My daughter is 14 and has high functioning ASD. I feel quite deflated at the moment as she often puts me down and says quite mean things to me and if I challenge her on it she says that I am being
horrible to her and gets upset. She told me that our personality’s are to different and that I have a bad attitude and that she doesn’t like me. I literally tiptoe around her and will do anything to make her happy. I show her so much love and attention but I’m worried that she will always feel this way regardless . Has anyone else experienced this?
Ohhh, I have, from the other side of things.I was the same with my mum at that age and trust me, it's not that she actually hates you. :/ She's at the age when, especially for us women, being autistic gets HARD. Really hard. Social expectations have changed, other children are getting very involved in social politics (especially the girls) and as the autistic girl I guarantee you she's getting the short end of that particular stick. This is the time at which it becomes very obvious that you are different and that "different" is generally perceived by your peers as "wrong". School work's harder too, just to make things really overwhelming.Oh, and puberty kicks completely in so not even your body is reliable and consistent. Literally everything is 'change' at 14 and that's one of the big autistic difficulties. This is where a lot of us get diagnosed in the first place (my autism got flagged up at 14 years old exactly, though it took 3 years to diagnose me) because this is when it becomes impossible to cope. So where's the safe place to let loose all that frustration? Who won't attack back or react in a way you can't handle? Who won't socially ostracise you and make your life even more difficult? Mum! That's who!Doesn't help that it's also the age at which your brain is saying "push boundaries" (hormones again) and mum also happens to be the main purveyor of boundaries. (That's what your "bad attitude" is code for, if you were wondering)It gets better, but it might take a long time. Into her 20s. Until she actually grows up. She won't listen and she'll make her own mistakes whatever you tell her and it will break your heart, plus you'll be trying to pick up the pieces every time, but eventually she'll realise you're on her side and be generally nice again. (I say generally, there may always be minor episodes of lashing out, because you will never stop being the source of 'good advice that she doesn't want to hear'). Also she's never going to admit any of this, except to strangers on the internet, so don't even try asking.Hope that helps. ^^'
I struggled with my mum a lot at that age. I really couldn't cope with her being in my space and asking questions. I would get quite angry with her. A lot of the problem was to do with not being able to really show how I feel so I put up a wall between us. My relationship with my mum has massively improved during my adult years. We still have our moments occasionally but loads better than in my teenage years.
Oh, and a lot of this won't be conscious. She'll have no idea why she suddenly can't cope or why she lashes out at you in particular. She might work it out when she grows up.
Thank you. That is really helpful. I do need to look at the bigger picture and try and understand why she might have these feelings towards me. She got diagnosed last summer so at a similar age to you and she is struggling school (refusing to go) and with friends (isolating herself). She has high levels of anxiety and feels depressed a lot of the time.I just want to help her but I need to figure out if I’m actually being helpful. Thanks again for the insight!
Yeah, very familiar story. My mum took me out of school altogether for about a month because I was extremely reluctant to go and was self-harming (an effect of the anxiety and depression and one of the things that led to my diagnosis in the first place). She took me out of maths for good and taught me herself at home. I spent the time I should have been in maths lessons in a teacher's office instead, because the maths teacher and I despised each other and were never going to be able to work together, to cut a very long story short. It took a LOT of fighting for mum to arrange this. Just let your daughter vent at home, keep it a safe place for her to melt down in. I bet life's feeling pretty rubbish for her right now and there's a limited amount you can do about what happens at school. You're going to see the worst of it, because you're her safe place. So in a way know that when you are taking the brunt of it you are in a way doing good for her just by that, because you are being safe to express those feelings around. And you helped her get her diagnosis, so hopefully that will at least help her understand (in the long run) why she's different and it won't be a horrible "am I just unlikable" mystery. So when she grows up, leaves education and has more understanding of herself and control over who she spends her social time with it will be significantly easier for her.
Seems like you had a tough time yourself! I am learning that school is often not a pleasant experience for a lot of people on the spectrum. Your right though! our home is the only safe place my daughter has to express herself and I am the only person she feels comfortable sounding out to. I need to remember this when she’s acting out.
Definitely! And I did, very much, but I'm in a good place now. I'm employed doing something I enjoy, living by myself and supporting myself financially and I have a partner and a really good group of friends.Things get better. ^^
Please don't pull back on the amount of love and care you show her even though it hurts, you are her safe place, her constant. You are the one person she can trust.
I know it can be hard to see but your relationship doesn't need to improve, this is proven but the fact that she is confident enough in your love to be able to push against you, you have a massively strong relationship.
Most kids ASD or not will say things like that. Most of my friends kids are around that age now and I've heard that countless times. I was a total pain at that age. I said horrible things.
I realised one day that my mom was the one person who would never let me down and the guilt set in. That day will come.
Edit : Sorry Emma, I meant to send that to NAS37035