Disrespect and laughing at me


New Member
Hey, how would you guys see this and handle it.

My difficult child totally ignores what I say, and frequently laughs at me when I'm telling them what to do or not do. Plus he eggs me on. (IE: don't touch the wall with your dirty hands, and he'll stand there touching it and say, "touch", "touch".) Part of me (after I walk away, and I'm not in "the Moment") wonders if it's part of his condition (the hospital doctors observed that difficult child laughs at everything - so it's not just "me" taking it personally), or he is REALLY laughing at me and totally disrespecting me. I'd say it may be 50-50. The hard thing is to know when he does it on purpose. Ignoring me, disrespecting me, and laughing at me just really pushes my buttons. I don't know how to make difficult child take me seriously. And to add to this, difficult child gets easy child going to. So now I have both of them doing it. I know easy child is just copying difficult child, which is normal, but it still infuriates me.

I wish I could be laid back, easy going, with a great sense of humor, becuase they're ALWAYS taking me as a joke I find that I'm such a inflexible authoritarian drill sergeant....I hate that.

Am I creating this circle? Could it be that the more I "demand" their respect and attention, the more I'm becoming a joke in their eyes? What totally stinks is that there is too much work to do on the homestead, for them to not take me seriously. I'm wasting to much time trying to get them to comply. I've thought about letting them win all these situations, and just do their chores myself, and clean up what ever they messed up while I was busy doing chores......BUT then I wouldn't be teaching them anything and more importantly, doing them a great disservice. So here's my dilema....


New Member
I think you have to choose your battles and stick with the ones you feel are most important. If you ask him not to put his hands on the walls because they are dirty, and he does it anyway. Hand him the sponge to clean it off and tell him he can't do something, say like watch his favorite program, until he cleans it off, then walk away. If he laughs, ignore him. Most of the time kids do this just to get us going, because they know it works. As soon as they learn they aren't getting what they want from their behavior, it isn't as fun anymore. He'll be really shocked that you don't react to his laughing at you. He'll probably even laugh at you more in the beginning, thinking you can only ignore it for so long. Heck two can play this game. You could always start laughing at him when he asks you to do something and see if he likes it??


New Member
I'm not in your house, so I don't know, but READING it sounds like it's totally the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) talking and laughing.

If you "hate" being the inflexible authoritarian drill sargent, then don't be. Prioritize what is truly important to work on and work on it. We can't teach our difficult children every lesson every day...it's not possible for them and it's certainly not possible for us either. Pick a couple of things that are vitally important, put them at the top of your list, and make those the priority...everything else falls the by the wayside. The other things don't become a battle. If the other things aren't a battle, you're not "letting the kids win"...because there was no battle to win to begin with....you're simply not bringing up your concerns at that time...you can work on them later when they make their way up the priority chain.

Give yourself a big hug. You're not a joke. You're a warrior mom. :smile:


This community rocks.

You say the laughing may be 50% on purpose and 50% due to his condition. If it's due to his condition, then I think no reaction on your part is appropriate. If he's doing it on purpose, then I think no reaction on your part would also be appropriate. I wonder if you reframe it in your mind, and give yourself a little mantra every time he laughs "at" you: "This laughing is due to his condition." If you make a point to remind yourself of that, will it help it be less of a hot-button issue for you? This way you might be able to be less frustrated on a daily basis, even if difficult child doesn't change his behavior right away.

I've tried the authoritarian drill sergeant thing, and it's impossible to maintain. I find myself slipping into it when I'm keyed up, like when the school bell is about to ring and nobody's ready to leave the house. But in general I have worked really hard to reframe my "orders" into a different kind of language, for example, "If you put your dirty hands on the wall it will get the wall dirty," or "Can you keep your hands up in the air while you walk to the sink?" instead of "Don't put your dirty hands on my wall!"

I'd always thought that the opposite of the drill sergeant was the "happy sappy" voice, but I can't maintain that level of positivity either. It's really more effective to just talk in an unemotional voice, without obvious irritation or emotion. That way, it's about the issue (i.e. the wall), not me, and not my feelings related to the issue.


Well-Known Member
Does he laugh when other people talk? Can you invite someone over and observe? I've read about laughing inappropriately (in fact, just read it again in the new asperger's book I bought... it says the kids are laughing at something specific and do it repetively... like, the handmarks on the wall may be fascinating to an aspie.)

Jen, I hear you (literally and figuratively) about the either/or drill sgt or happy sappy voice. It's soooooooooooo hard.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
There is a happy medium between authoritarian & the happy sappy parent. It's hard to find but worth it once you get there.

The laughing whether due to his condition or on purpose is a skill he will have to learn to control; the same with the disrespect.

With difficult children cognitive delays & Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) it's going to be a long learning process. It will be hard for him to connect the dots - it can happen though.

Chores can be learned as well - though I wouldn't expect the same level of attention & performance from a difficult child.


New Member
Thanks, each of you have a good point. I read somewhere about constant inappropriate laughing too. Before the medications, difficult child was non-stop laughing and screaming and high pitch squeals. The thing is that he goes from laughing to crying (because he's going at the speed of light and runs into something, or easy child does something in rough housing).

I guess I just "wish" for a calm quiet non-chaotic day or night, especially in the morning and after work.

thanks for the replies.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to me (I have one). Does he have a good idea of how to behave socially? Speech delays? Receptive speech problems? Does he like sensory stuff--touching, feeling, etc? I wouldn't get angry at him unless you are sure this is intentional. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids love to touch things and are not always aware they are egging you on. Is he in serious interventions for the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)? Have all your kids been seen by a neuropsychologist for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? They all seem to have symptoms of it. The best prognosis for kids who have it or are on the edge of it are appropriate interventions in the school, community, and at home. We have had excellent results. Many Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids are extremely socially inappropriate and appear defiant when they are just not realizing that they aren't doing something "typical."


Well-Known Member
High pitched squeals and weird noises are classic Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) stuff. My son has learned to only make those sounds in his room, but some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids never learn to hide their Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behaviors. It depends on how much interventions they get and how high functioning they are. At least now, the obnoxious laughing and squeals are confined to his room and his peers don't hear it (nor us!). He is almost 14 and still does this, but can pass as "normal" when people are around, which is a huge step. My son does better off medications. I'm not against medication, but medications just made Lucas's Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) behaviors worse. He's better--seems more "with it" and "typical" without medications.


Active Member
The drill sergeant vs "happy sappy" - I don't do either. I talk to my kids in the same tone of voice I use for any adult. It depends on the situation, but touching a wall with dirty hands - I might get a bit cranky with husband too, if he made a mess, but I would always assume it was carelessness and not deliberate, in which case I would say, "hey, honey, I just cleaned that wall and I haven't the time to do it again; here's the cloth, you do it."

And when you have a lot of chores to do yourself, this limits the quality time you can spend with your kids. So when your workload is increased, you have less time. But when the cooperate, make time for them and tell them that you can spare the time because they pitched in and helped.

Sometimes we can do chores together, such as preparing vegetables. I do potatoes, difficult child 3 does the carrots, but we do them at the same time and talk while we work. I always thank them even for doing their regular chores. And where possible, I involve everybody. You could even involve a 4 year old in vegetable preparing - he could shake the vegetables up in seasoned oil (I use a plastic bag) and then pour then into a baking tray.

Working as a team can be a very positive thing for everybody. Ignore any complaining as they do it, and make sure they get first go at the vegetables when they're cooked. At least the first time. Tell others at the meal that the kids did a lot to help.

And if ever you get the "boys don't do kitchen stuff" point out that YOUR boys do, so that one day they can make an independent life for themselves as good as living at home with you. You want them to be able to save their money so they can spend it on what they want, instead of having to live on supermarket packed frozen food, which is expensive and doesn't taste as good.