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Problems with my Son

(11 Posts)
concernedmum09 Sun 09-Aug-09 19:31:06

Hello, i have two sons aged 20 and 24. No problems at all with my 20 year old. He splits his time between work, study and socialising and everything there is quite normal and right for a 20 year old lad. My eldest Son left school when he was 15 and still had a year left to do, this means he did not sit his GCSE's. He has not worked or studied since he left school He turned 24 a few weeks back and has done nothing with his life for almost 9 years. We've always had problems with him. When he was a kid he developed obsessions and wouldn't mix well with other children, he was bullied at school and his behavour could be really strange at times. He wet the bed everynight from an early age right up until about 15. He also had problems with his speech and had to see a speech therapist.His behaviour became difficult and disruptive. My sons relationship with his dad was strained for many years and although they get on ok now they aren't exactly close. Over the years he had so many assessments by psychiatrists and what not and no one could get to the root of his problems. Primary school years were hard enough but secondary school was a nightmare. The bullying got worse and his relationship with his dad became really strained to the point where they wouldn't speak for months at a time and when they were communicating they would have massive rows. He had no social life, prefering to stay in his room and the obsessions got worse. He began to skip school a lot and whenever he did go in he was often late. He refused to take part in PE as he disliked doing physical stuff and working in teams and he felt that everyone laughed at him and that he looked stupid. He was also overweight. At 14 it was suggested he had Asbergers Syndrome, a form of Autism but no formal diagnosis was ever made. Then one day he stopped going to school all together. He is also Gay which he didn't tell me about until he was 16 but i did suspect it. I can't say i approve but i have accepted it.

After he left school he just sort of retreated to his bedroom and did absolutely nothing with his life. He became obsessed with the internet and was on it all the time talking to people on MSN and whatnot.He lost a lot of weight too. He didn't go out much at all and had no friends outside of his net life. He also became obsessed with certain tv shows and collected all the episodes of them on video which he watched over and over.He did make some attempts to sort himself out like getting a careers advisor at Connextions youth service but everything they tried to send him on he would go for a day or two and if it wasn't going well he gave up. In 2005 he went onto jobseekers allowance but he didn't seem to be making an effort to find a job. He also became obsessed with this lad he was talking to online and also met in person, i mean really obsessed. He couldn't focus on anything else. It got to the point where this guy contacted the police about him and they were warning him not to contact him again because if he did he was gonna get done for harrassment.

The current situation is that he is now on income support. He is registered with a number of agencies that try to help longterm unemployed into work but nothing ever seems to happen. He has applied for jobs but when they reject him he finds it hard to get motivated to apply for more. He does go out a bit more now but he normally has a few drinks first to (in his words)'try and relax and feel more confident' He still seems to have a lot of problems with socialising with people though. He is still obsessive about things and still spends a lot of time on the internet. He is often up all night and then sleeps for most of the day. Then he is up all night moving about and going to the kitchen for food which sometimes disturbs my sleep. He never cleans his room so i have to go and do it. If i didn't he'd let it get into a real mess. He doesn't bother to have a wash much either. Since he began getting benefits in 2005 he hasn't given me or his father a penny of it towards his upkeep. He instead spends it all on tattoos and CD's and whatever takes his fancy. So he is living off us basically.

What would you do if you had a son like this? I'm at my wits end with him. I feel that 9 years is quite long enough for this to be going on. Sometimes i tell him that if it carries on he won't be able to live here anymore and then he gets angry and says that maybe we'd be doing him a favour if we threw him out. But if i was to throw him out he wouldn't last 5 minutes. He is still a boy in so many ways. I know that he isn't happy and that he has many psychological problems that have been there for many years. He didn't have the best of childhoods and that seems to have really damaged him mentally and set him back. But he doesn't make much effort to sort himself out and he is lazy and difficult and often selfish. I get really down about this situation because he is achieving nothing and its a waste. He shows no sign of being even close to being ready to leave home. I can't have him here forever with me having to pay for him and him not giving me any money towards any of it, keeping me awake at night and letting his room get into a mess. Its a strain. He doesn't commit crime (aside from almost being done for harrassment) or take drugs, he isn't violent.... but things aren't right. There are a few positives. He has been having driving lessons and has stuck with them and even took a test (he failed) but he intends to try again. He says he will be going to college in September to do an access to higher education course which he says will get him into uni. But honestly if he goes at all is one thing but if he sticks with it beyond a week or 2 thats something else and i have my doubts whether he will manage that. What would you do if you had a son like mine? Is he just a waste of space? i don't want to write him off but given he has had 9 years since school to sort himself out and hasn't i can't see much to feel positive about.

Sorry for such a long post.

WednesdaysChild Sun 09-Aug-09 20:02:48

concerned: Really sorry that you've had to go through so much with, what sounds like, so very little help.

You mentioned that he'd seen some psychiatrists but don't say how long since he last saw one or how long since an autistic spectrum disorder had been considered.

I must admit that, as a mother of an autistic child, a few things you mention could easily apply to my own son.

FWIW absolutely cannot diagnose your son for you but ASD's 10yr ago were still not always picked up on, this really has changed now. So if your DS saw somebody about this in particular in more recent years...?

Maybe you could post this on the Special Needs Children board - there are loads of mums with absolutely tons of advice there and I'm sure they'll be able to help in some way. Give them a try.

beesonmummyshead Sun 09-Aug-09 20:40:08

I am so sorry you are going through this, you sound like a very loving mother who is trying to do the best for her son, but has no idea how (and i'm not surprised given the history)

Agree with wednesdayschild, you really do need to get some help, could you speak to your/his gp to get some perspective into him and how you can help?

finally, are you sure he's not taking drugs? TBH as soon as i saw your post I wondered - it would explain the weight loss, unusual sleeping patterns and odd (obsessive/paranoid) behaviour - just a thought.

hope you get the help you are looking for

cornsillk Sun 09-Aug-09 20:53:23

What a stressful situation for you. You sound like a really caring mum - your son is lucky to have you. I agree with previous posters who suggest that your son needs professional help to get his life back on track. If he does go to college he will be entitled to support with his course if it is found that he does have AS.

LynetteScavo Sun 09-Aug-09 20:57:13

concernedmum09 - I think trying to get a diagnosis for Aspergers might be a starting point.

I'm no specialist, but would sugest going to your GP and requesting he is assesed, you could also take a look at the national autistic society website

Have you sugested to him that he pays you some board?

Why is he up all night and sleeping all day? Is it jsut a habit he's got into...tbh I might have done the same at his age if I hadn't got a job to wake up for.

concernedmum09 Sun 09-Aug-09 21:44:23

Hi, he has a social worker who works with people with Asbergers and she is trying to get him an assessment for Asbergers which appears to be taking forever. He meets up with her every few weeks and she tries to help him find work/courses and get involved in social activities. He last saw a psychiatrist probably about 10 years ago. I'm not involved in any help he gets now, he seeks it himself as he is aware there are problems and he is very unhappy with his life.

The being up all night is just a habit he has got into. Sleep all day and not be tired at night so up all night and then sleep the next day again, then up all night and it goes on like that.

I really don't think he takes any drugs. Obviously i can't be sure what he is getting upto when he goes out but i don't think he is taking drugs.

LynetteScavo Sun 09-Aug-09 21:59:21

Could you encourage him to start waking up earlier?

My mum used to do the hoovering quite early!

Asking him to pay board and getting him in to a more acceptable day/night routine would prbably make you happier (and help him in the long run), and something you could actively help him to do.

Assesments do take ages, psychologists tend to be prety booked up. Hang in there!

WednesdaysChild Mon 10-Aug-09 11:17:45

Poor sleep patterns or requiring very little sleep, (in comparison to neuro-typical population), does seem to go with autism in many cases.

My own DS really doesn't need much sleep at all and I know of another child who only slept for 4hrs per night.

So it's really not necessarily drugs related.

LynetteScavo Mon 10-Aug-09 11:36:33

concernedmum...do you talk to his social worker? It may be worth having a chat with him/her.

rosiest Mon 10-Aug-09 12:11:17

I think you should hang in there for the assessment. I'm no expert but have worked with a lot of children with AS and the obsessiveness and the difficulty socialising are very common in AS. I would also be sceptical about drug taking, as if he rarely goes out it would be hard for him to be getting drugs.If drugs were the case he would be constantly popping out to meet people.
Try to talk to his social worker but I understand its hard because of his age.
Don't give up on him - it must be very hard but I think there are reasons behind his behaviour.
Good luck

concernedmum09 Mon 10-Aug-09 18:28:31

oh he sleeps plenty, its just at the wrong time!

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