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Author Topic: Teen boy with possible depression, aspergers...  (Read 2005 times) Average Rating: 0
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LizaSymonenko
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« on: September 06, 2012, 10:17:22 AM »


As most of you know, I teach at our church school on Saturdays.

A mom of one of the kids is desperate for help and doesn't know where to turn.  I was hoping perhaps one of you may have seen such a situation, heard of something, etc...that might help.

Her son is now 16.  He was born with some kidney issues and underwent a number of surgeries as an infant.  He apparently had tubes and a baggy hanging from him for months until they fixed the issue.  As such she says people were afraid to hold and cuddle him, because of fear of pulling out the tubes, etc.

Anyway, by age 10 he had his last surgery and is free and clear of any complications. 

Child is smart, well behaved.....however, had a hard time making friends as a kid.  More of a loner.  Nothing to really worry about, yet.

Few years back, especially last year, he's become more of a loner.  His sister told their mom that kids at school tease him that he has Aspergers and he still doesn't "have" any close friends.

However, when you speak to him, he seems fine.  A bit shy....won't strike up a conversation, but, will answer when spoken to.

His mom says last year (in High School) he began staying up late to do his homework....until 2 or 3....and had to be up by 6.  Hard to get him up.  I can understand that.

Now, mom and dad are having issues.  Serious issues....but, trying to work things out.

Over the summer, mom told me that this boy would go to bed at 5 or 6 in the morning.  She can't "force" him to go to sleep, if he refuses.  She's tried taking him to a therapist, but, after a few visits it wasn't really helping and he now refuses to go.

The child realizes there's something wrong.  When you ask why he won't go to bed, he says he doesn't know why....and yet he can't get himself to bed. He'll walk around, go get water, go to the bathroom, go downstairs, go back upstairs, etc.   However, once in bed he falls asleep immediately...because he's physically exhausted.

Not only is sleep a problem, everything is.  He's late to everything.  Even if he is already "up" and watching TV, and they have to go grocery shopping, it now takes 2 hours for him to be ready.   Everyone always has to wait LONG time for him to appear.  He's late to school, church, baseball practice...  He is NEVER in a hurry.  Even is she is beside herself because they are so late, and her daughter is in the car waiting, he will sit down to tie his shoes....she tells him to just grab them and tie them in the car, he won't.  He will sit down and tie his shoes, and come out when he is ready.  He doesn't do it to be "mean".  He's not "mean".  He just can't "hurry".

He seldom eats dinner with his family.  He will go to wash his hands, and return when everyone is already done.  He'll be in the bathroom for hours...and when mom bangs on the door, he says his stomach hurts and leave him alone.

Last year he had so many tardies to school that papers were sent home and a grade was knocked down.  HOWEVER, mom says that therapist had her send out questionnaires to his teachers to gauge how he acts in school....not a single teacher had anything bad to say.  He was an exemplary student, good grades, his behavior in class was fine, he had no social issues that they could see....only ONE issue was that he was falling asleep in class.

Mom phoned me in tears because she doesn't know what to do.  Three days of school, and he's been late already 3 times.  He won't get to sleep until 5:40 and has to be getting back up at 6.

When the child is confronted he will be remains quiet and fights back tears, because he realizes something is wrong...and yet, he simply can't help himself.  He hates being late.  He is quiet, keeps things bottled up, but, truly kind and sweet.

Of what I know of him, he's the sweetest, kindest young man.  He has never refused to help me when I asked him to.  It breaks my heart to hear this going on with him.

Can anyone suggest a course of action?  Does anyone have any idea why this is happening to him?

His mom was thinking maybe he had issues because of early surgeries, and now has trust issues or something.  Perhaps something due to parent's marital issues....perhaps genetic issues....perhaps....and the possibilities are endless.

I even suggested the "sleep paralysis" that was being mentioned on another thread here,...and perhaps he's afraid to go to bed and experience some scary stuff.  However, that wouldn't answer why he's always late, even when awake.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, as his family is desperate to help their son.

Thanks, all!!!


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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 10:32:04 AM »

I really think it would be necessary to consult a specialist. Such issues are extremely complex.
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 10:36:39 AM »


Yes, but, if the teen boy refuses to go?

You can hardly expect her to pick him up and carry him there.

Perhaps someone has a "trick" that they know works.  Perhaps there's a method the parents can try at home to ease the process....
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 12:40:41 PM »

give it time.
just be friends with this young man and wait for him to open up.
find out what he is interested in, talk to him about it and absolutely avoid all 'heavy' subjects.
16 is probably the worst age for feelling like telling everyone yr personal problems.

also, sounds like everything else has been already tried.

this worked with a teenager i knew when i was a young woman. the issues turned out to be with the parents.
(teen to ashamed to tell anyone for fear of them thinking bad of the parents)
having a close friend who was in on the 'secret' of the parental problem helped a lot and he went on to do well in life.
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 12:44:35 PM »

Dear Liza,

Maybe they should try a sleep laboratory.  For instance check out the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center. They say:

"We carefully evaluate your child and take a comprehensive history by our board-certified sleep physician. Our multidisciplinary team is made up of a board-certified sleep medicine specialist, a developmental/ behavioral pediatrician and a pediatric psychologist, as well as sleep medicine and psychology fellows. Sleep studies are conducted at the Michael S. Aldrich Sleep Disorders Lab, one of the few centers of distinction for sleep medicine in the country, by sleep technicians trained in conducting sleep studies in children"

Here's the link to the pediatric unit: http://www.mottchildren.org/medical-services/ped-sleep
or call (734)-615-4302

Love, elephant
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 01:11:41 PM »


Thanks, everyone!

I will forward the information to his mom.

Please, keep this young man in your prayers.  He's really struggling.
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 07:41:43 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 07:44:34 PM »

Lord have mercy on this young man. 
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 07:53:32 PM »

Lord, have mercy. Counseling may help or help to identify some issues.

As an aside, some new research shows that if a person gets direct sunshine early in the morning after sunrise, a chemical or hormonal cycle is initiated which results, in the evening, in an ability to go to sleep in a timely way and sleep well.

Lord have mercy on Thy servant.
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 03:28:55 AM »


As most of you know, I teach at our church school on Saturdays.

A mom of one of the kids is desperate for help and doesn't know where to turn.  I was hoping perhaps one of you may have seen such a situation, heard of something, etc...that might help.

Her son is now 16.  He was born with some kidney issues and underwent a number of surgeries as an infant.  He apparently had tubes and a baggy hanging from him for months until they fixed the issue.  As such she says people were afraid to hold and cuddle him, because of fear of pulling out the tubes, etc.

Anyway, by age 10 he had his last surgery and is free and clear of any complications. 

Child is smart, well behaved.....however, had a hard time making friends as a kid.  More of a loner.  Nothing to really worry about, yet.

Few years back, especially last year, he's become more of a loner.  His sister told their mom that kids at school tease him that he has Aspergers and he still doesn't "have" any close friends.

However, when you speak to him, he seems fine.  A bit shy....won't strike up a conversation, but, will answer when spoken to.

His mom says last year (in High School) he began staying up late to do his homework....until 2 or 3....and had to be up by 6.  Hard to get him up.  I can understand that.

Now, mom and dad are having issues.  Serious issues....but, trying to work things out.

Over the summer, mom told me that this boy would go to bed at 5 or 6 in the morning.  She can't "force" him to go to sleep, if he refuses.  She's tried taking him to a therapist, but, after a few visits it wasn't really helping and he now refuses to go.

The child realizes there's something wrong.  When you ask why he won't go to bed, he says he doesn't know why....and yet he can't get himself to bed. He'll walk around, go get water, go to the bathroom, go downstairs, go back upstairs, etc.   However, once in bed he falls asleep immediately...because he's physically exhausted.

Not only is sleep a problem, everything is.  He's late to everything.  Even if he is already "up" and watching TV, and they have to go grocery shopping, it now takes 2 hours for him to be ready.   Everyone always has to wait LONG time for him to appear.  He's late to school, church, baseball practice...  He is NEVER in a hurry.  Even is she is beside herself because they are so late, and her daughter is in the car waiting, he will sit down to tie his shoes....she tells him to just grab them and tie them in the car, he won't.  He will sit down and tie his shoes, and come out when he is ready.  He doesn't do it to be "mean".  He's not "mean".  He just can't "hurry".

He seldom eats dinner with his family.  He will go to wash his hands, and return when everyone is already done.  He'll be in the bathroom for hours...and when mom bangs on the door, he says his stomach hurts and leave him alone.

Last year he had so many tardies to school that papers were sent home and a grade was knocked down.  HOWEVER, mom says that therapist had her send out questionnaires to his teachers to gauge how he acts in school....not a single teacher had anything bad to say.  He was an exemplary student, good grades, his behavior in class was fine, he had no social issues that they could see....only ONE issue was that he was falling asleep in class.

Mom phoned me in tears because she doesn't know what to do.  Three days of school, and he's been late already 3 times.  He won't get to sleep until 5:40 and has to be getting back up at 6.

When the child is confronted he will be remains quiet and fights back tears, because he realizes something is wrong...and yet, he simply can't help himself.  He hates being late.  He is quiet, keeps things bottled up, but, truly kind and sweet.

Of what I know of him, he's the sweetest, kindest young man.  He has never refused to help me when I asked him to.  It breaks my heart to hear this going on with him.

Can anyone suggest a course of action?  Does anyone have any idea why this is happening to him?

His mom was thinking maybe he had issues because of early surgeries, and now has trust issues or something.  Perhaps something due to parent's marital issues....perhaps genetic issues....perhaps....and the possibilities are endless.

I even suggested the "sleep paralysis" that was being mentioned on another thread here,...and perhaps he's afraid to go to bed and experience some scary stuff.  However, that wouldn't answer why he's always late, even when awake.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, as his family is desperate to help their son.

Thanks, all!!!



Besides "marital issues," you don't mention the father.  Where's he?
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 06:51:48 AM »

You could almost be talking about me, except for the kidney operations and the doing your homework part and being late and staying up super late.
But I was also a teenager with aspergers and depression and what helped me was a psyhcaritrist who was trained specifically to deal with Asperger children and teens and Medication also helped me. Before that I was always angry, really quite evil but as the medication began and the therapy continued I got better only to the point where I get angry maybe every so often and then I can control it.
My advice is to seek a specialist determine the condition the teen is in and go from there with prayer and diligence.
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 03:28:26 PM »

A home life in which the parents are having serious issues can exacerbate the struggles of children beyond the help of doctors sometimes. If the parents can reconcile, come together, and better their relationship with each other and the Church, this would be a great help. People might call this naive or simplistic, but it has done wonders several times. Medical issues can be symptoms of spiritual problems.
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 10:09:03 PM »


Besides "marital issues," you don't mention the father.  Where's he?

He is kind of a "hands off" father....he used to try to be the "good" parent/friend....  He's never actually acted, as a responsible and dependable dad.

....although to his credit, he is trying to be better.


Thanks everyone for all your advice.  I have passed it along to his mom.

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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 11:17:46 PM »

It seems like he has some kind of underlying psychiatric condition that's making it hard for him to fall asleep. I really hope that his parents can manage to convince him to get help. I know it is very hard to convince a teenage to do pretty much anything but I feel like that's the only way. Does he have someone else (other than his parents) that he is very close to that perhaps can talk him into getting help? I am saying this because you mentioned that his parents are going through serious stuff and I was worried that he may be angry towards them and refuse their suggestions (I'm assuming here that they are going through marital issues).

Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2012, 01:55:23 AM »


Besides "marital issues," you don't mention the father.  Where's he?

He is kind of a "hands off" father....he used to try to be the "good" parent/friend....  He's never actually acted, as a responsible and dependable dad.

....although to his credit, he is trying to be better.


Thanks everyone for all your advice.  I have passed it along to his mom.

I think it may be too late.  If the problem is psychiatric, most jurisdictions have mental commitments especially if the person is a danger to himself or to others.  The link may not apply to your location; however, the appropriate Probate Court in your jurisdiction should have similar procedures.

http://www.lapeercountyweb.org/mental_commitments.htm
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2012, 05:46:41 PM »

Any update?
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