American Asperger's Association Support Group

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What is the first step?

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1 What is the first step? on Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:51 am


Hi, my name is Melissa. I am new to this site, but I am anxious to find some answers for my brother. He is 27 years old and was diagnosed with Aspergers about 6 years ago. Since then he has had 3 psychologists, but none that he really liked. He didn't think they were really helping him. My mom put him on a special diet that was supposed to "cure" him, but it hasn't improved anything, and he hates it. So he is living with me now. He is getting nervous about his future. He doesn't want to grow old alone. What should I do? Should I find him a new pyschologist? I think he could really use the help of a doctor who specializes in autism or aspergers, but I can't seem to find any close to us. We live in Fresno, Ca. I found a few places that help autistic children, but not adults. Any suggestions?

2 Re: What is the first step? on Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:22 am


As for psychiatrists, I'll research docs in your area and see if I can find one that specializes in Aspergers. Is his anxiety keeping him from doing things he wants to do? What is a typical day like for your brother? I'm 29 with Aspergers, and I"m he definitily does not have to be alone. Meeting people though will be the biggest challange. Does your brother mostly stay in the house, or does he have any friends? I'll start researching now, Talk to you soon, Kim

3 Re: What is the first step? on Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:33 am


The closest I could find was in Sacramento. Is that very far from you? They see adults and specialize in autism/Aspergers


Click below for contact info:

4 Re: What is the first step? on Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:20 am


Thanks for looking. I thought about taking him to Sacramento, but it is about a four hour drive from our home. My brother does have a lot of anxiety. He did not even want to post on this website, so I did it for him. He stays at home most of the time. If we go out he always goes out of his way to stay away from other people. He had one friend for a while at my parents house, but that friend has now moved on to college. We have special activities at our church for young adults to get together. He went bowling with them once, but felt very out of place. Many of them were talking about relationships and dating. He has never been on a date, and finds it extremely hard to talk to girls. I have several nieces who are 16 -18 years old and he won't even talk to them! He gets along great with children. I have four children ages 2-10. He loves to play with them. He is a great babysitter. He seems to get along much better with younger kids than people his own age. When he was seeing doctors before, he did not cooperate with them very well. They would give him challenges or activities to do and he would not do them. If he is really concerned about growing old alone, then maybe he will be more willing to cooperate. I would be willing to take him to Sacramento if he really wants the help.

5 Re: What is the first step? on Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:42 am


I'm not saying he needs them, but I am on meds and they do help with the anxiety. I have A LOT of anxiety, it's very debilitating. I tried the church groups when I was younger..omg!! I was completely out of place!!! A good move *maybe* would be getting a job working with kids..than he may meet someone in the field KWIM. I'm trying to think of a job with kids that would be non stressful though. It's hard to focus when you have a boss that watches your every move. Maybe just trying his luck with volunteering at different places until he finds a place he is comfortable. The motivator would be " you are not going to meet anyone if you isolate yourself" He doesn't want that. I don't know if it's an aspie quality or not, but I feel more comforable with younger people, mainly because I don't feel my age inside.. My sense of humor is, well, not that of a typical 29 yr old. My idea of fun is pretty immature.

Another idea... are you close to the beach? Will he ever just go hang out at the beach, maybe he may meet someone there =D I met my husband through my previous boyfriend.. and the boyfriend before that from the boyfriend previous LOL.. I know, it's bad. It all goes back to my first boyfriend is Highschool. They all know eachother. Maybe his freind that is college can hangout with him more on the weekends or something..?? Also, if you have a YMCA they have alot of classes. If there is ANYTHING that he is interested in, it would be so awesome if he would join. The plus to that is you don't have to think about what to talk about. The classes are subject specific. Everyone is into the same thing =D tell him also that I do know what he is going through, and that he can talk to me anytime. Hugs

6 Re: What is the first step? on Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:07 am


Thank you so much for all your responses. My brother and I read them all and discuss them. He has tried meds for depression and ADD, but he had bad side effects from all of them. They made his heart race, or made him shake constantly. I don't know if anxiety meds are any different, but he is nervous to try anymore meds.
My brother loves the weather. He took a class about weather once and loved it, but never talked to anyone. When he goes out anywhere he tries to make himself invisible - which is hard because he is 5 ft 10 inches. He makes people think he does not want to be approached and so they ignore him. Until now I guess that was ok. Now that he wants to meet someone he just doesn't know how. He said he doesn't even know how to start a conversation other then "Hi my name is..." I guess we have a lot of work to do.

7 Re: What is the first step? on Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:35 am

Dr. Ron

Dr. Ron
Hi Melissa, You could also find some books on Aspergers that would give you a better understanding and then give you a better concept on which would be a more positive direction for you and your brother. What is his name? Any book by Tony Atwood is a good start. We are trying to help each other with this chat web site and Kim will do all she can to help. If Kim has your email we can put you on our almost weekly video emails where I do a little chat about Aspergers/Autism. ParentingAspergers by Juan Rodriquez is weekly email that has some good advise.
Hang in there, Dr. Ron

8 Re: What is the first step? on Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:05 am


Thanks Dr. Ron,
I have read The complete guide to Asperger's Syndrome, by Tony Attwood. That is how I knew that my brother, Doug, had Aspergers. When the psychologist told my family that Doug had Aspergers we had never heard of it before. When I read the book I knew she was right. It was a perfect fit. However she did not really know how to help him. She tried all kinds of meds that caused bad reactions and he eventually stopped trustiong her. Since then he has had two other psychologists that also did not help much. Doug lost hope for a while thinking that maybe he could not be helped. Now he wants help. I am going to take him to Sacramento to meet an Autism specialist. I hope Doug will be able to trust him. It is going to be hard, but if it helps then it will be worth it.

9 Re: What is the first step? on Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:47 am


When it comes to starting conversations, I don't know if I can help with that. I don't like starting converstations unless I already know who and what I'm going to talk about. Small talk, I guess, is not something we, with Aspergers, are very good at. It does not come naturally. Tell your brother for now, to go with the "shy guy" attitude, some girls like that. There is actually a song. I'll attach the video hehe. Please tell your brother that things will get better. Aspergers isn't necessarily a "sickness" it's just we think different ya know. About previous meds, I am on an anti depressant, and an anti anxiety medication called Klonopin. The Klonopin works best out of the two. Oh, and the best thing you can do is read about and connect with others who have Aspergers. Aside from our website, there are other chat forums like It is huge, and I'm sure there are other aspies in your area, that are on that site. All members have Aspergers syndrome. I like it.

10 Re: What is the first step? on Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:05 am


Thanks again for all your help. Wrong planet is under construction, but I plan on trying again next week. I really liked the song too. How did you find the doctor in Sacramento? Did you just look it up online? My husband suggested that we look in Los Angeles. It takes about the same amount of time to get to LA as it does to Sacramento, and we have family near LA. So if we didn't want to drive there and back in one day, we could stay with family. i tried to look online for doctors in LA. but again I could only find ones who treat children. It is very discouraging! Do you think you could look again for me? I would really appreciate it Mad

11 Re: What is the first step? on Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:06 am


OK the mad face was supposed to be a happy one sorry, I guess I clicked the wrong one.

12 Re: What is the first step? on Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:26 am

Dr. Ron

Dr. Ron
Melissa, Not sure searching for a doctor at either LA or Sac is a great idea....maybe good but they will want to see you more often; especially if they try medications; all medications are for symptoms and there is no one medication for AS. How about starting a support group in your area...? With time you will find other Aspies; this is not a disease but a way of thinking that is different than others. Take a look at The Big Bang Theory or Boston Legal or 3rd rock from the Sun... Keep in

13 Re: What is the first step? on Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:28 am

Dr. Ron

Dr. Ron
touch. Dr. Ron (I'm not so hot on a computer Very Happy Question

14 Re: What is the first step? on Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:53 am


I have looked online for support groups in my area. I found one with several girls, but no boys, and they were surprizingly social. They do girls night out every week. Doug just shuts down around girls. Other than that I have only found support groups for children or teens. I'm not sure how to start one on my own. What would I do?

15 Re: What is the first step? on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:02 am


Usually the local library has conference rooms you can use for free as long as it's a group, like Aspergers support etc. That's the first step. Than advertise on under groups, also go to and set up your group there if you have $20/month.. make up flyers etc. Maybe contact developmental services just to let them know there is a support group, school district, maybe bring some flyers to local psychaitrist's offices.

16 Re: What is the first step? on Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:39 am


So frustrated! I told Doug about the support group idea. He just stared at me like I was crazy! I thought he would like to me other people with Aspergers, but the idea of talking to strangers - Aspergers or not - has him terrified. I still can't get him to post on this site either. He says he has nothing to talk about. I told him that if he wants friends or someone to spend the rest of his life with that he is going to have to talk to people. I even tried to get him to go out with one of his cousins this weekend. Maybe he could introduce him to some of his friends and they wouldn't feel so much like strangers, but no. He does not want to go because the cousin is "too social" and he is afraid of being left out. I know that no one likes to be left out, and I feel really bad for him, but I don't know what to do. I know that any social situation is going to be uncomfortable for him, but is there any that might be less uncomfortable? Should I start the support group anyway and hope that he will go?

17 Re: What is the first step? on Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:00 am


That's a hard one... Does he know that the way he is, is VERY NORMAL for someone with Aspergers. Once he can embrace that, he may be able to do more. Sounds like the anxiety is the big issue right now that problably needs to be addressed first. I've been where he is at. It sucks. Ask him if he would be willing to take something to make him less anxious, like zanax, klonopin, pretty much any benzodiazapam med. They work quickly to calm. If so, and I were him, I'd try that. Baby steps, but if you are so overcome with anxiety, even stepping out of your house is exausting, literally. You could start the group, that would be good..than once the anxiety is better, more than likely he'll come around =D

18 Re: What is the first step? on Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:14 am

Dr. Ron

Dr. Ron
Hi Melissa, Tell Doug I said "Hello and do your best". Dr. Ron Very Happy

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