Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Challenging behaviour - in 2 year old(31 Posts)
Hi everyone my son is undergoing diagnosis for ASD.
From 10 months he has bit himself and others. We have tried everything under the sun to try and stop this , but he's so little so he doesn't understand plus he has these additional needs. He is also a thrower.
It has gotten to the point I am very isolated as he bites people if they are at our house - not always when he's mad , quite often he's excited. He also throws things wherever we go and then screams if I take anything off of him because he threw it... very stressful.
I have tried sensory diet, redirection and discipline. Please believe me when i say nothing works. Thankfully this behaviour is cyclical ; so we have periods where he won't bite so much - or throw.
He will have some great weeks, I almost doubt he has autism. And then we go right back to pocketing food, self injurious behaviour , throwing, meltdowns , little sleep and lots of stimming etc
Does anyone else notice this with their kids? Good spells and bad spells ?
We give him fish oil and he is on iron meds , he eats fairly well - despite sometimes storing food in his mouth - so we are lucky there- he's getting decent nutrition etc
I have tried the whole ABC process too and it's basically when he's excited or mad he will produce challenging behaviour - so we have the source... but still no way in how we handle it.
Im.scared he won't outgrow this behaviour. Can anyone help?
Zzz I know there is always a reason... but even when we recognise that reason it's not always possible to eradicate it. For example my daughter can start singing and he will get angry. I can't stop my daughter singing ?
He doesn't like a program we put on , we cannot pre empt every single program he is not going to like . .. and so on and so forth
The issue is not about eradicating factors that cause him to act out - this is impossible. It's about dealing with it when it happens. I'm at a loss as to what to do other than just put up with it and try and intervine before he gets the chance to bite
My daughter is 4! I can't control her like some.robot to not burst out Into a wee tune now and again zzz
As for programs he doesn't like ... I am not telepathic so unfortunately I cannot for see which programs are going to set him off or not. The biting of the arm is immediate. There is little warning...
Believe me we accommodate my son and his quirks massively . We are paying for private therapy, we don't have people over , we go to quiet parks , we don't make him sit at the table... the list is endless
Of course if my daughter sings I immediately ask her to stop if he starts biting or if he screams at a t.v. program I'll turn it over before he bites or just as he does ... but there are times he will do it with little provocation or warning and I don't get the chance to stop him in time ... it is exhausting some days
Sorry you're finding it tough at the moment.
It sounds like you've done a good job of identifying triggers.
I wonder whether if you did a bit of prep work with him you could avoid some of his behaviours that are maybe due to the anxiety of the unexpected (e.g. different programme to expected / sudden singing)
So - you could do a little visual chart for him showing him the times when the Tv will be on and what programme he'll be watching at that time - showing him before each step on the chart so he knows what's happening next
The singing is more tricky - my DS (8) also hates music; he simply can't cope with the sensory overload of it. It's sad as I love music, but we have adjusted and no longer have music on in the car etc, and DD listens through headphones. DS also wears ear defenders but at 2 your DS prob is too young yet for those.
It does take a lot more preparation, organisation and adaptation than in families who don't have a child with SN but overall it reduces the anxiety and stress for DS which means less of the more challenging behaviours he would do when faced with too much sensory stuff / the unexpected.
And it's definitely got easier as he's got older too.
Marsh has said all I was thinking but in a much better way.
I would recommend you try noise-cancelling headphones yourself to see the difference they make. I tried them on in John Lewis - amazing.
It is also a phase and a form of communication: DS2 was a biter and he has long-since outgrown it. As for the throwing, someone here will be able to suggest a substitute movement/activity that will give your LO the same sensory feedback but without the issue the throwing is causing you right now.
I would also learn some basic Makaton to use with him if he is non verbal. This may help him to be less frustrated. Simple signs are on youtube and Mr Tumble uses them all the time.
If he isn't get him into a good one. There are two state nursery schools in Chelmsford, both of which take two year olds and have SEN children recommended to them all the time. [I know as my sone has SEN] . They can also give you lots of advice and help to get a referral to the paediatrician. Also try asking for advice from your health visitor. Has he had a two year check yet? If not they should pick up these issues then and refer him to a paediatrician. But I wouldn't wait till then, talk to your health visitor ASAP. Good luck and let us know how you get on. I feel for you, it must be exhausting and lonely for you.
Thanks for the comments all. Your helpful suggestions mean a lot. I don't want to make it all sound so appalling. We do have good days here and he isn't biting all day long - though there are days he does. He sure seems to throw all day long though!
marsh I love the visual aid idea. Do you suggest photos or pecs - he's 2.4
chicken we use redirection a lot her and have been bags we throw Into a basket to help him still get that sensory feedback - he's a big sensory seeker. We have tried ear defenders but he will not keep them on, but I'm hopeful he will when older!
zzz thanks for sharing your experience with your two and what it's like now. It's good to hear they can laugh and communicate. My son says a little. We are using basic Makaton so will find out what "noisey" is for him.
dream we use Makaton here and it does hekp. He will be starting nursery in July all going well - he's going to need one on one in place , but I'm in contact with an inclusions officer about all of that.
He is undergoing diagnosis so he is on the pathway so to speak. He's already under a paedatrician and salt - all of whom are aware he has self injurious behaviour.
chicken when did your ds2 outgrow the biting? How did you tackle it?
It is sort of flooding back - I reckon he bit from 9 months until he was about 3 and a half - pretty regularly. Like you I did not take him places where I knew it was likely to happen, so most places. He was lightening quick. I suspect he probably stopped when he learnt the meaning of "no" - receptively and expressively. If I am truly honest, we did not tackle it exactly - we lived and breathed Hanen "It takes two" and watched the amazing Mr. Tumble all the time. In hindsight, a decent SALT would have made a huge difference. HTH.
I'd probably go photos if it's of actual Tv shows (he's less likely to understand exactly what it will be from pecs?)
For other more generic things pecs would prob be fine (although I actually used laminated photos for DS mostly - ours were very detailed, e.g. We might get to the park gate and it's open (photo) or closed (photo). To cover all eventualities!)
Age 2/3 was very hard I found; for us communication has got so much easier (although school presents different challenges!)
You sound like a great and caring mum. We all find it hard going at times. That's what these boards are for. You're never alone.
Thanks marsh I do try!
We have photos already which we began using but stopped and opted for Makaton as he seemed to grasp it quicker. I think it's now time for photos again though.
We start a private hanen course soon! Did it really Help?chicken ?
ABA helped my boy, who used to bite and hit but doesn't now - which is good news as he's now over 6 ft and 11 stone! good luck
sick that's good to hear ! I have considered ABA but a bit wary to do it as we having had a definitive diagnosis yet - should we wait until he's definitely diagnosed before doing it? As I am aware it's very intense for all involved .
My son is huge for his age - it is concerning to think he could still be doing these behaviours as a man- as he will be huge! However I am confident he won't as I will do all in my power to help him
I think Hanen helped. It taught me not to bombard with language - to simplify, allow time to process, get attention before talking, and to intervene when other people did not understand and enable.
Definitely use pictures/photos as support, too. DS2 is now very talkative but visuals are so much more effective for him.
That's fab to hear chicken. How old is your son now? Do you do pecs or photos ?