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Feel like giving up - No judging please

(26 Posts)
adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 14:55:59


My son has issues with his severe delay in speech. Says about 15 words, but says 4 words consistantly. His four by the way.

He is having his second reassessment for autism, which he would most probably get a diagnosis anyway.

Anyway. I'm getting tired of my son's behaviour. He has no obsessions or routine issues, so his problem does not come from that.

But I feel that as he is getting older and hasn't got a lot of words, his behaviours is getting worse and he seems like he is regressing. He uses a lot of gestures and mime to aide his severe langauge delay. But he has quite bad tantrums when he does not get what he wants (i.e. junk food, toys etc). I do understad to an extent and I am sympatheitc to the fact that he is very frustarted as he cannot say a lot of words. But I am exhausted. He would cry cry cry cry cry and his cries are very loud, to the point where people think I must be doing something to him.

I take him to naughy corner, when he misbehaves and he does understand the consequences of his actions and the naught corner. As every time he makes a big scene in public, pulling my hair (sigh) crying, jumping when his angry. As soon as we get home, he immiediantly stops and tries to hug me or pulls back and won't come upstairs to our flat as he knows he will be going naughty corner. Also, when strangers tell him in a nice way to stop crying he immiediantly stops.

Naughty corner works, when I stick to it. But as soon as he is about to do something naughty, he would look at me and then carefully drop "accidently" a book on the floor. I don't do anything and then again I am back to square one. I know I should stick to naughty corners all the time, but as his crying is sooooooo loud! and he throws quite big tantrums, I do not want the neighbours to think that I must be some bad mum or call the police on me.

It's even to the point that our relationship is not the same anymore as I am frequently putting him in naughty corner and he does not like that. We would always play together, he would try to get my attention 500 times a day. But now he is very very close to his Grandmother. I do not want my son to dislike me. But then again, I do not want him to get out of hand.

Has anyone else been through the same? Any tips?


lougle Fri 07-Mar-14 15:07:49

I'm on my way out, but marking my place. I've been there.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure the naughty corner is your friend in this situation. I'll say more a bit later.

You're doing a great job. It's just not an easy one.

ouryve Fri 07-Mar-14 16:25:12

If he does have ASD, then much of his behaviour will be anxiety related. The naughty corner will just add to that IYSWIM.

Yes, it did work to calm DS1 and get him out of a rut, at that age, but we felt it inappropriate to go for the minute per year rule. It got to a stage when it no longer broke a behaviour cycle and began to cause other problems. We stopped it at that point. He had become a little easier to re-direct at that point, anyhow.

Rather than punishing him when he exhibits behaviours that are an expression of distress, you need to help him to behave in a less violent manner eg let's not hit, when angry, but have a good stomp, instead. You also need to keep a diary of when these things happen, so you can work out a trigger eg noisy shops, when he's tired or hungry, or when his routine is changed, or he needs to stop doing something (transitioning). Then you can work on either helping him to cope with these situations (eg by having a visual timetable or using ear defenders) or self soothe (find a quiet place or squeeze a stress ball)

You'll survive cakebrewflowers

PolterGoose Fri 07-Mar-14 16:28:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Mar-14 17:05:16

No judging on this board, we have all been through tough times with our kids smile

You need a communication system in place, have you heard of PECS? If not have a google, it is a system which uses picture/symbols which the child can exchange for things that he wants/needs.

Even used in the most simple form it can aid communication almost instantly eg, child gives you the symbol/picture for biscuit, you give the child a biscuit!!

adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 18:15:31

Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies.

My son can communicate his needs clearly. But when we are out shopping and he wants to buy a sweet and I say no. He starts to cry.. or when he wants to buy a toy at a shop and I say no..he starts to cry. Things like that.

But he can tell me what he wants or is interested in. But when it comes to fizzy drinks, toys, junk food and I say that he cannot have it. Then the tantrums begin.

@ouvyre.... I didn't think about this.. maybe I should research.. how would it be anxiety related?

adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 18:16:27

I just find it odd that he does this to me. But not to his dad or other people.

lougle Fri 07-Mar-14 18:23:00

Ok, I'm back.

I used the 'step' for DD2 because she was getting cross to the point that she would hit her sisters and as ouryve says, it broke that cycle. Now that she's a bit older (6.8) she responds better to being asked to go and calm down in her room, because she's realising that she's stressed/angry.

I use the 'step' for DD3 (4.11) occasionally but find that the battle becomes about the step, rather than about the behaviour that prompted it.

DD1 has never responded well to 'the step'.

I think in these situations, we think we need to be seen to be in control and a 'good' parent, by having a consequence to an action. That can sometimes make us go a bit overboard with the 'consequences' and lose sight of the behaviour.

Coming home from wherever you've been, then going to the naughty corner is actually 2 consequences of his one action. By that point, I doubt he's connecting the two. He knows you're cross, but he probably won't link the corner with his behaviour and even if he did, it probably won't change it.

"As every time he makes a big scene in public, pulling my hair (sigh) crying, jumping when his angry."

Pulling your hair is not acceptable. He's doing it to get your reaction, though. So, you can minimise that by wearing it up if you've got long hair, or simply making sure you're aware of where he is in relation to you, so that he can't get into the 'strike zone'.

Crying and jumping are just communication tools, and if you think about it, he doesn't have words to use, does he? I mean that with no judgement, it can be soul destroying (DD3 is a screamer), but he's using the only tool he has to tell you how upset he is. Rationally, you know that you're being reasonable, but to him anything you say no to is unreasonable of you.

Would he respond to rewards and motivators? Could you have an alternative snack ready so that when he demands something, you have something yummy (but acceptable to you) ready?

PolterGoose Fri 07-Mar-14 18:23:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lougle Fri 07-Mar-14 18:23:46

Re. the doing it to you - you're his Mum! He trusts you more than anyone in the world. We always get the worst behaviour.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Mar-14 18:45:02

Its that unconditional love thing that makes them show all their worst behaviours to their mums.

Whatever he does to you you will keep coming back for more because you are his mum and thats what mums do!!

I know that doesnt make it any easier but at least you know why smile

adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 18:49:01

Hi Lougle

Thanks so much and @ Polter Goose.

The reward/ treats would definitely work. But as his grandma gives him treats like it's.... just every day food..he probably would not see it as a special treat. Though, if I can persuade his Grandma to lay off the treats ( as I have told her many times) so his hardly getting any treats... he would be more appreciated when he gets them.

ouryve Fri 07-Mar-14 18:59:57

This is quite a good explanation, adrianna

We still have to discuss an agenda with our 10yo when we go shopping, even though he's obviously older and more mature than your DS and is verbal. He fixates on certain things (usually coin related) and something as simple as a charity bucket at a checkout can be a flash point. We got through it, last time by promising him that, if he left the buckets alone, I would give him a coin to put in one. He was still twitchy around them, but the reassurance that he'd get to handle a new coin and put it in one helped him to manage his urges.

ouryve Fri 07-Mar-14 19:01:16

Treats don't have to be food, btw. It's often better if they're not for a child with a tricky relationship with food.

adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 19:06:50

Hi Ourye

I looked at your link. I'm still trying to get my head around me saying "no" is an anxiety thing???

ouryve Fri 07-Mar-14 19:21:40

Of course, you're right to say no, if it's inappropriate for him to have the toy or snack. The problem is that it feels very final. If he doesn't have it now, he may never have it - and that's where the anxiety lies. This is why planning is so important - and why recording triggers is important. Once you can anticipate that if you go into Tesco, he'll want to look at the toys and will ultimately demand a particular piece of plastic tat, but if you go to ASDA, he'll scream the place down if you don't leave with a 10 pack of doughnuts you can work with him to give him a token every time he gets around Tesco, where mum will buy just food and household stuff, and holds it all together. Or you'll go to ASDA, but you will only buy a 4 pack of doughnuts, which are for after lunch.

PolterGoose Fri 07-Mar-14 19:29:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 19:40:43


Now I understand grin. I thought he was like that because he doesn't have the words to persuade me. For example, if my son was saying words appropriate for his age group plus the conversational skills.. I'm able to lie to child: Mum can I have the sweet.. Mum: No,not today.... Child: Please can I have a sweet, please, please, please... Mum: We can buy the sweet next time.

But I guess it could be an anxiety thing. I learnt something new today smile

lougle Fri 07-Mar-14 19:47:28

It could be an anxiety thing. It could also just be a four year old 'but I really really want it' thing - DD3 is NT and 4. She will scream and shout if she doesn't get what she wants. The difference is that she can reason (better than many 4 year olds, tbh) and I say to her 'I will never give you what you want when you scream for it, because screaming is unacceptable.'

But for your DS, screaming is all he's got, isn't it? He can't say 'please please, please....' or 'oh but I really want it...' etc. So he is more likely to scream/yell when he doesn't get his way.

The difficulty you've got is that if you tell him off for using his only voice, then you're shutting him down. So you need to be even more clever in making the more appropriate behaviours motivating to him. They are motivating when they get him what he wants more often than the screaming.

adrianna1 Fri 07-Mar-14 19:59:15

@Lougle. Yes you are right. Plus again I do not want him to shut down and in some way I am glad he is using other ways to tell me that his angry..rather than not showing me other ways that he is upset.

I'll use every one of these tools , that everypne has mentioned, to help me with my son.

Thanks everyone for the advice!! I really appreciate it!! smile

ouryve Fri 07-Mar-14 20:00:25

Even if his receptive language is way ahead of his expressive language, so he had an idea what you meant by "maybe next time" he's unable to imagine when next time is and unable to ask for clarification - it might be this afternoon, or it might not be for an eternity. Again, it's a big unknown.

Internet shopping is a marvellous invention btw wink

Kattyr Sat 08-Mar-14 08:54:14

my son(5) has good speech but has a range of other complex needs. even though there are no obvious routine issues he may in a state of heightened anxiety due to his communication difficulties. using visual aids may help to ease his anxiety. we always take a now next and later board when we go out so he can see if he follows it his treat will come. at home he has a behavior chart with happy and sad faces, morning, afternoon and evening routine. and a warning chart with 1st 2nd and 3rd warning with velcro faces so he can see when he is on a warning before have his time out. my son can read, speak really well but in other areas he is really behind, especially with his behaviour. he understands the concept of these things and even though it doesn't fix his difficulties it definitly lessens his anxieties. i also have a fan dial with different feelings pictures on and it helps him when he loses it, as he can't listen to reason when hes in that state. hope there are a few little ideas things will get better with time and its a case of trial and error we are constantly learning a parents, especially with children who have a struggle in life. hope things get better you're doing the best you can smile

OneStepForwardTwoBack Sat 08-Mar-14 10:30:10

Hi, very quick as I am going out but would recommend reading up on ASD and getting to grips with where the behaviours are coming from and why. This board is a great help as you've already found out. My son is 6 now, he was diagnosed at age 5, but I can honestly say 4 was the worst age and things have improved a lot. Plus we are on the other side of getting a diagnosis, statement etc so his difficulties are acknowledged and understood by others as well as us. I think it's more obvious that he has ASD as well, whereas at 4 there was still an element of doubt and he looked very naughty and difficult to others (and us!) I think giving you the hardest time is a backhanded compliment, he can really be himself with you and let it hang out! Keep reminding yourself of this all the time because I think to others it can look like it's you and I'm sure at some stage someone will utter that lovely line that ASD mums hear a lot, "Oh - he's fine with me". !! Good luck.

sammythemummy Sat 08-Mar-14 10:54:13

I sympathise with you op flowers

I pretty much do what Polter said, so rewarding her for sitting/walking/behaving nicely then she gets a little toy from the pound shop. My dd like your son craves for chocolate and lollipops so I try to avoid this by getting her a cheap toy which can busy herself with.

The later approach doesn't work well with her because she will keep asking "canI have it now?"

Like lougle has said, I think they feel comfortable with us as opposed to grandparents or dad, my husband can tell her no you're having it tomorrow and she just says ok dad... And that's that

Redoubtable Sat 08-Mar-14 12:46:48

No judging here.

It is one of the great challenges of parenting a child with ASD- the realisation that your box of parenting skills has to be chucked. And you have to start to learn a whole new way of being.
At the same time, their behaviour brings out the type of person who sighs, tuts and rolls their eyes when your DC is letting loose in public.

But as I heard recently 'you only hear the boos from the cheap seats' i.e. the ones judging have the least ideas of what you are experiencing and the silent majority are wishing you well.

Its also exhausting to be the 'safe' parent- the one that they are happy to meltdown with, the one they are happy to hurt, the one they are most frustrated with.
Dont give up. Keep posting. Good luck.

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