17 year old - will not engage

Hello,

I have used this forum some time ago and I received some very helpful replies.  Basically, my 17 year old son, (undiagnosed, but considered to be ASD) is locked in a very restrictive routine.  He gets up, eats breakfast, goes to the gym, has lunch, goes for a long bile ride and so on.  

He stopped attending school at the end of Year Nine (during a family crisis), attended a PRU briefly at the end of Y 11 and had 1:1 tuition from a superb tutor.  Had 1 week in college, before he stopped going and was withdrawn from the course.  He also attended a military style course for about two months and then stopped attending.

He has had three interviews and been offered three apprenticeships (Entry level).  He presents well in the interview, shy but polite and seems enthusiastic, until he has to start.  Then he refuses.  As a result, he is building up a reputation as a bit of a time waster.

His life is solitary.  I have supported him to join clubs connected to his interest in fitness, but any attendance is short lived.  He is not happy and he says he desperately wants friends.

Should I keep searching for jobs with him and just hope something comes along that he will go to?  Should I get 'heavy' with him?  I feel this is not appropriate because his refusal to engage is rooted in anxiety and he hates himself for it. 

He had a short course of CBT but CAMHS discharged him because he would not engage.   I am just a bit lost because I see a young man with lots of potential, just hiding away.  There is only my son and me at home (father visits and my older son is in residential care) and I am not a brilliantly outgoing person so our lives are really insular. 

Any advice would be welcome.

Parents
  • I feel this is not appropriate because his refusal to engage is rooted in anxiety and he hates himself for it. 

    That sounds right. Have you read this?

    https://autisticmotherland.com/2018/05/23/pda/

    Does he think he has fragile social confidence? Does he think he can improve social confidence by trying more things, or not caring what other people might think? How would he be with time-limited things, like a one-week course?   shared some good experience before...

    Quoting Graham: NAS does offer a parent to parent service which you can find here. Child Autism UK also have a helpline, you find it here. There is a Facebook page ‘Autism Moms Support Group’ that can be found here, it’s based in the U.S.A. but has an international reach.

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