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Somebody help me. I can't go on like this.(23 Posts)
I posted on here a few days ago mentioning my dd's megga tantrum. Today however, she's on a new level.
Dp has had to come home because I couldn't bloody cope! How pathetic of me! He's sat in the living room with her right now trying to talk to her about why you can't do what she's done and she's saying that she knows she can't, but I know she'll do it again, if not tomorrow then the day after.
It's like she has a little demon inside her. The details of why it started are really unimportant because it's always about nothing!!
She scratched my eyes, cheeks, bitten my arms about 10 times, ripped a very expensive and more importantly very precious and special necklace off my neck. Completely destroying it. And the screaming! I can't bare it ay more. My hearing is damaged as a result of how loud she gets.
Nothing I do works! I've seriously tried everything! The gentle approach, the tough approach, every single approach you could think of. Her will is the strongest you could imagine.
I know the title to this thread is dramatic, but that really sums up how i'm feeling right now. I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Just a long road of darkness. Everything's a mess and my depression is rapidly returning avengance. I can't do it anymore, I really can't.
Have you tried medication? A lot of pals of mine have seen a transformation when CAMHS or a paediatrician have put their kids on ritalin or strattera or risperidone. It does not sound right what you are having to live with, and when I went to CAMHS and told them I had exhausted every other route, they were very sympathetic. I feel for you - can your DP take over and you just go out for a bit, or go and have a fag and a drink (my solution to stress!)?. Big hug to you.
Can you make a 'safe room' where you can leave her when she's like this?
I'd second the safe space. When children are in meltdown they are often totally unable to control their actions and are best left in a safe place until the can calm down. In many cases no amount of reasoning with them etc will work and in that situation you are just putting yourself at risk. I know there are other people on here with dcs who have similar episodes. Hopefully one them might be able to advise on the best way to create a safe space.
I'm sorry, I don't think I read your other thread. How old is your dd and does she have a diagnosis at all?
I feel for you and I don't think your title is dramatic, just heartfelt. ((hugs))
Sorry you are having a nightmare day. Ds used to attack me constantly and it is soul destroying so I know how you feel. He doesn't hurt anyone ever anymore so it can get better although it took a few years and a lot of hard work.
You need to document everything so that you can see the triggers and the outcomes because only when you know the reasons why can you really make any progress on altering things.
Do you have a space where your daughter can be left safely until she is calmer. When ds was smaller I used to stick him behind the sofa on a pile of cushions and stuff to shred and wait for him to scream it out. Now I see his shoulders rise and his breathing alter and send him to chill. I have on the odd occasion locked myself in the bathroom just to get away although that isn't the best option tbh. Are you getting any help from a behavioural support team or a child psych? Do you have a dx?
sickof, i'm actually having a large rum and coke while I type this. Don't normally drink in the day, but it seemed much more appealing than a coffee!
With regards to medication im a bit concerned it might get rid of the good part of her personality as well as the bad. I've heard horor stories about people's dc's being turned into zombies practically. Also, i've heard about sleeping paturns being seriously disturbed. It's the one thing that d gives us a break with. I couldn't bare it if her sleeping got messed up. Could really do with ahug at the minute actually. Thank you.
Indigo, we really don't have anywhere that would work for a safe room. Even if there was nothing in the room atall she would probably end up banging her head violently on the door til I had to open it.
Actually some of the meds make them sleep better Makemine. A pal of mine has her autistic 10 year old boy on strattera, which he takes at night as it makes him drowsy at first but then better-behaved all the next day till it wears off again just after school. She says he's the same boy, just calmer - bit like they say with prozac - you still feel like yourself, just more evened-out . Good on you with that drink, sounds just the ticket!
You can always try meds and come off them if you don't like the side effects....
You can also try dietary changes
Or a huge range of other treatments and therapies.....
Thank you everybody. It's always touching to get such thoughtful responses when you're feeling on the edge. I have to admit, thisis the closest to the edge I think i've been though.
Regarding the meds, don't get me wrong I have heard success stories before and I would have assumed it was a trial and error method with regards to finding the right one. I think sometimes it comes down to those people who tell you "she's just a brat who has severe tantrums, that's all". Although you know they're wrong, you kind of cling on to that simply because you don't want your child to be "different". Thanks for the info on that though. I will definitely look into it.
How old is DD? is she verbal? Like asdx2 my DS 7 was aggressive, violent, screamer and a headbanger. He is now the gentlest soul you could imagine. He still has emotional outbursts but not agressive at all.He stopped this behaviour when he was just turned 3 and became verbal. The nights I cried myself to sleep, I wouldn't be without him but he is my 3rd DC and as horrible as it sounds I used to think why have I had this child we were a happy family and NOW. The difficulties we had with him, make his love for me now even more precious.
As others have suggested a quiet space for her without anything she can destroy would be ideal. if you don't have anywere you can utilise I have seen on a SN site a kind of sensory dark box but I can't remember which site it was on, (it is better than the way I have described it)
mumofthree, she's 4.6 and yes, she is verbal. Doesn't always make sense, but very verbal. I'd say she was at least a year behind speech wise, hence we hopefully shall be getting an appointment through to see a SALT any day now. Takes so bloody long.
I'm glad to hear that your DS has learnt to control his aggression. I can't believe it stopped at 3 though!! That's not to say that it wasn't hell at the time, i'm sure it was, but regarding my dd I can't believe that it's still going on at this age. Although(as I said) she is verbal, all she says when she's having one of these meltdowns is "NO!!". Even if I haven't asked her anything. I say she says, I mean YELLS! I know that some of her bad behaviour is down to frustration at not being able to communicate what exactly it is she wants to say, but the older she gets and more verbal, the more I think it's not so much the frustration at not being able to communicate completely, but more the fact that she just hates being told that she can't do something or have something. They're her triggers withought a doubt.
This morning was another example. She wanted to watch a DVD and we said that she could as long as she got dressed before. All her skirts were in the wash so her only option was trousers. She screamed and screamed and screamed. She started hitting DP and shouting that she wanted "UP(DVD) ON NOW!!!" When she gets like this with DP I get very nervous because I can hear in his voice that he's losing it. He really lost his temper and yelled. The thing is though, that doesn't work either. Not that I want her to be scared of either of us, but I certainly want to be respected. She only does anything when she wants to.
So anyway, we had all these plans for today and because I have to stick to the punishments, we can't do any of them and will probably end up stuck in the house, miserable, again!
It's not a life. I used to feel in control even when she had very frequent tantrums, but now she's more unpredictable and stubborn. Every day is a stand off between me and DD or DD and me and DP. As I said, it's no life for anybody.
Ds was more towards 9 when his aggression stopped but he'd only been verbal for two years at that point. Some of the attacks were down to frustration, some because of sensory issues, some down to rigidity and some because he liked the results (he loved to make his sister cry)
I'm not sure that was a case of ds learning to control his aggression it was more a case that we learnt to pre empt what might start them and alter our own behaviour and redirect ds.
Punishments don't work with ds, nor do threats of consequences mostly because he doesn't link anything that he might do to anything I might do in return and I suspect that he doesn't really care that much either. So if he was punished by the loss of a treat then he'd go all in to make life hell for everybody until he felt he'd evened up the score.
With rewards if you have something that ds wants then he will do his utmost to get the reward however much he dislikes the task.
Ds works well with routines and rewards so I can cut out the morning battles by him having a rigid routine for washing and dressing and following that straight away with something he likes. So at weekends he washes and dresses and then gets time on the laptop for complying without a fuss.
During the week washing and dressing in the morning will get him extra time on the laptop when he gets home from school but he can only see that benefit now he's older when he was younger it used to have to be immediate gratification so he'd get whatever made him tick at the time from stickers, to biscuits (mini ones), to marbles, Yu Gi Oh cars or coins.
Sometimes altering what you say can prevent a meltdown, cutting out the waffle helps so I'd say "dressed first then laptop" rather than "you can play on the laptop when you are dressed" because ds would pick up on laptop and wouldn't have got the dressed part because he'd be fixed on his reward. So say what you want in the order you want it.
Sometimes offering a choice helps so "red trousers or blue trousers? ds choose" gives the control he wants but I am still in charge because I am giving the options.
Trying to avoid the word "No" at all costs and saying what you want rather than what you don't want is another way to cut them down too. So by saying "push the car on the mat" instead of "no! not on the television" should get the result you want without a tantrum.
Warnings of change can help too so if ds was watching TV and then we needed to go to school I'd go in five minutes before and say "five minutes and then school" and leave his coat and shoes next to him. I'd go in minutes later and say "two minutes and then school" and then as it was time to go " I'd say "shoes on, coat on, school. Bye bye Rugrats" He might have preferred to keep watching TV but he was reconciled by that time and he'd get a reward for doing it without a fuss.
It sounds very unnatural at first but in no time at all it becomes a new normal. Perhaps you could give it a go makemine
It wasn't the case of him learning to control his aggression. It was caused by his frustration at not being able to communicate and he also has lots of sensory issues.
Have you tried social stories? someone posted about the CAT-kit designed by Tony Attwood expensive but it looks really good to help expression of emotion.
My ds sounds very similar. I thought the that as his speech improved so would his behavior, I am sorry to say it has not been the case.
In desperation I tried strattera, help a tiny bit with concentration but after some weeks his behavior got even worst, he was angry and much more difficult and defiant. I stopped giving it to his 2 days ago and he is back to normal.
I am wiling to try another type of medication. I was totally against Mede but I have decided to try and rule them out if they don't work. Behaviour at school is getting worse as well.
This sounds so hard..... Seconding the quiet room....the safe place for her.
CAMHS px Risperidone for my son. I was desperate not to go down that route til a friend said " if he had kidney disease, you'd treat him medically" so, I am giving it a try.
Ds would have them anywhere, he is definitely a case of what you see is what you get. School also rewarded every positive initially with stickers and then with time to do something he enjoyed, usually the computer tbh.
Initially he was rewarded for some tiny positives such as having something on his table that he managed not to throw and only screwing up his work rather than tearing it to pieces.
As he got more reliable at meeting the targets then they'd get slightly more difficult to achieve.It has worked here and now he's pretty much reliably very well behaved so long as you keep one step ahead of him anyway
Can totally understand why you are wary of meds at 4.5. DS is similar age and I can honestly say if we had not been doing an ABA programme for the past 2 years I would probably be writing your post. Instead we are very lucky to have a team who help us teach DS and behaviour management is a major part of it. He has been taught very firm boundaries and responds to rewards. He has a token system which runs and he earns points for good behaviour and loses other tokens for certain behaviours (you can't work on everything at the same time) but for him any throwing, hitting or self injurious behaviour. Its not that simple, it has taken many months to get to this point and it doesn't work all the time. Also just waiting him out and not giving in and then rewarding him when he does calm down. We find usually the first time is horrific - the next time bad but much shorter tantrum and the third time he barely bothers to make a fuss. As he gets bigger and stronger its much more important to have control.
I am a Mum of three and what worked like a dream with the other two doesn't touch the edges with DS3. So don't ever feel like its you, or that you should be able to do it out of a book etc. You should have proper support and training.
We had to go to tribunal to get ABA funded - not just for behaviour - he wasn't making any progress educationally. But his behaviour is much much better. The nursery where the LA wanted him to go has a child with autism of similar age who spends most of their time being restrained in a corridor. So you do have to push and push for proper support as that could quite easily have been DS.
DS would not be able to access social stories or similar at this age.
ABA is only available privately or via tribunal usually - you could ask if there is a behaviour support outreach team. Usually its attached to one of the special school teams.
If its a problem that is not going to go away anytime soon get a social services referral to a OT for a safespace
makemines SO sorry you're going through this. It is reallyl hard to deal with.
I think it is really important that you and DP get some help and are taught how to hold your daughter safely when she is not coping. She is, by the sounds of it, regularly injuring you and that's not good for you or for her if she then feels guilty afterwards and then her feelings of guilt impact oin her mood and you end up in a vicious circle. It is possible that she has these melt-downs in response to her not feeling safe at that time ( for reasons which may not be obvious). Maybe by reacting in the way she does, she is asking for you, the adult to take control and therefore reassure her she is safe? By holding her safely, remaining calm while doing so and reassuring her throughout she will regain a sense of feeling safe and in control.
You say that it's always over 'nothing'. It may appear that way, but my experience is that behaviour always happens for a reason. Is there somethng sensory going on which is acting like a trigger for her? Somethng she feels/smells/touches or touches her, a particular emotion? Is the word 'no' or another word a trigger? Sometimes it can be really tricky to work out what the trigger is and it helps to write down what happened, what happened before, during and after.Maybe it is a particular response she gets when having a melt-down that is what she needs. So she has the melt-down in order to get that particular response in order to meet that need?
I hope you can find ways of getting throught this together and finding a way to help you all to manage, safely and as stress free for everyone as possible.
Sorry your having a tough time.
Have you tried timers...traffic light/egg timers so she can visually see when an activity is finishing, moving between activities often sets of my DD, we also use a visual time table and are working on visuals for emotions. Although my DD is verbal she finds the additional structure very reassuring (has memorised the timetable and controls any changes herself). In fact we use them to plan what she eats (to add in new foods to try), who will be in the house, school day and to signal that she doesnt like noises...hearing number/visual scale. We even did a rules board....no hitting, no biting, no shouting...good stuff too...nice words, gentle touch etc. Its much easier to refer to when she doesnt want to talk due to stress, often the distraction/re focus can be enough to calm her. We 'talk' through the visuals so DD understands and gets a sense of time, when shes about to kick off we just say whats next...this is finished now lets see whats next...using a bit of Makaton too (as they do in school). Lots of praise for the good stuff and we do try to seperate DD during meltdowns from DS until she calms down then have some quiet time after...talking can stress her more.
Meds are worth a try - I refused to medicate for 6 years for many reason - my son has been on Ritalin for a year now and the difference is very noticeable. I was afraid to 'lose' part of his personality - the medication I think has actually found some of his personality, as he is calmer and more focused, almost more able to 'be ' himself rather than just the emotion that happens to be passing at the time
Thank you everyone for your help and kind words. It's nice to know people care and that you're not alone.
I've had another really tough couple of days which i've started a new thread about. Didn't realise i'd had so many more replies on here.
Her behaviour yesterday was the worst it's ever been. Rather than me go into it again it's probably best you read my thread. It's regarding "safe rooms".
With regards to triggers I really am clueless. There appears to be no link or continunity to make any sense out of it. I will start jotting everything down though to see if i've missed something. Thanks for the advice on that which I think a few of you mentioned.
I don't feel i've got the strength today if she starts again. She's already had a tantrum this morning, but thankfully didn't get completely out of control like I expected it to.
Feel on the edge of a panic attack today actually. Can't seem to get my breath. Great!! Just what I bloody need!
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