Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) 14 yr. old--showing a little more anger

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lucas has been a very sunny, compliant kid for a long time, but he's not exactly your typical teen with his "odd duck" Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits. Lately, he is expressing himself better. When I have to tell him "no" he doesn't freak out or rage, but often he pouts, slams a door, or many even kick a table once or overturn a chair (as long as nobody is in it--he wouldn't hurt anybody). It lasts maybe a few seconds and if I tell him, "Now, Lucas, come on, Sweetie. Please be nice," he stops. Sometimes he'll pout and mumble to himself while he goes to his room. No violence or anything. But he has asked me, "Why do I get so angry?" He must be bothered by his behavior, although, really, it isn't very extreme.
    I'm wondering if he could benefit from therapy. Can a child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) benefit from therapy? He doesn't talk about it, but he must know he's different and most of the time he seems content. At school his teachers and the kids love him (I'm not exaggerating). He has a heart of gold, but he MUST know he's got special needs, yet he can't talk about it. And he won't talk about it with a therapist until the therapist has special expertise getting Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids to talk. Lucas often can't express himself and speaks one word responses. So who do I turn to? I'm afraid that if I consult a psychiatrist they'll want to put him on medications again, and it's not happening. I don't feel his behavior is serious enough for that. He doesn't seem depressed either. I want to find somebody who understands Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). But who???? Any suggestions? Moms of kids with high functioning autism, what have you done? Since Lucas is getting ready to drive, work, etc. perhaps he needs something to talk to. I'm loathe to trust the Psycologist at school since he had no clue what Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified was. What have you done? Thanks very much in advance. Also, if you WANT to suggest medications, please do. I'm looking for anybody's point of view. Thanks again.
     
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MWM, you said, 'But he has asked me, "Why do I get so angry?"'

    Hormones.

    What did we do with difficult child 1? It was complex because part of it was him being erratic about taking his medications, but we ensured he was stable (either always on, in our case, or not being mucked around by trying this, or that). Plus the pediatrician put him on Zoloft.

    Sorry, I know you wanted a non-medication answer, but not with difficult child 1. Off medications he's far more inclined to be violent. Less so now he's older, but still an issue. He knows it now and has more self-control, but while hormone levels are dramatically changing, they instability just makes them even worse. They have a hard enough time just coping with small changes in their environment. When the changes are also in their own body - chaos!

    Marg
     
  3. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    MWM - with puberty we've seen more anger too. We use a low dose of Lamictal (previously Risperdal) to help with mood since that is my son's biggest complaint/problem. We've also found a great social skills group for asperger's kids. They cover more than social skills - they talk about emotions, puberty, self-control, etc.... The combination has been really helpful for my son.

    Does Lucas know his diagnosis? Mine was relieved to know that he was different.

     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guy. Problem is, my son is not violent in any way. I'd like to find a Social Skills group, and will look into it.
     
  5. Janna

    Janna New Member

    MWM,

    You know it's hard for me to give advice, even though Dylan's Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), because he's more BiPolar (BP) than Autistic.

    But, honestly, we havent had any luck with therapy. in my opinion, for my kids, it's a total, 100% waste of money, to take Dylan into a therapist once a week to play board games, do art and make necklaces. In 9 months, she couldn't give him one good valuable tool to apply toward any of his anger or frustration.

    Social skills classes are going to be good, but not going to help him with what you need. Sounds to me that, just like Dylan, he has to learn how to express his anger in an appropriate manner.

    Who can do that? I have no clue. I agree, I don't think the medicine is the answer for this. I think if he'd be having extreme outbursts, raging, etc, that a mood stabilizer would be appropriate, but that's not what you're seeing.

    I found one lady, ONE, that had a masters in social work, that specifically counseled CHILDREN on the spectrum ONLY. NOT Bipolar, not ADHD, not depression. But she was so overloaded she couldn't see Dylan. Maybe you could find someone like that. Try calling your local MH/MR agency. Ours here has a specific unit for Autism kids only.

    Hugs.
     
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    MWM, I think your assessment is a good one. I would bet hormones and increasing self awareness both contribute to frustration and volatility in our kids.
    I wouldn't do medications either unless his frustration turns to be a real negative for him. Everyone loses their temper and everyone has an occasional meltdown. He shouldn't be medicated just because he has a label. If it isn't affecting his life in a negative way then talk therapy may help.

    I would call the local autism society to see if they have a social group for teen High-Functioning Autism (HFA) or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or AS. You could probably pick their brains about what they used or who they have used for therapy. My difficult child had a therapist who worked on anger management and problem solving. It was quite helpful for my difficult child. He was better able to understand himself and his temper.

    Good luck and hope Lucas starts to feel more himself.
    I always felt that when difficult child was in a real emotional state that he would jump to the next level of development. It seemed that growth followed volatility and aggitation.
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks Fran and Janna.
    I'm going to look and see if we can find anyone who deals strictly with autistic spectrum kids. I need somebody who can talk to Lucas in his own language, so to speak. We have a social group for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids (called AU-SOME) but none of the kids socialize there...lol....and it's non-structured. It's just events and the kids don't make friends on their own. I'll have to see if there's somebody around who can help him more. I believe that Lucas is capable of learning ways to cope better. Right now he holds it in or else knocks over a chair. No, it's not severe. If it was, trust me, I would be screaming for medications for him AND me!!! :). He is actually more pleasant than my older kids were as teens, but that's partly because he doesn't care about peer pressure and is young emotionally. He is very eager to please me and LEMME TELL YA at age fourteen, my other three kids were much more independent, balky and even outright rebellious. Lucas is nothing like that. But he is "different" and knows it.
    We do have an Autism Group here. I'm going to call them right now :wink:

    Thanks again, all.
     
  8. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    My son gets his social group through our mental health agency.They have been wonderful-they "get" him and try things I impliment at home etc. We have therapists who know him taht are at hsi social groups too along iwth eth behaviro support that we have coming into the home :smile: But we havent seen any real improvenent-as he LIKES being alone....
    I looked into groups specifically for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids also-but here there are LONG waiting lists and they are VERY expensive.
    Luvz,
    kathy
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MWM, we've found the afternoon drama group (for kids in our area with learning problems, but most of them are autistic/Asperger's) has been good not only for difficult child 3 but for a lot of the older kids. They used the drama group as a springboard to a teens social skills group. difficult child 3 slid in on the back of that and from there, they formed a social outings group and the kids would go bowling, or on picnics.

    It made a big difference to a number of the kids. difficult child 3 is the youngest in that group and they've reshuffled the drama classes so he's not with them at the moment (grr!) but we meet them at the changeover, and we see these kids hugging each other and being really happy to see each other.

    When they were recruiting for the film my kids were in (they wanted autistic teens/young adults and their siblings) most of the recruiting came from this drama group/social skills group, so we spent a lot of time with them over December/January, rehearsing through our summer holidays.

    It could be something to look for.

    Alternatively, you could do what we did in organising the social group - we just exchanged contact details and would take turns organising an outing - getting numbers, booking lanes at the bowling alley, that sort of thing. basically, if you can't find one, organise one?

    A thought.

    Marg
     
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm also thinking it's the hormones. Unfortunately it can be a tough time. I know it was for Travis.

    I was surprised to discover that in Cincy there is a center for people with autistic spectrum that deals with this sort of thing and with all of the other issues associated with the spectrum including life skills and such. I'd never heard of it til Travis' neuro referred him to it. The center deals with both children and adults.

    I wonder if you made some calls if there might be something similar near you?

    Hugs
     
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