Advice Needed


New Member
Hello... I joined this site because after reading through some topics I noticed how kind and genuinely helpful the members seemed... And I could do with some advice from people who know more about what I'm about to talk about than I know I do.

So before I kick this off, I'll first apologise for being ignorant and (if I am) offensive. I absolutely do not intend to be.. I'm simply looking for advice about something that has been eating away at me now for months. (I apologise for the long post I have a lot to get off my chest!)

And to clarify; this topic is about a friends son. He's about to turn 8 and is autistic, but "only just" (her words) to the point where she doesn't get help / see doctors regularly. But I suspect she's pushing autism on him so firmly because she needs the £300 DLA he gets to afford their bigger house (it enabled her to move from council to private). However, I do feel he has a disability/condition, just a more serious one... Let me explain.

An example of me feeling she's pushing autism is his sleeping. She has recently claimed for him to get a weighted blanked paid for on the grounds that he does not sleep at all. However, she enables this in allowing him to take his iPad to bed every night with his bedroom light on and giving him the choice of when he comes off it to sleep. She then wakes him at 6 every morning, resulting in him constantly bring over- tired because she works at 8 and has to take him to child minders for 7. When questioned about the iPad, she argued that he just never sleeps and if she doesn't do this he will kick off and just scream... Because it's a trait of his autism. However I've been there multiple times when he's shown signs of WANTING to sleep and she thrusts the iPad at him anyway?

Another example: he loves video games. He's not obsessed, just likes them and will play with other toys, but she prompts him to play with his iPad / game boy by always buying him new games or apps for them, so when health visitors DO come round he's on it and she will tell them he's obsessed an it's all he'll play with. So, she got awarded and iPad and computer - which she uses for personal use.

Now, I have to clarify he does have traits that link him to the spectrum, but they're not as severe as she claims to doctors etc. He interrupts, has an oral fixation (he will chew ANYTHING that fits in his mouth) amongst a few.

Now, I provided this for background for the reason of my post... His recent behaviour which gives me reason to believe he isn't autistic... But something else. It's worrying me, to say the least. He's become incredibly rude and sarcastic over the last year gradually, giving sassy backchat (think teenager backchat) but always delivers with a straight face and calm manner. She laughs thinking it's hilarious but honestly it's insulting some of the stuff he comes out with. "What you're going home? Oh, so sad. Well bye bye don't get lost on the way home. Or do, it's not like we care either way." (Am I the only one who is shocked to hear an 8 year old say this?!)

He's also become extremely worrying in his physical behaviour. It began when he was younger, mostly smacking his mum who would just say (again) "oh it's an autism thing the books said he'd do it" but i feel it's escalated. He bit me when initiating a hug a month ago saying after when I yelped in pain (he clamped down VERY hard making me bleed) in a very calm tone "you're sweet so I bit you like a sweetie." Mum was horrified and made him apologise. He rolled his eyes and uttered an overly fake "oh, I am sooo sorry!" To be fair there has been no repeat of this but I still get nervous when he hugs me with a smile...

The reason I'm posting is because his behaviour has become so strange and out right worrying towards my own son, who is almost 7. He hits my son, pinches him (always when no ones there to see) and constantly speaks to him so horribly it's making me concerned when they're alone and he thinks I don't hear. (Important to mention because when I AM there in the room he acts overly nice in a very fake put on manner).

An example of things he says when he thinks no one can hear but my son: "you're an actual idiot, you know that?" "Seriously your stupid, don't speak to me you stupid boy" "God you're annoying. Has anyone told you because you are." "You're a naughty boy, a really naughty boy and no one likes you because of it" "do you have friends <name>? I bet you don't." When confronted he'll go "I was kidding! God people take a joke will you! You know I love <name> he's my bestest friend ever!!"

The most alarming thing was an incident the other day when I went round for a chat. The kids were upstairs playing when all of a sudden we heard hysterical screaming and crying. I ran up to find my boy in floods of tears babbling about how "he wasn't ready to die yet". We then find her son sat in his room smiling at us calmly on the floor (no lie, he looked manic smiling at us). We asked what happened an he answered "<name> doesn't want to play <game> so I told him I'll have to kill him." He then pointed to his window and went (eerily calm) "I'm going to throw him out of that when I catch him." He then laughed and went "what? Only kidding! It's a game, geez!"

Obviously I cut the visit short and went home, where I found my son had red imprinted finger marks on him. I phoned her to let her know and she said her son said they were playing wrestling and he lied about the window thing because he thought it was funny. My son won't tell me what happens he just goes quiet and shakes his head becoming distressed if I try to push the issue (he has anxiety and doesn't like to explain things anyway). So I have no idea what really happened.

Another thing to mention is once while walking home from the park her son suddenly stopped on the pavement and burst into laughter. We were all confused (we hadn't been plying a game / talking about anything funny) and when we asked he said (between giggles) "I just imagined you all stood there <points to middle of road> and a car came and hit you all. There was lots of blood and you all asked me to help you. I didn't. I went back to the park!" Then began to laugh again like it was hilarious. It wasn't.

He comes out with chilling things like this a lot. Has dreams of lava in the classroom and he has the choice to save those he wants (he states he let those who were mean to him die and watched them burn and melt). He googles stories about dead children and saves pictures of dead children (like articles about kids with cancer / kids in accidents etc not actual bodies) and stares at them occasionally and will comment "so sad so sad" but in a happy voice.

I seriously think he's a psychopath but my friend is adoment when I mention my concerns that he's just autistic and these are autistic traits. Here's where I want some advice... Is this all normal(?) for autistic children? Or am I right in thinking there is something more serious (maybe not a psychopath but honestly it's how I feel sometimes when he's taking so calmly about such horrible things).

I know I'm right I be concerned for my son (though there's never concrete proof of what he says / does because he would NEVER do it in front of us and my son has anxiety and literally gets distressed when asked for his side of events). I feel like when I say no to sleep overs I have no definitive proof to base my concerns on because he acts so overly nice around my son in front of her that she thinks it's an adorable friendship and my son won't say what really goes on.

Help... I do for all my concerns love him, he's like a nephew to me and I honestly feel he just needs help that can be tailored to him but my friend is convinced this is autism and it's all normal (what she sees) and that anything else I mention that she doesn't is his version of trying to "use sarcasm" which she's convinced he doesn't understand.


Well-Known Member
Hi Golly. Parents don't issue diagnoses for their children - though they may of course have suspicions and "feelings" before anyone else (I knew my son was ADHD, for example, from when my son was about 18 months if not before - and then listened to people saying over the next few years that he would grow out of it, etc, until he was diagnosed ADHD at the age of five). In the UK, where you are from, a diagnosis has to be given by a child psychiatrist after assessments.

Your friend needs to get assessments, if she has not already. She is not able to say that her son is autistic or is not, although she is the best placed to describe and know his behaviour.


Roll With It
STOP allowing your child to play with this child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If your friend cannot understand, that is a shame. I don't know if he is autistic. He shows signs of things my son did when he was in his preteen/teen years. We spent YEARS never leaving our children unsupervised, not even to go to the bathroom. EVER. We had to because our daughter was bruised if our son had a 10 second window alone with her. It was HARD, but we had no choice. Just because he is autistic is NO reason to allow violence to happen with your child.

You have a responsibility to protect your child. MUCH more has happened and until he KNOWS he won't be around this child, your child won't feel safe to tell you what all has gone on. But MORE has occurred, at least threats. His imaginings are NOT NORMAL for a child, not even one with autism. Chances are something bad happened to this child, but it may be that he is just disturbed. Some kids just lose the genetic lottery and little can be done to fix it no matter what a parent wishes.

I agree her story sounds odd, but the child is disturbed regardless of the reason why. You are not responsible for that child, but you MUST keep your child safe. And being around this child is about as safe as letting your child play in the middle of a busy highway. Which you clearly would not do.


Well-Known Member
I also have to say.... and not wishing to condone this child's behaviour which is obviously alarming and inappropriate... that having spent a lot of time in the UK, certain kids' behaviour and culture is violent and cruel. These are kids who do not have any diagnoses of anything, who are "normal". Does he play violent video games??


Well-Known Member
I would stay out of it. There is nothing you can do. Both my boys are videogame addicts and are not violent. At all. I think some kids just are born with unlucky genes with neurological differences and mental illness inborn. I doubt the mother alone, without professional help, can do much. He does have autistic traits but few autistic kids are violent unless other stuff is also going on. I have a grown autistic son who hasn't a mean bone in his body and is climbing the spectrum to the top. SOUNDS LIKE AUTISM PLUS OTHER THINGS.

Since its not your child all you can do (and I would) is stop the the playdates even if it sadly ends your friendship.
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Keep your child away from more play dates...if you insist on a friendship with this her childless.

I would be shocked if the school system allows her to diagnose him..either way. Keep your kid away!


Well-Known Member does strike me that you seem to have little respect for your friend and her deceiving behaviour with the authorities, at the same time as you (understandably) dislike and distrust her son... Is it really a friendship you value??


Crazy Cat Lady
I was thinking the same thing as Malika is. Whatever you think about the mother, this child is profoundly disturbed. This is not autism. He might be autistic as well, but autism does not cause violent ideation/fantasies. Autistic children may act out violently, but it is usually due to fear, frustration, or misdirected, impulsive anger. This is something very different.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned, is the boy a "child of war"? ie: a refugee? That could explain some of the imagery and behaviors he is into, but it doesn't change the fact that he is extremely ill and dangerous.

Your child should have NO contact with him, and you should probably cut off contact with his mother, who sounds a few bricks shy of a load as well.

I'd consider calling whatever your child welfare authorities are, and making a report of the situation so that this child is able to get the help he so obviously needs.