15 Year old prefers his virtual life over real life.

Ray - posted on 01/21/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi, I am writing in for my girlfriend who is too shy/embarrassed to post on here. I hope that is okay. She has been very stressed lately to the point of crying at times and is at a loss as to what to do about her son. Here's the situation.
First of all, he has been diagnosed with ADHD. He has been prescribed Concerta to help, but a few months ago he decided to try going off it. In his early years he was out of control, and had to be put on medication when he was in kindergarten due to being sent home constantly. The medication seemed to help. He was still out of control at home, however, he started playing on the internet and more specifically playing online games which kept him from his previous aggressive behavior.
He is now 15 and about halfway through his first year of high school. He is rather intelligent and due to his previous academic achievements, has been placed in all advance placement classes. Due to his ADHD though, he is also in an IEP. His previous schooling has focused more on tests than homework for grades so even though he would often refuse or hide his homework and not do it, he scored very well. Now he is failing half of his classes and to make matters worse, he doesn't seem to care.
All he does seem to care about are his online games. He's become addicted to MMORPGS. Not only that, but he has created a female character to play as and acts like a female to other players. Some know him as male, but to most, he will act like a female. He will change his voice when chatting and has been calling and receiving calls from other men who think that he is a female. He uses a program called Skype as well to talk to other people with a fake profile that has a female name and picture. I've snooped at his chat sessions a few times and have seen that he is also in relationships with some of the men on there and has cyber sex from time to time. I have even overheard a phone sex session he had while talking like a girl and referring to touching his female parts and etc.. The average age of the men he talks to appear to be ranged from 20 to 30.
Previously he had lots of friends, last year he seemed to only really have 3. Now he seems to only really have one friend who has visited him once since he started high school. He refuses to try to make real friends saying his friends are all on the internet. He tries to keep the fact he fakes being a girl a secret but his Mom knows. When confronted he will say he doesn't know why he does it. He will just not speak when confronted about the morality of lying to others and the possible danger of playing with other men's emotions.
One step at a time though, his schooling. He will lie about assignments that are due, but since everything is kept up to date online, he can be checked upon. It's a chore to get him to do his homework. He will write fake answers that are difficult to discover since neither of us know algebra. Often times when he does get his homework finished he will not turn it in. He will find every excuse to get out of work. His main concern is going on the internet.
When threatened to be disconnected from the net he will still not do his work, but will instead pout and lay around. He said he wants to go back on his medication and that the reason he's failing is because of that, however I'm afraid it won't change his ambition to make any difference and may make it more difficult to pull him away from his online stuff.
Another thing about him is he is good at playing the Violin. He has been first chair every year until now. Now he never practices. We just started him on extra violin lessons in hopes of a change. Also, he is eligible to enroll in a high school for music. He originally expressed interest and has wanted a career in music. He must do a few things to apply like write an essay and get a recommendation from a teacher but he is now refusing to do so. He is now saying he doesn't want to go. When asked why he says he doesn't want to have to live with a roommate and he is afraid the internet will be too slow.
So to sum things up. He has a severe addiction to the internet. He has some identity problems with his online persona. Oh, and he knows that we are open minded and don't care about his sexuality and would support him no matter what. He just doesn't want real friends nor cares about his grades or even future it's beginning to seem.
We are already and have been limiting his access to the internet more and more. Should we be simply taking it away from him completely? Is this something anyone else out there has been through and may have some advice? Another thing to point out quick is his lack of empathy. He will make his mom cry then go online joking and laughing while his mom is crying in the other room. His father does live close by but he tries his best not to see his father. Should he be forced to visit his father more? I'm just a boyfriend and not his father. I hope someone has some ideas or have a similar problem and could extend some support to his mom. I will show her any comments this may receive. I wish you all the best in all your efforts!

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