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challenging behaviour

(12 Posts)
MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 09:52:38

I'm not sure what to title this post, but challenging behaviour is probably the most appropriate.

We're starting week 2 of our summer break, and so far ds (age 4.5) shows no sign of his 'normal' switch into summer mode. We usually have a rough few days/week but this year he's just not happy.

He has started climbing furniture and trying to balance (poorly) & potentially jump off of things. He doesn't yet have the level of co-ordination to even attempt this without a major injury. He's throwing everything he can lay his hands on... the most serious being a dining room chair, and then tipping the table over. We then have his usual biting - himself mostly... his arms are covered in bruises now. He's been not too bad with going after any siblings yet. Hands and his chewy tube shoved down his throat to cause vomiting, etc. There is probably more, but these are the biggies and are starting to take their toll on everyone!

To help, we upped all of his sensory activities (actually did this a week prior to the summer break as usual), trying to add an extra walk in each day, extra time at the playground on the climbing frames, lots of water play, bought an extra trampoline for inside, and a second exercise ball to have outside for more bouncing. His energy at the moment just seems endless, and then with the outbursts/tantrums thrown in we're just on damage control most of the day. It's like his attention span and tolerance has gone out the window.

He used to be able to watch an episode of Something Special to sort of wind down, but his tv watching is now nil. sad

Has anyone been through this... I'm sure there is someone... any tips on how to get through the day!? Should I try a different approach? The only way we can keep him and us safe is to put him in his buggy for a bit... which surprisingly he seems ok with. I think he just starts spiraling and then doesn't know how to switch off.

BTW, we have 3 older children who also would like a bit of love and attention which is probably why he's playing up so much as normally it's just me and him from after nursery until the end of the school day...

Help!

MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 09:54:39

Also, phone message left with his OT this morning, but I'm not sure that she'll have any new ideas...

Chundle Wed 13-Jul-11 09:56:23

Does he have a weighted blanket or a weighted vest/belt you can put on him? My dd2 is a bit manic and weighted stuff has an extraordinary effect on her. Perhaps stick a backpack on him and put some full water bottles in it thi should have same effect tell him he's an explorer/action man etc and that's why he's wearing it! I find dd doesnt even try and take her weights off she loves them

MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 10:03:10

Hi Chundle,

Thank you for replying. Yes, he wears a weighted belt, and we have a weighted 'snake' for on his shoulders and a vest as well... I'm not sure how much effect they have as he's bitten through a couple of them before they calmed! We use the backpack with the handle when we go out filled with a couple of water bottles.

I trying swaddling him in a towel (which he normally enjoys) but when he's in a full meltdown he won't tolerate it at all... or hugs, or brushing with the towel.

MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 10:05:25

I'll add a little more here and say that ds has a rare genetic condition, is non-verbal, and has very little understanding and functional communication. He understands some Makaton (more than he can sign back), but won't use any when he's like this.

Chundle Wed 13-Jul-11 10:14:13

I shall watch this thread with interest! My dd has little speech and uses pecs but when she's in a meltdown or in a manic state no communication works either. We too see an OT and for the summer hols she recommended that we have something planned for each day and that I do a pecs timetable for dd, so tv for a bit, then garden then lunch etc etc dd is not always cooperative with this and will eat the pecs symbols when she's in a strop so I'm dreading start of holidays too!

MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 10:26:37

Ah, that's what we were told as well. We have a now/next board which ds is just taking both off and throwing the cards. We also have his choice board which he is completely uninterested in. I thought adding some new activities/toys (hopefully arriving today!) would keep him interested and busy... obviously no one told him the plan, and he has other ideas!

MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 20:20:11

little bump for the evening posters... smile

coff33pot Wed 13-Jul-11 20:50:48

I dont know what to suggest at the moment as I am running out of ideas myself today! DS (poss AS) went to a sportsday with me to see his sister run. That did go ok but my family also came back and yes that I assumed went ok as he just locked in on his ps3. But this morning oooohh boy! He was up crack of dawn and eyes everywhere (looking like tic disorder) Adamant not to leave the bedroom and determined he was not going school today. Have just found out that not only he got a new teacher after the hols he is also losing his TA who he adores sad I think this on top of the crowds yesterday afternoon meant he has just had enough ppl for one day and didnt want to go school. Made excuse of toothache and as he not long had a tooth out I wore that and gave him meds for pain. He has done nothing all day apart from run riot, aggravate dog, leap around bang sticks, flood the bathroom and terrorise his sister when she got home from school and having hissy fits if he doesnt have something in his hand to eat every 10 minutes because he roars he is starving. Maybe tomorrow I will come up with something hmmmm? grin

MommyUpNorth Wed 13-Jul-11 21:18:54

Oh dear... it seems to be going around! Poor you... hope tomorrow is a better day.

I try to wake up every morning and 'think' that today will be better than yesterday. I've been trying really hard to keep my mood up as once that slips, then we spiral further. sad Quite difficult during the school break, but this afternoon has been marginally better, so maybe we're turning a corner!

Did receive his new toys, and he spent some happy time playing with a little abacus, and also got the 'chew cuff' as the chewy tubes just don't cut it. For the moment he's keeping it on his wrist, so now just need to teach him to bite there instead of skin!

coff33pot Wed 13-Jul-11 21:39:08

Well fingers crossed for you that he keeps it on his wrist. Pretend you are a tennis star and make one for yourself and say its a sports band lol grin he just might copy you! Mine has finally come down off planet Zog and back down to earth at the moment. He has (awful I know) gone to bed like a grubby little urchin as the thought of winding him up again with a face wash doesnt appeal one bit now he is calmer. He is laying upstairs doing colouring game on his nintendo so that should chill him out further hopefully for sleep. His sister has breathed a sigh of relief and has taken herself off to bed now after a cuddle from me. Tomorrow is another day and I have to broach the subject of school again but for now I am making a coffee and finding tuesdays episode of Holby City on iplayer and forgetting. And I know what you mean about having to keep your mood up. Its very hard isnt it but I know if I submit and go "oh whatever" I make a rod for my own back and suffer the consequences because then everyone else goes down like dominoes too! I was wondering does he like the feel of playdough? I am thinking of going off to the art shop tomorrow to by a block of modeling clay the stuff that bakes hard by itself. DS likes crafts so thinking of letting him lose on fridge magnets or something. It will either work or the walls will wear it!

MommyUpNorth Thu 14-Jul-11 15:46:09

Some days bedtimes are the absolute best! smile We've had an ok-ish day. Went out to the castle in the morning and fed the goats... he was well chuffed with that, but trying to get from the animal centre to the gardens was interesting as he saw the car and wanted to leave, so I trying to carry him face forward so he wouldn't bite my shoulder... and of course it was all smiles when we walked through the garden door. I don't know why the picture of the door isn't enough to get him from A to B.

Did his fave playground in the afternoon, but then he spotted the bridge and wanted to go. Unfortunately the other kids wanted to stay at the playground and it's an hour walk around the river so I couldn't really leave them... so I tried to turn him round at the end of the bridge and he bit a passing dog, tried to throw his shoes off the bridge and then continued to collapse & bite himself all the way back to the car... we got some very interesting looks... and I felt so awful about the dog but the lady seemed perfectly ok with it (I'm sure she had no idea how hard he bites, but the dog was off lead and came up to him in full meltdown).

The older kids have taken him onto the trampoline so I could just sit for a time out myself! Roll on bedtime tonight!!

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