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What are your ASD diagnosed adult children like

(15 Posts)
Cheeseinthetrap Tue 07-Jun-16 11:55:18

I have a 12 year old DS with ASD and he's really improved over the years, when he was around 6/7 I was terrified for his future, he was non verbal, needed constant 1-1 supervision, ate very limited food, hated physical contact & was a very isolated child.

He joined a special school at age 7 & has been in them ever since & I think that's really made a great difference to his life.

At 12, he can talk as well as any other 12 year old but misses word play and tone and struggles with talking to new people.

Although he doesn't have friends, he knows a lot of kids from our street and from his sister and will interact with them for a few minutes before walking off, he doesn't stuggle with new places as long as you tell him ahead of time where we're going, detours or unexpected situations are an absolute nightmare.

He still hates physical contact but has gotten use to people bumping into him and can thankfully cope with it. His food is still limited, he practically lives off fish fingers and water but will now add condiments, which is honestly massive progress for him.

I was thinking about his future, wondering what he'll be like in six short years and although I'm not as terrified as I once was, I am still scared for him.

I do think he may one day manage independent living but with someone constantly checking up on him. He loves photography & may stand a chance of making a career out of it but I don't think university is in his future, too many people, too much noise & he may not be independent enough for it, but perhaps an online course/uni that he could do from home.

I think my biggest fears for him are his issues with touching and his lack of friends. I really hope that improves over the years.

So I was just wondering what your adult ASD diagnosed children are like? Do they have jobs? Go to uni? Are they in relationships etc?

reader108 Tue 07-Jun-16 12:09:30

Can't help with advice, but will follow your thread as in similar position. My ds is 10 learning LOTS, achieves more every day then I thought he ever would. I DO worry about his future job, housing, partner, friends, the list is endless! Need to remind myself live in and enjoy the present frequently.

Jasonandyawegunorts Tue 07-Jun-16 13:13:56

I have autism, to answer your question: I have a job, I drive a car, didn't go to uni, I live with my parents and have never had a relationship.

There are several adults on this board who have Autism, Have children, Jobs and are married.

Imaginosity Wed 08-Jun-16 19:51:10

Wow OP your DS has made amazing progress! Can't answer your question as my DS is age 6. He has high functioning autism - and I just found it uplifting to read about your son smile.

PolterGoose Wed 08-Jun-16 20:52:48

I'm autistic too, well-educated though I took a very scenic route, working, relationship, child, cat, house etc. I think the most helpful thing you could do is read and listen to accounts by autistic adults. Loads of autistic adults are blogging and writing and speaking out.

Rosie King is quite inspirational for young people. Her Newsround film My Autism and Me and her TED talk are very worth watching.

clementinesurprise Thu 09-Jun-16 10:56:52

DS is 28 and was diagnosed with autism aged 8. He went to a special school and left with a couple of GCSEs (was capable of more but although he had lots of support he began school refusing). He has done various vocational courses over the years - art, motor vehicle maintenance, catering - but at level 1/2 so not advanced enough to lead to employment.

He has been unemployed for a few years now but attends regular activities and does some supervised voluntary work with support from carers. He has always been reassessed for his benefits easily as his autism is well documented, so his income is quite reasonable (higher than the min wage type jobs that he'd be able to get anyway). He lives independently in a nice council flat, but on the same street as us, and in practical terms we support him a lot.

He doesn't drive (is dyspraxic and gets anxiety so failed his test twice) but we do live in London so it's not that important. He's had a few short relationships but not all of them have been good for him - you definitely have to be careful of people preying on the vulnerable, as well as some ignorant people who are quick to interpret ASD awkwardness in a negative way on dates.

eskimomama Fri 10-Jun-16 08:45:12

OP - how encouraging to read about your DS. I opened this thread thinking it would depress me more, but it's the opposite shock
My DD is 6.5 and pretty much exactly like your DS at that age, non verbal/needing 1-1 supervision constantly etc., and I'm awfully worried. Even speech therapists are saying she's not making enough progress with comprehension.

May I ask what happened after he joined that special school? What kind of school is it? Have you done anything else besides the school to encourage his progress or did it keep coming from that point?

Best wishes for the future regardless.

Cheeseinthetrap Fri 10-Jun-16 09:55:19

Hi everyone sorry for not replying sooner, things have been busy with half term and getting back to school etc.

Polter I watched the video and it was very insightful and encouraging, thank you for that .

Eskimomama, the school was specifically for autistic kids, they had occupational therapy & speech therapy not only outside the classroom but 24/7 at school as they made it a part of school life, so DS' teacher and the school therapists would meet once every 2 weeks and come up with an individual plan for the next 2 weeks and would involve anyone they needed to e.g DS really loved looking at the school caretakers whenever they were around, so it was decided that whenever they saw him, they'd go up and speak to him.

Every child also had to share a TA which terrified me, but it was to encourage independence and although it was difficult, it really helped DS try and do things on his own.

He also went to Occupational Therapy outside of school and still does once every 2 weeks, they came up with ways in which to help DS at home, they called it a sensory diet and it really helped figure out how best to encourage DS to talk & pay attention.

He now attends a special secondary specifically for autistic kids and they've been great so far. His development has really been up and down over the years, he'll go six months to a year with no improvement and then in the next 3 months he'll pick up everything and it'll stick, It wasn't until he was 9 that his speech really began to improve and then in a year, he'd come so far.

I'm glad my post was encouraging, honestly I've learnt to just have hope & that he'll pick it up eventually even if it takes a few years.

eskimomama Fri 10-Jun-16 11:48:24

Thank you Cheeseinthetrap. Your school sounds like a wonderful little place for ASD children. No wonder it made such a difference.
I still have no idea in which school my DD will go next year, and it's so scary to think our DC's potential is entirely dependent on things outside our control and most especially the right schools. sad
I'm guessing language was a huge leap forward for your DS' s progress overall? You mentioned he was non verbal at 6, when and how did he start speaking?

coffeeaddictedandfat Fri 10-Jun-16 12:20:42

Eskimo, I know some children who started to talk only at 6/7/8 and were fairly fluent (normalish) speech by 12/13. But all of them had good understanding of language.

I have a DD with limited speech and understanding and know how you feel (my DD is 8)

OP,how was your DS's receptive language? was it also delayed or still fairly good?

Cheeseinthetrap Fri 10-Jun-16 23:16:36

Coffeeaddict, DS' comprehension was delayed at 6 years old as he could only follow/understand very simple basic instructions but it was more of an attention issue with him then a receptive issue, he wouldn't sit still or pay attention long enough to comprehend what was being said but once that was managed he was connecting words with scenarios much easier.

Eskimomama, DS said his first word a few months before he turned 8 and then we went through a period of just single words and then a few weeks after he turned 9, he said his first full sentence and it just steam rolled from there, he talked more in that one year, then the previous nine.

BirdingWidow Wed 15-Jun-16 15:24:38

Thank you so much for sharing this - I also didn't expect to feel encouraged and I am very grateful. Have a nearly 4-year old with asd and am really struggling to get him any practical help. I feel so upset for my darling boy and scared for his future but I do know (in my sensible moments!) that he will make progress.

Thanks to those sharing their stories.

GeorgeTheThird Wed 15-Jun-16 15:39:41

I understand your worries and I don't want to say the wrong thing - but is it possible that the lack of lots of friends just isn't an issue for him? I know for many people it would be, but maybe for him it just isn't because he is happier on his own? I'm sorry if that's insensitive, it's really not my intention.

Cheeseinthetrap Wed 15-Jun-16 16:01:47

Oh no George, I'm not offended at all, the friendship thing doesn't bother me as much as it use to, he's very much a solitary kid, the fact that he can now tolerate small snippets of communication with other children is a big win in my book.

I do worry about his chances of friends in the future though, there's a big difference between not having any friends at 12 and not having any at 22, I really hope he makes one decent friend in the next 10 years.

elliejjtiny Wed 15-Jun-16 21:10:57

Not sure if it helps but DH has aspergers syndrome. I didn't know him as a child but he has a degree, been married for nearly 12 years and we have dc. He avoids talking on the phone which can be a problem with the dr surgery. He has a few friends, although he's not good at staying in touch with people after changing jobs, moving house etc so his oldest friend is someone he's known for about 3 years.

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