Please help me with 16 year old aspergers daughter who doesnt want to do anything

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
Please help me with 16 year old aspergers daughter who doesnt want to do anything
9
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 7:44pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008

What might help is if you can find some structured activity around her interests that will help her engage with other people - they don't necessarily have to be her own age, like at school. But maybe an evening cookery course or something, something that will get her out of the house, let her develop skills in an area she is interested in, and hopefully make some social connections around that. I know a lot of teenage Aspies for whom this works (eg computing clubs, chess clubs, scouts, theatre clubs, film-making, swimming, etc) - the key seems to be to find an activity that chimes with their particular interests - and to bribe them to try it, or start participating in it to begin with. Something that has some boundaries, and structure, and clear purpose works well. They won't do it for the social aspect alone, but then the social aspect (and the opening up of new horizons and possibilities) comes as a side benefit once they start participating in the activity.

Eg my Aspie is very science and music orientated, so I have set him up with keyboard lessons and an after-school technical theatre club. He now attends both of these with great enthusiasm, started off tolerating the other people there and now actively enjoys their company (albeit in limited doses LOL). It's a bit early to be planning careers, but it gives him a framework for socialising and opens up possibilities (eg joining a band, working in a theatre) that he wouldn't otherwise consider because he wouldn't see any benefit in it for him. I literally had to bribe him to start with ('just try it for three weeks and if you take part and have a go I'll increase your computer time").

I think this approach is called 'social scaffolding', if you want to google or research it, but essentially: structured social activity, around interests, not school (or age). There has to be an immediate benefit for them to try it - and the benefit might be unconnected with the activity, but something that your DD values (with younger kids, stickers, etc, with older ones, time doing stuff they like, or books, or computer games, or money if they understand and value this [my DS doesn't, particularly, but he does value computer time!]) Long-term benefits (like you could get a job, have a life, learn to drive, be independent) won't necessarily be clear or make any sense to Aspies, particularly if they can't immediately see how A will lead to B, but short-term ones might.

Good luck

Kirsty, mum to Euan (12, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (8, NT) and Maeve (5, NT)

"My definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance"


Follow my blog on http://mumsnet.com/blogs/kirsteinr/


 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010

I think the cooking thing is a good idea. I host a womens fun run each year at my house where after we run I provide breakfast for about 10 women. I could get her involved with the cooking and planning. She would do well at that.

Her issue is lack of self confidence. We were talking today about possible colleges and careers for her. Every vocation I mentioned she said she would be no good at. Even when the whole world is telling her she's good at something she still says she's no good at it. Its like a brick wall around her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
wow this is eye opening. I realize now how much I do for her and she is almost 16. Ouch. She has to do a chore each day to help the family. In addition to keeping her room clean. But usually she chooses a chore that is easy, like vacuuming our one carpeted room. I need to change that and make her help out more. She rarely comes food shopping with me and if she does she walks along side while I do it all. I really should make her do more. I do make her figure out the tip amount when we go out. I should make her budget the meal too by saying we have $25 for lunch for both of us. What can we order and still have money for a tip?

Very good insight you gave me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010

Oh this scares me. ANd I know she is going to be dealing with something all her life. So I have to help her now while she is still at home and I can help.


I did get her to go bowling. Something sort of new. And she liked it.

She is homeschooled because she was bullied from grades 6-8. The school staff did NOTHING! Literally nothing to help out. They say they have a no tollerance policy but when we came to for help they tolerated all the things the kids were doing to my daughter. So I gave up on public school and started home schooling.

Now she hates kids her age and refuses to go back to school. I hope this ends by college.

I have decided to help her out of her comfort zone from time to time. I am making her talk to people we meet out in town. Such as asking for help from the store clerks while shopping and ordering her own food. She orders her food just fine now but has problems askign for help. So I figure with more exposure she will eventually get there.

Thanks for the advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005

I have a 16yo AS dd who sounds somewhat like yours, and I don't know the answers, either!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2007

I'm having a similar issue with my soon

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008

You didn't say how long you've been homeschooling or why you changed to it, but I would just comment that a sudden change in behavior and participation in activities should be evaluated by a doctor - preferable a psychiatrist.

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson