WWYD- If your child hits you in public?!!(28 Posts)
DS, just turned six, has severe verbal dyspraxia, so he sounds very babyish when speaking.
Since DS was diagnosed with this disorder, around 3 years of age, I would of hoped that with speech therapy and as he grew older, his frustrations would ease a bit. It hasn't, if I must say, he has gotten worse. He would frequently hit, bite, scream, shout and pull my hair when frustrated and does this even more so when in public. I feel like I have no control over him.
It's bad enough when strangers literally gawp at him because when he talks it sounds like gobbledygook. But every time he hits me, I can feel the stares. I feel like I'm being constantly judged.
When he does hit me, I literally have to restrain myself from shouting at him, I always tell him a firm "No" and "No hitting". But this doesn't seem to work.
I'm even scared to take him out somewhere, incase I tell him not to do something and he starts hitting me.
I feel like I'm a prisoner.
I really want to nip this behaviour in the bud, incase he, God forbids, starts hitting other kids at his school.
He was re-assessed a year a go. How come? Should I get him assessed again?
I would take this over to the SEN boards if I were you, unfortunately you might get the same sort of reaction here as the starers!
In the meantime, there are two issues in your post; the hitting and the hitting in public. You will never change judgemental people so work hard to ignore the staring and put your energy into your own wellbeing and looking after your son.
He is still very young so strategies for coping with his frustration will only be starting to develop, so be patient (easier said than done). Do you use other kinds of communication with him? Visual cues are effective with some at this age, could you have some laminated cards showing some of the more common things he is expected to do or places you go? Do you take a pad and pen so he can draw rather than hit out?
I would limit where you go just to give both of you some time to work out alternative things to do.
He needs a reassessment and you need to be referred to someone who can give you management techniques.
I learnt safe restraining methods with my DD (now 30), starting meds at 11 also helped, but there were still times that she needed restraining.
She is a Manager now, but personally, we still have to help her manage her anxiety etc.
are there any cormobid issues with the dyspraxia? Like an ASD maybe?
these things rarely are just by themselves when they are about neurodiversities
I think you might get more help if you asked for this to be moved to the special needs board?
Ds1 is 13 and has asd. He is only aggressive with me and his dad. I assume that's because he feels safe enough to let it out with us, he holds everything in at school.
It's hard not to care about the staring...i do find a good long stare back with a raised eyebrow usually stops the staring.
If it happens when you tell him not to something can you deal with issues in a different way-distraction or positive phrasing (eg do this rather than stop that)?
It's so hard when kids have this kind of thing to deal with, and very hard for their parents too.
Jellyrolly thanks, I will post this on the SEN boards.
Birdsgottoafly Do you think there could be something else going on? He does have a speech and language disorder too? So his understanding and use of speech is of a three year old. He has been assessed and reassessed so many times and it just comes back with the same thing.
He needs an outlet for his frustration other than hitting out.
Poor boy, it is so hard when we cannot express ourselves.
Have you read 'the explosive child' by Ross Greene. That might give you and him some strategies.
There's also a book called The Red Beast by H Al-Ghani, aimed at children with ASD (which I know he doesn't have, but shares similar frustrations around expressing himself and being understood) which might give him some tools/strategies.
Good Luck. My DC also did this.
Branleuse, no autism, he has been assessed for autism three times, including him being assessed privately. I just assumed the hitting was due to his difficulties with speech and language.
Hans It's a book that I keep on hearing about, maybe it's the time to finally purchase it.
unfortunately you might get the same sort of reaction here as the starers!
exactly the reason the OP SHOULD keep this thread on THIS site, so the judgy tutty criticising brigade LEARN properly about special needs and stuff that happens in public.
Mine hits and kicksd me, spits at me, uses every name under the sun, in public and home.
Im sick and tired of outstaring the judgers, people SHOULD be able to tell the difference between a SN person and a poorly brought up one (mnot the persons fault).
Im sick and tired of wearily explaining DC has SN. I get to the point if someones REALLY pissing me off and judgy, to go and google the conditions DC has and educate themselves, instead of staring a tutting Id appreciate a bit of help, and I shouldn't have to carry a huge fluorescent placard with flashing lights explaining my DC cant help it.
Feel for you OP, and I cant offer a solution, we are getting more and more isolated and housebound because of this, shes getting worse as she gets older, and I have to home educate as she cant manage at special needs school.
shes only okay with her little group of friends.
I would go back to the Paeditrician, and have him reassessed, ASD or another difficulty. DD 8 has ASD, some of your ds behaviours sound quite similar.
Oh right, sorry you have had him assessed for ASD
I used to be battered by my daughter on a regular basis, often outside, until she started medication last year. She does occassionally still lash out or bite me, usually just before or at the start of her period.
She has hit a few people when we've been out, so I have to watch her very closely. I take her out as little as possible now, sadly, especially avoiding crowds and busy shops.
Regarding the connection with ASD, children with apraxia can have autistic traits. My 2nd child had delayed speech and possibly dyspraxia, and I found the techniques I used on my youngest (my daughter with ASD, see my post above) were also useful with him.
What sorts of techniques have you found useful, no?
When she was younger it was things like keeping language very simple and direct so she could understand it, helping her to communicate with sign language and pecs (didn't really work out), positively reinforcing good behaviour, helping her to have a routine so she felt safe, being very consistent, reducing stressful situations.Every ASD child is different.
She didn't really become violent until she was 12 or so, it seemed to be connected to puberty and I'm hoping it stops as she gets older, though I don't think she will be able to come off her medication as she gets very anxious without it.
Regarding the reactions of people outside, I don't care what anyone else thinks, as long as she doesn't hit them. Fortunately the few times that has happened they have accepted my apology. I don't tell people she has autism, it's kind of obvious she has special needs, though it wasn't when she was younger. It's also important to stay as calm as possible. Getting angry and shouting just increases her stress.
As far as my 2nd child goes, he's absolutely fine now. He needed extra help until he was 8 or so, and found school and social situations difficult at times, but he's over that now. He's at uni and has a part time job. Hopefully your son will do just as well .
I agree you need more help with this and taking him back to the GP. I also think you need a strategy for dealing with the hitting, as it is not nice for you to get hit or hurt.
I forgot to add that he only hits me when I tell him off, or tell him not to do something. That's the only thing that triggers it.
DS does also have a speech and language disorder. So his understanding and use of speech is of a three year old. Which could be another reason why he gets frustrated.
Becker I understand about the isolation. As I feel like I'm housebound .
Have you got any input from OT or SALT? It seems like perhaps the whole thing about processing what's going on is difficult and if you get stressed and then say no, it set him off? I don't know as I don't know situation. I would try getting pics on phone and showing him where you are going. Having pictures of what needs to be bought. And after getting home and sorting out, maybe a reward of playtime with something if things went well? He knows what's happening then and doesn't have to process everything at once.
It's not easy. People will always judge. It's easy to judge.
It must be so hard for you, you have my sympathy.
I had this until fairly recently with my dd (5). She is very tall for her age, so people always assumed she was older. It was mortifying.
Worse than the stares was a man who just stood there and laughed as dd was hitting me. Completely inappropriate.
I found the incredible years by Webster-Stratton very helpful, but dd does have reasonable communication skills now.
I have heard of some parents with children with sn print out cards to hand to those who stare. Do you think this would be helpful?
Have you tried visual timetables, pecs, having cards on a key ring that have relevant needs on each card that can help him communicate, something like the image below. You can also get communication apps for smartphones and tablets.
As for discipline, depends on how he ticks. For DS2 it's an immediate penalty after one warning - ie 5 mins without iPad and follow through with the penalty every time. I still get hit occasionally though.
For DD who is demand avoidant one warning with consequence doesn't work and leads to immediate violence. Therefore you give her the feeling of control without actually giving her any, so it's "DD, you can continue to do X or you can do Y" (Y being the penalty). Sounds odd but without that phrasing she can't handle it at all.
I get this from my 7yo dd. Although it's usually kicking instead.
I calmly get down to her level and tell her she mustn't kick then pick her up with a tight cuddle which almost always soothes her. She was assessed for ASD and I was told it wasn't. So I've found ways to manage on my own and keep her calm. She mainly lashes out after school so I'm prepared for it.
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