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Aspergers syndrome in teens

Posted by on May. 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM
  • 10 Replies

Hi, I have a 14 year old boy with Aspergers syndrome, and we are having a really hard time. His grades have dropped because he hates to go to school.  We are thimking about online school for next year, is anyone's child doing online school right now?  He only has one friend and seems to be alone all of the time.  Xbox is his favorite thing to do and he communicates with people online. Its hard for him to understand us and we have a hard time underdstanding him especially his father.  He was seeing a therapist but he hated going.  I wish there was support group for teens with Aspergers, I have not been able to find one close.  If anybody has any suggestions or advice for me I would love to hear it.  Thank you

by on May. 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
darbyakeep45
by Darby on May. 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Welcome to the group!  My son is only 5 years old so I don't have experience with the older groups but other ladies in here do.  Good luck!

MomOfOneCoolKid
by Gold Member on May. 4, 2014 at 10:10 PM
We're not in the teen years yet mama. Here is a bump for you
mypbandj
by Jen on May. 4, 2014 at 10:28 PM

My son is 16. He is in 10th grade and does ok in school. This semester his grades have fallen but I don't think it's for any reason other than laziness. I suppose it could be anxiety or depression but he doesn't talk about that sort of thing. I know some kids bother him on the bus and make fun of him. I know because his sister tells me. Last year he was bullied in PE and the school did a good job at stopping it. He doesn't really have any friends. He says he has a few but none of them have the same lunch as he does. It's pretty depressing when I think about it. I've offered to let him do online school but he says no. It's his choice.

He is like a hermit. He wants to stay at home and play minecraft. Today, all of us went out to Sams Club and tasted the samples and ate pizza. Then we went to a furniture store and tried out different mattresses. Next we went to a bike shop and tried out some bikes. My son didn't come with us for any of that. He just stayed home alone. That's pretty much what every weekend looks like.

Tonight he did come up to dh and I and suggested we watch a movie together so we are all watching Forest Gump (I have my laptop on my lap). He stayed engaged and seemed to have a good time watching it with us.

We have a therapist for him that will come to our house and that works out perfectly. Although we haven't had him over in about a year. I am thinking that we should call him back though.


TheJerseyGirl
by on May. 5, 2014 at 5:37 AM
1 mom liked this

 Mine just turned 13 and will be in 8 th grade next year. I am 99.9% sure I'm homeschooling somehow. I'm deciding between two homeschool groups to join...I may join both if I can. One is closer and I can get his accredidation through them, but the other is bigger and has a more diverse range of kids...some on the spectrum. It will give both of us an opportunity to socialize and learn at the same time.

Logansmom1999
by Kristina on May. 5, 2014 at 10:49 AM
1 mom liked this

My daughter did online school through Connections Academy. They were wonderful. We had an awesome IEP and they had no problems following it. It was obviously different accommodations as they did not have daily physical contact with her. They also sponsored field trip opportunities weekly - they are not mandatory. My daughter was actually the vice president of student council! They teachers are available over the phone and on the web all day long. Your student will work at his\her own pace and lessons are individualized through the IEP. They supply all cirriculum items and even the computer if needed...all FREE. They also give an internet subsidy twice a year to help pay for the internet. They offer clubs like chess club and theater arts. I can't speak highly enough. My daughter went from C's and D's in public school to straight A's online. They have a training seminar (via the web) to train the parents on everything in their program. It is very user friendly and just a wonderful service. Connections Academy is available nation wide in the USA.

~Kristina
Julia436
by on May. 5, 2014 at 5:07 PM


Thank you so much for your advice, i will look into it.

MrsImperfect
by on May. 6, 2014 at 7:13 AM
My son is 13 and has aspergers. We did online school and he failed miserably. He would sneak and watch YouTube videos during lectures cause they were too boring for him. It was also too difficult to get the teachers to even want to try to understand he needed extra help due to aspergers and not just being stubborn. They just kinda push him through it. He didn't learn anything unless I was on him constantly.
MrsImperfect
by on May. 6, 2014 at 7:23 AM
Connections Academy is where my son went. He didn't have an IEP nor would they even acknowledge he needed one (we didn't have the autism diagnosis yet but he did have adhd diagnosis. I also had no idea what to do to even get that going at the time). The teachers were rude. I told them my son has suspected autism and they didn't care. They were rough on him. They quit trying after awhile. You can not join the clubs unless you're getting excellent grades. We did not have weekly outings. Once every 3 months we did instead. They do give you all your supplies. The computer we got crashed every week. I had 2 kids in that school and both computers crashed constantly. Their crap. We got the subsidy but it was only $30 3 times a year. They 'train' you as a parent by watching a series of videos that doesn't explain how everything works with the teachers. Each teacher is different with a different schedule. The video only taught you basics. Even though you can set your own schedule you still have to be on their time for the lectures. It may be different when you have an IEP. Thats just my experience.
Bobcatridge
by Carol on May. 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

My daughter (13 yrs old) will be going to a hybrid school next year - 2 days a week of school and 3 days a week homeschool.  They have someone to help you choose the homeschool curriculum too.  The k-12 was our backup plan.  I had concerns about the k-12 program.  My dd major problems are social communication and emotion control.  She did emotion control at school and then would meltdown at home.  The exclusion bullying got so bad that she went into a depression. Her grades dropped and her motivation to do the schoolwork went down.  I wanted the two days of actual school per week because she desperately wants/needs social contact.  I also had concerns about the online school.  She did pre-algebra online last summer.  She did the whole course successfully without watching any of the videos or using the e-book! Now that worked for pre-algebra but it seemed to me this was going to be a problem if she was doing online school solely.  I figure I have to be actively involved with homeschooling.

BethB111
by Member on May. 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

My son is 13 with an Asperger/ASD diagnosis, and he will be in 8th grade next year.  We have been homeschooling through Georgia Cyber Academy for 3 years.  It was a great solution for us when he needed to get out of B&M school, and I'm glad we did it.  He has done well at home, and I highly recommend you look in to your state's online schooling, because it's a public school: they give you the curriculum, all the materials, online classes with real teachers, and all support services you can get through a B&M school--for us that includes Speech and OT.

I recommend that you try to get social skills therapy or a social skills group added to your son's IEP.  That is what has helped my son the most.  Social skills falls under Speech therapy.  Directly working on conversational skills has made the most difference for my son.  He's made huge progress in being able to communicate. It has helped him here at home, and me to understand what things are like for him as he's been able to begin to tell me.  Our relationship has improved a lot since we can communicate better, even though he's entering the teen years!

For my son the lack of social opportunities and the lack of advanced classes mean that he will be going back to B&M for 8th grade.  We've tried going to every social event, but just haven't been able to connect in a meaningful way with other parents or kids that he can be friends with.  Everyone is so busy, and unless you get into a weekly activity with the same kids, there will be no friendships formed, especially for tweens/teens with social skill difficulties.  I got a lot of support and ideas from the parents at our local Asperger support group, but my son wasn't able to make any friends with the other ASD boys--we will try again as my son is now a teenager.  There is a local group that gets together to go bowling.

My son wants to try regular school again, and he since he has made significant progress with his social skills over the last three years, I'm willing to try.  Still, if B&M doesn't work out, I know that I can get him through school happily with the online school.  My son wants to work on developing in-person friends and learning to cope with the constant teasing and bullying.  It's his choice, but I support him completely in his choice.  He wants to go to regular high school and college, so we're giving it a try.  I won't hesitate if I see him getting into emotional trouble to intervene or even pull him out of B&M if I have to though.

One thing about the online friends:  I wouldn't discount them as being not "real" friends (not that I'm saying that you do).  My son has only online friends right now, and those friendships seem real to me, as they certainly are to him.  It's easier for our kids to form online buddies, I think, and it gives my son practice and a little distance that I think is comfortable for him.  I also do not discount online friends because of my experience here--I've gotten so much support and real connection here, so I cannot discount the realness of my online friends!

Has your husband read anything about Asperger's?  It sounds like he might benefit from understanding your son's communication difficulties, so that he doesn't think that your son is not able to communicate well "on purpose."  Because there is usually high intelligence, many people, including teachers and family, think that the communication issues aren't real, or are under the ASD person's control.  I still have to remind myself when I get frustrated that my son can "lose his words," as my son describes it. Remind your husband that your son wants to communicate, but he just can't.  That's my son's reality anyway; and we're still working on it.

Good luck!  You're not alone, and welcome to the group!

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