Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Oh god dh and ds again(73 Posts)
I just can't stand it dh doesn't seem to be able to just leave it, whereas I just ignore the insults from ds as I know it will escalate, dh is such a baby sometimes waving meat at ds, triggering a massive fit and violence from ds, then dh is all restraining him and getting furious and ds just keeps throwing shoes and stuff at dh. I can't stand this shit.
Waving MEAT at someone?is your husband six?
Sorry. That was a very incoherent post, I am just so fed up of dh having a lot less patience with ds than I do. And then sometimes I think maybe I'm a mug as I let him get away with name calling etc and I expect dh to put up with random insults and attacks. Mostly he does. I am very protective of ds, maybe it doesn't help and he needs telling off.
How old is ds and how capable is he? I don't condone what your husband is doing, it's childish and unhelpful, but if your ds is seventeen with mild ADHD, then yes he does need telling off. I'm assuming this is not the case though....
Ten with add. Very difficult behaviour, tbh, constantly aggressive as a first strategy. I don't know what I want dh to do, we can't let ds grow up thinking lashing out will work for him. I was in an abusive relationship and am super sensitive to any kind of contact tbh.
Yes, he needs telling off, but he does not need to be childishly provoked. My ten year old has ADHD and autism but I do not allow aggression, it gets punished hugely, never ignored.
Can you tell me what sort of sanctions you use? It would be really helpful. Ds does stuff like shoving his younger siblings when they annoy him and throwing things or kicking dh from behind.
We did 1-2-3 magic. Simple, but we need it that way
Hasn't eliminated the impulsive aggression (concerta more helpful for that, as it gives him a split-second of extra thinking time). But it means when I count, he does pay attention. When it starts, I usually send him upstairs to calm down / stay out of harm's way.
Thanks mareeya, I will google it. I'm hoping dh will get something out of the camhs sessions we have coming up, and ds too.
I also use 1 2 3 magic, with the punishment being a complete tech ban. No computers, tv, hand held games etc.
He has to earn his time back with respectful behavior and a pleasant attitude.
Okay that sounds good. I've spent a long time fighting his corner and maybe I need to step back and stop expecting everyone to treat him with kid gloves. Dh has apologised for shouting at ds, but maybe I'm wrong on some of this.
I think it sounds awful but very human on all sides.
I don't think it sounds at all like you need to be firmer with ds and take a back seat to dh
taunting tough loving him.
I'm on my phone so it's quite difficult to type at length.
The easiest thing to do is blame the child. The hardest and frankly most valuable thing to do, is examine how you are contributing to this situation. Then plan how to make it better.
You can do it. You all love each other. You all want it to be better than this. You will all benefit.
Good advice on here (and sane, had horrible moment when I thought I'd get told to LTB, than remembered this wasn't relationships)
Dh says things to me like am I supposed to just sit there while ds throws shoes at me? I think it gets to that stage because dh doesn't pick up on the early signs, or jumps at something I'd ignore.
Sigh. Will reread and follow the advice.
For my DC's, NT or SN, works for all, we have a no tolerance policy on violence towards people. Dealt with by warning that this stops now or they will lose screen time (ALL screens). If they do it again / carry on, loss of screen time happens. If they still continue, they get sent to a 'safe' space - not always their own room, the DS's often end up being sent to sit on my bed as they share a room and I won't exclude a well-behaved DC from their own room.
Do you find that your dcs get so outraged by the unfairness of the sanction that it doesn't work? Eg if I sent ds to a room to calm down he would be so outraged as he totally believes he is justified in hitting dh when dh annoys him. I always try to listen to him, even if I think he's wrong, to avoid it all escalating.
But, I will hAve a think about that for the dcs as a group.
Off to bed now, thank you for the helpful replies.
I think that this is 6 of one, and half a dozen of the other.
No, your DH shouldn't have to just sit there whilst your DS throws shoes at him - that just isn't acceptable.
However, neither is it acceptable for your DH to taunt your DS with things that he knows will trigger a meltdown.
But it's also not acceptable for you to just totally ignore your DS's violence.
There needs to be some element of avoiding triggers, some element of accepting that your DS will likely resort to violence when triggered, some element of getting across that violence is NEVER acceptable, some element if punishment FOR violence.
Basically, you all need to put some work in!
I think you need to set rules with your DS that violence will NOT be tolerated, and if your DS is violent, he will lose (insert most loved thing here, needs to be motivating enough to make him want to stop).
I think you need to talk to your DH and tell him that it is not acceptable to CAUSE a meltdown.
I think you need to see that you aren't helping your DS in the long run by getting everyone in the house to tiptoe around him, because he will expect everyone in the outside world to do that too.
I hope you can all work together to manage these situations better. (((Hugs)))
Nerf - DS1 especially DOES get outraged by it. I don't try to discuss the situation with them until they are REALLY calmed down. It's pointless. DS1 feels he was in the right, DD has almost instantly forgotten she was violent until reminded!
He just has to accept that in the real world, violence is NEVER acceptable. And in fact, at 10, he CAN be prosecuted for being violent EVEN if he felt he was in the right!
That's the only way I get through to DS1, tbh, the bare facts of the law.
Really am off to bed now. Think you are spot on with some of your last post. Will reread in the morning when less tired and fed up
I DON'T listen, until they have fully calmed down. Instant sanction if they have ignored their warning and their first punishment of loss of screen time.
Talking comes later.
There's no point in trying to listen when they aren't ready to even try to see the other sides of the story.
And what you listening to your DS is doing is aggravating your DH because HE was on the receiving end of the violence, yet his aggressor is the one being listened to, whilst he is being ignored.
I guess to your DH it is like being the victim of DV yet everybody ignoring you. And who can he go to for help when it's a child?
I can see all sides tbh!
I am the mum who gets the violence directed at them. I have spent years discussing with my Ex how he felt when I used to do that with DD, what you are doing, and I can see the anxiousness of my DD when she has had a violent meltdown.
It's a shitty position to be in, but you have to try to do the 'least worst' for everyone in the family, rather than the 'best' for one person in the family.
You can't put your DS's emotional well being above the emotional well being of your other DC's, and you also have to think about the feelings of your partner too.
It's a bloody difficult balancing act!!
Thanks, lots of sense in there. Hard to see from an outside point of view.
I mean, hard for me to see from an outside pov
Nothing will work unless you find a way to teach your ds the skills he needs to avoid becoming violent. For my ds we have had some success with sensory work and developing his negotiation skills. I would imagine most families have a 'no tolerance of violence' aspiration, but in reality and in my experience that alone means nothing unless we equip our children to deal with the emotional responses that lead to expressions of anger and violence.
My ds does not respond to reward and sanction at all so we have no choice but to work only on preventative measures. I also think long term it will be more useful for him to learn to manage his emotions rather than just put a lid on it for fear of punishment, because that doesn't work. For us I've also found that punishments just increase his anxiety which increases the angers, so it becomes a vicious cycle. The PDA stuff is really good for children not motivated by rewards and sanctions.
Do remember that a child with an ASD having a meltdown is not the same as an NT child having a tantrum to get something, a meltdown is the equivalent of a panic attack, it is an extreme and out of control reaction, it just seems wrong to me to punish a child for being in emotional turmoil and terror.
Yes, I feel like a meltdown isn't naughty, but it also feels like I'm miles ahead of dh in what I know about asd. We have had a conversation today with me dropping in bits from this thread and trying to see his pov (thanks all) although obv I haven't told him I started this!
He is aware that he finds it hard. I am trying to get him to ring a helpline to talk it through, and we are both keen to go to the sessions coming up shortly.
I get that. My dp needed to hear it from 'professionals' and he attended both the Early Bird Plus and a one day NAS workshop on Aspergers and Anger which helped. Dp is also a lot better since he started on anti-depressants, he is so much more chilled now which really has helped his relationship with ds hugely.
What we've ended up with is dp being very chilled (mostly!) and he does quite indulgent stuff with ds whereas I'm the one who does all the therapy and intervention and more challenging stuff, it seems to work for us
I know where you're coming from on this one. I am currently seething because, once again, DH has wound up DS2 and then shouted at him repeatedly when DS2 had a meltdown and was aggressive towards DH.
DH made a noise this morning (just a garbled loud noise when he was stretching) but it upset DS2 quite a bit. DH then made the noise a few more times on purpose, even though I TOLD him it was upsetting DS2. (and IMO DH was an utter jerk for doing the noise more at that point)
Then DS2 has been all over the place, DH told him off, DS2 reacted badly and it got physical. DS2 is 6yo.
DH then got angry at me, because I told him he needed to deal with DS2 more appropriately, not only when he is in meltdown, but in not winding him up unnecessarily either. It just seems unfair to me as he wouldn't have reacted so badly to DH if he hadn't been wound up earlier (unnecessarily IMO).
I don't want to be unsupportive of DH, but by the same token, if he was dealing appropriately with DS2 and DS2 got aggressive, then I would back DH. But I can't back him when he's being basically a nasty bully by goading him.
Don't underestimate what your dh does have to offer. Even if he has had moments of losing it, with support rather than criticism, he can become the Dad I'm sure he wants to be.
I think the main thing to think about is not punishing bad behaviour but learning (all of you) better ways to interact.
So you don't sit by while ds throws things at dh, or while dh taunts ds with triggers. Dh doesn't leave you to correct calmly and tea h better behaviour, he can discuss with you what you will both be teaching ds to say/do when he has been goaded.
Each member of the group needs to know what the ideal is and work towards getting there.
We are in a similar situation. DS1 is never violent towards me although he does rather play the critical parent - I'm a quitter, I have never achieved anything in my life etc - as well as the usual I hate you. However, if I behaved like DH he would be.
From my pov I see DH doing key things wrong (again) and winding DS1 up until he can no longer cope. He did this yesterday and often claims that he is trying to protect DS2. In reality though the more he winds DS1 up the more DS1 'takes it out' on DS2. I don't expect DH to be perfect, none of us are, but I don't want him to make things worse. DS1 then comes to me to complain about DH and worse of all I mostly agree with him (not out loud), I just listen to him, correct the wild inaccuracies - dad hates me, he wants to kill me, he said so - and then DS1 begs me to go and talk to DH to sort things out. I talk DH down, DH apologises to DS1, rinse and repeat. It is exhausting.
I want to avoid DS1 becoming violent and aggressive because I don't want him to become a violent and aggressive man. I don't want my kids or myself to be in an atmosphere where it is ever acceptable or the norm. And I blame DH for not avoiding it.
But your post above Couthy has introduced a new perspective that I had not considered before (blinded as I am by rage and frustration), that of how things might seem/feel to DH and of how confusing this might seem to DS1. Its kind of like saying that the victim deserved it and has to apologise .
What's the answer then?
See, I struggle with this. I see what Couthy is saying, but how can someone wind a child up and expect them not to react? And then demand support as well? I'd be happy to support DH if he wasn't starting the whole problem off by winding up DS2. And DH is insistent that he's not doing anything wrong, he is always doing this.
What I want is for DH to learn to deal with DS2 properly PRIOR to a meltdown, by acting appropriately, not winding him up. Why does it have to be such an issue for him?
I agree Triggles In my view, winding up a child to the point of meltdown is the abusive behaviour, a child who doesn't have the skills to manage their own emotional responses who gets provoked into responding violently is not the abusive one in the relationship.
I think sometimes DH's refusal to alter his behaviour at all to make it easier for DS2 to cope (expecting DS2 to react as perhaps an NT child of his age would) shows that he just is not accepting that DS2 has SNs.
DH insists he has come to terms with it, but I suspect he has not. I will admit that I resent having to calm DS2 down repeatedly or step in repeatedly when DH is not dealing well with him in situations that I feel DH should be able to handle.
"I will admit that I resent having to calm DS2 down repeatedly or step in repeatedly when DH is not dealing well with him in situations that I feel DH should be able to handle."
God yes. It makes me fizz and then I have to push that undercover or it all escalates.
polter - before your DH did the courses (I'm hoping that DH can do this now tribunal is out of the way) did he provoke in this way? What's the way forward if behaviour could be interpreted as abusive - education or elbow?
Couthy - polter does have a point that DH might appear to be the victim but really be the aggressor.
by elbow, do you mean LTB? I told DH this morning before he left for work that if he wasn't prepared to make the effort to parent appropriately, then he might as well pack his bags. I'm tired of being the only adult in the house.
Keep tbh it's been the med's that have made the biggest difference, dp very likely has AS too so has lots of anxieties and rigid behaviours. And we've sort of found a parenting path of our own where dp does lovely one on one stuff with ds indulging his obsessions and I do the interventions stuff which means I'm more likely to be the recipient of ds's anger as I challenge him but I like to think I'm reasonably good at it and that it is done in a controlled way if that makes sense.
I do think that mostly it is us mothers who spend the most time with our dc's, who attend appointments, liaise with schools, do the 'therapies' at home, so we do know more than the fathers mostly. My bottom line is that until dp takes an equal or greater role in all that stuff he will have to defer to my greater knowledge and experience.
I make mine defer to my greater knowledge without any rationale at all!
Just reading through the last posts - totally summed up the situation at ours, uncannily similar in places. All of you, triggles, keep on, zzzz, polter, are giving examples of how I feel. I do think couthys posts make sense too - dh doesn't know or empathise enough to avoid spins things and / or expects ds to behave normally at times. Funnily enough, the non behaviour stuff he is good at - the poor writing, the enuresis, the sensory stuff.
Mine won't defer. That's part of the problem. I spend half my time saying "PLEASE stop winding him up. Stop shouting." And reminding him DS2 doesn't react the same as other children.
Would videoing interaction and then discussing it when you are both calm (the adults) help?
I've tried it, using phone when DH didn't know I was doing it. He acted alternating between horrified (claims he was, but honestly sounded more defensive and angry) and angry that I recorded it. His fallback is "YOU'RE not perfect either..."
Well, I never claimed to be perfect and I don't expect him to. I do, however, expect him to make an effort to be a decent parent.
So ask him for the solution. This isn't about who's the best parent. It's about improving what you have. Ask him what he thinks you could do better and SHOW him how to take constructive criticism.
again, have tried. I'm certainly not competing for "best parent." I just don't want to have to police him when he's with the children - and I have to, as he's been much too aggressive for me to be comfortable leaving the children with him.
He gets into these childish "yes you will, no I won't" arguments with our 6yo DS2 (will literally say "DS2 started it") over absolutely NOTHING. Everything has to be head on into a power struggle, it seems. The whole "chat with him about different things as a distraction while easing him into doing something like getting dressed" has been suggested to him so many times I could do it in my sleep. Instead he stands there and shouts at him to get dressed, while DS2 is behind a chair refusing.
When DS2 is rude, he shouts at him and completely overreacts. If I don't step in, he just keeps shouting. If I do step in (asking him to stop shouting), then I'm the bad guy and he says "oh so you think it's okay for him to be rude?" Well, no. And I'm perfectly fine with him having consequences to it. But standing there shouting at him just upsets him and then he's too upset to understand what you're saying anyway. Again, we've gone round about this repeatedly.
Interestingly, he's not fussed and really doesn't get upset over the enuresis, the poor writing, and such. The behaviour (and things related to behaviour - such as sensory, which I really think DH just doesn't "get" very well) is what really sets DH off.
I have tried to explain that it undermines any type of discipline, as he is so inconsistent in following what we've discussed and agreed upon with regards to this. It just does my head in. The children would behave better with consistent calm discipline.
Nerfmother - sorry, I've sidetracked this. What do you think the best option for you would be?
for dealings with your DH and DS I mean
I told DH this morning before he left for work that if he wasn't prepared to make the effort to parent appropriately, then he might as well pack his bags. I'm tired of being the only adult in the house.
OMG this is exactly what I said yesterday!
Polter - so drug rather than leave the bastard! We already split tasks so that I get the challenging stuff. atm DH is helping DS1 customise a Nerf gun with specialist paints to make it look real.
zzzzz - teach DH that resistance is futile!
Sounds like you need to use your ds techniques on dh.
If saying the same old same old isn't working, change what you are doing.
Distract, redirect, reenforce.
Provide indirect support. Reduce situations that cause tension, manufacture opportunities for better interaction, optimise nutrition, rest, exercise. No you shouldn't have to do this for a grown man, but you are where you are.
I sometimes think that DH has taken a distinct "head in sand" in regards to DS2's SNs, and when DS2 acts up, DH prefers to think it's behaviour that he can "shout" back into line, as he doesn't want to think that it's something that may always be there. It's like DS2's behaviour REMINDS DH that DS2 is not NT, IYSWIM.
*No you shouldn't have to do this for a grown man,*
Well, this. Exactly. The only way for me to "reduce situations that cause tension" is for me to keep them completely apart, me to do everything, and DH to just coast along not having to do anything. If I'm going to do that, pray tell me what's the point of DH being here?
So there are 2 issues.
1) the effect on ds
2) that the "work" is not fairly distributed
3 issues IMO.
1. effect on BOTH ds's
2. work/care not fairly distributed
3. DH needs to stop shouting and being so aggressive with me and the children. It's abusive and I can see him edging into the physical aspect, which means it will effectively end the relationship.
I know that ASD is partly hereditary and I can see the traits in DH (and his dad who has held a grudge against me for 23 years because HE walked in on me in the bath).
DH drives me mad and when I really need some respite he will make a big issue of 'giving me time', whilst ratcheting up the stress levels unnecessarily until DS1 has a meltdown or he will leave them to their own devices and not intervene until DS2 completely loses it with DS1. My real respite is when DH is at work because I can create a relatively calm and relaxed atmosphere.
He struggles with the whole husband/father thing because he also has socio-communication difficulties. I would hate to think that in 10/20 years time DS1's dp would leave him because of his difficulties.
Is that arrogant denier thing in Tony Attwood's book?
*DH drives me mad and when I really need some respite he will make a big issue of 'giving me time', whilst ratcheting up the stress levels unnecessarily until DS1 has a meltdown or he will leave them to their own devices and not intervene until DS2 completely loses it with DS1. My real respite is when DH is at work sad because I can create a relatively calm and relaxed atmosphere.*
This is our house to a T, KeepOn. Scary, isn't it?
My friends with nt kids describe the same. It's worse somehow with sn in the mix, but it is very "normal". Not that that helps when you have to heave yourself out of your one peaceful bath of the week to defuse Armageddon again.
Triggles and KeepOn what you describe is definitely a step further than I've had with dp. In your circumstances I think is would be considering speaking to Women's Aid with a view to LTB. Certainly what Triggles is saying here: DH needs to stop shouting and being so aggressive with me and the children. It's abusive and I can see him edging into the physical aspect raises huge alarm bells for me
A meltdown in itself IS an anxious reaction to a situation, but violence should STILL not be tolerated. The OP is saying how her younger DC's are sometimes on the receiving end of the violence - she also has to bear in mind THEIR emotions.
As do I, with 4 DC's and it being DD, the eldest, who is most likely to have violent meltdowns.
Yes, there is a HUGE amount of avoiding triggers done, and a huge amount of trying to jump in before she lashes out, and a lot of redirecting to anger, but that still doesn't change the fact that for my OTHER DC's emotional well being, I have to punish her.
I have had these rules since she was 4yo, now finally at 15 she is sonetimes (NOT always) able to stop and redirect herself to punching the door, or kicking the sofa, instead of her siblings. Work in progress.
And once she is calm, she can accept that the punishment will happen even if the violence WAS her lashing out in a meltdown.
It's taken 11 years for it to stick even a little, so it takes FAR more sustained effort than it does with an NT DC, who WOULD care about losing things that they like at a much younger age, but we are slowly improving.
It's bloody tiring mind you!
Maybe what's key in my relationship with my Ex is that he HAS dxd Autism himself - so it's maybe easier for me to approach him from that angle?
How many Autistic traits can you see in your DP's...
It also helps that me & the Ex are separated and live apart! But yes, I 'get' everything that has been mentioned here.
My Ex's behaviours really DO shine through the above few posts!
And yes <<sigh>> it DID feel like I had an extra DC to 'referee' when he lived here.
Much easier to cope with when it's only 2/3 evenings a week!
I think for me one of the most aggravating aspects is that DH complains that DS2 (and DS3) are quite aggressive and shouty... he doesn't seem to see that he is the same way, and if I point it out he becomes defensive. But children learn from example... sigh
and yes, Polter. It's alarming for me too, which is why I do not leave him alone with them...ever. And I intervene. Rather have his anger directed at me, not them. But it's generally when, for example, DS2 is having a meltdown or getting close and starts swinging his arms and legs and going after someone. I generally just hold him so that he can't hurt himself or anyone else. Recently DH pushed him back hard enough for DS2 to fall on the floor. DH swears he didn't push him, just said he "moved his arm" and that DS2 fell over. It happened so fast, and DH was being really verbally aggressive, so I'm uncomfortable with it. I got angry with DH, and he got very defensive - I am not happy with "I moved my arm and he fell over." To me, that's pushing. I guess if he'd been horrified and said "oh god, I didn't mean to do that!" maybe I'd feel better? The defensive attitude (and not admitting he'd done anything wrong) really unnerves me.
IMO when they are getting physical, our job is damage control and to calm them down, not actively fight back with them IYSWIM.
Does that make sense, or am I just too critical?
Triggles you make complete sense
Only you can decide what is the best way forward
This is really interesting to read, certainly not a sidetrack triggles, I think my thinking is more like county's but my reality is more like triggles and keep on if that makes sense.
The good news is that we have finally seen someone who seems to have been the trigger for additional support - young carers, camhs and more so of this doesn't work I will really be concerned about dhs ability to manage iyswim.
DH was much better after doing an early-bird type course. Though for a good few weeks he was worse, I think a lot of what he learned was a little close for comfort . Mind you, it took 4 years for me to persuade him to even think about doing it (mainly using the feed-exercise-distract techniques above )
Mellow parenting has a chill-out-the-dads programme. There's a list of more-or-less evidence based programmes here
I also had to give up all lingering thoughts about fairness, and to give up having much contact with anyone whose husbands/partners were 'new men'. Mind you, it's surprising how few people I needed to drop. Methinks feminism failed.
Yes, Mareeya I've noticed that as well. Are those programmes just in your area? I haven't seen any of those in our area. DH says he will go to a parenting class if it's for children with SNs. It's just finding one that he can get to.
camhs usually do one for 'dc with clinically significant issues', which you could probably persuade DH would count. Early Bird Plus is ASD. The camhs ones are usually triple P or webster stratton varieties (sometimes something called 'strengthening families' or similar).
thick unenlightened places only do daytime courses though This one isn't SN specific but is available via an -ahem- alternative parenting website. TripleP is also online I haven't explored this site properly yet but it looks interesting.
Mellow was being done round here, but you had to convince a SW you were dodgy in oder to get a funded place
have PM you something as well. hope that's ok
Thanks for that. I will look through them!
Since dx there has been nothing that dh can access in terms of training. There's a support group but neither of us ( despite mumsnet!) are really into chatting and comparing in real life. I work in sen so have access to a lot of info ( hollow laugh, much good it does me!) whereas this is dhs first experience of it.
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