Thank you for getting in touch.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how long we have known about a
diagnosis or condition, times of great distress and upset has a way of creeping
up on us, sometimes out of nowhere, and particularly during transitionary
periods in life.
Adolescence isn’t the best time for most of us anyway, is
it? 16 can be quite a challenging time in the life of any young person, add on
top of that the challenges of being on the autism spectrum and having bad
On the positive side, though, it is good news that he is awaiting
an appointment for his anxiety, as it sounds like it has become quite bad if he’s
passing out. I am sorry to learn this; it must be very distressing and
upsetting. Unfortunately, anxiety is a
common related condition that many autistic people face. I wonder if the
appointment is for medication and/or talk therapy? If it is medication, HeadMeds offer good
information about different medication for mental health. Speaking
to a counsellor could possibly help your son to come to terms with his
condition, to help him understand himself, others, and the world around him a
bit better. It is advisable to see a counsellor
who has experience of working with autistic individuals, or at least has an
understanding about autism, as they can better understand his communication
style, needs, and difficulties.
Youngminds is the UK's leading charity committed to
improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young
people up to the age of 25. You can call their free Parents Helpline on 0808
8025 544 for confidential, expert advice on your son’s anxiety, mental and
could think of contacting the
Parent to Parent service of The National Autistic Society on 0808 800 4106.
This will enable you to speak to another parent who understands what it’s like
to raise an autistic child. They are an emotional support service, so you are
free to talk about your emotions, thoughts, and they will be there with a
non-judgmental listening ear. They may be able to offer some strategies that
have helped their child or family deal with the diagnosis and anxiety. It is
not a manned line, so leave a message on the answering machine and someone will
get back to you at a time that suits you.
Talking through the
positives of who he is and his condition (there will be positives!) may help to
increase his confidence. Perhaps if he can socialise among other autistic young
people he may feel like he’s not so different; I wonder if he could make a
friend or two, or even learn more about social skills? A
good place to start for local support services and social groups would be NAS’s
Autism Services Directory. This
directory has details of groups, services, courses, and products all across the
UK for autistic people, their families, and people who work with them. Using
your postcode or browsing by category, you can search for social groups, social
skills help, parent support programmes, branches (a great source of information and to meet other families), schools, counsellors,
solicitors, advocates, and much more. Just get in touch with the services that
you’re looking for to learn more about them, and disregard any you don’t find
You could think about contacting the Transition Support Team at NAS. This service will enable you to talk through your options in terms of
what’s next in your son’s life. Early planning is essential as you don’t want
him to get to adult life without any provision or support in place. To help you
explore and work through your options, contact this team on 0808 800 0027 or [email protected]
You may want to request for a needs assessment from the
local social services, to find out if your son is eligible for support. A
social worker would essentially come to the home to find out what your/his
needs are and in which areas of your/his life you need a bit of extra support.
To find out more about this, have a read through this Community
If you feel that your son would benefit from talking to
someone about his anxiety, feelings or any problems, you could consider
suggesting Childline to him. Childline is a support service for children and
young people up to the age of 19, about anything concerning them. Childline is
free to contact on 0800 1111 or through e-mail or a 1-2-1 online chat service.
For more information, please see their website, available here:
I hope this helps some. Know that you are not alone in your
experience. If you have any questions or anything else to share please feel free.
Best wishes to you both,