By nothowscienceworks - 13/11/2015 07:06 - United States - San Francisco
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Because no child ever made up a story or has an imagination without having a mental disorder...
True. Still a bit young to tell. But if he continues in the next 5 years or so then he could very well be a pathological liar who may or may not have narcissistic sociopathic tendencies. In which case, he would be practically incapable of guilt and remorse. Met a couple in my life. The youngest one was 9. Hopefully this kid doesn't turn out to be one. I think the mother may have her reasons for crying. Perhaps the father was one. It's really quite devastating.
Then why did the OP say, "BUT he often...." If the child displayed normal behaviour, then why make the "but" remark like what he was doing was out of the ordinary? If the child is indeed a sociopath, I would think what the teach had to said just added to the suspicion the mom already had. Hope the mom does get the child properly evaluated. Better than a parent that thinks their child could do no wrong and think example: skinning cats etc... are just a healthy curiosity.
#18 You suffer from a mental disorder? Don't worry about it. We can hardly tell. And I'm not diagnosing anyone, I'm just stating a fact that narcissistic sociopathic people tend to be pathological liars. I've dealt with a few very closely and it's really quite an experience.
38 - It's probably just that the kid gets carried away and it disrupts work or carpet time, either because they're talking about the wrong thing or just talking too much. OP probably wasn't concerned about the actual behaviour, just wanted to keep it under control.
you can't evaluate a could properly until they are 10-13 years of age. when they're that young, you can't label them as anti-social (which would give evidence for being sociopathic). while you could say that they're a budding sociopath, its best to know for sure. if he shows strong signs, he should be tested, but if it remains like it is now, with only little signs, I say wait until he's at least 9.
Well that is the trait of a sociopath; one who is charming.. smart and good at lying. That said... he's 5.
My thoughts exactly. I feel three ways about this. On the one hand, excessive lying IS a symptom of sociopathy and yes, sociopaths usually begin displaying symptoms in early childhood and if this child IS a sociopath, he needs to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, because by the time he reaches puberty it will be too late. On the other hand, perfectly normal children often tell fantastic stories, so that alone doesn't necessarily mean anything. On the other other hand, given the mother's behavior, maybe his fantastic stories are true and it's the mother who needs psychological treatment.
Sociopaths aren't necessarily good liars all the time either. My sociopathic ex husband used to tell so many lies, eventually even the most naive people would start to question his stories. Sure, he'd have people convinced he was a decorated soldier with a cheating wife for a while, but eventually the lies would just build up and one after another they'd get exposed or there'd be an inconsistency in his story and his narrative just didn't make sense anymore. Sometimes they just don't know when to stop.
That kid is not your abusive ex husband, #23. You're projecting your past issues on a CHILD who, according to this FML, has no issues despite an overactive imagination. Also, with all those 'experts' floating around on this FML I'd like to mention that not only has the term 'sociopath' not been used in ages in modern psychology, antisocial personality disorder cannot be diagnosed in children. It is then called conduct disorder and manifests in a pattern of violent and socially disruptive behaviour, not a five year old pretending like his home life is more exciting than it is.
Can i just point out that the human brain doesn't mature to the point of knowing right from wrong and feeling guilt fully until age 7? The kid has an imagination. If he doesn't know the difference, between real and fake explain it to him. If he doesn't get it in a few years, go crazy with the evals.
34, I never diagnosed the kid. All I was saying was that just because someone has been caught in a lie doesn't mean they can't be a sociopath. And while I'm certainly no expert in psychology, I have looked into this particular subject a lot, and it's a very controversial issue, to the point where there's no clear definition of sociopathy, but it is a real term. The controversy is usually centered around the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy. And with regard to a child, it's a difficult subject. On the one hand, like I said, a psychological disorders such as sociopathy or psychopathy need to be identified and treated very early. But like you said, children are not like adults, and they shouldn't be evaluated the same way. And if this particular child is normal and his behavior is nothing more than the whimsy of childhood, but his own mother insists that he's dangerous, that could damage him in a way he wouldn't be if he were simply allowed to grow out of the behavior normally.
The generally accepted difference (at the pyschiatry clinics I have been to, at least.) is that a sociopath is born able to learn morals, but develops a damaged sense of morals and empathy due to the environmental factors in their childhood. Psychopaths are considered to be born with an incomplete ability to empathize, and lacking some of the connections that enable the average person to learn morals. Putting the difference between the two aside, most mental/emotional health practitioners would not put down a diagnosis for the equivalent of either if the child was so young unless they were an active danger to people and/or animals, because such a diagnosis would linger and would likely effect future healthcare. However, I don't think that a doctor has even been involved with the child at this stage- it sounds like people, most likely family, have been commenting on the child's social behaviors in a way that is creating paranoia and a sense of distrust toward the child. Active imagination is a sign of several other neuroatypicalities that most would put forward before jumping to sociopathy, which implies that the mother has observed or been informed of negative social traits the child is presenting, which would be anything from being overly independent for their age to being a bully. Point blank, if the mother has honest concerns, she needs to seek medical help instead of trying to diagnose her son herself.
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I probably would have phrased it a little differently than "But he..." It could have been stated that "Billy has such a great imagination! He said that Batman had dinner with your family the other night!" The 'but' part insinuates that there's something wrong with the child. Unless he's making up stories of abuse or something, then obviously that's something wrong. Just a thought.
Overactive imagination can cause issues in class. It's not a bad thing in itself but it can be disruptive or stop them focusing on work. So sometimes it needs to be a 'but'. It would pretty much always be followed by explaining that it's not a big problem and listing the positives before explaining the little thing to work on, but I guess the mum didn't stay for that bit.
OP, does the child appear bruised or abused in any way? If yes, you might speak to the school authorities about contacting Social Services. If however he's just a happy, imaginative kid then you need to speak to his mum again. You could ask why she feels that way (yes, I know you are not her therapist) and explain to her that all normal kids use their imagination! It's different from lying and has led to the growth of quite a few geniuses. Wright brothers anyone? If she's so worried, she can see an actual therapist to evaluate him.