To have certain expectations of autistic brother?

(154 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

sniffle12 Mon 11-Jul-16 08:47:25

My tenage brother has been diagnosed with Asperger's. This was brilliant news at the time as it came after years of bullying and social rejection and he finally feels he can now explain to people why he is the way he is and hopefully get a more understanding reaction as well as the support he needs.

However I've begun to feel that it's now being used as a get out of jail free card for too many things. In my view he's still a teenage boy with all the natural, human faults which come with that - he hates to tidy/clean, eats for England, lives in his room, avoids family events and anything which he doesn't want to do at that precise moment, and spends money like its going out of fashion. Just as I was at that age.

Since the diagnosis, all of this now seems to be going unchallenged. When I question this I'm told 'He can't help it' 'He feels overwhelmed' 'you forget he has Asperger's'. While I'm fully aware of this, I don't think we should stop expecting him to develop some degree of conscientiousness as we would any teenage boy - obviously at the right times, right approach, and in small steps, as I do recognise that his response to demands is also part of his Asperger's.

AIBU?

BeyondVulvaResistance Mon 11-Jul-16 08:48:28

Yes, you are.

BeyondVulvaResistance Mon 11-Jul-16 08:50:11

You're not 'new', surely you know that sticking this in aibu is going to turn into "bash the autistic person"?

branofthemist Mon 11-Jul-16 08:52:19

Hmm it's a difficult one.

I have aspergers. I also understand that I have certain social responsibilities. But, as difficult as I find social events, I also want some interaction with people. I also understand that sometimes I have to be in a situation that I find uncomfortable to achieve that.

Some people with aspergers may not want to socialise with anyone at all.

I do think there is a danger, when I diagnosis is given, to put everything down to that. But it's impossible to tell where it's accurate and where it's not.

So I think Yabu a bit.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 11-Jul-16 08:53:05

There will be somethings he can work on and there will be some things he cant and risk management will become important.

Nobody can tell you which are which because ASD is a spectrum that impacts people differently and we don't know your brother.

It is incredibly easy to fall into the oh it's ASD he cant help it when he can trap BUT it is also just as easy and just as usual to minimise the impact of the condition and exactly what it is to the person.

branofthemist Mon 11-Jul-16 08:54:03

Sorry what I trying to say is that, people with aspergers are all different. So it's impossible to tell wether it's bein for used as an excuse or he genuinely finds these things too difficult.

We aren't all the same.

BeyondVulvaResistance Mon 11-Jul-16 08:54:46

(Last post I promise!)

If I had my own diagnosis earlier, I may not have been forced into acting 'appropriately' when younger and would have been a lot less messed up. Instead it took nearly 20 years of depression, anxiety, panic attacks and suicide attempts before I had an 'get out of jail card' and could just be myself.

MoveItAndLoseIt Mon 11-Jul-16 08:55:59

YANBU. He needs help to learn how to manage these things. If he doesn't like tidying it could be because the idea is overwhelming, where do I start etc. So then a picture chart of steps can help. Each day he uses the pictures/words to put away things before bed. Put on pajamas. Put clothes in wash. Brush teeth. Etc. Aspergers is not unmanageable.

harshbuttrue1980 Mon 11-Jul-16 08:59:15

YANBU. I'm a secondary school teacher, and have taught many teenagers with ASD. Like everyone else, they are TEENAGERS with ASD. Teenagers are, by virtue of their lifestage, self centred and thoughtless of others. They need kind, firm and fair discipline and boundaries so they can grow into decent adults. By the time they leave the sixth form, most of our students are much more thoughtful of others, and that includes the ones with ASD. If any teenager is left to grow up without someone telling them when they have crossed the line, then they will grow up to be truly awful adults.

Piemernator Mon 11-Jul-16 08:59:47

My very good mate has aspergers, he is not a teen boy but he still lives at home and we met through our mutual love of online gaming. He does work in a job that is way below his intellectual capacity because it's what he can manage and he can work alone almost all the time.

He gets massively stressed by family gatherings. He wears a hat and also a headset often to cope. His family have literally no compassion for his situation and it makes me incredibly sad for him. He really struggles with communicating with more than one person at a time. When we chat and game one to one he is ok but other friends have also noticed like me that when there are more of us in a lobby he gets highly stressed. I have stood up for my friend many times and he has asked me to help him monitor his behaviour because he knows he bothers others.

My friend will always struggle with big gatherings, he even knows he has an issue but he can't help how he feels even if he wants to.

Emochild Mon 11-Jul-16 09:02:15

A picture chart for a teenager that up until recently has been considered neurotypical is degrading if not introduced via consultation with him

YABU and YANBU

Presumably if he's been diagnosed as a teen then he's reached some sort of crisis before being diagnosed

He needs time to process before demands are placed on him -that might be a month, that might be a year

Yes the long term goal is to function in the adult world but his mental health is more important in the short term

Mouikey Mon 11-Jul-16 09:03:14

This is so tricky, in some ways yes YABU, however he is also a teenage boy and will have al the standard teenager approached to life too!

I worked with a lovely young man (in a shop) who had various disabilities. He was capable of doing various things (loading a dishwasher, dusting, general tidying and cleaning tables), but wouldn't. Sadly his mum would facilitate this, and he apparently did very little at home. She even came in to do shifts on his behalf if he had a late night out... She was so keen that he had a 'normal' life (totally understandable), but it wasn't normal, and wasn't really setting him up for a realistic life where he could work. His expectations of work were therefore vastly different to what it actually was like. I wish my Mum would go to work for me!!

You have to tread carefully with this

UmbongoUnchained Mon 11-Jul-16 09:03:29

My best friend has aspergers and he calls it his jail pass haha. It works on everyone but me.
There are certain things he really struggles with and I help him with those, but there's also a lot of things he just doesn't want to do and I give him a kick up the bum to do it and be always feels very accomplished when he's done something that makes him nervous.
I know him well enough to know the difference between the two though. Just spend lots of time with your brother, study how he reacts and copes with certain things and try and put yourself in his shoes.

Just5minswithDacre Mon 11-Jul-16 09:06:47

Give things time to settle.

Flowerfae Mon 11-Jul-16 09:16:07

With the social events you need to be a bit lenient with social things because it is hard for people with autism/aspergers to be around a lot of people. Regarding money,, I don't know your brother by my son who has autism, he doesn't understand the concept of money at all.. in fact if he wants something he asks me to save up my money so he can buy it :D (he has moderate autism though and learning difficulties)

However I still expect my son to do things like tidying up his room (yes he hates it, but so do I) he shares jobs with his younger brother and sister that he is capable of doing (often with a lot of help from his sister who is only a year younger then him) . He goes everywhere we go, he does have to though as he can't be left alone.. but he moans if he doesn't want to go somewhere (gets over it though eventually).

Basically I treat him the same as I treat the other two, unless its something that will cause him genuine distress, for example the cinema.. we are trying to include him in trips to the cinema but we're having to do it really slowly and most of the time I'm sat outside with him. He still does naughty things (he's 11) he gets told off for doing them.

LordoftheTits Mon 11-Jul-16 09:16:57

I have aspergers. I also understand that I have certain social responsibilities. But, as difficult as I find social events, I also want some interaction with people. I also understand that sometimes I have to be in a situation that I find uncomfortable to achieve that.

Me too.

However, I do know where you're coming from, OP. My work participates in a programme which aims to get young adults on the spectrum into employment via 12 week work placements, so I have taken on and supervised several of these placements. Generally they are a bit older but I had one person who was only just 18 and it was very difficult for other staff to differentiate between what they were struggling with due to their aspergers and what was typical, can't-be-arsed teenage huffiness. I have a much younger teenage brother though, so could draw comparisons and take it from there.

Yes, people on the spectrum should be cut some slack but, in the majority of cases, it's not a get out of jail free card to be unpleasant.

Hoppinggreen Mon 11-Jul-16 09:37:56

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maggiethemagpie Mon 11-Jul-16 09:44:07

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Ineedmorepatience Mon 11-Jul-16 09:51:45

He has been masking and trying to be "normal" for yrs! Why should he have to continue to do that? He has autism!

Masking is exhausting and often unpleasant, its hard work and demoralising when you fuck it up!

YABU!

Msqueen33 Mon 11-Jul-16 09:55:23

I think it depends on the context. I have aspergers and was forced for a lot of my life to act "normally". I also have two kids with asd. And it's a fine line. I know of a few kids that use asd as a way of not doing things that they are able to do but don't feel like it. So it's very much dependent on the situation.

MoveItAndLoseIt Mon 11-Jul-16 09:56:49

Emochild, I gave an example of what helped my children. I did put picture/word. He could easily have a list of words instead of pictures to tick off for when he tidied if it is overwhelming for him. My kids aren't teenagers yet and do find it difficult knowing how to tidy. So when they tidy they have a picture list.
I didn't mean to "degrade" with my suggestion of what works for my non teen children as a suggestion of how aspergers could affect him.
Sorry for trying to help. Since before I posted there was only one post saying she was unreasonable and I didn't want her thinking that. While I was typing other people posted. If they had already posted before I started typing then I wouldn't have bothered as I have no experience with teens.

SensitiveThread Mon 11-Jul-16 09:56:50

Well it's been a while since there was a thread started to encourage people to slag off people with disabilities.

Bonus points for "play the SN card" and "SN brigade".

Fucks sake. I have reported and I hope MNHQ apply their new policy here.

MoveItAndLoseIt Mon 11-Jul-16 10:01:36

Sorry emochild. Got a bit defensive. I was just trying to say she's not unreasonable but that tidying etc could be overwhelming for him and that is why he doesn't want to do it but there are ways to manage it, look this is what I did with my kids you could adapt it for him.
Sorry for the aggressive post.

mygorgeousmilo Mon 11-Jul-16 10:03:22

YANBU my son has autism. I don't feel that by letting him do as he pleases without restriction, that I am doing him any favours. There are steps to take, things need to be built up gently and incentivised, but the goal must be there. It's not about ignoring the autism, I am very pro- autism in the sense that I'm not trying to change my son and make him someone else, his autism is not something I'm embarrassed by or trying to 'cure'. He will struggle as an adult if these things are not put in place now. There are many books, many websites, and many organisations that can help you get ideas on how to improve both the relations amongst the family, and also your brother's personal growth and development.

MephistophelesApprentice Mon 11-Jul-16 10:09:02

Tidying he might be dodging, but social things are agony.

Now that I'm an adult, I have an easier time socialising around my family or strangers, but that's because as an adult I have access to alcohol and drugs. The reason I need alcohol and drugs to associate with my family is that they forced me too before and after my diagnosis and now I only associate sober social situations with misery, fear, paralysis and self harm.

I guess it's up to you how much you care about your brothers well being and how much you care about him seeming normal.

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