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Posted by Colleen on August 04, 2000 at 22:22:56:

Believe me, I know how you feel! Everyone talks about
what angels kids with Down syndrome are and how great
life is being blessed with them. I love my son, of
course, but it is so hard to deal with his behaviors.
He is nine and very active, but not with appropriate
play. He likes to unplug things and if I leave the
room for a second he takes the light bulb out of the
lamp, takes the shade off, and usually puts the lamp on the floor. He takes the laces out of our shoes when he
wakes up in the morning. We had professional behavior
specialists come to our house once a week for over a
year to help us. We were able to extinguish some un-
desired behaviors (he used to throw things too & pull
curtains down), but it seems that when one negative
behavior stops, another begins. I hate to sound like
such a drag, but I'm about ready to crack. The one
thing that really worked for us was to determine why
he was doing a certain behavior (usually attention in
his case) and use a certain technique. For example,
planned ignoring worked well because he realized he
wasn't going to get any acknowledgement when he did
something inappropriate. But, you have to be consistent and everyone has to participate. So if
we're at a party or a relative is at our home they make a big deal if he unplugs something and we're back a square one. One thing also recommended is catching
the child doing something right and really lavishing
on the praise. That way they realize they'll get
attention when they do something appropriate. It is
so hard not to react when he has, for instance, un-
plugged the phone when I'm on it! He, therefore,
needs constant supervision. I have other children
too and even my four year old can be trusted when I
leave the room to make dinner or something. Time out
doesn't work, yelling doesn't work, nor does reasoning
with him. He is very clever and knows exactly what he is doing. We also try hard to encourage him to play
with things that interest him, like musical toys and videos, but he eventually takes the batteries out of
a cassette player and unplugs the tv. If you or anyone else out there has any ideas please let me know. Good luck to you and thanks for making me feel a little less alone.

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