Son is like Jekyll and hyde

Hello there. I’m really struggling with my 14 year old autistic son. One minute he’s the nice boy I remember and the next he’s this monster. He always shouts and has a go at me. It’s like treading on eggshells. He never seems happy and is so argumentative. He winds everyone up all the time and he reminds me of his abusive father. I’m a single mum and I’ve got no support from family and no friends. I’ve got depression as well as a heart condition and things are not good at all. Today was the worst because I had to babysit my little grandson and my son is so jealous of him. My son doesn’t sleep well and today I just cried. What can I do? I love him but I’m scared of the future with him. 

  • Hi,

    I'm really sorry that you are struggling, lack of sleep is not a good combination with depression. 

    At 14 I would assume that his hormones are going wild and that he is struggling with this and displaying it as anger, teenagers can really switch personality at this time add in that he is autistic and probably struggling with the emotions.

    Has he got any hobbies or interests sometimes this can give focus and an outlet for the anger or extra energy

    Probably a stupid question but have you tried talking to him maybe not face to face about what he is feeling and what he would like 

    Please try and find a support group or someone to talk to in your area I know it sounds silly but knowing that you are not alone makes a difference. You may also want to try the helpline

    I'm sure another member will have more practical suggestions for you 

    Good luck 

  • Hi NAS62558,

    So sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time with your son.  Children on the spectrum can often display behaviour that may be challenging. There will generally be a reason for this and it is important to try and understand the trigger for the behaviour when developing strategies.  You may like to have a look at the following link for more information on behaviour and strategies:

    You may like to contact The Autism Helpline who can provide information and advice on behaviour and strategies. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). The Helpline is often very busy and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.

    You may also like to contact our Parent to Parent service who offers emotional support to parents and carers of children or adults with autism. This service is confidential and run by trained parent volunteers who are all parents themselves of a child or adult with autism . You contact the team on 0808 800 4106. Please leave a message and the team will call you back as soon as possible at a time that suits you, including evenings and weekends.  Alternatively you can use contact the team via web form:

    I hope that helps.

    Kind regards,


  • Hey :) 

    I think that's typical of a lot of teenagers as they're going through hormonal changes - mood swings are quite frequent, and being annoying/argumentative is a part of them expressing anger and testing boundaries. It's hard work - stay strong!x

    Much love <3