Could SHE be a difficult child?!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I survived the multi-family birthday part from he!! yesterday, but I came away from it with a very perplexed feeling about my 20yo niece and am now wondering if this girl has something else going on with her.

    She is VERY smart -- book smart anyway. She's one of these straight-A honors students who's probably going to graduate with her BS degreee a year early in pre-law/philosophy, of course, with honors.

    But she has a very hard time processing jokes. Case in point: Her mom called to tell me the S wanted a backpack for her birthday. No particular color, style asked for, just a backpack. Okay, so kids and I decided to play this up and do something fun, especially since S is turning 20. She has a black belt in Karate and so we decided to get her a pink Kung-Fu Panda, thinking it was a silly girly-looking backpack that reflected her martial arts experience (and we stuck $20 in it with a gift receipt so she could take it back if she wanted and get a "real" or "big girl" backpack). But when she opened the gift (and this wasn't the only gift from us, she got other stuff plus the cash) she looked very confused, and her mood changed to a more serious tone. Her mom quickly piped up with some kind of explanation/interpretation for the room ("It's because S likes pandas!" Which I actually didn't even know!), even though I had just finished explaining why MY kids thought it was funny and appropriate for her. This really struck me as odd. husband noticed that the humor was completely lost on her.

    I also notice that when she talks, it's very monotone. Not a lot of inflection or animation when she talks to people. And she doesn't generally use a lot of facial expressions. She does smile, she does laugh at things.

    Is this an Aspie-in-disguise? Or is it just her personality? She is SO, SO, SOOOO different from her parents and her brother.

    The whole thing just struck me as very strange.

    by the way, her brother has ADHD and is dyslexic. Her mom is likely someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), ADHD, and has some compulsive issues in my opinion.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She could be an Aspie. Hard to say. If her life is full and happy, no need for her to be diagnosed in my opinion. Lost of high functioning Aspies are never diagnosed. But if she's NOT happy--that's another story.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, she seems happy enough -- but her whole life has been planned and orchestrated by her mom. I once heard her say to someone shortly after she'd earned her blackbelt that she really didn't know what she was supposed to do now. I thought, wow -- was the only reason you engaged in that sport to acheive that specific level? I wonder if she'll be saying that after she gets her law degree! Her mom is VERY involved in every aspect of her life, not so much in a commanding way, but in a VERY influential, almost manipulative way. I don't get the feeling that she has ever been asked what SHE would like to do. And frankly, I don't know that she even sees this. It's just how her life has always been structured.

    I'm not saying she needs to get a diagnosis, just wondering what would explain her behavior...
  4. susiequte

    susiequte New Member

    My 21 yo difficult child doesn't get the humor in jokes either. Even when he is being teased in jest, he doesn't get it!!! I got him a T shirt once that said "no car, no job, no money". He didn't get the humor in it.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sounds Aspie to me, especially with that family history of ADHD etc.

    Not that there's much point in doing anything about it if she's happy as she is. Sounds like she's doing OK without the need for any intervention.

    I can consider various people in our family (both sides) and I'm fairly sure of a few being Aspie, but never diagnosed. A cousin, a couple of nephews, husband as well maybe. father in law too perhaps. My kids reckon I see Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) under every rock, but perhaps with good reason. I know it well!

  6. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    If it is that she's Aspie, then it is her personality.
  7. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I've been wondering if my brother-in-law might be an aspie too. I don't know him well but I remember trying to "tease" him when I met him and he didn't seem to get it. He's very nerdy (so is my husband) and smart but his social skills just seem a little off. He's "different" in some way. I feel really bad for him because just a year or so after he retired he was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson's. He isn't expected to live much longer and has really deteriorated. He's only 62 years old.
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I agree with others, possibly aspie but it sounds like she is doing pretty well for herself.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    If it is that she's Aspie, then it is her personality.:redface:

    Yup. I'll 2nd and 3rd the motion. :)
    She'll have to figure out the jokes when she's on her own, away from her mom.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Her mom called me today and I asked her if S eventually "got" what the joke was that we intended. She said she finally did after they talked about it in the car on their drive home!

    I don't know if she'll ever be "away" from her mom. Her mom is very much like her grandmother... all the sisters in husband's family are attached to his mom (mother in law) like the umbilical cord was never cut. (How many women call their mother long distance multiple times a day (I'm not talking 2 or 3, I'm talking dozens of times, EVERY day?) And these sisters are modeling the same behavior with their daughters.

    I love my mom, don't get me wrong. And I talk to her several times a week. But I just can't imagine needing to talk to her THAT much! It seems a bit obsessive.

    Hmmmm... and I wonder why I have difficult child's??? It's in the genes...