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Difficult behaviour autism

(9 Posts)
cansu Tue 20-Oct-15 20:05:28

This is a strange one. Ds, who is severely autistic, has for some time had an obsession with removing objects, furnishings and putting them in the bin or removing them and hiding in odd places before getting rid of them. He has done this with photos, clocks and even DVD players, small tv's whatever. This has been awful to live with and I have ended up getting rid of most movable things or locking up rooms to prevent him from getting hold of things. He has unfortunately moved onto his sister's room and is slowly but surely removing her toys and books. She is also autistic and can't stop him. I can't lock her room because she needs access to it as she likes to play in there. I am at my wits end frankly. If I attempt to stop him, he will be physical with me and will go into meltdown, screaming, banging on doors, trying to bite me etc. even if I stop him for a short while, he will go back to it, sometimes getting up early or in the middle of the night to get the object he wanted to remove. I do not know what to do anymore. Seeing my daughter's toys being removed is heart breaking and her room is becoming bare. What do I do?

boobybum Tue 20-Oct-15 20:38:42

I feel your pain. We have locks on all upstairs rooms to stop DS having access and eating the contents! Our DDs know how to unlock the doors but unfortunately quite often forget to lock them again which means I end up telling them off and then feeling terrible for doing so.sad

Have you any idea why your DS likes to remove the objects - Is there any pattern to what he removes or does it seem random?

I'm not sure how good is understanding is but could you teach him what things go in the bin and what doesn't?
I'm wondering whether you could maybe write a very simple social story about what things go in bins and then have a picture of a bin and another of a bin with a line through it. You could then make up some cards for him to sort with images of things that go in the bin and things that don't.

I would also create situations where there are appropriate things for him to bin (ie. leave some bits of fluff/paper etc on the floor) and prompt him to bin them and they really reinforce the appropriate behaviour.

If his behaviour is because he sees it as a sort of treasure hunt could you hide some appropriate items and get him to collect them all and then he gets a reward.

In terms of him accessing his sister's room would he understand a sign for him to stay out? It might take a while for him to understand but hopefully it might work. (We have been meaning to start this ourselves but haven't yet got around to it blush.

Good luck.

cansu Tue 20-Oct-15 20:47:07

Thanks. His understanding is v limited tbh. He even throws out things he likes, then goes looking for them again later, expecting them to still be there. I am going to have to lock her room and teach her to lock and unlock it. I was also thinking of Dutch door style where I can lock her door but could still get in if needs be. I feel like we aren't living in a family home anymore. Everywhere is locked up. Doesn't feel right. Am probably feeling v sorry for myself tonight. I think it is an OCD type behaviour. If he can't put something in the bin, he can't settle until he has done it. Will hear him get up v early and grab the item. Posts stuff out of the window if he can't get to the bin. It is just dreadful.

boobybum Tue 20-Oct-15 20:55:26

Oh we've had all sorts out of the window as well!

How about giving him a special box/bin where he can put things? I know it's not really fixing things but it would mean the 'stolen' items aren't covered in proper rubbish.

imip Tue 20-Oct-15 21:24:51

flowers dd is probably HFA PDA (going through diagnosis now) and she is a little like this. I don't really understand why, but when I buy her new clothes (always after consulting her, she doesn't like surprises or presents) I always find them in the bin or stuffed under her bed. I don't get why, I really don't. She'll meltdown when they arrive, try to rip them - I don't know if it's a change her routine or what. A couple of weeks ago I brought her a new (but hideous!) coat that she said she really wanted. It was £50 and I did resent spending that on such a bloody hideous coat! However, she needed a coat (struggled with wearing coats since she was 2 and buy a new coat is always fraught) but with this coat she ended up throwing it in the toilet - a new low. Thankfully it washed and she does wear it now, though often reluctantly.

She will on occasion also steal small toys etc from her dds and throw them in the bin. But she does it with almost every piece of clothing I buy for her.

cansu Tue 20-Oct-15 21:34:52

Thank you. Feel utterly hopeless today. Everything is such a bloody struggle. Am just starting tribunal process for dd which will bloody bankrupt me. Ds's behaviour is so hard to cope with. I know there is no answer really for any of this but I feel somtimes like I can't do it anymore.

boobybum Tue 20-Oct-15 21:49:20

We've got door handles that have a key on the outside (which thankfully DS hasn't worked out how to turn) and they have a little knob on the inside which you can use to lock/unlock the door. They weren't expensive.

It might be worth contacting your local authority to see if they can help. You should be able to get something such as a disabled facilities grant so that you can get a more high tech door locking solution. I think you need a social worker to assess for a DFG but you can self-refer for this (once you find the right department and manage to get hold of someone who has a clue about anything!)

Lostbowie Thu 22-Oct-15 18:31:32

My ds has a key obsession. He cant help hiding them in secret places. He also has a very poor working memory. You can see the problem.

cansu Thu 22-Oct-15 22:35:04

Yes I can. We have also lost several keys. Ds locked our desk and threw away the key. Cue visit from locksmith as passports etc were inside. Shed is now also keyless and inaccessible.

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