easy child but has aspergers possibly?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Texasfilly79, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest

    I've posted a few times on this site. I mostly sit back and view the threads to see if there is anything that 1) I can help with or 2) learn from the situation and apply to my step difficult child daughter.

    My concerns today is my step son Stevie who is 16 yrs old and does not live with me and husband. Now Stevie is the perfect child when it comes to obeying the rules but I am wondering if that is becuase he has aspergers and not becuase he is a easy child.

    Here is the history -

    He was diagnosed and cured from Lukemia at the age of 2 (and has a speech impedement due to the chemo) and has lived with Biomom since he parents split when he was 9.

    Mom works at night job at the local gas station (Despite having an RN license) and has always given Stevie anything and everything to the point that I feel if he was a regular child, he would be a rotten spoiled little jerk, but he is the exact opposite.

    Stevie is really into games, and will bury his head each and every moment he can. BM has spent so much $$ on it that any console you can think about, he has (litterly, he has all three versions of the DS, the Wii, the playstations, the Xbox, the nintendo's, even the first ninetendo that ever came out when I was a kid, he has) and his hands are a permeanently in the shape of holding a game controller, even when holding nothing. I will say he is very good at games, and can detect flaws in the system, that I don't even freaking notice and has been offered a job at Gamestop when he is able to work.

    Now, he is very polite and will say yes ma'am no ma'am, and will do anything that is asked. If you "correct" him (ie Stevie, your shoe lace is untied) he will ALWAYS say sorry, no matter what you "correct" him on or even when he walks from his room to the kitchen in front of the TV he will say sorry.

    His table manners are atrociaous, but that I belive is more due to the fact that Biomom is not home to help him on his table manners.

    Here is what makes me wonder if he does have aspergers, or becuase mom is not home and lets him bury himeself in

    When I ask a question, (ie where you going to college; are you going to your school dance; are you going to apply for the job at Gamestop; etc.) the anwser is ALWAYS I don't know.

    We asked him where he wanted to go to dinner Sat night and he literally had a panic attack. Constatnly repeating I don't know, and would sit on the couch and hit his head and then bend over and put his head in his lap.

    When I asked if there was a particular food he wanted; he said I don't know. I asked him what is your favorite foods; and he said I don't know. When I asked him why he couldn't anwser; he said "There are too many that I can't choose".

    This went on for a good 30mins and he never was able to make a choice.

    At times, he seems more comfortable to talk to my 9 yr old, then even his sister. But that could be because my 9 yr old has ONE nintendo 3DS.

    I have not been around him much; this is probably the 4 or 5th time I have interacted with him. We have asked him to come to the house and visit, but the anwser is always "I don't know". We do call Biomom (and when she does anwser which is every 20th time) and ask to visit with Stevie, her anwser is "I'll ask him; but he will not say yes or no".

    He does NOT like talking on the phone, and barely even texts, even to his sister.

    I've seen him and his biomom interact once (and that was for only a couple of hours) and it almost seemed like that his mental age he is the age of 9 and not 16.

    Is he smart in school, heck yes, but his social interaction is what really really bothers me. He has one friend, and when they are together, there is not a whole lot of interaction, just sit and play video games with each other.

    Can you give me your thoughts? Am I over thinking this and how he is reacting to us be becuase he isn't around us a whole lot or is there some underlying issue that Biomom is ignoring that everyone else is picking up on?
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    first off, I'd say he has anxiety issues.
    Second, whether that's Asperger's or not, I don't know, but I can definitely see where you're coming from.
    Too bad you don't interact with-him a lot. You could help him out ... for example, by encouraging him that getting a job at Gamestop is a good idea, because he could be in the middle of all that software and hardware and actually get paid for it. Now, since you're not his mom, if you point out that it would improve his social skills, he would not know what you were talking about and might be extremely confused and offended.
    by the way, some Aspies have an "accent." Not sure if that chemo speech impediment is truly cause and effect. Just a thought.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You could certainly be right. on the other hand he is functioning well enough to be successful in school, using appropriate manners, and has actually been offered a job at his young age. in my humble opinion there is no reason to intervene or even be concerned about a diagnosis of AS. Many Aspies find their niche and live happy fulfilling lives. on the other hand if he were displaying signs that indicated problems my take would be different. Janet has an adult son who is similar to your description. He's worked at Radio Shack successfully, evidently leads a rather isolated life at home which is what he prefers...and this year got a girlfriend. Some of our other members are happily married to Aspies. They just follow the beat of a different drummer. DDD
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Sounds like my 13-y/o, aside from the fact that Jett lives with us and has, full time, for almost 5 years.

    When you give him choices... Limit them. Kids with social issues - especially developmental ones - can get overwhelmed. So, some night for dinner: Hey, Stevie, should we have CORN or LIMA BEANS?

    FWIW - the "sorry" is very familiar, too... And here is where I am going to say something that may not be the case but threw up red flags for me.

    People that have been abused tend to apologize A LOT. When husband and I first moved in together, he would apologize for having to go to the bathroom. Jett still apologizes for a LOT of things that don't reallly require an apology. And... All those game systems? Very well could be a bribe to NOT say anything. Or so she doesn't have to spend any time with him.

    And even so... All it could be is repeatedly making comments about how much she has had to sacrifice for him, blaming him for the breakup... A comment here and a comment there, and it starts to cause minor damage. But a single drip can carve a canyon over time.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've always attributed the "I'm sorry" comments as difficult child#2's way of expressing himself to cover his fears that he has done or said something he's not sure is "right" socially. DDD
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi again. Regardless of the diagnosis it does sound like he may have some language based social communication problems. Asking open ended questions can be overwhelming so I agree just offer two choices if any. Unsure kids do cover up by saying I don't know. Or sorry and even yes/no questions are hard. If he sincerely was offered a job ...not just a polite gesture ...he may be able to inform well but may need job coaching on answering customer questions and helping them to make choices. .... just some thoughts. If dad really wants to see him he could try just setting up a schedule ...if he is aspie it could be comforting. Same for phone calls ... sounds like a great kid.
  7. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest


    I agree he has severe anxiety issues. What the exact cause of it I don't know. Due to Biomom, again, remember, she will never talk to us until she needs something (ie washing machine broke, her car broke, etc) and will ask us to pay for it despite the fact that she has the money to spend on games. So being able to interact with Stevie this past few years has been spotty to say the least. Now that difficult child has a cell phone, she will contact him and he is more likely to respond to us rather than asking Biomom and waiting for three months for an answer.
  8. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest


    My fear is I don't think he will be able to function in an work enviornement when he is dealing with customers. Like I said, when we do talk to him, he just about trys to shrink into his shell. With it being Games, he may be able to overcome it since he is very confident with his knowledge, I just don't know.
  9. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest

    Thanks Steph. I thought about the abuse too, but the way he acts when he is around Biomom points to no abuse. I asked difficult child the same thing, if Biomom ever commented on husband not being there and she said no, but difficult child could be covering it up too.

    We believe that the game systems are there to KEEP Stevie with Biomom. Its a bribe in my mind.
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Sounds like an Aspie to me. Repeating "I don't know" and hitting himself, cinched it for me. But like DDD said, if he's found his niche and functioning well, then just leave it alone. If he ever hits a roadblock in life, you can pull out your concerns over the possible diagnosis and that may help him understand himself and his world better.

    Mom - Someone who has a professional license but chooses a "simple" job has issues. I say that without sugar coating or excuses because I'm that kind of person. Not a criticism, but just something else to think of when you view your step son and the tree he came off of.

    This concerns me more than anything else. She knows he won't decide, and she's using it as a cop out to keep from making the decision herself, and ultimately keeping him from spending time with his dad. Your husband should be a bit more demanding in getting to spend time with Stevie. It would be different if he said NO, but he simply can't decide which means that either way is OK with him. Try to convey that (gently) to husband and/or Biomom and get more visits with the boy (assuming you want them, it sounds as if you do)
  11. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest

    Both Biomom and husband have issues.

    Biomom - her mom passed away when she was 12 and her dad is about as warm as a ice cube. (IE his easy child got a virus and decided that since his daughter didn't have internet, she didn't need it and took it - nevermind that Stevie might need it for school work)

    husband - His parents fought over him and his sister all his life growing up he spent two years at one school, two years at another and vice versa so husband always said that he would never put his kids in that situation.

    Now that I'm in the picture and I see how Stevie is, Stevie will be coming to visit his dad more often.

    I'm just worried that he will NEVER leave his mom's house and live the life of a hermit once he is 18.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Isn't it possible that his Mom is working below her level so she has a set schedule that fits with their lifestyle? I don't think an RN working as a clerk should be immediately viewed as a sign of issues. It may have been the solution she found to keep his life level and stress free. Aspies (whether identified or not) are a quirky group and parenting them often requires as very set schedule...change just does not fly with Aspies. I don't the lady obviously but I can't in good conscious suggest that she has made wrong choices. Kids like these are challenges that often require "different" life adaptations. DDD
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    DDD, my thinking is more along the lines that Biomom may also be an Aspie.

    Again, I'm not casting judgement here. Yes, she could simply be reacting to her son's needs and 100% consciously making such a lifestyle decision. However, in my experience with ppl, this is very rarely the case. Usually such a decision is made because the person themselves, for whatever reason (blanket statement of issues) cannot "handle" the level of work they should otherwise be capable of. In this situation, we don't know the entire history, and we don't know the future. It's a viable possibility and should be considered.

    Clue #2 is that this woman's father "is about as warm as a ice cube"
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Kiesta, Clue #2 may, in fact, be significant. Wonder if her Ex perceives her that way also. DDD
  15. Texasfilly79

    Texasfilly79 Guest

    Uhhh, this was NOT in the best interest of either Stevie or difficult child. Remember, difficult child lived with Biomom until last year and during that time, Biomom worked at night while difficult child partied down the street with 21 yr olds, AND BIOMOM NEW IT and didn't do anything about it.

    Docs (from his Leukemia) already warned her that Stevie has a strong urge to become a hermit, and he needed to be socialized and encourged to socialize with other kids.

    Is buying a video game encorging him to socialize with other kids, or a way to keep him at home??

    That my firends, I will judge her for.

    I personally think becuase Grandfarther is so cold and losing her mom at a very young age, that Biomom can not relate to her kids and put her kids first. She has had one kid taken away from when she was younger, under what circumstances, we don't know. Then losing my husband, then difficult child, I think mom has separation issues too.

    I honestly think she has given up on life and wants Stevie with her all the time so that she is not alone. It wouldn't suprise me if when it did come time for Stevie to take the job, Biomom would come up with an excuse as to why he couldn't.
  16. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I can relate to this. I've raised two difficult children who are both Aspies. difficult child 1 doesn't have this "accent" but difficult child 2 has it. He had lots of trouble pronouncing words correctly when he was young. His vowel sounds were distorted and he mixed up L's for R's, S's, for W's, and visa versa. He accented wrong syllables in words. Now that he is a young adult, he talks way too fast, can be difficult to understand if you don't know him. He is much better about pronouncing words correctly but still has some difficulty with this. SFR
  17. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    While I don't know whether or not your stepson is an Aspie, I can relate to what DDD said. Both difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 needed very rigid schedules in order to stay as "glued together" as possible. Out of necessity I had to become a stay at home mom. Luckily, husband and I owned a small business and I was able to continue working out of our house. It was the most difficult period in my life, in all of our lives. DDD saying that these kids are challenges, in my humble opinion, is a huge understatement!! I had to relearn everything I thought I knew about parenting. I had to do some very deep soul searching, had to change who I was to become the parent they needed. Not sure if this makes sense...

    I don't know enough about your situation and hope you're not offended by what I've said. Aspies do come across as being very cold, uncaring individuals. (by the way, they are actually very sensitive.) It is possible that his mother might be an Aspie or at the very least, from what you've said about her not wanting Stevie to leave her, I'm sure she has some "issues" too.

    I hope that Stevie's biomom will agree to let you and your husband spend more time with him. He is lucky to have you and needs both of you in his life. SFR