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Advice please - DS (possible ASD) suddenly having awful tantrums & being violent

(9 Posts)
Mummy23Monkeys Fri 22-Aug-14 20:00:29

Hi, I wonder if you wonderful people could give me some advice please.

DS1 is 5 (nearly 6) and has possible ASD, we haven't yet started any referral process as although he has a lot of 'quirks' they were not causing any problems and he is doing well so far at school.

(If anyone remembers my previous posts I have concerns about DD and DS1 but DD is having a lot of problems at school so we are currently in the referral process for her first)

DS1 was a very easy baby and very laid back never had toddler tantrums etc BUT over the last few months and more so over the summer holidays we are having some major behavioural issues with him.

He has begun having massive tantrums if he doesn't like what we are doing or something doesn't happen instantly, he lashes out at DD and DS2 (2 years old) kicking, head butting, throwing things. He also has meltdowns and gets so upset he can't stop crying and howling. This is happening in the home but also when out.

it happened today in Clarks when we went shopping for new school shoes, he didn't like any of the styles I was showing him so he was stamping his feet and getting very angry about it! He then had a complete meltdown and howled all the way home in the car until DH suggested he chill out when we get home and watch his favourite Muppet Movie (which he has watched a million times!) he then calmed down and sang muppet songs the rest of the way home.

This is such a change in behaviour, we have never had any behaviour problems at all until just recently and we are struggling to find ways to deal with it. We have tried the 'naughty step' but that just makes him worse he screams and shouts while sat there if we can get him to sit there at all. Sometimes he gets so exhausted by it he ends up in his bedroom (through his own choice) I think to just get himself away!

Sorry this has turned into quite a long post but if you can suggest anything at all that may help it would be very much appreciated.

PolterGoose Fri 22-Aug-14 20:19:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 22-Aug-14 21:04:07

these are just a few things we have picked up along the way so might be worth trying.

he is still very young so you need to decide for him when he needs time out. I don't mean time out as in naughty step but time out away from people for a short amount of time to avoid things escalating and therefore him needing to be punished.

you need to explain everything to him in advance, all possible eventualities so for example shoe shopping you would start by telling him in the morning you would be going shoe shopping, that his feet MIGHT or MIGHT NOT have grown so he MIGHT or MIGHT NOT need new shoes. that they MIGHT or MIGHT NOT have his size, that they MIGHT or MIGHT NOT be a style he likes as it has to be the ones that fit his feet best so that he is comfortable and able to run around and play in them. If all this is done before you even go and then you remind him of it then it is possible he might be more used to the idea that it could possibly not quite go how he is imagining it will.

Whether he is playing up because he is possibly ASD or because he is 5 is unknown, he could be reacting to the thought of going back to school, being worried about it etc even if he says he isn't so it could be worth talking about it and how the new classroom/teacher/classmates might be exciting even if he claims he is fine. he could be reacting to his sister and what is going on with her, he could just be being a 5 year old (my saintly DD2 has morphed into a right little toad this holiday with high pitched screaming when she isn't getting her own way, hitting her older sister etc - she didn't have tantrums when she was younger so it has really taken me by surprise, part of it is just age I think and part of it is probably a reaction to the attention her sister has been getting because she has been having so many tests done)

If you have concerns then I would seriously start the referral process for him now too. It is such a long process and whilst they often prefer to wait a bit later to diagnose there is nothing to be lost by starting it now. It may reassure him that you are trying to get him help as well. DD1 has problems, not ASD but quite probably dyspraxia. just me reassuring her that we are TRYING to get her help has changed how she is behaving, she was much more stressed but when I reassure her we will do everything we can to help her she calms and she is now talking to us about what is going on much more than she was before.

Mummy23Monkeys Fri 22-Aug-14 22:32:45

PolterGoose thank you for the link I will have a good read through that thread for ideas. Sorry you had a tough day too thanks

nonicknameseemsavailable (love the name) I know some of this behaviour could just be his age it just seems so unusual for him! Sorry you are having problems with your DD over the holidays too. Thanks for the tips and suggestions definately worth a try. As for starting the referral process for him I didn't know if it would be too much for us dealing with 2 children at the same time but I see your thoughts that it would maybe help him (there is definately things that make me think ASD so it needs looking into)

Thank you so much for your replies and good to know I'm not only one going through something like this

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 23-Aug-14 19:07:17

yes I can imagine how stressful it would be to have 2 going through the referral process at the same time, I find it quite all consuming dealing with one of them but perhaps try to look at it that you will get answers in less time for both of them rather than spend a year or more going through it with one to then have another year or so going through it with the other?

hard though x

Mummy23Monkeys Sat 23-Aug-14 23:14:31

I know that's my concern I really don't know if we could cope with the process of 2 children being assessed at the same time!

I have been reading the other thread that was linked for me and I do wonder if its just getting worse because its the holidays and no routine, everywhere very busy etc which he doesn't like he is most happy in his own space doing his own thing. (Although this has been happening for the last few months its definately been worse over the holidays)

I think I'm going to see how it continues when back at school and if it doesn't improve we will bite the bullet and start the process for DS1 aswell.

I'm hoping it doesn't come out at school as he is usually very well behaved at school and is doing really well which is why I delayed taking action in the first place.

Thanks again, its helpful just to put this down in writing and get someone else's view!

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 24-Aug-14 00:00:42

good luck

DD1's breakdowns every evening after school stopped once we discovered she had a language problem she was hiding very well. She was so stressed covering up for that and her anxiety at school (and I think dyspraxia) that she just couldn't cope so she would come out and explode which was awful but she has calmed down now. you could ask at the library if they have any of the Brian Moses books, think that is his name, he does a load of books for children (originally written for autistic children I believe) to encourage them to talk about their feelings. As he is so young he is probably struggling to tell you what it is that is bothering him, might help ease some of the stress on you all. I bought copies of some of them off Amazon. they would no doubt be useful for your daughter too.

MeirAiaNeoAlibi Sun 24-Aug-14 10:09:08

Re shoes- when I had similar problems with dc1 I moaned to a colleague, who said her dad used to get them all (big family) to stand on newspaper while he drew round their feet. 'There were no SEN back then, but we were wild countryside kids- no way was he going shoe shopping with us'

Off he went to the shoe shop, and came back with the shoes that the footprints matched best. Always got the same style to save arguments wink. A wander round the house, a prod of the toe end, and a brief solo. return trip if they needed changing.

So, I took the advice & for 3 years we didn't do shoe shops. It was great grin

Mummy23Monkeys Sun 24-Aug-14 17:11:07

nonicknameseemsavailable I love the suggestion of the Brian Moses books and have ordered some at my local library. It would be great if I could find out what was worrying or bothering him but he doesn't really talk about how he feels. Even when I ask about his day at school its usually just "it was fine" or "I can't remember" he isn't big on talking! Like your DD I also suspect Dyspraxia as he is very clumsy, trips/bumps into things, can't ride a bike (even with stabilisers) , and can't ever keep still!!

MierAiaNeoAlibi I love your way of getting shoes fitted grin I might have to resort to that if things get worse!!!

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