This is driving me crazy!!! All Tyler has been doing today is either tapping his head with his hand (or mostly his toys) or his little hand flapping. It seems like its getting worse with the more I spend time with him and play with him. I don't understand why he does this in the 1st place. I get that he is "self stimulating" but what does that mean really? Is he that bored? Someone please explain because I don't know how to stop him or even if I really should stop him. I have looked a lot of info up on it but I guess I just don't understand. I feel pretty dumb asking a (probably) simple question like this. lol When I do try to stop him he just jerks his hands away and gets up and walks away and sits on the other side of the room and does it. If I follow him I can tell he gets more...I don't know, anxious maybe because he hits his head harder and faster when he knows I am about to stop him from doing it again. He does the same thing when he gets around pots and pans! I don't want Tyler to be afraid of me, or filled with anxiety, or whatever it is he feels when he sees me comming because he is afraid I will stop him from self stimulating.
RELAX breath in your nose and out your mouth. lol.
You sound as if you are going to explode! lol.
What i done with hand flapping etc. was to turn it into somthing else. i would take Anthony's hand and turn it into a cheer or a clap. If your son is getting upset at when you stop him this might not work.
Sometimes I used to try the "options" route and make the room very quite take away all things that he might hurt himself with, and put out out a few soft toys, put on some very soft soothing clasical music and stay with him copying his every action. Imitate him for a long time, a few weeks perhaps. just for 15- 30 min at a time. When he hits himself with a toy you mirror his every move hitting yourself with a similar toy making all the same noises he makes. It should look to him like he is in a mirror you should even position yourself in the same way he is positioned etc.etc This used to calm Anthony down it aslo took away that head on confrontation and allowed him to feel a little in control of his life and a little control over you. Then, once you think he is aware that you are imitating him and that he dileberatley doing actions to get you to copy him. throw in an action of your own and see if he is willing to copy you. You have met him half way and played at some of his games this is the time to redirect the action into something else (clap or cheer)
the other technique that I used for different things is called flooding. again make his envioronment safe and let him bang every thing and anything thats not dangerous. Get him a drum, flap your hands, flap scarfs, tap his head, tap your head get the family to join in, get him to flap and tap again and again do it for weeks at 30 min sessions per day until he finds hand tapping and flapping boring.
Another tip I was given in the early years was, always to give Athony some time to be autistic, give him a few hours each day and let him take himself way to a corner and allow him to do whatever he wants in that time.
Even give him chill out days where you just let him be. He is still quite young so you can afford to give him this time.
I again hope that all this rambling is of some use to you. It's all very hard work at times.
Good luck. Let me know how things are going as i will be thinking about you.
Thanks for the reply. I really just don't know what I would do without you all and this board. It is great!!!!
Oh, and sorry. I felt like I was about to explode when I wrote that. I was on the edge of insanity! I get that way at times. Sometimes it just gets WAY too much for me. I have so much responsibility and not enough time to do it all. Its amazing how much you can go though in just one little day. Shews!!! I am so tired!
I did the quiet room thing tonight with Ty while we were awake in the house alone. Granted it was really late it WORKED!!! He and I were in the living room playing when I turned on classical tunes and only put out a few toys, not stuffed animals because he is afraid of them. heh...go figure. Anyways...He roamed around me for a while and only hit his head or flapped his hands once or twice in about 2 hours!!! It was great! We played and I guess I didn't upset him too much because he didn't do any of his little signals that hes upset or anything! Its always SO BUSY in this house with all the boys that I guess I never noticed how loud and crazy it actually was untill I was able to hang out with Ty in a soft, subtle quiet atmosphere. He was really fun tonight to play with. Not at all the Tyler I usually deal with during the day. He always seems so uptight and anxious.
I will also try the other things too. That is some really good advice! I really appreciate it! I am just happy to have someone to talk to that understand the reality of all of this. Everyone over here says leave him alone, he will be just fine. I have to laugh at that. If I just left him alone and didn't get him help...where would poor Tyler be when he turns 3 or even 4 you know? Its so hard to get people that have no clue to understand.
Anyways! Sorry to ramble...Thanks for listning though!!!
It does overwhelm you sometimes, I often feel guilty about everything and worry that if I am not working with Anthony 24/7 then I am failing him. I have an 11yr old daughter and balancing things can take it out you sometimes.
The programme that I was on with Anthony helped me so much. the quiet, chill out, imitation sessions were always Anthony's favourite sessions as he loved the feeling of being in control. if you think about it because of all there difficulties they are continually forced to conform all the time and it can get quite stressful for them. A beautiful trusting bond grew between us using this therapy and it inabled Anthony to trust me a lot more and he became a lot more compliant and willing to give a little back. Keep it up your a brilliant mum and things will get better i promise.
But don't listen to people when they say leave him he'll get better on his own, he won't he will become more and more frustrated. but it doesn't have to be difficult to help move him on, just be patient and teach him a little bit at a time move at his pace and treat any small steps forward as giant leaps for him and celebrate all achievements no matter how big or how small or how late they are. We were all celebrating when Anthony opened all his own Christmas presents this year. For any other six year old this is normal but for Anthony it was the first year that he was actually getting excited about what was inside his gifts. he finally grasped the concept of a present. So it was a leap forward in the right direction for him.
My son doesn't talk. So he tends to get frustrated...I basically tickle him so he's laughing instead of freaking out. Then he forgets, or the frustrating part subsides. His new thing is putting on 10 different shirts in a short period of time. He'll come out whining and crying w/ his head through the arm hole and his arm through the head hole...but doesn't want me to help him. But he's really stuck! So I tickle him and he laughs and I get the shirt off him!