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how do you deal with tantrums from 3yo when there is ? over asd?

(31 Posts)
osospecial Wed 21-Nov-12 12:33:37

Over the last 2 weeks Dd has started having big tantrums after waking around 5am or at bedtime on quite a few occasions.
She cries, screams and tried to physically fight me to get me up to take her downstairs, pulling at my hands, hair, clothes, anything she can. She seems to get in such a state+cannot calm down +it just escalates. She is non verbal.
I'm not used to these types of tantrums from her, and she's always been quite a good sleeper but its changed lately+she can't seem to wind down to go to sleep very easily either. She is like a different child when this happens as she is usually smiley+quite passive.
My question is how do you know if its just a 3yr old having a tantrum, and how hard would you fight her to get her to stay in bed at 5am or would you just get up? She falls asleep on sofa downstairs then in front of tv but is worn out the next day. It just seems impossible to calm her down enough to get her back to sleep without giving in. I have tried for about an hour b4 giving in but then think I should hav just given in in the first place instead of putting us both through that! It never seems to work because she doesn't calm down she just gets worse.
If your child has asd do you treat this kind of behaviour differently? Its times like this that the not knowing really sucks because I'm worried about being too strict/not strict enough!

Dev9aug Tue 27-Nov-12 08:46:42

Is she toilet trained? What is her poo like?,--I know too early--
Hard poo will be a sign of constipation and will lead to stomach aches. Sometimes milk late at night will also lead to stomach aches.
Does she have a balanced diet? Some peeps have reported gluten free helps with constipation if she is constipated that is.

osospecial Tue 27-Nov-12 09:49:29

Hi dev, we are trying to toilet train atm but not gng too well especially as she is so tired in day time at the moment. We are using pull ups aswell+just trying to get her to understand about using the potty. Her poo can be quite hard sometimes but others, like last night before bed, it was quite loose so don't think constipated last night but maybe bit of a bad stomach I'm not sure. She has a balanced diet+is a good eater, she does have warm milk before bed, maybe I could try stopping her milk for a while to see if that helps

osospecial Tue 27-Nov-12 09:54:57

She doesn't wake early anymore but she just will not lie down and go to sleep, if she has an ounce of energy left in her she will get back up, I tried taking her back downstairs to calm her down last night as she was pulling me to take her+even tryed going into our bed, she won't settle anywhere until she is absolutely exhausted+crashes out. I was trying anything last night, letting her go where ever she wanted instead of trying to keep her in bed just to try get her to calm down but it didn't work either, she didn't know where she wanted to go+was just in a mess+overtired

I would stop the potty training unless you know you have time off work and can just slog it out? When did she turn 3? A clear break even if it is just a month and then re-start it - making sure you are ready with visual aid (pecs), clear/easy to understand reward system for success, cloth pants etc. My ds wouldn't poo, we had him on two different medications for about a year, he could go days without a bowel movement, it made his moods very difficult and obviously he was in pain too.

I really don't know what to suggest re sleep, when do you start her bed time routine, does she have a bath, small supper (toast), then story, then bed? Is she still napping during the day, if so what time? If she needs to be out of her room, after you have tried to get her to bed, could you sit with her with no t.v, to make being there less attractive, keep the lights low, don't talk to her , just be with her. It will take time to establish a routine, if she knows she can come out of the room then she will expect to do it.

I would just keep leading ds back, take his hand, or carry him, put him back in bed, even if he got out of bed two seconds later, I would do the same, over and over, if I said anything, it would be, "bedtime" in a quiet voice. I wouldn't make eye contact. It will take a while - maybe two weeks to establish the routine, but if you are consistent, she will learn and eventually accept.

Sleep reward chart looks good. It gives rewards for getting ready for bed as well as sleeping through the night.

Maybe a trip to the library to get something like this too.

osospecial Tue 27-Nov-12 12:38:11

Ye maybe you are right about stopping the potty training for a while, it may be related as its started about the same time. She was 3 in september. I have the avakid app for the ipad as dd is a quick visual learner, she likes watching that but hasn't copied it yet. She is starting to learn pecs today so maybe in a month if it works she will be able to communicate better through that.
I start her bedtime routine at 7.30 and she is usually tired by then if she hasn't napped in day, she rarely naps in the day I try not to let her, and she hadn't yesterday, she doesn't need a nap in the day when she has had a good nights sleep.
I've tried putting her back to bed, no speaking, lying down with her, I've done it for hours, keep putting her back in but she just starts getting hysterical then with frustration after a while, the tantrum starts+she screams+cries non stop, even if I just ignore it she doesn't stop it just escalates and she gets in a right state, she doesn't seem to be able to calm herself down and that can go on hours. I know I'm messing up confusing her by giving in but I don't want to give up completly on trying to put her to bed at her usual time but after a couple of hours and no sign of her calming down+its getting so late I'm doing anything just to calm her down enough to go to sleep. I used to let her cry a bit as a baby and not rush straight to her, she settled well in her own room at a few months old+was sleeping all night and she has had a good routine and no problems, I thought I had mastered the 'stay in bed' technique although I had to lie with her+we had a good routine. I just don't know how its gone so wrong the last few weeks! And without leaving her scream+cry herself sick for 4 or 5 hours I don't see how I can do it without giving in to her, but even that's not working it just keeps her a bit calmer! Thanks for the ideas again taps, ill try anything!

I would start her bed time routine an hour earlier, if possible, so bath by 6.30, pj's, snack, drink, bathroom, brush teeth, story, bed... she could be over tired and unable to settle, so even 15 minutes earlier doing everything if that is too early. Tell her what is happening next with everything you are doing.

Has she got a nightvlight? Might be worth looking at something like that, make sure it isn't so bright she can play as normal - along with very quiet/soothing music...

If you are putting her to bed instead of leaving the room after her first escape, stay in the room, sitting/blocking door ignoring her, every 3 minutes say bed time & lead her back to bed, if she gets out wait 3 minutes do the same again.

Break the battle down, first you want her to stay in her room from a certain time of night, do this for a few nights. Once she realises you mean to stay there until it is cracked she might stay up for hours but she is learning to stay in her room. Then, eventually you want her to stay in bed from that time, then you want to be able to leave the room, possibly with you just outside it, she knows you are there, door open, keep leading her back to bed, keeping her in her room. Keeping her in her room from bed time is the first step.

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