Thanks so much for your reply. I didn't think I'd had a response so came back on to search my question found it! (I'm not sure how this forum works yet) Anyway, yes he had friends before lockdown but not a big group. He usually spoke to people online and had one close friend who he has since fallen out with. He also had acquaintances at Scouts but that has now ended as he is now too old for the group unfortunately. This breaks my heart as the scout leader was brilliant but sadly they don't have Explorers (the next one up from Scouts) at their club and my son would not go to another area as this would be completely out of his comfort zone. I will try the headspace quiz. I have looked at various places for advice and we are lucky where we live to have some great services. There is one called 42nd street which runs clubs/has counsellors who were brilliant in offering support but my son refused to engage. He said it was cringey! Yes we definitely lean towards a gradual approach with screens and have screen free times as part of our routine. My son responds quite well to routine. This is what he loved about lockdown. We did the same thing day in day out. He knew the expectations about screen free time/exercise/meals and absolutely loved it. Now things are back to 'normal' and we have people around to the house again he hates it. If we arrange to meet up with or go away with family for the weekend he doesn't want to come. When he is forced to come he barely speaks to anyone. Cousins who he used to be close to try to engage with him but his responses are monosyllabic and eventually they give up. Adults who should be more supportive say he is rude and his grandma said deserves a slap (which has caused a big family fall out as you can imagine). I'm trying to separate what is just his personality (whether or not he has Autism) what is normal teenage behaviour and what is a result of lockdown and I'm driving myself mad with it. Maybe I need to forget about the root causes and just focus on the child I have in front of me and work from there? Thank you once again for your advice and I'm so grateful for any further support /advise you or the community can offer me.
... View more
Hello, First of all I hope it's ok that I have joined when I am in the UK? So much advice online seems to be from Australia (I've been reading listening to Maggie dent for one...thanks Australia for her!) Anyway, I am looking for advice about my almost 15 year old son. Since lockdown he has now got no friends and doesn't socialise at all. He says he enjoyed lockdown and all the online learning. Apart from going to school everyday, all he wants to do is go on his gamers PC. He used to play multi player games on the Xbox (and was at least communicating with peers through a headset) but the type of games he plays now do not involve communication (GTA, Red dead redemption etc). We have to force him out of the house to do things as a family (dog walks etc). Even now while we are on holiday at a beautiful resort, we are having to negotiate with him to join in activities ie coming on slides at the water park. Once we get him to join in he is visibly having fun (who wouldn't have fun on a water slide?!) but then slinks back into old behaviours and wants to be on his phone (a substitute for his PC while we're away...again gaming.). We have sought advice from school who are Pershing an Autism assessment (that won't come through until he's left anyway the way things are at the moment) and the GP. The GP has suggest we take his PC off him and go cold turkey as it is clearly this that is contributing to his social isolation/anxiety. We have sought support from services that could offer counselling/social groups etc but our son is refusing to engage. His perspective is a very immature one. He says I lied to the GP in how many hours I said he was spending on screens (I said he spends the whole day on his PC) but this is just a technicality, yes we have screen limits but if we didn't it is all he would do. She said that regardless of a diagnosis of ASD, we are still faced with the same child and she basically told him off and said he needs to be more respectful of me (he argued the screen thing in front of her) and agree to do at least one non screen related activity a day and plan one social event a week. My biggest barrier is HOW to get him to do this. I'm at the end of my tether with him refusing help. Thanks for any advice you can offer
... View more
You are welcome to look around the forums, but please don’t make an account or post,
as we can’t offer you the help you may need.
Before you go ahead and post, you should know that we remove non-Australian accounts
– not because we don’t want to help or connect with you, but because we may not be able to
provide you with the service that you require.