4.5 y/o DS behaviour out of control(3 Posts)
Just after some advice really, DS behaviour is seriously concerning me, he has frequent (2/3 times daily) violent /angry outbursts which 99% of the time results in him lashing out at me. He has really hurt me several times, drawing blood when scratching me, punching, pulling my hair etc. These outbursts are usually as a result of us asking him to carry out a simple task; washing hands before dinner / getting dressed / brushing teeth!!
I just don't know how to deal with it we have tried everything we can think of, talking about our feelings, counting to 10 when upset or angry, sticker charts, rewards, toy removal for bad behaviour, time out (doesn't stay still for longer than 1 second so that didn't work! ), losing privaliges such as screen time and I always seem to end up shouting & in tears as I am just so frustrated by it all.
He gets plenty of exercise outside and lots of attention & playtime (he is an only). First day back at school today and he ran off in the other direction so I ran after him and literally had to carry him home in tears while he punched and kicked me as he wanted to 'walk the long way'! This carried on for another half an hour once home, screaming and shouting and punching I am sure our neighbours hate living next door to us!
Other than this he is a beautiful caring boy and people will look at me like if I tell them what he is like at home. Sorry for the long post, just need to vent and ask if anyone else is going through this and what I can do to help him deal with these angry outbursts as it is really making me miserable!
Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate... But you most definitely are not alone!
I can relate to most of the behaviours you describe with my 3 year old son. We are currently undergoing a diagnosis process for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Obviously this may not be the case for your child, but would recommend you contacting your family health visitor or GP to get the ball rolling. My niece has ASD too, so we were more aware of what we were seeing in my son, but my advice would be to list the behaviours you see in your child and just do some internet research on Autism behaviours to see if your child has any of the other characteristics, e.g. Repetitive patterns of behaviour, difficulty socially, poor eye contact, flapping, spinning, etc. Once you've had a look at the info out there, visit your chosen professional - I saw my health visiting team and they have been amazing - and say exactly what you are concerned about and what you have found out. Hopefully that'll open up a referral to paediatric services and some support for you.
It's really hard, but with ASD you can be on the receiving end of some really distressing, aggressive and extreme unwanted behaviours, but it is important to try to remain calm and retain control over the situation. Whilst it is unpleasant for you, your child may actually be really struggling and overwhelmed simply by daily life, which then sparks off these behaviours.
Try planning your day and structuring it so you can have "now" and "then" conversations with your child and give them time to get their head round what is to happen, e.g. "In five minutes, when this TV programme finishes we are going to put your shoes and coat on and then we will be going to the shops". You may still get a backlash, but we have found this very explicit way of speaking helps our son understand what is going to happen and prepare himself better. Also, be creative about the route you take to achieve your goal, e.g. If you need your child to cooperate with sitting still, give them two simple choices; "would you like to sit on the chair or the floor?" - the end result is the same - sitting down - but you let them think they have the ownership of the decision. Also can be expanded to "would you like to sit and read a book or sit and play on your tablet?"
There is lots of support and help out there - try National Autistic Society (www.autism.org.uk)
Most importantly, you obviously are aware that what you are dealing with is not atypical behaviour and you are the greatest expert on your child. You may have to push to get to see the professionals you need to and spell things out to your first point of contact, but the right people will spot the behaviours.
In the mean time, keep a brief diary of daily events, e.g. Thirty minute meltdown, hitting and kicking because I asked child to brush their teeth. Also, take some video footage. The more information and evidence you can give the professionals the better equipped they are to be able to provide the relevant support to you and your child.
Finally, hard as it is at times, remember to keep your chin up. Your child probably does not mean to upset you and despite their challenges, it is all part of what makes them the special little people we love and cherish. Good luck!
Just thinking about the whole situation which sparked things off going to school, perhaps try asking your child, "Do you want to go e short route to school or the long route to school?" - two simple choices, but your child takes ownership and that battle is hopefully averted and your child ends up in school 😀
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