How to get an older kid to admit he has Asperger’s

Thank you for sharing about your Asperger’s syndrome.  Thank you for sharing about yourself and your son.  Your article resonated with my wife and I and helped us see our adult son more clearly.

He denies that he has any sort of autistic tendencies, but everyone around him seems to see otherwise.  He appears to have blinders on . . . which is scary for those of us who love him dearly.  If I may presume to ask,  when did you first come to realize you had high IQ AS?  What helped you realize that?  Was it just getting older and more mature?  Could you have seen it sooner, with help from anyone else?  How do you separate your perhaps quirky tendencies as a person with a high IQ from those stemming from AS?

Our son has a very high IQ (160ish), and easily obtained a college degree with honors in literature and Spanish.  But he changed dramatically in college.  He came out very cynical and maybe even delusional.  He claims he is a poet, but he only wrote one major poem in college, and never had it published (although it was awarded best senior writing piece).

Since graduating three years ago, he has been unwilling (or unable) to get a job and says he is just waiting for the next poem to come to him.  He lives with his girlfriend, who is employed, with very few other close friends, which is precisely what you described in your article.  So what appears to be missing is his ability or even willingness to accept he may have AS and to get a paying job, maybe one not using his high IQ capacities.

So . . . any advice for worried parents?   Would love to hear from you!  Thanks again for sharing your article with the world on line.  That was a brave step in my view, and one I commend you on.

How can I deal with two employees hooking up?

Do you have any recommendations on how to deal with two colleagues hooking up in a company smaller than 15? In larger settings it happened and was okay because it usually wasn’t with people on your team, or that you worked with on a regular basis.

We’re dealing with this while we’re all in France. two of the youngest team members (23 and 24) (he is a subordinate and good friend of the CEO, and she’s the CEO’s EA) hooked up pretty early, and the behavior has just increased and made everyone uncomfortable. She’s currently using him as an errand boy, partnering with him to get a lot of her work done.

My boss asked me what we think we should do, but I don’t have a clue on how to handle this at such a small scale. The relationship has definitely been affecting work dynamics, and we’re all dreading the implosion for when things go sour. We both agreed that while they are two adults and should be allowed to do their own thing, we’re dealing with two very immature individuals, so there aren’t high expectations for this to work out in a positive way.

Do you have any recommendations on how to handle this? What should the policy be moving forward?

How to tell parents a preschooler has Asperger’s

I am an early years teacher and would like your expertise on this matter. I have a young girl in my class. She is 3 years and 9 months old and I have been talking to her mother in regards to her challenging behaviours. Her mother is not responsive and I have been attempting to get her a referral from the GP to a speech Therapist to help her with language.

Mum has asked her doctor and he said there is nothing wrong with her. Now the mother is angry and wants a sit down meeting to discuss what I obviously think is wrong with her child. I have lots of written reports which I can show her, but want to be really careful not to overwhelm her.

Here is a list of behaviours and development that I have noticed:

  • Resistant to change often screaming and will refuse to wear a spare hat if hers is at home but can’t understand that we need to have another hat to play outside.
  • Has a preference for male peers and often younger
  • imitates the actions/behaviours of others
  • clumsy gait
  • randomly hugs strangers
  • unaware of personal space
  • affection is over the top at times
  • pronoun reversal – even after explaining that Felicity is a girl so it is her hat will say his hat
  • Will scream at peers and adults without provocation
  • does not show concern when another child is hurt or sad
  • has trouble following routines and directions
  • has trouble sharing
  • will push over a much younger child and does not like to talk about how that would make her/him feel

Do you think I should take the wait and see approach, rather then distress the family who are already defensive?

What’s my best career move to do something more meaningful?

I am 23, graduated from UCSB two years ago in international development and business communication, and work for a four-person consulting agency with extremely supportive cofounders. Unfortunately, my desire to feel connected to a cause or issue is suppressed in my current career.

I’ve been circling my next move for about 6 months now and quite frankly, I just need to make a decision before I go crazy.  I know that I would love to do international development work with a focus on maternal and newborn health. I am considering joining the Peace Corps to carry out this step come January.

It would be a major transition for me and I just don’t know if this would serve me more than staying where I am now, or making a completely different move altogether. I know you would give wonderful advice to help me gain some clarity.

How can I launch my daughter with Asperger’s into adulthood

Hi – I just discovered your blog & feel excited + relieved to learn the potential joyful life for an Aspie woman. My creative, severely anxious yet improving child probably fits in the spectrum. There are about ten thousand events I wish to recount and then ask for analysis, but…

1 – What suggestions do you have for a part time time job for her? We live in rural northern NY State with access to a mall, fast-food places and parks/YMCA. My sense is that it’s time for my daughter to get more skill building, but it terrifies me that she might go into tailspins, experience traumas etc. I virtually force her to complete some tasks which come easy for most, have her repeat them and reinforce her success – such as pumping gas, using the self-checkout at Walmart. Need I add that she lives on-line, writing lots of fiction?

2 – How can I help her get into the school to sit for the SAT? No, she has no accommodations for her anxiety because she won’t go to a psych assessment (epic fail a couple years ago).

3 – Do you know any phone apps which would help with her executive functioning tasks? All that I have checked out seem only to help already-highly functioning people move from an “A-” to an “A+” whereas moving to a “D” would seriously be success for us.

Thanks a million from Mom of a Fabulous Daughter!

Which job is better?

I work for the state at a VERY relaxed (we can wear whatever- flip flops, tank tops- whatever) The thing is, I don’t have a lot to do. They acknowledge this. I am bored much of the time, which drives me nuts.

My conundrum is- should I interview for another state job (that pays more or an advance, but who knows what the atmosphere is)? It really is a good group I work with and I have worked for the devil himself in a female form in the past.

I’ve only been here 6 months. It could get better or not. I’ve asked for additional duties but none are available. I worry that my job could go away because of that, but when I expressed my concerns, they assure me not. But of course- it is government.

Thoughts?

I feel like I’m in a job that doesn’t fit who I am

I’m 25 years old and I work in a senior advisor position within a government.  I help form decisions with some of the most senior elected officials that appear on TV news hour. I navigate political warfare, and I make more than the combined salaries of my parents.

But somehow this meteoric rise churns in my stomach since by night I inherently reside in another galaxy. I’m a hobbyist performer in breakdance/funkstyles/hiphop culture. I share communal practice space and session 3-4 times a week after work. I’m more in-tune with the grassroots arts organizations and people that meet what we call a “struggling artist” profile. I do local outreach with them in fact.  I know and can recite all the lyrics of Notorious B.I.G’s Big Poppa, prefer high top sneakers over oxfords, and generally grew up with this type of environment since high school.

I find myself in a space in life right now where I simply don’t have a place called home in the realm of social circle. Don’t get me wrong, I can mingle with the best of the suits in a networking session, but I’m genuinely not interested in hearing about how fast your Porsche 911 can go. In the same way I admire the artist community, I couldn’t find myself fully relating to some arts educators who tell stories about literally saving children from suicide by teaching them dance.

I feel there’s something wrong with me. I wake up many mornings wondering if I should pursue other things. Do “successful” people at mid 20’s ever face loneliness? What if I don’t find myself fitting in with the country club?

What should I say about the company I tried to start but didn’t?

I spent a year working on my app but have nothing to show for it since it’s not ready. What should I do about my resume? Do I  1) leave the app off completely and have a gap there, 2) tell the truth about running out of money (which sounds like a lame excuse to me), 3) say I dropped the app because I realized it wasn’t going to work out, 4) forget changing jobs?

I know how to talk about the business. My concern is, there’s a difference between getting something off the ground and failing, and not even finishing the thing in the first place. It sounds like I don’t have the grit to get something done. Or that the idea was stupid and I’m not qualified to run their business because I’ll just come up with more stupid ideas.

Advice on daily decision making with Asperger’s

I am a college student with Asperger’s and I need some advice.

Daily decisions really wear me out and I am incredibly bad at making them. For instance, I had a wisdom tooth ache and I didn’t realize that it was causing all the health problems I’ve been having for years until I connected the dots yesterday. Also, I had trouble on deciding when to schedule my dental appointment because it would conflict with school. So, in making that decision, I had to weigh my own level of pain, the severity of the ailment and my personal schedule. It really drained me.

Also, I have a lot of trouble making daily snap decisions, such as whether to have lunch with friends or alone, where to study, what I should do with someone new I’ve just met, what I should do about an event/unexpected social plans that just cropped up but that may conflict with other errands that are in my schedule, when I should answer email or check my Facebook account, how I should behave when confronted with certain unique situations I’ve never encountered before, etc. etc.

I really don’t want this problem to keep me from living the life I want to live or stop me from doing what I want. Do you have any advice for me? How do you do it? Any tips would be extremely appreciated!

What to say in an interview if I’ve been fired?

I love your site and have a sticky question to ask about resumes/interviews when you’ve been unemployed. You said you yourself had been fired a few times, so I hoped you might have some insight.

I worked at a company with a high rate of turnover and what was (in my mind) a toxic work environment. I was fired for the first time in my professional life last summer.

I know it’s something like career suicide to say your old bosses were horrible people and that you were victimized, but when asked about why you left the last job, what is appropriate to say?

I was considering something to the effect of, “Restructuring.” And also bringing up the detail that I was replaced by a contract worker, but I myself was offered continued freelance work with the company, after the fact (which shows that I couldn’t have been a horrific employee and that they liked my work).

Do I mention that there was constant restructuring at my old company? That I saw 60% of my colleagues get let go, restructured, or otherwise terminated?

It seems unfair that the only time my performance was called into question, it was by a volatile company. All the same, a lengthy explanation makes it sound like I’m covering something up.

I know the best course is diplomacy, but how do I cover my butt while being professional?