Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Struggling with own mental health and 2 small DC with ASD(8 Posts)
Reposting here for traffic.
Not sure where to post this, so hope here is ok. I'm struggling at the moment and don't know what I need to feel better. Have DD (age 8, ASD & ADHD) and DS (age 5, ASD, diagnosed 2 weeks ago). I have a long history of depression and anxiety, medication for this helps but am feeling wretched even with the meds at the moment. So over sensitive to noise, and over-reacting to DCs' behaviour, then their behaviour obviously worsens, and I feel like I can't cope with them, over-react again, and the cycle goes on. Dreading the Easter holidays. Have wondered many times whether I'm also on the spectrum but don't feel I'm in the right place mentally to pursue a diagnosis at the moment.
Kids fight constantly - lots of sensory stuff going on, DD is sensory avoider, DS is a seeker, she goads him, he bites her hard enough to draw blood, nothing seems to help. Noise levels are excruciating. Never a moment to just stop and think about how to tackle issues constructively, I just react in the moment and make it worse. Am such a shit mum - professional background in supporting vulnerable children and families, I KNOW all the stuff about behaviour being communication and how they're expressing sensory difficulties and anxiety - both DC very demand-avoidant - but I just can't deal with the constant conflict. EVERYTHING is a battle - eating, getting dressed, bathing, getting out of the house. I keep getting so impatient with them when they need me to help them calm down, then I'm paralysed with guilt.
No family locally, have given up my career as DC couldn't cope with out-of-school childcare and no scope to change job to fit in with school hours. Feel like I'm drowning.
When was the last happy moment even if very fleeting? Can you replicate it?
Can you stop trying to be ANYTHING like other families and instead do things that make you guys happy?
Thanks for replying. gave up trying to be like other families a long time ago. Just wish we could find things that make us happy. Kids reluctant to go out and do anything, but staying home = more fighting. At least weather's warming up a bit, both are happier outdoors, so winter's always a killer.
I think I need a decent counsellor to help me unpick things and offload a bit. But how to find one who understands and "gets" ASD and related issues?
The fact that you feel guilty is a sign of a very conscientious parent, not of a bad one. Children are difficult at the best of times even without SENs and when you add into the mix that YOU are having to cope with your own sensory overload and emotions it compounds the feeling of panic and powerlessness. I remember once when my kids were little struggling to organise meals, and fixating on the idea that I should cook casseroles, chop up the meat from scratch, take them out for long walks, have people over, have a clean house, AND have children who played nicely together. Each goal was in its own way fine, and to be commended, but the truth was, I didn't have the skills (having either undiagnosed dyspraxia or Asperger's) to do all these things in one day. I could make a casserole or go out, or have people over or clean the house or concentrate on being perfectly attuned to their needs, patient, listen, play.
I became much happier when I realised I could make cheese sandwiches and just go out, and that was enough. I was doing brilliantly to get my children dressed, a change of clothes for emergencies, a handful of cash for emergency snacks, and remember the keys. Nothing else was worth beating myself up over. When we got back I could do the washing up. Going out was the best thing we could do most days, being outside always made us feel better, and the children thrived on just getting exercise and a change of scene. And then we returned it was perhaps easier to cope with other things that seemed impossible before we had gone out.
You are doing much better than you think
Second what both posters have already mentioned. There is no parenting manual in this world we all have to give it our best shot, I'm sure ur doing your absolute best!
Sometimes when I've had a very stressful day I feel it makes a huge difference if after I put my kids to sleep I meet with friends or if I just do some late night shopping, the main thing is I get out of the house!
The other thing I find helps is focus on one thing they can do together..whether it is sharing biscuits and a drink, being at the opposite ends of the playground but in same playground, and not think about how useless they are at playing together or getting on. Every day there will be just one thing that went well, whether it was that you smiled at someone else child in the street, or appreciated a bit of sunshine on a leaf Remind yourself that you are kind, sensitive, appreciative person at a difficult stage in your life (8 year olds are ime particularily nasty mixture of goady and stressy, whereas five year old are just tired out poor things) and things WILL get better but you are doing a fantastic job to get through the day. I think from a child's point of view they have very little recollection of the effect they have when they behave badly, they are just "reacting", they don't intend you to store up the emotion they are discharging. HOWEVER mean they appear to be (and dd could be so mean at 8) The key is to occasionally detach yourself from their emotions, either put some headphones on, take a shower whilst they are screaming so you cannot hear them, have some phrase that you repeat yourself or some happy thought (I used to think of the twins smiling at me when I picked them up from their naps and they were standing up in their cots, or a happy walk I had taken as a teenager, or spring blossom on a bicycle ride to my school) to focus on when you feel especially desperate.
Is there someone you can invite round for coffee when the kids are in the house, so that you can dilute the effect of them 1:1 on you? Perhaps someone else's kids are equally trying, and/or they might distract the sibling issues?
The real problem is that kids just do not have a handle on why adults get sad or upset, they feel it but they have no way to rationalise it or help mend what it is essentially your problem - your reaction to them. So if you start by imagining how they might feel when you say certain phrases to them, and play it back to yourself - things like Why is this room such a mess? Or why cannot you just PLAY nicely for once or Why aren't you ready? It helps to see that these phrases are never going to help although they make us feel better in the shortterm they just feed into a general spattering of bullets that makes the atmosphere more and more hostile and tense. I know I've done it numerous times I just cannot imagine why I let myself get so so upset over small things, ds1 not laying table, not coming to supper when I asked, screaming over a bit of tomato in his rice, being mean to his brother. Looking back it seems entirely counter productive.
You're life sounds like mine. 7,6,3 aged kids. 6 yr old with asd, ADHD and spd and youngest with asd. I'm hanging on the edge with my finger nails. I've had enough. Youngest is preverbal and screams a lot. She was recently diagnosed with coeliac aswell which doesn't help. Husband doesn't get I literally have no emotional reserves at all. Middle dd was a nightmare as a toddler. Screamed constantly, had to be carried most places and ran off recently. I feel like I'm trapped in a nightmare. No friends get it and I've just had enough. Sending hugs xx
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