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Very anxious and difficult aspergers 9 yo

(18 Posts)
Sjenner77 Sun 25-Aug-13 10:30:44

My wonderful son is 9 yrs old and recently diagnosed with aspergers.

He seems to move in phases and for most of the holidays he has been amazing, but the last two weeks have been horrendous. With no warning at all he has gone back into a phase of being anxious, crying about every tiny thing, lashing out at everyone (especially his poor little brother) and is almost impossible to keep calm or comfortable.

I am finding it so hard and like I'm walking on egg shells. It's awful to see him so unhappy but I also get cross when he can be very rude and ungrateful and horrendously rude to other people too. I feel so sorry for his brother.

He seems so angry.

Sunnymeg Sun 25-Aug-13 10:48:01

I have DS 11 with Aspergers. He definitely gets worse as the holidays go on. I think it is due to increasing anxiety about going back to school, change of class and teacher etc. The best thing is to try and get him to talk about it, but this can be very difficult. Sometimes the things DS worries about are very incidental and the type of things that wouldn't concern other children. So even if he says he is concerned about something trivial then I try and take it seriously.

I always find the last few days are the worst as everything builds up ands then it settles down once he actually goes back.

Strangely though this time he will be starting secondary and he isn't as bad as usual. I am putting it down to the fact that he doesn't know what to worry about - yet! wine wine

GetYourMoneyBackAtTheDoor Sun 25-Aug-13 12:08:17

Oh this sounds just like my DS, age 5. I am aware this is rude and hijacking a thread but I'm desperate so I hope you understand. Would you mind taking a look at my thread 'please help - dyslexia?' Just above yours I think. I'd be so grateful.

Op sorry you're son is struggling, sounds really hard. It's such a shame they they have to fit into a life which is so hard for them sad

pannetone Sun 25-Aug-13 12:18:19

DD is 8 with HFA diagnosed earlier this year. She has been struggling throughout the holidays with anxiety, which becomes anger, opposition and meltdowns. Ironically, although she also has a diagnosis of selective mutism, she has been 'vocal' in public - when she loses it she ceases to care about anyone hearing her. I am finding it really hard as there is also DS3 who's 11 with a diagnosis of HFA and they are really setting each other off. DS3 is pretty rule-bound and thinks I am allowing his sister to get away with far too much - I am trying to choose my 'battles'.

DD has just been given NHS SALT - the therapist will be liasing with the School in Sep. In the meantime she has seen me for a couple of sessions and has asked that we introduce visual timetables and social stories to try to reduce DD's anxiety. I started today and drew out a basic series of pictures of the bits of the day that we have planned. DD did look at it and was amused by my rubbish pictures, but promptly told me she wouldn't be having lunch today. And we still had a meltdown about going to church... Has anyone got experience of successfully using visual timetables and social stories with an HFA child? I am going to perserve but it does feel a bit 'young' for DD and I can't quite see how setting out visually something we are going to do, that she doesn't want to do, will help. I need encouragement!

pannetone Sun 25-Aug-13 12:22:51

Sorry Sjenner - your situation resonates so much with mine, but my post is more of another plea for help than advice! But at least you know you're not alone in what you're trying to cope with!

Sjenner77 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:26:40

I don't mind any 'hijacking!' We are all struggling with the same difficulties in life more or less, and need to help one another - it makes so much difference when you don't feel alone!

I'm not sure I even need advice, I just need to VENT sometimes!! I get so worn down : (

My son also gets much worse as the holidays progress - I have noticed that pattern. I'm sure he will be better once he's back at school and in the routine of things.

porridgeLover Sun 25-Aug-13 20:16:00

Sjenner, yes I agree that it goes in phases and school holidays are not the pleasant time they are for other families.
My (10 y.o., HFA) DS is OK this summer, but then I have had a visual schedule of the holidays on our notice board since the first day. So he can see time going by, knows what activities are planned etc. I also find that sticking closely to the school routine even in holiday time pays dividends with less stress on re-entry!

DD1 (undiagnosed) on the other hand, can't wait to get back to her friends. BUT last summer, I had tantrums every single morning as she re-adjusted to the discipine of bedtimes, morning routines etc.

pannetone I am a fan of visual scheduling and social stories. I've found them to really help with DS but DD1 is not so good with them. I struggle more with her TBH

youarewinning Mon 26-Aug-13 14:04:38

I have no advice but agree it's anxiety. My DS has been referred for ASD assessment. He seems to cry constantly on some days and cannot be reasoned with. Examples being the day before his birthday, the day before going away with my mum and dad for 3 days. I'm sure what he's worried about is not knowing what will happen.
At times he looks like a right miserable bugger but he just has an unexpressionable face unless he's feeling extreme emotion.

jellybrain Wed 28-Aug-13 22:12:07

My ds1 is 16 and was diagnosed AS at around 9. Routine and timetables were absolutely the thing that saved his and our sanity. Things are slightly less rigid now he has learnt coping strategies. Once he started secondary his anxiety levels improved vastly.
Social stories were a bit of a none starter, I think he felt quite patronised by them, he would read them and point out the flaws in their logic before promptly binning them.

jellybrain Wed 28-Aug-13 22:23:04

Sorry Sjenner I went off on a tangent there I suppose what I am trying to say is things will get better.
With the trips thing we used to timetable quite rigidly but then over time we added on an either or element. For example if we visited my parents we might go to the beach on either Saturday or Sunday and if we went to the cinema on
Monday it could be either morning or afternoon depending on what was for dinner etc. This was Introduced quite gradually.
Now when we visit I rarely have to be specific at all and obviously as he is older he had more freedom to chose for himself .

pannetone Wed 28-Aug-13 23:00:29

I am hoping things will get better jellybrain, but at the moment they are getting worse!

It has always been tricky going shoe shopping with DD because she has selective mutism as well as the ASD and can't speak to the assistant or even to me in earshot of the assistant. But this holiday when we have tried to get school shoes, we had to give up the first time because DD wouldn't put on her socks and they couldn't fit shoes properly. Second attempt today - having used a social story about shoe shopping. I got the socks on, DD having refused to put them on herself. DD had her feet measured with some protest, but would not let the assistant put the shoes on, and was kicking out. I managed to get both shoes on briefly before DD's vigorous kicking freed one. I got the shoe back on and then had to hold DD up while the assistant tried to check the fit. It was probably the worst, most public tantrum DD has had - but was really just an escalation of how she has been for much of the summer.

The SALT had written DD the social story about 'going shoe shopping' and i'd tried to prepare her with it. Can't decide if it worked or not! DD did have her feet measured and we got a pair of shoes but it was not a smooth experience! In the social story the SALT had written a line 'I will try to put my socks on when mum and dad ask. This will make them happy'. DD promptly said 'I'm not in a hurry to make you happy' which was kind of amusing, but added 'You don't make me happy' which was less comfortable to hear. I suppose from DD's (egocentric) point of view I am the one who is causing her all this anxiety making her go to the shoe shop, to visit relatives etc. Our dental appointment on Friday could be interesting....

jellybrain Thu 29-Aug-13 15:24:38

Oh Pannetone I feel your pain. Definitely been in your shoes, pardon the pun. Ds would insist, without fail that the first pair always fitted perfectly, any suggestion that he should try others met with a less than favourable reaction. The first battle though was getting him to accept that new shoes were needed in the first place grin
Have you tried measuring dd at home and buying on line?

pannetone Thu 29-Aug-13 17:16:18

Strangely enough wink the assistant told us we could always measure her at home and buy online! I was just pretty taken aback how much 'worse' DD has got over being measured for new shoes. Last year it was tricky because she couln't speak/interact with me or the assistant but she didn't kick off (in the literal sense) at all. The curious thing is that it seems that she has become more 'autistic' since her diagnosis in April. (Not that we have told her she has a diagnosis).And it is not just that I am noticing the behaviour - the whole shoe shop noticed her behaviour yesterday! I suppose the reality is that her behaviour is becoming more noticeably outside the norm.

After the shoe shop meltdown yesterday, today DD has refused to join in with anything and been mute. We met friends in the park (though not her particular couple of friends) and she sat on the bench with the mums, clutching me. She wouldn't go swimming and sat with me while the others swam. Then after lunch she watched her brother and friend do crazy golf. Don't think DD uttered a single word and I was only getting the merest shake or nod to try to work out what she wanted from the cafe for lunch. it is horrible how her anxiety stops her doing 'normal' stuff.

mumslife Sat 31-Aug-13 22:31:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jellybrain Mon 02-Sep-13 09:23:04

Hi mumslife - ds has on the whole been much better in secondary as there is more routine I think.
Still hates shoe shopping thoughgrin
If you can live without clarkes etc and 'proper' fitting you could try Brantanno as they are usually quite empty IME and the preferred shoe can be tried on in relative peace plus there is no waiting around for the pair to be found which means a quick get away if you need

mumslife Mon 02-Sep-13 21:17:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Levantine Mon 02-Sep-13 22:19:35

I am so dense sometimes. It is only in reading this thread that it clicked why ds1 who has been pretty easy all summer has started biting and melting down with little reason. School starts on thursday. Doh.

jellybrain Fri 06-Sep-13 19:35:50

Just thought I'd ask did all your dcs manage the start of the new term ok ?

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