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Advice from the SN 'experts' please

(7 Posts)
unicorn Fri 11-Feb-05 11:01:30

ds (just 3yrs) has been having pretty awful screaming fits at the moment (very loud, extreme and relentless)..

Now short of not taking him out in public until he is 18, I just wondered about coping techniques.

How do you get through a shop (Woolies in this instance) with everyone staring, and some old bat actually tutting and saying "for God's sake can't you shut him up!!"

His screaming is very loud, and he is not easily distracted out of the tantrum (unless, that is, he gets what he wants) so it is a battle of wills.... and guess who seems to be winning?

Help please!

anniebear Fri 11-Feb-05 11:13:55

Would love to hear some suggestions!!

Elie screams as soon as I stop in a shop, especialy in the queue!

I ahve to sing out loud to her and get her to join in!!

No help sorry!!!!!!!!!

JaysMum Fri 11-Feb-05 11:35:42

J has extreme difficulties when we go shopping and I believe it is caused by a Sensory Overload to his sysytem. If you think about a simple trek to Woolies you have to contend with so many things that as a NT person you do not realise. Firstly the car/bus journey....noise, smells, traffic jams!!!!! Then theres the multi storey...dark, lots of echoes, why are they always so dank, dark and dismal???? Then there is the lift....dont do lifts so we walk down the stairs...which he hates because of poor spatial awareness. Finally get into Woolies and just how much sensory overload is there in one place?????

All those boxes piled high....banners hanging from the ceiling....change in tempreture....our Woolies is always roasting and it makes me feel quite sick sometimes...our Woolies has just been re-fitted and they have different flooring for each section....wooden, carpeted and tiled...Music coming from all directions, tv monitors, smells wafting from the pick n mix.....just far too much for J to take on in one go,so he always crashes when we hit Woolies.The Staff there are pretty use to him and I tend to choose a time when I know it is quiet.I am all for desensitising J, so expose him as much as I can to the things that cause probs.

One tip I can pass on is that we take a personal CD player with us...so when a melt down is on its way we pull it out and let J listen to his music.....this is his life line as it blocks out the noise around him and really does calm him down.....I think it is all about him feeling as if he is in control of his body and his actions and the Sensory Overload just is too much for him to take on.

As for the Tuts and Stares.....Im just so used to them now they dont bother me any more....I actually feel sorry for the ignorant Ba*rds.

redsky Fri 11-Feb-05 11:41:52

Been there too, unicorn. No advice to give - I ducked it by not taking ds shopping for years. At 17 now he still dislikes busy, crowded shopping centres but it is not a huge problem any more. If I am shopping with him we agree which shops we are going into beforehand and set a time limit for the whole expedition (max 90 mins).

unicorn Fri 11-Feb-05 11:52:53

jaysmum.good suggestion re cassette thingy.. maybe worth a go.
How do you rise above it all though?

I have a problem ignoring the effects of his behaviour (ie other people, and their reactions) and feel my blood pressure soaring, and end up getting massively wound up.

coppertop Fri 11-Feb-05 12:05:15

I used to get so embarrassed by ds1's public scream-a-thons but somewhere along the way I stopped caring. I went through a stage of acting how bystanders would expect me to act even though I knew it wouldn't make a difference to ds1. I don't know when the transformation happened but now I just pretend they're not there.

The best way to start is to try to figure out why the tantrums are starting. Sometimes this can be almost impossible but other times you will see a pattern emerge. Try keeping a short diary of where/when the tantrums happen and you may get a better picture.

If it's the noise then try the cassette idea. If the lights are too bright (usually are in supermarkets) then try giving him some sunglasses to wear. If he wants something from the shelf try keeping a small bag of cheap plastic toys that he hasn't seen before. Just little pocket-money toys of about 50p - £1. If you can get in there quickly then distracting him with one of these may be enough to head off a screaming fit.

coppertop Fri 11-Feb-05 12:06:15

Did anyone else just read that as scream-a-thongs??

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