Just caught the documentary last night and can't stop thinking about it. It was fantastic and I will recommend it to my relatives who don't understand what we've been going through. My 17-yr-old has AS and went through very similar times in Gr. 7/8. He's in a better place now, socially - he says it's because he works so much harder than anyone else. Since he was diagnosed in Gr. 8 he has put real effort into studying social norms. He even thinks he's better at it than most people. (Not exactly true, but he has made great strides, and I hope it offers encouragement to some of the parents of younger kids here, that aspies can learn these skills.) However, we still struggle with him. The 'In the Moment' concept has me bothered right now, because I agree, that is one of the key characteristics of his aspieness - and at my son's age, you CAN"T just live in the moment. He is going to university (he hopes) in the next year or two and keeps saying he's got to really work this year to get the grades etc., and yet his 'in-the-moment' mindset leads him to immerse himself in video games or his obsession(mountain biking) rather than schoolwork that doesn't interest him in the least. I am wondering if there is any way to get around this problem. He is tested as gifted, and yet even with a reduced schedule, an extra spare and lots of tutoring, he rarely does homework, he's only getting marks in the 60s, and thinks he's going to be a doctor one day! As I see it, this is a result of living in the moment. Cause and effect don't mean anything to him, so I feel at a loss as to how we can help him 'connect the dots' - how to encourage him to stop living in the moment and start thinking about the future. Does anyone have any advice or btdt? With a 'normal' kid, we'd just let him take the fall (fail) but with my son, and suicidal ideation in the past, that really scares me. Thanks so much! - Kim in Ontario

Being Scared about "Living In the Moment"

Hi Kim thanks so much for sharing your story. I wish I had some more insight on how to get our kids to think further down the road than just in the moment, but unfortunately I dont. In Adam's case, much of the learning he has done, particularly in areas where our AS kids supposedly are not supposed to be able to learn, come from "learning the hard way". Those disastrous incidents seem to make an impact in his case at least. All our kids are so different, but in some cases they are also exactly like teenagers everywhere- crazy, disorganised and in the moment. A number of my friends with typical kids have described kids who are totally not into school, cut classes, and then right before the end, when they finally figure out that their grades will actually count in terms of their post-secondart options, they pull it together. It seems to be when it finally matters to them. In Adam's case, I am resigned to the fact that his path will likely take a few twists and turns. He has ZERO study skills, and so far gets by on doing the minimum and the fact that he naturally smart. I know its going to get much tougher for him to wing it unless he gets organised. of course he has tutors etc, but he basically doesnt care. Although he says this year he wants to get btter grades. Does he know what that actually takes? I dont know.Its such a huge contrast with his sister who is a grade ahead of him and works her but off to get good grades. Anyway, I am rambling on with no solution being offered. My plan is to try to guide Adam as best I can, support him by being understanding, and be willing to accept that his path will likely look a lot different than other kids paths. But hopefully he will get to a place where he feels good about himself and can support himself in the world. The reality is we dont know how anything will turn out, even our friends with those "perfect" kids on the fast track to where-ever. As adults we can get tooooo caught up in future focused owrrying and thinking, and thats when we should get a little AS ourselves and live in the moment. Marianne