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What do you do about impulsiveness (5, ASD)?

(56 Posts)
LeninGrad Wed 24-Aug-11 20:19:11

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Jodianna Wed 24-Aug-11 20:55:43

Okay, it's hard, but it does get better. I hate the fact that my daughter (15) pushes her face into mine. I just walk away and discuss it later. However, when she was much younger, I was tougher. If she hit me, she wouldn't have got the story or the dvd. I would take her to her room, tell her I'd be back to discuss it when the alarm went off. Set the alarm for five minutes. She had three chances (three lots of five minutes with the alarm) to discuss it, otherwise it was bedtime. Took about a week to stop it.
From what I can see, he's still getting his own way, he's tucked up beside you with a dvd.
As for laughing when things hurt, many people with ASDs don't realise their own strength, so he may think you're making a fuss about nothing, or it may be a panic laugh because he doesn't really understand that he's hurt you.

wileycoyote Wed 24-Aug-11 20:57:13

I will be hoping someone can enlighten us. My son is exactly the same and it really upsets me as well..

wileycoyote Wed 24-Aug-11 21:00:09

Sorry, posted before I saw your post Jodianna.. Does your daughter have ASD? Did she ever attack other children?

LeninGrad Wed 24-Aug-11 21:05:13

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silverfrog Wed 24-Aug-11 21:13:35

erm. tricky.

I can only answer as to what I would do with my dds, and obviously some of it might not work/hold true for yuor ds.

so, you say the face hitting has been going on for a few weeks now? how do you handle it generally (ie not when it comes in the middle of what you were wanting to be a really nice evening)? has he said anything as to why he does it?

I would variously try:

ignoring (real, true ignoring. difficult to do if he is already expecting a reaction form previous episodes, though, as extinction burst may mean he really ramps it up).
making sure his hands are occupied, maybe with something soft, so that if he still does it you don't get clonked round the face with something that will add extra injury.
sitting out of reach for a while - you could either do this with full explanation, ie "I don't like it when you hit. I know you find it hard not to hit. I am going to sit a little further away so that it cannot happen" or not mention it at all. I would, with my dds, opt for the not mentioning it with dd1 (as any mention of it would mean she is getting a reaction, to her) and the talking through with dd2, probably.

I would not have insisted on an apology if he finds apologies hard. but I would refuse to read. calmly and quietly put the book away (especially if you have reminded ahead of time that he is not to hit for the duration of the story), and move on to the next phase of bedtime. I have found that saying the equivalent of "ok, that's it. I am not reading now" leads to both dds setting up a huge wail about what they have lost, even though they knew full well what would happen. moving on matter of factly is a) part of the ignoring, and b) giving no opportunity for him to negotiate/explain/cajole/wail about not getting his story.

I would also have not let my dds watch a dvd post this kind of episode, but I know bedtimes are a real flash point, so not allowing this may not be appropriate. I would deffo have ensured it was a lesser referred dvd though.

I have rewards built into bedtime. my dds get raisins on their cereal in the morning if they manage appropriate behaviour at bedtime. appropriate behaviour varies between the two of them, but has included:

not bouncing around like a loon (dd1)
not being hyper for the sake of it (dd1)
coming and getting ready for bed/brushing teeth when I ask, not when they feel like it.
not shouting/hitting/screeching (dd1/dd1/dd2)
not racing arund the upstairs hallway
not repeatedly coming out of their room (they share) once lights are out (a biggie, we worked up to this in several stages)
dd2 has to ignore dd1 if she is being silly, and not incite rebellion.
dd1 has to not sing too loudly, and certainly not action songs (usually suggested by dd2, to be fair)

obviously not all of these apply all of the time. and I have to be prepared to weather the storm in the morning if the criteria are not met (sometimes it is awfully hard to get out of bed knowing that the day is going to start out wrong...), but htis morning for eg, dd1 had no raisins on her cereal as she was being ridiculously loud and silly last night. she woke at 6.30am, was extra good and quiet, and when she first saw me (around 7.40ish) said "a few raisins for dd1? what a good girl!" (which she had been). but no. no raisins as she had behaved badly. and she knew it. and she accepted that (this was not the case the first few times)

Exactly the same problem here Lenin. Includes hitting the cats, pulling their tails, hitting us, throwing things etc. No reason behind it At all.

Dh had taught him to say "are you OK"when people hurt themselves but he says it with no actual interest iyswim. Just because we have told him that he has to say it

LeninGrad Wed 24-Aug-11 21:50:27

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silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 19:19:44

Lenin - somehting which occurred to me today. make sure he isn't using the hitting as a way of saying "I don't want to continue with htis"

eg in your example form yesterday: imagine he decided he didn't want to read the story. your refusal to read it (after he hit you) potentially reinforced that the way to get what he wants is to hit you.

you could try, in situations where he hits, modelling some answrs for him. eg, you said he was surprised by the characters in the book. he hits you, and you ignore the hitting, and say "I wasn't expecting those characters. what a surprise. I don;t want htis book, mum" (or similar). try to get him to agree (if you think this is the case, obviously!)

it may be (surprising though this seems) that he does not know how to let you know he wants a change of book/situation/whatever, and therefore he is using what has (unwittingly) been reinforced before - hitting to get him out of a situation he doesn't like or want.

I have been through this negative reinforcement a few times with both my dds. with dd1, I would use the modelling alone, and then (if I was fairly confidant she was hitting to get me to stop reading that book) I would ensure she could not hit me and carry on reading the book, interspersing the model "I don't want this book anymore, mum. please can I have X instead" a few times to see if she took the bait.

with dd2, I would go straight for the explanantion - "hitting is not nice. if you don't want me to read the book, you can always ask me to stop." and then carry on reading. if she hit again, I would then do as I outlined for dd1. if she didn;t hit for a while, while processing, and then looked as though she was about to, I would quickly give her the model sentence, and get her to repeat.

any part of the model being repeated (or will to do so) woudl be immediately acted upon, and the hitting not mentioned again.

if you have unwittingly reinforced the hitting, then you need to over-reinforce the good behaviour (or whatever part of he is able to do) lots and lots, and ignore the hitting. give him plenty of opportunity to use the model, and lots and lots of praise when he attempts to do it the right way.

silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 19:24:10

Just read that back through - if a long model is not appropriate, you can always just start with eg "stop, mum" or "stop, please". Anything that the can easily copy, in the moment, to gain your attention in a positive way.

sphil Thu 25-Aug-11 19:39:06

have been reading this thread with interest, as Ds2 has also started the impulsive hitting/pinching. Sometimes its for a clear reason ( not getting what he wants), sometimes it comes out of nowhere ( and usually this is directed at DS1). Ds2 is much less verbal than either Lenin or SFs DCs and his receptive understanding isnt great.

I think the modelling idea is a good one and have tried it with some success in the past, when its possible to change whats happening. But what do you do when the action he's protesting against cant be changed? For example, he has recently taken against walks, something the rest of the family like to do. He stops, refuses to walk, we try to persuade him, he hits. If I ignore the hitting and say " I dont want to walk", he will stop hitting and repeat the phrase, but then what? I still want him to walk. Ive tried "I dont want to walk but Mum, Dad and Ds1 like walking" but that just enrages him further.

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 20:09:09

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LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 20:13:50

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LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 20:16:14

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silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 20:41:00

Sphil: it is tricky when you cannot.comply and change the situation to suit. We have been working a lot with dd2 on talking nicely and not shouting (she has auditory regulation issues). But then we come up against something she shouts which we don't want to give breton anyway. We can't use usual prompt (you could say that more nicely) as the expectation is then that we would act on her request. We use ignore and distract in that situation. In your situation, I would try something.g like acknowledging dd2's dislike of walking (is this eg walking.g around the shops, or walking for pleasure? We have recently recognised that we ate getting to the.point where we will have to do things separately, or not with dd1 included, for all our sanity). Dd1 used to appreciate it if I at least recognised and identified what was bothering her - so she would kick off, I would model "i don't like walking", which she repeated, and then I would co.tinge the conversation eg "i know you don't.like walking, dd1, but we need to get to X to do Y" (X being.g not too distant, Y being something.g she enjoyed.) And then we would get to X by fair means or.foul - singing all the way, taking in turns to recite books so she could fill in her favourite words, whatever.

That's why I asked whether it was round town walking.g or country walking - a) mote scope for distraction and two.forcemnt around town, and b) if.CoI.try walking and your dd2 dislikes the walking and is bored - it might be time to assess whether he should be taken along (i know how difficult a decision this is, and not just through practicality of childcare) - I wouldn't be too impressed if I was often made to do an activity I thoroughly disliked.

silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 20:42:12

God, autocorrect galore! Hang on, will switch to laptop.

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 20:45:00

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silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 20:50:28

Lenin: to work on showing him how to get control, use something he really likes (eg the rollign up in duvet and squeezing) - start off the activity, and then, in the middle, get him to repeat "stop please" - and then do an over-exaggerated "oh! you want me to stop? ok then, I'll stop. nice asking (reinforce with choc button/tickle/high five/whatever).

then ask "do you want more?"

if yes, then get him to ask "more please" - and immediately get onto it, hyping it up and having a great time.

if no, then (hopefully he will have said it nicely, if not, model and get him to repeat) again ham it up - "ok, you don't want more. that's ok. fantastic saying no" etc etc.

describe for him what he is doing right and what he is doing wrong (more emphasis on the right, as always). the gaps in this kind of knowledge and understanding can be surprisingly huge...

silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 20:52:42

sphil: just read back. you say he has recently taken against walks? did somethign happen? the range here is huge, as you know, form being rained on, and feeling uncomfortable in wet clothing, to uncomfy shoes, to wrong/unexpected route etc.

what do you thik went wrong with the last walk you all had where he didn't start out the day hitting?

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 20:53:36

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silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 20:56:46

that's great - maybe you could tweak it to show him the difference between nice asking and not nice asking?

if he already has this concept, then jsut start (hah! @ "just") using it in other situations too - eg when he is watching a dvd, when he wants more lunch, when he is getting dressed etc. he needs to generalise nice asking for things, and realise he can use the words/phrases he already knows form one situation in another one as well.

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 20:57:34

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LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 21:00:59

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silverfrog Thu 25-Aug-11 21:01:55

did you try asking what they were for?

he could very well have been processing what had happened earlier - time is a funny concept, and of course there could be theory of mind issues. if he had been mulling it over, and realised somehting - it makes perfect sense to him to come and say sorry and give you a kiss to make up, not necessarily realising that you don't know what he has been thinking...

<either that, or you are about to discover glue on your chair, or salt in the sugar pot, etc grin>

LeninGrad Thu 25-Aug-11 21:03:19

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