Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Please - I really need help for my friend with her ASD son's behaviour!(6 Posts)
Am posting this on behalf of a close friend (lone parent) who is having difficulties with her son's aggression towards her. I know there are a lot of parents of children with autism on this board who I am hoping will have some experience and advice that I can pass on to her.
Her boy is 13. For the past six months or so, he has started showing increasingly aggressive behaviour, particularly towards his mum. He does things like grabbing her face or grabbing her round the neck from behind. Sometimes he will ask for a hug and she's wary of saying yes anymore because he crushes her. He is strong and won't stop or modify his behaviour when she asks him to stop, so she has to wrench herself out of his grasp. At other times, he and his brother will have a play fight that escalates out of control and she has to step in to separate them. This week, she fell and bruised her wrist whilst trying to get them apart. She has told her other son not to play fight with his brother because it always goes too far, but he doesn't always obey and then she has to step in.
This boy is not violent at school (he goes to a school for children with autism) and school have not been able to offer any useful advice to my friend on how to handle this. She says she can tell when her son is in one of these aggressive moods and she knows he will spring on her at some point. She says it puts her on edge and she is watchful all the time, waiting for him to 'pounce', as she puts it. She isn't sure about what triggers it, but says that sometimes she can trace it to something she did the day before that annoyed him and that he is still brewing over. She tries distraction, but it doesn't work.
I inadvertently made my friend's boy angry once (I made the mistake of asking him to return a toy he was holding which belonged to my son) and his rage was, to be honest, quite scary. He was absolutely furious and I really thought he was going to hit me. In fact, he did control himself enough not to hit me, but he was very agitated. My friend said he scares her too when he is angry and she is worried about him getting bigger and still not being able to control his emotions.
Does anyone know what she can do or who she can contact for advice?
Ambitous about autism run courses on challenging behavior that are superb if she can get to high gate.
Her son's school out to be able to get her onto a restraint training course.
The National Autistic society also have a helpline where they can give you contact details of local experts both public and private.
The really scary thing about ASD is the co-morbid mental health issues that emerge as the children age. My son's best friend for years has classic ASD... he is almost 18 now, and essentially holds lis parents captive in their home. He is 6'5" and VERY strong (and looking back, they are REALLY regretting the years of martial arts classes they had him in. He will not allow anyone into the house, and becomes violent if one of his parents tries to leave "off schedule". He has severe OCD as well.
I know this is not a ray of sunshine (and I worked in the mental health profession for years, it is also not uncommon) but she needs to try and involve outside help if she can't handle him or is afraid of him. If she doesn't, either her other ds, she herself or some other unfortunate victim is going to get hurt badly, particularly since, when these kids see red, there is no stopping them (and if he is big enough, no safe restraint training will give her the upper edge).
My heart goes out to her.
I would agree with her trying to find a good course on dealing with challenging behaviour. I think there is an organisation called the challenging behaviour foundation who might be able to help. I would also perhaps consider seeing a psychiatrist who might be able to help with medication to help lessen anxiety or aggression.
Thank you for your advice everyone. I have passed it all on to my friend. Also contacted the NAS about their 'Managing Anger Parent Seminars' (thanks, Polter) and am hoping there is one she can get to.
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