Hello everyone. I am Mum to a delightful 15 yr old son who has been diagnosed with ASD for the past several years. I am new to the NAS and am saying hello as my son is suffering more with anxiety he lead up to his exams and any advice is always welcome
Hi there, welcome to the forum and NAS community. My name is Otis, I was diagnosed aged 15. But, now just taking each day as it goes. Now a bit older, I suppose it has given me more awareness about the condition or a greater understanding. There is no guarantee that this might help but if your son is feeling anxious would it be worth listening to something calming or soothing e.g. mediation or relaxation music, or perhaps something like 'Mindfulness'?
Or a hobby that your son likes whether it is reading or writing...
I know there is a link for revision I think it was BBC Bitesize (www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize). That might be useful. Personally, I find breathing relaxes me. There are some YouTube videos on education e.g. exam tips. Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/). What might work for one person may not work for someone else.
I think one thing that is worth mentioning is to remind your son how cared, proud, loved amongst other attributes. After all, your son can only do so much. Be open and honest as you would in a way your son would understand. I find that with me having support or those close to me (whether in person or on the phone) has been beneficial.
Thanks, for your brief introduction. I hope your son feels a bit better within himself and best of luck with his exams.
P.S your son should have additional time during the exam?
Hello. You may get responses from other parents, and from autistic adults. I'm one of the second group.
Anxiety is extremely common in autistic people, and in teens, there seems to be a lot to be anxious about in understanding people's motives. However, it's often hard to know what one is feeling, or what one's feeling it about. You might like to think about what has eased the anxiety recently, and when it has been worse.
Thanks so much for your reply Otis, you have given me some really interesting advice. I will discuss BBC bitesize with him and also look at your YouTube recommendations. Thank you
Thanks Cassandro for responding. I am certainly keen to know what worsens and what eases his anxiety. We have identified certain things at school which are being addressed. It can be a slow process though can’t it as he has difficulty identifying and discussing things that have caused him anxiety. Happily he starts a course through CAMHS this week specifically designed to help,him identify and cope with his anxiety
Asking the school about allowing your son more time for each exam is a really useful idea! Also, if your son is comfortable with the idea, asking the school about the possibility of him sitting his exams in a separate, quiet room might be helpful?
Thanks Endymion, these suggestions are all so helpful
That's good to hear. Yes, it is surprisingly difficult to work out what the main stresses are, not helped by the expectation that people should be able to understand their own emotions. I heard a case at a lecture recently where someone thought they were anxious about their shoes for ages, but then it turned out they only wore those shoes to school, so their anxiety and nausea wasn't what it seemed at all.
It's another of my huge meaningless generalisations, but trying new, slightly challenging stuff socially expands the 'comfort zone', and a sense of control and progress can help ease anxiety. That's true for typical people, and many of us autistic folk too.