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ASD, PDA and aggressive behaviour

(19 Posts)
Deeedeeee Fri 07-Aug-15 14:59:55

Have also posted this in behaviour&development, but then noticed special needs section (new here!)... My son is 7, diagnosed ASD (autistic spectrum disorder). I have done plenty of parenting courses (some autism-specific some not) and safe handling courses. I have lots of strategies to manage behaviour, but the problem is some days nothing seems to work - he is just angry, everything seems to trigger an outburst, he gets aggressive and violent. Other days he is the opposite and can cope with all sorts of things you would not expect an autistic kid to be able to do (like noisy busy environments, spontaneity, adapting to change).
He is verbal and 'high functioning'. He wants to be in complete control all the time; he thinks he should be able to do exactly what he wants all the time (like a 2 year old, he seems unable to think about ather people's feelings). He does not respond well to being told/asked to do anything- on a bad day, even the slightest request can trigger a meltdown.
I have heard of PDA (pathological demand avoidance) does anyone have any experience of this? Or of managing an aggressive autistic child? Any tips or ideas of where I could get more support? ...Or anyone else have days when they don't make it out the house and have to cancel all their plans because they asked their child to clean their teeth?

PolterGoose Fri 07-Aug-15 16:04:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youarekiddingme Fri 07-Aug-15 19:03:15

Yes yes here too.

In fact the past few days DS has been in what I call toddler mode!

I've also used a lot of therapy strategies at home. 5 point scale, dawn heubner books, fiddle toys and have just made him a sensory den under his bed with different lighting, bean bag chair, blankets and fiddle box.

I am also learning to see a good day as a positive rather than a bad one as a negative. But that's more to help me stay sane than him!

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 10:08:37

Thanks...lots for me to look into. Time to get some new books I think. PolterGoose, did you have to get private OT support? This is not something that has ever been suggested to us.
His school/paediatrician/all professionals I've spoken to around here seem to dismiss PDA as 'not something we diagnose'. But the ASD diagnosis on its own doesn't quite fit him somehow (I know they all present differently). Certainly the ASD strategies don't often work (more accurately - they work for a few days then 'wear off').
youarekiddingme- sensory den is something I'm plotting at the moment (we've just moved house, want to make their rooms nice)...been looking at bubble tubes on amazon.
Its just nice to hear from others who have kids who go beyond-tantrum-crazy... I don't think my friends really understand unless they've actually seen him kick off.

PolterGoose Tue 11-Aug-15 10:23:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 10:41:22

Thanks!! I know its seen as part of ASD but all the professionals I've tried to speak to about PDA specifically don't seem to want to acknowledge it as a real thing. I just get told to use the ASD strategies (he's wise to those though, he can spot a strategy a mile away, clever little monkey).

I'm finding it works better if I can get him on-side and sort of convince him to use the strategies on himself. Then he can feel proud of himself, and more in control.

Really know what you mean about opportune moments too!

PolterGoose Tue 11-Aug-15 11:02:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 11-Aug-15 11:17:20

I have a Dd who has Asd and who is demand avoidant! We have developed our own unique parenting style to cope on a day to day basis, it mainly involves reducing her stress levels as much as possible and making as few outright demands as we can!

Its very hard and doesnt fit with traditional parenting so we have had to grow thick skins but its worth it for us to have some relaxed and happy times.

Keep at it and keep coming on here flowers

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 11:38:28

We tick the boxes for anxiety/control/demand and for imaginative role play skills, and he didn't speak til he was nearly 3 (so the language delay means not Aspie, right?). He certainly attempts to be socially manipulative but I wouldn't say he was adept at it...yet! He's very babyish compeared to his peers.

LeChien Tue 11-Aug-15 11:52:07

My 10 yr old has HFA/PDA.
He's going through a phase at the moment (at least I hope it's a phase!) and is extremely controlling and aggressive.
We try to do the things that Polter suggests, and we also have laminated lists of things he has to do (eg. Brush teeth, have his inhaler). Having it written down seems to take the demand out of it, which helps.
We try to reduce stress, but we have 4 dc which doesn't tend to go hand in hand with low stress levels!

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 11:52:50

thanks Ineedmorepatience! I'm beginning to realise that the more traditional parenting advice seems to make things worse, and some days you just have to give them space and leave them to it as much as possible.

Like the idea of reducing stress (mine and his!).

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 12:05:56

Yep LeChien, reducing stress easier said than done. I do find I deal better with managing bahaviour when I'm feeling calm rather than wound up (I know this sounds really obvious!)... the trouble is, being shouted at and hit does tend to wind me up.

We have tried 'what to do' lists which worked like a charm for 3 days, then he ripped them down.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 11-Aug-15 13:08:01

The delay in speech does mean that he wouldnt get an aspergers dx but once children are talking hfa/aspergers and Asd become one in the same so strategies picked from any area would be worth a look at. As Polter mentioned Ross Greene is helpful and is not specific to Asd but to lacking skills to manage behaviour! It takes the blame away and looks at how to solve the issues.

Just wondered, does your Ds know he has Asd? For Dd3 it made a big difference to her behaviour once she knew it was ok to be different.

Good luck flowers

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 14:02:44

He doesn't know yet, I'm planning to attempt that conversation very soon... any tips? I'm getting some books from the library but not sure thats the right way to go about it. Really nervous about telling him, but I think on some level he is aware of being different.

PolterGoose Tue 11-Aug-15 14:09:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Deeedeeee Tue 11-Aug-15 14:40:56

Thanks, I'll try something along those lines...wish me luck! Need to tell him before September because he'll be starting a new school with a special ASD class called an SRB...anyone else have a kid in an SRB? We've been told he was very lucky to get a place (only 2 places came up this year in our county) I just hope they can cope with him.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 11-Aug-15 17:10:24

I had a similar conversation to polter with Dd3, she was 9. We had watched a newsround special called my family and autism (I think) which helped me to explain.

Dd3 does present like aspergers so I bought the book "Inside Aspergers, looking out" for her and explained that even though her actual dx is Asd she might find the book helpful.

She associates with all different terms these days her Paediatrician asked her if she wanted her dx changed to Aspergers but she said no, she uses autism, asd and aspergers depending on who she is talking to.

Good luck, telling Dd3 was very positive for us, she was happy to know why she is different to other girls at school.

PolterGoose Tue 11-Aug-15 17:46:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 11-Aug-15 17:57:13

Yeah grin I was close ish wink Thanks polter!

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