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anxiety leaving the house.

(16 Posts)
Bishopsbuddy Tue 19-Apr-16 08:40:27

My son is 51/2 and has Autism. He goes to a special ed. school. He generally doesn't have any behavioural issues. We have had a diagnosis from 3 and have worked hard with him. However recently he doesn't want to leave the house. If I say "ok let's go for a spin to the park/shops/granny's." He becomes very upset and anxious. Moaning and whinging he doesn't want to go out and wants to stay at home. It's not a full meltdown but he can be upset until we get home. It's becoming exhausting and I will confess that I think twice before going out with him as he gets so anxious every time. Do any of you experience this and if so is there any advice you can
Offer. TIA

claw2 Tue 19-Apr-16 09:33:49

Ds doesn't like going out.

Things that help

I tell Ds in advance where we are going, what we are doing and how long it will last.

I give Ds time to finish what he is doing before we go.

Bribery! A promise of he can do something he likes doing when we get back.

We also have a calendar on the wall where I write any plans.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 19-Apr-16 09:43:16

Things that have helped us or people I know.

Hats/hoods, unglasses to keep glare out of eyes.
Ear defenders/ headphones with music to drown out the street noise.
Pushchair with hood to hide under.
Very short trips with nothing extra added, we can not do "Shallwe just pop in here while we are out".
Gadgets
Dont go to places that you know trigger anxiety.
Go back to basics for a while doing only really quiet, short trips to places that are rewarding/motivating to build up confidence.
All of what Claw said.

Good luck flowers

Ineedmorepatience Tue 19-Apr-16 09:43:47

Sun glasses blush

Frusso Tue 19-Apr-16 11:22:31

Dd is currently struggling with '^outside^.' Outside is scary, it can't be controlled, and there is so much going on out there.

I use bribery, iPad, baseball cap to pull over eyes, sunglasses, schedules ( we are you to xxx to get xyz then we are going to xxx, then we are coming home)
and always have a get out clause, if dd wants to leave then we leave, knowing that she has that option means that she will try something and slowly slowly will stay somewhere a bit longer, knowing that she has some control over when she's had enough.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 19-Apr-16 16:09:34

Oh yes to the get out clause, I do that too.

Shineyshoes10 Tue 19-Apr-16 16:55:18

Those that use the 'get out clause' how does it work?

99% of the time DS would use the get out clause as soon as we were out of the house. Do you have to accept that in the beginning you won't get far most of the time? And hope that the 1% of the time builds their confidence so hopefully it becomes more. What if it's somewhere you have to go?

Ineedmorepatience Tue 19-Apr-16 17:08:12

We had to split up quite alot when Dd3 was younger but she is the only child in the house now so its easier.

Actually I think because she knows we will go home if she need to she is usually willing to do stuff out of the house within her ofort zone.

What sort of places do you have to go shiny ?

Shineyshoes10 Tue 19-Apr-16 17:55:52

Things like hospital/GP appointments. DH is usually out of the house 7.30-6/6.30ish so I have to drop other DC at school or after school activities and pick them up.

Also hydrotherapy started today (I wasn't there (with another DS in hospital) but DH said DS didn't manage to get in the pool) and if it was up to DS he wouldn't go because it'd mean leaving the house.

Frusso Tue 19-Apr-16 18:27:43

Hospital/gp appointments don't have a choice, what we do afterwards does, that's where bribery and iPad usage come in.

Sibling clubs also don't come with a choice, but dd gets iPad screen time whilst we wait in the car. it's easier for us to wait than go home and get her back out

Get out clause is for her groups or family visits, but the deal is she has to at least try. Sometimes we get to a group and it's obvious that she's not going to cope so we leave. And sometimes she'll last the whole session.

Shineyshoes10 Tue 19-Apr-16 18:45:39

Thanks ineed and frusso. So the get out clause is for the more optional things. I have to be honest and say I often take the easy way out and don't bother going to family/friends etc. Maybe it's time we at least tried. Like OP said it's exhausting.

Bishopsbuddy Tue 19-Apr-16 20:34:43

I don't think my son has the understanding for the get out clause to work yet. I do incentify using the iPad and that to an extent stops the rhyming. I remember watching Rainman as a young girl and that is exactly how my gorgeous boy behaves when stressed he talks about the weather constantly then begins to moan and whinge. It's exhausting.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 19-Apr-16 22:01:15

Hospital appointments we would take gadgets and snacks, sometimes they are difficult though.

We would only do a hospital appointment in one day and nothing else, the rest of the day would probably be screen time!

We have lots and lots of down time!

claw2 Tue 19-Apr-16 22:51:55

We don't have a get out clause as such, otherwise Ds would use it to get out of doing anything that is not of interest to him!

More bribery, you do something that doesn't interest you, then you get to do something that does.

And often just accepting that Ds might do some 'strange' things, as a way of coping.

Things that Ds really doesn't want to do, like eat out in a restaurant, we take Nintendo for distraction. He might end up sitting under the table too!

Visiting family Ds has his own coping strategies, he disappears to another room or into their bed under the quilt!

Shopping trips, Ds does lots of spinning around as a way of coping.

Frusso Wed 20-Apr-16 11:16:47

That's the same as us ineed if there is a hospital appointment then we don't put any other demands on dd that day. We once tried 2 hospital appointments on one day and that was a nightmare.

bobbetybob Thu 02-Jun-16 08:14:42

Watching with interest as refusal to go out is one of the things that drive us to get help. DS is 4 and at preschool part time but currently anxiety around going out in the morning starts with pretending he's Ill when he gets into bed. He has sensory issues around shoes and socks so that adds to the problem.

We do all the things mentioned above and make sure anything we wouldn't normally do is mentioned casually to him as far in advance as possible. It's not easy though.

We recently started a programme of therapeutic listening and this seems to have reduced the anxiety but maybe it's a just a few good days!

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