My son has delt with ADHD his entire life and what they called ODD in his elementary school days he has had severe behavior problem and problems with impulsiveness obsessive in some aspects especially as a small child. I need help and have no idea where to turn or how to help him his social skills especially in dating are terrible. Please help, advise, something.
I'm sorry to hear about the problem you're having with your son. It sounds like he's had a tough road in school and life. First, you should find a psychiatrist or psychologist who is expert in diagnosing people on the spectrum. They will need to administer some tests to him, and they will have you answer questionnaires about his history of issues growing up. Depending on the results, they will be able to help you with whether or not he is on the autism spectrum and if so, if his situation fits within the criteria of having Asperger's. Sometimes, unfortunately, it's not a black or white diagnosis. One doctor will say it's autism, another will say Asperger's, another will say none of the above, or PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). If you're looking for a place for him to connect with other young men his age with some of the same concerns, there's a great bulletin board site called WrongPlanet.net started by a young man on the autism spectrum. There's a lot of practical advice about getting a job, dating, and so on. Learning social skills for someone on the spectrum can be very challenging, and it takes a lot of persistence, support, and love. Once you have a diagnosis, the psychiatrist or psychologist should recommend behavioral and/or occupational therapists for your son to see. Depending on how severe his situation is, they may talk to you about Applied Behavioral Analysis, which is a structured approach to helping him recognize and change counterproductive behaviors. If they do this, you should make sure that any behavioral therapist you see is what's called a BCBA, or Board Certified Behavioral Analysis. Good luck, I hope things get better for your son.
Very good answer, healthnut! It's a shame this young man didn't get diagnosed sooner, but at least at this point in time there are many many mental health professionals more familiar with the situation than 20 years ago. Best wishes!
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