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Eating the Bread of Idleness

Posted Jul 20 2009 12:00am
Is it possible that my 7 year old son is not capable of being interested in anything? I guess I'll say it. Maybe he's not smart enough to find pleasure in anything. I don't mean to be degrading in any way. I love my kid. I just wonder.

7 year old son spends every waking moment either in the same room with me, or in his bedroom alone. Most moments not asleep are the better of the two. He doesn't poo where I can see him.

During all of that time, I give him thousands of opportunities to things. Color. Write. Draw. Look at books. Try to learn to read. Memorize things. Play simple games. Learn to cook. Sweep. Use wet wipes to spot clean. Play with toys. Use a dizzy disc. Use a bounce-on ball. Use a rocker.

It doesn't matter what it is, he does not want to do it. He has no interest in doing it. I used to think it was the oppositional defiance disorder that went along with the reactive attachment disorder, but I get to see differently things now. I try less to engage him (so he's not refusing the activities out of spite or defiance to me) and leave them more open ended. Still no interest. And if he does partake, it is very minimal and usually meant to annoy someone else. This causes tremendous problems when trying to manage behavior, because there are not any privileges or activities that he enjoys from which to restrict him. Is that what this is about?

He gets out the toys and puts them all in a box or bag and sets them down beside him. Or he lines them up. He colors the pictures all the same color so he can be done quickly. We had him in piano lessons and he would cry when it came time to practice. This was a very patient, kind, understanding teacher that expected next to nothing from him. 7 year old son simply does not like to do anything.

I think this is why he causes so much trouble. He's suffering from self-inflicted boredom. Ever hear the saying "busy enough to stay out of trouble?" I simply cannot fathom how to help him with this. Is it self-punishment? Low self esteem, like he doesn't believe he'll be any good at whatever it is anyway so why try? Is it the fear of rejection of his results?

Maybe it sill is the attachment disorder. I guess if he feels like he is doing something I like, he's not in control, and he's learned he has to control to be safe. But I just don't think it's RAD anymore. He's bonded to me. When he feels threatened he grabs tight to my leg because he trusts deep down that I will protect him.

I'm leaning toward believing this is a symptom of the FAS "swiss cheese learning." He knows he should know something, but he never knows when he'll not be able to access it. It probably frustrates him so he learned to not try anything. Except loud noises, chatter, inane questions, trying to cause chaos, and potty controls. That, he has no problem with.



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