Starting a new thread to respond to Salgie.
Originally Posted by salgie
hi,,, my son is 22 and has aspergers. He was developmentally delayed as a young child and had difficulties with his speech. He was so incredibly sweet and i adored him. He was so loving and loved playing with other children...never any kind of behavior problems. After or during middle school he become a new person that could not communicate or look anyone in the eye. As the years go by he has become increasingly worse. He is now someone i don't like in the least...he absolutely hates me. We cannot have even 1 minute of dialogue...he will never be able to go out on his own so i will be forced to spend the rest of my life with him living here...he doesn't even have one friend and i don't think he ever will..it is hard to feel sorry for him because he is so mean.. He thinks of himself as brilliant and everyone else as stupid so there is no way you can advise him on anything no matter how simplistic...i know i made this longer than i had intended but i have often wondered about how this happened... He did not display any of the negative aspects of aspergers as a child..i feel lke my child died but there was no funeral...i sit and watch the old videos and cry...
Middle school can be very hard on an Asperger's child. My son seemed mostly OK until about 5th grade, when it seemed that all of a sudden I was getting called to the school on a weekly basis. This is when cliques are formed, kids begin noticing the oddballs, start wanting to "fit in", and excluding those who don't, teasing, bullying, all kinds of things went on in middle school. And it was all presented as "my son is the problem". Since I saw things his way, I thought it was THEIR way of handling things that was the problem, and never doing anything about the bullies. Needless to say, we butted heads and I lost.
We know things don't seem to work the same for us as for others, and other people's advice seems somehow wrong for "our" world. Most of us with Asperger's are well aware of our intelligence, from school, SAT, or ACT tests and from just doing things in general, and from seeing how others do things. We need to be taught compassion for others, taught that each person has skills, that our skills are good, but others have skills we don't. That nobody's skills make them a better person than anyone else. We have to learn to keep our mouths shut around "typicals" and only voice our real thoughts to others who have Asperger's (they "get it").
I have seen this attitude myself - no patience for explaining what seems so simple to us, and when we try, it's like we're talking a foreign language. Or we'll see something going haywire, tell the people what needs done to correct it, and they don't, then they try to make it be some other reason, which actually has nothing to do with the problem. So we throw our hands up in frustration. People have frequently told me "that can't be done", and I proceed to prove them wrong. Then they minimize my efforts because I made it look so simple (happened at work too often to think about). It's like we see things clearly that other people can't see even when we put our finger on it. One of the things we think often, and say to each other, goes along these lines "why were we placed on a planet filled with stupid people?" I'm not sure this attitude can be done away with, only hidden from the public so we can remain on good terms with others. It sounds terrible to say, and I know it's "wrong" in the eyes of "typicals", but people have to understand this about us to know how to get through to us. Our frustration level for the masses of people who "just don't get it", whatever "it" is, can drive us to avoid society, and cause "society" to judge us as harsh, mean, unsocial, and unkind. We, in turn, judge these people as "stupid". This cycle can be stopped with some effort.
Don't try to convince your son that people aren't stupid - try to teach him (or find a psychologist to teach him) social skills to interact with people he considers stupid. My skills at "dumbing it down" and "patience" are frequently called upon. He probably will have no desire to interact with "them", but needs to learn these skills to function in the world, whether with friends, family, or co-workers. Try to show him it's a set of skills - he got overloaded on some skills, and missed the boat on others, just like everyone else. Most people got a good helping of social skills - we didn't. We see most people as trying to convince us they are right, and we are wrong and need "fixed". People need to understand WHY we view the world the way we do (without judgement) in order to help us. WE need to understand why social skills are important, and how the "lack of" is hurting our enjoyment of life and depriving us of enjoyable conversations.
Psychologists trained in Asperger's problems can help us cope with the world better and teach us "better attitudes", or at the very least, when to keep our mouths shut. Actually, a psychologist can also help you learn to deal with your son's current behavior and set healthy boundaries. The local Autism Society may have names of counseling programs in your area.