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Advice appreciated, how to cope with asd (Long)

(8 Posts)

Hi, I've never posted on this board before, I don't know anything about sn or autism really, but I do know our problems are hugely trivial compared to what some of you cope with. I'd be very grateful for some advice on my ds's behavioural issues. This will be long, sorry.

Ds (6) has been assessed as being "on the spectrum" and he received a bit of help at school with making friends, but we struggle a lot with him at home and I'm now wondering if it's a bit more serious than we first thought (he's our first so we thought his behaviour was normal for a 3/4/5 year old, but now we have more than one dc and he's getting older the difficulties he has are much more apparent)

I have an appointment with the senco next week, so I'll just list the problems, let me know your thoughts.

He shouts a lot, often seems to have no indoor voice. Lots of screaming, sometimes randomly, if there's a loud noise like smoke alarm he will run around screaming (excitedly)

His handwriting is terrible, he has real trouble gripping the pencil, holds it with his fist in a stabbing grip, if we try to get him to change his grip he cries and gets aggressive. Lots of his writing is backwards, although it's improving very slowly.

He fights constantly with his younger sister who is 3. He'll argue about everything, and he overreacts and punches/kicks/pushes her over the slightest thing. she isn't blameless but he often starts it, and it's usually him who hits first. He can't see that he's done anything wrong.

He breaks things all the time. In the last week he has broken several slats on our fence (trying to speak to neighbours kids) ripped open a stuffed toy and thrown fluff and glass beads everywhere, broken loads of toys so he could pretend to fix them, pulled loads of threads on his bedroom carpet so it's now ruined (and we rent!) ruined a cushion in the same way, dented/chipped the bath in several places by bashing toys on it, chewed his bunk bed, ripped up various boxes and letters without asking if he could have them... I could go on. It's constant.

He can dress himself but he will often put on his clothes inside out/back to front. In bed he insists on being naked but needs to wear socks as it appears the sensation of sheets against his feet upsets him.

He has night terrors, wakes up crying or screaming at least once a night, often several times.

He has no stranger awareness, he'll tell anyone anything, and no sense of personal space, he'll touch people inappropriately all the time, doesn't notice he's doing it (had a hug with my friend earlier, he had his hands all over her boobs as he chatted away)

He hates change, gets upset and cries if plans change. He doesn't listen so that leads to more crying and screaming as his expectations don't match what we actually said would happen iykwim.

He's a mummy's boy and kisses/cuddles me constantly. He'll only have stories with me. He wants to stay off school and spend time with me. (The affection isn't a problem of course! I love how sweet he can be)

He strips off completely naked to use the toilet. He squats on the toilet seat rather than sits. No amount of loo "lessons" or visual guides changes this. He normally wees everywhere, it's on the floor, all over the seat hinges and cistern, which seems to be a combination of laziness (not raising the seat, not holding his willy, not watching what's happening) and experimentation. (Younger sister says she saw him weeing in the sink, her potty, their bedroom etc - last night he said he "heard a scary noise" which "made him" sit on the cistern and wee. sad we recently had some success with offering him 10p each time he weed, flushed and washed his hands without making a mess, which suggests he can help it if he tries.

I'm struggling with his behaviour right now as we have a new baby and he's getting so aggressive and attention seeking. Today I took his sister to an after school class, he asked to play outside, then seconds later he threw stones at the windows of the class. I was so embarrassed I cried. I don't know how to cope with him. Explaining and warning doesn't seem to work, attempts at discipline don't seem to work. Three minutes later he's doing it again, he says sorry again but doesn't really seem to think he's done anything wrong.

boobybum Thu 12-Sep-13 19:51:35

Can you ask to see an OT for a full assesment including a sensory profile. If your area don't have an OT experienced in this then ask to be referred out of area. A simple pencil grip may help with how he holds the pencil and are cheap to buy.
I would also suggest you look into Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) - there have been loads of threads on MNSN if you do a search. Robert Schramm's book Motivation & Reinforcement is a good place to start.
Good luck

Sorry it's all new to me, what do the acronyms stand for? Thanks for your post, by the way.

mrsvandertramp Thu 12-Sep-13 20:07:10

Poor you, my DS (now 13) used to be very similar to how you describe your DS and I have often felt like everyone else's children are so 'normal' and people have no idea what we had to put up with on a day to day basis. Our son also went to see an Occupational Therapist for problems with handwriting and also being rather uncoordinated and she diagnosed an under-developed shoulder girdle, connected with not having crawled properly as a baby. She gave him some exercises to develop this and they seemed to help within a few weeks. But the good thing is that our son has grown out of a lot of his odd behaviour and I just wanted to give you some hope that things can improve.

PolterGoose Thu 12-Sep-13 20:45:39

Hi James and welcome flowers

Firstly never ever think your problems are trivial or less serious than anyone else's, every child of every parent on here is different and every single child and parent/carer deserves support when they need it.

Ok, in my completely layperson experience I think your ds has a lot of complex stuff going on. If I were you I'd have a read about ASDs, ADHD, Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder for starters. Just to see if anything sounds familiar. I am not saying your ds has these things, but I think they may be a good place to start.

Start keeping a diary and write about stuff you read and stuff you observe, start to look for patterns of behaviours. Then see your GP and ask for referral for assessment by a developmental paediatrician.

My favourite book for 'behaviour management' is Ross Greene's The Explosive Child It is really really good.

Best wishes and keep posting smile

boobybum Thu 12-Sep-13 21:19:45

Hi again and sorry for the acronyms smile OT stands for occupational therapist and MNSN is Mumsnet Special Needs section.

WilsonFrickett Fri 13-Sep-13 17:22:11

Welcome James!

When you say he was assessed, who did the assessment? Were you offered any follow-up or support? Are school doing anything to support him?

TimidLivid Sun 15-Sep-13 16:23:55

Another layperson who feels u have a case for getting another assessment as his profile seems to have changed and it sounds like life has become more challenging for you and you both need more support. Can you get an appointment with the people who assessed him and get an occupational therapy assessment too

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