my name is barry. i am 56 yeas old. i am at the end of my tether and enough is enough. my son is 17 in march and was diagnosed with autism last summer. we had to go private because the school was more than useless. up until my son was 8 he was (what we believe) a "normal" child. no adverse signs. progressively over the last 9 years he has got worse and worse. totally disruptive behavior at school and more and more destructive. he now clashes with his mom (my partner) as i'm new to this could anyone advise/direct me in the right direction. nothing is ever his fault and the way his mom speaks to him winds him up. i could go on for hours. do we have to wrap him up in cotton wool? i love him to bits but cannot go on like this.
Given the ages you mention and progression I'd hazard a guess this is less to do with being on the autistic spectrum, and more a reaction to being pushed into neuro-typical behaviour patterns in school life (this can be just as much from other students as teachers).
As I said this is more of a guess, but may be worth investigating possibilities from anxiety to C-PTSD.
A few ideas, that I’m just going to brain dump as I’ve had a busy day and I’m too tired to write a more coherent reply. You could refer him to your local child and adolescent mental health service to assess; phone your local autism services to ask advice; phone/email the NAS helpline to ask for advice; most county councils have an autism hub of sorts on their website which lists local resources, it’s best to google ‘xxxxx county council autism information’; just google the name of the area you live in and autism services to see what comes up; I assume he’s still in education? You could speak with the school SENCO.
Much as Autistic Entrepreneur has already stated I am going to go a bit further in stating that the problems you describe are as much about your son being on the spectrum; as they are about him having had to share in and enforce the sociologically typical behaviour patterns of an excessively competitive tribalistic society ~ which essentially amounts to the programmed and scripted unconscious, sub-conscious and pre-conscious ideology of "My Way or No Way!"
With your headline being "is time to leave . . . " it exemplifies the "My Way Or No Way!" ideology which mostly everyone in society (to various degrees) mimmicks and models from their parents, guardians and piers socially at home, school and so on and so fourth, during their child-hood, adult-hood and elder-hood.
Your son like many on the spectrum has mimicked and modeled likewise but more though perseverantly on account of his diagnosed neurological and physiological differences, and in not having been specifically as such facilitated for during the majority of his life ~ on account of being atypical or divergent rather than "normal" ~ thus arose the difficulties that you, your partner and your son are still equally empowered to deal with, from here on in.
Firstly it is important to keep very much in mind that emotional intelligence in autistic people is usually equivalent to half that of their physical age, making us young at heart which may not be appreciated during childhood regarding developmental milestone failures, but very much can be appreciated during adult-hood and elder-hood regarding creative or productive endeavors, providing our inner child or creativity has not been irreducibly incapacitated or irrevocably inhibited.
So with your son being 17 in March his emotional development could well be equivalent to about that of an eight year old, and given the change in character that you reported as occurring at the age of eight (as being a psychological split consisting of a mental fragmentation and an emotional disassociation), it is likely to involve also the emotional development of a four year old, on account of either a traumatic shock, or a sequential culmination of them. Bullying at school will more usually be the case as such in causative terms, but birth trauma and or parental separation anxieties from having been left in the guardianship of people who were at first unfamiliar and did not provide adequate or any protection over the long or short term will also be the case.
The condition of Complex Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (C-PTSD) as mentioned by Autistic Entrepreneur, is described as follows:
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. [According to] Wikipedia.
Only C-PTSD is not in my experience or opinion something that can readily be described as being a 'response' to a prolonged interpersonal trauma, but is more as such a reaction to it, and anything that resembles the experience of that interpersonal trauma can trigger a flashback where the actual traumatic warp and weft of the experiences are relived partially or wholly in the mind, or partially and wholly through the body-mind relationship, which can involve little or no sense of the current time frame.
Now most untrained people can be behaviorally triggered in mentally, emotionally and physically charged ways, involving particular pitches, tones and volumes of voice along with specific expressions, words, names, gestures and behaviors. In order to circumvent or better mitigate triggered patterns of aggressive behavior, this mindfulness meditation and practice is often suggested by those who find it as such useful:
Also, just as there are "How To and When" manuals for the development of Neurologically Typical children and their life course into and through adult-hood, there is one for the Neurologically Divergent called 'The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome', by Tony Attwood, which costs just short of £20 new, or free by way of the following PDF link:
Deepthought made an excellent choice of name. I'm taking notes
I'm an autistic woman who has worked in a role supporting autistic university students. I disagree with the poster who states 'emotional intelligence in autistic people is usually equivalent to half that of their physical age'. This hasn't been my personal or professional experience.
Autistic people tend to have different sensory and communication needs to those around them, which can make life challenging. It sounds like your son's world become more and more difficult for from age 8 upwards and despite clearly demonstrating his anguish through challenging behaviour his needs haven't been listened to (hence the late diagnosis) or met? The crowds, lighting, smells and social expectations of school made it a very taxing experience from me. In contrast to your sons behaviour, I internalised my issues, which led to daily migraines and eventually a suicide attempt due to increasing mental ill health. As such, I think it's fantastic that your son is able to show his distress so openly.
Why does the way his mum speak to him 'wind him up'? If you're able to explain this, this form may be able to advise ways in which she could communicate more effectively.
What books, videos etc have you already watched to try and understand the different needs your has and how you can communicate more effectively as a family? If you let us know what you've looked at already the forum may be able to suggest additional resources.
thankyou. his mom winds him up by calling him "oliver" rather than "olly" and flying into him for his untidiness and disorganization. as i approach him more on a diplomatic scale and speak to him calmly.