Mild ASD but serious teenage anger, fear I'm losing my 15 y/o....(3 Posts)
My ds has a dry sense of humour, he's responsible, intelligent and trustworthy. He is doing well at school and has a small circle of friends.
However, the but and it's a BIG BUT is that he genuinely feels as if the playing computer games is the most important thing in the world to him, bar none. Without them, he's got nothing to do or look forward to. Since the age of 7 or 8 he's had times when he's lost his temper / shook with rage, usually over computer games but he has managed to control it and it's been infrequent.
In the last couple of months, he has smashed a plate, shouted and sworn and banged his computer equipment. Whilst in a rage, the more I say the worse it gets. I have told him that the his behaviour is unacceptable and i've given him proportionate punishments. He has never had any sort of outburst outside the home and 99% it's because he's lost a game on his Xbox but it's getting worse.
I realise that his outbursts are part of his ASD and will not be cured, I'm just looking for improvement. I feel as though I'm losing my son......
I would not use punishment as such for this. Because punishment is you trying to control him, rather than him learning to control himself, and he’s getting too old for that. The only “punishment” I would use is that if he breaks anything, then you don’t replace it – he either replaces it (if it’s yours) or chooses whether to replace it himself or do without (if it’s his). And if he throws things around then he has to tidy up afterwards (or live with the mess in his room). Shouting and swearing is annoying but can you blank it? So long as he's not swearing directly at you, that is. Though when he was little my DS (who has Asperger’s) used to get furious with me if his game went wrong, the psych explained this was his way of dealing with self-blame (and very anti-social it was too….!) so if your DS’s anger at the game is getting directed at you then you might need to think about anger management. But if he's just shouting at the game I wouldn’t worry too much. My father (who is also Aspie-ish) says that when he was a boy (long before home computers!) he used to love making things and if they went wrong he’d hurl everything across the room screaming and cursing but his parents were nowhere near so it wasn’t a problem!
And can you give him alternative anger outlets? Like a bean-bag on hand that he can safely hurl about the room? If you can get him to do some physical exercise that is good for lowering anger too.
Apart from that, I would say your best bet is to keep safely out of the way and leave him to self calm. Talk to him about consequences – like paying for damage – and about how his angry outbursts make you feel after he’s calmed down again.
In terms of getting him back, can you get to have a little bit of time together each day, or each week, doing something you can both enjoy? This is something I struggle with my DS (16yo, also a bright reliable Aspie, used to have serious outbursts when he was younger….) as our interests and abilities are very different now he’s a teenager. But I sometimes try to bake with him, or watch a TV programme together, or show him a silly cat YouTube video, or any little thing.
My 15 year old son has anger issues and has got himself into serious trouble over the past year. He spent a night in a cell on two separate occasions. He saw a counsellor about anger management and after only 4 sessions he saw an improvement. Myself and his sister notice the improvement. It is now 3 or 4 months since the last crisis and he is doing quite well now and seems happier in himself.
Don't get me wrong he is still a teenager and can be downright surly but we did see a decline in his outbursts.
I paid for the sessions and they cost £35 so I could only afford 4 sessions. I don't have much money. Our doctor put in a referral for counselling with CAMHS (Children and adolescents mental health service). They contacted me last week and offered him 6 counselling sessions. I ran it past my son but he felt that he didn't need it and thought the 4 sessions he had were enough. I didn't want to push him so we didn't take up the offer.
Maybe counselling might help your son.
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