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5yr old picking on his older special needs brother

(25 Posts)
Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 13:43:15

My 5yr old has recently started to call his brother who is 15 and has severe special needs (Severe autism, hearing impairment, developmental delays and down syndrome.)
He has began to call his older brother names such as 'dummy' and 'retard' he has also started to torment him including pulling his pants down and running away, throwing things at him, opening the door whilst he is in the bath and throwing toys at him just to name a few of the things. I am unsure on what to do, I don't know how to stop him. I'd appreciate any views/advice on what to do! Thank you.

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 13:48:20

Why don't you know what to do?

What consequences do you reply to his behaviour?

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 13:48:55

Apply not reply, sorry

Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 13:51:40

I have tried everything I can think of but he doesn't seem to see a problem with it I've tried taking his favourite toy away for a week, no sweets for a week, no TV for a week, time outs and I'm just lost on what to do..
I don't know if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing and could give me some advice on what worked for them. It's getting worse and worse and It's not fair on my SN son.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 16-Aug-16 13:54:34

Why don't you know what to do?
How is that helpful zzzzz? hmm

I'm sorry op, I haven't been in your situation but my 5yo DS does unkind things like this a lot sometimes too and it is so hard to stop him. If I explain rationally he ignores me, if I try to be nice he ignores me, if I shout he laughs, if I threaten he laughs - basically if I give him the oxygen of attention then he does it again. The only thing I've found that works is consistently telling him to stop ONCE (with a warning of consequences) and then dragging him upstairs to his room and locking him in. Once he's been in there for a while then he starts to realise that I'm not joking and that this behaviour is not f***ing acceptable.

Sorry, I've annoyed myself by remembering all the times he's hurt his little brother on purpose angry

thanks op, it is horrible to deal with. I imagine your older DS also gets upset sad

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 16-Aug-16 13:57:44


I think your punishments are far too long. Week-long timeout means nothing at that age. I leave my DS in his room until he realises that he's trapped in there and starts to cry. From bitter experience, I can tell you that he will NOT take the message of 'Stop fucking hurting your brother' on board before that point. Believe me, I have tried to be Gentle Mummy. It does not work with my DS.

I should add the caveat here that I don't smack/hit (whichever word you prefer) and don't intend to, ever.

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 14:08:42

LCD not knowing what to do if a 3 year old misbehaves is relatively common. Evacuee often the behaviour is just emerging. In a 5 year old it's less usual. Pertinent responses might have been that it's only just started happening, he is a recent addition to the household or has started a new school or OP usually has childcare.

Calling your brother names, and physically and emotionally abusing him is not standard behaviour. There must have been a build up of behaviour. OP must have tried some things already.

Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 14:08:57

LaContessaDiPlump I never thought of it like that as I thought the longer he was punished the more likely he would be to stop. It gets to the point where you just want to give them the message haha. I am going to try the leaving him in his room until he releases what he has done is unacceptable. I don't know where he would have learnt such cruel word from as we certainly don't use those words in our household. I've always wanted my children to be kind and accepting of others especially the elderly and disabled ect. How long would you leave a 5yr old in his room for a time out/reflection time?

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 14:10:25

OP what do you do if he calls you names/strips you or bursts in on you in the bath?

Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 14:16:55

zzzzz He doesn't do it to me much, sometimes calls me names such as 'fatty' ect. I usually take toys away from him or put him in time out but he doesn't burst in on me in the bath or anything like that. He doesn't bully his other siblings either.

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 14:30:25

Is it all the time or at particular times in the day?

Where did he learn the word?

Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 14:35:38

zzzzz It seems to be in the evenings and late afternoons, usually 2pm and onward. I don't know where he would have leant the word as we never say it and he is only in reception at school so I doubt he learnt it there either.
We have already had an incident today which nudged me on to posting for some advice.

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 14:41:25

Start keeping a diary of what is happening and what happened before it started.

Be very clear to him that you will not accept the abuse and that ther will be consequences if he doesn't comply. Think about what those consequences are and stick with them. Be mindful that he may be reacting to boredom, hunger, loneliness, noise or any other stressor. Try to remove those.

Collect a box of jobs/activities for him to do and if you recognise the beginning of the behaviour quickly redirect him. 5 year olds can do lots of things so fill his day with more useful pastimes.

Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 14:49:19

zzzzz That's a great suggestion, I have been writing down the more severe sort of incidents but not really keeping to it. I think keeping some sort of record of what he is doing before the incident happens is a good idea and might unlock some clues to why he is getting so annoyed/aggressive towards his SN brother. I try to keep him as busy as I can but sometimes it can be challenging as I have 4 other children including one with special needs. I think I need to come up with a system or routine of some sort to be able to cope with the rest of the school holidays.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 16-Aug-16 15:00:29

I see where you're coming from now zzzzz - sorry for the hmm face.

I agree that he is probably doing it in response to being tired, hungry, or perhaps just simply bored. He knows he'll get a response if he upsets his brother (and he will have picked up on the fact that you may well be a bit more protective of his older brother too, which adds jealousy into the mix), so unfortunately that makes his brother a target. Given the hour of the day, I'd suggest he may be tired - my DS is certainly worse in the evenings and it does help me to mentally view it as not entirely his fault if it happens at those times, because he's just sleep-crazed. Still not an acceptable way to behave though, obviously.

I tend to leave DS1 in his room until he starts crying, which depends on how tired he is - sometimes it takes 2 minutes (if that), sometimes up to 10.

He has probably learnt such words at school, from the TV, in passing on the street..... you can't prevent it, sadly. Try not to take it to heart (easier said than done)!

zzzzz Tue 16-Aug-16 18:03:51

They're unusual words at 5 (particularly "retard").

notgivingin789 Tue 16-Aug-16 21:46:34

This is a fear of mine if DS gets a sibling. If I have another child; from an early age, I would teach my child about disabilities; take them to play places, where there would be children with special needs. But maybe this won't work and the child would still be calling DS names.

Lifeisshort123 Tue 16-Aug-16 22:20:31

I think its always a good idea for children to mix with special needs children and typically developing children. I have four other children, two of which are 4 & 5. My 5yr old has recently started to have problems with my special needs D's but my 4yr old dd is very sweet with him and went to a nursery which had children of all abilities. She is about to start school and I hope she would never call anyone with disablities especially names or think of them as any different than her. I am very disappointed in my son's behaviour but if you have another child I think it is very important that you give him/her lots of chances to mix with special needs children. I also avoid using the word 'disabled' in front of my children.

zzzzz Wed 17-Aug-16 07:08:52

None of my children call other children names. Certainly not disablist/racist/sexist ones. I would say they are as a sibling group the single most important thing in my disabled dcs life and the biggest help.

WannaBe Wed 17-Aug-16 07:17:43

I would be questioning whether he's being given a hard time at school for having a disabled brother, something which is sadly not uncommon. Additionally, if ds1's needs are significant then he may feel some resentment.

zzzzz Wed 17-Aug-16 08:35:34

Sorry that last post was aimed at not giving, not just a general tahdah!

I found school can be very helpful at supporting siblings. They have access to lots of resources and certainly will help address the language issues. Have a chat with the HT or the SENCO when he goes back, they will probably build it into to pshe for you. smile

Has he watched the Rosie video or the autism projects animation?
Do you have a siblings group he could join?

Lifeisshort123 Wed 17-Aug-16 11:12:31

I hope he hasn't been having a hard time at school especially at his age. He doesn't seem to be aware of what extra needs his older brother has apart from that he is a little different to him. He has not said anything about other children saying anything about this brother.

Lifeisshort123 Wed 17-Aug-16 11:16:33

I haven't spoken to the school as it has only started in the past 3/4 weeks but I wonder if it would be worth talking to him about his brother or showing him a video like you suggested. If I tell him what he is doing is not acceptable he laughs..

WannaBe Wed 17-Aug-16 17:32:12

But he will have learned those words from somewhere.
Yes I would have a word with the school.

Olympiathequeen Sun 21-Aug-16 10:35:38

Perhaps it could be simple attention seeking behaviour? If that's possible maybe do more things with the younger child, and if possible arrange for the boys to do things they can manage together. Swingball? Kerplunk? Those types of games if possible?

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