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My brother was recently diagnosed with Asperges, but the

Hello, my brother was recently...

Hello, my brother was recently diagnosed with Asperges, but the means by which this was discovered revealed what I could presume as additional mental issues. He has maintained for over 6 years that he attended university, and had a job, but for that entire duration he was sitting in a park, all by himself. This is heartbreaking.

I presume this was to avoid social interaction, but this 'compulsive lying' worries me greatly. Obviously this isn't a direct symptom of the condition but rather a coping mechanism, but he is so good at telling you exactly what you 'want to hear' that I am concerned that others in my family, predominantly my other who is caring for him, does not understand the severity of his state. She is attempting to push him into getting a job (as a primary school teacher!), or going to university, and from what I understand, my brother would most likely benefit from a situation where change is gradual and structured. I would like some advice as to how I assist my brother, without making this situation worse.

Perhaps I should add that my mother is a seemingly compulsive liar (always making up stories of saving someone on the street with CPR, witnessing an accident then trying to save someone, etc etc - there's a new one ever couple of months), and perhaps this is what my brother has learned as an acceptable method for handling situations that he believes may lead to confrontation. He;s extremely good at mimicking the 'tone' of a conversation, and repeats meaningful phrases such as 'I love you and think of you'.

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Answered in 59 minutes by:
2/5/2013
Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,168
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
Verified
Dr. L :

Good Morning,

Dr. L :

I am sorry that this situation has developed in your family. It certainly does sound like your brother has learned to respond socially based on what mother says and does. That is very unfortunate and her way of adapting with the world is not healthy coping. However, let's look at what is happening with your brother.

Dr. L :

I would strongly encourage you to learn all you can about Asperger's...there are plenty of good books and articles that will help you understand the complex nature of Asperger's. It is called a spectrum disease...meaning that people can have mild to severe symptoms.

Dr. L :

Next, please talk to the physician that made the diagnosis so that you can understand where your brother is on this spectrum. Knowing this information will be critical to being able to help him make decisions about his future. I would also ask the physician to make a recommendation for further testing of your brother with an occupational specialist. Your brother will benefit from being assessed to discover what would be the best occupation for him; taking in to account his unique abilities and his social skills.

Dr. L :

As your mother does not sound like someone who is trustworthy and honest, it would be best if you (or another sibling) take on this task so that sound decisions can be made for your brother.

Dr. L :

With this recent diagnosis, your brother deserves to be told of his limitations and his true abilities. Many people with Asperger's do quite well in life. The key is to understand the disease and to appropriate channel the individual.

Dr. L :

I can only imagine how devastating this situation is. Please know that your brother can live a happy and fulfilling life once everyone understands fully what his true capabilities are.

Dr. L :

I await your response.

Dr. L :

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/mental-health-aspergers-syndrome

Dr. L :

http://www.aspergers.com/

Dr. L :

Above are two links that you might benefit from reading.

Customer:

I agree with your response. I certainly agree with the assertion that further information is required by his physician and for me to understand this. I am most likely going to encounter the situation of not being provided with further honest information about what my brother has actually been told. However, I shall endeavour to learn more (my sister and I can do this). I have been trying to learn more about those with Asperges who also have the ability to lie for such a long time,and with such a high degree of elaborate success, but there's very little information 'out there'.

Customer:

agree with your response. I certainly agree with the assertion that further information is required by his physician and for me to understand this. I am most likely going to encounter the situation of not being provided with further honest information about what my brother has actually been told, particularly with respect to his position on the spectrum. However, I shall endeavour to learn more (my sister and I can do this). I have been trying to learn more about those with Asperges who also have the ability to lie for such a long time,and with such a high degree of elaborate success, but there's very little information 'out there' about this particular combination of capability. I realise that asking a blunt question is unlikely to result in a simple answer, but here it is; do you think that if I gently offer my brother and mum a few resources to learn more (I like the tone of publications by those such as Tony Attwood), that they may come to understand, and hence realise more about the condition?

Customer:

agree with your response. I certainly agree with the assertion that further information is required by his physician and for me to understand this. I am most likely going to encounter the situation of not being provided with further honest information about what my brother has actually been told. However, I shall endeavour to learn more (my sister and I can do this). I have been trying to learn more about those with Asperges who also have the ability to lie for such a long time,and with such a high degree of elaborate success, but there's very little information 'out there'. I would like to know; do you think that by offering both my brother and my mum resources (such as those by Tony Attwood) to learn more, that they may come to a greater self-realisation about my brothers' condition? I am essentially not sure how to best influence them.

Customer:

Sorry, multiple posts.

Dr. L :

The more information you can learn the better off you will be in guiding the future for both your mum and brother. Yes...to sharing information with your mum and brother...if it is at an intellectual level that they can understand it. I would make sure that you (or your sister) attend all medical appointments with your brother so that you know what is being said, what directions are being given and so forth.

Dr. L :

If you think that your brother can benefit from working one-on-one with a career coach or any other similar professionals...please consider this.

Dr. L :

I'm sorry to say this...but your mum seems to have some mental health issues. Would you consider having her evaluated? It might be possible that with psychotherapy she might be able to make some changes in her irrational thinking and lying. It's a thought...

Dr. L :

You sound like a very loving and compassionate individual. I can only imagine how difficult all of this is.

Dr. L :

If I happen to find any more resources for you...especially anything that addresses the lying...I will send it along to you.

Dr. L :

In the meantime, I wish you peace.

Dr. L :

If you should ever want to chat again about your brother and mum, I would be happy to help you. Just list my name at the beginning of the question and it will be directed to me.

Dr. L :

Thank you!

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,168
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
Verified
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Dr. L
Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,168
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Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist

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