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How do you deal with a teen who lacks self-awareness?

There's a student in one of my classes who has two problems - he can't stand a quiet room and he doesn't realize when people aren't listening to him. End result, he wanders around randomly talking to people (it's a design class so it's allowed, to a point) and will stand there talking for an hour if you let him. He doesn't take hints, if you ask him politely he thinks you're kidding, and the only way to shut him down is to be rude. If you try walking away, he'll follow you.

It's at the point now that nobody in the class can stand him, and one girl is slightly afraid of him since he followed her all the way to her car one night. The professor is aware of it, but he's having a hard time getting it through to him either. The kid is at least aware enough to know that he has to not talk when the prof is lecturing, but once we start working, it's open season on everyone in the room.

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Asked by NotPanicking at 9:52 PM on Nov. 5, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • it sounds like he's really lonely imo....not many real friends, and i bet he considers people he talks to his friends even though they really can't stand him. i knew someone like that....there was something wrong with him (but i forget what it was....sorry). probably the professor could refer him to a counsellor....that might help if he actually goes.


    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:57 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • Wow, is he Aspergers? Not saying that you can tell just from the brief discription you gave, but he does seem to be extremely socially unaware.

    Answer by layh41407 at 9:57 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • Wow, is he Aspergers?

    Someone asked him and he got very offended and said he wasn't. I don't know if it's a case of him protesting too much, but (armchair diagnosing here) I have wondered because eye contact is never an issue for him - you can have your back turned to him and he'll keep talking (the whole following you if you walk away bit). I've wondered too if it's because he happens to be at the younger end of the age range in the class, but he's not the only one his age, and he is the only one that doesn't seem to be adapting to "college behavior" for lack of a better way to describe it. There are other kids in the class who sit around discussing video games and the like, but they still have social skills.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 10:01 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • Couldn't say because I don't know him, but he could have undiagnosed Aspergers.

    Answer by Desi_Momof4 at 10:10 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

  • My mind went to Asperger's or a mild form of autism.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 10:23 PM on Nov. 5, 2010

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