11-20-2020 07:22 PM
11-20-2020 08:20 PM
Hello @Mamma3 , I am sorry to hear about what you and your son have been going through lately. It sounds like things are particularly tough right now. It is great that your son has already seen a psychologist for some support, I hope that you both found it to be helpful. Were you able to have a chat with the psychologist about some of the concerns that you have about your son, such as the recent self-harming? I am wondering if you have received any support around that yet? Also, I just wanted to check in as you mentioned that your son recently started self harming, is your son safe right now?
If you are interested in reading up a bit more on managing self-harm and some of the things that you can try to help your child with, Reachout has an article that I will link here. One of the strategies involves talking with your son about the behaviour and the reasons behind their self-harm behaviour in order to get a better understanding. Is this something that you have been able to do with your son yet? Hopefully some other parents will jump on with some other support too!
11-20-2020 09:01 PM
11-20-2020 10:44 PM
Thanks for letting me know that your son is safe @Mamma3 , I am glad to hear that. I understand that you have tried to talk with your son and the reasons why it has been a bit difficult. Did you find the psychologist to be helpful with this? Were they able to talk with your son about some of the difficulties he has been experiencing lately? It sounds like there is a lot going on for your son, with his relationships at school and his sleeping troubles. Did you have a chance to discuss this with the psychologist or any other supports such as his school counsellor?
You might also find it helpful to call and speak to a trained counsellor over the phone about what has been happening with your son. One helpline that you can call to get some advice and support from is Parentline. Here is a link to their website that you can visit for some further information if you are interested.
11-26-2020 02:46 PM
Hello @Mamma3 ,
Not sure if this is your first time to the parents' forum, but I wanted to welcome you along and before I address what's going on with your son, I wanted to reassure you that you are doing a great job, your son sounds connected to you and you've had 14 years of relationship and experience there, even if you currently feel out of your depth. While professional help has it's role, the love and support of family and friends is beyond measure. The other thing is that it seems many parents of teens are having trouble getting their kids to see a professional psychologist, and my way around that is to skill myself up or o to appointments myself.
I also wanted to check whether your son was on the NDIS and having any occupational therapy because that is our mainstay.
Just to let you know about us...We have a 16 year old son just starting Year 12 who is somewhat on the spectrum and a 14 year old daughter. Our daughter is in Year 9 and it's never been a good year but I'm sure covid isn't helping. So many activities have been cancelled and i know my daughter and peers are looking for excitement and are risk taking etc each in different ways.
However, it's a few chats we had with our son which I think are most relevant to you. After NSW was coming out of lockdown and he was faced with going back to school, his anxiety levels were through the roof and he couldn't calm his mind and get to sleep. He sat with us and just talked it out for quite awhile and he even brought up issues around our dog dying 3 years ago. In a sense it was cathartic that all these issues came out, but I also feel that the stress of covid was like a germ activating a wound. I also got wind of issues among his friends at one point where a girl "cheated" on one of his mates and she was ostracised and his mates wouldn't go anywhere near her. There's that real pack mentality. I was concerned and raised it with the school in a separate conversation, as I was concerned for her welfare.
I just read your message again and picked up on the distant thing, and our 14 year old daughter was like that for a few months too and does tend to live in her room on her phone connecting with friends and we're not of great interest. My connection with our daughter has improved a lot recently. I had to drive her to a few things and we talk in the car. She loves spending money and we did a bit of shopping and I took her out for churros and bought her a new dress. It did feel a bit like I was trying to buy a friend but I didn't really care too much at the time. She was talking to me and it was like being in the Spring sunshine again. I think with these kids it's about snatching a few minutes with them here and there and building on that.
I also think working on your son's self-esteem would be a good idea too. You haven't mentioned whether he has something he's good at and enjoys but it's important to have that foundational self-esteem and even getting to that point can be very difficult for many teenagers.
I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus in my mid-20s which resulted from a difficult birth and wasn't terribly symptomatic at school but enough to be teased, not good at sport and feel different and awkward. That was hard at times but I ended up finding a great group of friends out of school and belonging there. That reminds me of the importance of having multiple groups of friends and community connections so that if one group blows up as it will, they have somewhere else to turn and it's not the end of the world.
I hope this helps.