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Behaviour programme on Tuesday 9pm on C4

(24 Posts)
Chocol8 Sat 30-Apr-05 19:00:10

Does anyone else have experience of Warwick Dyer who is the 'child behaviour expert' on this programme?

Chocol8 Sun 01-May-05 19:43:55

Does anyone have experience of child behaviour - the Warwick Dyer way? Anyone....or am I the only one?

choccychic Sun 01-May-05 20:22:42

Was he the Australian bloke on 'driving mum and dad mad'? if not, sorry not heard of him, Why do you ask? was he good or bad?

Tinker Sun 01-May-05 20:36:30

There was a very good prgramme about him a few years ago. Mother just could not get on with her daughter (horrid childhood herself) and he did seem to work miracles. Very touching I thought

Saker Sun 01-May-05 21:14:11

Chocol8 - has he actually given you advice?

Is he the one who does it all by phone. Awards a pound then deducts pennies for bad behaviour?

Chocol8 Sun 01-May-05 22:19:52

Yes, I called him after seeing his website which promised 100% success rate. I couldn't afford the £450 fee at the time (single, working mum etc.) but he suggested I help out with the pilot programme for C4 and pay only £200.

Fair enough - we went to Covent Garden - followed around by the interviewer and a camera man. After which, Warwick came to the house and the video was shown whilst we were filmed.

He explained what he wanted me to do and after that I had to make daily evening phone calls - often lasting 3 hours in length to his home in London.

Well, long story short, it didn't work for me - I trained the childminder and various other people to do the reward and sanctions thing. When I mentioned that my ds may be dx as ADHD, he said he "didn't necessarily believe in ADHD".
The phone calls used to regularly reduce me to tears, going over every detail of what had been an already awful day....after 6 weeks, I couldn't take it anymore. He called me a couple of times at work, but I said I couldn't continue.

Being forced to relive the day which at the time included at least 10 meltdowns, was horrific. My social life is conducted on the phone (as it was impossible to find a minder for my ds as he was quite violent at the time) and I seemed to be constantly talking to Warwick.

After a few weeks he called again and I told him my ds had been dx with ADHD (later with AS too). He asked if I wanted to continue and I said no, so he refunded my money.

Just to say, I'm no wimp, but that was one of the hardest things i've ever had to do.
Just wondered if anyone else had experience of this?

Saker Sun 01-May-05 22:29:37

That sounds awful - like you say to have to go over every event of the day especially when it has been so bad . And confirms that standard behaviour techniques that work well for most kids are not necessarily appropriate for SN kids. I am having trouble knowing how to discipline my SN ds2 at the moment - I am not sure what he understands always and how much is deliberate and how much he can't help.

I must say that I am impressed by his commitment to you timewise - sounds like you were his only client - how could he spend all that time on the phone otherwise? I shall watch his programme with interest.

You don't sound like you liked him much.

Chocol8 Mon 02-May-05 19:04:34

Yes, Saker - I totally understand your dilemma in regard to discipline and how much my ds understands.

I think that the first few weeks, I was his only client, but then when I used to call up, he was engaged for ages so presumably he had more.

No, I don't dislike him personally, but was taken aback by his comment about ADHD. I was ordered NOT - under any circumstances - to be anything but calm around my ds - "even if you are dying of cancer, you are nothing but calm".

This of course was EXTREMELY hard to do, and obviously didn't happen with other parents speaking to their children when we were out - so not realistic at all.

It got easier to remain calm during a meltdown (with practice) - but only with the realisation that shouting was not helping him or me (or anyone within a mile radius - I am loud when I shout, apparently).

The reward and sanction just did not seem to bother my ds - he couldn't really have cared less - but I guess it may work for others. He didn't understand money at the time - he was 5) and hates touching it anyway (metal sensitivity).

I think his methods would work with NT children very well though, but it was very hard work.

baka Mon 02-May-05 19:30:39

he's right about calm although I've just totally lost my temper with my son (asd) who has just pissed on the sofa and smashed a few wine glasses.I always wonderecd what would happen when one of these so called experts met a child with sn

baka Mon 02-May-05 20:07:41

saker- i went to a lecture by ros blackburn on friday. She is ver severely autistic (in nappies, can't be left unsupervised, can't go out in the street alone, has severe challenging behaviour) and she said that she strongly believed that you should expect the same standards of behaviour from an autistic child as a non autistic. She also said that you might not get it- at 38 she still can't always queue for example, or it may take you a thousand lessons to get there- but you should keep chipping away.

My son's behaviour has recently got very challenging, but I keep trying,partly because I know that he'll have to live in care and so I want him to be as "nice" as possible. Having said that I find community lessons tricky because he needs 1:1 and we have other children.

Thinking about it Lucy blackman- a severely autistic non-verbal woman who has written a booksays the same about not tolerating autistic behaviour. she says its important that autistics are "bullied" (her words) into doing things and behaving as appropriately as they can.

Saker Mon 02-May-05 20:11:57

Sometimes it's just hard to remain calm although everyone can see the logic behind that approach. Ds2 is not potty trained yet and yesterday did a poo in the bath. So got both children out while I cleaned it up - meanwhile Ds2 runs into our bedroom, gets on to our bed which had a newly laundered once-in-a-blue-moon duvet cover on it and does a wee. LOL now but yesterday I wasn't altogether calm . Likewise Ds2 doesn't really get the idea of rewards - I think he has trouble thinking even a little way ahead, so it's pointless saying to him that if he does something he can have this or that.

Warwick Dyer's comment about ADHD is shocking and unhelpful. I suppose it may reflect the fact that he has seen cases of bad parenting where they have tried to pass it off as that. However it doesn't mean it doesn't exist for the rest of the world.

baka Mon 02-May-05 20:16:55

the calm bit is really hard- I aim for it (because my son thinks its hilarious if I lose my temper) but don't always manage it.

rewards for children with learning difficulties have to be immediate, as do punishments. can lead to their own problems though. when my son started stripping off I started putting him in his room until he agreed to get dressed- and then he discovered weeing on his matress. now he's discovered weeing all over the house. and keeping calm is pushed to its limits. (next step poo smearing of course)

Saker Mon 02-May-05 20:18:49

Sorry Baka, crossed posts. Ds2 isn't autistic as far as we know although it has been discussed. He does seem to have some problems with his social communication but he is now 3y8m and seems to be getting better rather than worse and my gut feeling is that he isn't autistic. I suspect dyspraxia which has some overlaps anyway and because he has problems with motor skills and planning. He also has problems with receptive language. However I agree that what you are saying about autistic children should probably apply to all SN kids. It's just I struggle to know what is helpful and what is making things worse. For example he regularly wrecks his brother's games. If I then exclude him from the room he is even more hell-bent on doing it again. I don't know how to make it clear to him that it is unacceptable. I'm expect I'm just being too soft but it's always in the back of my mind that he doesn't really understand / remember why he's being punished. Typing this though it sounds silly and I know he knows that it is wrong to do it. I think I will have to start enforcing a naughty step or something.

Saker Mon 02-May-05 20:20:05

Oh Baka it sounds like you have a much harder time than me, I shouldn't complain. But I do worry that if I don't do something now, I will store up problems for later.

baka Mon 02-May-05 20:26:49

i know what you mean. although recently as my son's behaviour has become a lot more challenging I've become a lot stricter. to my surprise he's responded well to the firmer boundaries. I thought he wouldn't understand (he's non-verbal) but he does. eg today he weanted a biscuit 10 seconds after stripping off, so I just said "clothes on, then biscuit" and he did it- straight away.

the weeing is annoying but I'm going to order extra bed pads from shiloh health care tomorrow (they do fab ones which hold 2 litres). the main problem we have now is that our house is too unorganised to deal with the behaviour- a major spring clean/diy safety session is needed.

Saker Mon 02-May-05 21:24:24

Good luck with it all. I am full of admiration for your patience . I have talked to dh and we have agreed to try the naughty step for ds2.

baka Mon 02-May-05 22:32:10

i didn't say i did it- I said I aimed for it! Was certainly not very patient when I heard wine glasses smashing to the ground (he's been unsupervised for ooh 30 seconds whilst dh fetched some nappies). They made a nice noise- so I suspect that'll be the new game.

Chocol8 Tue 03-May-05 22:11:04

Did anyone see it tonight?

Saker Tue 03-May-05 23:06:37

yes I watched it. How awful and depressing . The lad did seem to improve but it was hard to tell how much. It was interesting he had a diagnosis of ADHD but there was no mention of Warwick Dyer's views on this. At one point Warwick Dyer said he had never yet failed and I thought of you .

I didn't take to Warwick Dyer very much. He was too calm himself. I do understand the value of calmness particularly when dealing with children, but you can become a real cold fish and never celebrate or jump for joy. I had the impression that Warwick Dyer was a bit like this.

What did you think Chocol8?

Chocol8 Wed 04-May-05 20:45:25

Sorry Saker - didn't see your reply. I found it strangely upsetting...hearing his voice on the phone just took me right back again! I was in tears and phoned my sister to see if she could tape if for me but she couldn't. I stuck with it, but it was hard. When the mum was crying on the phone and saying of Warwick "he makes me feel like s**t", I could relate to that.

If you notice, quite a few weeks in and then he said to her she needed to go out in the evenings and give herself a break. He did this to me about week 5, saying that he'd told me already that I should do that (I couldn't have anyway as couldn't find a minder brave enough at the time). He hadn't told me at all.

Yes, he remained calm on the telly, but a few times he did get quite irrate with me and I put the phone down as in my opinion he was being a bit silly and pedantic (sp?). I went to bed in tears most nights and I felt so lonely.

I was shocked at the boys behaviour - but in reality take away the swearing and reduce him in size and you would have had my ds, aged 5...constant aggression, beatings, biting, spitting etc. Oh, how he has improved!

baka Wed 04-May-05 20:50:38

Chocl8- I also think its much easier to say what someone should do when you don't have to do it. I can analyse my son's behaviour and know exactly what I should do, but it can be difficult if you have to restrain them first!

Saker Wed 04-May-05 21:33:10

Chocol8

Sorry you found it upsetting although I can see why you would. I certainly didn't feel like I would like to see another one and it wasn't at all uplifting - you know with things like Supernanny you do usually feel that their life has improved in the end but with this it was like an improvement from very bad to quite bad.

yes I thought he was quite nasty at times to the mother. He certainly did come across as warm and supportive . hope you're feeling better now - will you watch any more?

Chocol8 Thu 05-May-05 22:42:14

Yes I agree Baka! Saker - no, I won't watch anymore of them - I do like things like Supernanny though.

I couldn't see a change in ds and tbh he was imo far too young to be worrying about 2p's all the time. He has an aversion to money anyway - one of his sensory issues (AS), so hates even the thought of touching his pocket money - doesn't mean he's no good at spending all my mine though!!!

Saker Thu 05-May-05 23:17:00

Sorry just read what I wrote before and it makes no sense - I meant to say he (ie Warwick Dyer) did NOT come across as warm and supportive.

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