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Does this sound like developmental issues or just a bratty kid?

MrsMiserable's picture

I posted last week about my SS11 being very destructive and constantly breaking or losing things. He's definitely not doing these things on purpose. He's just a really clumsy kid who seems to have no sense of responsibility for anything. And my DH has never made his kids be responsible. On my other post a few people had asked if he might have some kind of developmental issue and the more I think about it, the more I think that might be the case. On top of the clumsiness and being irresponsible he also always seems to be in his own little world. He kind of walks around in a bubble and has absolutely no idea what goes on around him. The school has called twice in the last two weeks because SS had literally walked into a wall and a pole not paying any attention to where he was walking. I would say 9 times out of 10 when he gets out of my car he leaves the car door open. He also never shuts the door to the house if he's the last one in unless we tell him to. He has walked out into traffic in parking lots more times than I can count because he just wanders off ahead of us not looking in any direction. My BS is only four months older than SS and they are on two totally different levels. 

What's crazy is SS is not a bad kid. He gets straight A's in school, never has a bad word to say, and mostly does the right thing. But he just can not seem to keep track of himself, his stuff, or anything else. He also seems to have a really hard time talking to anyone besides his brother and my kids. When adults speak to him, including DH and I, he literally just gets this glazed over look on his face and kind of looks off in the other direction. If he's told to do something he will say yes ma'am or yes sir but only because he is used to saying that. But it doesn't ever seem like he's actually listening or comprehending. I have noticed this from the time I met SS almost four years ago but DH always just shrugs it off and says he's just a flighty kid or he's in his own little world. But honestly I think there has got to be more to it than that... 

All six of us were in the car yesterday running errands and DH and I were asking the kids "Does this sound good for dinner?" No response from SS11. "Did you guys need to get Valentines for school next week?" No response from SS11. DH finally yells at him and he responds. And that's how it goes 99% of the time. We literally have to say the same thing four or five times then end up screaming at him and he will suddenly come out of his fog and give us a one word answer. And he usually doesn't even have a clue what was actually asked. Then last night were are all sitting around the family room before bedtime and we are asking the kids about what activities they have this week and how their weekend was, etc. SS11 is playing with a wrapper the entire time (he's always fidgeting with something or putting things in his mouth) and would mumble something quitetly under his breath every so often when any of us addressed him. I kept trying to push to get him to talk or at least look at DH and I while we are talking and he just stares down at whatever is in his hand. So I finally say "Hey! SS11 can you please just join the conversation for five minutes?? I wanted to know if you are enjoying playing the clarinet at school? How's it going?" The freaking kid bursts into tears and starts hyperventilating and is choking out random words and finally says "It's fine. Is this family meeting over I want a snack." And gets up and walks into the kitchen. 

I have very timidly approached DH with the idea that SS may have something going on that he might want to see a doctor about because this is only going to get harder as he gets older... DH puts up a wall and gets defensive and blows it off. Can anyone give me any insight here who has dealt with a kid like this? I am so frustrated at this point and have pretty much stopped trying to even talk to SS. For three years I have tried to bond with him, get to know him, have some kind of conversation with him but it's pointless. Lately it's come down to me just telling DH his chores are on you, his stuff is on you, I'm not buying him stuff to replace everything he breaks or loses. And at this point I have prettty much given up even speaking to the kid. I feel like I would have better luck talking to a wall. I don't understand how DH is ok with it. SS is the same way with him and everyone else. He told me he feels like he doesn't really know SS at all either and can't get anything out of him but apparently he's fine with that. 

tog redux's picture

Take him to the pediatrician - he/she can start the screening process for ADHD, anxiety, and developmental issues. 

EatThisApple's picture

He sounds exactly like my SS 12 who is diagnosed ADHD. Also a sweet, smart kid but completely clueless, clumsy and absent minded. I get nervous taking him out because I'm afraid he'll get distracted goofing around and ealk into traffic. He's also broken most of his electronics out of sheer clumsiness and it makes me crazy. It isn't his fault, but that doesn't mean he can't respond to rules and discipline.

I would highly recommend an ADHD assessment. Happy to hear his grades aren't affected though.


Cover1W's picture

Sounds just like my SD14.

But not my issue because any of my concerns are brushed off or ignored.

MrsMiserable's picture

Mine too. But it's so hard for me to live with this kid and NOT have an opinion!!

fourbrats's picture

he gets straight As. Is he super smart? Potentially belongs in the gifted program smart? I work with kids in gifted programs and they often lack common sense, are off in their own world and are clumsy and careless. None of it is on purpose or malicious though. They just need more visual and auditory reminders of things (for example, I have visual reminders of how their lunch needs to be disposed of even though we have done it all year) and need to be brought back into reality frequently. 

MrsMiserable's picture

He's very smart and he is in the gifted program. But my BS11 is as well and I get the lacking common sense thing but I feel like with SS it goes above and beyond that. 

Rags's picture

My Skid was like this for years.  We had to purge his environment of any and all distractions to have a conversation with him and getting more than one word our of unimpressive was like pulling teeth.

We had two dining spaces in the house.  The dining room had a bare table in it and that was where we had discussion with him.



EveryoneLies's picture

Your SS sounds like my SS12 who's on the spectrum. Except my SS is not a straight A student, and neither does he care. I agree with other poster, you should take him to the doctor to get diagnosed. 

At home my SS just straight can't listen. I don't want to think he' not capable of listening, but it sure feels that way. He also used to left the door open if he's the last person to leave/come in, but we fixed that eventually. Although he still doesn't lock the doors. My SS also has ADHD so he fidgets a lot, that's also the cause of his LEGO piece randomly showing up on the floor everywhere in the house.

From what it sounds like i don't think this is a developmental issue (as I don't aggree Autism is a developmental issue, because they can't be out-grown). Is your SS able to make friends at all?

MrsMiserable's picture

Supposedly he has a couple friends at school but we've never actually seen proof. When DH has chaperoned on field trips he says SS always says inappropriate things to the other kids and talks to them awkwardly. My BS is probably his best friend and he has learned to kind of ignore the odd things SS says and how he acts. He used to always ask why SS doesn't talk back to him like normal conversation but just rambles on about random stuff. Even when BS or BD have friends over SS will walk up to them and just spout out random things. 

I have wondered if he may be on the spectrum. He has some oddities about his behavior that I think could be symptoms... For instance, he we make him set his sleep timer on his TV so that it goes off at 8:30 every night otherwise he would stay up all night watching it. But he has to have a full hour of TV in bed or he completely freaks out. If it's 7:45 and DH says he is putting 45 minutes on the sleep timer SS will have a completel panic attack meltdown and start making weird noises and pacing around his room. That's the latest thing we are dealing with...