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Need advice please with my ds's behaviour

(9 Posts)
Bremusa Sat 23-Jul-11 18:05:33

My ds (6.5) has severe autism and learning difficulties, no speech, still in nappies. For the past 6 months or so he has been kicking the furniture, cupboards, oven, basically anything that he can create a loud noise from. The past month or so it has escalated to almost constant behaviour, even with re-direction as he's really stimming from the noise. In particular the garden fences have been kicked as he's outside a fair bit in the decent weather and it's now causing a problem with our neighbours. He's re-directed to other activities, if he goes back he's brought back in the house, and always told no, never left to randomly kick, iyswim.

So I've just had my neighbour round threatening to report us to the council for noise as my ds kicking the fence is upsetting her dog and she doesn't want to let the dog out as it is digging near the area where my ds kicks. She seems to think my ds should stay in the house so her dog can go out in her garden.

She has also told me that she has been 'taking advice' in the office at school where she works. The same bloody school my daughter attends. I feel like our family has been the staff topic of conversation and feel really pissed off about this.

I just don't know what to do, I don't know how to stop his behaviour. I'm afraid of maybe being evicted over this (our house is rented, theirs is bought). Surely the council wouldn't prioritise the needs of a dog to occasionally wander around in his garden over my ds? Her whole tone was one of 'I work at a school, I know all about autism, keep him in or else'. Bizarrely (to me) she said she could tolerate the noise in the house, just not outside if it bothered her dog.

We are really struggling at the moment, feel depressed about the 6 week holidays so any tips/pointers and advice would really help, has anyone else had this problem (with kicking)?

coff33pot Sat 23-Jul-11 18:56:01

You seem to me to be doing the right thing on bringing your DS in and telling him no and that it is wrong. Its obviously impulsive behaviour and kicking is the in thing at the moment! How about a footie net in the garden and hang clangy things on it like bells etc that will make some sort of noise. Then direct him to that in the garden. And if he is doing it in the house take him to it outside. So he learns that he can kick to his hearts content there but nowhere else. I know you dont want him to kick but at least he may learn the yes you can and no you cant bit first smile

As far as the neighbours go mine are always tutting and sighing and are the biggest gossips in the town. When ds is on meltdown and I am trying to calm him or tell him he is wrong with all the sighing going on it makes me feel like a mum with no authority whatsoever and just escalates the stress.

Tell your neighbour that what happens in school is private and confidential and what happens outside of school is none of the schools business. If she considers passing on any info about your DS she is in breach of confidentiality and she cannot discuss your sons private situation with the council without breaching it. Also there is no reason she cannot WALK her dog elsewhere and put her dog in the garden when your DS is not out there so she is just being awkward. You could show that you are being amicable by writing her a letter instead of talking to the old moo. Put in writing that your son as she is well aware has autism and regardless of his disability he is entitled to his fresh air in his own living space and would like to come to an arrangement of a timetable of when your ds is in the garden and when he is not. If that will help matters

Then if the council write to you about a complaint you can tell them about your DS and his requirements if you wish and also enclose that letter to show you are trying to be amicable. That should shut them up. I cant see a dog being given priority over a child to be honest. I would imagine the council would be more concerned about wild parties, raves and wild dogs than a small child x

willowthecat Sat 23-Jul-11 18:58:34

Sorry to give a short answer but I do not think it at all likely that the council will be concerned about the dog. You do not have to keep your child in doors and he should be outdoors in the garden in good weather. All you can reasonably do is what you are doing - to re direct if there is a problem. Is there any professional on your son's case that you can report this to so you can establish that you are concerned and doing all you reasonably can ?

Becaroooo Sat 23-Jul-11 19:08:13

You need to raise concerns with the school re: her talking about your ds to his education providers. He has a right to his privacy as much as she does!!
Tbh this would really worry me and needs reporting asap to OFSTED and the LEA in question.

nadia77 Sat 23-Jul-11 19:11:46

to be honest the council will not do anything for few months first thing they will tell her is she needs needs to keep a diary for few months note down the time occurance etc etc then they will read through everything she has and send you a warning letter it does take time so dont panic just yet as far as i am concerned your son is sensory seeking! are you not seeing any professionals? i think the council will be very careful to take any action as autism is effected mentally they dont want to be sued for disibility discrimination! she's lucky shes not my neighbour! i'll have so much to say about her and her dog maybe you can get advice from mencap?

nadia77 Sat 23-Jul-11 19:13:24

i agree with becaroo call ofsted and log a complaint then she would think twice either her dog or job

Ineedalife Sat 23-Jul-11 19:46:17

I hate to be harsh but I wondered, does he still kick things with no shoes on? I realise he really should have shoes on out side, but not wearing them for a while might just be enough to help you break the stim.

I wasn't sure whether to suggest this, and totally agree that your neighbour is out of order. But that doesn't help you to stop the kicking.

Good luck smile.

utah Sat 23-Jul-11 20:21:43

I would send an email to the school as I would certainly hope they would not want to be involved in this reminding them that like all children all autistic children are different and what gives them the authority to instruct your neighbour on how your child behaves. Do they really want to employ someone who put a dog before a child and demands a child with autism should be kept locked up. If she dares to complain then she is on dangerous ground with working within a child setting. I know someone who has a similar problem she bought the shoes with lights and placed bells on the laces it diverted the sensory needs.

Bremusa Sat 23-Jul-11 21:20:27

Some good ideas to try, I like the goalpost and bells. We have been discussing an outdoor punchbag and some bongos perhaps, although he doesn't bang with his hands very often, so he'd be still getting the sensory thrill but in an acceptable way.

I feel it's partly my fault though as I've been re-directing to other outdoor play (trampolining mostly which he loves) rather than replacing his sensory need with appropriate play, to still allow him to stim iyswim.

I think I've caused some confusion with my post, she doesn't work at my ds's school, she works at my dd's local primary round the corner where I'm quite well known. She works in the office there, I don't think she's breaching any rules (although if I'm wrong I'd be happy to be told wink) but I'm cringing inside knowing she's gossiping about discussing our family and the problems we're having.

I'm also a bit puzzled about the dog, she does take it for walks regularly, and for the past few weeks ds hasn't actually been in the garden a great deal to bang anyway. The dog is also out there most evenings when ds is in bed, so her complaining doesn't make a lot of sense.

We don't get any help, there are no professionals involved with us, apart from the school. They are supportive but distant, the school is 10 miles away.

Thanks for the replies everyone smile

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