Is this an autistic trait?

(8 Posts)
Singlenmumprobs Tue 30-Mar-21 21:37:10

No diagnosis yet. They’re leaning towards adhd which I think I agree with but I’m sure there’s asd too.
Anyway there’s a long list of issues but on the whole his communication is fine, he’s 8. Talks well, nobody would really know from talking to him there’s possible sen although I do notice things.

One thing I’m not sure of and if it’s relevant is the complete refusal to talk about anything connected to negative emotions. Generally things that happen at school that I try to ask him about. So if there’s been an incident, I will never know unless the school tell me. He won’t mention it unless prompted and even then I’ll only get a basic answer. If I try to find out what happened he’ll get distressed or angry and shuts down. There’s been some pretty big incidents, he doesn’t mention it. The school will tell me what’s happened and I can’t even get his side of things. Sometimes the school aren’t sure what’s caused it and he can’t tell me either. It can be frustrating.

He’s like this with anything difficult. If something upsets him at home and I try to ask, or he has misbehaved and I try to discuss later when he’s calm. It’s like he physically can’t deal with it. He also won’t really cry unless he’s hurt. Sometimes when having these conversations his eyes will well up a bit then he will just start telling me to shut up and get angry. It’s like he doesn’t want to feel the emotion.

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Tue 30-Mar-21 23:12:34

No, I wouldn't say so.
It is pretty normal in most dc, tbh.
Dc not many adults don't have the emotional maturity to be able to explain why they did something in anger.
DC generally wouldn't come home and openly admit to parents they'd done X and Y wrong today if they thought there was a reasonable chance of parents not finding out.
Add some impulsivity into the mix, and I think your expectations of your ds are way too high.

Singlenmumprobs Wed 31-Mar-21 07:58:33

Not even just when he’s done something wrong, but somethings upset him ect. Literally will not talk about anything that triggers an emotion.
With the school thing it can be full on hour long violent meltdowns and he will act like nothings happened. He’s not in trouble for it at
Home at all, and he knows that but I’m still not allowed to even mention it.

OP’s posts: |
Singlenmumprobs Wed 31-Mar-21 08:27:25

I also realise it sounds like I’m questioning him. I’m not, well I try not to. But it’s not that I want to know what he did or why he did it but more the trigger. The school will often tell me the behaviour but not always what caused it. If I happen to know and mention “oh teacher told me..... happened at break and you were upset (angry)” that makes him shut down, or run away, or shout at me, tell me to mind my own business ect.

OP’s posts: |
Floonthewall Wed 31-Mar-21 09:17:23

My son has an ASD diagnosis and this was one of the indicators of his ASD.
Although he has good verbal skills he is unable to tell you how he feels or if there is a problem. I'm not sure if it is a masking thing as he now describes it as 'he doesn't want anyone to know about him'. Most people take a few months to notice quite how poor his communication is as he masks so well and just seems a bit quirky but very academically bright.
He can't/ won't tell you if he is in pain (including broken bones) and will just smile at you as normal. He's had some terrible bullying and been assaulted by a student teacher but we only found out through calls from his friends parents as other children were so upset at what had happened, he came home said he'd had a good day and carried on as normal. It became more of an issue between 8 and 11 as communication skills expected at that age and with his peers become more advanced and his didn't. We had to stop considering lack of talking about things as a choice and treat it as something he couldn't do which has helped. I've found questioning does cause him to become distressed like your son. It's like if they don't discuss a bad thing it didn't happen and talking about it brings up the emotions they are trying to hide. The shouting and running away is the non verbal communication for him as if he wasn't upset with an issue he wouldn't do it.
Between the not verbally communicating and not really understanding other people's actions and intentions it's been by far the most difficult and dangerous thing with his ASD as situations escalate very quickly. He is 13 now, and uses thumbs up or down, yes /no questions and one word texts if something is wrong. I've had many a difficult chat while he hides under his bed. We also have adaptions at school to investigate any issues taking his lack of communication into account including a sole contact for him. We also have to make it really clear for medical appointments as doesn't present typically when in pain.
Good luck it's a long journey but does seem to get easier when you accept the lack of talking isn't a choice and just work around it.

HotPenguin Thu 01-Apr-21 21:13:05

I think this could be an autistic trait, lack of awareness of your own emotions is an autistic trait and so is over sensitivity to emotions. My son has ASD and when he was about 3 he couldn't stand to look at faces in books that showed negative emotions and would slam the book shut.

Whatever the cause, you can help your son to better understand and deal with his emotions. My son with ASD had a meltdown at school the other day, the teacher let me know. When he came out of school before I had said anything he said " mummy, I got too frustrated at school today". I was so proud of him!

MrsDuBeke Sun 11-Apr-21 09:04:56

I think it could be. My DS likes life in separate boxes and doesn't like talking about school at home or home at school. We have a communication book, which is good, although DS worked out what it was for and told me he didn't like me chit chatting with his 1 to 1...he also forgets a lot that he has a separate mind and we're not all in his mind, so it makes sense that he wouldn't tell me things because he's forgotten I don't already know them. He'll say things like 'oh that book's like that red one at school mummy, remember?' And I have to explain no I don't rember because I wasn't there etc. His short term memory is quite bad too so sometimes I think just can't remember stuff. E.g. his grandad asked the other day how his day had been and what he'd been doing, and DS muttered that he didn't know. So it could be some issues with working memory too. He also hates small talk and likes his template answers so if I ask him how was school, the answer is normally always 'very well, regardless of the reality! I find bedtime as he drops off to sleep is a nice time to talk about any incidents or issues from the day, I ask if he has any worries, then if he tells me them I put them in a big bag and carry them away etc.

Ellie56 Sun 11-Apr-21 12:18:01


Understanding and talking about emotions is difficult for children with autism. My son used to say he couldn't remember or "I can't explain" because it was all too difficult to cope with.

Someone once explained to me that children with autism live their lives in boxes, so home things and things that happen at home belong in the home box and similarly, school things belong in the school box. Because of this they find it difficult to transfer from one situation to another. So once they get home they cannot relate to the incident that happened at school and vice versa.

This is why homework causes so many problems too. First- they can't transfer the skill they learnt at school to be able to do the homework and secondly, the homework (aka school work) belongs in the school box!

The full on hour long violent meltdowns you describe are concerning. They are common in children with autism and usually a clear indication that school is not meeting his needs. What is the school doing about this?

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