The Autism – Anxiety Connection and My Girl
Sorry, it’s been awhile… my girl cub has kept me busy this summer with finding the right doctors for her anxiety. I think we may have a three doctor combo that may be the right fit. She’s seeing a psychologist for her intense talk therapy, a psychiatrist for her medication and an MLFT Counselor with a Ph.D. for a more relaxed talk therapy.
My cub has an on-line account and I have all emails directed to me. I support her having an on-line account, as it’s a great way for her to express her art and feelings. As long as her followers stay positive and she manages her on-line and off-line time appropriately. I do monitor it, and I’ve seen posts that have concerned me deeply. I have alerted her psychologist about them. I don’t want to call her to the carpet with her doctor and make her defensive, but it needs to be addressed by a professional. The posts are not suicidal but are still negative self-thoughts. Her followers are quick to give support and say nice things about her, thank heavens. Papa bear says she is looking for validation from her peers, I guess that could be true.. but they are still her feelings about herself.
She is a typical teenager in most points and will not open up to me about deeper feelings. On the surface, she projects a confident and happy attitude, until I pry too much when she lets her guard down you can really see the anxiety she’s suppressing. It’s so hard to see the pain and confusion and not being able to fix it, as a Mama Bear, it just kills me. Hearing how things get interpreted and blown out of proportion in her mind is difficult for me to hear. All I can do is hold her and let her cry. I’m not the right person to talk to her about these feelings. It is hard for me to wrap my head around what she is going through. I can’t tell her to “shake it off”, or to “relax”, that’s demeaning and as she says “really not helpful”. She needs someone who is neutral and has a better insight and understanding of the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) – Anxiety connection. I hope that we can give her the support she needs to work through this and find coping skills that she can use the rest of her life.
I never knew that her younger rigidity was an early expression of anxiety. Hearing that the rigidity issues she had when she was younger has now manifested into anxiety was a revelation. Making that connection really helped me understand her better now. Knowing the triggers that caused her early rigidity may help us with her anxiety today. I am hopeful that, we as a family, can make more revelations and move toward a better way to cope. I don’t think anxiety will ever go away for her, we all experience it, just at different levels. For her, it just needs to be brought down to a more manageable level.
Together we can do this.. she has a lot of support and love!