Dealing with a 16 year old who is constantly negative about everything

Hi to everyone,

I am a 43 year old single mum to a 16 year old boy who was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was 3 years old. I gave birth to my only child Ellison when I was 26 years old and married to his dad, but quickly the marriage ended in divorce so it was then that I realised that I was on my own and that I had to make the best of it. Because he was my only child I had no other children to compare his behaviour to so if he was doing things that were unusual I would not have noticed or found it strange. The only thing I really remember from when he was a baby is that he cried a lot more than most and he would not sleep on his own in a cot he would only sleep in with me but other than that he was a good baby. When he was one year old I did not realise it at the time but he would never point to something he wanted or tried to talk in baby language and at the time these were the first indicators of something going on but I did not realise it at the time. When he was a toddler his behaviour and tantrums got so bad that I sometimes wondered if I had picked the right baby up from the hospital LOL but I persevered and managed to get through these tough years by putting a smile on my face and being constantly optimistic that things would get better as he got older, but it seems to me that the older he is getting the worse his behaviour gets. Don't get me wrong I love my son more than anything, he is so funny, warm and loving that I cannot imagine life without him and I know that he depends on me for everything including washing, cutting his hair, shaving him, getting him dressed etc and I would never change him because how do you separate his personality with the Aspergers without taking away the person he is. He currently attends a special needs college which he hates but he is also very social and has a close friend called Lauryn, he is certainly not shy and would rather be outside with friends than at home all day, The biggest problem I am experiencing is Ellison's negativity about life, he can be miserable, angry and aggressive in certain situations and will speak philosophically about there being no point in him going to college because he is never going to get anywhere in life, his misery about life in general can be a constant strain on me especially when I have to keep smiling to remind him that things are not as bad as he thinks, but his negativity and what is the point in anything ? talk is so draining that that would be probably the only thing that I would take away from him if I could, there have been so many times that we go around in circles having the same discussion with Ellison being negative and me trying to lift his spirits but nothing seems to work as he will not listen to anything I say as he has only his own feelings and views on everything which I know is part of his autism but it is so difficult to make him feel more positive about things and I just wanted to ask if any other parents have a similar child with negative and angry thoughts on everything and if anyone has any suggestions or help on changing my son's outlook on life, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  • Hi Caroline,

    You are right. His future is brighter than he realizes. But, being right doesn't make it any easier to be around someone who is always or almost always negative. {Sadly, I'm thinking about another adult as I write this} I wonder if he would benefit from some person centered planning to help him set and monitor his progress toward some realistic goals, or if he would benefit from either a mentor (an older person w/ aspergers who has achieved some measure of success) or a counselor. Beyond what it sounds like you are already doing (pointing out the good things that happen (some must) and the times when he accomplishes something positive) the counseling and mentor are all I can think of. I hope you are able to get a break for yourself sometimes.

    Best wishes.
  • Hi I have been very negative in my life the difference is I've been damaged by society to an extreme level but something inside me motivates me to 'challenge society and the UK system' with one objective to ensure ALL the autistic community gets support and the same opportunities as NT people such as joining the military etc please support my petition for ALL autistic people whatever their ages? It's not our fault we cost society a lot of money so why should we suffer! Tell your son there's more things he can do than he can't! I just wished you lived in the U.K. he could have joined my planned outward bound week with a Tandem Skydive thrown in for good measure....if he wants to chat via email ONLY via You (you can check both our emails to ensure they're appropriate)