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Discussion Starter #1
My son is 5, and (full disclosure) mildly autistic. Lately, he's been threatening to kill himself, going as far as climbing out the window of his bedroom and threatening to jump. I expected this kind of thing when he's 15, but.... 5? I don't think he's actually serious about going through with it, but... man, he's 5. Is it just me, or is that some pretty dark **** for a 5-year-old?
 

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That is definitely some somber stuff for a 5-year old. Kids that age might role play something they saw, just for fun, but when it comes to serious issues like this, one shouldn't take it too lightly. What does your son say when you ask him about this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

It's hard to get him to open up about anything, but I do think he has real anxiety and that he often feels like a failure. I think it's possible that he sometimes thinks he'd be better off dead, but I don't think he knows how to express how he is feeling. I think he just says what he thinks I want him to say. He gets frustrated easily when I try to talk about things, and he often turns shockingly violent, with real intent to do serious harm, and I worry he might just lose control and do himself harm instead.
 

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I have nothing to say that can be called advice, but the situation is shocking to hear. Seek out help, any and all avenues, until you find a path that seems to mesh with his personality.

Our 5 year old has really challenged us, but nothing like your situation. We found help with our son's situation, and it was about finding the personality and path that allowed him to "buy in". Once he was part of the solution, things got much better. He saw the path to progress, and was allowed to participate in the solution.

Hang in there.
 

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A lot of kids on the spectrum have communication issues, anxiety, sometimes depression, OCD tendencies, there's a gamut of comorbidities that can go along with the initial diagnosis. How are his general communication skills and overall impulse control?

Our daughter is about mid-spectrum with difficulties with expressive communication, perserveration, anxiety, poor impulse control, and a few other things tossed into the mix. When really frustrated or initially hurt, she turns to self-injurious behaviors, almost like a stimming. She'll bite her fingers, slap herself, knee herself in the forehead, and knock her head against the wall. We've worked with a neurologist and soon with a behavioral psychologist and are figuring out how to determine if her reaction is an effect of having certain needs or feelings, and not being able to communicate them. The trick is how does a kid with moderate communication issues express her feelings to a psychologist? She can't parse and express her feelings other than in vague generalities, happy, sad, frustrated, angry.

If his communication level is at a point that you can talk about things, and he can tell you how he feels, it might be worth getting the opinion of a psychologist or other professional. Is he on any kind of medication currently?
 

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Heck, try a feelings board. Print a whole mess of emojis and let him put them up on a felt board for you to interpret. Maybe? :confused:
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the highly stressful and unexpected situation with your 5-year-old son. I once treated a 6-year-old girl who was genuinely suicidal, with her intent and plans severe enough to actually follow-through with her desire. In that situation, however, there were a number of estranged family dynamics that took their toll on her mental health. Eventually, however, she no longer had active suicidal ideation, though she is certainly at an increased risk to consider suicide as one viable response she can utilize next time she is under emotional duress. I'm not saying this about your child, simply pointing out that there could be extraneous factors that may be taking a toll on his emotional health.

I support the recommendation another member suggested in utilizing a feelings board that can perhaps allow him to better communicate harbored feelings. Biologically and developmentally, suicidal ideation typically does not emerge without a precipitating factor. It may be beneficial to consult a therapist skilled in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), as these professionals utilize evidence-based treatment strategies for youth who may fall on the spectrum.

Please note, I don't mean to imply other's (i.e. "extraneous factors") are responsible for his thoughts and behaviors. It is usually a child's perceived reaction to events beyond their control which can in turn provoke unsafe thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everybody for their replies. He has been going to therapy now for a few months, and is doing a lot better. He is not taking any medication, and still struggles with impulse control and toileting, but he is generally pretty happy these days.
 

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This one's dark as f*ck. I have a 5 year old daughter and this gave me more anxiety. How's he doing now? I hope you already brought him to a child counselor. Man, I hope you and your family the best.
 
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