ASD teenage daughter stays in her room and is hostile

Hi :-)

My 14yr old daughter was diagnosed with ASD when she was 9.  She is high functioning, but suffers from emotional issues, including anger - especially towards me (her mum).  I do love her dearly even if I struggle with her at times.

Everything calmed down for a few years but over the past few months she started not going into school because she was feeling sick.  I guessed after a few times that she wasn't really sick but was suffering from anxiety.  She wanted to stay in her room more and more until now she barely comes out.  Recently she had to stay off school because of being in touch with another child with covid.  When it was her turn to go back to school, she refused and even faked a test to pretend she had covid.  Again, she complained of being sick.  My daughter agreed to go back but only if she could study on her own.  I rang the school and they agreed, but when she returned that wasn't okay, she freaked out and wanted to come home.  Now she is at home where I've said I'll home school her until September. 

I've tried counselling, but she refuses to go.  I'm blamed for getting her diagnosed, she is angry with me for saying that she has autism because there's nothing wrong with her.  She doesn't want to be different. What's concerning me most lately is that she barely comes out of her room.  She eats all of her meals in there and asks me to leave them by the door. As soon as I open the door she is telling me to close it and to go away.  A few days ago she had a meltdown because I asked if she wanted to talk about anything and she told me to 'go f*iing kill myself' and that I was an embarrassment to her.  Needless to say that was devastating, but it isn't the first time she's spoken to me that way.

I'll be okay - I'm dealing with it by staying calm and being non-reactory as possible, even when she is verbally abusive.  I'm also setting limits and encouraging better behaviour.   I know she's trying to get a reaction from me or maybe she is just trying to get me away from her.  I'm a bit lost as to what to do.  She won't attend counselling again and she acts like she hates my guts.  I'm worried  - I know that 14 is difficult (I was a difficult teenager as well without ASD), but teenage years combined with ASD is like a double whammy.  I feel as though she is struggling to deal with life but the only people she wants to talk to are her friends.  

If anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful.

  • Hi All,  This resonates with my situation too! Have things improved? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

  • Hello. I have just read your post, and just want to say we are having the same issues too. My daughter is 12, will not go to school, and is now spending all her time in her room. When she’s not raging she goes mute, and points and gesticulates to let me know what she wants. She doesn’t want to come downstairs as she says it’s germs. She’s now not wanting anything in her room, I can’t even put her clothes away. Her anxiety and distress is immense right now. I am trying to find a therapist to come to the house, which is probing difficult.

    Are you still in the same situation? 

  • I know this post was written a while ago but I wondered if things have improved for you NAS74003?

    Your post could have been written about my 13 year old daughter. Everything you’ve said is exactly what we’re dealing with at the moment. 

    We just don’t know what to do. She won’t look at us let alone talk to us. Communication is by text or her yelling through her bedroom door.

    She says she hates us and we’re bad parents.

    Any advise will be greatly received. Really struggling.

  • Thanks, I think you are right.  She refuses to go to counselling, that just confirms to her that there is something wrong.  It's a catch 22.

  • It sounds like she's struggling to accept her diagnosis.  Lots of teenagers just want to be like their peers and she isn't clearly. I guess her reasoning might be that if you hadn't got her the label then she would be "normal".  Whatever it is, it's difficult to fix without some counselling to help her accept it and adjust.  Can the school broach the subject with her?

  • Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

    I try to be calm as much as possible, but I don't always manage it:-)  I don't believe if someone shouts at you, you should shout back etc.  I want to model a good example on how not to escalate things.  Saying that, we have had a few discussions and thrashed a couple of things out.  Didn't really help , it only led to her abusing me even more.  At least it made me aware that there is more of a problem than I initally thought.

    If my daughter said to me that she wanted to go live with another relative I would be sad, but in all honesty I would be relieved.  So although it would be really upsetting, I would let her go.  If I was a Lion and she was my argumentative lion cub, I would send her off into the wild fairly easily LOL.  As I say, I love her dearly.  However, I don't like her very much at times.  Some of her behaviours are normal for a teenager, but I'm sure this verbal abuse, sometime physical abuse and not caring how much she hurts me or any other family members is to do with her ASD.  With my daughter, it's all about her emotions (or lack of them).

    I think the comments about leaving her in her safe space (her bedroom) without too many interruptions is a good idea.  I will give her some more space to figure things out.  


  • Yes, I find this can definitely clear the air, as long as you tell her you love her, and make up afterwards!!

    Sometimes it helps to just let go and thrash things out good and loud
  • I suspect you're going to hate this, but maybe being being non-reactionary is part of the problem here.  Sometimes it helps to just let go and thrash things out good and loud.  Also, I disagree with delivering her meals to her room.  If she wants to eat in there that's her business, but she can come and grab a plate at the very least.  Just my opinion, feel free to ignore.

  • I agree with what Gerty says in their post. My daughter is 15 and although not as extreme as your daughter, she has done all those things at times. 

    I've also put it down to a phase because I've watched her go through phases, it's mind boggling to watch. One month she's angry and screaming, then a few months later she is calm and thoughtful. She also threw a huge tantrum when she was diagnosed and nearly hit me. She spent months worrying about it before and after, getting into real downward spirals.

    Now she's come to terms with the diagnosis, she said she always knew she was a bit different.

    I think the major thing which has helped her is making new friends. She has a lovely group of friends now whereas til now (year 10) she didn't really have a group, just the odd one here and there. Her friends also have 'differences' e.g. one has Aspergers, one has diabetes, another has ADHD. I don't know if her school encouraged them to meet or they naturally met but she chats to them on Facetime when she is off school. She even went to one of their birthday parties which is a huge step.

    I hope your daughter can meet some friends even if it's not at school. I think that is a big help.

  • Have you told her how it makes you feel?.

    I think  it's  part of the job description to be an embarrassment to your children, but very stressful for her to be so rude to you. You are right she is trying to get a reaction

    If she is safe in her bedroom I would leave her there, and take the opportunity to do something that interests you, or go out and meet your own friends. I.e. a bit of 'me' time for yourself.

    I always put difficult behaviour down to a 'phase' and wait for them to grow out of it. 

    Sorry not.much help but it may be part of growing up and.making the break from you.

    I watched a David Attenborough film where a mother lion and daughter had a big fight, it was explained that this is part of life when it's time for the daughter to separate from the parent. I always  remember that when my daughter is being difficult. She is always nice when she wants money!

    At age 14 she could also help with meals, let her choose what to cook, within reason!

  • could be a girl thing perhaps? .... i personally never would have said anything like that to my mum without feeling hurt myself for saying it.... although id probably have said that to my dad perhaps but then hed have beat me for it lmao so that means i wouldnt have said it to his face at least.

    although the bedroom is pretty much the personal safe space and i wouldnt want anyone so much as going in my room without being anxious about it even now.

    so perhaps this is a female puberty/hormone thing in the mix with this?