Archive for October, 2010

Asperger Syndrome/Medicines

Previously I have discussed the importance of Ben and anyone who has autism or Asperger’s Syndrome being under the care of a physician whose expertise is mental and emotional problems, a psychiatrist. Everyday I observe Ben when he is medicated and when he is not. There is a huge difference. As sad as this sounds, it is true. When he is medicated his behavior is perfectly normal. His conversations are on the level of an adult and he is happy with no mood swings.

I have explained to Ben that I never miss taking the medications that have been prescribed for me. I am a rheumatoid arthritis patient and I know the consequences of skipping even one dose. (I would be in pain and my ability to walk would certainly be affected.) I explain that taking his meds as prescribed is just as important for him as my meds are to me. Getting him to be responsible for taking his medications as prescribed is an on-going difficulty.

Asperger Syndrome/Traits

There is much hesitancy on my part to mention some negative traits that Ben exhibits. I am not sure if these behaviors are typical of all Asperger people; I just know these traits I am going to mention are real and problematic both to Ben and the entire family. Part of these behaviors may be due to his ongoing battle with depression.

At age twenty, Ben still must be told to take a shower, put on deodorant, and put on clean clothes everyday. Somewhere in the literature I think I read that he is about four years behind in maturity; so we keep hoping his behavior will catch up at some point.

Ben is very stubborn. If his mind is made up about some subject, there is little hope of changing it. This problem was reflected in school especially if he did not see the necessity to do some homework assignment that seemed pointless to him. He caught on immediately if he thought some teacher was giving him “busy work” which he already knew how to do.

It is very easy for Ben to lie to us. We have discovered these lies are about things which he does not want to do. For example, we might say, “Ben, have you brushed your teeth?” He will automatically say, “Yes” when we know he has not done it. And he is like many children in that he will lie if he thinks the truth will get him into trouble. Many times a quick answer of “Yes” is to get us to hush and leave him alone which is what he prefers.

Asperger Syndrome/Jobs

Ben has had several part-time jobs, but none has been the kind of job he would want for a long period of time. His first job was retrieving shopping carts from the parking lot and returning them to the store. This job was fine for the first job he had ever had. But now that he is twenty years old, we believe that he is smart enough to do much more than bringing shopping carts back to the store. The difficulty is trying to show employers that he is very smart and can do many things. Sometimes the personnel managers cannot get past the fact that he has had only menial jobs in the past. We wish that they knew more about Asperger’s Syndrome and understood the condition.
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We realize more than ever before that having a job is much more important than just making money. Ben needs a reason to get up and get ready for the day. He needs to have a job that will give him self-confidence and pride in doing a “job well done.”

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