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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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My 17 year old son is diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers as

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My 17 year old son is diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers as well as Dyslexia but he is also gifted in science. He has been expelled from school for taking weed (this has stopped) and then started a new school and became sick with swine flu. that was in September last year since then he has had tonsilitis 7 times and spends most of his time in bed with his laptop on runescape (a role play computer game). He has had to drop out of school for this year and the plan was for him to do work experience. However, he just sits in his bed on the computer and becomes very verbally aggressive if I turn internet off. He goes on the computer at night time when I am asleep. He has no friends and puts people off because he sounds arrogant. I do not know what to do with him as anything I suggest he doesnt want to do and he never follows through on his own ideas. I am very stressed about this and have not found any help from doctors or others as they dont seem to understand the complexity of the issues.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

I'm sorry to hear about this situation... It must be difficult to watch him like this and feel at a loss for what to do to help him.

It may be worth having your son see a psychologist to assess whether he's experiencing any depressive symptoms. I understand his tendency to want to be alone, but isolating himself the way he has been isn't healthy. Ultimately, you have control over his internet access. You can use that as leverage along with anything you can think of that he'd like to "earn" through his behaviors. Simply tell him one morning that the internet is now disconnected. If he's like to earn having it returned he'll need to follow through on a few things.

If he becomes verbally aggressive, ignore him. Say, "I love you too much to argue" and walk away. If he continues, explain to him that you'd like to discuss the matter with him, but only when he's calm. Once he's calmed down, the two of you will need to outline step-by-step what he needs to do to earn computer time. This may involve seeing a psychologist, addressing the work experience that's lacking right now, and even just getting out of the house! Keep it simple and easy at first (you don't want this to be overwhelming). In order to be successful, he'll need to be able to earn privileges fairly easily at first. As he gets going on the right track, try to tap into the intrinsic motivation by asking him how he feels about his accomplishments.

Your son's doctor may have a recommendation for a psychologist he/she trusts or you could ask the school counselor or school psychologist from your son's last school. They will likely have a list of professionals they have found to be helpful to other families. I wish you the best of luck!
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