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Please help, so upset about dd.(35 Posts)
Dd recently diagnosed with ASD. She holds it together well at school, in fact her ASD is unnoticeable there. Affects her social relationships slightly, finds them tough but that's about it.
Every day I pick her up and she is so happy to see me but within seconds has melted down, usually on the route home. Usually from some extremely slight provocation on the part of her brother (also has ASD). Tonight we have got in within seconds she has turned (her brother beat her in a scooter race home). She attacked him, I pulled her off and she turned on me. I put her into her room as it us a quiet calm space and as I left she threw her lunchbox at me and it hit me on the back of the head. I managed not to say anything but I was so angry and upset. Went to the kitchen and just cried.
I feel at my wits end. Her brother went through similar but usually at school, he couldn't hold it together there and is now out of school altogether. She screams in the street on the way home, it's as though the sight of us is a trigger for all her fury but she is so HAPPY when she first sees us.
I don't know where to go now. Do I just accept that this is dd and learn to live with it? I suppose that is the only way but it's getting worse every day.
Any thoughts or even any practical ideas to help her. It's not just me, I can't stand the thought of what experiencing that rage and anxiety daily must be doing to her.
Really feel for you
You need to stop thinking that it is something to do with you, it isnt. It is the pent up feelings that she has been hiding all day at school.
My Dd3 has the same dx and used to come out of school the same as your Dd. She was relieved and happy to be back with us but had to vent all the feelings that she hadnt expressed during the day.
Since she moved to another school where her needs are met most of the time she has been much calmer at the end of the day.
Here are my strategies
1. Take a drink and snack to school to raise her sugar levels and rehydrate her.
2. Dont talk to her until we are outside the school gates and then only tentatively ask what she has been upto.
3. Gauge her mood before engaging in further conversation.
I am really lucky in that generally she is the only child at home in the evening as her sis is at residential 6th form. When Dd2 is at home I have to keep them apart as much as possible as she winds Dd3 up terribly.
You are not alone.
DS's school gave him a key worker that provided a 10 minute debrief at the end of the day. This really seemed to help as he was behaving as your dd was, storing pent up anxiety all day and then meltdown as soon as we left the school premises. It also helped as school could put things into perspective for him that I couldn't e.g someone else getting a sticker for something that he didn't.
DS too was happy to see me but happiness soon turned to aggression. Last summer I was where you are now and I absolutely dreaded picking him up in anticipation of the violence when we left the playground.
He still kicks off at times but nothing like last year and the levels of violence are greatly reduced.
Oh my goodness thank you! Even just reading that someone else is going through this is helping so much.
The way you have both written describes dd and how she acts to a T!
I don't really know how to approach it with the school as the one time I mentioned it, they said "oh but she's so smiley and happy to see you!" . Trouble is its so hidden at school that they really cannot see any issues with her and I don't know what I could ask for to help her.
What they said
Ds is 9 now and less likely to properly melt down after school but always comes out looking furious so we walk swiftly to the car and he tends to wind down a bit, but I have to gauge any conversations very carefully and frequently get it completely wrong.
my DD is very similar, emma
holds it together 'fantastically' in school, working extremely hard, high acheiving, popular
at home/weekends she's surly, violent, incontinent and really withdrawn
i use similar coping strategies to ineed wrt to snack and not asking too much before we get home but the difference between her home/school persona is getting too much for us
at ds "looking furious" no one gets how quickly these kids go through the roof unless they've got one! And once she starts there's no stopping her. No bringing it down or soothing, it has to go ALL the way.
Got a terrible headache now.
I am glad you feel like we helped
It is really difficult isnt it but your Dd wouldnt have been dx'ed if she wasnt having difficulties and if the school staff are unable to see her difficulties then it suggests that they dont know what they are looking for.
This does happen a lot with girls but that doesnt mean it should continue.
Is your Dd able to ask for help at school? That was one of Dd3's biggest problems. Her new school have helped with that.
Does she actually talk to the adults at school or do they just assume that because she is quiet she is fine?
Sorry to ask so many questions
I think it's definitely a case of "she's quiet so she's fine" unfortunately. She stopped eating lunch for a couple of weeks and I asked them to try and encourage her but she still kept coming home with a full lunchbox. In the end I lost my temper slightly and then her teacher ate lunch with her for a week and got her back into eating it again.
She will ask for help with obvious conflict with other children but not if she's feeling sad or anxious .
Have you any suggestions of what I should be asking for?
It so sounds like she is not really coping at school.
Something is "winding her up" and she explodes where it is safe at home.
Is there any way to find out what makes her like this at school?
Is it sensory - as this can really build up over the day, is it something else?
I think that the approach utterlyscared's school took is great.
DS used to go into lessons 5 mins before break ended to have a "debreif" with his TA and put into perspective anything bothering him so that he was able to concentrate on the rest of the lessons afterwards. It really helped - unless something happened in the afternoon of course .
Last half term teacher delighted in telling me how well ds was doing and how there'd been no problems... Except we were having a nightmare at home and ds was close to school refusal. They just don't see it at all.
I am trying to push for regular sensory breaks and de-briefs so ds doesn't bottle everything up through the day, am doubtful school will do to though and hence applying for statement.
Thing is if the school can't see anything and not on board how can you get a statement?
I am just marking my place i will be back soon just doing dinner.
it might be hardER to get a statement, but not impossible
i'm just after calling IPSEA who have directed me to the 'Behavioural/Sensory/Communication' issues that ASD gives.
this is what your DD is presenting, but to you, not school.
We have this. 'No problem' at school (although that took until the end of Yr2; before that he was constantly in trouble) and so they are not convinced there's an issue. Unlike the psychologist who has diagnosed HF ASD But horrible to get into the car and for about an hour after we get home until he's calmed down enough to tell me what the problem is, if there is one.
I could have written your post this is my DD although we are at the beginning so don't have a dx yet.
Dd does this and we have no problem at school with meltdowns, anger or anything in fact dd has never cried at school.
What normally happens is when i go to pick dd up at the end of the school day with in 1 minute of coming out of the classroom dd will say something like "it's swimming today" if it's not swimming & i say, no darling its swimming in 2 nights (dd counts everything is nights) i then get the start of a meltdown, this then goes on can go on for an hour or more, dd starts getting cross calling me a liar screaming at me, throwing things
It's sooo hard it's like dd feels she needs to control it at school so holds it in and as soon as she is out its like a release, i can see why she does it but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
I do time out, although this can sometimes make dd even more cross, reassurance seems to work sometimes.
I am sorry i don't have many answers but i wanted to let you know your not alone and i know exactly how you feel, your post is my dd to a tee.
Dd3 has a passport at school describing her needs, what she finds easy and what she struggles with. It also lists how adults can help her.
She has named adults in school who she can go and see when she needs help. They still have to guess what she needs help with though.
In class after the teacher has given instructions he offers the children 2 choices 1. If they know what to do go and do it. Or 2. If they need the instructions again stay on the carpet and he repeats and gives further support. This is great for Dd3 as all she has to do to get help is stay on the carpet.
She also goes in after the mad rush in the morning and can use the key stage one playground if the 9 and 10 yr old girl stuff gets too much for her.
Her school is fantastically inclusive but none of her interventions require extra staff or high input.
Google " One page profile" for ideas on ways to share info in a positive way.
We did have to move Dd3 at the end of yr3 as her needs were not and never had been met at her old school.
The staff at her new school spotted all her issues and agreed with everything I said after half a term!
Tbh I think it is all about how switched on the staff are.
My DD is the same too, and she's 15 on Friday.
Keeps it together, just, in school, and is meltdown central after school. Therefore school have NEVER believed me as to what it's like.
Heck this is going to be like a nice safe heaven for us here - my DS is the same, although school aren't in complete denial DS does internalise everything and it is us that deals with all the fall outs. DS is 5 and in Reception and his teacher is dippy. DH is a teacher and I was a TA before having DS so we are not new to school as it were.
DH happened to say to him the other day - "I'll always protect you you know" he said "Hmm, but you can't protect me when I'm at school" "No, that's true" says DH "But when you're at school that's the teachers job" DS's reply - "yes, but they think I'm happy there"............
Sums it up really
Probably no help to you whatsoever OP sorry but can I just say what relief I have found to hear so many people saying similar things and that DH and I are NOT going mad.
Agree with it being how switched on the staff are - ours are really really dopey, plus it is a 2 form entry and both the classes are essentially in one room - 60 of them. So DS will find it easier to hide and blend as best he can. He is much worse in Reception (he attended the school nursery) for us at home. Every evening of meltdowns over it being school tomorrow and thenn the horrid meltdowns when he returns.
You could also be describing dd. Im worn out with it. Things that have helped us...she has a TA debrief at the end of the day which has helped. Also home school diary which helps me communicate the causes of meltdowns if she is able to tell me. She will meltdown more if hungry thirsty or tired. We also try chill out time after school. In school most of the time you wouldn't know she had a problem with school. I get the 'she is fine'. Only the TA who she now trusts agrees she is not fine. Class teacher still thinks she is fine.
Another one signing in with similar issues. I've posted before here about DD1 who has exactly the same profile.....marvellous at school, they see no problems, Ed Psych has seen her in class- could see no problems.
The SaLT I brought her to, said it would be unusual for children on the spectrum to be able to hold it together at school. I gave up on the appointment after that remark.
I have literally had a tantrum/melt-down from the time she wakes, through breakfast, in the car to school, until we come in sight of the school crossing guard when the mask goes on. She will then hold my hand, kiss me and wave me off happily. Ditto in reverse in the evenings.
Same here porridge I suppose I've been lucky that for ds's first 3 years at school they did see his anger in school (didn't feel lucky at the time)
All the responses on here are so comforting. It feels pretty good to know others are experiencing similar, sorry if that sounds selfish, obviously I wish NONE of us were.
couthy I often wonder what dd will be like in her teens, she's only 6 now and can be terrifying.
I've had some great ideas from here. I still can't figure out how I will get the school to take me seriously though. I wish I could hide at school and see what they see with dd not knowing I am there. I wish I could see how she manages and what her triggers might be.
One recurrent theme is not having people to play with or really getting upset when they play with others and don't include her. Again though she doesn't show it at school only with us. That is something I think she needs help with. Moving games on and approaching other children.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day........
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