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Really worried about DS2 (ASD), he was hearing things/voices, really properly hearing them, is this to do with the ASD?

(24 Posts)
NatalieJane Fri 10-Dec-10 06:58:32

He woke up as we were going to bed, about 10.45-ish, DH carried on to bed and I went in to settle him, I have never seen him life that before, he was severely aggitated, could not stay still even for a second, he stopped crying when I went in his room but he still kept having tears falling silently, he was mumbling and murmering, saying the odd thing that I couldn't understand, I offered him cuddles which he would scream at me for, and then shout 'yes mummy cuddles', so I'd give him a cuddle and he'd scream and push me away as though I was hurting him.

Obviously I checked for any signs of illness, he didn't have a temp. no rashes etc. he has just had a nasty tummy/fluey bug, I asked him over and over if he was hurting anywhere and he'd either scream 'no' at me or just ignore me. I asked him if he'd like a drink, he screamed 'no' and then 2 minutes later screamed 'yes mummy, a drink' so I pandered to him went and got him some, milk with a straw in a special cup, he didn't even look at it when I took him it up, I sat there for 10 minutes just not knowing what to do with him, at one point he screamed 'no <DS1's name>' so I said 'What's <DS1> doing?' and he said 'he's scaring me' DS1 was in bed fast asleep.

I asked DH to come and see if he could get through to him, DH picked him up and we came back down stairs where DS2 was still really aggitated, wouldn't sit still, kept playing with his ears, I asked him if his ears were hurting he screamed 'no', we tried to put Thomas the Tank on the telly, his absolute favourite/obsession, when it came on he screamed the place down like he was terrified of it, I offered him chocolate(!), to go for a drive in the car, a drive in dad's van, all of which he would snap your hand off for, he was having none of it. In between all of this there were big long bits of me and DH just looking at each other, not sure what to do with him, and throughout the whole time DS2 kept talking under his breath, we couldn't understand all of it, but he wasn't talking to us, that was clear, then he'd scream 'no' flap about and scream 'No I said', we weren't talking, either to him our each other, he was deffo talking to someone else, so I asked who he was talking to and he said '<DS3's name>' again DS3 was up in bed asleep. At one point he was led at one end of the couch, I was perched on the edge at his feet, and he stopped moving about, looked at me with silent tears slipping down his face, like he was petrified, put his hand out, so I put mine out to touch him, he grabbed my hand so tightly and pulled it to his chest for a cuddle, he literally dragged me up the sofa, then 30 seconds later he was still gripping my hand but started kicking me off, like he didn't know if he wanted me there or not?

By midnight I remembered I'd got him some bubbles for xmas, so rushed up stairs and grabbed them, and bought them down to him, he didn't want to know, so I blew some and he slowly sat up, turned around, saw the bubbles and that was it, episode over, like it never happened, he was laughing, smiling, blowing bubbles to pop on me etc. He sat and drank some milk, at which point he heard DS3 coughing over the baby monitor, he froze, was visibly shaking, he was terrified, and we said 'it's OK, it's only <DS3>, it's fine, don't worry' took him about 2 minute to take his eyes off the monitor.

We have seen him do bits of this before, literally 2 or 3 minutes and he sort of snaps out of it, but this last night, I am seriously worried about his mental health, he was hearing/things/voices/something, he has no imagination, he doesn't do roleplay except the same few scenes of Thomas the Tanks or from the Cars film, he scared me.

As luck would have it, we have a Paed's appt. today, but just wondered if any of you guys had seen anything like this before? Is it part of the ASD? He eventually went back to bed and hasn't stirred all night, he's yet to wake this morning, but should I ask him about it? Should I ignore it? I am really quite frightened for him.

Sorry it's long and for typing, am shattered!

purplepidjbauble Fri 10-Dec-10 07:06:57

No advice, but good luck with the Paed smile

NatalieJane Fri 10-Dec-10 07:11:21

Thank you

FanjoForTheMincePies Fri 10-Dec-10 07:14:29

that sounds like a night terror, my DD gets them, related to sleepwalking, he isn't fully awake and won 't remember, but it's awful to see - google has lots of info!

FanjoForTheMincePies Fri 10-Dec-10 07:24:59

i can't copy links on this ipad, but if you Google night terrors children first. a really good page comes up first, has info on night terrors halfway down.

MedusaIsHavingABadHairDay Fri 10-Dec-10 07:33:29

I agreee with Fanjo.. that sounds more like a prolonged night terror than a hallucogenic episode. My DD used to have the when she was smaller and they were terrifying to witness. She appeared to be awake but wasn't, didn't recognise us although she could minimally respond to us, and was locked in some alternate universe.. horrible.

She did eventually outgrow them, but at 16, sleepwalks when stressed and talks a lot in her sleep! Is you DS a bit stressed about Xmas, school stuff ? (Xmas at school is hell for many ASD kids!)

I'd talk to the paed but don't panic..

FanjoForTheMincePies Fri 10-Dec-10 07:34:49

My DD had one last night, has had two or three a week since recent illness, it's very wearing.

Marne Fri 10-Dec-10 09:49:01

My dd1 gets like this when she's been poorly, i try everything to settle her but nothing works, eventually she falls back to sleep, the next day she is allways really anxious and on edge.

Morloth Fri 10-Dec-10 09:59:02

I agree it sounds like a night terror. I have attacked DH in the midsts of one I was so afraid.

Al1son Fri 10-Dec-10 10:02:59

My DD1 has AS and she has always heard voices but she didn't tell us until she was 12 last year. CAMHS were already working closely with her and they asked lots about the voices. They came to the conclusion that it was just her imagination but made more extreme by the fact that she has AS and sometimes experiences a slightly different reality. She has heard them speaking to each other and to her in a normal chatty kind of way and she also hears footsteps and people moving around the house. CAMHS told us it is not unusual for children with ASD to experience this. In fact the psychiatrist said lots of NT hear voices too but it just doesn't get talked about.

She was very very frightened sometimes and for months on end would not go into rooms on her own. Now her anxiety levels are lower because of better school provision she doesn't hear them nearly so much and doesn't get so distressed when she does.


Spinkle Fri 10-Dec-10 10:06:26

We've had night terrors like that.

I put it down to DS' vivid imagination. Terrifying for sad

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Fri 10-Dec-10 10:54:19

i would say night terrors too, both my girls get them, very scarcy, but would check it out seems to be a long one.

IndigoBell Fri 10-Dec-10 11:20:33

When we moved school my DS was very stressed and for months he would hear voices in his head - and shout at them to leave him alone.

We were very worried.

But the ASD lady at school managed to explain to him it was just his 'inner voice'.

As he settled into school and his stress levels reduced he now has no more problems. I think he still hears his inner voice - but now knows that is what it is.

NatalieJane Fri 10-Dec-10 11:42:44

Thanks everyone, sorry for delay in getting back, it took me so long to write the OP, I'd ran late and we had school to get to and then on to the Paed's...

Paed said same as you guys: night terrors, we've got 3 kids, we've seen bad dreams before, but this was something else, I don't tend to over react to things, but he terrified me last night. Feeling a wee bit blush now!

He isn't at school yet, he is at nursery, but has been off this week with this bug thing he's had, however the illness, on top of it having been his birthday on Tuesday just gone, on top of knowing he was going to the doctor this morning (last 'doctor' he saw gave him his pre-school boosters and MMR, he wasn't a happy bunny!) and obviously xmas approaching fast, he has got a lot playing on his mind at the moment.

Will go and have a better look into night terrors and buy a vat of bubbles to bring him round with if it happens again, oh and put my OTT hat in the bin blush

intothewest Fri 10-Dec-10 12:28:56

Don't ever feel blushMy ds had night terrors and watching them can be terrifying

NatalieJane Fri 10-Dec-10 13:01:16

I've just spent the last hour reading about night terrors, and TBH it doesn't quite fit in with what he did last night, all the sites I've just read tells tales of sitting bolt up right and wide eyed, he was curled up in a ball or kicking out, and he had his eyes closed mostly. They say it's very likely to happen in the first hour of sleep, he'd been asleep 8 o'clock till 10.45. And they say he wouldn't remember it, but he does?

He was aware that we were there because like I said at some points he wanted a cuddle and at one point actually dragged me up the sofa to him, though he did spend the most part being unable to find comfort in anything or one.

Plus they say they would usually last up to 20 mins, this went on for over an hour?

I am back to being worried again now

FanjoForTheMincePies Fri 10-Dec-10 13:04:36

my dd has them at different times, and they last a long time

NatalieJane Fri 10-Dec-10 13:08:17

Really? Oh my goodness me, I don't know what to think now. Can they just come out of the blue like that at 4 years old? No family history of anything? TBF he has had very minor episodes of it before but literally 2 or 3 minutes and it's over and he will either be wide awake and full of beans or go back to sleep after a drink or something.

maktaitai Fri 10-Dec-10 13:10:24

NJ, I'm no expert on this, but it sounds awful. My ds, who is NT, did/does have occasional night terrors, and they are HORRIBLE, but much more like the sitting up/open eyes ones.

I found a few articles on night terrors in autism via Google Scholar, and quite a few posts on other forums - regular/long night terrors with walking etc seem to be more common in children with ASD. I wondered if this article suggesting scheduled wakings might be worth discussing with your paediatrician. I can only see the summary, not the full article, so it may not be a very good study (maybe only a few children etc) and scheduled waking sounds pretty hard on everyone, so worth discussing it or writing to him about it before having a go! Very best wishes.

BTW with regard to hearing voices, studies on people with diagnosed mental health problems and without diagnosed mental health problems seem to suggest that a very high number of people do hear voices whether or not they have a mental health problem - the difference is how much people are worried about it. Clearly in this case your ds was reacting really strongly in a night terror kind of way, but if he talks calmly about hearing voices it really may not be such a big deal.

FanjoForTheMincePies Fri 10-Dec-10 13:12:18

yes, my DD had minor ones but since she has been ill it's been much worse, she will run around the house, she is definitely not fully awake.

NatalieJane Fri 10-Dec-10 14:09:55

Maktaitai, thanks for that link, on the sites I'd looked at they suggested waking him before an expected attack, I will keep it in mind because if it happens again it is something we look further into, but as he's only done it (that badly) the once, I feel we may be jumping the gun a little to start with this just yet.

And thanks as well for your last paragraph, will also keep it in mind.

Fanjo, see that's the bit that is confusing me the most I think, he was awake, he knew we were there, he knew what we were asking him, he knew we'd bought him downstairs, he knew we'd put Thomas the Tank on the telly, he knew I'd got the bubbles out. I am 99% sure he was awake.

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Fri 10-Dec-10 14:24:55

mine have them at all hours of the night and DD1 is terrible, kicking screaming crying and in complete distress.

The other thing is when I was little i had this weird reaction to flu, and was seeingthings. I believed my hands were huge, that my dad was massive and the TV was trying to climb into my bed to crush me!! blush
I remember bits but dad said I was screaming like a mad girl!

intothewest Fri 10-Dec-10 15:38:57

It could have been that he woke up during a nightmare?Perhaps he had been having a dream that invoved his ds- When my ds had terrors or bad dreams he would be similar in that he wouldn't let me comfort him(thrashing,wriggling) but wanted me there-It could take a very long time to calm him down-Hope tonight is better

Morloth Fri 10-Dec-10 21:21:42

Mine happen at any time during the night and I have had everything from being covered in bugs and writhing and screaming to thinking that DH was an intruder trying to hurt the kids (the night I attacked him). It is kind of like a brain fart/misfire where reality and dream/nightmare overlap and you can't tell what is real and what isn't.

The only thing that works for DH is to wake me up in anyway he can, even if it means shouting at me right in the face.

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