Monday, May 14, 2012

Kid sociopath

Quite a few people emailed me this NY Times article that has hit the most emailed: Can you Call a 9-Year-Old a Sociopath?"  Here are selections (the article is quite long, but an engaging read):
  • “We’ve had so many people tell us so many different things,” Anne said. “Oh, it’s A.D.D. — oh, it’s not. It’s depression — or it’s not. You could open the DSM and point to a random thing, and chances are he has elements of it. He’s got characteristics of O.C.D. He’s got characteristics of sensory-integration disorder. Nobody knows what the predominant feature is, in terms of treating him. Which is the frustrating part.” . . . . Following a battery of evaluations, Anne and Miguel were presented with another possible diagnosis: their son Michael might be a psychopath.
  • Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5.
  • “If they can get what they want without being cruel, that’s often easier,” Frick observes. “But at the end of the day, they’ll do whatever works best.”
  • “This isn’t like autism, where the child and parents will find support,” Edens observes. “Even if accurate, it’s a ruinous diagnosis. No one is sympathetic to the mother of a psychopath.”
  • “As the nuns used to say, ‘Get them young enough, and they can change,’ ” Dadds observes. “You have to hope that’s true. Otherwise, what are we stuck with? These monsters.”
  • “They’re not like A.D.H.D. kids who just act impulsively. And they’re not like conduct-disorder kids, who are like: ‘Screw you and your game! Whatever you tell me, I’m going to do the opposite.’ The C.U. kids are capable of following the rules very carefully. They just use them to their advantage.”
  • Their behavior — a mix of impulsivity, aggression, manipulativeness and defiance — often overlaps with other disorders. “A kid like Michael is different from minute to minute,” Waschbusch noted. “So do we say the impulsive stuff is A.D.H.D. and the rest is C.U.? Or do we say that he’s fluctuating up and down, and that’s bipolar disorder? If a kid isn’t paying attention, does that reflect oppositional behavior: you’re not paying attention because you don’t want to? Or are you depressed, and you’re not paying attention because you can’t get up the energy to do it?”
  • Most researchers who study callous-unemotional children, however, remain optimistic that the right treatment could not only change behavior but also teach a kind of intellectual morality, one that isn’t merely a smokescreen. . . . “I try to tell him: You’re here with a lot of other people, and they all have their own ideas of what they want to be doing. Whether you like it or not, you just have to get along.”
  • “I’ve always said that Michael will grow up to be either a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer.”

Some of these selections are regarding a clinical study/camp for these youngsters.  That was probably the most entertaining part--seeing how they interact with each other.

  • The study had a ratio of one counselor for every two children. But the kids, Waschbusch said, quickly figured out that it was possible to subvert order with episodes of mass misbehavior. One child came up with code words to be yelled out at key moments: the signal for all the kids to run away simultaneously.

And this little vixen:

  • Charming but volatile, L. quickly found ways to play different boys off one another. “Some manipulation by girls is typical,” Waschbusch said as the kids trooped inside. “The amount she does it, and the precision with which she does it — that’s unprecedented.” She had, for example, smuggled a number of small toys into camp, Waschbusch told me, then doled them out as prizes to kids who misbehaved at her command. That strategy seemed particularly effective with Michael, who would often go to detention screaming her name.



84 comments:

  1. and so it came to pass that I was once again First! and all was right with the webz

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  2. Replies
    1. elicious is an empath2

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    2. I'm as sweet as sweet can be.

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    3. I just licked myself and concluded I'm not very sweet . I smell sweet but I'm actually sort of salty. So disappointed .

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    4. I have something salty for you to lick

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    5. Rofl that was very random.

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  3. "One child came up with code words to be yelled out at key moments: the signal for all the kids to run away simultaneously" Come on, all kids do that . I remember once in english class, the teacher yelled "I don't want to hear anyone but myself in this classroom !!" lol...wish granted . She was going insane by the end of day 3.

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    1. I made a teacher break down in tears and run out of the class to the principals office when I was 11. It was delicious.

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    2. Well school is boring , you don't have to be a sociopath to become starved from all fun and start becoming completely random . I'm not a sociopath (aspie wife, totally need to start logging in) and I swear school drove me crazy with boredom .

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    3. "I remember once in english class"

      I guess you failed.

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    4. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/12/opinion/break-up-the-psychiatric-monopoly.html?_r=1&smid=tw-share

      Diagnosing the D.S.M.

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    5. "I guess you failed." :D I have no idea what mistake I made, I'm French and graduated with 19/20 in english......

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    6. French Canadian?

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    7. "English" you moron but you managed to cap French ok ? total fuck wad.

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    8. French-French. Ah thank you, Anonymous May 14, 2012 7:24 AM, I love your teaching style , I will from now on capitalize all languages, because I see that you are indeed right ( Rule 13

      Capitalize words derived from proper nouns.

      Example:
      I must take English and math.
      English is capitalized because it comes from the proper noun England, but math does not come from Mathland.)
      I had capitalized French as I knew you are supposed to capitalize names of nations and nationalities .
      I'm very happy we had this interesting conversation about grammar !
      Have a nice day!

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    9. Abigail is the grammar aspie.

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    10. lol from Zoeland

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    11. Abigail is so annoying lmao

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    12. So , Abigail is your "resident grammar aspie" and there's only room for one ? We need a solution to this problem . Abigail , I hereby challenge you to a lightsaber fight. You sociopaths can watch and cheer, and throw rose petals in the air everytime one of us sheds blood or something . The winner gets to be The Grammar Aspie.

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    13. Sounds good. Abigail Aspie has not been around though, so you may win by default~

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  4. I don't think as of now you can decipher the complicated inner switchs and connections that make up any personal emotional system. Least of all in a 7 year old kid! Institutions want to treat people as predictable machines. That's wishful thinking. If somebody has, let's say, a heart as cold as a piece of ice, they are in a VERY good position to understand the world they live in. You won't be able to sell junk to a person with shallow feelings or with feelings that you cannot excite and enhance when you want, it's more difficult to play cheap tricks on them, you have to produce facts. I know its hard, especially with kids, but it's the best, in the long run.

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  5. After reading this blog I became scared of sociopaths, they are monsters! I shall lock myself in my garage and never see the daylight again. To be honest, this freaked me out a little, there's a difference between my opinion about my actions and this article's. Well atleast I only screamed* once when I was a kid, normally I was able to get what I want with manipulation :)

    *very loud, with tears. Normally I talked louder when I was angry, but, in my opinion, there is a difference or I am just unable to calculate my actions correctly.

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    1. I used to scream my head off.

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    2. I was always as rational as it was possible for a kid, I screamed only if I really had to :p

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    3. When a child stops screaming because it does no good, what happens to the kid? Seriously, if noone bothers to ask why are you screaming, or if no one says "yes you are right to yell because this is infuriating" then the child learns he is ineffective. If you learn you are ineffective then you learn you do not exist.

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    4. Ok. t y. If a child learns he exists only if he is being noticed as an accessory of the parent/s, the child learns he only exists IF he is an accessory, IF he lets the parent praise him for being a model accessory.

      I mold myself to your needs.
      And then I am mad because I went to all this trouble to change for YOU, and you don't appreciate my effort. That is crazy.

      I am a rebellious Stepford Wife.

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    5. I didn't scream because it didn't really work in my house. the one who made me mad was my father and he was a malignant narcissist so screaming and crying didn't work on him. I did learn to cry on command however, which got some action from my mother when I needed it.

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    6. I had a temper very bad. But I didn't get angry at the pussy in the family. I got mad at the controller.

      Only as an adult i am in touch with being mad at the pussy. However, the pussy was aware I was mad as a child. And the pussy did nothing about it.

      So now I am allowed to own being mad at the pussy lol. Wasn't able to be in touch with the anger at the pussy as a 3 year old. Just wanted the pussy's love. Now the pussy says what can I do now? Let's me cry now, but still it's all about them. Guilt does nothing to a pussy narcissist accept kick them when down. What use is it?

      Neither reacted appropriately to my anger. So I suppose I learned getting angry was ineffective.

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  6. How to Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    This is for people who want to discuss out of the box ways to approach this.If you are happy with your shrink, more power to you. Some people are not.

    At any rate. I have found the next step in my journey or anyone's who cares to take it with me. It is called "Touching the Ground"

    This is a very specific and concrete action.It is THE step to healing a PD, in my humble opinion.

    Touching the ground is opposite to having an amorphous self. It is polar opposite, in fact. Touching the ground is an activity entirely within the person. It is an internal gear shifting mechanism.

    It is the person's ability to put his own roots into the ground and FEEL from those roots, in a singular action, not based on anyone or anything outside himself. If he can do this, I think he can heal a PD

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    1. Is this like settling into your body so it feels like it is going through the floor.

      How do you decide what the single action should be? What do you mean when you say not based on anything outside himself?

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    2. How To heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 6:12 AM

      Anon, I will have to go slowly with this as it is both simple and complex. It is complex if you don't have access to it and simple, if you do. I will take my time, today, and see if I can come back and forth and describe what I mean. Thank you for your interest, Anon.

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    3. What PD do you have exactly?

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    4. Ok thank you. I have got to go now anyway. I look forward to hearing more and I am patient. Bye for now.

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    5. How To Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 6:41 AM

      Thank you Anon! I am a co-dependent and PTSD.

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    6. Ptsd? Idk. I am all over the place and I definitely have abandonment issues which I hide. They make me shake if I am with a man. There is a lot of sadness for myself which is part of my healing and getting empathy back for myself. I had very narcissistic parents. I have a very flexible self, so my guess is borderline. Maybe with narcissism, but i really don't know. I feel like a liar with people.

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    7. lol I thought you were talking to me, 6:22. I am 6:54.

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    8. How To Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      I am so grateful to have a place to discuss these things. I honor healing to such a degree that I don't want to talk just to hear myself talk or to spout off cheap platitudes. I want what I say to be what I am trying to convey, so it will have meaning to you and to me, hopefully. If I go slowly, that is why.

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    9. You got my attention, however I don't think that I *need* to heal. I like everything the way it is and, i think, I am able to handle myself :) So do I really have to try to get rid of my PD?

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    10. How To Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      NO Mee If you feel like your life functions well with you at the helm, then you would not be a candidate to heal a PD, as you are at peace with yourself. xx

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    11. How To Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      I guess I will come back and start. First of all, I will start with the very,very obvious. We only have ourselves. No matter how many people we seduce. No matter how much money we make. No matter how beautiful we are, we end up alone as this is the nature of life. Hence, it is totally stupid to turn against yourself. That is my first thought, even though it sounds so obvious that you wonder why I wrote it. I felt I wanted to start there lol

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    12. Shut up Monica

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    13. How To Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Then, go back to when you were a child. Do you remember how it felt to feel all the variations of what you were feeling. Do you remember all the different emotions--extreme anger, happiness, joy,pleasure, sadness, wonder and all the shades and gradations of feelings?

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    14. When you tell monica to shut up - she comes back as
      "How To Heal a PD." Pathetic

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    15. How To Heal a PDMay 14, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      Just think on these two things now and I will be back. This is a step by step process. Anyone can leave me any comments or insights!

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    16. Shut the fuck up Monica

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    17. You are soooo stupid, too.

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    18. You got "How to heal a PD" who is trying to make a difference and help others and himself and you have detractors who do not do shit but tear people down. Go "How to Heal a PD"!

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    19. How to Heal a PD. Your name rolls right off the tongue.~ I prefer Howdy.

      So Howdy I gotta say, this new "Touching the Ground" therapy sounds simultaneously 'innovative' and risqué. Cutting edge stuff!

      Tell me Howdy, are you all healed up now that you and the ground have had some quality sexy time together?

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    20. Shut the fuck up Monica 7:29

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    21. How To Heal a PDMay 15, 2012 at 2:21 AM

      Daniel Hello
      I would like to explain things to you, but I can't right now or in a public format, anyway. But to answer your question. I am getting better, yes. Why do I bring things here? Some people think for themselves, here. There are many jerks, but there are some people who aren't.

      Since, I came to say Hi to you, I will write what I was going to say, later.

      This is addressed to those who had a connection with their emotions at some point in their life, usually as a young child. If someone had no connection with his emotions, ever, this will not be applicable to them, as this is more of an accessing of something obscured than a creating of something never known.

      For the latter i.e people who never had access to their feelings, you are not hopeless. However, you are not the ones to whom this is written. The latter group would be people who were abused since infancy and were in a PTSD stance for their entire lives such that they never had a connection with their own feelings. These people were forced to have a war zone mentality for their whole existence and cannot call forth feelings in the same way and in the way I am suggesting. I was fortunate enough not to have been in this group, so I cannot speak to that group.

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    22. ^Anyone, suggesting they know the circumstances of
      posters childhood and emotions are delusional and
      frankly, scary. And of course, everyone, knows that
      sociopaths are habitual liars and cons.

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    23. How to heal a PD, maybe healing a PD starts with learning to love your pd.

      No matter what you have done, no matter what think, no matter who you have become, isn't it all a conflict of interest in a person if the person has a desire to change?

      For better or worse, we are our own best friends. Would a best friend try to change you? NO! You erase more of your self ? You reject MORE of your self?

      I am unsure I should spend time "healing". I am unsure if it matters. I am just fine the way I am, thank you.

      Makes me feel sort of melancholy to let go of habits, but..

      If I have been uncomfortable in my own skin maybe it is a time to look at myself and say once again I am what I am. This is what a child does amiright? Isn't we all want to go back to being no shame in ourself? No judging my self?

      If I do not do this other people will not. If I want to be intimate with others, this attitude is not conducive.

      I am allowed to be angry. It feels good. If I want to be angry I will be angry.. But I want to stop?

      I have conflict over this healing, as I do not know if I should stop my anger.

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    24. How to heal a PDMay 17, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      That is the first step anonymous. Get to the emotions not the intellect.

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  7. The problem with diagnosing children as psychopaths is the same problem with diagnosing children with any disorder. Their personalities are still evolving. Who they are is still in flux. It's difficult to determine what someone is when who they are is not yet complete. Not that people ever reach 'completeness', but children are quite maleable.

    Something else I'm interested in; is their manipulativeness. It seems the extent of manipulation is a big determining factor here. But how do they learn this? If it's a product of their environment, then it could be argued that they're not psychopathic at all, just the product of extremely poor parenting and could be "rehabilitated". If they had a relatively nurturing environment though, it would point to manipulative tendencies as a natural instinct.

    To what extent is manipulation environmental learning? To what extent is it, can it be, inborn?

    Manipulation usually develops as a way to obtain a need that is not being otherwise met. If the developmental environment was nurturing would this trait have the ability to develop? Probably not, indicating an inborn quality. Interesting.

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    1. Hi Haven.

      I heard that one reason a child manipulates is because they may be getting all their self esteem from doing so. I also heard that children of parents who are perfectiosts learn to like lots of stimulation and get bored with "normal" relationships, seeking out thrills.

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    2. + lack of fear. When I was a child I used to gather all children in yeard to play, we played what I wanted, of course and since I have a well developed imagination, everyone were happy about it. Empaths might be afraid to act like this :)
      Later I grew up from playing in yard and I started to manipulate people even more, they became my new toys.
      Manipulation can be caused by selfishness "ill do whatever it takes to get it, if crying won't work, ill figure something out". And principles "I won't beg for it, ill simply convince them to buy it". Well examples are shitty, but I hope you'll understand what I was trying to say.

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    3. "Manipulation usually develops as a way to obtain a need that is not being otherwise met. If the developmental environment was nurturing would this trait have the ability to develop? Probably not, indicating an inborn quality."
      Well, consider siblings. My sister and I grew up in the exact same enviroment, alchoholic parents, narcissistic father, self-sufficient from a young age, yet I became a socio and she didn't.

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  8. Imagine an unrelentless father who will punish his children regardless of their crying and begging for pardon. This kind of parenting will teach the children that feeling guilty is of no avail, it will bring them no benefit, so they will dispel the feeling as useless. In the future the children of the above mentioned father will try primarily not to be caught, and they will lie even when the truth is shoved in their faces.

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    1. The description of my life.

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    2. It was the traditional way of parenting: Teach your children that reality is implacable. But it isn't, an intelligent child will easily discover it is full of holes, like a big cheese. It tends to be implacable with those who are unable to find a loophole.

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  9. Are these kids really sociopaths or are they just smart and bored? The spectrum of IQ level, capability and what material kids this age already know due to either good or bad parenting is MASSIVE. I don't think this sort of manipulative behavior in a child is bad, in fact I think it's a sign of intelligence and an advanced understanding of how social groups work. Calling someone who is clearly smart enough to not only take charge of their peers but their teacher or caregiver a psychopath is not only damaging to the child and his or her parents but a total misapplication of rare natural resources! These kids should be placed in an accelerated program where they are challenged to solve real problems.

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    1. Firs of all one should figure out how to motivate a child whose feelings are impredictable and differ greatly from the feelings of the rest of the group. This is the real challenge.

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    2. The issue with those programmes is that it's not the content or the pace that bores children - it's the people. I never learned anything useful from someone I couldn't respect, except maybe what their breaking point was.

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    3. I absolutely agree with incitatus' observation.

      When a child is smarter than one or both of his parents, or is not challenged/motivated enough with what is thrown at him the child is frustrated.

      In this 9 year old's case clearly mom could just not be there once the new sibling arrived. Her psychology degree is a bad sign right there, plus the father has similar sorts of genes (I wonder if he was the wife's patient at some point, a mellowed out weirdo with a controlling psychologist wife who says the right things all the time, in the meantime pissing off the first born's sensitivity to see a father in charge).

      In all honesty, as interesting as psychology is I'd hate to be born to a psychologist mother whose intelligence is not comparable to mine. The woman would believe she is an expert while exhibiting all her dumbness and frustrating the hell out of the child. Had he had a smart female teacher at elementary school that he respected he would have probably conclude that not all women are like his mother.

      It is interesting to see how the kid tells his dad that they are better connected, and has much less respect for his mom. He wants dad to man up. Sounds harsh against a mom who is trying to do her best, but sorry, clearly her kid is frustrated like hell.

      The disconnectedness of the families in the US prevent such kids from bonding with some other female role model, say grandma.

      Kids are indoors all the time, none of the fun outdoorsy challenging stuff with other kids or anything. I mean this kid would probably be a dynamite African jungle kid who brings home the best hunt.

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    4. "I'd hate to be born to a psychologist mother whose intelligence is not comparable to mine. The woman would believe she is an expert while exhibiting all her dumbness and frustrating the hell out of the child."
      Exactly what happened in my life, she was convinced that in spite of the obvious evidence that I was wasting my time at school, putting me in any accelerated learning shit would "hurt my psychological development"

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  10. Perhaps that's the whole problem, anon? I wonder what traits children like this would be able to respect or if respect varies so much from individual to individual.

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  11. I would also like to submit this article for consideration. ;)

    There's truth in its ridiculousness.

    All children are fucking bastards.

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    Replies
    1. Grey
      I read the article and it is a piece of crap; written
      to make sociopathy more acceptable in our society.

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    2. You guys are soooo stupid sometimes.

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    3. ^in response to the 4:26 post

      And your an asshole mooooooooost of the time.

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    4. Um, this article, is a joke...

      As well as the "BabySafe Ball" Now makes shaking your infant guilt and injury free!

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    5. I dislike stories that end in "there is little hope for rehabilitation." We know so little about the brain and what we do know is scattered over many different disciplines especially here in the WEST where we break everything down into separate parts and function as a left-brained society. We neglect to communicate between the different disciplines/specialties and put the pieces of the puzzle back together in order to see the big picture (use the right brain, too) and function as a whole-brained society. Sociopaths have a processing difference ... well so do dyslexics. It can be a curse or it can be a gift. There are good points and bad points. Nobody is allowed to have ALL the cards. How you play your hand depends on environmental factors like early education and training, life experiences, etc. And perseverance by the parents is the key. As a mom, I would never accept any "expert" telling me there is no hope for my child. In some cases it is just going to take longer to figure it out. Telling parents and or society there is no hope is heartless and is an example in itself of how our thinking here in the WEST encourages sociopath like behavior.

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  12. I read the article and it is a piece of crap; written to
    make sociopathy more acceptable in our society.

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  13. http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/time-magazine-cover-shows-mom-breast-feeding-young-son-jamie-lynn-grumet-practices-attachment-parenting-article-1.1075654


    What about this? Think this creates a narcissist ? Or healthy narcissism?

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  14. The Onion is a satirical news site, you ignorant twat.

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    Replies
    1. @ me TNP? Thats too bad. I hoped Sociopath World had a sense of humor.

      Delete
  15. From the description, the kid does seem very hostile...and the parents seem so unrelenting in their attention to him that his hostility seems only natural, whatever his diagnosis. I'd be feeling very claustrophobic, hostile, and desperate if I were in a kid's disempowered position and had people picking at me and watching me that way. I wonder if he might respond better to some frank and overt handling of his difficulties, something like the cop dad's approach in "Dexter", minus the stalking-and-killing part: "We've got to get you squared away." "Dexter" is, of course, fiction/television, but the "squaring away" makes good psychological sense - Harry gives Dexter tools for operating in the world as it is rather than making impossible demands for affective responses that aren't going to be forthcoming.

    ReplyDelete

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