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so what happens when ds gets too big to restrain

(14 Posts)
fairgame Mon 29-Dec-14 13:13:27

Took Ds out for a meal with the family yesterday and he had a huge meltdown in the restaurant. I managed to get him to a quiet place but had to restrain him for a good 15 minutes as he was trying to trash the place. The problem is that he is 10 and although he is slim he is very strong. I'm only 5'4 and 8 stone wet through and found it really hard to hold him yesterday.
So what do I do when I can no longer restrain him because he is too strong? I can't let him carry on and wreck his surroundings so is that the point where I have to stop going out?
I don't know what was up with him yesterday he had been to the place before with no problems, I think he just wanted to be at home rather than there being an actual trigger.

OneInEight Mon 29-Dec-14 13:40:15

This really worries us as the ds's are now 12 and my height. At the end of the day all you can really do is call the police if they are in danger of causing serious physical harm. We are trying all we can to teach them ways to destress and both at the moment will "flee" rather than "fight" - goodness knows what people made of ds1 running off in the dark on Christmas Eve in short sleeves - but he did make it safely back home. Gives us a few anxious moments but is the lesser of the two evils

fairgame Mon 29-Dec-14 14:11:40

See DS does a bit of both. Sometimes he runs away and hides and he is very good at hiding, we have had the police out in the past due to not being able to find him. He has no stranger danger or road safety awareness and although he is verbally articulate and quite bright he has zero social skills so could easily wander into the wrong hands.
The kicking off in public is the biggest worry though because he lashes out at people around him including the general public. He tried to hit a woman walking past yesterday and now that he is 10 if he does hit someone he could potentially be charged with assault i guess. My mum is a know it all social worker and tried to help but she ended up getting kicked in the shin. Even my big burly brother has had a good slap when DS has exploded.
It's not often that he has a big meltdown in public anymore but i feel totally helpless when he does.

Andanotherthing123 Wed 31-Dec-14 15:02:35

We're 5 years behind you and already struggling to contain ds explosive anger in public. At the moment we're hardly taking him out because the Christmas season has caused him to totally unravel in epic proportions. A trip out yesterday saw him go for a lady with a zimmer frame ffs.

During the festive period my son is obsessed with being at home, I think he's trying to keep some control over his world. Sounds like our son might be feeling the same? I ignored ds request recently to 'go home' and five minutes later he exploded. I'm hoping things might get easier once he's back at school and back in his normal routine.

GaryBaldy Wed 31-Dec-14 15:06:49

DS is a strapping 6 foot plus and for many years due to disability I have been unable to restrain him.

We just second guess most of the time to try and plan ahead to manage his anxiety and get the hell out of anywhere at the first sign of a problem. Often we just decide that one of us should go and the other stay home with him if it will be too much or we don't go at all.

People who know him think he is fine, what they don't see are all the times that we don't go somewhere or do something because of his needs.

SilkStalkings Sat 03-Jan-15 16:51:00

Look up Pathological Demand Avoidance - parenting techniques for that condition will help. The trick is to stop trying to be a normal parent/family, to constantly observe their anxiety levels for signs of impending eruption and intercept and derail before it gets to that. Once you let go of the idea of a nice family meal (for example) and trying to make the child be normal in a difficult situation and give yourself permission to spend it focusing on the child's stress levels, it's quite liberating.
Once the shutters have gone down there is no communicating with the child/person so trying to make them learn a lesson or sticking to promises/threats you made in public are pointless and will just aggravate the meltdown. You have to put your own feelings to one side because you are an adult and (probably) NT and can handle more than they can. Priority should be on the child's stress - see the meltdown as panic attack - and your talking generally just adds extra work to their beleagured brains they don't need.

Derailing tactics: Don't be afraid to empower them in some way - let them choose things, let them sit a distance away if they want (they will get bored and come back), use a handheld/phone game when needed, whatever you do IGNORE the faces/voices of those who don't understand.
Mid-meltdown tactics: do something totally out of the blue like blow a raspberry, pull out an emergency Chupa Chup from your handbag and start sucking it. If you must use words try a silly poem or just repeat a simple sympathetic mantra like "you WILL feel better soon." Being sympathetic is not being a doormat or rewarding bad behaviour - the child is in crisis and helping them out of it is the most useful thing you can do.
Discuss the event another day when everybody's calm - ask the child for suggestions for next time. Ask them to suggest a code word that you could say in a meltdown to try and cut through their brainfog. Think Incredible Hulk - you don't argue with him but you can distract him until the adrenalin levels drop enough for him to turn back into Bruce Banner.

fairgame Sat 03-Jan-15 16:59:37

I've been there done all that. There is no way of getting DS to come out of a meltdown until his is ready.
We haven't been a 'normal' family for the past 7 years so i am well over that.
I am well tuned into my DS and can normally see a meltdown coming but this time it came out of the blue.
My son goes to a indie ss for autism. The school actually specialises in ASD and PDA and he even has meltdowns there as well which goes to show how unpredictable he can be.
PDA parenting tactics do not and will not work with DS (confirmed by professionals) so i stick with ASD tactics that i have been given. They clearly work as his meltdowns are now occasional rather than daily like they used to be.
I just need to know how the hell i can physically restrain him if he does have meltdown when we're out.

Upandatem Sat 03-Jan-15 18:25:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Upandatem Sat 03-Jan-15 18:28:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

senvet Sat 03-Jan-15 19:45:18

What do your experts recommend? They may have a menu of options that would be worth trying to help your DS develop self regulation - either short or long term.

Actually I am just looking at a report by Miri Horovitz Cohen from OT London about techniques for maintaining a calm alert state. miri@otlondon.com

She looks at all the different sensory systems in each child and assesses which are oversensitive and which are under-responsive. You come out knowing that we have many more than 5 senses!

On the bright side, my relatives who were an ASD bolter and ASD melt-downer are now employed, one married and definitely neither bolting or melting down. Getting through puberty might have done it, but they put it down to help at their special school.

reader108 Sat 03-Jan-15 20:32:26

We've been trying a calm scale working well although LOUD. Sat at a pantomime last night 5 5 5 5 building towards total destruction. Had to do 8x tables forward then backwards for nearly 4 minutes! Then 2 2 2 2 2 yelled as loudly as the earlier 5's then great really enjoyed himself!!!He can't explain what gets him there, however using it well to bring him back down
Year ago would have been restrained removed kicked and punched

lorrie9812 Sat 03-Jan-15 21:46:29

im in same sort of situation just now with my 7 year old who looks like he is 10. We are going through the process of possibly getting him put on medication as his meltdowns are out of control. Strategies are bullshit! Been there and done that for last 7years. my child is becoming violent aswell. I get slapped in the face unexepectldly and he is now unpredictable. What u supposed to do with strategies in middle of marks and spencers?

reader108 Sat 03-Jan-15 22:21:17

We use them where ever when ever needed don't care about looks and mutterings. Have become very thick skinned! Would rather be counting. x's or reciting football players then trapped at home, or having to restrain him. He's 9 but looks 12.

Must admit my Dd leaves very quickly she's 11 he is SO embarrassing!

SilkStalkings Sat 03-Jan-15 23:19:40

Fair enough Fairgame, I just mentioned PDA as lots of people haven't heard of it and the tactics are so out there many wouldn't think of trying them. It changed our lives anyway and DS(6) is pretty much just a regular autistic kid now (touch woodgrin.)

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