worried for 18 yr old sons health


I am really worried for my son's health. He is 18 yrs old and has Dyspraxia. Growing up he suffered extreme bullying at school, & school failed to help. He is almost 6ft and weighs approx 17 stone. He spends his days & nights in his room playing computer games which he loves, when a new game comes

out he gets excited. One part of me is glad he doesn't go out and i know where he is as there's been a lot of incidents of youths attacking people around where we live, but another part of me worries about his health and because he doesn't get any exercise at all. He refuses to go to the doctor to be checked out as he is showing symptoms of possible diabetes. I know hes depressed although he deny s this and if i raise the subject of him seeing the doctor he gets very agitated and storms out of the room and back to his bedroom.

I am also in bad health and im worried that if anything should happen to me what would he do as he is in no way independent despite my attempts to help with this.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.


7 Replies

  • Sounds a little like my son. Is he studying or working? My son did a BTEC in games programming, and now has gone to Uni to study further. Can you encourage him to get interested in computer programming? Does he talk to people on line? He may be being more sociable than you know.

    If you do the shopping and only buy healthy food, he will have a healthy diet. I know you're worried, but try to encourage him rather than pressure him. Me dyslexic, dyspraxic son avoids all confrontation and hides away if I get demanding.

  • Do have some understanding as my daughter suffered similarly her teens...shunning contact and hiding away. Gd advice about the food buying. Has he any siblings? In my experience brothers and sisters find it easier to support as their relationship is likely to be less complicated that that of a mother.

  • Just encourage and be there with advice if he needs it. Brilliant advice about buying healthy foods though :) Gok Wan has some really good TV shows about teens with problems with weight for various reasons. These might be good to watch, both for you and your son, channel 4 website should have them.

    Keep being strong and I'm sure it will all work out eventually. xx

  • Hi Webby,

    Sadly human bodies were not really designed for long periods of inactivity - other than sleep. In so many ways we are 'modern' people in cave-dwellers' bodies. Our bodies operate optimally in a reasonably physically active lifestyle with a good range of nutritious food in moderate quantities.

    Basically, cave-dwellers would have foraged for food, and feasted for a day or two when the men of the group / tribe came back from a successful hunting expedition with a deer / wild pig or whatever. Most of the time they didn't eat huge amounts and they would have been walking around getting their food. (No online shopping in those days!)

    In the final analysis, your son is the only person who can possibly take control of his body weight. Others can encourage or support the process, but only he can do it. If he want's to understand why it would be hugely helpful for him to - and probably not nearly as difficult as he imagines it would be - then he could start by doing a bit of online research about the issues. The NHS Choices pages are a good (and free) starting place and in particular he could start with the NHS live well lose weight pages.

    If he chooses, by his actions (inaction?) and his food choices to be a great lump of a fellow with all the health risks involved with that - then that is his choice.

    If he chooses to take control of his body weight, reduce a range of very significant health risks, and discover the lighter and easier to move around in body that he could have, that too is his choice.

    But it's a choice that only he can make and see through to fruition.

  • My son has cerebral palsy, which means he has similar problems to someone with dyspraxia. Like Pklme's son, he studied for a BTEC in Computer Science at our local FE college. He has never been able to take part in exercise that requires co-ordination, but has managed to do some weight lifting.

    If your son has not developed any independence, can you discuss this problem with anyone? If you have health issues, perhaps you could ask your own doctor for some advice?

    There is a Dyspraxic website that may be able to give you some advice.


    Are you able to do any cooking with your son? My son developed his own strategies for coping with the challenge of preparing and cooking food, and is now very keen on healthy eating.

    Good luck with this.

  • Can you find any computer or console games that would help keep him active. When I've had a go on my niece's Wii (or is it Wii fit) I've had a go at tennis and other sports simulations that have certainly got me out of breath. Some of them were really quite fun. That's if you can afford them off course.

  • I'm currently 18 and am overweight myself. From personal experience, mentioning the doctors may not be the best thing, but buying healthier food and making his diet better would be a good start and once he gets used to the healthier food, his mood should also become more uplifted and then he may consider going to the doctors himself

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