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ASD & Violence

(16 Posts)
MrsYamada Wed 05-Jan-11 20:47:44

Just a whinge. If I do anything that even remotely upsets DS1 he kicks me and this will quite often lead to full on attacks. I try and stay calm but the sheer level of strength I have to put into restraining him from hurting me, himself or siblings leaves me feeling like I've been fighting him. I'm sat here completely battered but I feel like a shit parent because I was involved, albeit unwillingly. I don't like to have to restrain him but if I don't then he really hurts me. I don't like to do things that cause him to get upset but then I can't just let him do what he wants all the time. I don't even know if I'm making sense, but I'm pissed off and sad and I was really, really angry with him even though it's not entirely his fault.

Can't even have a proper 'sorry' conversation because he just doesn't feel it.

MrsYamada Wed 05-Jan-11 20:54:23

And now he's playing happily. It's like it never happened. Oh well, move on, nothing to see here. smile

Spinkle Wed 05-Jan-11 21:03:05

Well, MrsYamada, I think that's bloody hard on you.

I've got no advice for you, I'm afraid. I'm sure someone will be along with some nugget of wisdom soon.

It's the rollercoaster of emotions that's so wearing though, isn't it?

NotRocketSurgery Wed 05-Jan-11 21:06:05

[hugs] to you -

I dont think you should beat yourself up about being really angry with him - in fact IMHO it is the way forward - absolutely you can't let him do what he wants all the time.

Doesn't make it any easier though, I know.

MrsYamada Wed 05-Jan-11 21:06:39

True. It's so full on when it's happening. It's easy to think afterwards, 'why did I do/say that' but at the time it's just survival!

Thanks for listening!

asdx2 Wed 05-Jan-11 21:12:13

Not sure if I can advise but I can empathise ds is now 15 and doesn't hit anyone ever but up until he was eight or so he was very aggressive and we all have scars, some have needed stitches and some have had chipped bones and concussion.
How I altered ds's behaviour was to provide alternative outlets so he had velcro targets on the walls and balls to throw (he was an ace shot with any object at your head). He had balls to kick, paper to shred,putty to gouge, stuff to bite.He also had a den to calm down in.
Then I watched for the triggers, I learnt the signs that meant he was going to blow and then I set about prompting him to use the alternatives as soon as I saw his breathing alter.He would be rewarded every time he chose to throw at the target instead of me.
It took years really but each time he used an alternative meant one less bruise so it was all positive.
Nowadays he rarely needs prompting and scarpers to his room when he's angry, slamming the door once for angry and twice for furious grin
Not sure if something similar would work for your ds though.

DayShiftDoris Wed 05-Jan-11 21:23:15

My son is like that - very angry and will kick out, damage the house, fight me... fight anyone

He doesnt get sorry either

A friend said to me though that regardless of the diagnosis (and her son is ASD / ADHD and not in mainstream school) you must address the bad behaviour, there must always be a consequence and you must always reward good behaviour

I struggle to find consequences that bother him and rewards that he wants!!

So difficult x

asdx2 Wed 05-Jan-11 21:42:13

I don't and never have punished ds because he simply doesn't grasp that A is a consequence of B. He can't see the link at all. He has been rewarded for every positive no matter how small.The trick is to keep them small though so we have had stickers,yu gi oh cards,elastic bands, pennies, athumbs up sign even.Nowadays a well done is enough and knowledge that should he want something in future he has a good chance of getting it because of the well dones but he rarely asks for anything.

MrsYamada Wed 05-Jan-11 22:09:53

I find consequences impossible and even rewards are tricky, he's just not bothered about anything but computer games and they are often the root of the problem. I have removed everything now, not so much as a consequence but because he has been systematically destroying things over the last week! I had hoped it was Christmas/New Year but I'm not so sure now.

I like the idea of 'targets', we are building a box of goodies that help when he is getting angry but the trouble with the latest meltdowns is that he goes from 0-90 in seconds. He is very sensory too, so I think he gets a buzz from the adrenilin. A box of things he is allowed to destroy might help. Some good tips there asdx2, we are getting a little help from community team so hopefully they will have some suggestions too. A big problem is there isn't really anywhere 'safe' for him to go, he won't voluntarily go to his room and is too big for me to get him there, think DH and I will have to have a think about a 'den' of some kind. Nice to hear there is hope! Ds is 10 so I was wondering if it was a bit of a hormone surge <grasps at straws>

Gotta go now, thanks for the support and ideas, feel a bit more confident about getting through this. I was on my own earlier and quite pissed off about everything. Night all.x

asdx2 Wed 05-Jan-11 22:20:33

Ds's den was a spot behind the sofa with big cushions bean bags, a space blanket,fur,silk, lights and fiddlies that had to stay in the den. It's only now as he's got older that his room is his den.
Ds hates to be touched so would never manhandle him anyway because it'd be asking for trouble. Even now I ask permission before touching him even though I am almost certain that he wouldn't hit me nowadays. Good job really he's a foot taller than I am shock

MrsYamada Thu 06-Jan-11 09:26:22

I think part of the reason the violence has escalated is because he realises he is almost as strong as me now! He is more wary of DH who is a big bloke. I'm dreading him getting bigger, that's part of the reason I want to get this sorted now.

We could make a den downstairs somewhere but the layout makes it very hard to keep him away from things he could break/use as weapons! I suppose if we make the den as attractive as possible and provide targets as suggested...DH has some kind of 'Countdown' chart in mind but quite often DS goes beyond the point of reasoning very quickly. We will keep working at it though. Today is a fresh day! smile

Thanks for the tips.

purplepidjin Thu 06-Jan-11 09:48:18

An indoor tent can be good as a den - especially if only he is allowed in there! You can put all sorts of sensory stuff in, too like a weighted blanket, textured fidget toys, calm music, coloured lights...

Do you do what I know as a Life Space Interview afterwards? It has different names, but basically means that you talk through what happened when he's calmed down after an aggressive incident. Get him to tell you what he thinks happened, don't judge even if you remember something totally different, and talk about how it made him and you feel. Writing stuff down and drawing cartoon pictures can help if he struggles to actually speak about it.

MrsYamada Thu 06-Jan-11 14:13:25

We do talk about it afterwards, but not actually heard of a Life Space Interview. It it's hard to get him to realise we are hurt or unhappy. Drawing about it might be useful as he likes to draw and it has quite a calming affect on him. It doesn't matter how heated things get he doesn't really get upset by it, unless we remove something he likes but then that can quite often make things a lot worse. I am keeping a kind of diary of these things to see if we can pinpoint specific triggers.

We did try a tent before but it became more of a toy than a den, and he is getting a bit big for most indoor things. I think maybe a safe 'area' is the way to go, hopefully make it enticing enough for him to stay there.

Sorry, it's a bit rambling but I'm trying to work out in my head what we can do and what might work.

purplepidjin Thu 06-Jan-11 18:22:44

Don't worry, Life Space Interview is what it's called when you're trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, by Cornell University. If he likes drawing, have a google of Visual Conversations smile

MrsYamada Thu 06-Jan-11 22:54:02

Will do - thanks!

purplepidjin Thu 06-Jan-11 22:57:23

I'm pretty sure that any talking about it you can do when you're all calm will be beneficial. But that can be hard without a structure - it feels really false and stilted when you start! After a few, you'll both get used to the idea. And keep persevering, even if it starts to trigger him again. It's beneficial in the long run smile

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