I'm new and needing advice - Aspies and Guns/War Games

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anneyo
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08 Oct 2007, 7:36 am

Just found this site today- looks great.
My Aspie son is 12 and his school has just told me that he asked a teacher how to commit suicide. They are also concerned about a drawing he has done.

One of my son's main interests at the moment (for about 15 months) is guns and he has a couple of BB guns which he uses for target practice in the garden (under supervision). He is very skillful at this, why we have 'encouraged' it - a real 'crackshot'.

However, he is also into some pretty horrible 'war games' on his PS2 and PS3. I know precious little about these things and haven't paid them much attention - until now...

I'm deeply concerned that my boy might be thinking about suicide. I've put all the games away and feel that I have got to focus him on more 'pleasant' things.

Have any other parents experience or advice about this situation? Have I been incredibly naive in allowing him to play these games and use guns?

Any advice will be welcome! :cry:



woodsman25
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08 Oct 2007, 7:57 am

Hey, well... As a guy I must say at that age I very much enjoyed video games, and cap guns and war games and the like. I think many guys like that. Jeeze I can remember growing up everyone in our neghborohood would be 'armed' with cap guns and all kinda of stuff like that and we would all team up and play war, kinda like hide and seak except when you spotted someone and shot them they were out and had to go to time out where another soldure from their team had to rescue them, or free them almost liek capture the flagg and hide and seek put together.

The war games... well lets just say in my day I spent my afterschool hours, if not playing war outside I was playing Doom 2 or Wolfenstine 3D.

Getting to your problem. It sounds to me (and I have HFA as a child) that your son has a special interest, and while I would not consider guns my special interest so I may not fully know what is going thru his head, but I do know specail interests can become an obsession and take over kinda...

I think that your son is not depressed at all (but you know much better then I do obviosuly, does he seem depressed, has his behavior changed?). I think being obsessed (and often aspies or HFA can be socally inapropriate, he may be taking his obsession to school and acting out. I dont think asking the teacher this question about suicide is a cry for help but rather an attempt to socalize or be noticed, hes bringing his special interest to the social scene, i guess for lack of a better way to put it.

Have you had a serious talk with him? How did the school react to this? Do they know he is an aspie (dumb ??? maby???)? How is he at socailization? Does he have friends? Other interests? Does he do well in school? Does he open up to you? Talk to you? Is something bothering him that you may be able to identify?

Sorry for the questions, i just think more backround may help me and others who want to help you.

ATM i feel he is not suicidal, but may have a difficult time seeing why thats not appropriate. Indeed, I feel he needs some time away from this special interest (tho im not sure you will succeed in this). He needs to be explained to why this is wrong and perhapse work with him on social skills, maby see a counselor at school?

He must understand he can play war at home, but in school, especally now days, those things are really fround upon and he can have very serious trouble if he says the wrong thing, aspie or not. This is unfortunatly the world we live in.


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Tim_Tex
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08 Oct 2007, 9:06 am

Welcome to WP!

Tim


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MrMark
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08 Oct 2007, 9:49 am

Hi, and welcome to the Wrong Planet. Is your son a member here?


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Joybob
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08 Oct 2007, 9:54 am

I don't understand how you make the jump of logic from seeing your child's obsession with violent video games and thinking he's suicidal.

You should be looking at whether he's depressed or not. The games really aren't indicative of anything.



KimJ
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08 Oct 2007, 9:55 am

There's not nearly enough information here for us to know. What's he like? Have there been any changes in his demeanor, eating, sleeping habits? Is he depressive?

Suicide is a big issue for "high" functioning autistics because of their dual nature-being "different" while being very aware of that difference. Is your son expressive? Does he complain about anything?

On the other hand, 12 year olds are just very curious. I got in big trouble at 12 for giving the "wrong" answer to a health quiz at school. I answered that I thought marijuana should be legalized and I didn't see any harm trying it. Well, it was a question and I answered honestly. This was in '82.

It would help to know the context of your son's question. Was he joking around? Were their other kids asking offbeat questions? Was it out of the blue? After class?


PS I don't see any connection with violent video games and guns and suicide. Only that he has access to guns. But there are plenty of kids that don't normally have access to guns that get them anyhow to do harm. My brother was a hunter by 12. I was raised around guns.



Cooper
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08 Oct 2007, 10:26 am

Violent games and BB guns don't cause suicidal thoughts - unhappiness and depression do. I'm not sure that it's the best idea to take your son's games away. He might feel that he's being punished for admitting his suicidal thoughts, and then be less willing to discuss them in the future. I wouldn't completely block him from his guns, although I would definitely lock them up and only let him use them under your supervision.

If your son really has suicidal feelings, they are not the result of being exposed to video games, and you cannot stop them by surrounding him with "pleasant" things. Sit down and have a serious talk with him about what he said to the teacher and how he is feeling in general. If he seems very unhappy, or if he is thinking about suicide plans frequently, or if he refuses to speak honestly with you about the topic, it's probably time to get a professional involved. However, there's a good chance that he's not actually suicidal, and in that case, all he needs is an explanation of how inappropriate it is to talk about suicide and violence at school.



voss749
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08 Oct 2007, 11:20 am

Anneyo, bb guns and violent video games are normal for 12 year old boys,
asking about how to commit suicide is NOT.

"Pleasant things" is not the answer here...talking to him and seeking professional help
if necessary IS.



Nightz
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08 Oct 2007, 11:45 am

voss749 wrote:
Anneyo, bb guns and violent video games are normal for 12 year old boys,
asking about how to commit suicide is NOT.

"Pleasant things" is not the answer here...talking to him and seeking professional help
if necessary IS.


I agree. The issue is what he asked about suicide, not his hobbies. I would recommend that you try to maintain a closer understanding of your sons day to day life and mentality. Be more observant of his behavior and aware of any changes that occur. Additionally, seeking a therapist would also be beneficial. Simply taking away things is not necessarily the solution and can lead to possible further instabilities especially if they are of great importance to your sons life. Trying to diversify his interests is ok but don't force things on him.



mmaestro
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08 Oct 2007, 4:18 pm

Cooper wrote:
Violent games and BB guns don't cause suicidal thoughts - unhappiness and depression do. I'm not sure that it's the best idea to take your son's games away. He might feel that he's being punished for admitting his suicidal thoughts, and then be less willing to discuss them in the future. I wouldn't completely block him from his guns, although I would definitely lock them up and only let him use them under your supervision.

This seems perceptive to me. My immediate reaction was that taking away his games and sources of fun and enjoyment, if he is depressed, will likely only increase that sense of depression, not the other way around.


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aurea
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08 Oct 2007, 4:36 pm

My 8yr old is obssesed with war games army etc all ways has been even tho they give him nightmares. We put them away and talk him threw it all, introduced more pleasent options, things inprove for a while but he always goes back to them.

On the suicide topic I had a family member do this 5yrs ago last month. If I had of had any warning maybe something could have been done about it. I would get him some help, even if perhaps he was asking because he'd heard someone else talking about it. It sometimes helps kids to hear advice/explanations from a proffessional and not just their parents.



anneyo
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09 Oct 2007, 3:13 am

Thanks so much to all of you who have replied to this post.

Fortunately, things don't look half as bleak this morning.

My son was quite bemused when I told him what the teacher had said (that he had asked how to commit suicide) and denied that that was what he had asked. They had been talking about life in biology and he was thinking about people who are terminally ill and want assisted suicide. It was in this context that he asked the question, although the teacher either wasn't aware of, or didn't realise that there was a 'context'.

It could seem that the school have over-reacted but the advice from the Speech & Language Therapist was to refer to a psychiatrist, which has been done. The drawing he did that caused concern was of a grave stone, and again in most scenarios would mean nothing, but they are putting two and two together and making five. I don't blame the school. Better to 'over react' than to miss the warning signs.

My son doesn't seem depressed to me (although there is a family history of bipolar disorder which, I understand, can kick in at puberty.) Generally, he seems happy enough although tired a lot of the time. Late nights, I'm afraid and not eating much.

I take the point about depriving him of his games and about them not being responsible for suicides. However, we have all agreed that he shouldn't be using 18 games/films - he is only 12 , after all.

Another thing that has come out of this, though - and an important one - is that he HAS been bullied at school. He bit a boy on the hand the other day but only after the boy had him in a headlock and was gouging his eyes. He had never mentioned this boy before but apparently he 'has a go' quite regularly. I phoned the school again to let them know and they have only become aware of the situation, so will be keeping an eye out for this boy.

What is is about humans that we have to hate anyone who is different? Why can't we accept our diversity and revel in it?

Anyway, thanks again to those who posted. I'm a far happier Mum this morning and my boy is off to school, eager for his new day.

I will encourage him to use this site himself as it looks brilliant!



TheBladeRoden
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09 Oct 2007, 1:14 pm

I remember being in 8th grade study hall writing down Nightmare Before Christmas lyrics and the teacher thought I was going to go all suicidal or Columbinal or something.


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Eire
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09 Oct 2007, 1:33 pm

In sixth grade me and my friend were talking about how we liked fire and our teacher heard us and thought we wanted to burn down the school or something. This was right after Columbine though.



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12 Oct 2007, 2:12 pm

not eating much, not sleeping much and drawing pictures of tombstones sure sounds like depression to me.....definitely get him to a counselor who can help sort these things out !
as far as the war games & bb gun go~ well, the main concern should be that he understands that the games are fantasy & that the gun is only used for target practice at a location you agree to.