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Really struggling with my son

(5 Posts)
ElfOnTheTopShelf Thu 07-Feb-13 21:45:27

My son is 20 months old. He's my second child. In November, DH and I took him to see the HV as we had a few concerns about him, being (mostly)

- Lack of speech
- The fact he has never slept through and sometimes up three or more times a night (screaming)
- His "temper tantrums" where he'll headbutt the floor/wall/doors/radiator/person holding him in frustration.

The HV referred us to the doctor. The doctor referred us to the community pediatrician. We have heard today that based on what the doctor told them, they wouldn't be able to help and have referred us elsewhere. Still waiting for this appointment to come through.

The HV had expressed concerns that my son may be autistic. I don't have a lot of experience with autism (a few friends have autistic children but they're not friends I see regularly so I don't have a lot of experiences with the children). I would have never though autism but there is something niggling me.

A little by the by... but anyway, I'm feel like I am struggling with him. When he is having an off day, I can spend a few hours of the day trying to soothe him, or carrying him around because he will kick off if put down on the floor, or trying to hold him to avoid him hurting himself. On a particularly bad day, he'll headbutt the floor (or something else) several times in quick succession. Picking him up can result in getting headbutted / kicked, but not picking him up he'll hurt himself.

Yesterday the childminder said he'd had a really bad day (tantrums, bashing his head, throwing toys) and he was upset when I picked him up because I wouldn't let him have his sisters DS, so he was screaming as I left. He kept going "rigid" when I was trying to get him in the car seat, and it took me a while to get him in the carseat. He screamed all the way home. He had two bad episodes through the night, at midnight it was because I gave him a drink of water in the wrong cup... it took me a good half hour to calm him down.

Does anybody had any experience with this? Is it best to just let him "cry it out" so to speak, or should I be trying to soothe him/hold him (and getting headbutted). I'm struggling a little with him, partly because we are unable to communicate with each other. I'm just rambling really, but would appreciate some input.

DomesticCEO Thu 07-Feb-13 22:06:28

Hi Elf, you're probably best of posting this in SEN - I'm sure they'd have loads of good advice for you x

tanfastic Thu 07-Feb-13 22:19:49

Elf, I could have written that post when my son was that age. He's nearly five now and until as little as six months ago I had suspicions he may have autistic tendencies. He was exactly as you describe your child from the age of nine months to when he turned four. His tantrums last summer were so extreme that I was struggling to cope and his teacher was struggling with his behaviour in the classroom. I also sought help from hv etc but we just kept being referred on a parenting course to help us cope with his behaviour.

Then something really weird happened. He just changed almost overnight (or that is how it seemed). The tantrums lessened, the hitting stopped, he became much more amenable and able to compromise without kicking off and last week he got star of the week at school for good behaviour proud smile. His teacher thinks (as we do) that he has just emotionally matured and she cannot believe the change in him. He has not had a tantrum now for about six months (honestly feel someone has swapped my boy!). I'm pretty amazed.

I'm not saying there isn't an underlying reason for your son's behaviour. Maybe a trip to the gp might be in order to put your mind at rest.

I feel for you, it's exhausting and hell isn't it? I had nearly four years of it where some days I could gladly have given him away he was that awful hmm.

tanfastic Thu 07-Feb-13 22:24:03

Just to add we coped with it by ignoring a lot of the time. Sometimes he'd wake up in the night screaming and there was nothing we could do with him. It was pretty frightening and he would not accept comfort of any description. We would just ignore until he tired himself out as nothing else worked. The neighbours must have loved living next door to us!

ElfOnTheTopShelf Thu 07-Feb-13 22:39:03

I keep saying sorry to the neighbours for the noise!

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