My nine-year old son is very advanced intellectually, performing far above grade level in most academics, reading at adult level with an advanced vocabulary.
He has not developed socially or behaviorly since age 4. He is largely unable to connect actions with consequences. He has little impulse control, and steal or "cheat"--hiding trash rather than throwing it away, cheating on tests to skip studying, filling and emptying the bathtub without getting in, He fails tograsp the way that most rules apply to him personally. He also believes any lie he tells after about the third repetition.
He is easily frustrated and when confronted with a problem will go into a "meltdown"--wailing, yelling and talking to himself, sometimes thrashing around on the ground or pounding his head--and he is very difficult to get out of this state and calm enough to go back to the task that frustrated him or even to keep him from escalating into a dangerous or violent state.
He often interacts with other children inappropriately, becoming violent when frustrated. He goes into meltdown in a noisy or chaotic environment. He is often unaware of people around him and lives in a sort of 'bubble", where he does not fully comprehend that events and people are functioning outside his immediate awareness. He tends not to respond when spoken to or "check out" after the first few words and not know what was said. He often avoids eye contact, fidgets and tries to "escape" when being spoken to.
He often becomes immersed in something such as a set of dominos for as much as three hours at a time. He's especially attracted to multiple objects that are identical or nearly so, and will arrange, rearrange, stack and count them at great length. He will sit and watch a clock's hands move for extended periods.
He also still strongly exhibits preferences such as wearing clothes backwards or inside out and prefers to wear his shoes on the wrong feet.
Your son is displaying signs of emotional disturbance and should be evaluated by a child psychologist or child psychiatrist. He may display more than single condition. For example, he may have emotional disturbamce and sensoy integration problems. But start with the psychiatric examination; that should be the priority. Your son is showing signs typical of disorders such as Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Mood Disorder, but this can only be figured out by undergoing thorough evaluation.
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