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Teen refuses to do any school work
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pekkla
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject: Teen refuses to do any school work Reply with quote

Someone please help me with this problem--I have a 14 year old who was diagnosed AS 3 years ago. All the way through middle school he did his school work and attended school nearly every day (this was in a regular public school with a lot of problem kids who distracted him). But this year, he has utterly refused to do any work. he went to the regular high school until about 2 weeks ago, when we put him in an independent study program. This was almost like one-on-one tutoring, where he only had to meet for a couple of hours a week with 2 different teachers!! He did the work and went to the appointments for one week, but yesterday and today he has refused. He went into the bathroom and said he was afraid to leave the house because he had stomach cramps. Then right after the appointment was over, his condition imporved.

First he told us he was glad to be in this program--now he refuses to go or do the work. He stays in his room, yells for me to get him food, turns on his computer to WoW, and tells me to leave him alone. Actually, he YELLS it. : (

His AS symptoms have gotten more pronounced in the past year and he has OCD and bathroom-related issues, hand-washing, anal stuff, etc., but is taking Celexa. The meds do not seem to work yet. He just seems more autistic now. The math he used to do--Geometry--he now seems to have trouble doing. Is this possible?

What should I do? Is he refusing to do any schoolwork because he thinks he can get away with it or is this autism? I am a self-diagnosed aspie, but never any feelings comparable to this when it came to school.
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Nan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's trying to get away with it. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN.
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Lecks
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like any teenager who's exposed to more freedom than he's used to he's trying to see how far he can take it. As always it's important to set specific boundaries (especially for an aspie teen) and enforce them.

As Nan said: Do NOT let him get away with it.
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Maolcolm
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to take the time to find out more about what is going on for him before you accept what the previous posters have said. Seems a bit judgmental to me. They might be right. They might not. It would be a terrible shame to get it wrong and treat him like a layabout who is "trying to get away with it" when there may be difficult issues he is struggling with.

His story reminds me a little of my own.

People attacked me and said I was 'trying to get away with it" or was lazy.

Actually, I was dying inside but didn't have the communication skills to explain or express it nor the emotional skills to know how to handle it, except by avoidance.
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flamingshorts
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just a guess from my own experience. He is at an age where the social deficits start to impact. He could be thinking that no matter what he does he will be alone. Could it be depression?
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MollyTroubletail
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know your son personally and it's unclear what could be causing it.

But when I did that it was because I was scared of someone there, probably the teacher(s). Bullying issues at school are well known to cause stomach aches, school avoidance, and locking oneself in one's room. Or it could be because my course work had outstripped my abilities to understand it and I felt afraid of even trying to do the work assigned. I don't know if he can communicate with you openly about problems like that or if he feels you're also one of the "unsafe" people he needs to protect himself from (if it is, in fact, a school avoidance/bullying issue). These problems were allowed to happen because the bullying teacher was so good at acting nice in front of my parents that they literally refused to believe that the teacher was humiliating and attacking me verbally every day. Therefore my parents were on the teacher's side and unintentionally became secondary bullies and also had to be avoided at all costs.

WoW is also well-known to swallow people up and he might be becoming addicted to it. This issue may either be another *cause* of his refusing to go to school, or it could be a result of having nothing else he feels safe doing, or even a result-that-became-a-contributing-cause. Whatever the case, setting logical and predictable limits to how long he can play WoW is a good idea or it can become a major addiction of playing it 24/7 and refusing to do anything else whatsoever, even eat or bathe. But don't become an enemy in setting limits. Do it in a way he understands and at least somewhat agrees with, and don't suddenly pop in and tell him he must get off WoW immediately. Give him ample warning, at least half an hour before he must get off, allowing him to wrap up whatever he was doing in the game. Make sure he has other non-stressful activities to take WoW's place or else it may become his only "safe space" in the entire world.
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huntedman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you make a rule, that on days when he refuses to go to school the house will not have an Internet connection for that day? (ie so that he cannot play WoW)

There has to be some trade off between what you and willing to do and what you want to do. If there is a serious issue he should be willing to give up what he wants not just a responsibility.

If he yells take the router/modem and leave the house
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violetchild
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"But this year, he has utterly refused to do any work. he went to the regular high school until about 2 weeks ago, when we put him in an independent study program"

It could even be the change in what he was used too.. which has caused the issues.

I myself can find change very unsettling, even positive changes at times. My own Aspie daughter used to take over 9 mths to adjust to any big changes eg changing schools. Changing a teacher at school. used to take her 4-6 mths to adjust too.

or bullying...
or not liking the new teacher, may cause huge issues. (i never found any way to get around that issue.... if my daughter didnt like someone, there as always big issues).

If its possible.. maybe ask him how he'd feel to go back to his old school and have things like they were before.
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Mercurial
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mean to be rude, but aren't you his parent? Who paid for that computer? Who's paying for the internet that his uses for WoW? Why cannot you take these away from him as a reprecussion for his actions? I think you may need some help with setting limitations and boundaries with your son. He has to respect you as his parent. He can hate you all he likes, if he wants, but as long as he lives in your house and relies on you finanically, he should show you a lot more respect that this. This is far beyond merely seeing what he can get away with. And it's a lot more troubling than I think other commentors has suggested.

It's troubling because he's being abusive. This is where you have to draw the line and hold it. You cannot let him abuse you. Just think how he'll be when he's 16 or 17 years old if you allow he to persist in this abusive behavior. He sounds like he's having anger issues. Fine. Most teens have anger issues. But he is not entitled to abuse you. You need to get him to counseling, and perferably with a counselor or psychotherapist who won't say "Anger is a symptom of AS." No, it's not. AS does not make you angry. I've had it every year of my 39 years. Never made me angry. Lots of things have made me angry, but AS never caused my anger like diabetes causes hyperglycemia.

Misdirected anger like this is a symptom of poor coping skills. Coping skills that he MUST learn. If he has AS and OCD, he probably has executive function disorder, with is a frontal lobe disability that, among other things, makes it more difficult to filter negative emotions like anger. But that's not an excuse for his behavior. It just means, again, he MUST learn appropriate coping skills.

I don't know your son, so I won't assume to know why he's so angry. It could be a number of things. It could be things you would never think of. But he needs to grow up and take responsibilty for his actions and words. He is at that age where this kind of behavior is dangerous and very destructive for him and you, and you need to draw a line with him and not let him abuse you. And it seems both of you need help with that.

Get couseling, for both of you.
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CrabbyMomma
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There could be so much potentially bothering your son. Maybe 1:1 is too intense for him. Maybe the work is outstripping his ability and he is frustrated. It could be anything. But the shutting himself in his room kind of makes sense. He gets on WoW and gets to be a person that he is in charge of in a world that has clear cut rules, an end goal, interactions with others, etc. For him it probably offers everything that real life doesn't. Fantasy is OK as an escape or diversion, it becomes a problem when you spend more time there than in life. Social skill have to be practiced and preserved the same as any other skill, too much time away from people and it is going to be harder to be around people not easier. I'm not surprised he is seeming more autistic. I feel for you but there has to be an answer somewhere and sometimes it is surprisingly simple. Just today a teacher called me to talk about how my DS had not turned in his notebook for class and when asked he told her it was because he didn't have one. I told her that was not true, that he did have one, his notes were in a folder in his binder. Talked to DS when he got home, asked him about the notebook, and he told me he didn't have one. I pointed out to him that papers in a binder counted and it was like an epiphany. He is a high school student and very bright, but these semantic things get him all the time.

Oh, and I just thought too. If he is switched from regular school to only a few hours a week, maybe he just has too much unstructured time on his hands. Maybe that is causing problems for him as well. Maybe that's another draw for WoW, its a world he understands and it gives structure to his day. School work may be being seen as an intrusion.

Hope this all works out for you. Personally, and I know this sounds harsh, I would not bring him food. I would tell him he is expected to eat dinner at the table with family. Might also want to record him yelling and play it back for him. One of my children has difficulty hearing and really did not know they were coming off as angry sounding as they were when they would get upset. Recorded it once and played it back and now they are much more aware.
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jpfudgeworth
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maolcolm wrote:

His story reminds me a little of my own.

People attacked me and said I was 'trying to get away with it" or was lazy.

Actually, I was dying inside but didn't have the communication skills to explain or express it nor the emotional skills to know how to handle it, except by avoidance.



Same here. In 3rd grade I skipped a week of school by faking illness and I had no idea why. There was nothing troubling me at school, it was just severe anxiety on the way to school that eventually forced me to avoid it at any cost. I have struggled with situations like this my whole life.
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Clyde
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am the same way. I was on and off with depression. But at he same time, I had years of great focus, motivation, a clear cut goal. And then the next year going into school I started off with laser eye focus, motivations, clear cut goals, that slowly began to ween early in the weeks and I had no motivation what so ever for anything.
Once again probably depression of sorts. I never absorbed myself in fantasy worlds or played video games. But I always knew I was on and off with depression.
And remember males express depression differently than females. Males tend to express their depression through anger.
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