Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Should I insist my son get out and at least volunteer?


#1

My son is 18. He is doing so much better than 6 months ago since he started taking clozapine. He seeps well and it seems the positive symptoms are controlled. He likes to ‘hang out’ with us this summer. He’s helping with chores, drives to grandparents or to the store or mall, has no problem dealing with the public when buying things or ordering food in a restaurant. But, when I mention work or volunteering he resists. Doesn’t want to talk about it. Reading level and grades were low/ failing this year. Doesn’t seem interested in calling or texting kids his age. He’s very sweet and responsible here at home. It’s just him and us (parents) here. Two older brothers are older and out of the house. I just don’t know how far to push? Maybe I’m expecting too much to soon because we see baby step improvements daily in other things.


#2

6 months is not very long - so yes, I’d take it slowly. But - perhaps provide some incentives or rewards that get him out to volunteer. Social skills will atrophy if you don’t use them.

Are there any early psychosis treatment centers in your area? They usually have psycho / social programs that might really help him. The sooner you get him back involved socially the better.


#3

Thanks SzAdmin!
There is one 21/2 hours away. Up until a month ago he was a part of an alternative school that had group the last two hours. He would hardly participate and wouldn’t talk. He’ll answer questions but that’s it. From Dec- Mar of this year he was out of state at a residential facility surrounded by 14 kids.
So he’s had a lot of ‘socializing opportunities’ up until summer. He has a lot of difficulty in conversation so I think he avoids it. As parents we talk to him but don’t expect or push him to fluently converse with us. He does seem relaxed and happier since school’s out. I think he needed a break but I do worry about the lack of social interaction this summer. He will go to youth at church two nights a week. I think he’s comfortable with these kids. He wanted to go to church week long camp but we feared it was too soon. So, some things he is motivated to do.


#4

It sounds like you are doing the right thing.
I would never push however–the situations he is avoiding right now are probably big stressers for him. Stress may amp up his symptoms. Let him go at his own pace.
He is on his own journey, and will progress at his own pace. Nothing wrong with suggestions however!:blush:


#5

:blush:Thanks Bridgecomet, good advice. I think patience on my part is needed! And to always be aware and feel blessed for the progress he’s made. Right now I’m enjoying him smiling and playing catch with our puppy:))


#6

You mentioned you have a puppy, maybe the animal shelter near you might have volunteer work? Our local shelter welcomes people to volunteer to walk and exercise dogs and play with cats. Your son might like that🌺