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It's all a bit shit....

(10 Posts)
neverputasockinatoaster Fri 28-Sep-12 23:43:25

And, before I start, can I say I feel so silly feeling like it is all a bit shit when I know full well that our problems are in no way as large asthe problems that some of you deal with ( amazingly) on a dialy basis.

DS is almost 8. He has been given an ASD diagnosis. The return to school has been fraught with hell. He has just gone into year 3. He seemed OK about it over the hols but once he went back reality hit him and he got very distressed.
He struggles to get to sleep if he is anxious and we have had nights of him crying over being in a new class, stressing over going swimming.......
Recently it has become apparent that some of the little -shits- boys in his class have realised that telling him stories is great fun as he gets upset and they think his yelling is 'funny'. Recently we have had one child tell DS that he and his dad will come over to our house, steal all our money and kill me and DH..... That led to a few nights of tears. DS won't believe me or DH when we say that the little charmer won't come over but will believe the charming child in question.......
School have been doing a science topic on staying healthy and have discussed germs. DS is now obsessed with washing his hands and I am having to field endless questions such as 'Mummy, if I touched a conker and got conker germs on my hands and they then got into my tummy would that kill me?'. He has refused to eat his packed lunch a couple of times now becuase he was worrying about germs.......
We have hours of questions about monsters and he says he has 'bad thoughts' in his head that won't go away.
He's exhausted becuase he can't sleep which means he gets more anxious and his tolerance levels for 'life' are way down. I'm knackered and at my wits end. I don't know what to say to help ease the worries. I've tried telling him what I do with intrusive thoughts (I say a prayer over and over again - had to do that recently after foolishly reading a scary thread in chat..- or I sing (silently) a silly song).....
School are being fab. His teacher came down on the charming child like a ton of bricks, she has suggested he be allowed an antiseptic wipe in his lunch box tht he cna use if he feels his hands aren't clean, she listens to his worries. BUT DS sees 5 teachers a week...... and he's only in Y3....
I just wnat to cry. A lot. It is all a bit shit!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 28-Sep-12 23:58:59

Oh, I'm so sorry, never. sad Just want to give you honks and sympathy. Life is shit at times, and it doesn't help if someone else's happens to be worse, that doesn't make yours any better.

I'm afraid I've got no experience with that sort of anxiety. My DS is more of a 'blow up for 20 mins then forget about it' sort of boy. It sounds really hard for you all ATM. Hopefully others will be along with wise words.

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 29-Sep-12 00:03:18

EllenJane - DS used to just do 'exploding' b ut recently we've moved onto obsessive worrying!

I just need to take a deep breath, gather myself up and keep looking for the next thing that might help....

< off to google light projector thingies.. wondering if pretty lights on the ceiling might 'hypnotise' him! >

troutpout Sat 29-Sep-12 06:01:16

Oh ds (15) was exactly like this at this age.
Heath topics ( heart and healthy eating) had a com

troutpout Sat 29-Sep-12 06:40:10

...prematurely posted there ! ( not sure how)
..... Complete meltdown at home saying he was going to die because he ate chocolate!! This lasted a few months... and actually it was the teacher who kept really going to town talking about high cholestorel etc. She was probably the worst thing about that year tbh. It just seemed her style to scare the kids at every opportunity .
Then we had a year group of little charmers who used to tell ds things like he had touched poison ( cue not usung his left hand for about 3 months) or that their dad was going to come around and kill him. ( cue terror at pick up time should the murderous father appear)... Or that his eczema was his skin falling off ( cue strange pressing of skin on body and ritualistic checking that his skin was intact)
God it was a complete nightmare.... Made worse because ds would not tell us the causes... It would take us weeks to extract the information..
Things that helped:
1. We made his life very predictable and routine based... Pared it down to simple things ... his anxiety levels in general seemed to calm a bit.
2. We found he would talk to a soft toy ( he was 6 though ...a bit younger than your boy though ... Perhaps your boy too sophisticated for this now) .. We managed to extract stuff from him this way.
3. Did lots of exercises about lies.... Why people lie... Also Why people might be mean and enjoy getting a reaction
4. We made the teacher ( who incidentally couldn't see that her over the top teaching style may have had an impact.. The school refused to support ) into a pantomime villain . She became a joke in our house... Gave her a alternative name ( all our friends and family used it too)
I volunteered in school once a week also. This meant that on a few occasions and at playtime I could give an alternative view to Ds.

I know it will help you if I tell you that ds and I were roaring with laughter about this chapter in our lives the other day grin grin ( although.. Ahem...Him possibly more than me ... The memories still make my blood run cold a bit smile)
There was a gradual improvement. He matured and he could read other children a bit... He recognised idiots for what they were better.also recognised that some teachers were crapadoodledo .. There was a value to that.
You are not alone ... Not a solution I know . Hang in there .

justaboutiswarm Sat 29-Sep-12 11:21:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moosemama Sun 30-Sep-12 16:34:26

He sounds exactly like ds1 at the same age, similar worries re danger, poison, contamination and health, no sleep due to anxiety etc. We had real trouble thanks to the 'germs' and health curriculum and again with healthy eating.

I'll never forget the major panic attack he had because he was convinced something dripped out of a tree into his open mouth when we were out walking. I couldn't get him to walk, he was frozen with fear and convinced he was going to die.

We've just had one today actually. Ds asked why eggs smell horrible when you cook them. Clever dh told him it's because they contain sulphur! hmm Cue refusal to eat lunch, whilst in a panic that eggs contain a poisonous substance. I then had to explain that there are different types of sulphur and if the type found in eggs was poisonous, most of the mammals on the planet would be dead - us included. (I have no idea if there are different types of sulphur by the way - but it worked. wink)

He is 10 now and has just gone into year 6 and we find the worries and anxieties wax and wane dependant on the amount of stress he's under.

The endless questions about 'have I been poisoned' 'am I going to die because of x, y, z' are exhausting, but it really does help to keep an open dialogue going. We eventually came to the realisation that to some extent we had to practise a bit of tough-love and these days we try to nip new fears in the bud by saying things like 'everyone will have touched a conker and not washed their hands at some point in their life and been absolutely fine, I know I did' cue lots of questions about when I did and what happened afterwards (and a little bit of ... ahem .... poetic license and embellishment on my part). Overall we have found that the best way of dealing with things, because once he grabs hold of a worry it just gets bigger and bigger until it becomes crippling for him both at home and at school.

As troutpout said, we've also been clear with him that teacher's are not always as amazingly clever and perfect as children often think they are and sometimes say silly things and even 'shock horror' make mistakes. Same with peers, we've worked on getting him to understand that other children say things that are untrue to impress or frighten each other because they find the response and attention rewarding and the best responses come from their biggest 'lies'. He used to believe every single word anyone said to him, but as he gets older is learning who is less likely to be trustworthy and who to completely avoid believing - although he does still tend to fall for some amazing tall stories, they are usually harmless and designed to impress eg 'I climbed Mt Everest with my Dad when I was 5' type stuff.

The other trick we have tried to teach him to use is to think of his favourite thing and try to really focus on that to stop the 'bad' thoughts from being able to get a look in. He usually chooses to think about building sandcastles on the beach with ds and his siblings, or thinks through a complicated battle plan for his Pokemon games. It doesn't always work and it's taken quite a while to get him to the point where he can do it, but it might be worth a try.

Please don't feel you are silly for posting this, many of us know how exhausting dealing with this level of anxiety on a daily basis can be.

Penneyanne Mon 01-Oct-12 00:08:24

We too have this a lot.Ds is in last year of primary and suffers with anxiety a lot.He has Aspergers/asd. The best advice we got from a psychologist at CAMHS last year ,who saw him for anxiety, was to never,ever give any time to worries about germs,cleanliness,etc She said always nip it in the bud "oh thats nothing/wont harm you" kind of thing instead of going into detail trying to explain why etc.Always try and brush it off in a casual way if you can. Moose is right,this is very common and this type of anxiety is wearing!

coff33pot Mon 01-Oct-12 00:19:27

Saw this yesterday and posted but it disapeard confused

In short I did post that regards the school saying put an antiseptic wipe in his lunch box. It may not be such a good idea to emphasise on giving him something to wipe his hands as it can escalate.

My brother has OCD especially with germs and illness and constantly walks around with a bottle of gel hand rub in his pocket to this day.

It would probably like others have said to just help him to see that nothing bad is going to happen if he touches a conker etc by shrugging it off as there is a possibility of pampering to it like any concerned parent would if their child is unhappy but it could then escalate into bigger issues iyswim? smile

neverputasockinatoaster Mon 01-Oct-12 21:13:05

Thank you everyone - haven't been back as I've been preparing for an observation of my teaching....... increased stress levels leading to sensory issues going through the roof.. wonder where DS gets it from grin.

I was loathe to 'pander' to the germ thing BUT DS can have very erratic blood sugars leading to behaviour issues so I was torn between him eating and having a wipe and not eating.....

He has had a wipe in the lunchbox today but has not used it so I'll not put it in tomorrow.

Thank you for sharing your stories, it helps to know I'm not the only one!

I shall take on board the ideas and see what I can do to help him but not giving the ideas too much power seemed to me to be the way to go.

You are all fab!

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