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...To Really Want to Smack DS1?

(17 Posts)
LadyNym Wed 24-Jun-15 15:24:56

This is sort of light-hearted and sort of serious.

DS1 is three and undergoing diagnosis for ASD. It should go without saying that I love him but with this sort of thread it's probably best I state it explicitly! I do love him. He is intelligent, funny, charismatic and can be so caring and sweet.

He's also incredibly hard work! He pushes and hits his little brother often, he shouts at the top of his voice or screams or bangs things constantly. I mean constantly. He's a wall of sound and having a few many ASD traits myself, I find this really hard to deal with. He grabs things he knows he can't have (will drag chairs/toys to climb on and reach things and can easily open all the baby gates in the house), draws on walls/cupboards/the floor given half a chance, throws things, walks round the room tipping out every tub of toys he comes across, he spits, he scratches, kicks (people and things). Telling him 'no' makes him laugh (if he acknowledges you at all), ignoring him makes him act worse and worse to get attention.

Even my mum - who has four kids (one with diagnosed AS), worked as a childminder for years and ran a playgroup and is normally the sort of person who just has to give a child a stern look for them to do exactly what she says - struggles to get him to do/not do things.

I don't really like the idea of the 'naughty step' and everything I've read suggests it doesn't work well with ASD kids anyway.

I really want to smack him sometimes! I wouldn't. Aside from whether it's an ethical way to treat children, I know all studies have shown it doesn't work. I also know I'd feel like shit as soon as I'd done it. But when he's spent two hours deliberately winding me up...I really want to!

I think the fact he's so high functioning makes it really easy to overlook the fact he can't help many of his behaviours. His vocabulary if very, very good for his age so it makes it seem like he's totally in control of his actions, even though he's not.

So, am I being totally unreasonable and a truly hideous mum to even think I'd like to smack my child?

Aermingers Wed 24-Jun-15 15:34:21

No actually. I think the fact that rather than smacking him you've come on here for a vent shows in fact that you are an extremely good mother who is dealing with a tough situation and managing difficult emotions appropriately. Don't beat yourself up about this. You sound fab and like you are trying very hard to support him in the best way.

QuestioningStuff Wed 24-Jun-15 15:35:53

You're not an awful mum. You're human. I've had times when I've wanted to smack DS out of pure anger and frustration. He is also 3 but does not display any ASD traits or behaviours you have listed.

Children can truly test our limits. You know you won't do it, and you understand why you shouldn't. Wanting to sometimes is completely normal. Doing it wouldn't be.

OctopusesGarden Wed 24-Jun-15 15:36:20

You're not being unreasonable to consider it. Might not be best to carry through though.

You sound like a lovely mum having a tough time. I don't know how to do the wine glass symbol so have some cake instead!

TwinkieTwinkle Wed 24-Jun-15 15:40:17

You're having a rough time, you came on here to vent it. Good parenting in my book!

elderflowerlemonade Wed 24-Jun-15 15:44:24

What strategies do you think might help? I agree smacking is counterproductive but I do think you need something, to be honest.

BettyCatKitten Wed 24-Jun-15 15:53:45

You are not a bad mum, but a very stressed one!
I work with teenagers with ASD and its exhausting, and of course I can go home at the end of my shift. Parents have this 24/7 and are often at the end of their tether, not to mention exhausted.
Is their any help you can access in your area? Sure start or home start schemes?
If you want I will gladly research any resources in your area if you PM me your location. I'm more than happy to help, as I know how hard living like this can be from the parents of the children I support flowers

TwinkieTwinkle Wed 24-Jun-15 15:58:47

Betty that is so lovely of you smile

BettyCatKitten Wed 24-Jun-15 16:04:08

Mums need to help each other out smile

insanityscatching Wed 24-Jun-15 16:14:21

No YANBU to think about it but WBVU to carry it through. I remember when ds, who has autism, was 3yo and it was horrendous. He's 20 now and an absolute delight so it can and undoubtedly will get better.
Strategies that worked here were stripping rooms to bare essentials anything that wasn't needed at that minute was locked away so less opportunity to trash and destroy.
Lots and lots of exercise ds used to run circuits (through choice) in a field he couldn't escape from but a park that's deserted would work.
Keep nails short and wear slippers in the house to minimise effects of aggression.
Have a secure garden, a trampoline, a sand pit, a water table and musical instruments outside will amuse for ages.
Investigate childcare for his sibling if no one will have ds as divide and conquer won the day here and look for support for yourself and ask about parenting strategies specific to ASD.
Good luck it will get better I promise.

insanityscatching Wed 24-Jun-15 16:14:30

No YANBU to think about it but WBVU to carry it through. I remember when ds, who has autism, was 3yo and it was horrendous. He's 20 now and an absolute delight so it can and undoubtedly will get better.
Strategies that worked here were stripping rooms to bare essentials anything that wasn't needed at that minute was locked away so less opportunity to trash and destroy.
Lots and lots of exercise ds used to run circuits (through choice) in a field he couldn't escape from but a park that's deserted would work.
Keep nails short and wear slippers in the house to minimise effects of aggression.
Have a secure garden, a trampoline, a sand pit, a water table and musical instruments outside will amuse for ages.
Investigate childcare for his sibling if no one will have ds as divide and conquer won the day here and look for support for yourself and ask about parenting strategies specific to ASD.
Good luck it will get better I promise.

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Wed 24-Jun-15 16:35:49

you're doing fine OP!! (thats all really, just wanted to say I know how you are feelign xxX)

DayLillie Wed 24-Jun-15 16:43:28

www.autism.org.uk/our-services/advice-and-information-services/parent-to-parent-service.aspx

Any help

sleeponeday Wed 24-Jun-15 16:43:57

You are me.

DS is almost 7. When unstressed and with his routine nicely placid, he is the ultimate delight. He's doing brilliantly at school. But when it goes awry, I swear he's possessed. Angry, violent, hostile, demand-avoidant, and controlling.

ASD parenting is hard. There are rewards, too, that you don't get with neuro-typical kids, but my God is it hard. I send flowers. I was told once that spectrum kids typically tend to mature later, so you're dealing with the terrible twos when they are three or four, or even later.

I did once smack DS when he was three. He'd been attacking me, and then he picked up a book, and slowly ripped off the front cover, watching me all the time. I smacked. Best part? The book was Raising Happy Children. blush

Rebecca2014 Wed 24-Jun-15 16:48:13

I have smacked my three year old daughter on the bum before. It really does make no difference, it certainly did not make my daughter behave! it just made me feel worse so yeah just take a deep breath, remind yourself this age doesn't last forever...

LadyNym Wed 24-Jun-15 18:06:14

Thank you all! I was a little worried it was a stupid question to put on AIBU and I'd come back to a load of abuse.

elderflowerlemonade, I honestly don't know what would help. I've tried ignoring, I've tried nicely explaining why he can't do things and just asking him not to and removing him from the situation when he continues, I've tried shouting, I've tried taking away toys, I've tried hugging him tightly (lots of ASD kids like deep pressure). He's just relentless.

BettyCatKitten, thank you so much for the offer. It's really lovely of you. He's actually going to be starting at preschool for a couple of days a week after the summer and they have been fantastic. They're applying for all sorts of help and support (both at the preschool and some for me at home occasionally) and are doing everything they can to help him transition smoothly (going in for lots of short sessions with me right now and a gradual induction after the summer). I've had a long meeting with their SENCo and she seems great, too.

insanityscatching, it's difficult because DH got a new job hundreds of miles away from where we were living so we're currently all living with my parents whilst we sell our house and find somewhere nearer here. They have been great making loads of adjustments and turning their house upside down for us (we also have two cats and two dogs and they already had a cat and dog and my two sisters are much younger so still live at home) and I don't feel like I could ask them to change their house any more than they already have. Their garden is huge and has big concrete steps and two ponds so DS1 has to be pretty closely watched at all times when outside. Even hanging up the washing can take half an hour or so because DS2 is really grizzly/clingy at the moment so I have to have him in a carrier on my back and have to stop DS1 running off.

LadyNym Wed 24-Jun-15 18:09:30

DayLillie, I'll definitely have a proper look at that link. I'm a bit crap with talking to people on the phone (like I said, I have some ASD traits too!) but I'll try to force myself.

sleeponeday, the bit about the book did make me laugh!!

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