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Featured New diagnosed teenager very depressed

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Sasha20, Dec 31, 2020.

  1. Sasha20

    Sasha20 Active Member

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    Hi
    My daughter got her official HF ASD diagnosis just before xmas , she is 13 , we knew it was coming for the last few months , she has had noticeable mental health issues since eleven years of age . She masks a lot , struggles with school interactions and has been missing a lot of school . But since her diagnosis she has shut down , hasn't left her bed in days , won't talk about it , can't sleep , won't even interact with her family and is suffering anxiety and dizzy spell . She hasnt left the house all xmas . Keeps saying she wants to move country or die .

    I am sick with worry . She is seeing a therapist . I want to know how to help her . Is this normal on the back of a diagnosis ? I know I can't push her but I need to help bring her out of this depressive episode . She is not interested in reading about her condition or engaging in with others on forums . She doesn't really have any real friends or special interests . She use to read a lot but stopped that when pandemic started .she just spends hours and hours on her phone .

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated from a desperately worried mum !
     
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  2. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    It is very normal but it is not necessary. If the therapist is skilled in helping her see her gifts, she might see it as a gift.

    Be very careful with how they approach this and read A LOT on how differently girls with ASD are treated. Make sure the therapists show her SKILLS.

    A lot of us have very special skills and exceed greatly in certain areas. A lot of us are older and have been through unmitigated hell because we were treated wrong. Do not let than happen.

    Has she has an extensive neuropsychiatric evaluation that will pick up her strengths? If not, get one. She needs to see where she exceeds. Once that is discovered, MAKE SURE THAT IS THE FOCUS OF THERAPY, absent any serious mental health issues. For instance, if she is suicidal or not eating or so forth, of course that must be treated. But in terms of long terms therapy, I Cannot tell you how damaging it is for therapists to hammer away on the problems with ASD people. We already know that.

    FIND HER STRENGTHS and by god hammer away on them night and day. She has gifts that she can use. A lot of us---well, it's practically too late.

    PM me any time. A lot of people on here can give more advise. Lots of luck to you.
     
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  3. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Active Member

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    Those teenage years are the worst for every kid, but especially girls, and especially now with social media. They can't seem to escape . Isolating herself with that phone, especially if she is on social media may exacerbate the depression. Those feelings are real. I am going to be blunt, but we have seen a very concerning increase in pediatric suicides at our Children's Hospital emergency department.
    A 10 yr old boy yesterday. The day before, a 12yr old girl.
    Tragic. I wish I could tell you this will blow over and everything will be fine with time. She legitimately has had a bunch of negativity from others at school, and on-line, because kids are little jerks at that age, then throw on the social, behavioral, and communication issues of an ASD, and things can get ugly. I am not a fan of medications, but do realize they can be effective. You do have some ability to minimize some symptoms with diet, supplements, and exercise. Get her in to see a therapist that will allow her to vent her feelings without you being there. Minimize the carbohydrates and shift the calories over to more fats and proteins. Dairy, gluten, and carbs can cause low grade brain inflammation and exacerbate depression. Read up on L theanine, melatonin, methyl B12, folate, and chelated magnesium as it pertains to autism and managing the common glutamine:GABA inbalance in autism. The more you know the better, but get on top of this sooner rather than later. Best wishes.
     
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  4. Sasha20

    Sasha20 Active Member

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    Have u any suggestions on putting limits on phone time ? Getting her out of her room ?
     
  5. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Active Member

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    Boy,...that's a difficult one. I realize when I said this that we are dealing with a 13 yr old girl,...and no matter what you try to control,...you, the parent, are going to get the worst of it. I don't know her. I raised boys. All I know is that if kids are little jerks that age,...in person,...they are likely to be absolutely nasty little creatures on-line. LOL! If she does have friends, make sure she sees them,...get "old school",...use the phone, like a phone, call a friend, put on the masks and let them be little girls. You can get creative, there are things to do,...places are open, albeit sometimes by appointment, but I am sure you can get her out to the zoo, a museum, whatever,...bring a friend,...let them roam around together. I don't know if you can realistically limit social media time without actually removing the phone for certain times of the day, but I do know some parents do this,...but best if the whole family does it,...so it is "fair". I think just being there as a person to validate her feelings is a good start. The worst thing a parent can do is invalidate those feelings.
     
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  6. Kevin1968

    Kevin1968 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think Temple Grandin (you can find TED talks and YouTube videos of her) has some ideas about helping teenagers with autism, coaxing not coercion.
     
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  7. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Dancing is exercise

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    Im not a parent, but i would bake. Sounds flippant i am sorry wish i could help. Many rescources avail to me as an adult where i live. Mostly my own exp with mental health has been w off spectrum issues. I never felt so supported as finding this forum, only a few days ago, i am using a phone right now, its a lifeline to me. Many others here likely have more relevant exp with this
    I am over 40 the age here on this forum seems to go from the age of your daughter up to older than i am. As an adult seeking mental health counseling was a turning point for me. I dont know where to turn for rescources for your support as a parent, NAMI is valuable for other mental health issues
     
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  8. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Dancing is exercise

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    Its just that the smell of fresh baked goods is a positive memory for me, i associate it with good times and safety.
     
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  9. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sounds as if she is attempting to cope or avoid the diagnosis. Do you know what she's doing on her phone? Is she playing games? Watching videos? Texting? Attempt to find out what is holding her interest at the moment. She'll talk to you when she's ready.

    My husband was diagnosed five years ago and has not accepted the fact that he's autistic. He may never do so, and I won't push it at all. When I found out I had autistic traits I accepted it soon after. It explained so much of my life. But, I was in my fifties at the time.

    Give her time.
     
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  10. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Active Member

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    Upon reading your post again,...what you may be describing is her version of an autistic "shut down". Basically, it is, for some of us, very much like having your mental "battery" finally go empty. Some people literally pass out from all the sensory overload, the social interactions, the mental exhaustion,...and trying your best to pretend like you are happy, normal, and everything is just fine,...masking. Masking is a mechanism to make everyone else around them feel comfortable. It's for the other people. It's destructive in so many ways. What society tells an autistic is that "You are not acceptable in society as you are,...so act like us, or else." At any rate, sometimes it takes days or weeks to "recharge" the "battery". I don't know that this is what happened, but it sure sounds like what you are describing.
     
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  11. Sasha20

    Sasha20 Active Member

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    I thought mayb it was a shut down but she is not sleeping and complaining of been exhausted the whole time . If she takes a shower or comes down to eat she complains of being exhausted . She was also talking about seeing things in the dark . I put some pressure on her the other day and she seems to have reacted by being angry with me and added me to the list of people she is blaming , she is just watching netflix most of the time at the moment , when she is on social media she acts different , she masks in the house a bit as she forgets to transition to her normal self . Does this make sense
     
  12. Sasha20

    Sasha20 Active Member

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    She is on about moving to another country as the only solution so she can be herself in another country and rethink her life and be herself ? She had agreed to go for a walk morro and come interact for 2 hrs with the family if i get her another animal .
     
  13. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I remember being that age. At the time all I wanted was to be left alone with whatever was upsetting me. Wanted quiet and time to think. Spent a lot of time distancing myself from my noisy family. It's a critical age, one that has it's own difficulties. There are boys now, other girls are competing against one another, your maturing a little, and you need time to figure it out. Along with the autism diagnosis, she has other things that concern her as well. They all come together and it's confusing. Give it time, give her space. Some independence and privacy is something I wanted so badly at that age.
     
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  14. Finder

    Finder Active Member

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    I would Google Tony Attwood, a leading clinician in Australia. He has literally written the book on autism and the common difficulties it presents. You could even see some of his advice on Ask Dr. Tony on autismhangout.com. Those talks are indexed. Here is something new from Tony that might help you:



    But there is a lot of information on girl's experience with ASD:





    Paige Layle on Tik Toc is a very good advocate for girls on the spectrum.

    A Girl On TikTok With Autism Is Going Viral For Talking About How Autism Is Different In Women
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  15. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Active Member

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    Keep in mind, she is 13. She is still trying to figure out who she is in this world,...enough for any other kid,...now throw this diagnosis on top of it. She probably is just desperate to fit in,...doesn't want to be different,...and the harder she tries, the more her body and brain are fighting it. It just spirals. As a parent, you just want your kid to be happy and successful in this world. I am sure this is breaking your heart. She just needs some convincing that autism is not an "illness", but rather it's more like being "neuro-divergent". She has to understand that "neurotypicals" like sameness,...far more so than autistics,...to the point where they will act out on anyone different than them. This desire for standardization and sameness also holds them back. Without autism and neurodivergency, we would still be in the stone age. It is people with different ideas, those "out of the box" thinkers that have pushed advances in science, technology, engineering, music, art, etc. Elon Musk,...a modern neurodivergent,...pushing forward despite all the naysayers,...literally one of the most successful people in history. Watch Elon speak in interviews,...that guy is on the spectrum, for sure. At 13 she doesn't see the value in who she is,...she might not for years,...but she has to give herself a chance and allow herself to be strong enough not to listen to all the naysayers trying to hold her back.
     
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  16. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Question. Have you tried to hug her?
    I know how it sounds. But, for me at least it meant a lot. Can't say it will work but, keep it in mind.
     
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  17. Sasha20

    Sasha20 Active Member

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    She hates hugs or any touch , sometimes she likes me to rub her legs and give her body massages but at the moment not even that
    Beautifully said , i will remember that and put it to her , she needs to see the positives
     
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  18. AKeen

    AKeen Member

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    Hi Sasha,

    I have a 16 year old daughter who was formally diagnosed at 14, but only after she figured it out on her own prior. Learning my daughter is an autistic person was a blessing for me, just as much as the day she was born.

    I researched on google and YouTube about autism, especially in girls. (I also recommend Tony Atwood, in addition to Sarah Hendricks.) This led to my own autism diagnosis at the old age of 54.

    My job as a parent is to take care of my daughter, and I can only do that by learning who she is and knowing about her and her specific needs. I looked at her autism diagnosis as very important information necessary to do my parent job.

    A diagnosis can mean different things to different people. It can be a way for us to know how to better take care of our children (and ourselves). It can also be a label so that we can find other like-minded people. Nothing changes when we get a diagnosis. Your daughter is the same person she always was. Now you just both know more about her.

    Autism is not negative, it’s simply a different way of viewing and processing the world. My suggestion is to figure out how to impress this upon her.

    And please, don’t take away her phone. She’s probably using it as a coping mechanism and needs it very much. She’ll let go of it when she feels better in her own skin, I think.
     
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  19. Owliet

    Owliet Active Member

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    I was a little older than your daughter was when I received my diagnosis but I was still a teenager. And it crumbled my world. I think for girls it can be a little bit more pronounced than for boys because we’re so desperate to fit in and be accepted by our peers that to have a diagnosed messed that perceived expectation up. As a teenager you’re going through a lot of stuff that for a non ASD is bad but for an ASD it’s just a few more obstacles to go round. And it’s exhausting. I remember that I didn’t process it well at all, and felt like I would never be normal or do anything that was perceived or expected to be normal. I didn’t react to it very well. I became a recluse and barely left my room. I kept my curtains closed as if to shut out the world. Because I felt like I didn’t deserve to see it or be a part of it. It’s not a nice place to be in, and I’m so sorry that you and your daughter are dealing with this. I’d like to say that it does get better. She needs to come to terms with the diagnosis, and to understand and accept that this doesn’t mean the end for her. It’s good that she’s seeing a therapist. A good therapist can be quite helpful in this and if she needs strategies to cope with situations that are impacted by her ASD then a therapist can help provide for them and help her work on them. But the tools need to be utilized. A diagnosis just helps to understand the why and the what and the how.

    her phone is currently her way to get outside interaction, and it’s possible that it’s a good coping mechanisms for her at this time. I didn’t want to read about anything ASD for a while, despite having a therapist it did take me a while to accept it but I think if you are prepared to research or link up with the therapist herself (because my parents did that to help me) I think that could also help her too.
     
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  20. Sasha20

    Sasha20 Active Member

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    I havent stopped reading and researching about it since september when it was strongly indicated that she may be on the spectrum and that was the route cause of her depression /anxiety . She doesnt want to hear about any of it at the moment .
    How long did it take you to accept ? What skills did you learn and do you still use them ? What as a parent can i do to help her through this ? Was school a problem ? How r u now ?
    She masks alot and towards the end of the term she struggled alot and didnt go in alot ,i dont think she is able for the same social strain when school starts , any suggestions on how we can manage this ?