I need help.
I am a single mother of a 14 year old boy that was recently diagnosed. He is very high functioning and we struggled through his life just thinking he was different. It has gotten very difficult the last two years and I don't know what to do anymore. I feel helpless.
He is always deppressed and angry. He has completely withdrawn. Even the slightest touch or close proximity triggers anger. I can't remember the last time he let me hug him or even sit next to him without an outburst. He says the meanest things to me that hurt deep. He does not think I care about him and often tells me I am not his mother. He tells me he wishes he were dead. He refuses to do schooling and even try in his therapy sessions anymore. I try to talk to him but he just shuts down when anyone talks to him anymore.
I know he is a teenager and it is typical for teenagers to lash out and rebel. Everyone tells me that all teens are like this and we just have to get through the teen years. A part of me believe this. I was a difficult teen myself and I remember what it was like to go through those years. It sucked. But there is a part of me that knows this is more than just a nuerotypical teen acting out. I'm afraid that if I proceed with the thought that he will grow out of this it will cause more damage than good. What if he doesn't grow out of it?
How do I know if this is just because he is a teen and he will grow out of it, or if he has plateued and I need to start preparing for long term care? Am I still in denial that my son is Autistic and may never be able to function in society? I have the utmost respect for parents that are able to transition rebelious teens into productive adults, but parents of neurotypicals children don't understand the struggles of an high functioning autistic child. They seem normal, but are not and never will be. I love my son and am so proud of him. He is amazing in so many ways and has a lot to offer the world. I wouldn't change him for anything. It hurts so much to see him feel rejected and to reject everyone in return. It hurts to think that he may never be able to hold a job or get married and have kids. Is it better for all of us if I stop hoping for a normal life and acept this, or am I giving up too soon?
I don't know what to do anymore. I am thankful that my son has made it this far. We are blessed that he can have very intellectual conversations well beyond his years. I am thankful that he can cook and clean and read. I am thankful that his episodes are still somewhat managable (he's a big kid). I just want my son to be happy and I don't know how to make that happen.
I struggle with this question (what is normal teen stuff vs aspie teen stuff) with my 15 year old son too. I would imagine the fact that your son was just diagnosed has not made it any easier on you or him. Your son spent all those years thinking he was just different and not understanding why he has a hard time making friends, ect. That has to have affected your son's self esteem especially in these fragile teen years. Maybe if your son does some research on Autism/aspergers he will feel better knowing that there is a reason he is the way he is and not feel as bad. So, I would suggest having him do some research.
You sound like you are going through some of the initial stages of grief after finding out about your son's diagnosis. That's normal. Your worries about his life and his capabilities are something that we all have been through. Your just going through it later than a lot of us that had a diagnosis early on. The good news (and you will see this if you keep up with this site and see the wide range of functioning other parents deal with) is that your son is very high functioning. It may not feel like it right now but there is so much potential in that.
Anyway, back to the teen years. I would suggest keeping up with the therapy, even if he's not cooperating. With what your son is expressing I would make that a priority. There is a light at the end of the tunnel with all this but you guys have a lot on your plate to deal with right now so be patient with yourselves. Therapy can be very helpful for everyone. I know that at least you will feel good knowing that you are trying everything to help him.
My son spends most of his time out side of school by himself (he is also very high functioning). He doesn't express any unhappiness though, so I have had to come to terms with the fact that he prefers that. (Introverted or Aspie thing? Hard for me to tell. probably both) Much of my struggle has been in coming to terms with how my son IS rather than how I wished he was or imagine other normally functioning boys are. I still have times when that makes me sad. The fact is (like you said) that teenage years are tough, no matter what and our high functioning kids just have one more thing thrown on the pile of stuff to deal with.
It sounds like you are on the right track,you are trying to get him help and are concerned about his well being. 14 is so young especially for boys. He has many years ahead of him to work things out and mature. Don't despair. He sounds like a great kid who is going through a really tough time and you sound like you have a very level head and love your son. I don't see what more you can do other than just to keep on going and keep the faith. I wish you lots of luck and sure hope it gets better soon.
I am an adult diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I remember my teen years well. It can be a real struggle at times being different while in middle school or even high school. I recommend not giving up at this point. Teens tend to hate being different than the other students at school. Suggest he join a club at school which interests him because it can be a great spot to meet people with similar interests. The other students can really be hard on those who are different. He is also facing the reality of that he he will have to face what he wants to be as an adult which can be pretty agonizing and overwhelming at times. I do hold a job and live independently on my own. I also write on the side, and I am published.
My daughter started the early stages of that type of depression and stress and whole heartedly wanting to die.
I just shared on another post about this too.
She is not dxed and I don't really have much knowledge in this venture. However, at the time we were just determined our girl wasn't going to become a statistic someday.
We chose to homeschool. It has been the best for her. We have added social situations in smaller doses.
Easier for her as well as the other kids not tiring of her as easily.