I won't get into too many specifics, but I am concerned with a teen in our family. He seems to act very strange sometimes, and my fiance and I are very convinced that something may be wrong with him although no one else seems to acknowledge it.
First- he was born at 28 weeks, and 2 pounds. I mention it because I know it could have some affect on later development.
He's 14 now. He is very smart and gets straight A's in school, but socially it seems he struggles quite a bit. He talks constantly, about usually random and strange things that he just makes up in his head. If someone says something funny, he will bring it up again and again randomly because he's trying to make people laugh. He holds on to conversations for what seems like forever. He will bring up something you spoke about weeks or months ago. I know most teens are concerned about fitting in, but he goes to the extreme with it. It has gotten to the point where he will say things, and no one even acknowledges him because it's so irrelevant and he watches everyone for a response. You can see him out of the corner of your eye looking at you after he says something just waiting for you. Also, he will ask the same thing over and over again even if you answer him until you have to almost raise you voice firmly. He gets so completely hung up on certain things it drives you insane. For example, if you spend the weekend with him, he will ask you at least 4 or 5 times every day if you can go to the store (whichever one he's interested in that weekend), even after you say no because it's snowing and too dangerous to drive. Even when you tell him "NO", he will ask "What about tomorrow? Or Sunday?". Small things like this.
He talks EXTREMELY fast and mumbles so bad that it's to the point that we have to ask him to repeat everything. EVERYTHING. You can tell him to slow down one sentence, and the very next he's back to talking so fast you can't understand him again.
He also sometimes seems to have very little ability to actually let things sink in. Not school wise, but general things. I can't tell you how many times we have had to tell him that our babies get scared when you run up to them and get in their face, or out of know where just pick them up just for the sake of picking them up, and yet he still does it incessantly even when they scream and cry.
I can't say that he's unable to make eye contact or interact, with strangers he just seems extremely shy but not to the point of it being debilitating. You can just tell he's extremely uncomfortable, but to what extent, we don't know. But we know he gets picked on at school and even the friends he has, we also suspect they just make fun of him. He does try to talk to girls, but its very clear they think he's a joke. It's like he's suspended as a 5 year old sometimes so they just aren't interested in hanging out. He has recently gotten into some music to the point of obsession, and it's almost the only thing he's very into. So while he obsesses over Metallica and Green Day, he also still likes to play with figurines and action figures. Overall, it's like he's still so childish in most aspects but has started getting into music because he acts like it's 'cool' to do so.
Other than that, sometimes he's just incredibly uncomfortable to even watch. He always has to be doing something, either talking, or moving it seems. I can't even remember a time when he sat quietly. In the car he always has to be watching a movie, playing with figures, and if he's not doing something like that, he will get up from his seat to lay down in the middle of the aisle (it's a minivan) or sit there pretending to drum with his hands, or play guitar listening to his ipod. He can't just sit there. He also gets bored insanely easy.
He always draws and writes in notebooks, and my fiance went through one a few months ago and was actually disturbed by it. He said it was very violent and weird things in there. I told him that's not good, and even though teen boys can be a little rowdy, he said it was extreme stuff. He makes up cartoons that are pretty messed up with violence. When my fiance mentioned it to some people in the family, they asked the teen about it, and that was it. No one said anything about it after that. But it doesn't feel right to us.
I hate asking this, but it's getting to the point where it seems pointless, and we can't see this getting any better. Like I mentioned before, he's very smart even for his age, and also he can empathize with others. He gets upset when family is sick and I've seen him cry when his grandma fell and got slightly hurt- actually he was overly worried because she was pretty much fine. He gets worse every time we see him. I almost hope that we can figure out what the deal is, because otherwise, he's really just an incredibly immature and, I hate saying this even if it's true, annoying teenager. I've known lots of teens and even my sister was this age when I was in my 20's, so I've dealt with plenty of boys and girls this age. He is not normal, and we are just trying to figure it out.
Thanks for any advice. I know there's no way to actually know what the issue is without talking to him, but I'm hoping to find new places to look and maybe the be pointed in the direction of something that fits the symptoms.