Need help with my 17yr old and peers

Page 1 of 1 [ 10 posts ] 

mamawii
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jun 2012
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 1

18 Jun 2012, 8:42 pm

I haven't encounter any parents with this issue or maybe they don't want to address it or talk about it but my son (ASD) is a junior in high school and has been mainstreamed since 1st grade. He is fully verbal and in all general ed. classes. He has struggled with fitting in socially from the start and we have had him included in various sports clubs, a few social and religious peer social groups with some positive results. He is a great kid and is outgoing. I continue to hear that he is very different than the average aspie as he loves socializing and seeks others. The problem is that he is not always appropriate and by that...let me go back a bit. Since he was 3, I noticed that he displayed a more than fond interest in other boys. As he grew up his interest also grew and with puberty he expressed a romantic interest in boys. He would verbally deny any suggestion that he may be gay to me and accusatory peers but my eyes and senses work.

Move forward to today where he approached a boy at school who never expressed any interest in him and made an inappropriate request. The young man reported my son to the admin and my son was suspended for 3 days. Of course this got out and now he is being shunned by peers. I don't know what to do. Also my son has no empathy (if he did he would have thought about consequences) and refuses to take ownership that his actions caused his current issues. He just sees that none of the male high school peers want to hang out with him like before the incident. How can I help him? He's been in counseling since he was 12 when he developed psychosis with puberty (ADHD/sleep disorder). Next week he's going to start volunteering working as a clerk at a thrift store.



McAnulty
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 8 May 2012
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Posts: 258
Location: Montreal

18 Jun 2012, 9:50 pm

I wouldn't know how to help this situation much, but why do you think not predicting the consequences to his actions means he doesn't have empathy? Just because he doesn't always understand how actions affect people doesn't mean he doesn't have any ability to empathize with someone, it may just be less obvious for him than it would be for you. If he is indeed very social and interested in other people he must have some capacity for empathy.
As for approaching another boy, there's nothing wrong with being gay. But maybe what he needs is some help learning the appropriate way to approach boys, and some coaching to help him recognize when his advances may not be welcome, because as I'm sure you know many straight men are very uncomfortable with the idea that a man might be attracted to them. I would also recommend some counseling with someone who is experienced with issues of sexuality, perhaps the counsellor he is seeing could address the issue, and help him learn more appropriate ways of approaching people he is interested in.
I don't know exactly what this proposition was, so I can't really tell if it was really inappropriate or if the only problem with it is because it was directed at another boy, but if it's just because he's gay I don't see why he's at fault. If it was very inappropriate and would have been towards a girl as well I think a sex therapist is the way to go.



ASDMommyASDKid
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,666

19 Jun 2012, 3:39 am

Social interest (and certainly sexual interest) does not equal social skill. I am presuming he made a blunt sexual request of some type, so my comments will reflect that assumption.

I think in addition to maybe professional guidance, a social story or a book might be helpful. I don't have any specific books to suggest, but something about how sexual urges are normal (preferably one that also talks about differing sexual orientations in a positive way) but that there is a social protocol for developing a relationship, and that making blunt sexual overtures is likely to be offensive. I think he will also need something pretty explicit as a do/do not list.

You may need some custom social story to explain why the boys are reacting as they are. That is such a hard thing to explain. The evolving view of homosexuality is not necessarily one that young boys are comfortable with, and it is so hard to explain that to someone that even though there is nothing wrong with him, that teenage boys are not comfortable enough with their masculinity or mature enough necessarily to not act immaturely about it.

My son is still young, but I worry about puberty, and I know based on the Temple Grandin books, that it is not uncommon for spectrum people to have issues with knowing how to manage sexual urges and how to keep from expressing them inappropriately, orientation non-withstanding. I am sure that people with older children will probably pipe in with resources.



Cio
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 37

20 Jun 2012, 5:11 pm

Just to be clear, your 17 year old son was expelled for 3 days because of a sexual request expressed to another boy near his age? I have to ask now, is homosexuality even legal where you live? Because this obviously influences what he will admit to (and thus, can deal with). I see a serious social issue here, even withholding ASD. You might want to consider moving to a place where his sexual preferences would be accepted if he is unable to adhere to social norms now (as you would have to teach him 2 sets of social norms...).

I would like to clear up the lack of empathy. He probably has trouble recognizing what others feel and expressing his own emotions, but should not be unable to sympathize. I find the film Adam (2009) to be a decent depiction of this, it also delves into the romantic aspect and might help you understand his actions more.

By the way, when I stop dealing with my feelings (also the other type of "feelings") ill stop making eye contact and get ADD symptoms + insomnia. This comes across like a problem in recognizing and dealing with emotions on your sons part to me, but that's a point of view taken from personal experience only.



aspiewifeandmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jun 2012
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 13

20 Jun 2012, 5:36 pm

Hello, my 13 yo Aspie son has made the transition from a private school for special needs back to a general education setting for middle school. He's been out of public schools from 3rd grade until returning at 7th grade since he is now better able to manage both his behavior, sensory issues and academic pressures. We haven't had an experience like yours, but I can tell you it's a social mine field out there for our kiddos. Our son has been transitioned into 7th grade, first semester this year he just had electives with the gened population and 1/1 tutoring for academics in the mornings. At the semester break, he was transitioned into full 6 period days with the gened population and one SDI special ed course at the end of the day to help him with study skills and help get him organized.

IT's been a rocky start, he smartly chose to throw himself into football and lacrosse, so when he came to the school, he had a cross reference and was already somewhat familiar. His grades have been good, all A's and B's, he's popular at lunch, sits with kids and talks and interacts, but he is having serious difficulty with his depression and feeling a lot of academic and social pressure that he's never had before. He's never been able to take meds like SSRI's because they make him suicidal. He's been invited to 2 group activities, but that was at the beginning of the year, and now he's not getting invited. He had a melt down last night where he questioned why he is here. He thought it would be better when he returned to public middle school, but he still feels miserable. I explained this is partially hormonal, puberty is rough. But I wonder if anyone has any wise words to help your child out when he's feeling overwhelmed and pushing you away? Ultimately I got him through a rough patch yesterday, but I'm not sure what will happen if he has this sort of negative self-loathing feeling again when I'm not around to help him through it. He's at the therapist's office right now, but I'm the one realizng no matter how far it seems he has come, he's still a long way off from accepting his situation and feeling okay.

He won't take any sports this summer or in the fall. He's quit trying activities with the kids from church and Younglife. He won't go to camp this summer. Any suggestions on keeping him busy without being too obvious?



momsparky
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,769

20 Jun 2012, 6:15 pm

I do have a book to recommend, you can give it to him - it's called "A Five is Against the Law" and explains exactly what the consequences are for inappropriately approaching someone you have romantic or sexual feelings for, and also appropriate ways to express those feelings. http://www.amazon.com/Is-Against-Law-So ... 1931282358 It does, however, frame the situations in a hetero context.

Is there a chapter of PFLAG http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2 where you live? Or GLAAD? You might consider calling the Trevor Project to see if they can offer you resources for a gay teen in your area http://www.itgetsbetter.org/pages/get-help/ I also found this, it looks like a good place to start: http://www.queerattitude.com/terms/#safe-space

Being a teen on the spectrum is hard. Being a LGBTQA teen is hard. Both of those things come with their own set of social minefields, and your son is now caught in the middle of them.

I am guessing that he somehow thinks that whatever it was he said was appropriate - and it might well have been so if the other student was receptive. He may not have a frame of reference for the other person not being receptive (e.g. if he learned it from a story, or online, or somewhere, the script there ends with the two boys getting together. There is no alternate ending.)

He needs a guide to both the NT social world and the gay social world. There are a number of posters on WrongPlanet who are also in the LGBTQA world and there's a forum for teens here as well.



aspiewifeandmom
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jun 2012
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 13

20 Jun 2012, 7:01 pm

I just ordered the book. It may help my son too.



DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,012
Location: Northern California

21 Jun 2012, 12:00 am

My son has always been outgoing without the right filters. But he is learning. Imperfect, but progress.

Is your son in any speech or social skills therapy? Those services have done a lot towards teaching what he can and cannot do. We've also talked about it all extensively over the years, in a non-threatening way, and now he simply avoids situations that are deemed risky for him, like dating (he has a little trouble understanding that not everyone wants what he wants when he wants it, and he knows that I worry he won't listen to the word, "no.")

Basically, your situation is exactly the kind of thing I've long worried about, but I do feel my son's gotten a lot of proactive help and that it keeps him out of trouble. For now, at least.


_________________
Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


thewhitrbbit
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 May 2012
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,124

21 Jun 2012, 6:22 pm

I knew someone who lived with two girls who slept together in the biblical sense; but swore they were not lesbian. All sorts to make a world.

I think it's worth seeing if therapy can work with this. It kind of sounds like your son has some issues to work out with his sexuality. Being gay there will be even more etiquette rules for approaching men.



OliveOilMom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,447
Location: About 50 miles past the middle of nowhere

21 Jun 2012, 8:36 pm

I would find him another school, because that will follow him all the way through this one. There is nothing you or he can say that will make people forget what he said. I'm not saying he was wrong to say it. I'm saying that it's out there now and there is no way to make it not out there. Kids that age will not think "Oh, he's autistic, he didn't mean it like that" especially if he's AS and not ASD. He's labeled himself as gay in their eyes. The only thing to do is to either come out if he is gay or find another school if he is not.

As for the thrift store, whats that got to do with this?


_________________
I'm giving it another shot. We will see.
My forum is still there and everyone is welcome to come join as well. There is a private women only subforum there if anyone is interested. Also, there is no CAPTCHA. ;-)

The link to the forum is http://www.rightplanet.proboards.com