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Behaviour of GS

(51 Posts)
DotMH1901 Mon 30-Apr-18 16:21:46

Do any Gransnetters have GC with autism? I am worried about my GS - he is now almost 15 and it is like dealing with a four year old at times. My DD has come home from work (after collecting him from school) having had one long argument in the car because he was told not to take his tablet to bed (he can't get up in the mornings) and we found out that he had taken one of his sister's tablets instead. His argument is that he wasn't told he couldn't take someone else's. This type of thing is happening almost daily, it is as if he needs to be told in great detail ensuring that every possible permutation has been covered. My DD has gone to her room for a rest because he has made her feel quite unwell. I know that some teenagers go through a period of rebelling but this isn't that - he seems completely unable to understand that his behaviour is causing a problem, instead he blames everyone else. Other things he does (making odd sounds, getting aggressive if told no, shouting instead of speaking normally and has been disruptive in school, talking over the teacher etc) have made me wonder if he is, in fact, autistic? He does have epilepsy on waking but this is controlled by a very low dose of Tegretol and, if he takes his tablets he is fine (another thing he does is take his tablets out of sequence, I bought a pill box for him with the days of the week on and I fill it for him, yet I often find he has taken the wrong day (and then isn't sure if he has actually taken his tablet or not).

Jalima1108 Mon 30-Apr-18 16:28:40

I couldn't comment on whether or not he has autism and other Gransnetters may have more experience than me and be able to help, but the incident with the tablet sounds just like the kind of argument that my younger DD would have put forward and in fact DGS (who is younger than your DGS) would use too.
Both would call it a logical argument.
I would call it exasperating teenage behaviour.

OldMeg Mon 30-Apr-18 16:33:41

Actually that is typical of those with ASD. Many do take things very literally.

hildajenniJ Mon 30-Apr-18 17:46:41

Sounds a bit like my DGSs who are all on the autism spectrum. The difference being that DGS 2 would not do anything out of order or sequence. He is very rigid in his thinking and needs everything to be ordered and correct. Making odd sounds is more like a symptom of Tourettes. My DGS 1 has Asperger's and Tourettes, he's only nine but makes strange sounds sometimes, he also has facial ticks, he has exaggerated blinking. If he has autism it would be at the high functioning end of the spectrum. A diagnosis might be useful, what does the school say?

HAZBEEN Mon 30-Apr-18 17:52:19

My Dgs is asd and is 17 years old. To be honest it is apparent with him but somethings could also be put down to the teenage years! Your GS sounds high functioning as has been said but my advice would be to speak to the school and gp.

DotMH1901 Mon 30-Apr-18 18:12:41

Thank you - I did mention it to his epilepsy consultant about two years ago when I took him to his checkup - he said it was just normal teenage behaviour but it has got worse since then. My daughter is going to see if he can be tested - his school have been supportive but they are concerned about the number of detentions he gets for not paying attention in class and for things like talking over the teacher (which he denies doing, apparently the teachers are imagining things!). So good to be able to get other opinions - Gransnet is great!

Jalima1108 Mon 30-Apr-18 19:37:50

Actually that is typical of those with ASD. Many do take things very literally.
Yes, I don't have direct experience but I have a friend with a DGS on the autistic spectrum who demonstrates literal behaviour.
Coupled with the other behaviour too it would be worth seeking advice.
I was just pointing out that the 'tablet argument' is one that has been used by my DD, who is not on the autistic spectrum and by DGS who is not.
That alone would not be an indication but it would be up to an expert to decide.

M0nica Mon 30-Apr-18 19:55:42

My DC used the literal 'logical' ' you only said I wasn't to listen to my...... so I used DS's' argument. In fact I can remember using that argument myself as a teenager.

However, his behaviour does sound odd. I would seek a consultation and assessment by a child psychologist.

OldMeg Mon 30-Apr-18 21:20:55

A friend’s teenager, high functioning ASD, was asked to run a bath. He did turn the taps on but nobody asked him to put the bath plug in 🤨

Deedaa Mon 30-Apr-18 21:31:49

DD was at a meeting today to discuss GS1's transition to secondary school and said she kept emphasising that he is completely literal in everything. Also of course not very good with jokes! When he learned to do very nice cursive script his teacher asked him why he wasn't using it for all his schoolwork but was just using it in his handwriting book. His totally serious answer was "You never asked me to".
Your GS certainly seems to have autistic tendencies Dot but be prepared for a long haul to get a diagnosis.

Greenfinch Mon 30-Apr-18 21:50:17

It is interesting that you say your GS has epilepsy as autistic children often have at least one other problem.My GS has ADHD as well as autism.He is also very literal. I have just made the mistake of saying "would you like to get ready for bed" to which he replied "No thanks"assuming this was a question rather than a polite request. When younger ,his reply to the question "how many letters are in the alphabet?" was 8.

lemongrove Mon 30-Apr-18 21:59:30

Yes, our teenage DGS with autism would use the same logic, and take someone elses tablet to bed if told not to take his own ( although he would know what he was doing all right!)
The problem with any child with autism is that it also goes with being a teenager and all that entails, they don’t escape the hormones because they are autistic.
He also makes odd sounds at times and becomes a bit manic.He holds it together at school but needs a release mechanism once he gets home.
DGS’s behaviour is awful at times. It sounds as if you are in much the same boat, and a diagnosis may be of help, whatever it turns out to be,

lemongrove Mon 30-Apr-18 22:01:49

Posted too soon!
If his Mother and his teacher think there is a problem, then I should think there is.
Autistic children ( and adults) can’t always control their volume when talking to others, sometimes they walk a little oddly as well.

Hellomonty Mon 30-Apr-18 22:16:14

I’m a secondary school teacher and this kind of trying to get off on a technicality is very common in many (most) of the stroppier (non-ASD) boys. And girls to be honest. Today’s young people have behaviour management which is based far more around dialogue and less “I’m the adult so you have to do as you are told”. And rightly so. But the intelligent “don’t want to do as they’re tolds” up against an adult who won’t challenge them on it (I know you understood what I meant, because I know you are intelligent. Don’t continue to insult your intelligence or mine by maintaining this nonsense. That behaviour was unacceptable and this will be the consequence. We’ll discuss this properly tomorrow when we’ve both had a chance to cool down.)

Hellomonty Mon 30-Apr-18 22:32:33

Sorry, posted too soon.

They realise quickly that this is an effective and straightforward way of muddying the waters to the extent of undermining the original charge. And the most accomplished kids up against the least confident adults end up turning the tables and leaving the adult feeling confused, inept and guilty. Very satisfactory result for them.

I know you love your grandson but I very much doubt that a 15 year old (even with ASD, especially at a level so mild that it has not been diagnosed by 15) wouldn’t have understood the thrust of what was being instructed (you are not to take a tablet into your bedroom). It

Doodle Mon 30-Apr-18 22:53:18

dot please suggest your DGSis tested for autism. If he is not on the spectrum, great, just a teenage boy with a will of his own. But, is he is autistic it will help him and all those around him to understand better what is going on.

stella1949 Tue 01-May-18 04:06:21

It does sound like it. My step son has Asperger's and everything is literal with him. Id'd suggest to your DD that he might need testing.

OldMeg Tue 01-May-18 06:42:55

Hellomonty your teaching qualification does not give you greater insight into the condition than those who have lived with it. Though I would have expected in this day and age that those who deal with children on a day to day basis had received training that might have included an understanding of the needs of children with ASD. I’m guessing your due for retirement soon!

OldMeg Tue 01-May-18 06:43:22


Greenfinch Tue 01-May-18 07:09:06

When I started teaching there was no such thing as autism( or at least I knew nothing about it):just naughty boys and girls. Having a DGS on the spectrum I am so so glad things have changed.Or have they?

OldMeg Tue 01-May-18 07:46:09

Greenfinch luckily most teachers don’t have that attitude any more, but there will always be dinosaurs 🦕 who don’t ‘believe’ in ASD or dyslexia etc.. just naughty boys (usually) don’t you know 😤😬🤨

Nannarose Tue 01-May-18 09:53:39

2 years is a huge amount of time in the development of a teenage brain. He needs re-assessing for his epilepsy treatment from that point of view, but not in isolation.

I suggest asking for a referral to your local Child Development Centre, where specialist paediatricians, psychologists and nurses can assess, in collaboration with the consultant who sees him for epilepsy. They are used to doing this.
Some areas enable referrals from schools, but the GP is usually the quickest route, and ensure that the details of his epilepsy medication and who is overseeing it are included.

Caramac Tue 01-May-18 09:54:43

I cannot comment on whether your GS is being an ordinary teenager or has other additional difficulties. Having experience of working with both I would say be very literal even without a diagnosis of ASD. If there is an undiagnosed condition then being calm and literal is better for DGS and DD and others GC. If he is just being a difficult (clever, manipulative, crafty) teenager then being literal gives no room for twisting requests or instructions. Either way, DGS will feel more secure and hopefully more calm.

blueberry1 Tue 01-May-18 09:56:50

My 17 year old grandson,who has Asperger's would have reacted in the same way,he takes everything literally.
It is vital to get a diagnosis because if your grandson is autistic,his family will have to learn a lot about how difficult it is for him.

Missfoodlove Tue 01-May-18 10:00:14

I trained to work with autistic children. To communicate properly with any autistic person language has to be simple. We use expressions every day such as “ I could kill him” “ I could eat a horse” etc. These expressions are not understood if you are autistic.
A really good example was a young autistic child was asked by his teacher “What rhymes with House?” The response was no it does’nt! So the child thought it was a statement not a question the poor child thought the teacher had gone mad!
Other factors that can cause disruptive behaviour are noise, flickering light and shadows. I worked with a child that went crazy in a science lab, the rubber ferrules had worn of the lab stools so they made an awful scraping sound, we replaced the ferrules and the child enjoyed science again.
Also some autistic children don’t recognise thirst so it’s worth trying to get your GS to drink regularly.
Autism is a confusing world and a hard one to understand but sometimes small changes can make a huge difference.