Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
8 yr old son says he hates his life
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Questions in the Autism & Asperger's Syndrome forum are answered by researchers at the New England Center for Children. Topics covered include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisocial Personality Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, blindness, bullying, clinical depression, deafness, dyslexia, mental retardation, and social alienation.

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8 yr old son says he hates his life

I have been having trouble with my 8 yr old son for a few years.  Mainly with not accepting authority at school which has landed him in the principal's office a few times each year since preschool.  He is disruptive in class talking out of turn, not focusing on work, and doesn't take initative to do things.  Lately though his behavior has me worried.  He has started being afraid of the dark, and monsters to the point of crying himself to sleep, won't go in the basement alone.  He has trouble interacting with kids at school, his teacher has also expressed concerns about this. He would rather play alone.  I have talked to him about playing and talking nice to kids or he won't have friends to which he replied that he absolutly does not want any friends.  He got very upset about this.  He has been saying he hates his life and wishes he hadn't been born, but won't say why.  When he gets started talking about something he goes on and on about it and doesn't seem to be able to stop.  He takes everything literally.  He argues about everything and has to get the last word in.  Has always been a picky eater, says that if something smells weird then it tasts bad.  He gags on food we make him eat.  He interacts pretty well with his younger brother at times, but if his brother teases him he reacts by hitting him even though he has been yelled at about that every time he does it.  He did have a behavior evaluation last year by a child psychologist who after $600 worth of testing said there was nothing wrong.  He does well in school as far as math and reading, but just has problems with the social aspect.  I am worried about depression, asperger's, anti-social behavior, irrational night time fears.  I don't know how to help him.  Therapy is expensive and my husband is not a believer in that type of thing.  He also is very against medicating kids for depression or ADD.  He admits our son has some sort of problem, but seems to be in denial about any way to deal with it.
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I really think you need to pursue a follow-up diagnosis with a child psychiatrist and developmental pediatrician who have experience with a variety of children with ASD and other developmental and emotional/behavioral issues.  I do not know what supports are available to you but would check with the school system (some systems have guidance programs and some towns/cities have intervention teams) and health insurance for a source of other providers whose diagnostic services will be covered.  I cannot give you a diagnosis but your descriptions of his behaviors and your concerns lead me to believe that you need and have every right to expect help.
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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