Hello everyone. I've been looking at this site for years but this is my first post. Our son is 14. He has been and is in defense mode for most of his life, even as a younger child. But since adolescence it has become pretty severe. He seems to have what I'm learning in other communities is called PDA (Pathological demand avoidance). I'm dad, and he seems most defensive with me. A simple question like do you like carrots, is considered a demand, responded to with defense. I confess to taking way too long to accept his Asperger's/autism and so take responsibility for some of his defense. I am desperately trying to change this, to help him get out of defense mode, but don't seem to be making any progress. We've homeschooled and done public school, and then after COVID when we sent him to part time 7th grade at public school he finally after a few months simply refused to get out of the car to go in the school. He now goes to an online private school via Zoom. Recently he started becoming defiant and compulsive - even threatened me and my wife with a knife - in order to get us to relent on an electronics boundary. He treats his 10 yr old brother terribly. Sadly, he lost his next younger brother at the age of 6 when our son died of an aggressive and traumatic rare Leukemia at the age of 4. We're all hurting but I can't imagine how he must be processing all this. He has stopped coming to church, other family's houses, even wouldn't visit his grandparents recently when in their state. He now avoid social things he used to seem to like, such as going to youth group at church, visiting his grandparents, etc... We have been interpreting this all as autistic burnout and so trying to let go of expectations for a while. So he pretty much wakes up, gets on the computer, occasionally eats some ramen noodles, will get dressed if we keep on him about it, and then switches between his computer, nintendo switch and youtube all day until night when we turn the internet off. No effort to spend time with him seems to help and nor does leaving him alone. We try to talk with him but he just can't acknowledge there is any problem, going to such lengths as saying things that don't make sense and are illogical. We have had him take an AE class, he has read the surviving and thriving book, and he still just doesn't seem able to be vulnerable in any way at all that he needs help. I'm fighting to overcome my electronics/screentime bias that makes me think so negatively of it. But he worries us because we have found him finding any way he can, including legally concerning ways such as torrent sites, to get around our family's online guidelines. I humbly ask for your help if you feel impressed to share. We love him deeply and want him to feel safe in our family and in our home.

Posted by bjduncans at 2022-08-22 18:53:31 UTC