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DS keeps on saying 'I'm bad' etc

(11 Posts)
debs40 Sun 26-Jul-09 23:48:12

DS is 6(possible AS/SCD) is undergoing assessment and we have an appointment with CAMHS in a couple of weeks. SALT/OT to follow.

Community paed definitely thought it was some kind of social and communication disorder - possibly Aspergers.

He has recently started being very hard on himself when he gets things wrong. He went through a phase of hitting himself or pinching his nose and saying he was punishing himself. I hope I've talked him out of that!

He know keeps saying 'I'm bad' or 'Bad boy x' and getting upset.

It happens when we are doing very normal things like getting changed or preparing food and we might be discussing something simple like pasta or socks.

I really, really don't shout and have never punished and it so upsets me to hear him talk like this as he gets so distressed.

it just seems like he doesn't know how to deal with any disagreement without assuming people dislike him.

Is this common? He got so upset tonight about something so silly and won't leave me alone at the moment. He loves DH but he cried when I left him with him yesterday in a different shop! sad

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 01:08:44

My son's like this at the moment aswell, he's 10 and I'm trying to get him an appointment with a paediatrician as he possible has aspergers. It's hard, my son thinks people are telling him off if they raise their voice even slightly. You just need to be clear in explaining things to him, I find giving logical examples really helps, as does trying to talk to them about how other people feel and see things they do. It sounds like your son doesn't get the cause and effect so some game play should help, chess is often very good but I'm not sure this will help his esteem if he looses so maybe a game which he can win wink.
You do need to explain that it makes you feel really sad when he does this to himself, it sounds like he's very attached to you and he'll want to please you.

I'd look into whether he's having problems at school aswell, it's possible that he's been having a bad time, he's blaming himself for this because he's unable to see that someone else is at fault/he led to the problem so feels 'got at' if you know what I mean. If he's had alot of people tell him off for something he's done rather then explain that we don't do something because... then he's going to be very confused and he'll micro analyse all that he does as he doesn't get it. This is one of the problems I'm having at the moment, my son appologises for every little thing as he can't differenciate between an accident or mischief. It's driving me nuts but he must have been told off so much at school he's got use to saying sorry so he does this for everything. He did see himself as a 'naughty' boy because he saw teachers shouting as him doing something wrong rather then a teacher trying to get his attention.

jabberwocky Mon 27-Jul-09 02:30:25

Ds1 has sensory prob's possibly Asperger's and he also tends to be very much the perfectionist. He can be really hard on himself when something doesn't go the way he thinks it should. It is very hard to hear a 5 year old say to me "I hate myself/I wish I'd never been born" I feel so sad for him and cuddle him and tell him how special he is. i keep hoping that with postive reinforcement we can get through this. i think a lot of it is just the repercussions of the strong emotion of a meltdown, at least in our case.

As far as getting upset about being in a different shop, ds1 had/has a really difficult time with transitions. It is better now but we have spent two years working on it and teaching ourselves how to prepare him.

debs40 Mon 27-Jul-09 09:03:56

Thanks. I'm sorry you're having the same sort of problems too.

I always tell him positive things about what he's doing and try not to criticise, while being firm about what 'we' don't do e.g. hit your little brother when he wants to play with your toys! it's good to hear that this is going down the right track.

He is incredibly attached to me. It's like he hangs off my moods and words, trying to figure out if he's done something wrong. I tried to explain all this to schoool and I think they are sort of getting it.

I think because DH is out of the house most days until 7, he just hasn't developed the strategies to deal with DS and so gets annoyed more quickly making DS more upset. He then turns to me for me to explain things for him. sad

I am trying to work on DH who is a very laid back bloke but who has difficulty understanding why it is sooooo important to wear the same pair of socks or how getting water on your top IS the end of the world to DS.

Thanks again and keep me posted with anything you discover

bubblagirl Mon 27-Jul-09 09:25:25

my ds is 4 and went through this stage about few mths ago i ignored and just made references to trying my best not needing to get everything right and eventually it sank in he did cry no no i need to get it right but i would ignore it and just play a game get it wrong and say oh well i done my best

now if he is having off day he needs to be perfectionist but on the good days he says mummy i tried my best and i'll high five him and say well done

he went through the punching his head etc someone said maybe his thoughts are going so fast his trying to slow them down etc my ds is high functioning so is always going over something maths etc and his brain is always so active i have to find ways to take his mind off things or he'll sit there forever until his worked it out

my ds is also very attatched to me it did stop but now its bubbla boy and mummy not daddy just mummy

just get your dh to read some of our prior posts on our dc he'll soon see i have many on sensitivity my ds didnt bath for a yr he had a paddling pool in living room the amount of comprises we have had to make lol;

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 11:09:43

I think that explaining why he shouldn't do things will help him aswell, "you've hurt your brother, we don't hit because it hurts, do you remember what it feels like?" rather then "we don't hit", this way you are saying what the effects on someone else are so he has the opportunity to stop and think about the consequences of his actions.

If your DH is quite sharp with him then this won't be helping as it will be confusing for him. You both need to sing from the same song sheet so to speak. You need to have a chat with him as the world's a really confusing place if you are being told off all the time (or you just feel as if you are). smile

debs40 Mon 27-Jul-09 11:18:26

Thanks Fluffy. I do try and explain things to him. I keep on using that exact phrase to DH but he really does find it hard to understand - I actually think he's a bit the same as DS!

I think he sees me as being 'too soft'. DS spilt a drink on himself yesterday and got hysterical. DH was rolling his eyes and grimacing and saying 'God how did you do that, can't you drink properly'. DS just got worse and worse. I had to pull DH to one side and have a strong word about how he would feel if someone else was like that with DS. Especially as DS has coordination problems.

He is such a gentle bloke but he just doesn't seem to get it. Or rather, he can see there's something wrong but doesn't want to accept it. The old 'there's nothing wrong with my son' denial attitude!

Will persevere.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 11:20:14

sad Sounds like you have a battle on your hands. Show your dh this thread.

daisy5678 Mon 27-Jul-09 16:28:01

J used to self-harm loads and say he was naughty. This was probably mainly when he was 3-5, when the autism hadn't been dx'd and the only possible dx on the horizon was ADHD. He would slap, bite, scratch and punch himself and couldn't accept praise at all. If he was praised, he'd hit or throw something or say "no, I'm naughty" sad.

Having clear consequences for genuinely 'naughty' things (though that's always been a banned word here) seemed to help, almost as though an external punishment removed the need for him to punish himself. Also a long slow process of convincing him that I love him, and it's just the behaviour that I don't like.

He self-harms only very rarely now (he's 7) and can accept praise, even seeks it at times and doesn't see himself as bad anymore. Think the dx's helped - he knows loads about ADHD and autism now and can understand that he's not bad, just different.

Hope DH comes round and starts to 'get it'.

Duritzfan Wed 29-Jul-09 18:15:45

"He is incredibly attached to me. It's like he hangs off my moods and words, trying to figure out if he's done something wrong. I tried to explain all this to schoool and I think they are sort of getting it.

I think because DH is out of the house most days until 7, he just hasn't developed the strategies to deal with DS and so gets annoyed more quickly making DS more upset. He then turns to me for me to explain things for him. sad

I am trying to work on DH who is a very laid back bloke but who has difficulty understanding why it is sooooo important to wear the same pair of socks or how getting water on your top IS the end of the world to DS."

I could have written this bit about my ds and my dh..
My ds is now almost 14 and was dx autistic.. it took a long time to get that dx, and he grew up self harming and regularly telling me he was bad and I would find "I am a bad boy' written inside his wardrobe on a regular basis which was soul destroying .sad

He still struggles with a lot of things, but it has got a bit easier as he has got older as we have learned more about how to live with him and understand his way of seeing the world - its quite simple to him - he needs to control everything and if something goes wrong then it must be his fault - the battle is trying to keep him from feeling like he is a constant failure as obviously life doesnt work like that ..

I feel for you on the husband front - my own husband is getting there - I hope your dh does too - I think its especially hard for men to understand sometimes when its their sons who have these issues.. (not an excuse at all - just an opinion..)

siblingrivalry Wed 29-Jul-09 18:35:21

I really feel for you, because this is one of the areas I find most difficult. DD1 has AS and she has always been a perfectionist, to the point of self-harming because she doesn't think she is 'good enough'. It's so hard, because she doesn't really respond to praise and encouragement.

And if I need to correct her behaviour in any way eg asking her not to shout at dd2, she dissolves into tears and apologises over and over again. She can't bear the thought of anyone not being 100% happy with her.

The thing about your ds crying about a different shop also rings bells. We went out today and dd needed to know exactly which shops we would be visiting and in which order. I think she needs to create a pattern in her mind so that she can cope with the unpredictability of new surroundings.

I know how heart-wrenching it is and how helpless you can feel in these situations, but it sounds as though you are supporting your ds and giving him the reassurance he needs. Good luck x

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