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Some advice on anger/stress for dd (8) mild aspie

(24 Posts)
Mermaidspam Thu 11-Aug-11 00:25:03

Just a bit of background - dd is undiagnosed. I work with teenagers with learning difficulties/disabilities. We have suspected AS since dd was around 2. Haven't gone for a diagnosis as if it is AS, it is mild and up to now we were coping.

We asked the school about 6 months ago of the relevance of getting a diagnosis and they denied all knowledge of dd having any aspects of AS whatsoever.
To be fair to the, dd does have a "home" personality and a "school" personality and has taught herself how she needs to behave at school, no meltdowns, internalising her stress, etc.

Anyway, dd is having problems dealing with anger and stress at the moment. We have had another evening of her crying that she just wants someone to help her with her temper.

I am out of my depth here sad
I just want someone to tell me what to do please?!

Claw3 Thu 11-Aug-11 08:52:23

Have you tried to work out what triggers the anger or stress? Perhaps keep a diary?

For children with ASD recognising feeings can be a problem and their capacity to cope with it and understand why things go wrong is another.

It is common for ASD children to have a home/school personality, but controlling yourself all day is a struggle and they often 'explode' when they get home.

I get this from ds's school all the time, it doesnt happen in school, therefore its a home problem. Its not its everyones problem, reducing stress in school, will impact on behaviour at home. School is where ds spend the majority of his time and its a far more stressful environment than home.

Mermaidspam Thu 11-Aug-11 10:19:20

It's an "it's not fair" thing. If she's told off when she thinks she is in the right, or another child has done something unfair, etc.
I don't know how to treat the anger? Is it something she should be helped with or corrected? What is down to her being an 8 year old and what is due to AS?
I'm at a bit of a loss.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 11-Aug-11 10:42:09

Anger is the easiest emotion to recognise, so DC with ASD will often default to anger when they are upset or sad. You may need to help her to recognise the differences, practise how you should react in these situations, talk through how she is feeling, maybe after the event if she is too stressed at the time. Some role play. You seem to recognise the triggers, have a plan to avoid, distract, or work through the upset.

Having said that, my DS still gets angry and lashes out inappropriately, despite my best efforts.

IndigoBell Thu 11-Aug-11 10:52:39

Being angry at being told off sounds 100% ASD and 0% 8 year old.

My DS can't handle any kind of consequence - even if he agrees what he did was wrong. School have learnt grin

You can't treat the anger.

I do think you should go for a dx. She's only 8. A lot of years in the school system left.........

Mermaidspam Thu 11-Aug-11 11:08:57

Thanks Ellen, when I feel like this I need to talk through it, she is the total opposite, you can practically see the ball of fire in her growing!

Thanks Indigo - I think I'm agreeing with you now, need to change GPs first though, because our's is useless!

coff33pot Thu 11-Aug-11 13:12:26

I have 2 DDs NT and 1 DS (poss AS)

My eldest dd had issues with temper (she had emotional stress/bullying at school) and took it out on us when she got home. She was around the same age as your dd then. I refered her to child and family centre for help and they were wonderful with her. They saw us all as a family first and then saw dd by herself and gave her the support and encouragement to build up her self esteem and helped her to learn how to channel her anger in different ways rather than rising up! I think it was NOT MUM talking iyswim. It helped her greatly.

My DS is only 6 but has real anger issues. He flairs up more at school than at home. He uses anger when he is anxious, or scared and if he doesnt understand that children are playing when they poke him in fun so he hits out. So its a reverse situation but only because I can placate him at home and calm situations down quicker than they can in a school enviroment due to too much chaos.

My second dd is now 10 and has hit the lippy and answering back stage grin along with the stomping upstairs etc. But she does take consequences and doesnt use anger. She is more emotional and tearful due to hormonal changes and growing up. What I am trying to say is I would get your dd assessed as she has yet to go through this phase and if she has anger problems already the poor thing is in for a hell of a time in a couple years. smile

mumslife Thu 11-Aug-11 13:32:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IndigoBell Thu 11-Aug-11 14:01:09

Diagnosis does not equal extra funding.

You need a diagnosis if they are going to every need any kind of extra consideration at school. If they are going to ever display ASD symptoms at school.

Before dx my DS was treated as naughty. Now they know he's not naughty but has ASD they are treating him totally differently - and much better.

Your primary school may be good and be understanding - but will secondary school?

If ASD is not affecting their life - are you sure they have it?

You don't have to get a dx - but you are taking a huge risk if you don't. If suddenly one day they snap at school and have a huge melt down and you don't have a dx........

A diagnosis brings you nothing negative at all. You don't have to tell anybody you don't want to. But it does help school to help your child.

WilsonFrickett Thu 11-Aug-11 16:45:18

My DS is younger and when we went for DX I was very concerned about labelling. However, getting a DX is the best thing that could have happened for us. It means school knows that something is wrong with him.

For example - he is growing up and thought he would experiment with not giving me a kiss before he went into school. He was then very upset about it, stewed for the first 15 minutes and was completely non-verbal. When a child then asked him to be his partner, he screamed at him and pushed him across the room. School phoned me immediately - they knew this wasn't normal DS behaviour but they also knew it had to come from somewhere. He didn't get punished, he didn't get sent to the head, he didn't get shouted at, he didn't get put on red (school's discipline chart). They called me, I went in, sat in the quiet room with DS, sorted it out and then re-introduced DS back into the classroom. That would NOT have happened if DS didn't have a diagnosis.

What's the worse case scenario for getting a DX? What's the worse case scenario for NOT getting one? (See Indigo ^) Undiagnosed people don't get help. (That's not to say diagnosed people do either, but that's another thread...)

Ineedalife Thu 11-Aug-11 17:23:51

I just wanted to add, that my Dd3 has trouble with her emotions, she is either happy , sad or angry. she is usually unable to verbalise her feelings.

People upsetting her routine, trying to go out before her programme has finished, being told off or changing plans at the last minute[or even the day before] can all cause anger. She is a lovely little girl who has real problems expressing herself.

She also has a home and school personality although moving school recently has allowed her to be a bit more herself at school too.

She learnt very quickly at school that if you just smile at everyone and keep your head down you can get through the day. But of course the implications for doing this every day are massive. She used to meltdown all the time after school and often before school.

We have been trying to get a Dx for 2.5 years now but school have blocked our efforts and made it really hard for us.

Luckily I eventually moved her to a school where the adults are tuned in to children with SN's they have got to know Dd3 better in one term than the old school did in 3 years.

What I am trying to say in a round about way is don't underestimate your Dd's ability to fit in at school but remember how exhausting this must be for her and that she will need recovery time at the end of each day.

Good lucksmile.

coff33pot Thu 11-Aug-11 19:20:24

Anger can effect a childs life right through into adult. And if left unchecked could result in a major thing happening like a prison sentence or worse. We can live through their life glued to the hip just to protect them if they get angry. They will want to be independent one day and it is up to us to show them how.

The older they get the more angry they can get. Teenagers are angry enough and pushing boundaries due to growing up without any underlying problems.

A dx can get your child help to overcome anger. When a child hits senior school its a whole new ball game. They are expected to be independent like mini adults, the homework piles up and socialising and peer pressure can be very difficult. Without a dx a child could be just classed as a troublemaker with a nasty temper. With a dx the child will be (or should be) viewed differently and allowances made for their actions. The school will also make more effort to avoid those things that rile them.

Mermaidspam Thu 11-Aug-11 22:59:39

Thanks very much for all your comments.

mumslife Thu 11-Aug-11 23:08:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumslife Thu 11-Aug-11 23:11:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mermaidspam Thu 11-Aug-11 23:35:54

Would a diagnosis give us access to someone dd could talk to? Pschotherapist, etc?

IndigoBell Fri 12-Aug-11 07:13:29

Yes, you would probably get referred to CAMHS. Which is exactly that - someone to talk to.

IndigoBell Fri 12-Aug-11 07:25:59

Mums life - you might not get a dx, but you might get seen by an EP and an OT as part if the diagnostic process. which might be valuable in itself.

They didn't ask my school whether or not DS had ASD. We visited a paed, then he ordered an EP to visit DS at school and got him an OT appointment. Then we saw the paed again. Our dx was made on those 2 visits with the paed + the EP report.

And we got some sessions with the OT based on the fact that DS needed them, not based on his Dx.

But I know everything varies area to area.

Isn't it possible though that your DS doesn't have ASD , but something very similar like sensory processing disorder or something else? It might be really helpful to discuss his problems with a paed......

Claw3 Fri 12-Aug-11 09:24:03

Mermaid, i think 'its not fair' is typical 8 year old behaviour, its hard for children to accept disappointment, blame or consequences and its even more difficult for child with ASD to understand.

Firstly anger is ok, we all feel angry sometimes, your dd needs to be given more appropriate ways to deal with her anger. Ds has a pillow he can punch, he also keeps a diary, which he likes to write in, he finds writing things down, calms him and helps him to understand what has happened.

Ds has difficult accepting that he has done anything 'wrong', sometimes he hasnt and in school other children are blaming him for things, where they know he is unable to express himself clearly, could this be happening to your dd?

He also has difficulties understanding the school day and this can cause him some confusion too. Sometimes, its not that it was 'unfair', sometimes he just hasnt understood what is expected of him. I dont know the level of understanding your dd has, but could it be that she doesnt know what is expected of her?

and the times when he has actually done something 'wrong' he has difficulties connecting the behaviour with the consequences. For example if you pull the cats tail, it will scratch you, its not unfair, its what happens when you pull a cats tail! We then talk about what he could do differently next time.

You can get a referal to CAMHS without a dx, but this will probably result in parenting classes.

WilsonFrickett Fri 12-Aug-11 10:50:57

DX doesn't necessarily have to involve the school though, Mumslife. And as the parent, your views and experiences will have just as much weight as any school visit or observation, as of course will your DS.

"So yes i would like to believe diagnosis = understanding but I am not entirely sure all teachers get it unfortunately"

Granted not all teachers get it but at the moment you aren't giving any of them the chance. I don't mean to be harsh but at the moment you don't really know what support and help is available. It could be brilliant. You and your DS could be missing out.

I really, really don't mean to be harsh but there's clearly a reason you don't want a DX and I'm not really getting what that is. Do you think your DS will be bullied, for example?

coff33pot Fri 12-Aug-11 11:58:07

My DS is currently being assessed for AS. It wasnt the school that referred him to CAMHS...........I did. School thought he was just being naughty and he was suffering big time. It was me that read between the lines and signals flared up. I came on here first with the what ifs, what I had noticed etc and I was told they wont dx unecessarily and why not seek help at least it would put my mind at rest if there was nothing wrong.

I am glad I did, because while my other two are nt he clearly is not. camhs use a multidiciplinary team so you will see psychs, etc and will get offered help where it is needed. I also found them good to have on your side like when I had to pull him out of school and insist they put new stratagies in place for him in the midst of their assessment. I could have been in trouble for doing it but I had their back up and they gave me the support on the phone telling me I was not in the wrong to do this. Its long its drawn out and its an utter pain in the backside playing the waiting game but I have found them to be very useful and supportive during the wait.

It may not lead to a dx, you can say you dont want a dx at the end if you dont want one. But during the assessment your dd might just see the right ppl along the way.

mumslife Fri 12-Aug-11 22:07:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Sat 13-Aug-11 09:40:26

"^The paed said though going on her observations alone he would def be on the spectrum^"

Then why wasn't he DX'd? I really don't get that at all, it's very common that ASD children have a 'school' persona and a 'home' persona. That pead sounds shite a bit inexperienced IMHO. Grrr.

Yes, I do get the labelling issue and some people are ignorant. But these peoples' behaviour towards yoru DS is going to be negative and ignorant whether you have a diagnosis or not, I think. If a teacher is like the one you described, at least if you are armed with a DX you can challenge her behaviour. If all she sees is a 'naughty/angry' boy then it is much harder to go in and say 'actually, this is a symptom, lets put a strategy in place to deal with it'.

But hey, that's just IMO smile

mumslife Sat 13-Aug-11 21:54:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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