Teens with Aspergers/HFA and Their Struggles

"My 17 y.o. son with high functioning autism is an emotional mess. He hibernates in his room playing video games, refuses to eat with the family, seems very depressed, doesn't talk to us even when he is out of his bedroom, has no friends that we are aware of, has completely given up on school (he will go, but we heard from teachers that he simply puts his head on his desk and naps during class; also does not do a lick of homework anymore). We are worried that he may even be suicidal, as he has mentioned that he 'hates life'. Where do we go from here?"
Click here for my response...


  1. Mark,

    I’m slowly working through the first week’s videos and webpages that you sent. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sending those links—there is a LOT of information here that is not in the e-book. I’m so excited! I’m on the Fight Fair page and I really love how specific your examples are on how to explain why you are upset and what you’d like to see changed. And all those ways to reframe negative attributes into positive words—that is great! We try to do this, but some traits are hard to think of a positive way to think of them, but you DID it!

    So, thank you again for sending the links. They are so helpful and I now find I am able to focus on just week 1 of the program. I will keep you posted as we move through the four weeks.


  2. I am a newlywed AND a new step mom to a very sweet, but stubborn, 17 year old daughter who also happens to have Aspergers. We and her mother and step father were at a loss as to how to motivate Jessica to pass math and pass her driver's permit test. She needs to do both in order to graduate high school (she is a Junior now). She says she wants to graduate but she was unable to make the connection between doing these things she has no interest in and getting something she does want (graduating high school). I read a couple of your articles this morning and was able to go in and talk with her about both issues and set up a reward system of her choice. I really think this will work for her! We have all been focused so much on consequences (which of course she didn't respond to) we lost site of rewards! I know it was because we all felt frustrated and were using things that motivated us as teens instead of asking her what motivated her. But that's exactly what I did this morning. I asked her what she would do if I was her and she was the parent to get me motivated to pass math. She immediately focused on a reward. So, that's what I went with! I really feel this will work! Here is another issue I really don't know what to do about. Jessica really likes Thomas the Tank Engine and constantly talks to imaginary friends that consist of the characters in that show. She is 17 now and will turn 18 in a few months. She has no friends she hangs out with or even talks on the phone with outside of school. She is also in a rural area, going to a very small school, and has never gone to another school since she started kindergarten. I guess I'm scared she is isolating herself and just wants to talk and mingle with her imaginary friends rather than "real people" friends. I don't know what to do about this. Is this common with children with Aspergers? And when I say constantly, I literally mean it is hard for her to focus on anything because she is looking off into space and talking to "Thomas", laughing with "Thomas" etc... I have tried to talk to her about living in this world and that she needed to tell "Thomas" that she needs to meet and have friends that aren't imaginary and she looks at me like I have 3 heads! I am at a loss as to what to do. And it just continues to consume her. Oh, and "Thomas" is also not interested in driving or math and tells her it's ok not to do it. I know this because I asked her this morning what Thomas "thinks and tells" her about math and getting a drivers permit and that is what she said. Please help me with a way to handle this situation.

  3. I am struggling with my aspie, hes 13 and we struggle with the internet and inappropriate sites. The lying is the worst, even when hes caught he will lie right to your face still then be upset when you punish him. We are at a loss with him......


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