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ASDsmom
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02 Jun 2013, 3:20 pm

In the past 5-6 weeks, my 12 year old son has been falling apart. The root of all evil is with his lack of effort in ANYTHING he puts his "mind" to. I'm not sure if his hormones have kicked in but all the hard work we've been doing for the past 1-2 years (with success) means nothing lately. Shower is a problem. Homework is a problem. Chores is a problem. Putting his things away is a problem. His daily routine is not working anymore.

This sounds bad but I just want to punch the kid. I wouldn't, of course, but I have these dreams where I actually am! I wake up unsettled because I don't want to hurt him. I'm just so frustrated with him lately, his lack of respect, his lack of effort.. and high school is around the corner. I want to give up on him!! I want him to pick up his own socks and figure things out for himself, the hard way because my hard effort is meaningless to him.

Maybe this is a teen thing. In the past 5 weeks, we've had several pieces of glass break (picture frame, mirror), window screens removed, doors slammed, homework crumpled/ripped, etc.

Usually the culprit is so silly. The other day he had a meltdown over a spelling error he made on a birthday card he was making. Even though he had just started - there was lots of paper for him to redo his card with - he handled it with such aggression. At the end of it, he said to me, "It was just a simple mistake.." as a way of defending himself. So I repeated that back to him, "Yes, it was JUST a SIMPLE mistake.. and yet, things were thrown, swear words were used at ME.." etc.

Once I plug up (music ear plugs) then he shuts down because he "knows" I can't hear him. So, it's really a choice. He is capable of controlling himself. He just turns every difficulty, regardless how small and big, against me as if I'm solely responsible. The words he uses on me is abusive.. and then he laughs. He's only 12, people!! !

This morning, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Sorry mom".. for yesterday's behaviour about having to put his croquet set away after the game. Again, over the top. So I took my opportunity to discuss his most recent behaviours and he was receptive. His apology lasted 1 hour before he reacted aggressively over me pointing out homework he'd forgotten.

I want to move out.. stay away from him.. live MY life without worrying about what's going to happen to his. I'm so stressed out about where his future is heading.. when he's even refusing to wipe his bum!



Ann2011
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02 Jun 2013, 4:26 pm

Well, it might be time to abandon the routine, even though it has worked in the past. At 12 he's starting to become a man. Different techniques may be required.
You mention wanting to let him learn the hard way. I think that may not be a bad idea. He may be confronted with consequences he hadn't expected and realize there is a cause and effect to things.
Sounds like he's frustrated with himself and maybe there is nothing in his life that is rewarding. Is school a positive experience for him?



ASDsmom
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02 Jun 2013, 5:20 pm

He's just acting bizzarre. I came home and he's nowhere to be found. No note. House alarm was not set. I called the community center and he's not there. The public library is closed. He left his scooter behind and his jacket so I have no idea where he's at. He's also grounded today and has decided to just take off.

I am failing here!

I'm not sure what's happening at school. I don't think anything has changed - same grind as usual. He's just acting off!



Ann2011
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02 Jun 2013, 5:24 pm

You're not failing. He's pushing. I needed a lot of alone time when I was that age. My mind and perceptions were so confusing (more so than now because of the pressures of that time of life.) I spent a lot of time thinking . . . and walking in conducive to thinking. (These days I drive.)
If he's taking off on his own then grounding might not work. Not that he should wander off unaccounted for, but he might just need time to himself.



HisMom
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02 Jun 2013, 5:34 pm

ASDsmom wrote:
I'm not sure what's happening at school. I don't think anything has changed - same grind as usual. He's just acting off!


What happened to that bully's accusation of your son's alleged inappropriate conduct with a younger child ? Did it get resolved ? Maybe he is hurt and angry over that incident, but just doesn't know how to convey his anger ?



InThisTogether
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02 Jun 2013, 5:43 pm

ASDsmom wrote:
He's just acting bizzarre. I came home and he's nowhere to be found. No note. House alarm was not set. I called the community center and he's not there. The public library is closed. He left his scooter behind and his jacket so I have no idea where he's at. He's also grounded today and has decided to just take off.

I am failing here!

I'm not sure what's happening at school. I don't think anything has changed - same grind as usual. He's just acting off!


Goodness. I'm so sorry to hear all of this. Have you found him?

We are still going through a "time," too. The other day he yelled at an adult to "shut up!" and said he was going to report her for how "abusive" she is. He then proceeded to disregard her instructions for the rest of the day. This is SO TOTALLY NOT HIM that I really don't even know what to do. I am used to him being a polite, respectful, helpful, kind kid. I don't know how to deal with this new boy who seems to be inhabiting his body. So, I get where you are coming from...all of the years of learning seem to no longer apply and I am too tired to do it all over again.

I hope you've found him. Hang in there! You aren't failing...the rules have just changed and you need a chance to get your bearings.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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02 Jun 2013, 6:59 pm

I cannot recommend highly enough Paul Graham's essay, Why Nerds are Unpopular. Junior high is brutal. And for kids on the spectrum, he probably understates the case. One area where I might disagree with him is where he says ostracism is less bad than active persecution. I'm not so sure.
http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

So, your son may not have the mistaken idea that he's outside of the main social flow. He may perceive all too correctly.

And then there's something, if there are bad things going on and you're babying him at the same time, that feeds into a negative dynamic and I don't really understand this. And this seems to be especially the case if you are also overly optimistic about how easy it is to make friends, as if certain techniques work in some kind of automatic fashion (rather than percentage baseball at best).

I think it is very risky to have all of a kid's social eggs in the one basket of school. I lived next to a school boundary line. So when I was in junior high, most of the boys in my boy scout troop were in the other school district. That was very lucky. And the same for my judo team. And this was also lucky.

If I were a parent, I might spend political capital having my kid(s) engage in a couple of positive activities not connected with school. For example, a local activity like helping feral cats, it's not just intragroup popularity, you're actually out doing something and getting some interchange going between theory and practice. If your child is into music, maybe a small local Irish band, older and younger people, and people aren't judged so narrowly. And baseball might be unique in being an individual sport within a team context.

I wish you all the best during what is a very difficult situation.

And please note: I AM NOT A PARENT. I do live my life on the spectrum, :D and I try and share and help out where I can.



Last edited by AardvarkGoodSwimmer on 02 Jun 2013, 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

momsparky
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02 Jun 2013, 7:09 pm

I hope you've found him! Are you both OK?

I wonder if something is going on at school. DS often can't talk about things that he didn't quite understand, and then tends to explode all over the place over little things, especially failures. Does he have a social worker or speech therapist who can check in and make sure there isn't any problem in a particular class, either with teachers or kids?

Hormones do happen, but I don't think they are the only cause of explosive behavior. I am guessing there's something going on, and it may well be only barely known by your son. You may need to do some detective work, I'm afraid.



momsparky
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02 Jun 2013, 8:36 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I cannot recommend highly enough Paul Graham's essay, Why Nerds are Unpopular. Junior high is brutal. And for kids on the spectrum, he probably understates the case. One area where I might disagree with him is where he says ostracism is less bad than active persecution. I'm not so sure.
http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html


Thank you so much for posting that article, it was truly amazing. DS is starting to struggle with these issues and I am at a loss as to what to do about it. It was very helpful to have them articulated so exactly and so clearly.



chris5000
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02 Jun 2013, 8:37 pm

I went through some of the same stuff, I think it was because in school I went from being ignored by everyone to being bullied, I had no idea what to do and all that stress would spill over into the other parts of my life. all I wanted to do was walk alone in the woods, once I even ran out of school and walked home through the woods, which in hind site seemed like a good thing because the school had contacted the police to look for me and if I was near the roads I would have gotten picked up by the police and if that happened I dont know what would of happened. my favorite spot growing up was a stream behind my house that went for miles through the woods. before they built the subdivisions and caused an algae bloom with all the fertilizer it was full of life, I just absolutely loved it and could spend all day there.
what im saying is he might need a stress free place to be alone and decompress because if he does not things will just build up then he will explode over something little, at least thats how it is for me



Ann2011
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02 Jun 2013, 9:20 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I cannot recommend highly enough Paul Graham's essay, Why Nerds are Unpopular. Junior high is brutal. And for kids on the spectrum, he probably understates the case. One area where I might disagree with him is where he says ostracism is less bad than active persecution. I'm not so sure.
http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

I'm not so sure that intelligence or the seeking of it is necessary for nerdity. At least, not in the sense of doing well in the subjects at school. I was only ever mediocre, but was most certainly a nerd. I think it has more to do with thinking in a different way from the mainstream. And valuing things that are overlooked by a lot of people.

I agree about high school being an anti-learning environment. It's more of a social experiment.



Ettina
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02 Jun 2013, 9:34 pm

Maybe he's depressed? Sometimes depressed kids won't admit they're feeling down, but instead will get really cranky and unmotivated.



MiahClone
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02 Jun 2013, 11:58 pm

Is there any possibility of sending him somewhere for a week or so (question mark--keyboard is broken) I know I am luckier than most in that I have somewhere I can send my most difficult (ADHD/ODD) child for a week or two when things get bad to the point that I'm wishing I could smack him. Lets him decompress and me decompress, and even if he is horrible when he gets back, because he's mad I sent him, I have enough in my batteries to cope a while longer. He's gone right now, in fact due to his attitude and general bad behavior. I think this time of year gets to them, mine anyway. Never fails, every year between spring break and the end of school, my kids get restless and harder and harder to handle.



chris5000
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03 Jun 2013, 12:24 am

MiahClone wrote:
Is there any possibility of sending him somewhere for a week or so (question mark--keyboard is broken) I know I am luckier than most in that I have somewhere I can send my most difficult (ADHD/ODD) child for a week or two when things get bad to the point that I'm wishing I could smack him. Lets him decompress and me decompress, and even if he is horrible when he gets back, because he's mad I sent him, I have enough in my batteries to cope a while longer. He's gone right now, in fact due to his attitude and general bad behavior. I think this time of year gets to them, mine anyway. Never fails, every year between spring break and the end of school, my kids get restless and harder and harder to handle.


you mean like summer camp?



ASDMommyASDKid
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03 Jun 2013, 2:06 am

I have a 7 yr old and we have been going through some rough times, too. We are just now coming back from it, because he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Summer Vacation) If you are having a vacation where you are, he may reboot himself, if that is where the trouble lies.

Is your son saving his meltdowns for home, or does he act that way at school, too? Would anyone there be a good trusted source of information?