My 17 yo son has recently tested positive for autism. He is getting increasingly withdrawn, and getting dangerously thin with not eating. It is the second week now he hasn’t seen his counsellor as he is in bed 24/7 and is becoming increasingly withdrawn. We don’t know where on the spectrum he is at the moment, we don’t know where to turn to get this sorted. It is impossible to get a dr’s appointment, it is a 3 week wait and when he does get there he isn’t taken seriously.
I just don’t know where to turn anymore, I can see he’s deteriorating, I try getting him up out of bed and he goes back to sleep a minute later, we have tried to get him downstairs but he won’t eat, I’ve tried letting him upstairs with it, he won’t eat. Today he has had some toast but that will most likely be it for the day.
We have done research into autism after he tested positive and he has a lot of the characteristics of Asperger’s but again I’m lost for what best to do as we don’t seem to be getting anywhere at all.
Has your son become withdrawn since his diagnosis? Have his eating problems started since his diagnosis? If these problems have arisen only since he was diagnosed, your son may be anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or in shock over his ASD diagnosis and his eating problems and withdrawal may be symptoms of that. If that is the case, he may simply need time and patience to acclimatise to the news.
Sleeping more, and tiredness in general, are signs of overload and so if your son is feeling overwhelmed by his diagnosis it would be natural and expected that he feels overwhelmingly tired and sleeps more (excessively more) during this period of adjustment.
As he is sleeping so much, his food and energy levels will naturally be far lower than normal but the fact that he is eating even toast is a good sign. He doesn't sound as if he is refusing food for dieting / weight loss reasons but more as a symptom of his emotional state at the moment. (If the problems around food have only started since his diagnosis.)