I know he's 23 but...(30 Posts)
My son worries me. He hasn't got many friends so when he gets invited out by work or uni friends he drops everything to go. Of course I have no issue with that. But he never comes home when the rest of them all leave to go home. Instead he wanders about trying to hook up with strangers and has even asked and stayed overnight at strangers houses. When he lived away from home he would drink a lot on nights out. So much so that he'd end up in hospital with alcohol poisoning. None of his so called "friends" made sure he was OK, instead they left him lying in the street till an ambulance picked him up. I'm so concerned with his destructive behaviour. I've tried to explain to him that what he's doing is dangerous and affects our family. He really doesn't care, he just wants to have "fun"! Am I really being unreasonable?
When he was younger he was found to be on the autistic scale
Sounds as though he's socially gauche and he's behaving how he thinks his peers behave from listening to their locker-room chat, rather than behaving how his peers actually do.
Could you have a good look on youTube for videos and elsewhere for podcasts, search for TED talks explaining social clues for young guys, how to fit in etc. and gently introduce him to the idea that what he thinks people do to have "fun" is actually self-destructive behaviour.
Talking and talk therapies can be unsuitable for people with autism because it's main diagnostics are difficulty in communication. It depends on how much self-awareness he has and how much he can objectively see his own behaviour in comparison to his peers and how much he can articulate that.
If he's trying to navigate social relationships whilst being utterly clueless because he's literally "blind" to all of the hidden and inferred parts of communication that NTs take for granted, then for starters, he needs to be helped to understand that verbal communication does not mean that we all interpret peoples' spoken words literally.
Then build on that.
I bet at his age and being a student (access to cheaper drink) most socialising involves getting pissed. For what you say the people he goes out with are not real “friends” just other folk he knows and he maybe takes a casual open ended invite like “ we are meeting at, random pub, come along if you feel like it” very seriously due to his Asperger’s.They won’t feel responsible for keeping an eye on his drinking / behaviour.
At uni there will be other young people who struggle socially, for whatever reason, and there must be some societies which might attract some of these students, something like chess, foreign languages, role playing games or coding. In my experience sporting groups tend to drink very heavily. Maybe if he was able to meet like minded students, he could socialise without drink always needing to involved.
Usually there are student health services available, student counselling or pastoral care from a chaplain( you don’t need to have a faith) which may be a better option rather than a GP.
Does he have any contact with other autistic people?
It doesn't really matter how autistic he is - one of the men I know has high functioning autism and you wouldn't know unless you spent a lot of time with him or he told you. The other has moderate autism and it's quite obvious that he has 'special needs'. They both behave similarly in this respect though because they both have social difficulties they are trying to overcome.
I recognise the 'dropping everything' to go out. They will both do this even if they understand that the person inviting him is only doing so because they will pay for everything all night; if he's really ill or has already planned to do things in the house. Such is the drive to "be nice and sociable".
I know another man who doesn't seem to have quite this issue, but he is a member of a Meet Up group for local autistic adults and they go walking or to the pub etc.
It's very difficult and a genuine desire/yearning. I hope you/he finds a solution
It doesn't really matter how autistic he is
It's not defined on a sliding scale though. One person with autism is one person with autism.
See this explanation.https://the-art-of-autism.com/understanding-the-spectrum-a-comic-strip-explanation/
All autistic people have difficulty with communication, it's a large part of the diagnostic criteria, some can mask more successfully and for longer periods than others, but to have a diagnosis, people must have
- from the NAS website - “persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction” and “restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests” (this includes sensory behaviour), present since early childhood, to the extent that these “limit and impair everyday functioning”.
If he's at Uni, he could ask for support. for communication see the bottom of this page www.ucas.com/undergraduate/applying-university/individual-needs/disabled-students
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