Frequently Asked Questions
Question: My son who has Asperger’s syndrome is 29 years old and lives with us because he can’t find steady work and can’t afford to live on his own. Are there any group homes for adults with Asperger’s syndrome?
Answer: You are in good company. There are many parents of adults with Asperger’s syndrome who are supporting their adult child(ren) who are having problems launching into an independent life. You may want to call contact a social service agency in your city to find resources for assisted living for young adults. In Tucson, we have La Frontera, a community mental health agency. They have resources for indigent adults with mental illnesses, such as group homes, counseling, and psychiatric services. Since many people with Asperger’s syndrome have co-existing conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, and Tourette’s, they often can qualify for services. The adult would have to qualify under La Frontera’s income guidelines. Contact them to learn more details: La Frontera Center, Inc, a nonprofit, community-based behavioral health agency, (520) 838-5600,
Question: I am a 33 year old woman who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome a year ago in Tucson, AZ. I have been unable to hold down a job for more than a couple of months. Then I get fired. I would like to go through some kind of job training so that I can help.
Answer: Hello Kathy in Tucson: I am sorry to announce that at present, AZ state does not consider Asperger’s syndrome a disability. Therefore, an adult with an Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis does not qualify for state disability benefits through the Department of Economic Security Division of Developmental Disabilities. There are a number of private organizations and individuals who do career counseling. You will find them under the heading of “Career Counseling” in the Yellow Pages and online. Additionally, there are a number of companies in Tucson that support disabled individuals. I understand that Frys Food and Drug Store is one of them, as is the Century Theaters. You may want to check with the Beacon Foundation also. Many people with Asperger’s syndrome find that jobs in call centers work out for them and there are a number of them in Tucson.
Question: I can’t find a mental health professional in my city or even in a near-by city who is an expert in treating and diagnosing Aspergers’ syndrome. Where can I find help for my adult son with Asperger’s?
Answer: You almost always find a neuropsychologist who is trained in the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. A neuropsychologist may also know how to treat the special issues of Asperger’s and may know the resources in your area that would be of help to your son. Look in the yellow pages of your local phone directory for neuropsychologists or find them online with the name of your city and the word “neuropsychologist’.
Question: My son is 27 years old and has Asperger’s. He can’t drive because he is too emotionally volatile. He experiences road-rage in traffic and is distractible. His social anxiety is so severe that getting on a bus to go to work is troubling to him.
Answer: Many young people with Asperger’s syndrome do experience emotional problems associated with driving. Driving requires multitasking and lots of sensory data processing: noise, lights, moving vehicles all around, signs, pedestrians, weather conditions, and finding ones way to a specific location. Sensory overload and difficulty with multitasking are common problems for people with Asperger’s. One possible avenue to take may be professional driving instruction and lots of practice with a responsible adult. People with Asperger’s can learn to overcome many of the problems they experience with driving. Counseling may also help. In most metropolitan areas there is usually transportation system that transports people with disabilities. You would need to go to your state’s department of economic security to initiate a disability determination to qualify for such services.
Question: I have an adult daughter who was diagnosed with Asperger’s. She has not been able to find work and has never lived on her own. She would like to be independent but doesn’t know how to access services or resources in our state. What are her options?
Answer: You may want to help your daughter apply for Social Security disability services. Go to your local Social Security office and request an application. You may be able to download an application online. There is no guarantee that your daughter will qualify but it is worth a try, especially if she suffers with depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD, or any other mental illness in conjunction with her Asperger’s syndrome.
You may also want to call your state department of economic security to learn whether there is a vocational rehabilitation program that would help her to find work or get training and education towards a career path.