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Brother with Asperger's, advice please

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Brother with Asperger's, advice please

Postby MKB » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:12 pm

Hey everybody, has anyone had experience with Aspergic people and can help me?


Here's the issue, it's quite difficult, and I'd like some advice with it:


My brother's in his mid-thirties, never been employed, has no friends, lives at home with my mother & grandmother and spends his days reading, walking in nature or watching opera.

He finds social interactions outside of our immediate family very difficult, basically impossible. Unless it's a "hi" to the neighbours.

He's a lovely guy, will always try to help me in any way he can. Moral to a fault, unbelievably talented and severely lacking in self-confidence.


He's miserable all the time, and the only time he looks happier is when I spend time with him. My other (non-Aspergic) brother lives away from home, so I'm the only friend he has.

We're building a computer game together - it's a good project to keep him occupied, and his mood improves when we work on it together. But he won't work on it independently without me.

I will be moving out very soon, and while I intend to continue with the project and set him bits of work to do, I will see him once a week at most.

I feel like it's entirely my responsibility to mother him and try to keep his spirits up, but I know that as soon as I'm not with him, he'll go back to being miserable.



As for the future, I think he's screwed. My family can't afford to support and house him forever. Despite being an incredible artist and a naturally capable programmer (among many other talents), he refuses to work due to his social incapacities.

My family has suggested to him that he starts his own online business (website creation, personalised caricature cards, graphic design etc.), but his reluctance to engage with customers (even entirely over e-mail!) nullifies the possibility. When I suggested he should do this (as it's perfectly pheasible) he replied "I would rather die", in a matter-of-fact tone.

The only way he will be able to live (I assume) is if I start my own company and hire him. He occasionally does some graphic design work for our aunt (at a near-industry standard, by the way), but will refuse any offer of any sort of work from any employer outside of the family.

His social inability, along with a refusal to do anything that is outside his comfort zone (interacting with the world or anyone in it), means he's boxed himself into a strange bubble. And I have no idea how to help him out of it. It's like he's given up on life and chooses to just exist instead, hidden away from the world and anything that might make him feel slightly uncomfortable.


Our mum and gran can't be the type of friends he obviously needs; they can't continue to pay for his food and shelter forever; their attempts to get him involved in (or enthusiastic about) life hasn't changed his outlook, and his prolonged 1-on-1 therapy sessions (several years ago) did nothing.
(My family would be unable to fund therapy now, even if my brother agreed to attend again.)


So it's fallen to me to sort him out. And I'm just a 23 year old with the current aspirations of working in a coffee shop. I'm not a psychologist or personal carer, and I cannot support him financially.


This weighs on me. And it makes me so much more reluctant to spend time with him or continue with our project because he won't take responsibility for his situation, or even try to make himself happier. I love him very much, but he's not pleasant to be around (as he is constantly downtrodden), unless I spend enough time with him that he cheers up.


I've personally just come out of a 13-month depression, which I spent at home unable to work. He contributed to that depression quite a bit (though doesn't know it), and while I'm now recovered and able to interact with the family again, it doesn't help that my brother makes me feel sad on his behalf, and guilty that I'm unable to make him feel permanently better.

The way I solved my depression was through rigorously exercising, seeing friends and refusing to care about the expectations of others. My brother is asthmatic (so rarely gets his heart rate up), has no friends besides me and our brother (we're hardly ever with him) and he cares so much about the expectations of others that he has secluded himself away from society completely.


It seems to me, the present solution is to force myself to work on our project; to spur him on and hopefully make him realise that progressing with something is better than being static and listless.

In the future, I'll just have to hope that I can either hire him or find him appropriate work, before my nan passes & her pension stops coming in.



I know it's an odd situation, and to me it seems unsolvable. I'm not really sure what I'm asking from you, whoever is reading this.

But I'd like some advice from anyone who has lived with, or worked with, someone with Asperger's. Perhaps you know a career that's appropriate or possible for someone with his condition?



Many thanks,
A.
MKB
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Re: Brother with Asperger's, advice please

Postby shock_the_monkey » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:16 am

the truth here is that despite his talents he's not capable of functioning within society. his executive and social skills are practically non-existent. so, your summary of his situation is correct.

i used to be an aerospace engineer. i had a very understanding manager that appreciated my rather unique skills. sadly, he moved on and i was left with no managerial support. not more than 2 years later i'd got myself into a situation where the company were being dishonest and i got sacked.

put bluntly, there's no way that your brother is going to cope in the big wide world on his own.

i think the best you can hope for is to try to get your other brother to share the responsibility of supporting him.

my other bit of advise might seem counter-intuitive, however, having a pet such as a cat or dog might improve his mood and social skills. my cat was my best friend. she's long gone now but never forgotten.
something knocked me out' the trees
now i'm on my knees
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

there is one thing you must be sure of
i can't take any more
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

don't like it but i guess i'm learning

... shock the monkey to life
shock_the_monkey
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Re: Brother with Asperger's, advice please

Postby MKB » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:40 pm

Thank you for your comment, we have a dog and no doubt she is a great comfort to him. I will ask my other brother for help. It seems like a waste of potential for him not to use his talents for financial gain, but I think you're right, thanks for the insight.
MKB
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Re: Brother with Asperger's, advice please

Postby shock_the_monkey » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:06 pm

the real problem he has is not so much the social skills, it's the executive function. if he can't organise himself and be self-motivated, it's just not practical for someone else to do this for him all the time. also, i'll guess his enjoyment of life is almost non-existent. so, he's not getting any reward from anything. he's practically disconnected from any form of incentive.

i don't want to give you any false hope here. there are lots of voluntary work opportunities that could lead to something more gainful. but he's got to be willing to at least give them a go.

i read about people that excel at some obscure skill and earn their living from internet platforms. most seem to start as a hobby and they just take-off from there. but i'll guess that they're the lucky few.

i now make a very modest income in P2P lending. it's hardly ideal but it's just about kept me afloat for the past few years.

the bottom line is, whilst there may in fact be no answer to this problem, it doesn't harm to keep looking.
something knocked me out' the trees
now i'm on my knees
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

there is one thing you must be sure of
i can't take any more
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

don't like it but i guess i'm learning

... shock the monkey to life
shock_the_monkey
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 4966
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:36 pm
Local time: Tue May 21, 2019 1:43 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


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