Hi there. I am also new to the community and looking for advice. My son turned 14 a month ago. He is on the spectrum and also profoundly gifted. He struggled through 3 years of public school, having developed severe anxiety, sleep disorder, and all sorts of other issues, and after 2nd grade we plunged into homeschooling. This was the best decision we had made at the time. I think this is exactly what allowed him (and all of us) to escape the vicious cycle of Defense Mode, and within a year he became calmer, was able to get enough sleep, and things got so much better. He was also an avid reader (a big LOTR fan), and he's also been very much into science. That was his main passion. We supported him in that, he even audited classes at UC Berkeley, and then starting 5th grade started taking science classes at local colleges. All this boosted his self-esteem tremendously, and even executive function things were getting better and better...until he turned 13 last year and became a completely different person. He lost all motivation, pretty much locked himself in his room with an iPad, stopped going to his classes (nature program, LARP, etc.), stopped exercising, stopped going outside, stopped reading, and his sleep schedule got completely messed up (goes to bed at 5-6am and wakes up at 3-4pm), and meal schedule obviously got messed up as well. We've tried letting him be for a while, we've tried getting him interested in new subjects (like programming), we've tried looking for mentors/tutors, but nothing seems to be piquing his interest. Plus, if anything goes not the way he wants/expects, he starts biting himself and banging his head on the wall. He's been in therapy for a year, and it's been helping generally, though there is still no motivation to do anything except for watching YouTube. He struggles with starting tasks and focusing on them. And next year is high school, which I am very worried about because I don't see how he can get through it (even at home) considering the state he is in right now. We were completely unprepared for this, considering two years ago he was doing so well, and we assumed he is gonna keep being on the upward trajectory. What could have caused this? Hormones? Pandemic (though he seemed to be doing ok until after it officially ended). How can we get out of this vicious cycle of Defense Mode again? Previously, we could extract him from school and create a more relaxed environment at home, but considering he is home already, how can we possibly make things even more relaxed? Thank you!

Posted by ytsipeny at 2023-03-21 03:46:33 UTC