A boy with autism has an extreme fear of growing up
A boy of 10 years living with autism has an extreme fear of growing up, won't discuss the subject gets angry. Any advice for school and home?
It would help to know a little more about the situation. Is the fear of growing up related to his own physical changes? e.g. growing taller, or maybe related to expectations, e.g. now you are in year 6 preparing for secondary school etc. If you can give a little more detail we will try and help as best we can. The fear is to do with what you have mentioned plus if we say things like "what are you going to do when you grow up?" he answers by saying "I don’t want to grow up" panicking, showing fear, becoming angry and making it clear the subject is closed. We need to get him to open up and tell us what the fear is. This started when he was around four or five. Have you heard of any others in a similar situation and any strategies to try? The general advice is that this fear of growing up is very common amongst children with AST, and particularly so around transition time, be that moving from one class to another or onto a new school. Another suggestion is to contact the helpline at NAS - www.autism.org.uk/helpline You might also find these suggestions helpful: - Normalise changes and make sure he's well prepared and supported when they do happen. - Don't ask him what he wants to be when he grows up - his concreteness will make him think he has to have "the" answer, maybe ask what interesting jobs has he heard about.