My five yr old stepson, I'll call "Mathew" is very clingy with his dad. It's so bad that my husband can't even go to the bathroom without being followed. "Mathew" is looked after 2 days a week by his grandma, 2 days in JK and the oher in day care. His grandma says it's "separation anxiety" from when his parents separated - which was when he was about 2 yrs old. I do not agree with that as he was too young to remember both parents together and my 4 yr old girl was the same age when her dad and I separated and she is just fine (and to mention my eight yr old was 6 at the time and she has no problems with "separation anxiety" either). "Mathew" has not learned to play on his own, when you tell him to go play for a bit, he goes to his room and goes to sleep. He has no interest in learning how to do things. For example at 4 yrs old he still didn't know how to do up his jacket zipper - I had to teach him that. His mom and grandma do everything for him, his dad did to until I came into the picture. He is not independant at all, and has no confidence that he can do things if he tries.
We work with him almost every night to practice his printing and numbers. If it's just me and him, he tries and is fine. If it's his dad, he tries once, then has a major melt down and literally hyperventilates. His dad took him out to play catch the other day, and after the first throw he started bawling! He didn't catch the ball the first time. We positively reinforce him that he can do it he just has to practice. My 8 yr old is very good with reinforcing him also as that is what her father and I have constantly "drilled" into her and her sister. As long as they have tried and keep practicing it will come. But I am working against his grandma and mom who like I said treat him as if the world revolves around him and do everything for him. He can do no wrong in their eyes.
The other day "Mathew" and I went shopping. He ran ahead of me to get into the store, then just stopped. I told him to go ahead and open the door, he looked at me like I was speaking Greek! He looked at the door, then at me, and shrugged his shoulders, like he didn't know how to pull the handle to open the door. Believe me, it wasn't a hard door to open! We got in and started walking down one of the aisles, and a family of 4 was coming towards us. They had young children and moved to the side to let us by, as did I, "Mathew" just kept walking and bumped into the two children, never said excuse me, or sorry. He was totally oblivious to what he had done! Of course I apologized and scolded him for being rude. But that wasn't the first time either. He constantly steps on toys and breaks them. It's as if they aren't there on the floor. There could be two toys in a room and he will somehow make a bee-line to them and step on and break them, and be oblivious to it.
In three years, he has broken more toys than I can count on two hands. I just don't get it. (Is that a boy thing?) Then when he gets disciplined for it, he just shrugs his shoulders like it's no big deal. I feel that something is lacking in his abilities to understand consequences. He is very unemotional. We have tried to explain to him what will happen when hebreaks things, or bumps into people. We spend good quality time with all the kids and they get along fine. We take them fishing and camping and on special outings, try not to over indulge or under indulge them. So the two issues are the no emotion/oblivious and the frustration/hyperventilating.
Any ideas if he has ADD/OCD/FAS or slight Autism?
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