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hes getting so difficult i cant do anything!

(7 Posts)
DrWhoTake2 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:29:36

Ds 6 as many know is undiagnosed awaiting referral but has sensory seeking issues. Now hes always been difficult and going out shopping has always been stressful but its now getting impossible. Today we had a discussion that we were going out what was expected of him, what he would be rewarded if he tried hard to behave, what the consequences would be if he didnt (those being reward of hot choc and dr who after school tomorrow, conseqence being taking immediatly back to car, grounded and no dr who, he told me he would try very hard. Sooo out we go arrive at first shop get out car ds wont listen and is twirling around the car park refusing to walk with us trying to run off, go into shop he touches EVERYTHING knocking things over in the process we leave, short drive and all calm again. Arrive at shop 2 he starts again wandering off, grabbing things of shelves shouting 'no' at me when i ask him to stand near, ignoring me when i try talking to him i generally have no control, mortified i take his hand he hates this and screams at me that im hurting him (im not) and to let go and about pulling my arm off trying to get free, i march him back to car and tell him of the rules again he cries after 5 mins to calm i tell him we will give him another chance he promises to behave. So off we go into another shop and within minutes hes running his hands along everything, talking to himself loudly, touching everything, shouting no at me, running off, pulling strange faces in anything with a reflection or trying to lick them he generally has me feeling a nervous wreck so i try taking his hand again and again he goes mad, screaming at me trying to get free saying ive not to hold him like that, that im making his coat feel funny that he itchy etc basically screaming all this while people stare so i say enoughs enough and lets go home, he sceams all the way back to car as he dosnt want to apparently I always do this to him!?

Its getting to the point we cant do anything with him leaving the house is a battle its like having a really big toddler, hes over emotional has big tantrums, runs off in the street NOTHING works no matter what conseqences i put to him and i DO remind him of them constantly but it dosnt make a difference. Ive never heard of school having any difficulties like this with him on trips so why does he do this to me, is he just really naughty am i not parenting right? i feel so out of my depth the older he gets the more attitude and difficult it gets sad

Ineedalife Sun 23-Sep-12 20:38:26

Really feel for you Dr, I am really not a good person to give you advice as we didnt take Dd3 shopping for years due to this kind of stress.

But I just wanted to say, dont be too hard on yourself. You are setting boundaries for him, maybe you just need to stick a bit more ridgidly to your consequences a few times for him to learn that you mean business.

At school he probably wouldnt get 3 chances and he probably knows that.

I have to say though, both my Dd's with sensory issues used to go bananas in shops, especially big ones with bright lights and loads of people and noise. They just cant cope with it.

Good lucksmile

bialystockandbloom Sun 23-Sep-12 21:07:27

Poor you, sounds like a stressful day.

It is not your parenting that makes him like this. It may just be very difficult for him to cope with busy shops, queuing, waiting around, doing things which aren't what he chooses to do. We had to do an awful lot of work with my ds (HFA) before even short shopping trips were feasible, and even now I'd never consider taking him on long trips like clothes shopping.

What about looking at things the other way, and instead of sanctions/punishments for misbehaving, you could try massive rewards for when he does manage a shopping trip with no incidents. But start with very small trips out - eg one shop, or one post office visit, as going to several shops might be too much for him atm. Tell him beforehand where you're going. Try and go during a quiet time. Maybe even start by choosing a shop which has something in it for him, eg toy shop, where he can choose his own 'reward' for going nicely with you. Emphasise how he will benefit from the trip, but give him clear instructions on what you want him to do.

Then build up from there, so that the next trip is to somewhere a bit less fun for him, but he still gets a reward at the end if he behaves nicely. Make sure you tell him clearly why he is getting the reward, eg "ds you stayed with me so nicely in that shop and kept your hands off the display, I am so pleased with you that we can go for an ice cream", that kind of thing. If he does play up, then he doesn't get the reward.

I realised that so much of my ds's life was spent (from his point of view) being told what not to do, but not much being told what he could do. Once we switched to this kind of positive-reinforcement (we did ABA) things improved massively.

bialystockandbloom Sun 23-Sep-12 21:12:30

those being reward of hot choc and dr who after school tomorrow, conseqence being taking immediatly back to car, grounded and no dr who

I realise from this ^^ that you are already doing what I suggested. The only thing I would add would be to follow through with your intentions. You told him if he played up you'd go straight back to car - but you then went to another shop. I would have gone straight on home, with no further discussion. He needs to see that you mean what you say, and you will follow through with it. Not in a 'punishment' type way, but just your actions being consistent with what you say.

We all do it - repeatedly say "if you do that again you'll go to your room" etc but so often don't follow it through and end up just shouting or is that just me. We're only human! But when I am being more consistent and less shouty ds is so much better, and happier, as he knows what the boundaries really are.

cansu Sun 23-Sep-12 21:26:04

I would also try starting very small. Eg go to one shop, buy one thing and go straight home. You could then gradually build up to longer trips and maybe the rewards start off very small and get better as well?

DrWhoTake2 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:38:23

thank you for replies, yeah i really should have followed the back to car threat through but we had drove 20 miles and been out car 5 minutes i really needed to pick a few things up so gave the extra chance. I usually do follow through immediatly though but it dosnt seem to make any difference. Its like he cant help himself he has started telling me he dosnt know how to be good and he tries you can almost see the impulsiveness in his face his whole body goes awkward and contorted when he tries to stay calm shoulders jumping up and down etc then after about 1min bam it starts again and hes running ahead and feeling everything in sight. I do admit i shout alot i hate that i do but he is such hard work its constant noise and talking and questions in his every waking minute. I have offered him fab days out, toys, sweets etc if he just stays beside me and stays calm in ONE shop and he still cant ever do it. Im going to start a reward chart again for him, ive tried before and got nowhere but school does one and it seems to work for them confusedhe seems to hold things together so much better at school, school punishments seem to scare him though where as mine just upset or inconveinance him and that he can handle it seems

porridgelover Sun 23-Sep-12 21:58:09

DrWho you really are not alone with your frustrations, upset and worry.
I have been that parent who planned a trip, warned of bad behaviour, promised reward for good, and 10 minutes after we get there, it's all kicking off.
And your poor DS 'doesn't know how to be good' sad

My DC have ASD and find the sensory challenge of new places very difficult. One will start humming, another becomes defiant and another starts a tantrum over the slightest infraction.
It's not my parenting...took me a long time to be able to say that.

I find this approach very helpful.
I have also found using their mp3 players with audio books helps them calm themselves when we are out and about.
And if it all goes to pot, well I try to just breathe and recognise its not them, its not me, so today is not the day for getting stuff done.

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