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Autistic child advice

(12 Posts)
VicWillia Tue 29-Sep-15 18:33:24

My dp has a 5 yo ds who was diagnosed with autism last year. He is not on great terms with his ex so they don't really discuss it - all he knows is that he has it.

Recently I've been noticing that dp is finding it more and more difficult to interact with his ds and this leads to both of them getting upset and it's hard to see.

Does anyone know any good websites or advice lines, or have any advice about dealing with autistic children? Dp has a dd and another ds, neither have autism and I notice that he applies the same rules and discipline to all of them when I'm wondering if there must be an easier way of dealing with his ds1.

Fairylea Tue 29-Sep-15 18:36:16

My son is 3.5 and has severe autism.

Websites I've found useful have been the national autistic society (tons of advice and a helpline), contact a family and scope.

I think as difficult as it is he really needs to discuss things with his ex and find out what's going on in terms of support - has anyone claimed dla for him for example? Does he have paediatricians and speech therapists involved? Does he have or need support at school? The only way forward is for both parents to talk to each other.

Fairylea Tue 29-Sep-15 18:38:36

Just a heads up as well - a lot of people automatically bristle at the term "autistic child" - it should be a "child with autism" - child before disability. Personally it doesn't bother me but I know for a lot of people they will take offence at anyone using the wrong term.

VicWillia Tue 29-Sep-15 18:43:41

Hi fairylea. Thanks for the heads up!

That sounds very hard for you.

I don't think dps ds is severely autistic. He is in mainstream school, he talks (although not clearly) it's more behavioural. He finds it difficult to play with other children.vhe lashes out a lot. He hits his brother and sister. And when he does this dp will shout at him and put him in the naughty corner and all it does is make him scream. I'm wondering if a child with autism should be disciplined differently that one without.

Fairylea Tue 29-Sep-15 18:56:49

Well I would say that even a child with autism can't be allowed to lash out at others. But .. you have to look at the lead up to that. There isn't really a "usually" with children on the spectrum but quite often there is something which causes them to build up into a "meltdown" sometimes during which they can either become completely unreachable or lash out. Not all children with autism do lash out however. I would look at the behaviour leading up to incidents of difficult behaviour and see if there is anything that can be changed. For example my son becomes very stressed if things are too noisy and if people don't give him a chance to process what's being said so I have to give him longer between prompts to do things otherwise he gets very angry and stressed out and if I continue to prompt him he will meltdown. Clearly my son has more severe issues and is younger so things may be different.

Quite often children with autism need more of their own space than other children so they can stay calm, does he have his own space when he stays with you?

I would also look at the behaviour of the brother and sister to make sure they are behaving too and he isn't reacting to a build up of frustration from them picking on him or something like that and being unable to express it clearly.

knittingwithnettles Tue 29-Sep-15 19:03:11

Is there anything your dp enjoys doing with his son? Train track (wooden ones are good) Duplo, going to playground climbing things, throwing a ball to him. That is the start of them getting on better and your dh finding him less frustrating to deal with.

There is so much advice to give really, that you might be better posting in SN Chat or SN Children. Essentially shouting and putting him in naughty corner are NOT good ways to deal with a child with autism. Positive reinforcement, calm explicit instructions, breaking things into small steps, having very clear steps to the day, being aware of food sensitivities, difficulty with social interaction, difficulty sharing toys, sensitivity to noise, excessive hyper behaviour (due to understimulation and needing some sort of feedback)

NAS (National Autistic Society) would have all the explanations. It must be horrible to see your dp treating his son like this and it will definitely make things worse and not make his behaviour better. Building a relationship with him and being his rock is the first step (I mean your dp's ds)

disclaimer, my son has HFA. And a good relationship with his dad. That is not to say his behaviour is not thoroughly frustrating and difficult at times but we try and find a way to deal with him, based on his needs.

LeChien Tue 29-Sep-15 19:10:47

You say he's not on great terms with his ex?
I think with a child with ASD it's vitally important that your dp tries to be on better terms with her, for their son's sake.
How does the boy's mother handle things?

I think when it comes to working out strategies to help, the adults need to be a team and need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

One of the best resources I've found is on FB - autism discussion page. There are also books (look on amazon for autism discussion page). Of all the books I have, these are the best at giving clear possible explanations for behaviour, and ways to help.

MarshallsMummy0304 Tue 29-Sep-15 22:40:57

My DS is 4 and is in the process of seeing speech and paediatricians as he is suspected to be on the autistic spectrum. He doesn't talk, very few words when he does. It's almost as if he's just had a delay, he's currently parroting which my daughter has recently stopped doing. (She's 2.5) so it's almost as if he's a few steps behind her, like she's teaching him unlike what is the "normal" for the older child to lead a younger sibling through childhood.

I must say that he's in mainstream school but only goes in for the morning as they school doesn't have the funding to get 1:1 support for him. The school have allocated £6000 a year to get him some which works out at 18 hours a week so I have to pick him up at 12:30.

Hopefully will get more funding for him to stay full time once EHC has gone through.

I personally feel my son is being treated very unfairly as he isn't an awkward unruly child he will do the things we ask but the staff at the school basically say that it wouldn't be safe for him to be there without the 1:1 support.

Sorry to just go off on a rant there and I've just realised I've been no help whatsoever. I'm recently new to MN created an account a few years back but recently discover an app! I was over the moon! So don't really post much but it's really nice to see I now have different topics and forums I can turn to when I don't know what else to do. Good luck with whatever you find to help your DP and his DS x

BackforGood Tue 29-Sep-15 22:49:12

Agree that the NAS are great.
They are also on Facebook.
They put on support groups, and e-learning, and chat groups, and meeting in real life groups as well as having loads of information - I'd definitely get him to look there.

knittingwithnettles Tue 29-Sep-15 23:16:18

marshalls - I personally think a long school day for 4 year olds is overrated, whether they have autism or not. My son very much benefited from a half day in Reception. Instead of being tired and overwrought he enjoyed school and learnt a lot. At the time it seemed a perfect solution, and I congratulated myself on being ALLOWED a half day when other children were told they had to stay till 3pm as school policy. He didn't have a 1:1 though. Occasionally they had to ring me to say he needed to come home at lunchtime when he was intended to stay longer. It was very much to do with how he was coping. I didn't mind in the slightest. I didn't want him to have a difficult unhappy stressful time there. I was delighted to pick him up at 12.30.

However, other mumsnetters will tell you that is illegal for them not to provide the support he NEEDS; even without a EHCP. Most schools try to encourage parents to see it as a good choice to do a half day whereas they are not meant to put the onus on YOU to remove your child because they haven't got the resources.

MarshallsMummy0304 Wed 30-Sep-15 09:29:36

Thank you knitting. I do see it as a blessing in some ways as I get to take my children to the park in the afternoon and we have the run of the place! grin the only other children on the park are children and babies not of school age so I suppose it's only a good thing really smile and I never really wanted my DS to start school yet anyway. He's still my baby so I get to keep him just that little bit longer smile

VicWillia Wed 30-Sep-15 11:28:23

Thank you all for your kind words and advice, and I will take it on board, I will see that dp does too.

Lets see if I can answer some questions:

Quite often children with autism need more of their own space than other children so they can stay calm, does he have his own space when he stays with you?

No, sad to say he doesn't. Dp and I live in a tiny 1 bed flat, and I also have a ds of my own who is 5, so when the 4 of them are all here you can barely breathe and I know how bad that is for dp's ds1. We are moving to a bigger flat, closer to dp's children, but not until next year. I allow dp's ds1 to go into our room and watch a DVD away from the other children if he needs to, but its difficult as you can't always watch him in there and once he threw an ornament out of the window.. sad

^You say he's not on great terms with his ex?
I think with a child with ASD it's vitally important that your dp tries to be on better terms with her, for their son's sake.
How does the boy's mother handle things?^

I have said this to him time and time again. She is one of these people who will give information if asked, but doesn't volunteer it. If dp asked her about his ds1 and how he is doing, she would tell him. But she doesn't tell him anything unless asked.

He has gone into Year 1 at school this year and seems to be finding that difficult. We assume he has some extra help, but don't know for sure.

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