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WWYD- If your child hits you in public?!!(18 Posts)
Just realised that the SN children board has more traffic. Sorry for the duplicate threads.
DS, just turned six, has severe verbal dyspraxia, so he sounds very babyish when speaking.
Since DS was diagnosed with this disorder, around 3 years of age, I would of hoped that with speech therapy and as he grew older, his frustrations would ease a bit. It hasn't, if I must say, he has gotten worse. He would frequently hit, bite, scream, shout and pull my hair when frustrated and does this even more so when in public. I feel like I have no control over him.
It's bad enough when strangers literally gawp at him because when he talks it sounds like gobbledygook. But every time he hits me, I can feel the stares. I feel like I'm being constantly judged.
When he does hit me, I literally have to restrain myself from shouting at him, I always tell him a firm "No" and "No hitting". But this doesn't seem to work.
I'm even scared to take him out somewhere, incase I tell him not to do something and he starts hitting me.
I feel like I'm a prisoner.
I really want to nip this behaviour in the bud, incase he, God forbids, starts hitting other kids at his school.
It's this behaviour "normal" for a child with DS difficulties. I wonder if I should get him assessed for ASD again.
Does this mostly happen when you are out?
It sounds like he may be overwhelmed!
It happens when I tell him off, or tell him not to do something.
Agree with Ineed, if it's happening a lot you need to explore what the trigger is. My ds would be a whirling ball of rage out shopping on an even slightly busy day, so we would only do town first thing and with lots of planning.
In terms of dealing with it, I might say a loud 'ouch' but I don't shout or lose my temper, I've learnt that if it gets to that stage I've failed as I've missed the signs of anxiety and should have acted sooner.
You might want to think about your own feelings around this, if you're finding his disability embarrassing perhaps that affects how you respond, you're probably already tense which affects how you respond. I found that once I stopped caring what anyone else thought I got a lot better at doing what ds needed, rather than trying to 'perform good parenting' which inevitably failed to actually solve the problem.
Have you tried not telling him off? Using positive instructions instead of negative can be much better.
I would recommend reading the book The Explosive child, the author explains very early in the book that the vast majority of children do not want to behave badly! They are lacking the skills to cope so they react in a way that many adults see as inappropriate.
Parenting is the hardest job in the world, parenting a child with special needs can be even harder at times.
Your ds needs you to understand that there are things he isnt able to deal with at this time but he doesnt have the communication skills to do it.
All behaviour is communication!
Thanks PolterGoose you are right, I think it's me caring what other's think which makes me more tense. When I wasn't telling him off and using more positive language, that did seem to help. But most of the time, I let go and revert back to my old ways .
OK, so every time before you go out, you build in time to give him a pep talk and do the same for yourself too
Keep trips short, predictable and with minimal challenge for a bit and see how you go, be prepared to turn around and go home if either of you are struggling. Make it so every trip is a success and it will get easier
How do you deal with the violence when you AREN'T in public.
I usually put him in time out, which calms him down.
So he gets upset, he hits you, to cope with this you send him to time out, he calms down?
To me this doesn't address anything, it simply is a coping mechanism. What you need is to understand why he gets to hitting point and then either stop the stimulus or change the resulting behaviour.
I was thinking about the time out thing and wondered!
Does he calm down because the time out area is quiet, low stimulus and calm?
Maybe time out works for you not for the traditional reasons but because you are giving him what he needs in order to be calm.
No great advice from me but you have my sympathy! My dd is much younger but i am starting to get the stares and the look of 'if that were my child I wouldn't allow that' when she hits and bites me. She does it to other kids too which is mortifying. I try to remember she's frustrated and has no other way, and hug it out. I tend to have a lot less patience for it when I'm being loudly judged though!!
Reading back it sounds like I am not sympathetic. I really do feel for you both. For me it helps to really step back from ANY behaviour and think about what causes it and why that outcome is working (chosen). It's the only thing that has EVER worked for us.
To be honest my son lashes out a lot when weve been out, i just carry on regardles xxx
Agree with starting looking for triggers.
Things to look for
Language failures: where usually you would resolve a problem with language but DS cant. So "I don't like that" "I can't do that" "please can I have that toy" " don't take my toy" " please can I pass" "can I have a turn."
Sensory issues: too noisy (ear defenders) too bright (sunglasses) too much sensory information (hood DS had a blanket when younger), worried someone might touch me (a friend had used a birdcage umbrella for this one, it creates a physical barrier around the child to stop accidental bumps)
Social demards: I don't understand what the other children are doing, I don't understand why that child is crying, that child is annoying me, I don't want you talking to me
Time outs lowers the social demard. Nobody interacts with you on time out. Just a thought. In your case whenever i was out and before it was necessary I would be looking for a quiet corner we can beeline too when it became too much.
We DS was young I found Makaton was a godsend. Not least because it signalled to others around you that DS was a little different and may need their patience. Also because signing "what do you want" to DS gave him something to focus on visually and eventually helped him to understand I was trying to communicate with him.
I do think there may be triggers and with a younger SEN child this might be much easier to get to grips with. Experts don't help tbh. Over the years I have tried to get help with regards to discipline from various professionals, but nothing was forthcoming because it took so long to get him a statement of SEN. He got no help till he was 9. Now he is 12, bigger than me and uncontrollable. He has pushed me on some stairs in a museum/gallery. I was taking hm out for some 1:1 and he got fed up walking (he has to walk obviously). Not much triggers his anger and frustration. We have to walk on eggshells around him. He wakes up in a bad mood. He has a very low IQ which means that reasoning out is difficult. Our other son never misbehaves and sadly gets the brunt of his older brother's behavioural problems. Sometimes I think some children just have it wired into them to be like this. The only advice I've been given so far is a reward chart (well he forgets about the reward because he has memory problems) and visual schedules, which because he was late being statemented after his diagnosis meant that we never had them at home till he was older. If you can get a handle on it now then it will save you problems down the road. And make sure that everyone sings from the same hymm sheet. I do wish I'd done some courses. I'm booked onto some now all going well with a local autism charity, but I was never offered the right course. Just ones that were more to do with kids of toddler age.
Anyway, it is truly awful when your kid shoves and hits you. Not to forget that he has also been sexually inappropriate towards me and his brother. I'm dreading what will happen when he gets more sexually aware. He has all our focus and attention all the time and the younger one doesn't get a look in. He has his own special needs to do with his bowel condition. A lot of these problems may stem from having to deal with both kids who had their own respective special needs. The youngest spent a lot of time in hospital, had twice daily bowel washouts, operations etc. You'd think that social services would be helping us a bit with this, but not much yet. We are going to get a night's overnight respite a month all going well. Maybe girls might be a bit easier in the long run? I guess it depends on many factors what the outcomes are with SEN kids.
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