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20 year old that has lost control

20 year old that has lost control2010-12-20T16:51:36+00:00

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    i have a 20 year old son that was diagnosed at 2 1/2. for years i have struggled to organize his life in a way that might make him productive. no luck. after high school he has lost all desire to control himself or even look for a job. i can’t even get him to take his medications correctly because he takes off with friends for days at a time. i am really concerned he is going to give in to peer pressure and do something that will haunt him for the rest of his life. any suggestions? we have a psychiatrist but he has given up on my son and told us to plan on him living with us for the rest of his life.


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    “we have a psychiatrist but he has given up on my son and told us to plan on him living with us for the rest of his life.”

    Excuse me? That is no kind of solution for anyone. I know from family experience that that kind of arrangement can tear a family apart. And even if you got along perfectly, at the risk of sounding morbid, all it does it push off the day when your son will have to fend for himself until you are no longer able to support him.

    Does your Psychiatrist think your son is incapable of taking care of himself, or capable but just not willing to? If he thinks your son is incapable, and will to put that into writing, he may be eligible for supports to help him function on his own.

    My brother has CP (Physically, his CP is relatively minor, as it only effects one side of his body. Cognitively, he has a lot more issues. On the one hand, he an amazing artist and has completed High School. On the other, he doesn’t understand money, and just spends it until he is gone.). He lived with my parents for many years, until the situation became untenable. He resented what he saw as them trying to control his life, and they couldn’t deal with his angry outbursts over the littlest of things as a result. Things have been a lot better since he got his own place.

    My brother is fortunate in that here are quite a few supports out there for people with brain injuries. He is on Disability, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee manages his finances, and he has a Red Cross Home Care Worker who comes in to keep his apartment from becoming a disaster area (It got so bad at one point that one of his Support Workers refused to come to his place on Health and Safety grounds.). It’s not the perfect solution, and my parents would love to get him into a supportive living building, rather than the apartment he is in right now, but its manageable.

    If it’s a matter of your son being capable but unwilling to care for himself, then you want to be sure that you are not enabling his negative behaviours. For example, you mention that your son does not have a job, and yet he takes off with his friends for days. Where is he getting the money for that? If he is treating you like the Bank of Mom and Dad, he will never have any incentive to get a job. He’s an adult, so you can’t do anything to control his negative behaviours, but at the same time, you have no obligation to facilitate them either. (If he is getting it from his friends, chances are, they are going to tire of taking care of a freeloader, and the situation may resolve itself.)

    Either way, I would suggest sitting your son down and talking about this, perhaps with a family counselor to facilitiate the discussion. Start with the Psychiatrist said. I doubt that sort of arrangement is acceptable to either party here. Once you’re agreed on that, you can move into the “Where do we go from here?” conversation.

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