typical teen or increasing symptoms?? Need advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    I've mentioned before how difficult child 2 used to be a easy child but since puberty hit has become more of a difficult child and then we got the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis. Now I don't know what to think or do about his behaviors.

    Scenario 1: Both boys are getting ready for bed and start brushing their teeth. difficult child 1 goes into the next room to check on something while brushing and difficult child 2 starts later than difficult child 1 and stays in the bathroom, standing in front of the sink like he always does. difficult child 1 goes back into the bathroom to spit and rinse and difficult child 2 just stands there. difficult child 1 comes into the other room with a mouth full of spit to tell me difficult child 2 won't move. When I go in to tell difficult child 2 to move, he says difficult child 1"didn't ask me to move". This has NEVER been an issue until about the last week and it's not consistent. To me, it was almost like he didn't even realize difficult child 1 was there.

    Scenario 2: We're sitting at the table doing "partner reading" for one of their classes. difficult child 1 is reading. difficult child 2 starts cracking his knuckles (a new OBSESSIVE habit he learned from his favorite cousin). difficult child 1 tells him to stop. difficult child 2 starts tapping the book with a ruler. I tell him to stop. He starts to sniffle (allergies acting up) and we both tell him to stop. He gets mad and walks away from the table. When I tell him to come back because it's his turn to read, he sits down and starts reading REALLY quiet.

    Scenario 3: *Important information- we have 2 tv's on the main floor separated only by a wall both rooms with a sofa* Now, I was at work last night and both boys were home. After a couple hours, I get paged to answer the phone. It's difficult child 1 in tears telling me all the things difficult child 2 had done and that he wanted to kill him (sign that he'd been pushed WAY too far). I get difficult child 2 on the line and (because I can't leave work) tell him to go to the library NOW (his favorite place) until it closes at 5. I call him on my break later and ask him what happened. difficult child 2 was in the living room on the laptop with the tv going. difficult child 2 started tapping the dog kennel door (in the living room) because he felt like it. difficult child 1 got mad and went to take the doors off the kennel. difficult child 2 went over to the sofa and sat down and changed the channel. When difficult child 1 got done, he put the tv on the channel he was watching. difficult child 2 changed the channel again and walked out of the room with the remote and barricaded himself in another room. I asked him why he was kicking the kennel door and he said he was bored. Then I asked him why he changed the channel. His answer was "because difficult child 1 wasn't watching it" (he was taking the kennel door off at that moment). When I asked him why he changed it again after difficult child 1 turned it back and his answer was "because I was watching something." My guess is that he wanted the laptop and was willing to do whatever he could to get it, conscious or not.

    I am really struggling with these types of things. Part of me tells me that it's typical teen sibling rivalry stuff but, having made assumptions about difficult child 1's behavior and finding out how much damage I and others were doing with that, I am reluctant to do that now. I don't want to send difficult child 2 to the same place difficult child 1 went with all the discipline only to find out I was punishing him for skills he didn't have. I just don't know what to think or do. Do I punish or get him on medications? Is he just being a typical teen bullying his brother or is he really not seeing other points of view more frequently? His sensory needs seem to be increasing, too. The need for noise is almost constant now Any advice? Any insight? Anything????
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK... mine aren't twins, not even same gender, but... I do have two teenagers, both in HS, one being difficult child and the other not so much so.

    Doing stuff to annoy? BOTH do it.
    Pushing way WAY too far? 90% difficult child.
    Pushing way WAY too far by doing stuff that really IS annoying like tapping? 200% difficult child.
    For my difficult child, that behavior = anxiety.
    No, he doesn't TELL us he's getting in knots inside. But he does this stuff on an escalating basis once anxiety sets in.
    "Mom, how do YOU know! I'm not worried about anything. Really!"

    You're at work. Something inside of difficult child becomes anxious. He'd rather you were there. You aren't. So... he ramps up.

    Missing skill? Could be anxiety management. Or more accurately, "acceptable" anxiety management. It could explain scenarios 2 & 3, but not 1. Do you have a stress-ball he can squeeze while waiting his turn for reading? Or silly putty? The at-home-without-mom scenario probably needs some basket-b work... with each of them.

    We solved scenario 1 the easy way. Separate bathrooms.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    To me, and I've had two teenagers two times it sounds like typical teen pushed to the difficult child limit with some Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in there (inflexibility, obsessive knuckle cracking, etc). in my opinion typical teen's don't bully. My most typical teen kid, Jumper, who is just a normal, happy teenage girl, has other things on her mind---boys, sports, school--and is kindhearted and would not hurt her brother. If he annoys her, she yells "STOP IT!" or something like that but then moves on even if he won't. Sometimes she says, "He's gets away with so much just because he has autism." But it's not a constant whine. She can't handle overly dramatic people so she avoids drama. This isn't all the time, but 95% of the time.

    I think the difference between a difficult child and a typical teen (I've had both) is the typical teen is more flexible and more willing to just let things go if they aren't important. difficult child's tend to be drama queens and make huge deals out of EVERYTHING...as well as declaring how everything isn't fair in their world. They also are more apt to get into trouble then act surprised when they do. Look at our archived thread that says "I Think We Ought To Define typical teen." (That may not be the exact title).
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Sounds like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-enhanced teenage drama. Eeyore does a lot of that, especially when his anxiety spikes. Without excusing difficult child 2's behavior, can you try to find out what is increasing his anxiety?