Maybe Asperger — How Can I Find the Right Kind of Counseling?

Reader’s Question

I’m wondering if the right kind of counseling even exists for my son. His story is roughly similar to: “I’m a 28-year-old guy who still lives at home…“. I believe my son and I are both undiagnosed Aspies, so I think he needs something a bit different from traditional counseling. I see a lot of similarities in my son’s personality. I wanted to spare him the horrific abuse I endured as a child, both from my parents and from the world. He was in a charter school through eighth grade and a county tech for high school. Both were geek-friendly. They sheltered him just fine.

Now he has no ambition or direction, and I don’t know what to do with him. He’s in for a very rude awakening. I don’t benefit from traditional in-the-office counseling, and I doubt that my son would, especially when he doesn’t know what his problem is. I’m sure he’s terrified, but doesn’t know what to do. I can imagine a kind of hybrid — a set-up that would allow us to float between a one-on-one counseling relationship, mix-and-match family interactions with the same counselor, and a WrongPlanet-style free-for all. I have been a regular at WrongPlanet since June or so. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been to be able to bounce ideas off others in that setting. Does the kind of help I’m looking for even exist?

Psychologist’s Reply

These days, a wide range of personal support and life guidance services are available through many disciplines and in formats outside traditional counseling or therapy formats. It’s wonderful that you have given such thought to the special needs your son might have and what venues might prove the most beneficial for him. It’s important, however, to be careful not to ascribe all of your own special needs and concerns to him, inasmuch as despite any characteristics he may share with you, he is also likely to have his own unique needs and preferences. Even among individuals with Asperger’s traits, there is considerable variability. I’d consider consulting a developmental center affiliated with a teaching institution that keeps abreast of the latest available options and resources. They might be best able to help you and your son not only assess your situation but also make recommendations about traditional as well as non-traditional support services available to meet your needs.

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