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Old 11-09-2014, 10:22 AM   #8
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lake Forest, Ca, USA
Posts: 16
MomOfDownsAutis HB User
Re: Adult Down Syndrome

sgtbulldog- Bless you for being patient and loving with your stepson I know it is even more difficult when it's not your own child. My downs/autistic son (Tyler) will be 22 in Feb. and in the past had gotten very aggressive with me (mom) and some of teachers/aides a couple of years ago and it was scary. Violent outbursts would seem to come out of nowhere and scared the #@&% out of me. I think he was going thru "hormonal changes" (I hear at that age most boys do seem to get aggressive around age 21, even normal boys) and especially if they are non-verbal (my son is) they do not know how to express themselves. My hubby- Tyler's stepfather (John) and I learned to recognize the warning signs before an outburst and found that if we backed up (don't overcrowd him- stay at arms length or more) and ignored (if whatever he's doing is not hurting anyone, including himself) or distracted him, it would pass.
What really helped was almost a years worth of "in home behavior modification training" from AST (Autism Spectrum Therapies) that we received through our Regional Center Worker and we still try to use what we learned from that training. Contact your Regional Center Worker to request help- and make sure they understand how dangerous your situation is. Make sure you tell them this is urgent and that you need help NOW. It does seem like an inconvenience when someone comes into your house to tell you what to do, or not do- but it is worth it. And it should be covered through the Regional Center- with no $ out of your pocket.
Medication is also necessary for Tyler. We tried going without it and have tried just about everything out there, but there are side effects that Tyler is effected with- trouble swallowing, uncontrollable eye movement, both that Benadryl with remedy (for the time being). Right now Tyler is on Remeron but had been on Zyprexa for years and before that Abilify. It does not help with the "vocal" behaviors but it helps him to sleep (he's always had problems sleeping which means I don't get to sleep either) but so far this new med is helping with sleep and aggression. Also- have his doctor do a complete physical exam to make sure there are no hidden issues that may be making him act out. Lately Tyler had a severe ear infection that he couldn't express to me= bad behavior- until we figured it out.
We also noticed Tyler reacts to our emotions- If we're talking or arguing about something, he gets upset too, so we try not to discuss problems around him. Our household is pretty mellow- but there are times especially with lack of sleep that the tension in the air is high and Tyler can sense it and reacts. So I play music (I use to be a heavy Alt/Rock person but I've mellowed out and listen to a lot of Christian Alt/Rock now and it seems to help Tyler) most of the time and there are some songs that Tyler just loves and makes him very happy. We also try not to watch violent movies around him.

I hope this info helps- we pray for your family's strength, patience, well-being and lots of Love. Please feel free to ask questions.

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sgtbulldog (11-09-2014)