|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 12/30/2011 : 19:29:14
I am a mother of three wonderful sons. My middle son has recently turned 21 years old and is diagnosed with High Functioning Autism or ASD. He was diagnosed three years ago, at the age of 18, after having a roller-coaster life with many tests and evaluations to determine the cause of his lifetime of problematic behaviors and depression.
Like many with ASD, he has Central Auditory Processing Disorder CAPD. Unlike anyone else in our home, he will abuse things that make him feel “high” or “look cool”. (i.e.: cigarettes, alcohol, prescription medications, legal and occasionally illegal drugs) I’ve been forced to keep medications in my home under lock-and-key since he was 12 years old. Alcoholic beverages can NOT be brought into my home, as he will drink them without my knowledge. He has had four minor car wrecks in five years due to his natural clumsiness and inattentiveness. He was once arrested for marijuana possession, which required me to hire an attorney. Most of his teachers have called me to come to school each year due to some type of problem my son was causing. He has never been able to work more than a seasonal job lasting 90 – 120 days.
Over the past 21 years, it has cost me twice (2x more) as much to raise him with my time, talent and treasure, than what I have spent on one of my other two sons. I am not complaining, just stating the facts. I am thankful that God has never given me more than I could handle when I trusted in the strong will, patience, good sense-of-humor and a can-do-attitude He instilled inside of me. Over the past two years, my sons' behavior has slowly improved.
Today, my sons’ personality is usually quiet and withdrawn, but when asked to cooperate with chores, socializing, work, school, or he is told, “NO”, he can still become quiet argumentative. He also will hold a grudge, and occasionally will seek revenge in a mischievous, but sometimes destructive way. (Not physically abusive) Finally, He has always been drawn to friends who look/act exciting, fast and cool, but also who will get him and themselves into trouble.
Today, my 21 year old ASD son wishes to move out of our family home to his own apartment. He has recently been awarded disability income and Medicare healthcare benefits. Therefore, it is now a financial possibility for him to have his wish. My husband, his father, passed away, due to cancer, ten years ago; therefore, I am his only parent and caregiver. His brothers are doing well with college and their life goals, but are much too busy and far away to help their 21 year old brother on a regular basis. I am in fair health, getting into my mid 50’s, have worked very hard to be the best single parent possible. I have also taken-in and cared for my aged parents and regrettably, have buried them both within the past three years. The idea of downsizing my home, to get a financial and personal respite from working one full-time and a second part-time job, would be a dream-come-true for me. However, I would still embrace my responsibility to manage my 21 year old son, during his transition to independence.
My son has NOT discovered sex yet. Once he lives on his own, I’m sure this will change quickly. From past experience, I’m sure he would mix this new discovery with his old vices of alcohol, medication, and general poor decision making. He generally attracts like-minded friends and now this will include girl-friends too. I want him to be happy and find the right loving life-time companion to share his life. However, he would struggle greatly to care for child(ren) and wife financially or otherwise. Stress to him is like Kryptonite to Superman.
These are the reasons that I want him to have a vasectomy, prior to moving out and getting an apartment. He is refusing to have this procedure because he is afraid of the pain, recovery, and thinks he can manage birth-control. He admittedly does NOT want to have children. He wants a puppy! (I still give him his medications daily so he does not take too many or too few pills!) I can try to force him to have this procedure by taking him to court to seek a legal judgment of “Guardianship”. This would hurt our relationship for an extended period while costing us both our valuable peace-of-mind, money and time. Finally, he has stated that he will tell our family members and relatives that, due to their religious beliefs on sterilization, would end their relationship with me and then speak out against me and my position on this matter.
I do not have the energy, stamina or enough money saved to raise my grandchild(ren). To see my grandchild(ren) being raised in below standard conditions with parent(s) that are emotionally ill-equipped, would cause me great stress and pain into my old-age. It would also cause my son great problems with stability that would last the rest of his lifetime.
MY QUESTION IS THIS:
What is your opinion and experience on sterilization for the young adults with ASD?
Do you have any advice for our situation?
What advice do you regularly give to parents, at my life stage, who are caregivers for Autistic Young Adults in denial of their potential to hurt themselves and others?
Mom of Aspie Adult Son
|5 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 01/31/2013 : 16:45:03
This certainly is a hard area. I can see why your concerned and why you would consider sterilizing your son. However, unless he's declared mentally incompetent and you have the right to make medical decisions, As a legal adult it isn't up to you anymore. If you push him you could not only damage your relationship "for a time" but quit possibly forever. Instead of his own apartment could you suggest some sort of assisted living arrangement? Maybe get him to see it as a stepping stone? Can you enlist the help of a Psychologist with experience in ASD?
||Posted - 01/19/2013 : 20:09:15
Absolutely not. Personal attacks are not allowed and will lead to being locked out (this is a warning).
A difference of opinion is very normal. It's also an opportunity to learn... to explore why others think and feel the way they do. Your choice is whether or not to engage in that conversation... not to pass judgement.
I want Autism Hangout to be a safe place to talk about things. LadyJaneGray is right. We can all have different opinions. But it's important to respect others REGARDLESS of whether or not we agree.
Autism Hangout: Learning, sharing, thriving!
||Posted - 01/19/2013 : 09:43:46
This is terrible what I just had to read.
I have nothing else to say!
"I''m not insane, my mother had me tested." - Sheldon Cooper
||Posted - 01/17/2013 : 08:19:50
Spasticus, I don't feel your comment is constructive or fair. While you may not agree with the above post, surely there are better ways to express that without personal attacks. Just my opinion.
||Posted - 01/14/2013 : 21:08:54
Edited by moderator.