Hi! My name is Penny, I have 5 children and my eldest Son was diagnosed with ASD nearly 10 years ago when he was 6. We’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve navigated his needs really quite well I think...that is until now.
A letter came in the post about 18 months ago for my son and apparently it read, PUBERTY, PLEASE BEGIN COMPLETE AVERSIVE BEHAVIOURS NOW :( Obviously I’m being sarcastic but that’s how quickly he changed. Overnight.
I could ride out the puberty but it’s everything else that has grow since. The chronic slow moving, inability to achieve anything. It’s taken him 7 hours to have a shower and tidy his already fairly tidy room. His only ‘chore’ is washing up after dinner. 1 and a half hours...easy. Homework, 1 piece will take him from dinner till bed only for him to walk in to the lounge and announce at 11.30, “I didn’t get it”. He sits and stares at walls. It’s not like he’s desperate to get on his x box or watch a film he literally sits and does nothing!! It’s like pulling teeth. “Ben, you really need to get on mate”, “yes, I know”, he’ll say....then still sit there. I stop to drop him off at school and sometimes I have to prompt him to take his seatbelt off and get out of the car and even then you would have thought his legs were made of lead!! And if you’re thinking that he doesn’t know just because I’ve stopped he needs to get out of the car or that, “you really need to get on mate” to him is a non statement well all I can say is he would have understood two years ago. If suddenly he doesn’t he’s regressed massively.
Then there’s the brewing temper and self harm, the biting his hands and rocking. Today I looked out in through his bedroom window (his bedroom is downstairs and viewable from the lounge) and for no apparent reason he was doing something that vaguely represented Irish dancing?? I asked him just now to do the (well overdue) washing up before he went back to his room and he ran off for his room like he was about to attempt a long jump and when he got in there he’s throwing himself around, shoving things into his mouth and head butting his bed. Now he’s sat at the kitchen bench staring at the sink. And the mention of homework, well, all he’ll can let loose.
We’re in regular contact with his consultant, we’ve even moved him School and he was on aripiprazole until he developed a second voice he started talking with but taking him off of the meds seems to have solved that.
I don’t know what to do or what to think. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago I would have said he had a relatively high functioning autism but I’m not so sure anymore. We’re pretty sure he has the emotional IQ of around a 10/11 year old
Any advice would be gratefully revived. Even just someone else saying their young person is the same.
Thanks for reading.
NAS36021 said:Any advice would be gratefully revived. Even just someone else saying their young person is the same.
What you describe above is classic autistic behaviour, and is as such not rare. Unfortunately I do not have the time to go into this at the moment, but I seriously recommend getting a copy of Tony Attwood's book, The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, as it is what it describes on the cover, and explains everything you are describing, and how to work with the issues involved.
Well I thought perhaps this might be typical of an ASD teenager but his consultant it looking for a ‘root cause’ for his behaviours which obviously made me think that he didn’t think this to be typical behaviour.
Consider the information via this link:
As it will give you a pretty good round up of where your son is in terms of coping with the outside would. I will be back on line in a couple of hours if you wish to discuss this further, and you may well get a few replies about what's going on from other community members as well in the meantime.
NAS36021 said:Thank you.
Glad to have been of some service. Obviously, if you have any further questions, you are very much welcome to ask them.
I ordered the book you suggested. I’m at a complete loss with him at the moment. For the first time since he was 5 I really don’t know how to help him. He’s completely imploding on himself and I just can’t reach him. Worse than that, me trying to help him is just giving him more to process. He has his GCSEs in June and if he doesn’t come back to us soon it’s going to be a complete waste of his whole education and he will be so disappointed. He used to have ambitions for his life but right now he’s just absent.
Your son sounds like me at that age. I have only been diagnosed with Aspergers very recently, aged 44, and am certainly no expert on the subject but I do know what it feels like to be a teenager (and adult for that matter) completely overwhelmed by EVERYTHING.
I have no idea what the books and experts will recommend but I can say, for what it's worth, what would have helped me at that age and what HAS helped me as i've grown to live with being me.
A room of my own away from the noise of the rest of the house in which to recover. Preferably with blackout blinds or at least some way of blocking everyone else out so that whatever I want to do in there is private and not open to public scrutiny / explanations / judgement. A bolt-hole, if you will, where I could talk out loud to myself, sing, read lying upside-down, or whatever else made me calm without having to explain why it did (because I didn't know why). A place that no-one else is ever allowed to enter.
One thing to deal with at a time. Like exams for instance. Even now I cannot run more than one project / program at a time without risking a wipe-out / crash. Exams + Home Life + Social Life (which might include social subjects such as PE because they're actually more exhausting than subjects requiring no social contact) + Puberty is already 4 things!! Something has to give.
If the school would agree to your son (if he wants to) dropping non-essential subjects such as Core PE and any others during this important build-up to his exams, I think he would feel the benefit. It would probably also help a lot if he could absent himself a little more, just during this exam period, from Home Life a bit (chores, family meals perhaps, possibly family social time in the evenings if he feels the need).
Obviously I don't know your son and I wouldn't presume to tell someone else what to do, I hope this isn't coming across like that, but I do know what it feels like to have too many things going on to be able to process ANY of them efficiently and he can't put Puberty on hold or his Exams on hold so that's already 2 things to cope with! Maybe, until the exams are over, everything else apart from those 2 could just stop and be still for a while. To let him catch up with himself again.