Life With a Teenager On The Spectrum

Parenting is hard, in the 13 years since I have become a parent I have been thrown some curve balls, but nothing prepared me for parenting a teenager on the spectrum.........

It's funny how thinks seemingly can change overnight, isn't it? But I suppose if I think back they have been slipping for a while, but you gloss over the cracks and carry on. But things have come to a head with Mr L and we have had to have him rereferred to the psychologist for some help with his moods and anger issues. He's such a pleasant boy one minute and an absolute angry man the next. I am sure it is the combination of hormones, puberty and autism. I know it can't be easy for him, he's going through it, but it's not half hard for us at the moment. I have been threatened, hit, verbally abused and had to watch while he smashes his room to pieces. We have the complete inability to be able to judge his mood, he's likes a roller coaster. We can send him off to school happy as Larry and get a phone call 10 minutes later saying he is laying in the middle of the classroom refusing to move or do anything. The phone calls from school are becoming more frequent and he is being sent home a lot more than he used to.
I have used all the usual tacks to get to the bottom of things, talking to him, bribing him, taking things off him, grounding him and even ignoring him. I don't now if we are doing right or doing wrong, are we making things worse even?

We are now 4 appointments in with CAHMS and Mr L has only attended one of them as he absolutely refuses to engage with the doctor. This isn't new to us, he will never communicate with anyone, so it left to me and his Dad to explain his issues. We have managed to pick out that sleep is an issue, his PICA is going crazy at the moment as is his stimming. He seems to be getting a lot of anxiety about things that are not really important but are obviously important enough to him to cause anxiety. From chatting with the psychologist he thinks all the issues are interlinked, yep it's taken 4 appointments to get to this stage!!!! Tell me something I don't know! Our last appointment was yesterday and he is now deciding whether we need a referral to psychiatry for his PICA and stimming, they want to work out if there is a reason behind the behaviour. The PICA especially, we can't work out whether he is eating because he is hungry or eating for sensory satisfaction. It's a really difficult one as Mr L refuses to talk, he has turned into a proper grumpy teenager and I am lucky to get a snort off him! We constantly find empty packets in his room and he is even eating dried uncooked noodles, toilet roll, chewing coat hangers, pieces of wood he has pulled of his draws and chewing the metal frame on his bed. I could go on the list is endless, I worry about the effects on his health obviously, but he just can't stop. I'm hoping psychiatry can help us work out if its anxiety triggered or just a sensory issue so we can try and alleviate his symptoms. For the time being, we will bob on as we usually do and cope as best we can with the support of our fantastic family.

Thanks For Reading
Mummy Times Two
  1. Sending so much love to you, as a teacher of teenagers with Autism, and mum to a daughter who is nearly a teenager and on the spectrum, I totally get how hard things must be. I think you're right and hormones really seem to affect our children, who already struggle with change so much. I hope you get the help you need to make things a little easier soon. #PostsFromTheHeart

  2. My son was exactly the same at that age, he did get better over time. He never had PICA but we did see an increase in other traits like stimming. Your story about him going off to school happy and then the phone call later because he's lying on the floor is so familiar to me. I'm about to go through it all again with my pre-pubescent autistic girl. We had a dreadful morning today, but she has gone to school and we've not had a call yet.

  3. You and your husband are amazing! I really hope you find the answers you need & that L finds a way to open up to everyone trying to help him xx

  4. Sounds like you are doing a fantastic job despite the challenges. I worry about what the teenage years will bring for us!


  5. Just keep ' bobbing' . This makes the world go around :) #PostsFromTheHeart


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