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Down Sydrome 15 yr old male with violent behaviors

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Old 12-29-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: York, Pa. USA
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catallent HB User
Down Sydrome 15 yr old male with violent behaviors

Hi, please help me; my son who is 15 years old with down sydrome is becoming more violent with me and his father, and his aides. He is normally affectionate , but when he is reprimanded; he retailates by hitting , punching, or throwing objects. It is getting worse,what can I do?

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MomOfDownsAutis (12-30-2012)
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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Re: Down Sydrome 15 yr old male with violent behaviors

Hi: You said he's becoming more violent, so does that mean he's always had a violent reaction in the past when he is upset? Even as a small child?
I'm wondering because, as you probably know, kids with Down's Syndrome are first and foremost, kids. If he's 15, no doubt he's going through all the teenage stuff along with all the hormonal things, and frustrations, and this could be his way of acting out the same way other teens rebel at their parents. Especially if he's acting differently then before in his life, maybe he has realized he is different from other teens and he's trying to work through some of those feelings of anger and frustration, and of course sexual feelings that all young men must go through as part of growing up.
I don't know your son, you do, so you hold in your possession the clues as to his behavior. I also don't know how severe his condition is, sorry, I don't know the correct way to phrase this, but some children who are more severely challenged sometimes have more hitting behaviors whereas there are some who can be reasoned with because their syndrome isn't as severe and they have more understanding.
If you can reason with him, then one thing that has worked in the past is a chart with consistent disciplinary techniques, such as, "if you hit me, then on your chart, one hour of playing videogames will be taken away." After warning him about what will happen beforehand, then be consistent and not let him get away with it even once, even if it inconveniences everybody, everyone should do it including the aides. Showing him from a chart may remind him in the heat of the moment what he will lose. At the same time, he needs to be able to be given a chance to cool off, so a de-stressing technique could be put into place. He may need a place he can go to calm down.
Maybe I'm way off since I don't know your circumstance, but if not, I hope this helps.

Best wishes, K.

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catallent (12-30-2012)
Old 12-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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MomOfDownsAutis HB User
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Hey there- My son went through the same thing too, he will be 20 in Feb and has Downs, Autism and is non-verbal. I know it's scary and frustrating, but a lot of it is hormones and frustration. My son totally picks up on my or my husbands feelings- anger, frustration, and others around him too so we try to remind ourselves to not discuss negative things around him and harbor anger, because he has a 6th sense and picks up on it. I know it's hard, but we've noticed a connection and weirdly enough- more so around a full moon. I know- sounds weird, but for us we've tried to track when his outbursts happen and those are the major factors.
We had a whole year of intensive "in home behavior modification training" and it did help somewhat. The most important thing I learned was to identify when/why it happens and how to minimize the triggers. If he is not hurting himself or others, ignore the behavior. When he is doing well- enthusiatically praise his good behavior and reinforce it with something he loves. If it's food he loves, try to find a healthier reward along with lots of verbal praise (Hi-5's, "Good job eating slowly", "Good washing hands", etc.) so he identifies that he gets rewarded for being and doing good things.
Most importantly, identify and recognize when a outburst is about to happen and keep at arms length (I learned this the hard way) and do not yell or scold- especially do not get physical. That will make the outburst explode. If he is not in danger himself or endangering others, ignore him until he calms down. You can try to distract him by offering him choices of foods or activity- from a distance- and tell him you love him, but he needs to be "gentle".
These things have helped me get through and I hope they help you.
I have had to change his medication from time to time. It is just a neccessity of our life even though I wish it wasn't. I have always tried to go with the least amount of meds and stay away from the severe stuff like "Lithium" . My son has been on Clonodine (after 4 years- he kept wetting himself), Seroquel, Reglan, Abilify (worked the best and helped him focus better at school, but caused a swallowing and eye muscle control disorder after 4 years) so now he's back on Zyprexa 2.5mg We've tried all meds (except Lithium) and no meds, but end up back with Zyprexa.
I hope my experiences help you

Last edited by Administrator; 12-30-2012 at 11:40 PM.

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