Been here before. Looking for some advice

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Drew64, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Drew64

    Drew64 Member

    I have not been on these forums for a couple of years at least. I thought turned a corner with my daughter although she was still difficult to deal with. I won’t re hash the history. As of now she is 19 years old. She did graduate high school but barely. Would not study and only did well in her art class which is what she wants to major in and computers both A,s. So it’s not like she can’t do the work. We now have her enrolled in community college which will start Wednesday. She does not drive yet as states afraid too. She spent most of her summer playing league of legends as those are her friends. She seems to have isolated herself more even from us her parents. She will,still go places once in a while and still asks for help with things but has an angry side when approached about college. She has never worked a job. She stopped seeo her psychiatrist and did not like taking medications. She seems to have a lot of anxiety. We have a counselor who has seen her in the past and does family therapy. Went once with family and was the most she spoke although blamed everything on us. I just saw counselor myself last week for my own well being and to come up with a plan. He had suggested some other natural based medications but also thought about hypnosis. According to him she appears afraid to move on to the next part of her life and become independent. She still won’t go to get her ID picture for college or go to show her where her classes are. I know most people say she’s an adult now it’s her decision but she may be 19 but is not mature yet. I was hoping once she got into some classes she would meet people with common interests and may open up. I feel like running out of options for someone her age. I know inside she must be miserable just hanging out in her room. I can’t make her go to therapy or school or get a job. I’ve read other post where parents kick the kids out or have them removed. I also know people will ask if she is doing drugs which she is not. She’s not violent just scared I think. I feel like she needs life skills. She used to play soccer and softball amd her freshman year in high school did track. The only thing that I think could have happened tomstsrt this is her best friend missed 2 years of school because she was self harming herself. When she came back to school I heard nothing about it from my daughter but that’s when she decided she didn’t want to go to school any more. Missed a year while we tried home schooling and looking for a placement outside our school district. She found a school she liked and did well her sophomore year there and junior. Senior year was more of a challenge. Again never really spoke of any friends or hung out with anyone. So she doesent drink, do drugs or has been diagnosed with any major depressive disorder. I was told by her dr she was “stuck” and until she wants to talk he couldn’t do a lot. I’m coming here to vent and see if anyone has any similar experience with facilities or medication. I was going to try CBD oil but have not found anything specific on dosing for anxiety.
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Drew I am sorry your daughter is having such a tough time. She’s still very young. It’s a tough transition to adulthood for some.

    I’m wondering if there are ways you can help make her feel more in control, and give her more options to choose from? Not everyone has to go to college right away -or at all. Maybe she needs to spend some time working before she decides what she wants to do. Maybe a community college or trade school would be less overwhelming. Do you know why she stopped seeing her psychiatrist? Do you think she might be more likely to go if you told her she could choose a new one and put her in chanrge of that?

    Have you given her any timelines or ultimatums? E.g. you can go to school or work, but you have to do one or the other by x date?

    It sounds like she’s having a lot of anxiety that she making it hard - but the longer she gives in to that anxiety the harder it will be. (I know this first hand.) A wise person once told me ‘the antidote to anxiety is action.’ I’ve held onto that and it has spurred me to keep moving forward even when I felt paralyzed.

    Are there things that motivate her that could be used as levers?
  3. Drew64

    Drew64 Member

    It is a community college she is registered for. Felt that would be better on top of grades were t good enough for other schools. She stopped seeing psychiatrist because she feels it’s all mom and dads fsult for everything. I have told her one or the other. I don’t even know if she could hold a job. It’s almost as if she needs life skills. We got her a cat as a therapy pet because she loves cats. So adopted one. Now she doesent feed it or clean her litter Even when asked. The cats part of the family so can’t give it back. It motivated her to go to school in beginning a couple of years ago. Ow nothing seems to motivate her that I see. She wants to do graphic arts. She has been told by art teachers has talent. Every time I try to talk to her she just says later. By then she’s asleep. She has two days before classes start and has no ID, no clue as to where to go for classes since chose not to take tour or go with me for tour and has not logged into her online school account to check things out. To looking forward to this week. People say kick her out or have her removed. I can’t see me doing that because I don’t think she can survive. Besides where would she go.
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    There may come a time when kicking her out may be your only option. But i would have a hard time at 19 also. Especially if the problem is more anxiety than defiance, violence or substance abuse. I wonder if she doesn’t have some depression she’s not acknowledging, too. That can destroy motivation.

    Are you paying for this school? Can you get your money back if she just refuses to go?

    What else are you providing for her? Allowance? Phone? Internet access? Anything else that could be cut off? Can you make it less appealing to retreat to her room?

    I guess at this point you’ll have to wait and see if she steps up for the first week of school. If she’s doesn’t, let her know changes will have to be made, and she’ll need to get a job. There are plenty of jobs out there that don’t take a lot of skill or training. Retail. Restaurants. Perhaps you can give her a minimum number of hours she needs to work each week to maintain access to her phone or household Wi-Fi? I know at this point we can’t really ‘make’ them do anything, but we can make things less comfortable for them when they choose not to.

    Hopefully, she’ll surprise you this week and get herself to school. If not, you’ll ha e some hard choices to make. At 19, she’s got a lot of growing up to do, but she also hasn’t lost too much time yet. If she can start making baby steps forward she may find it’s not as hard as her brain is telling her right now. Wishing you the best this week!
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I would insist she let a neuropsychologist or top notch psychiatrist give her a deep evaluation. She wont get better without treatment. She needs an evaluation.

    What was she like as a child? Sounds as if she may be on the autism spectrum. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) includes a lot of anxiety and extreme social phobia is part of it too. Also narrow but obsessive interests and trouble communicating and clueless about life rules. Daughter has many behaviors my autistic son had and he didnt want to drive either. But he got Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) help and is 25 now, on his own, working and doing great.

    Your daughter cant go on with no diagnosis. Take her to somebody really good, not just a plain therapist. They dont have the education to legally diagnose. They dont know how. A neuro psycologist is my choice. A top psychiatrist may also be okay but many know little about checking for possible Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It is a special type of evaluatuon.
    Neuropsychologists test for everything. They are psycologists with extra training in the brain. You can find them at university clinics. They rock in my opinion.

    You can make this evaluation and her compliance with it a condition of her continuing to live at home. Its not helping her to sit around with herself and you having no idea why she is acting the way she is. If she is on the spectrum she needs interventions but not necessarily medications. Its a neurological disorder that mimics behavioral disorders but is not psychiatric. Yet without treatment (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) type) it can be debilitating.

    Please do this for both your sakes.Love and light.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  6. Drew64

    Drew64 Member

    Thank you for all the input. She has been evaluated many times. I can’t remeber all the types of doctors. She was diagnosed with ADD when younger. She did have an IEP in school which she hated as she told me. She wanted to be in normal classes with normal kids. She brings that up a lot. So the school evaluated her and she was seeing a psychiatrist when younger who I thought was good. It was suggested maybe high end aspergers. I’m sure she is depressed. I’m sure she hates her life the way it is but feels can’t do anything about it. She is very stubborn for lack of better word. I will have to go back to all the evaluations and see what they said but I don’t believe any one mentioned Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    If she won't attend school, or work, try to get her to volunteer at local agencies. Like the animal shelter, reading to kids at the library, a local thrift shop, etc...

    Can she sign up for art classes? Even if it's not at the college? Our recreation commission has low cost classes that are offered in the community.

    I think wifi should be used as a motivation... So many hours of activity to use the wifi... If she has a tv in the room, remove it.

    Anyway, those are just my ideas... Use what you think might work...

  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Aspergers is autism.
  9. Drew64

    Drew64 Member

    She has no tv in her room she has a laptop and I do take her off our network when I feel I need to send a message. Problem is there is an optimum hot spot that she can get on for free. My wife tried removing her laptop once from room and that became a huge fiasco where police were called because they were fighting so loud. That computer is her lifeline now. It’s where her friends are probably because she can hide behind a screen and no one can judge her. I brought up hypnosis to her since it involves no medications and she didn’t want to do it. Says it’s a crock. So again another excuse not to take a step towards helping self. I was surprised in the state I’m in that at age 14 kids can make decision not to be on medication. So once she was told that by her one Dr she stopped.
  10. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Drew I’m an aspie girl myself and struggled quite a bit at that age. If she Has even mild sensory processing issues the world can be very overwhelming. What I did learn with time is that the more I gave in to the desire to hide away from the world the harder it became. I wasn’t diagnosed until well into adulthood, and it was a huge relief to finally understand myself and my childhood. I’ve learned to embrace my quirks, work around some things and work through others. If she’s on the spectrum but high functioning enough that she hasn’t been diagnosed yet, she’s capable of doing the same. But it’s not easy.

    I understand her desire to not be different than her peers and that’s probably why she’s resisting medications and treatments. That’s why I suggested trying to give her some more choice and control.

    That said, whether is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or anxiety or something else entirely, she’s going to have to get out of her comfort zone. If she won’t get out of it on her own accord, you’re going to have to make her uncomfortable enough at home that she’s forced out. She’s still young and dependent on you, so that may mean taking away the laptop until she’s treatment compliant, if that’s the only thing she cares about. You can still pull the our house, our rules card. And if she’s unhappy enough with that, she’ll have to get out of her comfort zone in another way and figure out how to move out.

    I probably wouldn’t pull that card unless she doesn’t get her act together with school this week. But if it comes to it and she does not go to classes, you can’t let her sit in her room unemployed and out of school. The longer she locks herself away in there the harder it will be for her. Do it with love, give her some options, but force her out of the comfort zone one way or another.
  11. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Another thought - if she is diagnosed as aspie/high functioning autism, recognize that she may need more modeling and practice of social interactions. That may be why she’s hiding behind a screen. I had a lot of trouble with things like reading body language, knowing how to start a conversation, and knowing how to respond if someone approached me. It didn’t come naturally. That can make seamingly simple tasks like getting a school ID, which involves imteracting with a stranger, feel insurmountable. So make her get uncomfortable, but also be prepared to offer extra support and explicit modeling and practice as she takes those steps.

    Wishing you all luck!
  12. Drew64

    Drew64 Member

    All of the advice is helping me cope a little better. I’m at a loss with her. She can be two totally different people. My sister took her to the community college to register for classes and she was fine she said. But before that she had to take a test like all students for correct placement into math and English. She failed because she wouldn’t or couldn’t answer an opinion essay. Said she didnt have an opinion. She was given a chance to re take test as computerized and refused. So now placed in remedial math and English that don’t count toward credit. Ow this college has a great tutoring center and is good with kids with ADHD but they won’t hold her hand. I joke about the parents who had to sue to get their adult kid out of there house in upstate ny but I see that being me at some point.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You will hear autism again one day. She is classic. I think throwing her out would just make her desperate and scared. She needs ro learn how to function. I dont feel this is defiance.

    Love and light;
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  14. Drew64

    Drew64 Member

    I don’t feel it is defiance either. I just think she is scared to move on with the next step in life. She has big aspirations as she has told me in past. Like she always wanted to go to Japan or Europe to see the art there. This is all great but she needs to get on with her life first. I just don’t want her having a breakdown at college her first day. My hope is she can meet just one person who she can connect with and hopefully that will get her back on track. I’d like to see her join the art club or anime club both interests of hers and see what she has been missing
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I tbink she needs serious help. Of course I hope everything suddenly goes away but that isnt how things usually work. I think good quality professionals are needed and that a disorder not within her corntrol is keeping her from being able to move on. This could have been my son, but we had so much help for him. It started early in his life and he got better each year.

    I think with your daughter she is very severe and needs more help than just guidance from you, no matter how much you love her and think you can change it.

    I wish you both well.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  16. ahhjeez

    ahhjeez Active Member

    It doesn't sound like defiance to me either. She sounds a bit like my son. My son is autistic and school has always been a struggle. His senior year in high school was horrific. He became so completely overwhelmed with the expectations facing him ie. college that he just shut down and became severely depressed. I immediately got him into therapy but his therapist just wasn't familiar with people on the spectrum and it didn't work out. What I ended up having to do was stopping everything. He was severely overwhelmed. His father and I decided to give him a year to recoup. In that time he was to work towards getting his driver's license and take an online class. That was it. We needed to reassess and go very, very slowly with him. He's now turning 20 in Oct. and will be starting community college tomorrow. He is ready to take his driver's test and will be scheduling an exam. I'll be driving him to school until he gets his license. He's made a ton of great strides, but it had to be on his time and he needs supports in most things that he does because it just doesn't come naturally to him. Just ordering his meal at Subway is stressful for him because he has to speak to someone. I would recommend a neuropsychological evaluation for your daughter. My son has had 3. An exam can take anywhere from 4-6 hours and are very comprehensive. We are also hooked up with an autism treatment center through a major hospital in our area. My son also applied for a program at his college that gives kids extra support when they need it like help emailing or talking to a professor. Help finding classes. Emotional supports. It's an amazing program and many, many colleges have them. I think your daughter is struggling with the next steps in life and if she is on the spectrum it doesn't surprise me. It's incredibly difficult for my son to navigate the world. It causes him intense anxiety that is both emotionally and physically exhausting. To give you an idea, my son had to go to an orientation at his school. It lasted 4 hours. He was dreading it, but went. He was so exhausted by it that he came home and fell asleep in the early afternoon and slept until the next day. Interactions take a ton out of him. My husband is also autistic and we have found that both him and my son can generally concentrate on one big thing at a time. For my husband, it's going to work. Once he comes home he's just had it. I tend to take care of the day to day stuff because he doesn't multi-task. My son is the same. It is taking an enormous amount of mental energy for him to go to school and get his license. I've found that I need to be very aware of when he's getting ready to hit the wall so to speak and try and break things down into steps for him. I help him, but I also encourage him to do things for himself on his own. I model life skills for him and have tried to set up a decent network of support for him. I'm sorry I rambled here. LOL. None of this may apply to your daughter. I think a good neuropsychologist evaluation. could be a good step. It would give a definitive diagnosis, plus workable suggestions for the future.
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I feel for you. I agree with others.... she sounds depressed and needs some kind of treatment. I hate it when people just say you will have to just kick her out as if that will solve the problem..... I think that is a fantasy many people have.... kick the kid out, and they will magically pull it together. It may work sometimes but often it just makes things worse, much worse. We had to kick our son out at 18 and in our case I think it was our only choice (but very different circumstances) but it did not magically make him get it together and 8 years later he is stil struggling. So I hope you can get some good theapeutic help for her.
  18. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Do you have any art studio workshops in your area? Maybe she could go there and create and see how it goes?
    We have 2 art studios here that work with differently abled individuals. There is a young woman there who has Asberger's ( I know her mom) that sounds exactly like your daughter.
    I have a family member who has Asberger's and she is a pharmacist!
    Your daughter sounds like she is really struggling. She wants to be a "regular" teen (whatever that is) but she just isn't.
    Sending you and your daughter peaceful wishes.
  19. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I agree with toughlovin - kicking out is something we do as a last resort when necessary for the safety and sanity of others in the family, or when the problem is more lack of motivation to leave the nest rather than true inability.

    I think ahjeez and Ksm have some good advice on going slow, too. Maybe she does need to take a step back and reassess if she’s not ready for this yet. Volunteering could be a great place to start. I love ksm,s suggestion of the animal shelter. I know I always have found animals easier to connect to than most people. And she could connect with other people there in a safe low key environment. Or maybe there are other interests she has that would suggest volunteer opportunities.

    I hope you’re able to get her to a full assessment. If she is diagnosed with high level Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), it may be a relief to her. It was a relief to me too know that I felt different because I AM a little different - but it doesn’t mean I’m broken. There are aspie communities out there. If you suspect this may be her eventual diagnosis, you might point her to the website Wrong Planet and see if anything there resonates for her. It can be tremendously freeing to know that there are others who experience the world the same way.

    What ahjeez says about the stress of something as simple as ordering from subway is absolutely true. I was fortunate enough early in my career, before I was ever diagnosed, to have a wonderful boss and mentor who recognized that I was floundering on the people side of work even though my performance on task was great. He literally taught me how to shake someone’s hand, how to maintain eye contact in a conversation, how to approach someone with a question, how and when to talk during a meeting. He even taught me how to navigate corporate cocktail parties. I needed explicit direction in these things, and he was kind and intuitive enough to see that. It changed my life. Perhaps your daughter needs this kind of mentoring, too.

    And if it’s not Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), other types of anxiety can be just as crippling. But I think the answer is the same -baby steps forward, don’t let her retreat but make sure she’s got support while she builds her skills, comfort level and confidence.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My son was not diagnosed with Asperger, just higher level autism and he went out of the house and was more social and less fearful than your daughter. He wasnt afraid to go to school or work, although he doesnt like crowds and is shy around new people. The difference? Interventions! We did not have a name for his differences back then but he got special free help and school to push him along. It can be done to adults too.

    Autism can improve with the right help. Or the person can become crippled and never want to go out. Depression often goes along with it, but people with only depression still drive, work and socialize. I am not trying to make you feel bad, sir. I am just hoping you get help for your daughter. She has the potential to go far, but she needs help with her social issues and differences and fears and sensitivities. And you dont know what to do for her because its not your field. I was in the same boat. What if she cant handle college? Its in my opinion best to have a plan to help. She is not a bad young women. Or lazy. She needs help.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018