My dreams of being able to take a lesser role in my son’s path toward independence seem to be fading quickly. When my 25 yr old son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome (a cousin to autism – see my post #35: When Help Isn’t Help), got a provider to help him obtain better employment, my hopes were quite high.
The woman who is working with him is very pleasant and does have other AS clients. However, she should know that AS folks are as variable as individuals can be. Perhaps the other clients have more drive than my son. He unfortunately needs a push now and again. She is very busy and I understand there really aren’t enough providers, especially in our area, so the ones that are here are stretched very thin.
She expected him to read the help wanted section of the Sunday newspaper and get back to her with suggestions of where to apply. Someone with AS may be overwhelmed looking a pages upon pages of job listings. Maybe I have a bit better understanding of this because I have a somewhat similar issue. If I go into a store where the displays are very “busy,” with a great number of small items shown together, it is difficult for me to locate the object I’m looking for. I have to look slowly and methodically. My husband, who does not have this problem, looks for a few seconds and says, “It’s right there!” My son’s ability to focus on a small thing when there is a great volume of information is like my ability to see one item on a wall of many. It takes work. It’s not easy.
She’s also pushing him to get information on Section 8 housing. AS persons have trouble focusing on more than one task at a time. I personally think that he would be better off concentrating on one goal at a time. Let’s get the full-time job with adequate pay and benefits first. Then the next step is to maintain that employment. Lastly, start looking for his own place to live.
My husband and I will have to start taking a more active, directive role again. That means Mom has to get her act in high gear. No easy task with fibromyalgia (“fibro fog” and fatigue) and this nasty heat! But that’s what we moms do, isn’t it? We put our own needs aside to be sure our kids have what they need. When our kids are somewhat more vulnerable due to disabilities, we feel an even more urgent need to protect and support them. Thank God my husband has no energy problems and has taken care of my son like he was his own.
We both wanted him to do more of this on his own. It didn’t happen. That’s a disappointment. But we can’t dwell on the disappointment because nothing will ever get done. So I’ll be checking on the housing issue and my husband will have more direct input in the job search. And we’ll keep praying for the miracles that seem to occur when we’re at the end of our ropes.
God Lord, I sound like I’m whining. I don’t do whining!! Must be the heat … wait, now I’m blaming something else for my own behavior … I don’t do that either!!
Time to shut up and get it in gear!