Rocco is 24 and has Asperger's (high functioning autism) with severe ADD, but his IQ is off the chart. He has extremely low self-esteem, no real friends in the past, and hasn't been able to stick to anything for very long.
Because of the Asperger's, he doesn't understand social cues or situations, which severely limited his ability to interact in school. Because he didn't understand, he often acted out. Other children and teachers alike treated him as if he was an outcast during his school years and we had to deal with the frustration fallout.
He has, for several years now, become more and more addicted to alcohol any way he can get it. We, his parents, have felt helpless and hopeless as we tried one counseling, agency and hospital after another. We felt he had to hit bottom before he would actually be open to getting help.
After he came home with 19 stitches in his face after a drunken brawl, we knew we had to try something else, and since I'm in ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfuntional Families), I took him to a picnic that was also attended by AA and Al Anon groups.
He found a group of kids he could relate to at that picnic. They are part of a private program that is based on AA but geared towards young adults - Crossroads in Chesterfield. He hasn't been home much since - he is so much happier.
He can attend the support group functions, but can't go into counseling because we can't afford the $10,000 it would take. Since he is ready to do this program and he is on the high end in age of what their program is geared towards, we feel we must do everything we can to get him into this program.
We've watched as he has spiralled down into depression and desperation. We can't let him go this route - I lost a brother to suicide and if this happens, it will be it for me as well.
So, as much as it embarrasses me to ask for help, I feel I must. I do think that we will be in a position to pay this forward in the future (I just started a custom web software and digital marketing company last fall), so your help will go on to help others.
Thank you for anything you can do, any shares or even just likes. We feel like we are alone at times with this struggle, even though we know there are others out there, so if you feel like that, too, please contact me.
- Laura Wilson
- Betsey Beckmann
- Juddith Giggey