There's a lot to discuss in this scenario but I want to break it down into three posts.
- Reasons for the Behaviour
- Preventing the Behaviour
- Changing the Behaviour
In this post, I want to touch on whether or not there are valid excuses for this behaviour.
Excuse or No Excuse?For the most part, there aren't too many good excuses for this kind of behaviour in a young adult with reasonable communication skills. Asperger's syndrome itself is not an excuse.
That said, there are actually, some good excuses for this kind of behaviour;
Lower Functioning Individuals;I specifically mentioned “capable” earlier as a means of “filtering out” individuals who have difficulties which are significant enough to make them a danger to themselves or others, or who for intellectual or executive functioning reasons, can't perform any job or cannot leave the house without appropriate supervision.
In adults, these traits would have to be pretty severe as there are many individuals in the workforce who are great examples of what others with similar issues can achieve.
Drug dependence.Some prescribed medications and some recreational drugs will prevent some individuals from going out in public.
If it's a recreational drug "habit" then, as parents, that's probably your first responsibility. There's no point in helping a person with a drug problem to get a job. You need to help them off the drugs first -- and you can't do that without their co-operation.
If it's prescribed, then there's little that you can do (if the drug is absolutely needed). Don't forget that people often grow out of prescription drugs. By that, I mean that they continue to use them long after the drug has lost its effectiveness. You may once your children reach their late teens, you should be looking at whether or not they still need to be on the medications they needed for school. Chances are that they've learned to self-regulate -- or if they haven't yet, then with reduced drug usage, perhaps they can.
The other thing to remember is that there are other drugs about. If you find that one "necessary" medication prevents your child from functioning well, you might want to ask your doctor if there are any alternatives.
Other conditionsAsperger's by itself isn't enough to force a person to remain at home but remember, Asperger's is rarely a lone traveler. Some of the common co-conditions such as; severe anxiety, oppositional defiant syndrome (ODS), Bi-Polar, depression or schizophrenia can make work impossible.
If your child has experienced trauma, you need to remember that sometimes this can produce a form of Post-Traumatic Distreas Syndrome (PTDS).
As the strength and impact of these varies from one individual to another, you'll need to deal with these before tackling the job situation.
Apart from these conditions, (and probably quite a few others I've missed), there's no reason why a person with Asperger's syndrome cannot live a full and functional life after school. Computer game addiction is obviously a significant factor, as is run-of-the-mill anxiety.
Next Time: I want to cover some of the ways in which you can enable your children in their formative years and help them to grow into independent adults. Effectively, correcting the problem before it happens.