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Dd aged 4.5 tantrums - any advice?

(19 Posts)
Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 09:24:02

My dd still tantrums a lot at 4.5, both at home and at school.

She had a major speech delay which has improved massively (no speech therapy any more) but still struggles with communicating her feelings / needs because she just isn't good at explaining herself.

The tantrums manifest as a short burst of very loud shouting when things upset her (she also has a hearing problem so isn't aware of her volume and eg will talk quite loudly when she wants to whisper.) At the moment the triggers might be things like not having time to finish a jigsaw before bedtime, her favourite biscuit not being left when the plate comes round, another child rejecting her etc etc.

I am very aware of her ongoing communication difficulties and always encourage her to tell us what she is upset about rather than shouting. I also explain that people don't like shouting, I say it is unkind and makes others sad. If at another child's party or someone else's house I say shouting stops or we leave, which works.

However, this behaviour is causing her problems with peers and adults. I can see why as it's frustrating to deal with.

Has anyone else experienced similar with their child?

Speech therapist when I emailed to ask said to keep modelling what she should be doing (using calm sentenced to explain what she needs/how she feels).

Has anyone tried a reward chart or anything like that?

Given her difficulties the SALT was anti time out or anything like that.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 11:36:57

Little bump

originalusernamefail Sun 13-Mar-16 11:47:35

No experience of this as my son is much younger 2.5 but has a speech delay (no words) do you mind me asking about your daughters experience? I have the Hanen programme book and it says to remember that speech delayed children will need methods designed for younger children - their 'language' age. My DS seems to tantrum for other people more than me but I'm not sure if that's because I can read his non-verbal 'sod off' cues and intervene before he looses it iykwim. With him I still try and use distraction as I don't think he get time out or charts.

228agreenend Sun 13-Mar-16 11:54:25

Can I ask, when she doen't get her favourite biscuit, what happens? Do you then go and get her favourite biscuit to,pacify her? Also, when it's time for bed, if she creates, do you then allow her to,finish her jigsaw.

If so, your daughter may have learnt that by screaming and shouting, she gets want she wants.

I may have interpreted this wrong, so if so, sorry.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 12:11:44

We have the hanen book too - I hadn't noticed that bit but need to go back and read it again, clearly. Is it more than words or takes two to talk that you have? Hanen is fab!

We don't give in - I make it a rule never to eg if I say we are going now then we are leaving regardless of what she does/says. If I say no more biscuits then she doesn't get another if she tantrums. But it is difficult because she shouts where a child her she without a history of speech delay wouldn't iyswim so if she cut her knee badly she would come up screaming and shouting rather than crying and saying mummy I cut my knee, look! So we sometimes have to say are you ok what is wrong? Rather than stop that right now - so could be mixed messages but we can't just tell her off and the SALT was very keen we didn't.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 12:15:52

Original, just to go back and answer your question, my dd was being investigated for speech delay around 20 months. Turned out she was actually very deaf. She had a very limited vocabulary and speech sounds. But now has caught up with sounds and vocabulary to nhs normal which has been quite a journey. Has your ds had a hearing test?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 13-Mar-16 12:18:26

Do you give her a 5 minute warning - we are leaving in 5 mins

Can she have her own plate of biscuits? - not with the battle in that one

originalusernamefail Sun 13-Mar-16 12:27:20

We have ' it takes two' but thinking about more than words as apparently it's a bit more in depth. I may have read about discipline on a website! My head is a little mashed with the reading I've been doing. DS has been to audiology twice and has fluid in the right ear, too much to discharge him, apparently not enough to effect his hearing. I think his speech is a symptom of a wider social delay, his eye contact is patchy with people other than me and he gets upset in crowded places. He has no words and only one sound an 'ahhh' noise he uses to direct us to things he wants. He is my first so I've never known different, I just wish I could look in to his future and know what was coming for him.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 12:59:52

Original, I understand that so much - I've had many sleepless nights about dd. She also has poor eye contact but it is improving slightly as we go to a social skills group every week on a Saturday. I wonder whether you might consider going to see audiology privately for a second opinion? We did that with dd and they said she needed grommets which massively improved things for her.

The buscuit thing happened at school at a special celebration they had and she threw a wobbly because all the biscuits she wanted were gone from the plate by the time it came to her.

We do give 5 minute warnings and she still gets heartbroken when the five minutes are up that she won't be able to trot her toy unicorn right into the stable or whatever.

originalusernamefail Sun 13-Mar-16 13:46:36

It might be an idea, our service from the NHS is very oversubscribed, he was supposed to be seen in Jan and they only got to him last week. DSs wobblers at preschool seem to be linked to a lack of understanding (his), for example he connects coat on with home time, so when they put coats on to go out and play he gets upset.

Lurkedforever1 Sun 13-Mar-16 13:57:16

Do you think it's a bit of a vicious circle? As in the angrier/ more upset she is, the harder it is to explain why, which then makes her more frustrated, which makes the words even harder and so on? In which case maybe teaching her another way to calm down first might work. Eg drawing a picture of why she's angry, counting to ten, jumping up and down on the spot, a toy she grabs and takes to a quiet corner and tells why she's angry etc.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 16:26:13

Oh yes it's so overstretched, isn't it - we were facing a huge wait.

About the vicious circle idea, I think you might be right and a calming down routine might be a good idea. i really like your suggestions - dh and I had never thought of treating it as anger management.

chipface Sun 13-Mar-16 18:03:30

Yes I was wondering if the tantrums were more to do with an inability to cope with frustration or disappointment. She also sounds like she struggles with transitions. Is she good at recognising how she feels? Can she verbalise it afterwards when she's calmed down?

My DD didn't have speech delay, and she's now 8 so perfectly capable of telling us what she wants. But still has tantrums for similar reasons to your DD. Hers are due to an inability to recognise and cope with strong feelings. So she can't tell us how she's feeling, and has absolutely no idea how to deal with those feelings - so she just breaks down. She also struggles with transitions and change.

She needs help recognising how she feels and doing something about it before she loses it. But there's loads of techniques you can use as a parent to help. She's worse when she feels anxious or not in control, so a lot of it is about reducing anxiety and helping her feel like she's in control.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 18:41:34

Chip that all sounds very helpful and very like dd. Is there any resource you read that helped/any particular strategies? We try to minimise shocks and yes transitions are very hard for dd.

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 18:42:42

I forgot to answer your questions! She can verbalise once calmer but struggles to say more than "I was feeling upset" - explaining feelings is something we are really working on

Crasterwaves Sun 13-Mar-16 21:05:54

Thinking through all the really helpful posts so far, I think maybe I need to think more in terms of seeking help/coping strategies for the anxiety/frustration she feels? Any tips anyone else has on that would be greatly appreciated - I'm going to try to build up some practical ways to try to help her

Crasterwaves Mon 14-Mar-16 22:15:28

Just a final bump - anyone else have any thoughts?

Hairyfecker Mon 14-Mar-16 22:31:35

I have an almost four year old with speech delay. He's never used any words for feelings (well except "hurt") and does seem to tantrum more than the others at nursery. I try to remember to make sure he's looking at me when I give an instruction, say his name first etc. he is still small enough to just pick up and walk with but he fights me now. If I'm safe to leave him (ie we're at home) it seems to stop faster. I'm not giving you any advice am I?!

Believeitornot Mon 14-Mar-16 22:36:02

I would label her feelings for her at the time, briefly. Then try and calm her down.
So my dd who's 4 can flip out but usually because something is wrong (hungry or tired). So I try and tell her and offer her a cuddle. We sit down her in lap and she usually calms down then we talk about it.

I then tell her what she can do next time.

I also use the same phrases if I'm not going to give in "mummy isn't changing her mind" so she knows from experience that it won't happen. However if I've made a mistake or misunderstood then I do give in and explain why!

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