Unhappy autistic son

Cindy - posted on 12/20/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )




My 7 year old son has high functioning autism, a psychologist told that he is a borderline case, autism and aspergers.

The problem is that he always seems so unhappy. And there are few things that does make him happy. My haert breaks every time I look at him and he seems sad.

Most of the times it feels like he just doesn't want to be with us. Not even the prospect of Christmas really gets a smile out of him.

I'm afraid of what's going to happen if this goes on into his teens.

He is going to school next year, do you think this will get better if he has more friends. Unfortunately a lot of our friends with kids of his age, whom he grew up with, has been mostly avoiding us since they found our that he has autism. We found out last year. It's like they can not see he's still the same child. So he doesn't have a lot of friends right now.

Could this be the problem?

What do you do to cheer your kids up?

There are days that he doesn't look so unhappy, but they are few and far between.

Please help me!

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Susan - posted on 12/26/2012




Fortunately we are starting some new programs with behaviorists, meds etc that I hope will help but my 16 year old only got worse. We do have a life situation that makes things sad for him but he claims he is unable to feel good even when something good happens. He is, however very adept at feeling terrible. He begs for someone to get a gun and shoot him. I think a certain percentage of this plea is just a cry for help and a flare for drama but what percentage is unknown. So we take it seriously and am hopeful that these new efforts will be fruitful. He is getting FSP, TBS and ABT. I'll let you know if or when something makes a difference.

Michele - posted on 12/26/2009




My son is 18 now and he has aspergers. He went through the same thing when he was younger, he would never get invited to birthday parties and it just broke my heart, But, I am here to tell you, He is a senior in highschool and since he's been in high school the kids treat him better, not great, but, better, and he has a certain circle of friends that he hangs out with all of the time, the important thing is these are good kids. I think as your son gets older he will be accepted more by his peers. Does he play video games? My son plays video games and has for years, it helps him deal with peer pressure. You may want to consider video games. It is something my son has excelled in, and he feels he can accomplish something. I hope this was some help to you.

Jan - posted on 12/26/2009





My son about this age started councelling due to depression. he is 14 now but still and has never been a very big smiley person. He was depressed due to school bullying on a constant basis. we were having to see the school on behave of our son at least once a week. I would suggest some type of therapy if you are concerned. my son went weekly to fortnightly for up to three years. He seems better and understands himself and others more I think now. Jan

Cindy - posted on 12/22/2009




Thanks all of you for your advice and words of encouragement. He doesn't verbalize that he is unhappy, so maybe he is just in his own little world. He has to see the developmental pead in Feb. I will definitaly discuss this with him.

Hopefully things will get better when he goes to school, and makes new friends.

Merry Christmas to all you guys, I hope it's a peacefull and happy one.

May God bless you abundantly!

Mel - posted on 12/21/2009




Hi Cindy.

I can relate in a sense. My wee boy is 5 and we are beginning our journey through rounds of appointements with Peads and Psychs etc etc, and at the moment he has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and we are seeing the head of Peadiatcrics (through a referal from the psych and 1st pead we saw) because Ethan is such a hard case. He does behave in the way in whcih you described. He says statements all the time like "im angry" "i hate this" "im bored" oh the list goes on, but even when we do the things he loves, ( which is all pretty limited ) after a little while he will want to go home, only to tell me that he hates this etc and the cylcle starts again.
Im with you, I am lost as well. The docs have meantioned high functioning autism, aspergers, but no formal diagnosis yet. It is JUST SO hard isnt it? Does you son have out burst of yelling and kicking and screaming? Specifically when he doesnt get his own way? My boy does. But he will also start banging his head or something and I get so frustrated at times because he just tells me he is angry. and im like throwing my arms up saying WHY????WHY ARE ANGRY ALL BLOODY TIME!!!!!!
ANyway, i just wanted to say that you are not alone, and it is very hard when your child just seems so dissatisfied with life and the simple things. I cant offer you any advice, i think i just wanted to tell you that I feel for you and totally hear you. Good luck with your boy. Hope you have a lovely christmas!

Sue - posted on 12/21/2009




I think Sheila is right on the money and has given some good advice. If your really getting concerned maybe you need to discuss this with his doctor to make sure there isnt any underlying issues.

I find the more the stress the more my gr.son is unhappy and verbally so. I would also not tell your friends that he has Autism, sounds strange but people do look at children differently once they are "labeled". and if possible your son doesn't need to know either, thats what my pediatrician advised us. If he labels himself, he will have bouts of depression because he is "different" and have major issues with lower self esteem, which will cause big problems for him once he is in school and if he tries to reach out to make friends. Everyone in our immediate family knows that J has been diagnosed with Aspergers but we are taking the Dr's advice and have not said to him "you have Aspergers" thus not making him feel different or using this as an excuse for him. Just an idea. Good luck

Sheila - posted on 12/20/2009




Does he seem withdrawn or actively unhappy. I know that sounds odd, so this is what I mean:

Withdrawn would be that he sits in his own world most of the time. What you think would interest him has little to no impact. Attempting to engage him in conversation is like pulling teeth...just non-responsive.

Actively unhappy would be crying, making negative statements about himself, bemoaning his lack of friends, complaining about activities (this is stupid, this is boring, this is for losers).

With the first, he might not be unhappy at all...but our perception of what it looks like to be happy might be colouring what you see. On the flip side, he could be unhappy but does not know how to verbalize.

To be actively unhappy would be something that requires therapy. His anxiety level could be through the roof, and this is how it is manifesting itself.

You write that it seems like he doesn't want to be with us....does he say this? or is this him pulling away when you try to engage him. My son's grandparents came for a three hour visit today. He was so excited that they were coming, but when they arrived he told me they were driving him crazy and he was feeling shy. He sat on the couch, where he could see us (at the kitchen table) and when they left he shook hands. To look at him, you would have thought he was not happy with their visit, but this is how he acts sometimes and I have to accept it.

If your heart breaks because he seems so sad, could it be that he is reflecting your mood? What I mean is, could he be sensing your worry, so he is worried/sad?

Autism impacts the entire family, not just the child. You are worried about his emotional state, so I would look into a behavioural therapist who works with children impacted by autism...like I said, his anxiety levels could be through the roof. When my son was diagnosed, his pediatrician talked about anxiety levels at length, and mentioned that during adolescence (many years away), if we ever felt he was becoming over anxious/depressed we should seek medical help because we might be looking at chemical imbalance.

Was he an "unhappy" baby, or is this something new?

What do I do to cheer up my little guy. He LOVES lego. He LOVES walking around Toys R Us (and we don't have to buy) He loves to read, to go to our local library and museum, to swing in the park, to go for walks....I am fortunate. But he HATES loud fun indoor play centres, slides, heights, putting his face under water, soft music, and a host of other "typical" little boy activities. So, I tend to avoid stressful situations...so much of what he has to do causes so much stress that I figure if it is optional, we can opt out. He cries every morning I send him to school....but I tell him we all have jobs, and this is his job. At school he has a wonderful teacher and EA and most days they tell me he was fine all day...no tears.

Good luck.


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