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How do you stop the fiddling with stuff? Please, please please help. I feel really quite murderous.

(29 Posts)
ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 16:07:46

I have just had to leave every single shop I have been in because ds1 wouldn't stop touching. he's missed out on ice creams becausde he wouldn't stop touching.

I spent TOTAL 30 minutes shopping, and 2 hours in the park in between.

threats don't work.

bribes don't work

explaining how his constant fiddling is making my life hell doesn't work.

Explaining that if he keeps touching things the staff will tell him off doesn't work.

Removing him from the shop works - until I try to go back in.

I just wanted to have a little look in a new shop that has opened in town. That's all I wanted. I managed to buy some cheap school uniform in the right size from there.

He's five - really am I expecting too much? I feel like I must be - he cannot seem to stop. He moves in a different way to other children, they seem to pick stuff up after they have seen it, and look at it, then either ask for it or put it down. Ds1 seems to see with his fingers - everything he passes, he touches.

I feel like shaking him sometimessad and it doesn't help that I am exhausted today, but had to take them out or I won't sleep tonight.

I hate to say it, but I am starting to resent him because of his behavior. The only place I can take him is the park. We can't eat out anywhere - he won't sit down at all, spills things, and makes inappropriate comments to other diners (I'm talking MacDs here, not the ritz.) We can't go into shops because it makes be feel like screaming -

Is this normal? It it me, do I have terminally bad patience with something all five year olds do?

I never see anyone else behaving like that.

Surely it's his 2 year old brother who's supposed to be a nuisance to take out? The poor child misses out on so much that we just can't do because of ds1's behavior.

Is it normal? Do I just need to get a fucking grip?

FabioThatFirggingCat Sun 27-Jul-08 16:16:44

Do you think he has ADHD? (esp from reading other thread)

What about taking out with you something for him to fiddle with - like a Jacob's ladder or one of these to keep his hands busy while his eyes are looking?

drowninginlaundry Sun 27-Jul-08 16:23:10

Now I am probably talking out of my arse, but something that you wrote rang a bell, that 'DS1 seems to see with his fingers', and that he spills things and can't sit still. I've got a son with sensory integration difficulties, and behaviours like your DS's comes up in literature a lot, some children crave tactile input which is why they have to touch everything. A good book is 'The Out of Sync Child' also you can try google. My son has occupational therapy for his sensory processing problems as they are so severe and disrupt his daily life, but many children will just grow out of them. There's lots of different sensory toys that you can get on Ebay that help.

HonoriaGlossop Sun 27-Jul-08 16:28:19

What things does he say to other people in cafe's that are inappropriate? Can you give us an idea?

i have to say that is doesn't sound too unusual, (though yes I can see it's annoying) but some children do exactly as you say and seem to need to touch things to 'see' them. I think it's called being a kinaesthetic learner or something!

What's his diet like? Does he have squash or 'processed' stuff - for some kids this really can be a huge issue. I think it is worth changing his diet radically if there's scope; do that then look at possible things like ADD, etc...

i have to say that ds is six and we still rarely go shopping. I don't expect to be able to browse when he is with me; if I need something specific we will do it, if I want to browse I go without him!

HonoriaGlossop Sun 27-Jul-08 16:30:19

drowning, that is a good point; that might be worth checking for, the sensory processing side of things.

Mercy Sun 27-Jul-08 16:49:29

Colditz, my dd does the constant touching and fiddling thing too (she's 7)

Afaik it doesn't happen at school and only sometimes when we are out.

Is your ds a fidgeter too?

3littlefrogs Sun 27-Jul-08 17:02:39

I agree with drowninginlaundry. I think you are doing everything that you possibly can and it is not anything you are not doing or doing wrong IYSWIM. It really does sound as if you need some proper, professional advice and some support and coping strategies. It must be incredibly stressful.

3littlefrogs Sun 27-Jul-08 17:03:54

What feedback do you get from school? How is is behaviour in class?

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 17:04:06

Have you tried giving him something to fidget with, like a ball of blu tac?

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 17:32:57

he can't sit still at school, he wanders off (and gets told off for it).

He walks up to people and stands in front of them while they are trying to walk past, or gets far, far too close, or plays with their belt buckle or whatever else he can reach - this is complete strangers.

He chews his fingers and makes them bleed when he is being told off or if he has had a bad day at school.

I really am worried about him.

I tried him on a NO PROCESSED ANYTHING diet for about 6 months - made no difference whatsoever.

Is there anyone I could ring about getting advice on this? I will get him something to fiddle with, I tried giving him something to hold and that sometimes works but it's not always possible.

Currently I am going with "Behave yourself or I will dump what I am buying and we will leave without going to the park" - but to be true, it's not really working.

He is a fidgeter, at home and at school. None of my friends can cope with him, so playdate exchanges are completely out of the question.

Ach I'm just having a crap day. I've moaned at him quite enough for one day, so am mentally dumping on you lot, sorry.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 17:36:18

should add - he gets visibly upset and stressed when I stop him fiddling, and happy as larry when I say - go and look at the toys, you may touch them but you must not break them

He likes going in shops, for the short times we do it, he's just incredibly hard work. He was finding it interesting, he wasn't bored.

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 17:38:57

Has he been seen by a paed?

Mercy Sun 27-Jul-08 17:39:53

Worry beads might help a bit.

What has the class teacher done or suggested to help him?

FabioThatFirggingCat Sun 27-Jul-08 17:43:03

I think he can no more help the fiddling than he help being interested in toys - it sounds as if he can't separate the two.

Is he being assessed at school for ADHD or anything similar? If not it might be an avenue worth persuing because, along wiht the sleeplessness, it sounds v like it to me.

3littlefrogs Sun 27-Jul-08 17:45:15

Paediatrician, educational psychologist - not sure which route, but you definitely need a proper assessment so you can get support and help. So sorry you are having to cope with this.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 17:45:58

he has had a CAMHS assessment but I don't kow who did it. We had to go to a hospital for it.

He's off school until August now, so I don't know how the new teacher is going to deal with it - well, I hope.

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 17:46:59

What was the outcome of the assessment?

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 17:47:11

They gave me and his teacher a tickbox form to fill in with Q's like Is he obsessive, is he fidgety, does he get upset with routine disruption (no, he doesn't!grin that's one thing he is fine with!)

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 17:47:45

I haven't heart anything since, it was only 3 weeks ago.

cornsilk Sun 27-Jul-08 17:50:18

Maybe something will come out of that then.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 27-Jul-08 17:52:06

I don't know, they daid outright that they are not hurrying to assess him, they are taking their time, he is young. And this is a good thing. The last thing I want is a label for the sake of a label - but I am dreading him finishing year one at school with a label anyway - that of "Naughty little sod"

ahundredtimes Sun 27-Jul-08 18:12:12

It sounds exhausting. DS1 was a bit like this - but less so I think.

Perhaps accept for the time being that he probably can't control it very well, and plan accordingly. He's not doing this to piss you off or because he doesn't listen - he probably just can't help his fingers.

Blu tack is good, also those bendy yellow men? Do you know the ones I mean? Or one of those executive stress buster toys, squidgy in the hand?

Keep shopping short, equip him with the above and run like the wind.

If it is a sensory thing - does he smell and lick things too? Rolling them up in a blanket on the floor and sitting on them - or putting something heavy like a beanbag on them helps give them lots of sensory information - he might be missing elsewhere. Before sleep, pressing hard on knee and elbow joints - like quite a heavy massage can be good too.

Then again, he might not be - but it'll keep him still for about ten minutes!

suedonim Sun 27-Jul-08 19:01:12

I sympathise with you. My ds1 was and, at the age of 33, blush still is a toucher. He meddled with things from the word go and although he did improve in time, it's noticeable that he still needs to actually feel how things are. At one time, a ball of knitting wool was a favourite object. hmm

My realisation of this aspect of his nature has revealed to me that he probably inherited the tendency from me as I like to feel things. How something feels will be a big influence on whether I buy it or not.

drowninginlaundry Sun 27-Jul-08 19:26:38

Try to get a referral to a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, your GP should be able to refer. The OT would get you to fill a sensory profile that might reveal something and you'll get some strategies that will help, s/he might recommend a 'sensory diet' that'll help your DS to get his 'fix' during specific activities. This 'standing close to people' is very familiar from Sensory integration stuff, it's to do with the proprioceptive function and the ability to sense where our body is in space. Kids with poor proprioceptive function can be clumsy and invade other people's space. Also the chewing fingers can be linked to this - all to do with info coming through the body. My son squeezes things all the time and likes crashing into things. Just to give you an example.

Better still, a meeting with a private OT who will be able to give you independent advice (= not based on resources but actually what your son might need) but they'll charge for this.

Also agree with others that you should get a referral to a Community Paediatrician, your GP can sort this out.

I know how you feel about 'labels' as it feels like these days every child has one. But the way I see it that there's so much knowledge about how especially the neurological system works so that what used to be called just naughty behaviour can be traced back to something being wired differently, that's all. Therapies have advanced as well so much that there is lots of advice and help available so that you don't need to tear your hair out!

singersgirl Sun 27-Jul-08 19:32:43

DS1 was a lot like this - and, TBH, at nearly 10 still touches things a lot. I remember going to the theatre with him once and he chewed on the rail of the balcony throughout the performance. He chews clothes and objects, not his fingers.

For us, a processed-free diet did help. I know you said it made no difference, but I wonder if you've tried reducing salicylates and other natural food chemicals? When we stopped artificial stuff, his upset stomach, runny nose and daytime wetting stopped. When we cut out tomatoes, oranges, apple juice, peppers, mature cheese, spinach etc, his behaviour changed dramatically.

He went from being a compulsive child who had to press the lift button or the microwave button, or his life was not worth living, to a child who said, "It's OK, DS2 can do it today". This was in the space of a week or so.

We have relaxed the diet somewhat, and reintroduced moderate salicylates (eg carrots, apple, mango, sweetcorn), but he was on a low salicylate and low amine diet (without aged and fermented foods, eg soy, hard cheese, frozen meat) for the best part of 2 years, aged 5 to 7.

Some children are much better dairy or gluten free, but that wasn't an issue for us - we tested it.

Apologies for going on about diet, and of course feel free to ignore, but for us processed-food free wasn't enough.

As management techniques, we also tried a fiddle object but this tended to distract him so much that he forgot what else he was supposed to be doing.

He is much better, but he still can't sit still, is constantly moving and finds personal organisation difficult. But age has helped.

Structured activity has helped too - we find swimming and karate good. Team sports are hopeless for him.

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