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Help needed for autistic 18-year-old

(7 Posts)
MrsSpenserGregson Thu 29-Aug-19 23:04:59

Posting on behalf of a friend who's not from the UK originally but now has permanent residency here. Please bear with me while I explain the background, and I hope my terminology is correct and doesn't offend anyone - my friend has asked for help and it's not an area I'm hugely familiar with.

Her DS is 18 years old and has just left school (in England) but spent the first 13/14 years of his life in the country of his birth (Poland).

Apparently he was diagnosed with autism (Asperger's) in Poland but has never received any help / support with this, either in Poland or in the UK. (Mum says that autism was so stigmatised there that she hid it from everyone ... ) He did qualify for extra time in his GCSEs and A Levels in the UK but that's as far as it went. He managed to get through GCSEs OK but didn't pass his A Levels. His teachers in the UK were unaware of his autism diagnosis in Poland.

On a personal and social level, he is totally and utterly disconnected from the world about him. He feels absolutely nothing for anyone - no love, no hate, no fear, nothing. He can take care of himself - washing, dressing etc - but can't be bothered to. He has total sensory overload - can't bear any form of noise, sunlight, etc. Doesn't eat, is very underweight. Does't feel hunger/thirst, or maybe doesn't recognise it. He will follow instructions to do something (e.g. come with me to the Post Office, cross the road here, go through this door, ask for second class postage, give this to the counter clerk etc). But shows no motivation / proactivity. He is a nice lad, pleasant to talk to, but he has learned how to do this from his mum and it's obvious that everything he says takes a huge toll on him and he's secretly hating every second of it. Actually he is not hating it, he just is - I don't know - bored with it..??? It's an inconvenience to him.

He has now left school, and is doing nothing all day except playing computer games. He is definitely addicted to his computer. He has no motivation to do anything at all. It's not that he doesn't want to do any further studying or get a job - he simply isn't "connected" (for want of a better word) enough to the world around him to see the need for it. When his mum calmly discusses his future with him, he, just as calmly, says he will kill himself if he is forced to go out to work/study. This response is, to him, logical, not emotional.

It is very hard to know how much of this is caused by the autism (if that is indeed what it is) and how much of it is personality / selfishness / whatever. From what I've seen of his interactions with his mum, I think he can be manipulative sometimes, but equally he's clearly struggling massively and has somehow slipped through the net wrt to getting signposted for help while he was at school. I feel that he has been hugely let down by the adults in his life. (His father is useless, has paid a grand total of £500 towards the lad's upbringing in the past 18 years, is a selfish criminal bastard who abused the mum when they were together, stalked her after they broke up, and raped her in order to get her pregnant to stop her leaving him. He also very possibly has autism. I am writing all these details here as I feel it may be relevant to the lad's personality in some way. The son wants nothing to do with him).

Clearly the family need some help, and the mum has asked me what she should do. I said that she needs to talk to the GP and ask what the next steps are - presumably they need to get a diagnosis for the son, in order to get help for him? Counselling? Psychiatrist? Other therapy? Therapy for computer addiction? (Mum is very focussed on this). Obviously this should have been done years ago but for whatever reason, it wasn't, and this lad needs some help now. As does his mum.

Can anyone shed light on which avenues to pursue please?

His mum wants him to get a job. My suspicion is that he isn't capable and will end up on benefits after a long, long struggle for diagnosis .....

Thank you for reading this!

MrsSpenserGregson Thu 29-Aug-19 23:07:12

Oh, and just to reiterate, the lad is 18 so I'm assuming he would have to agree to see doctors etc, which completes things...

MrsSpenserGregson Thu 29-Aug-19 23:07:29


BlankTimes Fri 30-Aug-19 13:18:25

A diagnosis, waitlist for adults for an NHS dx is 18 months to 2 years depending on the area you live in.
Private dx, see GP, ask for a referral to someone who also works in the NHS part-time, that way a dx will be accepted by any FE he wants to enrol in.

Look into an EHCP, it lasts until age 25, but I don't know if 18 is too old to start applying for one

Here's a very balanced thread on dx for a lad that age

Selfish criminal rapist bastards may also have autism, but that behaviour is not instigated by their autism. Selfish criminal rapist bastards can also be NT. There's a growing trend to wrongly associate awful behaviour by men with being autistic, there's no connection.

I suppose his mother could visit the GP without him and take the dx from Poland and ask the GP how she can help her son, but at his age unless he's displaying a very low IQ and needs an appointee, , I don't think she'll be able to do much, he'll have to want to pursue the dx himself.

MrsSpenserGregson Fri 30-Aug-19 14:25:30

Thank you so much @BlankTimes.

(I absolutely wasn't suggesting that the father's behaviour was caused by autism by the way - I was very careful to say that he may also have autism. I put that detail to show that the lad has history of both autism and awful personality in his family, so things have been extra difficult for him. I hope this did not cause offence).

BlankTimes Fri 30-Aug-19 14:39:32

I hope something in the thread I linked to and more posts here of course can help your friend to help her son.
It's such a very difficult situation for them both to be in.

No, you've not been offensive at all, on the main boards people are so quick to point out any negative behaviour from a man and say 'Is he autistic' so I'm trying my best in my posts in general to dispel that connection for anyone who may read it and not know. flowers

MrsSpenserGregson Fri 30-Aug-19 19:49:39

Thank you. I will read everything over the weekend flowers

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