6 years old tomorrow and still having tantrums! Dear god!(9 Posts)
My son will be 6 tomorrow- he has been having tantrums since before he was 2 and we're still wading through it. I feel like it's never going to end. We try very hard to be consistent, time outs (going up to 6 mins tomorrow!) not rewarding etc. we're concerned he has developmental issues and have spoken to his school- they feel he is too young to be tested for asd and advise waiting a bit but I feel like I can't take any more. I suppose I'm asking if anyone out there had a positive outcome from seeking help at this sort of age- if he does have issues they are relatively mild but life is TOUGH right now...
I personally don't think 6 is to young for an ASD assessment. Have you spoken to your GP or the school nurse?
I haven't spoken to our gp, mainly because I keep hoping things will improve I suppose...he's ok at school (behaviour wise but incredibly easily distracted, poor attention etc) and with other people (grandparents etc) but at home...he struggles with change and pretty much every holiday we've been on has been a bit of a nightmare due to increased levels of screaming. Ugh. He's had speech therapy due to glue ear which he responded to really well- therapist thought he could be a bit aspergers y, going on his speech.
The earlier you can start working on things the better. The Explosive Child by Ross Greene will talk you through how to identify what skills he is behind on that could be leading to tantrums. I haven't finished but its really good so far.
Sometimes its not easy to get a diagnosis. Prepare lots of evidence, list of everything that concerns you, make a diary or video to show what he is like at home.
It's not too young at all if you feel he is showing signs of ASD. Some children can 'mask' at school which is why some schools don't pick up on signs and symptoms. Try your GP anyway and see if they will refer. The assessment pathways are really long in most areas (18months + here) so its better to get the ball rolling early.
I've heard the explosive child is very good as well but not used it myself.
Not too young for an asd diagnosis - my ds was diagnosed last summer when he was 5, nearly 6. Just having the 'label' has helped so much at school as well as at home. He's aspergers-type in presentation (although they don't diagnose that, just asd) and we have found it much easier to manage by having clearer expectations of how to manage him and what he can actually cope with. Time out never worked for him incidentally - it just made the tantrums worse. We have fewer now as we have spent ages working out what triggers them (often sensory issues we'd never thought about before) and attempting to avoid them (not always successfully ). We also found school problems became clearer as he got older but as we had the diagnosis the support was easier to organise.
Thank you all, feel better just being able to talk about it - I've got the explosive child and it is very good. I think I've been in denial, just desperately not wanting him to have a "problem" because of everything that could mean for his future. It makes me so sad. But things are clearly not working for anyone as they are, least of all him. And that's not good enough. MeHearty thanks for sharing- good to know time outs have had no effect for you either, and in fact like you have just made things worse but it's hard to know where to go when nothing works. I'm planning to contact the speech therapist who indicated she would be willing to refer him if we wanted.
Six is a good age - my DS was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 6 and I think seven’s about average. Go and see your GP, ask for a referral to a developmental paediatritian. There are waiting lists and (whether the issue turns out to be an ASC or not) the sooner you start the process the sooner your DS will get help. My DS (now nearly 17!) got the support he needed and now he is doing fine. However it is easier to get a diagnosis if the school also see and acknowledge that there are some issues, it will probably be harder if they insist everything is fine.
Even if all the issues seem mild on the surface there can still be specific things that the assessment shows are a huge struggle. Once I realised just how weak some of my DS’s communication and adaptability really were and I started to take those limitations into account in the way I dealt with him, things improved a lot. And over time, he has learned to overcome many of them and manage himself.
In the meantime, if your DS is still chucking major tantrums, and boundaries and consistency aren’t really helping, you might try looking at the Explosive Child book. It doesn’t need any particular diagnosis and it was great for my DS especially while we were waiting for him to be assessed.
It's also helpful if you can pin down any of the triggers for his temper - could be sensory issues, or with my DS it was a mix of anxiety, frustration and rigidity. Also he had a slight processing delay so telling him what to do and then counting to three or doing a countdown from 10 gave him time to adjust. Trying to hurry him was guaranteed to cause a meltdown (sigh!)
Hoping you and your DS find some useful support
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