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hitting the baby

(6 Posts)
jenk1 Mon 04-Jul-05 10:06:03

hello im fairly new to MN, my son michael has A/S according to 2 psychologists we are awaiting a full diagnosis but have a bit of a wait, anyway he suffers from anxiety attacks,mood swings all the usual things with A/S. Thing is no one has told us how we should be disciplining him, we dont smack him, shouting doesnt work i can usually talk to him about what he,s done a couple of hours after the event he doesnt usually agree with me that what he does is wrong but he will say "sorry" cos he knows it is what we like him to say, the thing is i have caught him punching DD who is 15 months, not hard punches just little ones but enough to make him cry. when i try and talk to him he says its all "india" "india" "india" in this house, i am not a part of this family, India-DD has allergies, eczema,asthma,hayfever and is on a very strict diet, we are constantly at the doctors,hospital with her and i think he is feeling left out, when i try to tell him she is poorly he starts screaming and saying he doesnt want her to die,when we tell him she wont he says thats what you go to hospital for, we now can,t take him on any hospital visits because last time he rolled around on the floor and starting screaming that "the baby is going to die", i dont know how to calm him down or to discipline him for hurting her, the GP,s are a waste of space, the psychologists say they dont deal with that sort of thing and we will have to wait for the specialist team to give us advice, to top it all i suffer with PND, and am finding it very hard to cope, can anyone give me advice on how to manage mikes outbursts,behaviour,cos i cant cope anymore i feel like everything i am doing is wrong, DH just acts like nothing is wrong and when i try to talk to him about it changes the subject.
thanks

monica2 Mon 04-Jul-05 10:55:32

Hi jenk1 so sorry you are having such a difficult time, dd (AS) has done this to ds for many years so I can empathise how upsetting it is, I think mainly it is due to not having my full on attention all the time (impossible) but also I am sure at other times it has been an attempt to show affection but she gets mixed up on how to express emotions. Is it possible for you to arrange for someone to have dd so you can spend sometime with ds on his own, perhaps doing his favourite activity, on a regular basis. I would also look for the triggers of the aggressive behaviour towards dd, is it when she cries for eg. as this may be dislike of the noise etc. I would also suggest a social story/comic strip for why/when people go to hospital to try to reduce his anxiety over dd's health/hospital visits. I would try to ignore the behaviour at the time but obviously physically prompt him away from dd, then attempt a social story later when he has calmed down, about how people feel when someone hurts them etc. Hope you get some support soon. (I would also recommend a book by Tony Attwood published by the NAS called "Why does Chris do that?)

jenk1 Mon 04-Jul-05 11:06:27

thanks monica u have really cheered me up.I have been reading the threads about social stories but dont know what they are or how do i go about doing one?

monica2 Mon 04-Jul-05 11:34:43

carol grays website

TheRealMrsF Mon 04-Jul-05 12:18:32

1st...i think you are doing a brilliant job!!!

I have had PND and now am still on antidepressants (my youngest is 6)...so KNOW what you are going through.

2nd...i think you are right to 'discipline' him a while after the 'episodes'...if i try 'mid outburst' it escalates big time...so i too wait till my AS son's have cooled down ...then i re-cap and explain every step of the way what happened...how they made me feel...hurt someone....broke something etc....as having AS means they don't have a 'natural' understanding of these things!!! Also i remind them of my facial expression at the time....and body language used etc..... as agin this is something they just don't see....basically i try to link as much as possible to the incident...obviously stopping if it gets too intense...but my theory being that though as is common they don't automatically connect 'THIS' incident to 'THAT' incident....i have found i am on the whole able to 'TRIGGER' their meory of past 'similar' incidents....by saying things like 'when my face is like this ...what does it mean'...they will often then recall the times i have 'looked like that'!!!

so .... best advice i can give (as i've not had this exact problem to deal with)...is to keep doing what you are doing....be consistent....maybe in the way of a social story...have a set phrase that you always use as soon as he starts to hit india.... reason being is he may not hear you if he is in a rage...but he will get used to the same phrase...it could trigger his past memories of 'being told to stop'.......

also......basic though it is...i have to use 'distraction' techniques still with all 3 of mine...the oldest is 11..... so in your case it could be that you have something at hand that he REALLY loves ...or a favourite song on a cd etc.....and as soon as you are aware that he is hiiting india...you try NOT commenting on what he is doing...but offer the chosen disraction. I say don't comment...as what you don't want is him to link the 'DISTRACTION' with the 'BEHAVIOUR' and see it as a reward to be achieved.....when i do this i 'appear' to be oblivious of what is going on.

Finally...'MAYBE'...if you feel comfortable with doing it.....find things to tell baby india off for......trivial things- or things that bother MIKE...like if she puts something of his in her mouth...or if not ......when she's out of earshot.....say to mike."I do get cross when India does THIS or THAT'...." etc...this will maybe make him feel that he's not the only one doing 'naughty' things!!!!

Also i think you mentioned on another thread about getting child care set up if poss whilst you take Mike to his ASD appointmants....well ..even THAT would be a great oppertunity for him to feel 'centre of attention'...but i know you are struggling with finding it......think good to point out his hitting her etc...and therefore how a placement for india would act as 'respite' etc for both him ,india and ofcourse you!!!

(as though i never had the 'baby hitting'.....i have to constantly watch Alex (my youngest) as he 'launches attack on leigh (my 8 yr old)...or provokes him etc ALL the time.... so i have to keep alex 100% occupied ...so i think i understand the stress you feel!!!)

jenk1 Mon 04-Jul-05 15:18:24

thanks so much for your message mrs f, it really helps talking to someone who has been in a similar situation

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