Negative attention seeking behaviors

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underwater
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02 May 2016, 12:34 am

I have no personal experience with this, but I recall reading something similar in the autobiography of Iris Johansson. She was a nonverbal autistic child with minimal understanding of her surroundings.

They way she described it she used to register other people's emotions, but she had no idea that what she was seeing was an expression of emotion - she wasn't even very aware of her own emotions. She would repeatedly do things that annoyed or upset people, and then watch the fallout, much as another person might watch fireworks. She found negative emotions exciting. If I do remember correctly she even saw them as swirling colors or something of the sort, but that might just be me getting things mixed up. She particularly enjoyed annoying her mother, who was the person most likely to react with anger.

Johansson's book has been translated to English, I believe, as A Different Childhood

https://www.facebook.com/ADifferentChildhood/

If your child is experiencing something like this, I would be reluctant to call it attention-seeking behavior.

I don't know whether this is at all relevant, but I agree with the posters that the behaviorist interpretation of motivation is overly simplified.



DW_a_mom
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02 May 2016, 4:23 pm

Just a reminder, in case no one has noticed: the thread is 7 years old. Meaning it is fine to discuss the concepts in general, but be aware that you really aren't going to be able to help the OP anymore.

In case in matters to you when deciding whether or not to invest time in a thread.


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Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


underwater
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02 May 2016, 11:35 pm

Ouch! I'll try to learn to read the date on the first post and not just the last ones. Interesting discussion, though.