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Posted by Theresa on May 31, 2000 at 15:23:52:

In Reply to: Sudden Violence and Aggression in my home, please help posted by ahighlystressedmom on May 31, 2000 at 13:00:33:

: My 4 1/2 yr old autistic son has always been compliant and very sweet. We have worked hard to provide interventions in the most positive way possible since he was 20 months old. We have always accepted and loved him for who he is...autism and all, but suddenly, things have changed in our home.

: Starting around January, he became hyper-agressive, and his mood swings (always evident) became more pronounced. He started engaging in dangerous activities.

: In the last six weeks, things have escalated, and for the last 2 weeks, they have been out of control. He is hitting everyone, lashing out at his sister and is destroying our home. He won't work at school, he throws away his reinforcers. He is self injurious. His mood swings are sudden, violent and uncontrollable.

: I have attempted to get some support from various services in my area but have had no luck. Our support worker is unavailable.

: I am severely stressed over this. He has become so difficult I have had to keep him home from school. I do not have alot of help in the home and am a physical and mental mess. I am worried for my 6 yr old NT daughter and feel I have nowhere to turn...

: Any ideas on what could trigger such a change in personality? I have gone over and over details and can come up with no discernable pattern.

Dear Highlystressedmom,
This sounds very similiar to the situation we have found ourselves in since late January. My
eight-year old autistic daughter suddenly went from compliant and non-behavioral to aggressive,
self-injurious and totally out of control. She had never slept well, but her sleep habits went from
bad to worse. Things got so bad I actually had to quit my job and stay home because she
couldn't make it through the school day and I was constantly being called to school to come and
get her. Over the next several weeks we also saw numerous specialists who couldn't find any
medical reason for her behavior. We did figure out eventually that she had reached an age
where she could get into the cupboards and fridge by herself and was getting into foods that we
don't allow her. (She has been on the gluten/free/casean/free diet for about two years now). As
soon as we were able to get her diet straightened out the behaviors became much less frequent
and she is sleeping better again. It took awhile to get the "junk" back out of her system but it
was well worth it. I feel as if I am getting my little girl back. Is your son on any special diet? If
not, you might want to look into the GF/CF diet. For some of our kids it really helps. If he is
already on a diet, maybe he has reached an age where he is sneaking food? Just an idea.
I hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me and let me know how things are going. I know how
frustrating it is to watch your child fall apart in front of your eyes and feel like there is nothing
you can to do to stop it. Hang in there! Good luck!

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