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Old 09-27-2013, 04:36 AM
5 posts, read 22,714 times
Reputation: 10


My son is 18 years old. He was first diagnosed with AS (aspergers syndrome) when he was 3 and 1/2. A couple of years ago he started thinking about it and did some research. He asked me if I had AS. When I told him, he thought it sounded weird because he felt he didn't really fit a lot of the basic symptoms. He got a little depressed about it but he eventually, seemingly got over it.

He also suffers from clinical depression, social anxiety, ADHD, and complex PTSD. Like 8 months ago, he started freaking out about it again. All of a sudden he wanted to see like 5 different psychiatrists or psychologists and get different opinions on whether or not he had ASD. He felt misdiagnosed, but a part of him was really worried he had it. I told him he was fine, and probably overthinking it but then he told me "this was potentially his life at stake, and he needed to explore every possibility with the greatest accuracy in order to determine if he had AS or not" and he "needed several opinions so possible inconsistencies can be sorted out in order to create a logical consensus". So me and my wife, and him went through that process 5 different times. 4 out of 5 said he fit the basic criteria as a child, and diagnosed him with level 1 autism/ASD but only one thought he still experienced mild social impairment and other autistic symptoms that should provide services.

Now he's freaking out about it. I tried talking to him the day he found out he really had it, but he trapped himself in his room for 2 days. Then he started talking to me but looked really sick, especially in the eyes. He doesn't believe he no longer has most of those symptoms, he thinks they're "part of a series of flawed algorithims permanently intergrated in his brain and will come back to bite him in the ass at a later point in life". I tell him he's acting paranoid, but then he suggests maybe I'm "ignorant and not looking at the potential deeper meanings behind this" He told me he thinks all of his hopes, dreams and goals are much harder to accomplish and could be impossible because of his autism. He doesn't want to learn how to "cope", because "it sounds depressing and agonizing learning to cope with your own mind" He thinks he'll never marry the girl of his dreams, a huge goal of his (which I never even knew prior) because of his autism. I remind him that his younger brother of 2 years told me that some girls seem to like my son with ASD. Then he tells me "they really aren't his type, girls that he likes are never into him, and there really aren't that many girls in general into him, so it doesn't matter". He says he's dangerously idealistic and that is a curse if you are autistic and idealistic simultaneously. He feels like a "hopeless romantic soul forced into binary codes", or he thinks he's a computer rather than a human. And most of all! He doesn't think he'll ever be understood because of it, and that will affect his confidence. He then tells me that confidence and comfort with himself is the only way for him to succeed. Autism makes him feel inferior, and ruins his confidence. So he thinks he'll never get anywhere in life, because he has no confidence and isn't comfortable with himself. Being the near-nihlist that he is, he doesn't believe there is any definite meaning to life, but the meaning is held by the person. He thinks autism destroys his meaning because he says he probably won't reach his goals, which are getting married to the "perfect girl" and becoming a doctor, or psychiatrist, all which seem to require some sort of social intelligence which he persists he severely lacks. Therefore he feels life has no meaning to him. I try to get my wife to talk to him as she is a woman and she could provide an insight that I can't give to him as far as trying to approach women, but he brushes everything she said off, and thinks she's just trying to make him feel better. Especially since she tries to tell him having ASD is a "gift" to which he responds "that's a massive ignorant misconception and people are confusing people with ASD as 'savants' and not everyone with it has intelligent and healthy cognition" He seems to find a way to resist and put up an argument with whatever we tell him.

Then a week ago, one night at dinner, while barely eating his food and lining it up, he mentioned that all autistic people should be "killed off and put out of their own misery" because they are not fit to live life the way a "normal person" would, and they are all aliens that landed on the wrong planet and shouldn't be exposed to the real world, so they would be "better off dead than forced to suffer in a world that isn't theirs cognitively". Everyone, especially my wife were in shock. She asked him why he thought of autism that way, and then he said he didn't have anything against autistics, but they weren't understood in society, they lacked skills that were nessecary for daily life like socialization and motor impairments, and sensory issues, and tended to live in their own worlds, and all that would ruin the purpose of living a successful fulfilling life. He then went on to say that because of this, autistics (including himself) should be viewed as a different species altogether like animals or other creatures, and ultimately tied his reasoning together by saying they should be an "extinct species"

Then 4 days ago I caught him watching childhood tapes in his bedroom. I saw his face while watching, which looked really pale, eyes bulging with fear, trembling and he looked like he was going to throw up. I said something to him while watching them but he was too in shock to respond. 30 mins later I heard smashing and banging sounds. He ended up smashing the tapes into pieces and his plasma TV and VCR and threw them out his window, which he also broke. He didn't wake up until 7:30 pm the next day, and he looked like a zombie, not looking or speaking to anyone and only came out to get a glass of water. He went back to bed. He has stayed in his room since then only coming out for water or food and hasn't spoken to anyone, even when we initiate.

The worst thing is I got a hold of his phone 2 days later (yesterday). I found text messages to his friend. He told him he was "seriously contemplating suicide since he didn't see the point of life anymore" and apparently that was the only person he told. Then, late last night I go on his computer to check his web history. Over the past week, I see a TON of autism and ASD resources. I also see google searches like "harmless ways to commit suicide" "quick suicide methods" "suicide philosophy" "life is meaningless" "autism life is meaningless" "aspergers life is meaningless" "aspergers suicide stories" and multiple pages on mass murderers that apparently had AS or autism. Which makes me wonder if he's just entertaining the idea or if it's a sign of a mastermind plot.

Now I and especially my wife have no idea what to do. I don't know if I should get him counseling for the second time which apparently "didn't work for him", put him on medication again, send him to boarding school, or put him in some mental institution. This is a serious situation. My son is becoming emotionally disturbed, and I'm seriously worried he will severely harm himself or others. We know he is a really smart guy and very passionate, but he is in the wrong place in his mind and we can't get him out. He is convinced he is screwed.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:22 AM
4,750 posts, read 4,053,788 times
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First off, you or your wife should keep an eye on him 24/7...

As a young adult who is coping with depression and social anxiety, I urge you to be on his side. Telling him he's paranoid just makes things worse. There could be a possibility that he is no longer on the spectrum. If he wants to see a bunch of psychiatrists, then let him go for it. He is begging for help, and it's your duty as his parents to make sure he gets it. He may not be able to communicate what he's talking about, which is why a psychiatrist could help. Or maybe a speech-language pathologist or ABA therapist since they work with ASD & AS kids all of the time.

He may have just realized that he is about to start this new chapter in his life. I don't know what his functioning level is, but going to college and starting a career is hard enough. And now you're throwing in someone with AS who isn't comfortable in their own skin. Try a different therapist and put him back on the meds. Some Lexapro and Wellbutrin should do the trick...

He isn't "normal" and he knows it. There are differences between the average 18 year-old and your son. That's uncomfortable. His probably pissed that this is the life God gave him, and quite frankly I don't blame him. What did he do to deserve this? What do you as parents do to receive a child with AS?

Just to let you know, the suicide rate is higher in girls but boys are more likely to commit suicide because they have the balls to do it. Girls contemplate how they'll look, how much blood, etc. whereas guys just want to get it over it, so they're more likely to stab themselves or shoot themselves. Girls are more likely to take pills or hang themselves.

I'm so sorry that you're family is going through this. I hope everything gets better!
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:26 AM
Location: SW MO
23,594 posts, read 35,214,757 times
Reputation: 29258
If he is truly a danger to himself and/or others then he should be committed for evaluation and stabilization. The processes are different for each state but most, if not all, have those provisions in law. Contact Social Services and they should be able to help.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:35 AM
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
12,222 posts, read 6,349,907 times
Reputation: 20713
Yes,please take him seriously. Contact Social Services, I am sure they would find help for him.
Always take a person very serious, when they talk about suicide or even hint at it being a possibility.

Some of the brightest people in the world have been diagnosed as having AS. Some universities have clubs and programs for the AS students attending. I know a person with it, who is college educated, bright and with medicine you can't even tell that she has it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:03 AM
Location: southwest TN
8,569 posts, read 17,151,514 times
Reputation: 16677
One of those psychiatrists you took your son to should be able to help with the suicidal thoughts. Contact one NOW.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:34 AM
4,787 posts, read 11,029,688 times
Reputation: 12735
Your son has serious problems. First off, don't tell him his conditions are " fine". Don't tell him AS is a
" gift " . It's not. That minimizes, in his eyes, the hand he has been dealt in life.

There is nothing fine or OK with the multiple things going on with him all at once. He has a very complex set of conditions. He definitely should not be left alone. He definitely needs long term psychiatric care- beginning now. Let him see as many doctor as he chooses, but then he has to pick one and work with that person over the long term ( years) . Doctors and the medication they will prescribe cannot be hit or miss. He needs that plus long term talk therapy.

Your son has typical teenage angst as he moves from childhood to adulthood. That would be the how do I find the love of my life, what is the meaning of my life, am I capable of achieving my dreams, etc. However, your son's myriad problems are taking those basic questions and turning them into life threatening concerns.

He is eighteen. What is he doing now ? Is he still in high school, going to college or just hanging around the house ?

Get your son the long term help he needs. Just getting him diagnosed is not enough. And how in the world does a teenager who seems to be from a stable, loving family family get diagnosed with PTSD. From what ?

What you've got to do now is to find your son the help he needs. Your son can certainly be successful in life. Much of the work force in Silicon Valley has varying degrees of AS. They're out there making
mega bucks salaries at tech companies because they have the ability to concentrate and focus on
complex computer development. They're found a way to make AS work for them. Your son needs to do the same. He simply has no ability right now to see how he could be successful at life. That he needs to learn. However, he has to control the depression, ADHD, etc. in order to develop the life skills he will require. Get him help.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:41 AM
Location: USA
7,776 posts, read 11,698,999 times
Reputation: 11797
If he can medicate to deal with the depression, it would help him with his AS situation. My son is much older than 18. He has ASD, but, perhaps it is to a lessor degree. I don't know. At age 30, he got a job with a large corporation at an entry level office work. He finished his bachelors while working there and has moved up often in this company. He is a company man and devoted to his job. He went to school and worked at assorted jobs during his twenties. There is little reason for a high level ASD person to stare at the wall thinking his life is hopeless. I don't know how you can get through to him, but, I hope you can find a way. I know it's possible.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:45 AM
Location: Fayetteville NC
6,625 posts, read 6,942,339 times
Reputation: 17203
I'm sorry that you're going through this. It sounds like your son is EXTREMELY intelligent and has put a lot of thought into this. It also sounds like he is obsessing more about the diagnosis of AS itself than about how the reality of it effects his life. His anxiety/depression are the real culprits here, and THEY ARE TREATABLE! He needs to be on medication for a while to gain some perspective.

Your son has told you all you need to know. The warning signs will not get any bigger or less dangerous. Please get him committed to a psychiatric facility ASAP.

Don't waste another moment on an anonymous internet forum seeking validation for what you already know to be true. Get him to a professional!
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:49 AM
806 posts, read 2,252,071 times
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Originally Posted by _stress_ View Post
Now I and especially my wife have no idea what to do. I don't know if I should get him counseling for the second time which apparently "didn't work for him", put him on medication again, send him to boarding school, or put him in some mental institution. This is a serious situation. My son is becoming emotionally disturbed, and I'm seriously worried he will severely harm himself or others. We know he is a really smart guy and very passionate, but he is in the wrong place in his mind and we can't get him out. He is convinced he is screwed.
*Boarding school
*Mental institution

IS this your thought on what you should do?? What the heck is wrong with you both..
How about spending more time with him. Go with him to a support group. Listen to him, talk with him. Try to encourage him. Start him on a simple hobby. It just sounds like to me that you are letting him deal with this alone and are now wondering why all of a sudden he is freaking out..

I don't know anything about Autism so I can't suggest anything specific that would help him. I am just thinking of heartfelt things that a human would love from a parent.

Our society is screwed up. He is right in a way.. People with autism are going to have a hard time succeeding in modern society the way it is now. IT IS SAD..

He needs support, encouragement and a shoulder to cry on. Offer to do whatever it takes...
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:35 AM
4,721 posts, read 5,046,715 times
Reputation: 9090
He needs help now. He recognizes that he feels isolated, alone, and cut off from the world. Take him somewhere to help him. Research your local doctors and facilities and find the best place for your son. I don't know if you work, but I would not leave him alone at this time. He needs you, and he needs you to be honest with him. He does have problems, but he also needs to know that he is not alone and there is help for him. Trying to act like there is nothing wrong is not the right way to handle it. That just trivializes his feelings and also just confirms his feeling that no one understands. Tell him you do understand, and that yes he needs help.
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