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Help with 7 year old who won't stop hurting her brother(6 Posts)
I know it sounds strange but I'm seriously at the end of my tether with this. As a bit of back ground my DD7 is a very tactile person (bites nails, will fixate on something small and carry it/ sleep with it for days at a time) her fingers seem to always need to be moving. Some of it is habit and some can be seen alongside tiredness and anxiety. She struggles in social groups, isn't very good and reading situations and often lives in her own world. We've spoken to doctors before about if she is on the autistic spectrum but get brushed aside and told there is nothing big enough there to investigate.
However when it comes to her brother she just doesn't seem to know she's hurting him, they can be sat next to each other on the sofa perfectly happy sharing a book, watching tv or having a snack and her hand will float over to his arm and pinch him. She will walk into a room where he is happily playing and walk up to him to see what he's doing and stand on him. If you see her arm moving and say don't hurt him, she'll look at her hand in surprise like she doesn't know how it's moved. A couple of times recently when I've told her off for doing it and asked why she's said my brain told me to or my hand did it on its own.
We've tried punishing it (time out, no treats), she is always made to apologise, we've even tried ignoring it for a while to see if it was attention seeking but it still continues. Today when her answer to hurting him was well I said sorry, I pushed her and said sorry, she got upset and said I was mean, so I said yes I was it wasn't nice was it. How do you think DS feels when you do it to him. She agreed sad and it wasn't nice. We all made friends and after something she said I promised her an hour at the weekend just to two of us no DS or DH to do something of her choosing. Not 10 mins later she shut a door on his leg because it was in the way rather than ask him to move! Now not 20 mins later they are sat together playing a game they've made up like best friends.
Has anyone dealt with something like this before? Has anything worked?
Has she been properly assessed for ASD OP or have you just seen the GP? If she can’t seem to stop herself hurting DS and she is constantly fidgeting, it might also be worth reading up on ADHD in girls.
Of course she knows she's hurting him.
Can you make a big fuss of what a great sister she is whenever she's behaving nicely with him?
She hasn't been officially assessed for anything as GP has brushed it aside. I'm currently waiting for a referral to the local paediatric dept over her lack of sleep (regularly 9.30/10 and then up at 6 and knackered) so when we finally get an appointment I'm intending to bring a lot of the other bits up and see what we get.
I’m not sure how it works but I’d defintely ask them to assess her for ASD and possibly ADHD too.
Might the pinching be sensory? Could you give her other things to do with her fiddley fingers? Perhaps a fiddle toy, or stress ball, plasticine, or baking gingerbread etc?
I have no experience of dealing with sibling stuff (as I only have one!) but have a DS 7 who I suspect has ASD. The situation you describe of shutting the door on her brother's leg rather than asking him to move sounds like the sort of thing my DS would do. He is very articulate (often too articulate!) and yet struggles to find the words for quite simple things. To give an example, he used to ask to be pushed on a swing, enjoy it for a while, then throw himself off at its highest point. When asked why, he would say that he wanted the swing to stop! This happened multiple times. I have now learnt not to push him on swings!
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