My youngest son Jack is 6 years old and 8 months ago after (an extensive amount of appointments and yelling) we got a diagnosis of autism. Where to start... my son is very violent and abusive to anyone who doesnt conform to what he wants to do. He has been excluded from school on several occasions though this and at the moment goes two days a week to a Primary Inclusion Centre (temporary) and part time the other three days at his main school because they cant cope either! Hes stabbed children and teachers with pencils/scissors, is verbally abusive. The Head Pschologist for the school has finally sent off to hopefully get a statement of educational needs (my son is at mainstream school) and hopefully this will help get him into a special school that will be better for his needs. Aside all this its because we are struggling to cope at home thats the problem. I have two other children who really miss out on doing "normal" things. My husband is a great help when hes not at work (hes not Jacks birth father) but hes coming close to having had enough. I have been on several seminars on how to deal with autism/anger etc, read several books, but although we are consitant nothing seems to work.
We seem to have tried everything! When he starts to explode nothing seems to calm him down. Has anyone got any suggestions on something we might try? I just cant carry on like this and he is only going to get older, bigger and stronger. We have little support family wise. Help!
I know EXACTLY what you are going through! Your not alone. My son is now 6 years old, but only 1 year ago he was exactly as you describe your son.
Is your son verbal? Is he able to express his feelings?
My son could not even cooperate to be tested or have an assessment he beat the therapists! 1 year later he is sitting through a 6 hour day of typical Kindergarten with a one on one aid. I too am remarried and I know how hard it is. We were so isolated as a family. I also have two other typical children. ABA therapy in home 4 hours a day 6 days a week, speech therapy, and early intervension pre school. 1 year later he is a different boy.
You could not have told me that he would be listening and sitting calmly in class and participating a year ago. He was violent and non compliant.
There is hope.
Have you contacted your local Regional Center? Hired an attorney to deal with the school district?
thanks for you reply, Jack is verbal (sometimes verbally abusive) which can be hard to deal with especially when hes like it with everyone we meet if they dont do what he wants! At the moment the Education Department are trying to sort out his statement of educational needs and I feel my life is on hold until we actually receive this because I hope that it will include that Jack needs to attend special school and actually name the school he will attend. Our centre for "autism" isnt a big help unfortunately just telling us we have to "deal with it" which I feel is a massive cop out. My mum called the other day with my dad (they are totally unsupportive and dont help out at all) she would only stay for ten mins despite Jacks pleading and when they left he had a massive meltdown that lasted from 3.30pm till 7pm. I wish these professionals could spend a few days in peoples homes who have children like this because I am certain they wouldnt advice people to "deal with it" on a regular basis!
Hi - My son who is now 21 was also very very difficult when he was your son's age so I do know how trying this time is for you and your family. My thoughts are twofold. One, he definitely needs to be in a special school for children with autism to focus on the behavioral problems for awhile to try to get them more in control. You need professionals in a classroom who understand how to plan treatment for these needs.
Secondly, IMO, your son would benefit from a consultation with a child psychiatrist or child neurologist to evaluate for medication for his impulse/anger control. We needed to do this and it helped him a lot. It paved the way for him to be able to talk about his anger and his feelings and use more of his own devices for self control.
I have held my breath so many times as you described. Right now my son (who is also very verbal) has a wonderful one on one at school and I fear her leaving because he is doing so well.
The behavioral intervention is a long slow process at first your son my scream and kick and not get much done but in time it gets better. Have you tried in the instance where your parents left to tell your son before hand "Grandma is only coming for a little while then she will leave" then you give him 15 minute warning "Grandma"s leaving in 15 minutes" then 10 then 5 and inbetween he will hate the warning and tantrum but you say it once and leave the room let him tantrum and in the end he will be less upset she left because he was prepared and warned. I learned this form my sons therapy and a year of doing it for almost EVERYTHING from leaving for school to tim e to go to bed. And you know it really worked. At first I just wanted to do anything to avoid dealing with a meltdown for 3 hours. But that will just get worse.
I fought hard went through 3 behavioral agencies all of them telling me that my son was not like "a typical Autistic" that he had good eye contact and imaginative play and was pretty verbal but his behavior was out of control. One Dr told me the only way he could learn is if I medicate him so he can calm down enough to "absorb" the therapy. Teachers said he was "bipolar Autistic" and I didnt know what to do.
Finally I heard of this good agency through word of mouth and in come these therapists that really j
knew their job! And the sessions did last up to 4 hours a day. They go with him to school or on outtings or to family events to assist with his behavior.
It sounds like your son is fustrated. I agree with the last post that you should have him assessed by a specialist because everyone has an opinion and it can be confusing since all our kids are so different and have so many individual issues.
Just know your not alone there are other moms going through the same thing you are. Good luck and keep us posted.
thanks for your reply, Jack is in contact with the Autism Team at a special unit near me but no medication has been offered or mentioned to control his anger which is very severe at times. Can you tell me the name of this medication maybe I could bring it up in our next consultation. Thanks.
Hi - to tell you the truth, there are SO many medications that Drs can choose from to help our kids that they would be too numerous to mention. Fortunately there are many options that could help your son if the Drs feel this is the route to go.
Let me know what happens. If a specific medication is talked about, I would be glad to let you know what I know of it. I know for my son medications AND good school programs AND understanding staff have all been crucial. Unfortunately, sometimes it's a battle to get the people who work with our kids to realize what their needs are, but we gotta keep plodding on and the end results are so worth it.
Jacksmum - I'm very surprised they said that considering how many kids eventually need medications. Maybe they mean there are no medications specifically for autism per se, but I can tell you for certain that there are many medications to help alleviate some of the more difficult SYMPTOMS of autism.
Hi my name is Julia, my son is 7 years old and has similar problems to your son. Ben has also been statmented with educational needs and he used to refuse to do his work, run round the school and was very out of control. My son Ben also has ADHD aswell as Aspergers and is on medication which dose help him concentrate at school, but he is still a nightmare at home. He threatens to kill me and tells me how he is going to do it. It dosent matter what i do it just isn't good enough i feel like i am at the end of my tether with him. If you have anything you would like talk about please let me know and we can see if we can come up with somthing together, It would be nice to talk to somone who knows what I am going through. Take care, love Julia x
Julia - since your son has such good language and comprehension, you might consider getting him into counseling so he can talk out these anger feelings with a professional who can make him realize the effect he is having on his family and how to better handle his emotions. I know a family who took their young son with similar issues as yours (also Aspergers) for counseling and after a few months, he began to gain better insights and be in better control.
Sounds like we are going through the same thing, having the same battles etc. Everything has to be thought through in advance and sometimes my head hurts trying to do this all the time. I have recently contacted my sons specialist in Sheffield and they are going to refer him for an assessment which will hopefully result in medication for his anger. Not that I want him to take medication but after all these years of battles I feel its a route that we need to try for our sanity! x
...not just for your sanity but for him too. If it calms him down enough for him to be able to start understanding about control, how other people feel when confronted with his outbursts etc etc surely life will start to get better for him.His frustration level would hopefully reduce and he could start to have happier times. Reading other peoples posts it seems that medication is usually a good thing...
Another thought...a couple of more difficult autistic children in my childs unit go for respite care one night a week. It would give you and your family a much needed break by the sounds of it. We live just down the road from you in Derby. i think it's organised by something called 'The Lighthouse' which is social services, I think.
Even though you are not alone, when the s*** hits the fan it certainly feels VERY lonley, don't you think?
Jacksmum - What's the deal with your parents? I think this is something that you CAN have control over. If it were me, I would "read the riot act" to them and tell them if they want to come over they MUST STAY AT LEAST ONE HOUR OR NOT TO COME AT ALL.
From your son's perspective, it's truly not fair to him to be "teased" with a ten minute visit and then leave. This is one frustration in his environment that you do have the control over to change. Tell them that the ten minute visits lead to a 3 hour tantrum and it's not fair to ANYONE, in your family. They need to take the grown up lead here and do what they can for you and your son, not feed into the anger and frustrations.
i have spoken to my Bens dr about cancelin but she said he is too young for it and left it at that. i just feel i have failed in everything and dont know what to do anymore. things are gettin worse all the time and nothing triggeres it off. he has also killed 2 hamsters. i dont know what to do anymore and its makin me really ill. love Julia x
Yes it is very lonely not only for me and my husband as parents but also for Jack who has very few friends, because of his anger he never gets invited to any birthday parties or friends houses for tea something my other two do on a regular basis. Even a short trip out of the front door requires a massive amount of organising. His mainstream school where he attends part time on a three day basis never have him at regular start and finish times which is confusing for a normal child but an autistic child that needs a routine in place that has to be so regimented... I tried explaining this to them but they are only thinking about themselves and how school are coping. I dont think anyone understands fully unless they are going through the same or similar situation themselves. Its hard work day in day out :-)
I cried when my little boy got his first party invitation (hasn't had one since). Even close friends forget to invite him to their childrens parties as he goes to a different school with an autistic unit.
I had a party in my home for the autistic children in his class. All the parents came too, and felt the same way as me, chuffed to have had a party invite. As you say, you have to be in it to understand