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I need handholding and advice from parents of gifted asynchronous kids...

(23 Posts)
jaws5 Wed 13-Apr-16 10:30:35

My son, almost 9, is having what I think are sensory meltdowns. It's always triggered by frustration. He cannot tolerate me telling his sister off (she's 13) if he thinks it's unfair and he steps in if I have a disagreement with my husband and voices his opinion as if he was an adult. We have explained to him he must stop doing this as he is a child and we are the adults, but he can't help it. He told me this morning that if someone is being mean to someone else he needs to defend "the victim": last night I was nagging my daughter about cleaning teeth and going to bed, and I asked her to do it "immediately", and according to my son this is unreasonable! He was tired and had a meltdown.
He worries about everything and this gets him anxious: me and his dad dying in the future, where he's going to live as an adult if property prices keep rising (!!!), his sister being home late from school, accidents (plane, car, train), earthquakes (if we travel anywhere he'll ask if the area is earthquake prone), etc.
He is an extremely loving and affectionate child, extremely curious, knowledgeable, inventive and articulate.
He's great company but his anxiety seems to come from asynchronicity: he lacks the maturity to tackle adult worries and disagreements, but he insists on doing so.
He is also dyslexic and this contributes to his frustration -- his achievement at school is average although teachers realize that he is exceptional. He is always more anxious during term time.
Any experience of similar situations would be appreciated!

jaws5 Wed 13-Apr-16 10:32:53

another thing, he has been tested for ASD and the specialists seemed sure he is not in the spectrum, just gifted -- he does have some traits, though, that he see clearly.

NewLife4Me Thu 14-Apr-16 17:28:02

Aw, you poor thing. i'll hold your hand.
I'm not much help as not sure what you are talking about, but they say lots of symptoms of behavioural issues are apparent in G&T children.

The sense of injustice and fairness also applies to ADHD I believe, or may be Aspergers.
Don't want to leave this and remove my message but there's a link in my thread above that may be of interest to you.

can you ask for a second opinion? I think you know yourself when something is a bit different in their behaviour.

Brokenbiscuit Thu 14-Apr-16 20:04:37

My 10yo dd has emotional meltdowns, usually when she is frustrated with herself for some reason. Sometimes very trivial things can set her off, but she will become completely irrational, inconsolable and she often struggles to breathe.

It isn't usually directed against anyone but herself, certainly never at those who are present to witness it. Perceived injustices to others can be a trigger though.

She doesn't have any other behavioural issues at all. In fact, she is exceptionally well behaved most of the time. She just seems to get overwhelmed by emotion from time to time, and when it happens, there is absolutely nothing she can do to stop the flood.

It can be distressing to witness, and it can also be frustrating as there is no easy way to make her snap out of it. I find the best thing to do is try to stay calm and get her moving if possible - it seems to help some of the negative energy dissipate. It's hard though.

Primaryteach87 Thu 14-Apr-16 20:10:22

My very intelligent niece hated being a child from about 2, and found the whole experience very difficult as she was so out of step with her peers. She had screaming fits at times. She's now 20 and a much happier person! She's very successful and can talk to people with similar interests, intelligence, I think childhood itself is pretty tough for gifted people.

Sorry, doesn't help you know, but your son will grow into himself.

Primaryteach87 Thu 14-Apr-16 20:10:41

^now not know

BlueUggs Thu 14-Apr-16 20:21:11

My son sounds a bit like yours. He's a precocious reader (taught himself at 3) and now has a reading age of 10+ at 5. He is good at spelling, maths and understands and absorbs so much information and has an individual learning plan at school.
BUT he's anxious a lot and lashes out at other children usually out of frustration and today, slapped a child round the face because the child was copying him.angry
We've tried reward charts and all sorts. He gets stressed and anxious if he thinks I am cross with him, if he sees a plane in the sky he thinks it is a BOMB PLANE and panics about it and hates loud noises such as hand dryers.
He's seen a psychotherapist who said he's absolutely not on the ASD or got ADHD, and said he just needs chance to develop his emotions further......

jaws5 Thu 14-Apr-16 22:23:33

Thanks for your replies! He's been better since the big meltdown and we've spoken about his feelings and anxiety. I've ordered and I'm reading "The Explosive Child" (I've started it and it's really, really useful) , and two books for children "What happens when I get angry" and "What happens when I get worried", they have really good reviews but haven't arrived yet. Maybe look at the reviews and download a sample, BlueUggs and Brokenbiscuit?

BlueUggs Thu 14-Apr-16 22:25:52

Sounds good. I've got a couple of parenting books - calm parents, happy kids and loving your kids on purpose.
I try and calm his anxieties by ensuring he knows I love him all the time, even if I don't like it when he hits other kids!

jaws5 Thu 14-Apr-16 22:28:47

Newlife4me yes, those traits appear in aspergers also, and although my son scored 0 in his ASD assessment he does display a few traits... there is a great thread here about Gifted children displaying asperger traits and seems to be quite common.

jaws5 Thu 14-Apr-16 22:33:48

Love that title "Calm parents, happy kids"... so true and so hard to keep calm!

HilarysMantelpiece Thu 14-Apr-16 22:44:58

I read some research this week (large cohort, longitudinal study...appeared well designed).
Outcome seems to suggest that around age 10 is a peak age for anxiety in children. I'll have a peak to see if I can find it again.

Anxiety is a known issue for children who are academically bright..but may not have the emotional intelligence to match.

Have a look at for resources and advice.

BlueUggs Thu 14-Apr-16 22:52:32

Wow. I downloaded the explosive child. It's amazing. I can see it being helpful! Thanks for the suggestion. smile

Salfordlass Thu 14-Apr-16 22:56:57

worried about where he's going to live as an adult if property prices keep rising
grin grin grin
He sounds like an absolute star!

jaws5 Thu 14-Apr-16 23:02:00

Thanks Hilarys, it offers some hope as he's almost 9!
The Explosive Child I also saw recommended on a page about anxiety in gifted children.

wherehavealltheflowersgone Thu 14-Apr-16 23:11:12

My ds is similar - the book "what to do when you worry too much" really helped him. It was recommended on MN. It's a workbook, kind of CBT for kids.

HilarysMantelpiece Thu 14-Apr-16 23:11:32


Catanddogmake6 Thu 14-Apr-16 23:18:41

Have you tried CBT with a child psychologist? My DD is younger but another worried about houses, jobs etc. We had two short spells of CBT the first on anger management and the second on worry. They really helped her to talk about what makes her angry/ worry, then how to recognise when she is and then what she can do to control those feelings. It really was useful, especially to have an outsider. I personally also think it's good because if we face a problem in later years she knows we can go and get help.

GreenGoth89 Thu 14-Apr-16 23:22:31

I would say less ASD and more dyspraxia. He sounds exactly like me as a child, and I think that because dyslexia is often thought of as more important, dyspraxia is often not assessed for, and even if it is, the emotional side of it can be completely forgotten about. Emotions like ideas come out sideways with dyspraxia and I even now in my late twenties have meltdowns because I can't make myself understood. Getting him to express things creatively might help, and I still find I need to feel secure and have a flexible structure (like a hammock - so I feel held but not swaddled). I was described as precocious and would often spark up with comments in class (which actually got me banned from putting my hand up). It's probably where my sense of social justice comes from now, but I wasn't diagnosed until I was 17. Strategies can be put into place now to make life a lot easier, but I think is less ASD and more dyspraxia.

jaws5 Fri 15-Apr-16 07:35:51

How interesting about the connection to dyspraxia! I think there's something there. He's a verbal child and I feel that he gets anxious if he cannot express how he feels accurately -- he says he gets frustrated when he gets angry. And the dyspraxia is something that needs to be checked...
"What to do when you worry too much", that's the right title! It's the one I ordered!

jaws5 Fri 15-Apr-16 07:41:22

Catanddog did you go private for CBT or NHS referral?

Catanddogmake6 Fri 15-Apr-16 14:57:59

We went private. Obviously it would vary but we paid about £90 per session and had about 4 - 6 sessions for the two topics. I don't know what is available on the NHS or wait times I'm afraid. If you can afford it (and I appreciate not everyone can) I think it can be worth it. The good thing is it's not open ended. The psychologist said at the end of the first meeting what she was proposing and how many sessions she felt it would take.

Catanddogmake6 Fri 15-Apr-16 15:08:09

Forgot to say, I suspect it is strongly tied into his dyslexia and the disconnect between intelligence and what he can express. I have seen it with both my DSis (dyslexia) and my DD (language delay). The frustration is overwhelming for them. For school frustration an educational psychologist can help with ideas for how to teach visually etc but a child psychologist would probably be best for how to handle it generally.

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