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How can I get my son's room organized and cleaned out without him freaking out on me?

My son is 13 years old and has been diagnosed with Asperger's, ADHD, Tourette's and Encopresis. We often try and clean up his room, but basic straightening can take all day because he gets upset when you put something in a spot that he doesn't like. He often doesn't know where it should go, mind you, just not there. We also are not able to get rid of anything. I want to get in his room and get it completely cleaned out, but I have been hesitating. In the past, it has caused major "meltdowns" and emotional breakdowns that are very difficult to help him get a grip and calm himself. I just feel like there has to be a way to do this that is less traumatic on him and us. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!

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Asked by princessjen1 at 11:58 AM on May. 18, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 4 (38 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I would ask his doctor, or, if he has a therapist, ask them. Personally, my first reaction would be to tell him he has until a certain date to clean up, if it's not done by then do it yourself when he's not home. The doc may want you to take smaller steps.. start on the dresser/closet take a day or 2 for that, then work on the bed and under the bed, take a day or 2 on that. That way it doesn't become overwhelming.

    Answer by alinker at 12:03 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • My sons 17 with autism and any sort of change is hard on him so I can in some ways relate. His room is often a mess and he doesnt want anyone going in there. Maybe you can talk to his doctor about prescribing some anxiety medication like valium? You can give him some and organize and clean his room so he is still aware of what is being done, but is less anxious about it happening. That way once it is over he knows where everything is, but he hasnt thrown a fit while you did it.

    Answer by gemgem at 12:04 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • I would buy some bins or totes and have him help you. Let him decide where he wants his stuff to go. It might be a process, but at least he should be content on where he put everything. Good luck!

    Answer by amber1330 at 12:24 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • Perhaps bins with pictures on them so he knows exactly where they go. I would also enlist the assistance of his therapist or counselor to help with it.

    Answer by SherriPie at 10:27 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • I would get his therapist in on it, too.

    Answer by _Tam_ at 11:00 PM on May. 18, 2011

  • I agree that a consult with his therapist would be best.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 6:46 AM on May. 19, 2011

  • not sure

    Answer by Kainalu55 at 7:19 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • No idea good luck though

    Answer by chiquis at 7:32 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • gosh, not sure what to tell you other than ask his therapist or physician for some helpful ideas.

    Answer by daerca574 at 12:53 PM on May. 20, 2011

  • I would ask his therapist

    Answer by tazdvl at 12:43 PM on May. 21, 2011

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