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Unusual behaviours

(22 Posts)
Blossom4538 Mon 02-May-16 21:04:12

Our Daughter, almost 5 has anxiety, selective mutism and poss sensory problems. She will be assessed for ASD later this year.

Just wondering, do any of your children with ASD, PDA or OCD display any of these behaviours.

We are having difficulties when our little one has to get ready, for anything, whether it be to go out at the weekend or school. The whole bathroom, getting dressed process is long and painful - she gets distracted, is slow, has tantrums, makes mess, gets aggressive at times.

Also, clothes are a pain! She would happily be naked or just in her underwear half the time. She has always been wary of zips and now has decided she won't wear any of her new spring/summer dresses as they have buttons on the back, apparently she now strongly dislikes buttons!!

About 3 years ago, I caught her chin in a coat zip and she has been funny about them ever since!! She also seems uncomfortable with the noise sometimes.

She reacts strangely to seeing my belly button...

She now wants to wash her hands for ages, with sooo much soap until they are "really, really clean". She doesn't want to do it frequently but seems quite obsessive or sensory when doing so.

She seems to play up and poss struggle with transitions a little.

She's stroppy, pedantic and aggressive to us, despite us using the usual strategies for disciplining aggressive behaviour, since
She turned 18 months. Doesn't seem to be teaching her not to behave like it. Putting in her room for 5 mins does seem to calm and diffuse but she doesn't learn not to do it again!

She is always touching her genitals, bottom, snotty nose - is this linked to sensory issues?

She sounds delightful lol!!! Love her to pieces but so tired. Is some of this just typical 4 year old behaviour?

I worry about her tiptoe walking /walking on balls of feet too.

She won't interact with her baby cousin.

She makes occasional sharp, short throat clearing noise. Was constant for a while but has calmed. Notice it when she is a little excited.

She will also act differently as soon as she spots someone familiar to her. She will change facial expression, look physically different/awkward.

She avoids eye contact - this can also be a trait of her selective mutism. Some traits are similar to ASD, hence we are confused!!

Any of your little ones exhibit these behaviours?


Blossom4538 Mon 02-May-16 21:09:23

Also, last week, after arriving home and playing outsidewith a friend who lives opposite, she came in and ran out the back door straight away and randomly threw soil all over back windows and door! It was like an urge. Never done it before.

Then at the weekend, she came home, urgently ran into the kitchen and grabbed the foil, trying to wrap it around herself - again never done this before?!!

Blossom4538 Tue 03-May-16 13:30:50

Anyones little ones display similar behaviours?

zzzzz Tue 03-May-16 14:15:30

Yes they all could be displayed by a typical 4 year old, but since you don't feel yours is that really doesn't matter. What is it that is concerning you?

zzzzz Tue 03-May-16 14:16:36

What are "the usual strategies for disciplining aggressive behaviour"?

PolterGoose Tue 03-May-16 18:57:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blossom4538 Fri 06-May-16 09:36:15

Originally, we tried emphasise that we have kind gentle hands/feet. Not acceptable behaviours. She now loses a toy and can have it back when behaving nicely and she does go in her room when really out of control. It does seem to calm and diffuse the situation. We always talk about how that behaviour is not nice and makes others feel sad. She also is rewarded for good behaviour and we always praise her good behaviour. I guess I just feel that perhaps she is not ASD, I don't know. Sometimes I feel she may be, poss Aspergers. However, selective mutism and ASD have very similar traits. They keep on referring to regression. I'm not sure whether she has really regressed. She doesn't have a lot of interest in using cutlery at times and loves using hands or just fork occasionally - wonder if this is partly sensory though. She does seem younger and has more extreme behaviour/emotions than her friends. It was just a vent really. It's been a stressful few years.

zzzzz Fri 06-May-16 09:49:40

Aspergers is an ASD. The only difference between traditional diagnosis of Aspergers and Autism, is that children with Aspergers have normal or precocious language acquisition and autistic children have delayed language (though can catch up and be indistinguishable later on). Now we describe both sets of children/adults as having ASD as they are the same population.

"Gentle hands" would be better said as "no hitting" for most children with ASD. It's not that they can't understand it's just that it makes it more work and this adds stress. Rather than seeing being sent to your room as a punishment, I would be thinking and modelling it as "learning to give yourself time to calm down", because it's a skill shed will need all to soon and recognising that would be a really useful use of both of your time.

zzzzz Fri 06-May-16 09:51:03

My child didn't regress, and certainly from talks with paediatricians I think it is so marked when it happens you wouldn't miss it.

claw12 Fri 06-May-16 10:55:28

I found Ds and even my two older boys didn't actually understand what 'gentle' actually meant, I had to demonstrate what 'gentle' was.

Things like a hit a pillow, then stroke a pillow softly. Then we applied it the cat for example ie 'gentle' with the cat, if you want to hit use the 'pillow'

If Ds wanted to 'hit' I would give him something appropriate to hit.

I think telling a child exactly what you want to them instead helps.

Throwing toys etc no remove toy, give them a ball.

Kicking a ball round the house, instead of stop it. Pick the ball up and take to garden.

That kind of thing.

Blossom4538 Fri 06-May-16 11:44:48


I always try and say what to do, rather than don't do this or stop. We praise good behaviour too.

I realise Aspergers is ASD - am thinking poss Aspergers over HFA as there was no speech delay and she was very good with her speech but now struggles with selective mutism. At home, she doesn't stop talking! Anyone else have a daughter with Aspergers on here at all?

I think she knows what gentle is. She can't control her temper and basically admits that. At school they have talked to her about "clean anger" which is what they can do to vent their frustrations, such as hitting a pillow and "dirty anger" which is obviously not hurting other people etc. She understands and is proud of herself that she is good at school and never gets cross. But she seems to think it's ok to use dirty anger at home, she even said so. I will def look at PDA strategies. Children with SM are often very defiant and controlling. I put her in her room and ask her to calm down and think about her behaviour. After five mins, she comes out and we talk about why I put her in her room.

She went crazy when she woke at 5:30 this morning as she wanted to go downstairs and play with a toy school have given her. Kicking objects, shouting.

zzzzz Fri 06-May-16 11:57:51

I think a verbal child with Autism and a child with Aspergers are the same thing. Non verbal children or children with language disorders or other communications difficulties obviously have that difficulty on top of the autism but the underlying strategies are the same.

I have one child with ASD and another who was selectively mute.

PolterGoose Fri 06-May-16 12:01:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Fri 06-May-16 12:02:24

To be fair I probably have a knee jerk reaction to "gentle hands" and "dirty anger" type terminology because of this.

Blossom4538 Fri 06-May-16 12:15:34

Definitely, I agree it's all about meeting her needs. I'm just querying it as we are having a lot of meetings at the mo, with Paed, ed psych, and ASD assessment later this year so I am naturally thinking about it.

We have been praised on how we are managing her anxiety and she has started making progress with her SM over recent weeks.

I can see you're right about asking her to calm down, definitely. I just ask her to calm down and think about her behaviour and time out in her bedroom does seem to calm her. But I know what you mean! Cuddles used to help her calm but she doesn't always like physical contact, especially when stressed. Distraction can work sometimes. I will check out PDA strategies.

How old is your little one with SM? How are they getting on and what has helped him/her? Thanks!

claw12 Fri 06-May-16 12:17:16

'Dirty anger' and 'clean anger' are terrible terms. Anger is anger, its perfectly OK to get angry, everyone does, it's how you deal with it that's important.

Children with ASD are very controlling, not through choice, it's a strangely they use to help them stay calm IMO.

If you view it as trying to stay calm, I think you then react to it differently.

Love the terminology of telling someone in pain to stop hurting polter, I've scribbled that down!

claw12 Fri 06-May-16 12:17:59

Damn autocorrect 'strategy' not strangely!

Blossom4538 Fri 06-May-16 12:37:22

Yes, explained we all get cross sometimes but talked about how we deal with that. I don't feel as though it's getting through to her. The other day she picked up a large drinking glass and nearly threw it at me. :-(

Definitely, I realise a way of coping with anxiety is for them to control the situation. I appreciate that, I just can't cope with being hit, kicked, bitten, pinched, eyes gouged, scratched.

zzzzz Fri 06-May-16 13:25:45

Everyone feels anxious when they feel out of control. The trick is not to focus on the end and try to fix that. What you want to do is alleviate the anxiety and never get to the behaviour.wink

Blossom4538 Fri 06-May-16 13:57:33

I know a lot of what triggers her anxiety how to prevent that and obviously realise it builds after a day at school not talking and by the weekend. I just find she seriously can't take not getting her own way/what she wants and then ensues the massive tantrum and aggression. It's over everything.

zzzzz Fri 06-May-16 14:38:33

Yes dd was <ahem> a bit full on when she was mute at school, however she isn't autistic so perhaps the calming down was easier?

I think what I try to do is fill that gap until they can do it themselves. So for example, if I know dd cannot cope with being tired and fractious after school, I would build the calming down into our day. I expect you do that already. If mine explodes I tend to see it as my failure to support rather than theirs to cope.

It isn't just about triggers here (and there are lots of them), it's more about crafting the day to have the pauses and ups that make it manageable for them. For ds this involves building in Scooby doo and trampolines, snacks, and sandpit/water play, alone time that isn't negative or lonely and cuddle is quite exhausting but fun too. When I get it right I feel fantastic grin

For dd it is rather the opposite, she needs attention and interaction and activity. I find this really challenging sometimes because sometimes I am just worn out. They absolutely can't do it themselves though so either I become that crutch or they flounder.


sarrah30 Sun 14-Aug-16 13:59:08

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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