My ds, who is extremely high functioning, is such a kind hearted & loving boy but then there is another side to him that throws out curse words & threats to anyone around when he starts a meltdown. I have looked into this and found some pretty scary articles about the 'dark side of autism' (most don't do these but for those that do it is scary). My ds has been bullied for the past 5 yrs & for the most part feels unloved even by family (don't understand that). He is definately 'feeding' the negative thoughts & feelings with the music he listens to (yes, I try to monitor it but he is going to be 17 soon & I do have other children so I can not monitor it always). He is going to get in serious legal trouble for threatening people if he doesn't stop but when he is melting down he is so out of control. He is on medicine for depression, moods and anxiety but none of them are helping very much. We just added the anxiety so it is too soon to really know if it will help or not.
Have any of you experienced something similar? Can you offer any ideas on how to best deal with some of this?
Thank you to the Admins for this forum again!
Wow I just sent an e-mail to my DS's special ed teacher tonight about the behaviours I've seen in my son this year. He's developing some what of a dark side and he will be 10 next week. I can say that this year has been by far his worst year of school. He's had learning struggles, bullying and the onset of some puberty issues. I have posted on here about my fears of depression and anxiety in him. It all scares me, it really does.
I'm an autistic adult, and I don't have a darkside - I dislike anyone getting hurt and I'm not likely to threaten or hurt people, and i'm greatly offended when others act that way.
I sometimes have a whacky sense of humor and ask the wrong questions and am not always offended by things that I should be, and am offended by things others wouldn't get.
Death doesn't bug me, but when my dog died, I was heartbroken and cried for a week straight, but if a family member died... meh, I probably won't cry... I loved that dog *a lot* though :P
For what it's worth, I don't think having a dark side means they are bad - I would be more concerned about how medication is effecting his brain. If he's normally a sweet kid and he's on medications, that would be my first suspecion.
If it's at ALL possible to wean him off the meds and teach other coping strategies for dealing with anxiety, or feelings, I would see if that's a possibility,.
I don't take meds, but I took a ton as a teenager, depression, anxiety, etc. I don't have any issues with moodswings or feelings like that anymore - but the key was my environment and having the coping tools to ask for things I need.
My husband will hug me really tight and hold on and squish me when I need that sensory input in order to help my brain calm down enough to let it think rationally. instead of flipping out, i've learned to ask for what I need sensory wise to make my brain work at it's best.
Being a teenager is so hard.... but it gets easier. I really feel for your kids - you guys are good parents, you love them, you care about them, you want what's best for them... just remind them everyday you love them, let them share things with you and try not to overreact.... let them express feelings and talk about it.... just because someone expresses a feeling, doesn't mean it has to turn into an "action" that's violent. A feeling is just a feeling, and talking about how you FEEL something, doesn't mean you'll act on it.
giving them a safe environment to share the deepest, darkest parts of you with out a reaction really makes a huge difference.
I never felt safe until my spouse. He's let me share the deepest parts of my soul and has never over-reacted to anything i've shared with him... even when i've expressed feelings in ways most people wouldn't understand.
I see in pictures, so when I say "I see myself doing X because you are making me upset" he knows I'm expressing a feeling, not being scary and goign to hurt him. I don't do it with anyone but him because he's the ONLY person who won't judge me for being honest about things.
I use stories to describe where i'm at emotionally and what i'm thinking and feeling... and while it may sound extreme, by him not over reacting, I say it and move on instead of worrying that it's been taken the wrong way and i'll have to defend myself and everything else.
being autistic isn't the wolds worst thing - but trying to learn to survive around people who won't tolerate your differences, or use them against you is hard.
The best thing you can do for your teenager, is give them a safe place to communicate and not use it against them.
We are all human, right? I think most people interpret having a "dark" and "light" side and only see it as black and white. Two extreme sides. We have to understand that there are many shades of grey in between.
And that is why I agree we all have this going on within ourselves. It is the choices we make that help to bring out one shade more than the others.
If you say you wouldn't hurt a fly, that's excellent. That just means that any "dark" thinking is buried so deep that you don't even notice.
My ds has Asperger's, bipolar disorder, adhd, & tourette's. Trust me, the mood swings are incredible! I have nights with him and his night terrors that even freak me out. The worst is the explosions when he is stressed, and though. He sometimes loses its for hours. He has also had legal issues, hospitalizations, and bullied so badly that we do online schooling now. He is turning 18 next month... Which is a scary milestone to say the least! I can tell you that Asperger's can sometimes mask bipolar. It took us years to find that out. My ds is on Vyvanse now and Risperdal , two meds that together, truly helped us see a lot less of his explosions. I know meds are not right for everyone, but I support them. Without them, my ds would be on total lock down :(. Good luck and I'm here if you need a friend!