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Sueval Community member Posts: 12 Connected
edited March 2019 in Autism and neurodiversity
My 22 year old son has recently been diagnosed as autistic. He has been treated for anxiety and depression for the past few years. But I don’t think depression is the cause of his problems. He was relatively happy at school. But he really struggled while away at university, with no friends or social life. He still managed to get a degree in music.

Since he came home last summer he has done very little. He gets up at lunchtime and spends all his time on the computer or PlayStation. I paid for some private therapy for him but it didn’t work out. I suggested to the therapist that he might benefit from having an autism assessment and she agreed. He was assessed about a month ago and diagnosed.  I have managed to get him going to an arts centre for people with mental health problems to get training as a volunteer but that is only a couple of half days a week. I have to taxi him about because although he has passed his driving test he says he is too anxious to drive himself.

I have also taken him to an autism support group and he agreed to meet a mentor but then refused to go back because she was staring at him. He will not join any of their social groups saying “why should I have anything in common with them just because I have an autism diagnosis?”. He will not get in touch with any old school friends or join any social or sports clubs as he says no-one likes him or wants to spend time with him. I have got to the end of my tether.

Everything I suggest gets shot down in flames or he will agree to things then find excuses not to do them. This morning I sat with him and filled in a daily timetable of activities and now he is really kicking off because he says he feels a failure having his mum tell him what to do. The only reason I am telling him what to do is because he was sat on his bed with his laptop instead of following the timetable he had agreed to. I can foresee that I am in for a battle of wills over this. Am I doing the right thing or should I just leave him be?


  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Sueval

    I don't have experience in parenting a child with Autism, but I am a parent to an 18 year old neuro-typical son who also isnt particularly active and would spend all his time in bed on a laptop if allowed. Have you asked him what he would like to be doing? Getting a new diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience and perhaps he is struggling to adapt to this?

    I can sort of see where he is coming from about the Autism group and not necessarily having things in common with people just because they have the same diagnosis. You say he has a music degree, is there anything he could be doing around that? My son is going to Uni this year to do Music and though he is online a lot, he does a lot of things with music websites. What job would he like to do within the music industry? 

    I understand that as a mum you just want the very best for him, but he is a young adult and also needs to feel that he has some independence and is making his own decisions. It is so tough as a parent to get that balance right!!

    @KellyParentAdvisor do you have any thoughts on this?

    The National Autistic Society has a Parent to Parent service that you might like to try? Their number is 0808 800 4106

    Parent to Parent is a UK-wide confidential telephone service providing emotional support to parents and carers of autistic children and adults. The service is provided by trained parent volunteers who offer telephone support from their own homes. The Parent to Parent volunteers are based across the UK, so parents don’t have to share information with someone in their local area. 

    Our volunteers have personal experience of autism and the impact it has on their own families. They can give other parents the opportunity to talk through problems and feelings.

    Our volunteers can:
    > provide an impartial listening ear
    > support you in identifying key issues and strategies
    > direct you to appropriate services for information and advice
    > call you back at a convenient time during the day, evening or weekend
    > offer you complete anonymity, as our volunteers are distributed across the UK

    Our volunteers cannot:
    > answer your call straight away, but we will call you back as soon as possible
    > provide face-to-face support
    > provide you with ongoing support
    Senior online community officer
  • Sueval
    Sueval Community member Posts: 12 Connected
    Hi Sam, 
    Thankyou for response but it really isn’t very helpful to liken your  neurotypical teenage son’s pretty typical behaviour to my 22 year old autistic son. I know that people mean well when they say “oh well my son does that” but my son has spent the last 9 months doing absolutely nothing. He will not make his own decisions and avoids new situations.. The problem we are having is that he avoids doing anything in the slightest bit challenging so he will not help himself at all. It is heartbreaking. He is an intelligent young man and it is terrible to stand by (like I have for the past 9 months) hoping that he will change. Of course I appreciate how upsetting his diagnosis must be for him. I am not insensitive. We have a close relationship and we have talked things over. But I am aware that his current behaviour is only adding to his mental health problems and I am struggling to know what to do. There is one thing for sure, he isn’t going to grow out of this or just pull himself together. He needs help. 
    As regards jobs. He says he doesn’t want to work at all. 
    Once again I do thankyou for answering. I wonder if there are any parents who have any experience of theses sorts of issues?

  • Sueval
    Sueval Community member Posts: 12 Connected
    Also thankyou for the parent to parent link. I can use all the support I can get. Sorry if my answer above sounded a bit abrupt. Things are a bit rough at the moment. I also have a disabled daughter who is struggling to find work and I am feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Kate_Scope
    Kate_Scope Scope Navigate service Posts: 74 Pioneering
    edited March 2019

    Hi @Sueval, I was having a look around the website that @Sam_Scope posted and they have a lot of information on there that you could look at. There is also this support helpline that is a transition into adulthood, I am not sure if this would be of help to you. 
    Maybe have a look around when you can 

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Sueval
    Please don't apologise, I am sorry if my response wasnt helpful, I was trying to say that though I can connect on one level (mums of young adult men) I understand that our experiences are completely different.

    I really hope some other parents who have a better understanding will be along soon as it is so important to chat with people who genuinely 'get you'. I will have a search and see if I can add anyone to this conversation.

    Im so glad you have shared with us here though, and I hope we can offer you some support.
    Senior online community officer
  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,780 Pioneering
    edited March 2019

    Good morning, I thought you might find this post useful and please share your experiences or advice. Thank you :)


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