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Dr-A-Greene
Dr-A-Greene, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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My fiances son is 11, he is socially and emotionally awkward,

Customer Question

My fiances son is 11, he is socially and emotionally awkward, throws tantrums like a toddler would, covers his head when you try to talk to him. I have no idea how to deal with this type of behavior? The child's mother enables this behavior in him and his father does not tolerate it, I'm at a loss as to how to handle his fits. He does it at school, home and in my home usually when he doesn't get his way...
Any help/advice would be fantastic!
Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.
Has he been tested for any cognitive or emotional problem (or do you suspect any)? This kind of behavior can be common with certain disorders.
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.
Has he been tested for any cognitive or emotional problem (or do you suspect any)? This kind of behavior can be common with certain disorders.
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.
I will await your response. Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I do not know if he's been diagnosed with any disorders? I definitely suspect he has something?
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.

Okay- I'm trying to gage it because defiant behavior (throwing tantrums because a child is spoiled and poorly disciplined) is different than tantrums because of a cognitive or emotional problem (something on the autistic/aspberger's spectrum). Does he interact "normally" with adults? How are his communication skills aside from the blow-ups?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is a bright child and communicates well until there is any type of confrontation or being told no, then he has a melt down. I believe he's learned to manipulate situations, his parents especially his mother through this type of behavior. But if he's been diagnosed what possible disorders manifest this type of behavior?
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.
Basically, if there is a cognitive/emotional impairment (such as Aspberger's Disorder), it would be handled differently (e.g. gentle redirection or limited social engagement) as opposed to if it's a defiant behavior (e.g. strict behavioral guidelines and the implementation of a reward system). The reason I asked is because you mentioned in your original question that he was a little socially awkward. A child who is in the spectrum of Aspberger's disorder can manifest some awkwardness. However, they aren't manipulative like you were just describing. If he's being oppositional/defiant, it would be best to implement a structured feeback and reward system. Although, I will admit that it will be difficult if his parents aren't on the same page. Do they agree about his care at all (i.e. would they be willing to cooperate)?
Dr-A-Greene, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience: Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately no, they are not on the same page. That is a very large part of the problem as well. Thank you for your time and input. We will work on developing a healthy structured feedback/reward system & consistency to see if that helps? The parents need to get on the same page...
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 2 years ago.
Gosh, I hope that they can come to some sort of consensus. But even if they can't, you and your fiance can - and every little bit of consistency will help with the behaviors. Just one last thing to mention: once you start the system, the little guy's behavior may ramp up a bit (an "extinction burst"). That's the toughest time to hold steady. But if you do, the results should be worth it. Good luck!

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