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So what exactly am I doing wrong?!

(12 Posts)
KarenThirl Mon 11-Apr-05 13:11:56

Oh dear, it's all going horribly wrong. Things are getting worse and worse with J and it seems that every time has a blow-up he's a little bit more autistic when he comes down. He's certainly more symptomatic even since the diagnosis, almost as if he knows how he's meant to behave iykwim, but we haven't discussed it with him to that degree so it can't be that.

I really feel that I'm doing everything right, but if that's the case why is it all going so wrong? Expert advice says to read as much as you can about AS, find support and strategies, stay calm and positive etc etc... which is exactly what I'm doing and in exactly the way it's recommended. I talk to J about things while he's calm, never when he's 'up', we plan and discuss strategies and I know he fully understands, I rarely even raise my voice these days ... so where am I going wrong?! How come I can't even speak to him at the moment without him going off on one? I know all about the Rage Cycle - J doesn't have a 'rumbling stage', he just explodes if I look at him. So what do I do now?

I don't know who to talk to about this, tbh. I'm sure that if I mention it to J's psych she'll be looking for changes to his routine (eg Easter hols etc), but frankly J isn't remotely upset by that sort of thing and is more likely to get upset if we DON'T change things around occasionally, so it can't be that.

Any suggestions before I run away and start a new life with the milkman?

Loobie Mon 11-Apr-05 14:12:29

The only thing i can say is that it is possible that he isnt actually becoming more autistic just that as you gain more knowledge of the condition you see more of it in them iykwim I know i was like this with ds.
AS for the other stuff we too have this and is is os very hard cause just when we think we have cracked something a couple of days later the same strategy dont work any more

KarenThirl Mon 11-Apr-05 14:52:28

Thanks Loobie, but no I don't think it's the way we;re looking at J since the dx. His behaviour has definitely changed dramatically over the last few weeks and I've certainly not seen anything like this before in the past. No idea where it's come from.

Jimjams Mon 11-Apr-05 15:23:50

is he eating anything new? last time we bhad a dramatic change rage rise c(whacking his head) it was because he was eating peanuts.

KarenThirl Mon 11-Apr-05 17:33:50

Chance would be a fine thing, JJ! The only thing 'different' was a single small carton of squash on Wednesday morning after swimming. I mentioned in another thread that things had been going well up till I took him swimming three days in a row, so it's possibly the squash, the chlorine he swallowed in the pool, or the over-excitement of going swimming so much (twice with the play floats in the pool). Could he really be this bad so long after the event?!

It has to be something we're doing, because I spoke to his teacher after school today and he's been an absolute darling all day (the word she used was 'charming'), but as soon as he saw us he sprouted horns. He's kicked dh and I to bits when he got home and made a big deal of coming to the table to eat (which has never been a problem - it's keeping him there that's the hard part). I got him to settle better when I realised that his 'cry' wasn't genuine and he was obviously trying it on, so I threatened that if I heard a single cry, shout, scream or rude word, or if he hit, punched, kicked, threw of slammed, I'd chuck his model of Michael Owen in the bin. A bit of a risk I know, given his status, but - peace, perfect peace - he's had most of his tea and is doing his Maths homework right now. He is walking backwards up the chair but that's the least of my worries. It seems the manipulative six year old NT boy within has found a way of exploiting the situation to the max. Now I just have to hope that he doesn't perfect the fake cry so that I can't tell the difference.

jollymum Mon 11-Apr-05 18:06:20

It could just be boy hormones. My HV yold me that boys have horrible "surges" at 4, 6 and then about 10/11 onwards! I've got three boys and a girl and OMG my life is full of hormones.My littlest is 6, next one is a girly 10 and the others are 12 {today) and 15. He coud just be testing out his "manly" stuff as against you a mere woman. It's kinda like tom cats peeing up walls to mark out their territory, I swear if my boys could get away with it, they would. It's not you, it's him, life in general and triggers. Hang in there, you're doing a great job, from what I read on all these threads!

KarenThirl Tue 12-Apr-05 07:49:35

That's interesting, hadn't thought of that.

Things have settled down better today. Although I'm convinced that last week's tantrums were real and genuine, J's definitely decided he liked the attention and is chancing his arm at getting it again by creating fake ones. So much so that he's been refusing to follow the before-school routine that we've had since he started on day one but I'm not giving in, no way. I threatened that Emile Heskey would go the same way as Michael Owen (who escaped unharmed, incidentally) if he didnt' comply, and surprise surprise there have been no genuine tantrums this morning. Wonder how long it will last this time, especially as we have swimming again this afternoon ...

beccaboo Tue 12-Apr-05 09:45:42

Hi Karen, do you think it could be an attention-seeking thing? Maybe he's picked up that there's something going on that's about him, with the dx and everything, and he's feeling a bit insecure?

KarenThirl Tue 12-Apr-05 12:43:10

Hi Beccaboo. Yes, that's definitely part of it. As I said, last week's tantrums were definitely for real, but today and yesterday he's been a real fraud and I can see right through him. As long as I can tell the difference we should be OK.

Even so, he has certainly become much worse generally in the last few weeks, and I can't think of an explanation for that.

Davzmum Tue 12-Apr-05 17:47:17

As a mum of a Asperger teenager.....as they get older they get craftier and they can work the autism to suit them

jmb1964 Wed 13-Apr-05 00:05:11

Our ds1 is 7, and it's nearly 2 years sinc his dx of AS. He varies hugely from day to day and week to week, and we've almost given up trying to explain it. It seems he can rarely be 'good' both at school and at home, and we often have the charming at school, rages at home picture for a while, then it reverses.
At the last parents evening his teacher (who is fantastic with him, we can't fault her) gently pointed out that it was hard to differentiate between auti and naughty sometimes, and bright children do get very good at exploiting this difficulty!
At a playscheme last week he got into trouble for hitting someone, then only a few minutes later was in trouble again for yelling in the same boy's ear. When challenged by the staff he said 'well, you told me not to hit him, you didn't say not to shout at him'! and I'm pretty sure that he said this because he thought he might get away with it! He knows jolly well that hitting and shouting are both out...
So, my advice is not to think TOO hard about it all, remember the good days and try and let the bad days fade from your memory - we all have them, however hard we try

KarenThirl Wed 13-Apr-05 07:48:09

Thanks, JMB, that's how I feel too. I'm aiming to be the sort of person who just 'goes with the flow' and accepts the situation as it is but at the time of a major blow-up like we had last week it's hard not to look for a cause. After all, if I can find the cause maybe I can prevent it next time? You're right though, it's definitely important to enjoy the good times, however rare they might be.

For the record, I think I have my boy back now as the genuine rage and manipulation both seem to have subsided for the time being.

Thanks for your support on this, much appreciated.

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