My child with Aspergers has grown up into a man with Aspergers. The 20’s is a time of change for all adults. Changes come as students graduate high school, or age out of programs at 22. Support systems, in the form of IEPs or 504s go away. Some students won’t disclose autism in college, or seek out services, because they are concerned a potential employer will discriminate against them because of a disability. Some get jobs, but don’t tell their bosses about limitations they may have.
My son keeps his diagnosis private. He will talk about it with people he knows and trusts, but it’s not something he brings up to his college professors or his employer. This week he was working when he had a loud argument with another employee. He misunderstood some of the other man’s remarks, and thought he was being wrongly accused, and his extreme sense of justice pushed him into a loud, aggressive argument. Then the boss stepped in. “Man, you’ve got anger issues,” he said to my son.
When my son had a chance to calm down and think about it, he was surprised he had let the situation get so heated. He knew he should keep his temper under control, but in the stress of the moment, he got overwhelmed and he made some big mistakes. Going back to face the people at work would be hard to do, but he needed to show them he could keep his temper under control.
My Son with Aspergers did not outgrow it. He still deals with these things every day – sensory sensitivities, miscommunication with verbal and non-verbal language, poor executive functioning, navigating the social world when it’s not a skill that comes to him naturally. He still deals with his unique neuro-diversity. He’s just gotten good at behaving as expected when he’s interacting with people.