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coping with meltdowns

(11 Posts)
SleepyDormouse Tue 05-Jul-11 15:04:24

currently waiting for ds age 8 to be assessed. Were thinking dyspraxia but are strongly wondering if AS now.

Since half term he has had many meltdowns, complete loss of control, screaming shouting and hitting myself husband and dd. Was refusing to go to bed as didn't want to go to school next day. Seen head, she has spoken to boy we thought was bullying, but seems like lots of little things were building up over the day. classroom too noisy, someone breaking rules of game on playground, fear of being moved down behaviour chart (says this happened twice when he had done nothing wrong and was distraught about it).

things calm down but then just little things can set off a meltdown again, like there not being more than one slice of cake. Or dd moving a game piece which he was going to jump in the next move. my moving toys in his room for viewing (selling house).

The hardest thing is that he is a great at school, they can't see a problem and have said there is nothing they can do until he gets a diagnosis.

I'm trying very hard to warn ahead if I know I'll have to tidy his room, or if somthing out of routine will happen. But sometimes I just don't remember or he blows up regardless.

how do you manage to cope with meltdowns? Once he is in one there is no reasoning with him, and he gets angry so quickly its hard to spot one comming. Even when I do he point plank refuses to try calming down.

he is becoming increasingly upset and has tried to run away twice now (perhaps mostly for attention) as he thinks he doesn't belong in the family as he is too angry.

chuckeyegg Tue 05-Jul-11 18:35:59

Can't really help but want to bump it up. xxx

unpa1dcar3r Tue 05-Jul-11 18:49:24

My youngest (12.5) has meltdowns and cannot be reasoned with before during or after. They go on for around 2 hrs mostly. No remorse.
Anything can trigger him, he is SLD goes to SLD school, but at school he's good as gold apparently!

Do you think your son is also worried about moving home? That is a big issue for anyone let alone someone who may be autistic. Everything will be turned upside down for him, all his stuff moved etc...
Would he be able to understand if you sat him down and explained or bought him a book about meltdowns (anger) I mean can you have a conversation with him?
I can't with youngest (not much with eldest either, he's 14) so it's pretty hard.
Other than that, i'd leave him in his room til he calms down, doesn't matter if he smashes things, it when they smash people it's unacceptable more, if you know what I mean!

Basically with youngest we leave himt o it try n ignore it (very hard as it's like a jack hammer going in your head!) and then when he's ready cuddle him loads..
Sorry not much more I can advise, maybe others can.

amberlight Tue 05-Jul-11 19:27:42

One quick tip that may help...
(not sure if you've seen this on other answers)
Generalising, autistic brains are differently designed. Those of us on the spectrum find that our brains use different bits for different things compared to 'ordinary' brains. With most people, the brain has a superfast broadband connection to the People Bit, so it can look at someone, and work out immediately who they are, if they're a friend, what they're feeling, and recall every bit of info about them all at once.
With us, that bit is used for info about our things. Where are they, what shape, what position, what data on them.....but of course it's also connected into all the emotional centres there.
So if you move our things, it's exactly the same as me coming into your house and hiding your baby from you. Or me coming into your home and throwing one of your children out in the rubbish. Or losing one of them. I'm not kidding - we have no choice about how it feels. It's absolutely devastating.
The knack is advance warning of what you are going to do, negotiation with us, and realisation that touching our stuff is a huge huge thing for many of us. Tidy houses are great, but somehow you'll have to negotiate him putting his stuff away, or explaining why it's still out to purchasers (who may be surprisingly understanding).

At school, a quiet space for him to go to is great, even if he's not got a diagnosis. Worth negotiating for, as it will let his brain wiring 'cool down' a bit,

Make after school stuff really quiet and non-social if you can, to give him some space.

None of this might help,but it's a start towards far less panic from him.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 05-Jul-11 20:00:06

The school does not need a DX to put support in place for your DS. It depends on his educational needs not a medical DX, and that includes social, emotional or behavioural issues as well as academic ones. They are avoiding doing anything, by the sound of it. Your DS has SEN, what are the school doing about it? Is he on school action or school action plus? Are you thinking about a statement of SEN? Who are you waiting on to assess your DS, is it a paed or OT? The school could ask for an EP to assess him.

SleepyDormouse Tue 05-Jul-11 22:50:14

We bought a book on anger and went through the idea's together but he will not try the calming methods when he starts getting angry. Very rarely will he stay in his room and calm down, he follows me to hurt me. I end up shutting myself and dd in her room with him bashing on the door until he calms down.

I have had help from a family worker, her seeing him at school and me at home, things seemed to be improving. But all of a sudden they are v.bad.

I agree moving home doesn't help, but we want to get to a better area and better schools.

I do try and warn in advance if I move toys, and try to move only the ones on the floor. we have accepted an offer now, so hopefully no more viewings. we have been trying to move a few months.

School don't really want to help no, they see no need as he doesn't appear to have any problems while he is there. They are very understaffed and short of cash, so getting them to give any support is going to be hard. I don't know what school action or action plus are, he had an IEP in reception for speach problems, but his speach isn't so severe anymore (he goes on a lot and finds it hard to explain things, used to have speach sound problems)

He is waiting to be assessed at Edwin Lobo centre, I think it will be a paed.

what is an EP?

tonight was awful again, he blew up when wii turned off (Had told him how long we would play, but he'd lost so wanted to play more). took 3 hrs for him to calm down and go to sleep. feel really bad for dd too as she is kept awake by all this and I shout at her (complaining she can't sleep) despite trying so hard to stay calm and in control of ds.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 05-Jul-11 23:47:06

Sorry, an EP is an educational psychologist, who are employed by LAs to advise schools on how best to support children with various educational issues/SEN. You need to have a look at the SEN code of practice which schools have to follow. If a child is recognised as having SEN the school would place them on school action and should put an IEP in place. If an outside agency such as a speech therapist is involved they would go up to the next stage, school action plus.

The next stage is when a child undergoes Statutory Assessment for a Statement of SEN. The LA get various professionals to assess your child, such as EP, doctors etc and decide if they need a Statement, which is a document laying out what extra provision your child needs to access education. It's a legally binding document which should set out if any 1:1 support is required and what areas of difficulty your child has and what specific help they need.

Mumsnet has some info about this, I'll put a link on for you in a minute. There's the SEN code of practice also, but my usual link isn't working.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 05-Jul-11 23:51:25

Mumsnet SEN info and Mumsnet statutory assessment info

unpa1dcar3r Wed 06-Jul-11 07:50:43

And don't sign the statement until youre totally happy with it, like if it says extra support when needed or as required, that's not good enough, you need to know how many hours etc.

I don't know much about MS provision as mine go to a lovely little SEN school which caters to all their needs, includes them in everything and makes them part of the 'family' but there do seem to be a lot of children who struggle as they get older or that the school doesn't recognise or meet their needs.

It is extra hard when you have other children too. My girls used to get the brunt of it but they've turned out brilliant and understanding (eldest works with SEN). All you can od is try to explain to your daughter and ensure she gets lots of attention too, maybe if you can take her out alone every now n again cinema, shopping whatever.
Sending big cyber hugs your way

SleepyDormouse Wed 06-Jul-11 09:50:10

thanks for the links.

could he still be assessed for SEN even though he (apparently) seems to be fine during school?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 06-Jul-11 13:33:36

He could, but it might be tricky to get enough independent evidence. Have you thought of videoing some of his more extreme or odd behaviours? Helps everyone to see the full picture. Lots of DC with ASD cope during school. but anxiety builds up and they release it in the secure environment of home.

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