Saturday, February 19, 2005

Mentoring Aspergers

The hardest part about the mentoring I am doing with the lad with Aspergers isn't him, its his parents!
J is easy to work with - he is committed to breaking the negativity mentatility and poverty cycle his parents are trapped in and seem reluctant to leave. The depression cycles he goes into are largely related to his desire to please them, even though they mess with his head. I am assisting him to break the ties and grow up into being a man on his own. He has to learn to stand on his own two feet in the world and the idea that his 'disability' will stop him doing that has to go. He knows that but constantly being told he will never get anywhere in life at home doesn't help.
I hope I am doing the right thing, but my experience with others I have mentored tells me I am. I have some great feedback recently from a couple I helped break some extremely negative and destructive family ties. At the time it was very emotional. A year on they thanked me for helping them leave that part of their life and making their married life together separate from those negative relationships. Their problems haven't gone away - but they have certainly reduced.
Some examples of the negative and destructive stuff that I have had to help them deal with includes:
- backstabbing between family members - nice to your face and cutting behimd your back
- default on loans
- money loaned used on gambling addiction
- illegal employment of family members (under the table - and abuse of offer to help and non payment for services rendered)
- physical threats and actual violence toward other family members
- abusive language
- chain smoking around small children (grandchildren)
- derogatory remarks concerning their attempts to better themselves

The attitudes and approach to life that allows these things to not only occur, but to not even be questiond as not normal, indicate lives lived without a plan, with little or no moral values, no self control and no relationship or financial skills.
To be able to help a young couple with two small children who want to break this poverty and mentality trap is awesome. To see them achieve relationship and financial goals has been rewarding.
I look forward to doing the same with my Aspergers lad.