My older son is 10 1/2 and in 5th grade. At school he seems to act like all the other kids. He is fine in public settings or with friends. He's very chatty, but not bad behaved. He occasionally has some problems with listening and filtering. For instance, you can be talking to him about something and you just know he's thinking ahead of you. Sometimes he will blurt out what he's thinking-- but mostly now he knows to not break in. He functions well at school, great grades in advanced classes, no problems with organization...responsible with school work, homework et cetera.
At home though is a different story. Here are things I am concerned about. Is it normal for a 10 (almost 11) year old boy to:
have to be constantly reminded to use the fork in front of him, be reminded frequently to not smack his food, need reminders to wash his hands after using the bathroom, need supervision to brush his teeth to ensure that he actually does it, need checking in on the shower-- because if we don't he'll stay in there forever without washing his hair. He's disorganized and impulsive at home and leaves his clothes all over the floor and sometimes he will still race around the house despite this being against the rules (he does not race around at school). Also is it normal for him to whine still? Frequently he whines-- and sometimes he even talks like a baby still? Even my younger son seems more mature. At home, I sometimes feel like I still have a toddler!
If not normal, what possible diagnoses? If normal, when does one outgrow these things and demonstrate a more mature nature at home? Also is it normal for these things to wax and wane? Some days he seems just fine-- others- not so much?
The fact that he functions at such a high level outside of the home setting pretty much rules out any serious emotional disturbance. In their home setting some children are prone to act in a more dependent, regressive fashion than they show outside the home. My suggestion is that you identify one or two priority items and establish an incentive systen to build on his skills in those one or two areas. Reinforcing skills he already possesses (as evident by his outside performance) should help to generalize those skills to the family setting.
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