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Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3705
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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My son is 17 and for years I have struggled with his inability

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My son is 17 and for years I have struggled with his inability to reason, his senior school years have been terrible with the last three in years in particular resulting in tears on my part as he often refused to go, to him covering his head under the duvet and not speaking to me or looking at me. I took him to the GP and asked that they referred him to someone, which they did (a mental health group for young people) as they thought he might be depressed, they said he was low but not depressed, common behaviour in teenagers! However, he is now in 6th form college and although started of really well is now on a downward spiral again, he can't or won't cope with the work, (if he finds something difficult he will pretend it's not there and ignore it, this gets him into trouble with tutors) he doesn't go out, so has no social life outside of college, he is happiest at home, in his room, either palying on his games or watching television or being around me. This is just a very scant discription of his behaviour/personality what I'm asking is do youthink he could be on the Autism spectrum? I feel I need to follow it up... should I? Am I being a neurotic mother?
Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

I have worked with Autistic Spectrum Disorders for 35 years and I do not think you are being a neurotic mother.

I am curious to know whether how his early childhood was as compared to what you write about now in terms of school, socialization, interaction and how he would spend his free time?

Has there been long term issues similar to what you are seeing now or is this a more recent onset of what could be an Autistic Spectrum issue or something else.

I look forward to your response-and I will respond directly.

Kindest regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for responding, I shall do my best to give you the necessary information. He has always been quite shy and we relocated to a new country when he was 10 he did find this quite difficult and didn't really form concrete friendships, saying this he would play sport and go out with his peer group to go swimming etc. We did have a baby when he was 13 so he went from being the youngest sibling to being the middle child, but he does love his little sister even though he has very little tolerance and will tease her (normal behaviour I suspect) but I would never leave her with him to look after for a period of time and he wouldn't want to either. In secondary school things really came to a head he found lessons boring and how he managed to gain 6 GCSE's is beyond me, he missed on average at least a day of school a week. It's how he behaves that worries me, if he does something wrong or is refusing to do something we ask of him he will physically avoid eye contact and pull the covers over his head and refuse to come out. He can also be very agressive and has sworn in the presence of his tutors albeit not directly at them but towards them if you know what I mean. If he doesn't want to do something he will point blank refuse to do it and there is no discussion or reasoning with him. The flip side of this is that he can be very loving and cuddly particulary towards me, his relationship with his dad is difficult although his dad now recognises that we need to address the situation and he is also worried about our son's future. I hope this is useful. Thank you



The following is a screening quiz for Autistic Spectrum

Take the quiz as if you answering as you see him.

Then let me know the result.

Kindest regards, Bill

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Bill


I actually got him to do the quizz, it was interesting to see that he chose some different answers to what I would have chosen, he got a score of 20 which indicates no autism. I then carried it out on my own in the way you suggested and scored 33 which indicates possible autism. I think it might well be worth our while to seek further advice from our doctor, thank you for your help.




I concur with your evaluation and that this be pursued further for comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.

Here is a great link that addresses the subject in detail.

I wish you and your son the very best.

Kindest regards, Bill


Thank you.
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