Woman Tells Sister Her Son Isn't On The Spectrum And Is Actually 'Just A Brat' After He Throws A Tantrum

He's never been formally diagnosed.

mother and son laughing together EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA / Pexels

"My sister had a son [nine] years ago and her behavior changed after he was born," a woman began her confessional, posted to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA).

The subreddit is an online forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument that has been bothering them.

In her Reddit post, she explained that her sister is convinced that her son has a developmental disability, when in fact, she believes he is just a misbehaved child.


She told her sister her son isn't on the spectrum but is actually 'just a brat' after he threw a tantrum.

Since the birth of her son, the woman has noticed a shift in her sister's entire personality has changed.

While she used to be a "rational and kind person," as her son continued to grow, she hasn't been as willing to set boundaries and limits with him.

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The woman noted that her nephew will "run around" their parent's house and break things on purpose. When he's reprimanded over these things, he'll throw a tantrum in return.


"When our parents do that, she comes running and argues with them saying that her son is like that because he is autistic. However, there is no proof of this," she pointed out.

On numerous occasions, she has taken her nephew to see a slew of autistic specialists, and not one of them has diagnosed him to be on the spectrum.

However, her sister continues to tell people that her 9-year-old son is autistic to "justify his bad behavior" despite no evidence to support it.

During a birthday party for their brother's daughter, things took a turn and resulted in her calling out her sister for how she excuses her son's behavior.

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At the party, her nephew began to throw a tantrum when he realized that the cake wasn't made for him.

"He started screaming, crying, and trying to destroy the cake. Fortunately, my brother stopped him in time," she recalled.

When her brother finally caught him, her sister tried to intervene, saying that he can't use physical force against her son because he has autism.

"I just couldn't bear to hear that, I was already [at my] limit. I yelled at my sister and told her her son is not autistic but a spoiled brat with no boundaries and poorly raised."

After the outburst, her sister immediately left the birthday party with her son and texted her later to say that she "expected an apology" for the way she was spoken to.


"I really like my sister, and now I think maybe I overreacted by yelling at her at a family event," she concluded.

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Most Reddit users who commented on the woman's post agreed that she was NTA (Not The A-hole).

"Being autistic requires a very specific diagnosis, and then therapy. If he's actually autistic, he should be well into that therapy," one user pointed out.

"it sounds like even if he is autistic, he's not getting the treatment he needs."

Another user added, "Even if her son turns out to be autistic, that doesn't mean he doesn't need discipline and rules."


"No guidance for a child with autism is even more distressing than a child that doesn't have it."

A third user chimed in, "she's throwing around a diagnosis he doesn't have as an excuse for her poor parenting."

"Your sister is setting her son up to fail in life socially because he didn't learn that the world doesn't revolve around him and he can't take no for an answer."

However, in spite of these Reddit users' sympathy for the aunt, there are numerous other factors that could be at play here.

According to WebMD, there are many other conditions that can be mistaken for autism due to similar characteristics being associated with the two.


For example, developmental delays, psychological issues or even sensory issues. As seen in the video below, borderline personality disorder has several surface-level traits that are found in people with autism.



All this is to say that while the boy may not have autism, he could still have a range of other needs that are being underserved.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.