Joining the Navy with Aspergers Syndrome

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by paulb1912, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. Hi

    Dont know if I have put this in the right part of the forum..

    I was in the Navy in the Ninities for 6 years and currently in the RNR.

    My wee boy(14) is wanting to follow in my footsteps but he has Aspergers which is part of the Autistim spectrum, know I know that the medical part of joining up states if you have it you can't join up..

    The question I have is if he when older manages to controls it could he join ? or is it total kncockback no matter if he does manage to get over it and control it. I know he will always have it but through school(currently in a specilist unit in a normal secondary) is learning to control it and get over the things which he is affected by i.e. not making friends(he does have a few), learning to interact with others especially people in authority)

    I am gutted that this is going to affect his future, for the last few years he has set his heart on joining up even joining the reserves to see how he gets on first. When I do tell him he cant i know he will be devasted thats why i want to make sure he would be sindied.. I spoke to a young AB at the AFCO and he basicaly read what was on the form but I wanted to see if any Medical people knew anymore info..

  2. I knew of one chap who bounced around Phase two training for about a year until he was eventually discharged. From my experience, I wouldn't recommend that joins the military. It's a tough decision but it really isn't for everybody - and it's nigh on impossible for somebody with aspergers. But as I say, that's only from my experience having had a chap in my division with a version of this condition.
  3. How 'bad' is he? Is it relatively mild?

    I am sure Doc will be along to help x
  4. cheers matey
  5. Didn't appreciate the benefit of my experience then..
  6. of course matey

    I am going to do some more investigating before I have to tell him his dream maybe over...

    He is doing really well in school too and according to his teachers could do weel in the future, he loves his engineering classes so may try and push him more in that direction..

    Cheers for your help pal
  7. One thing in his favour is that those with Aspergers tend to see things in Black & White, and no shades of grey. Rules are rules and must be obeyed. Asperger sufferers seem to like to live regimented lives.
  8. They do indeed any change in routine can throw them off balance and can trigger outbursts
  9. ...and that is exactly what happened to the lad in my division. Life in the mob isn't actually that regimented.

    He enlisted as a seaman spec...
    Failed at MWS who decided to send him warfare SM...
    Failed...sent back to MWS in another branch...
    Returned to Raleigh...discharged...
    All in all spent about 18 months being pushed from one place to another - he didn't do anything wrong as such - apart from the odd outburst - he just couldn't deal with living on a mess deck with other people who all did their own thing - which is a reflection of real life. Sadly, he was unable to cope with all this and it effected his performance. He had to go - for his own sake.
  10. Not wanting to sound like Im trying to dash his/your hopes, but don't you think if he did manage to get through all the training that when on a ship which has the possability of changing routines quite on a regular basis then he could have snags.
  11. It depends on their criteria level on how they handle things.

    But I agree, the RN maybe too much to handle
  12. If the diagnosis of Asperger's is correct (and it sounds like it is) then it is a bar to entry I'm afraid - for all the reasons stated by other posters.

    It is not in his interests, never mind the RN or RNRs, for him to be in a military situation.
  13. I've become very attune to people with AS since my youngest lad was diagnosed 5 years ago (now 10). It's a condition that you learn more about as you witness their day-to-day activities...every day is a school day for us and him.

    AS is a very broad spectrum and where an individual has been diagnosed for whatever reason, then they are tagged, END OF!

    For those that HAVEN'T been diagnosed (and tagged), esp those that are at the higher functioning end of Aspergers, they go on to create their own coping mechanisms and fit in with the rest of society... including the RN.

    Look around you on board your subs & ships, you'll see them if you know what you're looking for. I know of at least one Aspi in my RNR unit and have come across several other officers (excellent ones at that)!
    My colleagues traits are identical to my sons yet because he wasn't 'diagnosed', he's now serving. AND as has been said before, copes with service life perfectly. By and large he is more than accepted by the rest of us.

    Question is, why can't others cope with him..?
  14. I totally agree with you.

    What grips my sh*t, is when the shrinks come up with a “high functioning†diagnosis, give the person concerned a label and virtually say “now fcuk offâ€. As I see it, if he is near the high functioning, “normal†end of the spectrum, all he gets is stuck with the label. Gee! Thanks a lot. :roll:
  15. Labels are a problem, and one which has affected several people on RR who have asked me for advice.

    The blame does't purely lie with doctors though - often people will not rest until there is a diagnosis, something to explain <whatever>. It can be mental health, an ache, a rash - people don't always accept that everyone is different. If you press a doctor enough, we will come up with a stab at a diagnosis which may keep you happy but will haunt you longer term. I'm thinking of higher-functioning Aspergers kids (who, to me, are blokes - nothing more pathological than that). Many are in the forces, never diagnosed because it was never pushed. Those who have been assigned the label will never have it refuted and they will be permanently unfit to serve.

    Mental health is tricky, because it's very hard to prove you don't have many psychiatric conditions.

    This is a general comment by the way - I'm not accusing previous posters of having a role in their kids' conditions. I'm talking about "mild" cases only.

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