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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Social Networking and my teenage autistic boy

Posted by on Aug. 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM
  • 14 Replies

I just joined today and am excited to hear about other parents with autistic children.  I have a 14 year old boy who was diagnosed with PDD-NOS in 4th grade. He is entering high school next week!  My main issue right now is how he is using social networking.  He tends to overdo it.  He will c ontact people over and over again.  He doesn't know when to let up.  People don't really ever respond and I think that hurts him deeply.  They think he is weird or "creepy" as someone wrote.  Should I let him continue with Instagram, Kik, Oovoo, ect.  or just take away?  Anyone else have this problem?


Thanks!


Angie

by on Aug. 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM
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Replies (1-10):
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Aug. 26, 2014 at 11:31 AM

 Welcome to the group!  My son is very young and low functioning so I'm not sure about your social networking questions.  Hugs!

dgarcia
by Member on Aug. 26, 2014 at 12:05 PM

My son uses social media, and interacts with people over XBOX.  There have been many times that I just want to take it all away from him.  He receives some of the same responses, "creepy", "weird", etc.  He also receives these responses at school...  He also tends to over do it.  My son is also very impressionable, and these people tell him things that send him into a tail spin of anxiety because they have learned how to push his buttons.  I hesitate to remove social media and XBOX as I do see it as a social outlet for my son. I also see it as an opportunity for my son to learn how to deal better with people and their responses and behavior...not sure if that makes sence, but there really is a preception of "we need to teach these kids (with mental illness) how to function 'normally' in the world...we should not have to learn to support them..."  which frustrates me to no end.

Swizzgirl
by New Member on Aug. 26, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Thanks for your response dgarcia!  How old is your son?  My son is also very impressionable.  If people are being mean to him or trying to tell him to stop talking to them he thinks they are joking(at least that is what he tells me).  He just doesn't understand.  I have tried telling him.  Another thing I have caught my son doing is signing up on dating websites.  It is like he is desperate for attention.

Momof4AEMW
by Gold Member on Aug. 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I'm not sure.  My kids are younger. I can see where that could be tricky!

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Aug. 26, 2014 at 2:35 PM
1 mom liked this

 Hi Angie! My 13 old is autistic and he isnt much for social networking but is online way too much.

Kids are so cruel sometimes without realizing the devastation their words can cause. My heart breaks for your son because he is reaching out for friends and that is AWESOME, but yet is still having a hard time.

I think what's best is to let him know how people can be and how they may react to him being overly friendly. Let him know what he's doing is not wrong, but that those people calling him names are not worthy of his friendship and to move on.

 

dawncs
by Dawn on Aug. 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM
1 mom liked this

Have you had your son in social skills therapy at all? It would help him out in situations like this. Taking away the social networking websites might be a problem if it is his obsession in life. The main thing is to work on with him is how to do it properly.

Swizzgirl
by New Member on Aug. 26, 2014 at 4:42 PM
He has had social skills classes through special ed in school. I love that he is trying to make friends he just needs some guidance( which isn't taken well from mom).
dgarcia
by Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 11:58 AM

My son is 18.  I have also caught him signing up for dating sites.  He actually has a "girlfriend" that he "met" on Kik.  She lives in another country and is trying to convince him to move there (UGH!!!).  It is very much like my ds is desperate for attention.  He is very hungry for that social interaction, just very akward in his abilities to be social.  There have been many times that he has gotten so frustrated with his on-line "friends".  Even his therapist has told him that these people aren't really "friends" but rather "aquaintances".  Ds does not see the difference.  Welcome to the group!!  (I forgot to welcome you in my first response, sorry!!)

Quoting Swizzgirl:

Thanks for your response dgarcia!  How old is your son?  My son is also very impressionable.  If people are being mean to him or trying to tell him to stop talking to them he thinks they are joking(at least that is what he tells me).  He just doesn't understand.  I have tried telling him.  Another thing I have caught my son doing is signing up on dating websites.  It is like he is desperate for attention.


lisa12121
by Member on Aug. 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Hi Angie, as a mom of a 14 y/o ASD boy also entering high school, I hear you completely. Fortunately, my son doesn't use social media, didn't want a cell phone, doesn't want to text, and doesn't like to have friends over. He is quirky, too, and my daughter's CIT at camp (who went to the same elementary and middle school as my son) asked her if my son, who "cried all the time and picked his nose", is her brother. She got angry, rightly so. My recommendation is to try to make contact with a parent of another ASD boy his age (maybe one from his class at school?) to have them be online buddies. He needs consensual online friends, otherwise, his activity could result in bullying (in person and online). Let me know how that works out. (I would suggest my son, but since he doesn't use social media at all, that won't be helpful.)

mypbandj
by Jen on Aug. 27, 2014 at 11:37 PM
My son will be 17 (tomorrow!!!!) and he stays off of social networking sites besides minecraft. I'm kinda glad because I don't want him to be a victim of some cyber bully.

Can you do some social stories with your son about it?
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