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Screaming/Hitting Out...But ONLY at ME! (MrsF is Effing Confused)

(20 Posts)
TheRealMrsF Tue 07-Jun-05 20:42:04

Alex is my youngest..as yet not diagnosed etc.... but one of the Autism teachers at the outreach team agrees he is 'showing signs of AS'

So......... tonight he lashed out at me (punching screaming) because i had made jacket potatoes instead of pancakes.(background to this is that a few days ago i had said i'd do a 'treat' tea of sugar/lemon pancakes when they went back to school...then in usual forgetful fashion...i forgot....but ofcourse Alex hadn't.)

So in the midst of this...which if watched as a fly on the wall would almost seem funny as he has such a cute high pitched babyish squealy screech...i know he's my son...and i don't want to be big headed...but he is cute!!! So whilst being hit and screamed at..i am still looking at him as my 'cute baby'...who's 6 now...and appears like a 4 yr old.

So...bragging over...her's my question (yes..there is a point to this)

These hysterical outburst are getting more common...and i accept them as clear demonstration of his frustrations at the world surrounding him (I promised pancakes...then broke my promise....that's how he sees it)

But......is it possible that he ONLY lets rip with me (because he can????) As i've heard none of this happening at school etc (though he is withdrawn out of assembly most days and had to visit the head twice today) School as you know...refuse to accept him as being possible as...so feel they'd probably not tell me even if he did have these outburst.

So any of you with similar experiences out there let me know... Leigh my midle son for example rarely shows the 'out of control' behaviours at school...so i am beginning to feel paranoid that i am the catylyst due to my own difficulties which make me forgetful etc....and feeling very responsible for all going on.... and though i know i am NOT a refrigerater mum etc...i feel that i may be a Microwave Mum...in that i seem to heatr things up a bit too fast.

JakB Tue 07-Jun-05 21:24:38

Ah, Mrs F, LOL at Microwave Mum, although I know you are feeling sad about this.
Do you think it's just an accentuation of the 'normal' mother/child scenario? I always get the worst of my ds's behaviour (not autistic), he feels he can get it all out on me whereas he's perfectly behaved at his childminder. I know that Monica2, who's back from hols today, has this with her DD, who can hold it in at school but then lets rip at home. And Monica2 is the most organised person I know. I'm sure it's not to do with you at all but because you are their closest caregiver.

KarenThirl Wed 08-Jun-05 13:01:21

Hi Mrs F. I'm right with you on this. We've just had the half-term from Hell, constant tantrums, screaming fits, throwing stuff around the house - none of our tried and tested strategies would work any more and there have been many tears (mostly mine). Yet as soon as we opened the door to go to school on Monday morning... my little angel returned, leaving the spawn of Beelzebub tucked up in bed. He had a perfect day at school and my angel came home with me afterwards. He rattled on for an hour and a half non-stop about Robot Wars, mind you, but he was very angelic.

Partly this is due to structure. Even though I run possibly the most organised household in the land (or at least a contender) with getting up, mealtimes, baths and bed etc all at the same time each day it seems it's not enough for J and he thrives on the routine of school, which I apparently can't provide. My guess is that he can't cope so well with the less rigid structure at home and becomes more anxious, leading to more frequent outbursts when he can't get his own way.

Another aspect is security, which I reckon could apply to you too. J knows the social rules to the letter and can quote chapter and verse when he's calm, but when he's high his emotions outbalance his thought processes and he can't bring those strategies to the fore - he simply can't remember how he's supposed to behave. So, although he knows that it's not appropriate to shout and lash out at me when he's cross, at the time he can't think past his anger so he can't reason with himself, and I get wolloped with a flying laundry basket.

An example of that happened at the weekend when I lost control and smacked him (I know, I know, don't beat me up more than I already have myself). Obviously J went off into a massive tantrum in his room BUT he wouldn't let me leave him. Even though he was screaming GET OUT, he became more agitated if I did leave because he knew that he really needed me there to help him calm down. In the end, he sat behind the curtain on his bed "because he didn't want to see me" but let me sit on the end of the bed and stroke his leg until he settled.

So it's possible that Alex is experiencing something similar. You're his security and he can drop his guard when he's with you and be free to act 'normally' without having to force himself to behave in the 'right' way. Plus, he knows that whatever he does you'll still love him, which probably isn't the case at school.

And yes, I've been thinking the same thing myself about being the 'bad thing' in his life that sends him off on one, but just like him I think more clearly when I'm calm and this week (now that he's Harry Potter and Harry's such a good boy so J is as well) I can see the light and I'm not a crap mum anymore. And nor are you - repeat it like a mantra till it sinks in!

TheRealMrsF Wed 08-Jun-05 21:37:23

YES KAREN...THAT IS WHAT I THINK IS AT THE ROOT OF ALEX BEHAVING THIS WAY....he loves the structure of school...and yes i smaked him too on saturday- marked his leg....and felt awful....
Alex won't let me look at him when he is crying either,,,,,must be something 'significant' in that...it's the same if he is on the tolet or falls over- not allowed to look at him.

And thanks JAKB...i like to try and keep rational about things...too often feel i may be reading into what's normal as ASD!!!

KarenThirl Thu 09-Jun-05 06:00:21

Mrs F, does Alex get embarrassed? James does and I think that may be part of why he doesn't look at me when upset (normally he has very good eye contact, I'd say it was normal). Often when we're walking to school and other children are around, he'll either talk loudly and show off, or will whisper because he's embarrassed for them to hear him and what he's talking about. If I'm not sure what's going on I'll ask if he's embarrassed and I think he gets comfort from knowing that I understand why he feels that way.

Hope you're feeling better today. I really hated myself after our slapping incident at the weekend and I know how soul-destroying it can be. Today's another day, eh?

AliceInWonderland Thu 09-Jun-05 09:47:59

I loved the microwave mum analogy and I know exactly what you mean by it, never thought of it like that before LOL . Ds2 has never really lashed out at me, everything around him, his SENCO and TA yep, hit himself yep. I do get things thrown at me sometimes, but only if I have made the mistake of coming into his space before the meltdown and melted away. Ds1 though (NT) used to be very physical with me, right from when he was tiny, got worse when his father died and them became extreme, now he's 15 he is much better, hasn't struck out at me now for about 2.5 years.

Jayzmummy Thu 09-Jun-05 10:13:14

Mrs F. I know excatly where you are coming from and I wish I had the answers to give.
J has just spent the week away, whilst I lounged around all day soaking up some very much needed respite, J went and spent the week with my sister.

She has a farm with lots of live stock. Rules are very strict.....they have to be when you have a 1/2 ton horse to deal with. J was told all of the "farm rules" and obeyed every single one of them. My sister lives in a very small hamlet...all faming families with loads of children living in the village. Most of the children descend upon my sister's house at different points during the day. J has extreme problems at home interacting with the other children in our village.....but not so at my sisters. He played really nicely with all the other children....not once was there a violent outburst!!!! No screaming, no hitting, no biting.

DS1 was even shocked at how lovely J was whilst away. My sister reported back that J was a pleasure to have around. She recognised his language diffiulties and his literal thinking and just how much that impacts on J's day to day life....but generally J was a little poppet.....well he was until the last day!!!!

He knew we were coming home and would be collecting him that morning. He woke up and my sister said he was a completely different child. He was stimming badly, dribbling, VERY stroppy and lashed out at DS1 several times.

The minute he saw me he rushed over to me and I was expecting a huge hug, instead he kicked me and then punched me really hard in the face just as I bent down to give him a kiss!!!!! WHY??????

Is it because he had spent the whole of last week trying very hard to fit in and when he was back in our care he could be who he really is???? Is it because I am a crap mum and my child walks all over me??? Is it because I make too many allowances for J's behaviour and as I know no different I just let things slide??? Is it because he doesnt like me??? How come he was an angel all week and then when he is back with me he reverts back into a little devil????

My sister phoned me last night and gave me a really hard time saying how well she had coped with J and that he did everything she asked him to. She had no tantrums at all. I think I am farly consistent with my parenting skills and run a very tight ship....I have to so J knows where he is at. How come I sat last night questioning myself so much? Why do I feel like I am such a bad parent??? DS1 keeps feeding me little bits of info about all the things J did whilst away that he would never do here....like wiping his own backside!!!! My sister wasnt asked once to help in that area and yet he sat screaming at me last night telling me its "my job". Is he taking me for a ride????

If any one has the answers please share them because I am seriously doubting my own abilities to be J's mother!!!!

TheRealMrsF Thu 09-Jun-05 10:40:13

J's M...I am so sorry that it has all gone so badly....why is it that we have to deal with the 'fall out' after our kids are 'somewhere else'

i know you are feeling terrible....but i'm sure J will settle ......i'm cross your sister gave u a hard time as from what u said she had been good up to now.

My inlaws take pleasure in telling me how great the kids are when i'm not around.....but i'm sure that's not how your sister is being....but just want to tell you I know how you are feeling.

Many's the time when Tom was a toddler when my mum would return him after a 'highly active' day and i would struggle to 'bring him down ' from the hyper mood he returned with. She rarely has my boys now...and never all at once.

That's another irritation i have...people say how well they cope...WITH 1 of my boys ...for 1 hour etc....but noone has all 3 for a weekend etc........scares me though to think of anyone looking after Leigh as he has so many 'quirky' ways about how he eats/drinks etc...that i'd feel i'd have to detail EVERYTHING...and that the carer would still just see him as a spoilt little brat.....so that means me and Andy never go anywhere without the boys ...never out as a couple...always either separately (taking turns to child mind)....or all 5 of us trek out together. (Andy and i probably manage 2 nights a year where we pay a Autistic friendly childminder £30 for 3 hours sitting)

So...hope you are feeling better as the week moves on.....hope you don't regret your week of respite- you needed that and i'm sure things will feel better in the next few days!

(trouble is i know how lousy i get ...and know how hard it is to pull yourself back up from rock bottom...when verything that triggers it is still going on around you)

{{{{{hugs}}}

KarenThirl Thu 09-Jun-05 11:10:15

JM, my sympathies to you. I do know how you feel - many people have offered me some respite from (my) J during our recent crisis but I've said no every time, because I know what he'll come back like. I don't have the answers but I do believe the reason for such a change is a combination of several factors. I'm sure it will have been hard for your J to conform while he was away, but he managed it. Somewhere there was a combination of anxiety and calm - he HAD to have been calm and in control to achieve the things he did and I have no idea where that came from. It's a bizarre mix, isn't it? I hope he's settled since his outburst when he met you and things are better now. You may never know the reason for his apparent dual-personality but in a way it's positive because it suggests that he has social skills that aren't evident most of the time, and perhaps something to build on for the future.

Also, it may be that he IS taking you for granted to an extent - young children are meant to push the boundaries to see how far they can go. I wonder what would happen if you refused to wipe him? HOw would you feel about giving it a try, now that you know he can do it himself?

Jayzmummy Thu 09-Jun-05 12:23:13

KT. I refused point blank last night to assist in the bathroom. If he can do it when way then he can do it when at home. he just sat on he loo screaming the house down. I didnt give in and just closed the bathroom door and left him to his own devises. He did wipe himself but TBH he made a mess of it so I ended up helping out after wards. Im going to get him some kandu wipes and just carry on insisiting that he can do it but will supervise if and when needed. Feel a bit bad because sister phoned this am and said she had done the same to, even though last night she said she hadnt had to wipe his bottom she had had to clean him up a bit.

Mrs F. My sister is very supportive of us and Im sure she gave me a bit of a hard time last night to make me realise that I maybe have got to let go a little. My sister has AS and she probably understands a hell of a lot better what makes J tick. They are so very close and she totally empathises with J. She spent most of her schooldays plotting her escape, she would run away from school just to get back to the safety of home. My sister is a huge animal lover as is J, infact animals have slowly over the past couple of months become his obsession.

Maybe my sis giving me a bit of a bashing has made me realise that the out look probably isnt as bleak as I think it will be. I have just got to learn to let go a little but be prepared to be the sounding mat when things are not so good for wee man.

OMG I just wish I could understand what goes on inside his bloody head sometimes and was able to just make his life so good for him!!!!

Copper Thu 09-Jun-05 13:59:12

Jayzmummy

talking about animals, have a look at the thread Special Needs : Autistic scientist and thinking in pictures (still can't do link)

coppertop Thu 09-Jun-05 15:49:24

Karen - Your post could have been written about my ds1. He was thoroughly miserable all the way through half-term. He had several screaming meltdowns and at one point I had to put him over my shoulder and carry him downstairs to his quiet corner for some time out. He's big for his age and was absolutely furious with lots of kicking and hitting. I think it was because I was furious too that I found the energy to put him over my shoulder!

Monday morning and I left him at school with the biggest grin on his face. No difficulties at school.

I agree that it's the school giving him the kind of structure and routine that I just can't do at home.

KarenThirl Fri 10-Jun-05 10:25:57

CT, sorry to hear you had such a rotten half term as well, but in a way I'm glad I'm not suffering on my own! I spent much of yesterday ring around to find structured school holiday activities for J and have managed to get something at a local family centre, staffed by their usual people but with three additional TRAINED sn staff for these special sessions. Twice a week only but that should break things up a bit if J has something to look forward to, and it still means there is time available for us to do family stuff if he's up to it. Keeping my fingers crossed that there are still places available.

Is your ds still settled now that he's back at school? J is, though he's a little high today as I have to pick him up early to go to great gran's funeral - it will be his first one and he's a bit nervous. Wish us luck!

JM - how are things on the bum-wiping front?

Jayzmummy Fri 10-Jun-05 11:08:40

Still sticking to my guns and not helping intially. J's not happy about it but he has got to learn to do it himself. I stand outside the bathroom door waiting till he has finished and then he calls me to check. He's managing just about without getting into to much of a pickle.....but you should hear the moaning and groaning that he makes!!! "Its disgusting" over and over again.

I'll persevere and will crack it.

KarenThirl Fri 10-Jun-05 12:31:27

I have a feeling he'll get tired of it long before you do, JM! Good luck.

dinosaur Fri 10-Jun-05 12:55:23

I know I'm not really here anymore, but just popping in to say that atm DS1 is quite difficult at home and very prone to getting upset (and hitting out) if things aren't "just so". Afaik, though, he's fine at school.

coppertop Fri 10-Jun-05 20:55:13

Karen - I hope the funeral went well today.

Yes ds1 is so much happier and calmer this week. He's back into his usual routine and loving every minute of it.it. I've been looking into sorting out a playscheme for the summer holidays. Last year he went to a local mainstream one for 2 mornings a week for 2 weeks. He loved every minute of it. My big concern about taking him this year was that it's at the same place where routine-bound ds1 goes to his toddler groups and I know it will be a nightmare trying to drag him away from there.He's a few months too young to go with his big brother so I can't let him stay. The good news is that the people running the playscheme are also considering running an SN playscheme - and ds2 will be eligible to go too.

coppertop Fri 10-Jun-05 20:56:40

I mean "routine-bound ds2"

KarenThirl Sat 11-Jun-05 07:47:31

CT, the funeral went fine, thanks. I'd been talking to J about it all week and he was prepared, so there were no incidents and he managed to keep a lid on things. Consequently though he was bonkers at football last night, spent some time in the sin bin for shouting Poo and Bum at everyone. Ah well, can't have it all, and it was to be expected after such a trying day for him. All in all he did well.

Hope the play scheme works out ok.

TheRealMrsF Sat 11-Jun-05 10:20:21

Karen...Alex (my undiagnosed 6 yr old) is a nightmare with swear words...once he knows it is offensive he repeatedly says it..his 'favourite' at the moment is PISS....he will keep on about needing to do a *that Word*....asking his brothers if they need to do a *that Word* etc.

So i am at a loss...when he repeats a swear word...i assume as ever that he knows no different...it has no meaning etc...so my method is to explain it's a word that upsets people/gets him into trouble....but he seems to not care about the consequences...i'm sure he enjoys the reactions he gets.

Then i try if possible to give him the alternative words that he CAN use.

Similarily ALL my boys talk 'openly' about parts of their 'private' body! Now i grew up in a 'repressed' home ....so i still find it hard to use those words!!!!
But ...that aside....I know on one hand it's 'good' that they are using the biological names etc...but on the other like much of their Asperger's speech....it's way too formal...not like their peers AND if i'm in the park and Leigh tells me that alex has just kicked him in the testicles and penis......though correct...and he is not saying it to shock....IT DOES CAUSE LOOKS AND STARES from the people close by.

I then have to explain that though correct...he would be better to use the slang words that everyone else uses.

He then asks why he has been told the correct words if he's not allowed to use them.

Grrrrrrrh!

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