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Aspergers/HFA Teens and Suicide

"Can teenagers with ASD Level 1 (high functioning autism) become so depressed that they become a risk for suicide?"

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Anonymous said...

I have a 15 year old son, Michael, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers. About three years ago my family broke up and Michael’s behavior has gone downhill since. He is extremely defiant, to the point where he does nothing in school or at home, unless it is something he wants to do. He is about 220 lbs and can be very aggressive and violent if he is pushed. He has shown this violence both in school and at home so generally everyone leaves him alone. I am maybe 70 lbs lighter than him and in no way can I control him.

He is addicted to video games and as part of the “Behavior Modification Plan” I removed access to all of his games. He was allowed to keep his other toys. He was given a schedule where he would start to get things back if he had seven consecutive good days. That was about 6 weeks ago and he is yet to get a single “good” day on his record. Usually after school he now goes to some of his friends homes to play games and refuses to come home until he is ready. He has also done absolutely no homework and almost no work in school during this period.

Michael is living with me for most of the time. Life in my house is miserable. Michael is extremely disrespectful. He visits his Mother on weekends and special occasions. She claims not to have much trouble with him and she does not fully support the “Behavior Modification Plan”. I have asked her to be more supportive of my attempts to teach discipline to Michael but she helps only in a very limited way. Because of this my efforts are getting nowhere; in fact the more I try the worst things seem to get. I fear that Michael eventually will learn to hate me. If his behavior does not change soon he will not have any future. He will not complete school, or be able to get a job. It keeps me awake at night but I can only see Michael’s anger, hatred and frustration growing to the point where eventually he will no longer be able to live with me. And eventually he won’t be able to live with his mother either. The future currently holds nothing for Michael and time to change this is running out.

I deal with the local Autism Society and they are very helpful but I need more help. My feeling at this point is that my ex-wife needs to do her part and be more supportive. I’m not sure what her problems is. Maybe she wants to be seen as the “good guy” to Michael, or maybe she doesn’t have what it takes to enforce the discipline required. I was hoping that she would be more supportive since she is probably the one and only person that Michael does listen to. Michael spend part of the last weekend with his mother and when she picked him upon I asked her to have a serious talk to him about his behavior and to also think about expanding the program to try to have more impact on Michael. She did not agree to any changes in the program and did not address his behavior with him at all. I have many battles to deal with!

I have written this letter to you because you may have dealt with the same or similar situation before. I am desperate a now and I need your help. Maybe you have a suggestion to deal with Michael or even words of experience that I can pass on to his mother. We all have to be on the same page or Michael will be lost. As each day passes I feel he is falling deeper and my grip to hold him is slipping.

Anonymous said...

if you really want to help him don't yell or treat him as a child.
show him respect and try to get him too understand why crap happends. perdon me but did you ask about problems at shcool. you said he has aspergers, i have it too and my life is a living hell. if you want to make him do better than you should talk to his teachers about how ohter kids treat him trust me he won't come out and unleash his problems openly. kids treat kids with aspergers like sub-humans. i fear he might have a stress disorder in which case he might be shuting down and lowering his own exspectations so he does not get hurt. if you want to help him figure out if its a social problem with other kids. if his classmates are treeting him like crap then i'd get him a tharapist.don't blame him for the work of others.

Anonymous said...

My son, David Lee Rea (15) appeared normal. He played football and was very popular. As his parents, we knew he was "fragile", but felt this was his inherent personality. We had no idea the extent of his internal struggles.

During a recent 9 day inpatient stay for suicidal thoughts, we (along with many professionals) were searching for answers as to why this seemingly normal adolescent wanted to end his life. During this crisis, I had the epiphany that David is high functioning Aspergers after listening to my husband and I pour over this child's history with doctors and counselors.

David was relieved that he "was not going crazy". Post hospital stay, we were in the process of having David psychologically tested, trying to get psychiatric help, and in the mean time, trying to get him transitioned into high school with friends and activities. We lost the battle with David on September 8, 2011, as he committed suicide in our home before going to school.

We are in the beginning stages of grief. We know that we want to do something to raise the awareness for aspergers for parents, educators, counselors, doctors, friends, family, etc... We had a serious lack of knowledge and so did all of these people around us. Please give us your input as to what we can do for this cause in order to make David's struggle make sense for the future.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to read about your sons suicide and your loss. my son is 13 he recently spent 4 weeks in the children's psych ward, he talks about wanting to be dead., I worry about this. depression in young people is not taken seriously in our communites, it's someing that needs to be brought out into the open.

Anonymous said...

hi my name is kaivon wright im 17 years of age and have been with aspergers sence i was 4. ive seen over the years ive looked at things differently than others and grew up nowing i was gay but couldnt stop the way i felt tword men. as i got older had past incounters wit abuse movein from foster home to foster home and liveing with abusive father have me confused if all life is, is just a lot of bull why live. i live with a year younger sister that treats me like poo and a mom that dosent care. what do i do

Anonymous said...

find what your good at for instance if it's games you might be able to work in a games shop. You will be more likely to meet people you have something in common with and get people around you who get and care for you.

slim cheats said...

I'm very sorry for your son, he was failed by school & many, please look after yourself & continue to raise awareness. I have recently found out my 9 yr old son Joseph has asperger & since he was 5 in & out of school he has been treated as if he was wrong, its so painfully sad, he so loving & just wants friends & to learn, the last few weeks he has been talking about not wanting to be here, this is the worst words you never want your baby to say.

Because the kids, teacher's & school would not understand him or keep him safe from mental & physical abuse iv taken him out of school.

The world can be very cruel, I have a mother who's always had bipolar,and never experianced much public awareness, I also want to help with awareness, I see my son as such a wonderful child & wouldn't want to change him at all, I love the way he talks for hours about the great fire of London or some YouTube thing he's seen, the way I see it everyone else needs to learn and be aware.

Everybody deserves love & friends & there's lots of awareness for many other unseen disabilities ie: deaf/blind.
I'm really sorry for your son, I really do feel for you so much & hope you continue to promote mental awareness.

Take care
Jodie x x x x x

Unknown said...

These kids must be enrolled by their parents to spiritual courses from time to time. The daughter of my cousin has this Aspergers and she is always worried with her daughter’s condition especially when she is at school. I will tell her to read your 25 tips so she can start doing this for her daughter.

Unknown said...

My 13 year old son had Asperger's and recently took his own life on July 24th, 2017.
He was extremely intelligent, wise, artistic, creative, funny, smart, handsome, a million things. Unfortunately he was hurting so very deep inside and never fully shared with us how deep his pain was for us to seek additional help.
Unfortunately, he also dealt with bullying all throughout school (8 years of school) but he never told us until March of this year when he was suspended and placed on probation for breaking a kid's nose who had been bullying him the past 2 years specifically.
We sought help right away and I constantly asked how he was feeling, if the medication was helping, did we need to talk with someone else, etc. - the complete shock has made the entire situation so much worse.

Anonymous said...

Tonja I am so so so sorry to read your post....tears fell as soon as I read your words.

My 12 almost 13 year old Aspie son was just released today from a children's psych hospital. He is generally a very happy, sweet, loving boy just as you described your son. I did not know there was a problem until last week he started talking about wanting to kill himself, he cried and asked me what is the meaning of life, why am I here, what is the point? He scared me badly when he told me he was going to do it when I was asleep...which is why I took him directly to the ER.

I am so worried about my boy and after reading your comment I am going to be 100 times more careful about leaving him alone etc....I sometimes wonder if he is saying these things to get what he wants, or he is looking for attention. But I won't take the chance of not believing him. He is bullied very badly at are constantly calling him gay, pushing and tripping him in the hallway. I will be at the school every day if i have to to stop that behavior and protect my son.

Unknown said...

My 13 year old daughter is in a psychiatric hospital 3 months now for a major depression disorder.
She keeps trying everyday to kill herself. Fortunately she's under constant control at the hospital, they keep her safe..
I wonder if the medication she receives is adapted. has anyone heard of any specifics regarding treatment of depression for aspies? research? studies? She has many side effects of the medication, but I can't see any improvement regarding her suicidal thoughts and behavior.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

Click here for the full article...