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How do you persuade an Asperger's teenager to leave his room ?

DinoDog2DinoDog2 Member Posts: 12 Connected
edited February 13 in Parents and carers
My husband and I have been very understanding of our son's difficulties due to Autism. However I feel it is harming my son to allow him to remain in his room. I try to encourage him out by tempting him with his favourite foods, or bringing him books and magazines related to his favourite topics and interests. He is a really nice boy and he is hurting himself as he is cutting himself off from life. Not doing the things he loves ...not going to school ...and then worrying how he will be able to support himself. A big part of the problem is he does not accept that he has Asperger's / ASD, and needs help. The stigma about Aspergers/ ASD/ Autism is too much for him to accept. He thinks he can solve his problems on his own....has a huge complicated OCD routine that must be completed...before hr can get back to normal routine ....He actually needs to see his therapist for support to get back on track and learn to cope and get rid of the OCD. Is anyone else experiencing any of this ?  

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 18,410 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    My daughter has ASD and one of the questions i asked when we had the diagnosis was exactly what you are asking here. I was told, why do you want her to do the things she's not comfortable with doing? Those that have ASD are happier when they are alone and away from other people. Having thought about this for quite sometime, i realised they were absolutely correct. She was 17 when diagnosed and i decided that i wouldn't want to be made to do something i wasn't happy with, so why should i make here do the same. Almost 18 months later, she's still happy doing exactly what she loves doing, being alone.

    Difficult yes but in my opinion as long as they are happy, that's all that matters.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @DinoDog2
    Hi, I'm asd, diagnosed last year at 57yo, and I've always been happiest doing my own thing, on my own. Like your son, did spend a lot of time in my room thru my teens and beyond when living with my parents. Now live alone (do have my pets), quite happy, and have always felt out of place and awkward in social situations. Currently not working, but found working alone was the only option for me too. My last job was self employed gardener/pet carer. Seems we really do prefer our own company.  

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 18,410 Disability Gamechanger
    @DinoDog2
    Hi, I'm asd, diagnosed last year at 57yo, and I've always been happiest doing my own thing, on my own. Like your son, did spend a lot of time in my room thru my teens and beyond when living with my parents. Now live alone (do have my pets), quite happy, and have always felt out of place and awkward in social situations. Currently not working, but found working alone was the only option for me too. My last job was self employed gardener/pet carer. Seems we really do prefer our own company.  


    Totally agree. ASD and socialising just doesn't mix. Put my daughter in room with people and she won't even look up from the floor. Put her in a room with animals and she's the happiest person ever, especially if it's cats.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @DinoDog2
    I have mild OCD involving repeatedly checking things, and counting, doing this stuff before leaving the house or going to bed etc. I believe OCD is linked to autism too, though you can have OCD and not be asd.
  • DinoDog2DinoDog2 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you so much for sharing your insights. My son has been struggling and says he is in pain....got him to see his therapist today ....which was a real break through as recently he has been too mentally unwell to leave the house. They are working with Asperger adapted CBT so my son can get back to doing the things he wants to do. They say every person with Aspergers is different. My son is an athlete and plays at a very high level. So important to him to go to the gym etc....The diagnosis he received at 16 came as a shock and was presented in a negative way. Sadly this together with the stigma of Autism has made him reject it. Once he is up for it I will arrange for him to the Lorna Wing centre for a more positive Aspergers diagnosis. Essential to accept yourself. Life is a journey.  I love my son and just want to do what I can to help him so he is not in pain and can be himself without having to be a prisoner of endless OCD rituals.  
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,780 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome!

    Are there any groups that he can join or not? What are his interests and hobbies? 
  • hjcespanahjcespana Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi - I have a 17 year old son who doesn't leave the house very often though he will now roam from bedroom to sitting room.He has not regularly attended school since he was 13 and over-eats and plays computer games to pass the time. He was diagnosed with Aspergers 18 months ago, but has accessed no support - in fact we do not know what if anything is available for him. He has seen a counsellor when he felt particularly low, but was not happy to continue with this as it meant going out and he perceived it as a demand.  I agree that he prefers to be alone and I accept that, but he also wants friends, a job etc and is a million miles from that. He resists any interventions, but cries because he is unhappy. I am personally at my wits end and don't know how to help him anymore. Keeping him safe seems to be the only thing I can do, though in the long-term I don't know what that means for him.

  • DinoDog2DinoDog2 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I get what you are saying. It is difficult. And the teenage years are the hardest. Number one rule is Stay Calm as Asperger's teens/people have heighten emotional states and are prone to making their feeling into a catastrophe. They need us to stay calm and stable. Tony Attwood is my favourite Asperger professional. You can access him via You Tube, his web site and his many books - he is the positive Aspergers professional. Adapted CBT for Aspergers is great for OCD (rituals or compulsions ). Focus on the positives. Tell you son about all the special people in our society that have Aspergers - such as Greta Thunberg, Steve Jobs, Einstein - google this up. I agree with you - there is not enough support. We had zero follow up following a dreadfully presented diagnoses...which left my son depressed. All I know is to take each day as it comes. Stay in the now and do the things that are proven to help foster good mental health - try to get outside everyday, minimum 30 minutes exercise ( a walk, gardening, bike ride, anything that you like doing). Think about getting a dog for your son if you can. A schedule is super important. Try to have meal times and eat good food. Do try to stay away from over processed foods and too many sweet treats, You life matters and so does your son's life. Maybe check out online educational courses such as the Open University or local community classes. I am going to focus on getting my son in front of the professionals at the Lorna Wing centre for a second diagnosis. About a 3 month wait ....but feel if he gets a second Aspergers / Autism diagnoses and it is presented to him in a more positive way it will lead to self knowledge and self acceptance. Best to focus just on their unique strengths.   Post to me anytime ....
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,598 Scope community team
    Thanks for sharing this @DinoDog2
    Community Partner

    Scope
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 414 Pioneering
    Steam coming out of my ears, on your behalf.  How dare they present the diagnosis so badly? 

    And how dare the counselling services insist on people trecking out to visit their offices?  Online and phone counselling is proved to be not only as good as face to face, it's better.  More effective and far cheaper.  Non discriminatory for physically  disabled,  for carers, for  autistic or phobic.

    Being autistic is and should be no more of a stigma than being musical, or red haired,  or tall or short,  ...it's  just part of who you are, so it cannot be right or wrong.  There are bound to be some advantages and some  disadvantages  in anything. 
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