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shoeycat

Weary of the slog with my HFA teen.

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I am on year 27 of homeschooling, currently teaching our 14 and 16 yo sons, who are youngest 2 of six. Our 14 yo has HFA, along with OCD  that kicked in at age 12. He is strong in math, currently doing Algebra. The wearying part is his attitude! He is often rude and disrespectful (not an issue with any of our other children), resists doing anything he doesn't want to do, and does not seem to be learning from consistent correction or having his main interest removed as a penalty (his screen time). This will sometimes cause him to comply, but is not bringing about an overall change in his attitude. I know part of it is his lack of "theory of mind"-he isn't able to see things from any one else's perspective. I am hoping part of it is immaturity and the whole hormonal upheaval of adolescence, and will improve as he matures. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has walked through this, as l am becoming weary of the struggle. Perserverance is a strength for me, but l could sure use some hope that things may improve. 

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Irritability and aggression are linked to inflammation in the body/brain.

OCD is also linked to inflammation.

https://psychcentral.com/blog/brain-inflammation-and-ocd/

https://www.psychcongress.com/blog/does-inflammation-cause-more-depression-or-aggression

If I knew what to do with that information I'd be well on my way to helping my own 13 year old 😞 So far the knowledge mostly helps me be a bit more patient and compassionate.

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Thank you for the response. We have explored multiple supplements under the guidance of a psychiatrist, to address the OCD in particular, without seeing much benefit. He is on 2 meds at present. Guanfacine made the only significant difference for his OCD symptoms.

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Yeah, we unfortunately just aren't there yet with the science needed.

I wish I had more to offer, we're stuck in a similar quagmire.

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I have a 14 y.o. boy with autism, and he's doing pretty well right now, but academics are a slog--language issues, forgetting things, needing things to presented "just so" for them to make sense. It's very draining.

I can say that at 14, if your son is pretty able to contribute to the household's well-being (with chores, helpful input, morale, etc.), sometimes there is a fine line between contributing and taking over, particularly if your ASD means you have a high need for control to feel comfortable, lol! I think that is common in the teen years in general, but it comes across in an interesting way with kids who are not neurotypical.

We had a good ABA therapist that worked on social skills with my son for several years--lots of work on people/situational problem-solving, perspective taking, etc. I strongly recommend some kind of approach like this. Other options might be a social skills group (I have no experience with that). Someone with a background in ABA is often able to also find other motivators and to also assess the function of a behavior to help pinpoint multiple strategies to remedy it.

Hang in there!

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