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Has anyone advice regarding my autistic son?

(22 Posts)
Swilt Tue 18-Jan-05 17:09:44

I wondered if anyone has advice because I'm at my wits end, my ds who is nearly 5, has ASD and attends mainstream school. Today yet again, he pushed over a boy in his class after school. Obviously the parents were horrified to see this as the other boy was just happily walking along before this happened, with no provocation. Nothing I can say or do stops my son from behaving like this. I'm becoming paranoid because I feel that other parents are looking down on me because I am unable to control my little boy. They don't know that he has ASD, and only last week he was invited to a party for the first time, but there was just no way I could let him go, so I explained to the parent that he has behavioural problems and wouldn't be able to cope at a party. But i feel that I'm just making the situation harder for myself, but the thought of explaining that he has autism to parents whom I don't generally speak to would be really hard for me. Any ideas on what I can do, for myself and my child? I know there is no magic wand but I often read your SN chats so I know others are in similar situations.

Loobie Tue 18-Jan-05 18:02:04

He pushed the boy over and there was no provocation,but there may have been earlier or at another time and after school was the next opertunity your ds had to get back at the child,i hope this makes sense.These are the types of things my ds(autistic)does he seems to have a memory of an elephant and if someone has a go at him he remembers and gets the offender back at the first oportunity,which looks like he is hitting out for no reason.
Speak to ds and see if this boy has been offending unknown to you or indead his own parents/teachers.

Swilt Tue 18-Jan-05 18:17:02

Yes I'll do that, that hadn't occured to me but when ever I ask him about school, he just covers my mouth and tells me not to ask him anything. He has a real problem explaining situations and rarely talks about others in his class, but I will certainly bear that in mind. Thanks

tamum Tue 18-Jan-05 18:38:05

Swilt, I don't have any experience of this, and I'm sure there will be other mothers who will come and advise you. In the meantime, as the mother of NT children, I would say that I would immediately find "agressive" behaviour towards my child so much easier to understand and deal with if I knew that the other child had an ASD. I do understand why you don't want to go up to strangers and confide in them but I would have thought (hoped) that your situation would immediately ease if people knew why your son behaved unexpectedly at times. If you feel able to give it a go I do think it might help. I really hope so

Swilt Tue 18-Jan-05 18:57:21

Yes I imagine in the long run it would be easier for me and my son if other parents knew he has ASD, although I'm unsure if all parents were as understanding as you are, I always think that there immediate reaction would be that he shouldn't be at a mainstream school if he is aggresive towards others. But I know it would be for the best to tell others, it's just not knowing how and what to say, I feel uneasy explaining to others who doesn't understand about ASD.

coppertop Tue 18-Jan-05 18:57:25

I must admit that I don't usually explain about ds1's ASD to other people unless I feel it's something they need to know.

I remember someone on here (Dinosaur?) saying that they had some cards that they'd got from the NAS which briefly explain autism. The idea is that you hand them out to people as a way of explaining about your child's ASD without you having to actually explain anything yourself.

Ds1 also has a tendency to push other children. In his case it's usually because he thinks they've done something 'wrong', ie they've not done something in the way he thinks it should be done or they've broken a rule.

Swilt Tue 18-Jan-05 19:05:26

Must be no hope for me, the cards sound like a good idea but I'd even be too embarrased to that that. I'm not ashamed of my ds,I'm proud of him in many ways but I'm sick of being the parent with the difficult child. I'm not confident at the best of times.

Swilt Tue 18-Jan-05 19:12:00

How do you react when your child hits out. Do you apologise to the parents, do you reprimand your child. My child will even refuse to say sorry, so I never know how to react to this situation.

tamum Tue 18-Jan-05 19:31:35

Oh crumbs, I hope I didn't make it sound as though I feel other parents have any kind of "right" to know (I'm worried that I made you blush coppertop). Obviously it's easy for me to say, but I would rather say my child had ASD than apologise, I think. People who are intolerant enough to think that your son shouldn't be at mainstream school aren't worth the time of day, mind

JakB Tue 18-Jan-05 19:32:46

Swilt, has your son got any help at school? My friend has a daughter with AS and they have had to do alot of work in this area as she will kick peers etc with 'apparently' no provocation (although we looked after her for a weekend and she hit her brother, 'because he hit her two years ago'!!!, as Loobie says, they have amazing memories). Social stories seem to help my friend's DD and I've heard that pictures help other autistic children ('no pushing' etc). Of course, all this means 'coming out', so to speak, about your DS's autism, which I know may be really hard for you.

coppertop Tue 18-Jan-05 19:34:50

Don't worry, Tamum. I was blushing because I'm always going on about autism on here but only ever mention it IRL to teachers, support staff etc.

tamum Tue 18-Jan-05 19:35:26

Phew

coppertop Tue 18-Jan-05 19:41:23

Ds1 tends to do nearly all of his pushing in school so it's not something that I have to deal with very often by myself. His teacher is great and seems to be able to tell the difference between ds1's ASD behaviour and the behaviour that is just ds1 acting like a 4yr-old, if you see what I mean. If it's ASD-related (95% of the time) she reminds him that pushing is not acceptable behaviour and ds1 will then spontaneously apologise to the other child.

I used to make a big deal of being seen to be reprimanding ds1 for something ASD-related because I didn't want to look like a bad mother. These days I just ignore onlookers and calmly explain to ds1 why his behaviour was wrong.

JakB Tue 18-Jan-05 19:59:05

CT, know what you mean about not 'explaining'. I don't now, either. Other parents are parents' worst enemy.

Swilt Tue 18-Jan-05 20:01:20

He gets quite alot of extra help at school, alot of one to one but this doesn't seem to apply to playtimes. They do seem to be able to manage him, but they can't get him to say sorry, nor prevent him from pushing. Mind you there are other children who are equally as aggresive. I have heard of those social stories, think I'll take a look JakB. I am just like you were coppertop, I so don't want to be seen as a bad mother, and feel myself telling him off time and time again. But maybe it is time for me to toughen up abit and not worry so much about what others are thinking. Thanks.

JakB Tue 18-Jan-05 20:06:15

Yeah, think we all need to worry less about what other people think. It's hard though. I actually, strangely, feel proud of my DD when we're out and about and she's very obviously autistic. We've got our pecs keychain and I have lots of songs I sing to her to calm her down in times of stress. People stare and I'm kind of like, 'yeah, this is me and my daughter doing our thing'. This feeling proud is a new development, though! Have had months and months of feeling embarrassed, stressed, frantic, bewildered etc etc, particularly before I knew what was wrong.

Jimjams Tue 18-Jan-05 20:40:09

swilt I find myself saying to my non-verbal 5 yeare old "say sorry" when he's hit out or something (usually its adults who get it luckily). Then it looks worse when he doesn't say anything.

I think tamum is right though- a quick "sorry he's autistic" can work wonders.

Re parties- my son didn't get invited to many when at mainstream (2 in fact- the same girl each time- she loved him fro some reason). I used to take him but stay- partly to manage him and partly so I could leave when it got too much. The last one was only a few weeks ago and he did really well for an hour, then started going loopy so I whisked him away. I saw the mum of the boirthday girl the next day and she was fine with that (although a bit shocked by what I had to deal with I think- but in a very sympathetic- without being pitying- way).

DH hates telling people that ds1 is autistic and says all sorts of things to avoid saying it- but having observed people's responses to his approach (utter confusion usually) I would say just using the a word is a lot easier. These days they usually know someone who knows someone who has an autistic kid anyway.

onlyjoking Tue 18-Jan-05 21:00:54

i dont say my kids have autism in front of them but will have a quiet word when doing things like getting measured for shoes as DD kicked a lady once for touching her feet, actions speak louder than words, i may say something like i know you cant tell me, or i know you dont understand, i use a few signs too, my son went to a soft play place once and i heard a comotion in the ball pool, i went over as my son was in there and a woman was holding her crying toddler i asked what was wrong and she said that thug has just pushed my little girl out of the ball pool, i calmly told her that thugs is my son, i shouted to him and signed to come here i then asked what happen, he said i pushed the girl out of the ball pool i told him to say sorry , he did the woman was glaring at me and my son so i asked him why he did it, his reply, she was touching the blue balls !, the womans face was a picture i didnt feel the need to explain.

Davros Tue 18-Jan-05 22:02:55

I'm like JakB most of the time now. We pop into shops together, we're signing a bit, he's bunny hopping and hooting (!), I'm responding to what he's saying but no-one thinks he's said anything, we hug each other, he looks into my eyes, he listens to me etc etc. A couple of people were gaping at us in M&S the other day and it crossed my mind to say he's autistic, and sometimes I would but couldn't be bothered. THey weren't hostile but had obviously noticed that we were a funny pair. I've got those NAS cards and they gave me a great deal of condidence at one time although I have never actually given one to anyone! I say something to people less and less, I certainly don't apologise for him being autistic but I might say sorry, he's autistic to explain a behaviour I suppose.
Swilt, there must be a reason behind your DS pushing a boy, it oculd be that he's harboured a grudge, it might be his way of making contact, he might want the attention he gets. WOrking out the function of a behaviour can be difficult and, of course, it can change for the same behaviour.
You should be getting some support yourself with strategies for behaviour, its no good if things are managed only in the classroom. You may also need some emotional support. Are there any other local parents you can get together with? A support group or meetings/presentations for local parents with children with SN?
Good luck.

Jimjams Tue 18-Jan-05 22:38:43

IN shopping type situations where I don't have to say something I tend to wave a PECS book around. But then I talk to him in a strange way anyway "listening" "looking" etc. I do tell shoe people but only because otherwise they end up black and blue - or they start trying to get a perfect fitting (recipe for disaster)

aloha Tue 18-Jan-05 22:45:46

A mother I know who has an autistic child tells everyone about it, totally matter of fact and unapologetic and it works, I think. My ds (3) has other fairly minor issues around his motor skills but he can get far too close for comfort with other children and they don't like it. He did this on Sunday with this autistic child, who promptly screamed and his mother and I both rushed to reassure each other that - sorry! - our kids BOTH had their funny ways - it was quite amusing! I can tell you are upset, but there have often been conversations on MN about how hard it is not to tell off our kids just to satisfy other people's expectations, even if we know it is pointless/unfair.

Swilt Wed 19-Jan-05 13:32:30

Thank you so much to everyone who has given me valuable advice. I took him to school this morning feeling alot happier with myself and a tad stronger...I think! When ds was first diagnosed I went out and bought so many books to help me understand but the advice you all give through this site is far more valuable. I will check out if there are any meetings nearby, as I'm sure that will help me no end. I will also attempt to refrain from immediately telling him off about pushing and instead ask him calmly why he actually did it, although giving it some thought now I would think it's most probably his way of interacting. But I'm sure I will still be apologising profusely to the other parent and child for his behaviour. Keep up the good work everyone.

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