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What to do when an autistic adult's behaviour is out of control?(2 Posts)
I have recently moved back in with my parents after the breakdown of my LTR. My 24 year old brother also lives here. He is autistic and attends a day centre for a few days a week.
I am very concerned for my parents and the way my brother treats them. They run after him and he is never made to do anything for himself. They cook all his meals, brush his teeth for him, lay his clothes out for him in the morning, literally everything. I know he is autistic but I feel they should encourage him to be more independent. He has now developed an extremely entitled attitude. If he is ever asked to do anything around the house (e.g. dry the dishes) this will provoke a full blown tantrum so that he isn’t asked again.
He also steals money from them and they excuse this because of his disability. Sometimes £10/£20 notes will go missing from their wallet/purse and they will just ask him to return it and nothing is done. Recently he signed up for an EBay account without them knowing, stole my DF’s debit card and ordered over a hundred pound of gaming related things (one of his obsessions.) My parents buy him game consoles, he has a tantrum and breaks them by throwing them against the wall/floor and then they will buy him a new one if he goes on about it enough. I feel like he is manipulating them to get what he wants. I have even heard him ‘bargaining’ with my DM in the street, saying things along the lines of “I want X game, if I can’t get it I’ll shout” and he can/does make a huge scene in the middle of the high street. He is obsessed with money and he seems to see people as money trees. When our grandmother died, he said “who will give me money now?” I know that social skills and bluntness are part of his autism but this is how he thinks. I sometimes wonder if he even cares about any of us.
This evening has been awful. He told DM that he wanted a new X-box for Christmas (he broke the last one by throwing it.) My parents bought him the X-box and hid it in their room. He has now been through their room, found the X-box hidden in their cupboard and everything has kicked off because he wanted a laptop and he’s angry that they bought him the X-box. He has been screaming the place down all evening, throwing things, he’s trashed his bedroom and thrown his Nintendo DS.
We went to the other room to watch TV and get away from him. He followed us, screamed in my DF’s ear and when DF shouted at him to get out and stood up to attempt to get him out of the room, my brother punched him and then DM started screaming at DF, blaming him for everything when he had done nothing wrong. I told her that it was my brother who was in the room and she started shouting and swearing at me, accusing me of wanting my DF to ‘beat up’ my brother when I said nothing of the sort.
I am now sitting upstairs away from it and my heart is racing because I’m so upset. I have anxiety problems anyway and being in this environment has made it worse. Every time my brother has a meltdown, it is scary. He is an adult, he is tall and stocky and when he has a violent tantrum, it scares me. He has hit me before (a while ago) and I worry that he will do it again, or worse hit my parents and really hurt them. They are in their 60s and shouldn’t be dealing with this day in, day out. Yet they won’t put him in respite care, they won’t accept any help and my DM in particular blames everyone else for his behaviour and always takes his side in situations like this. The other day, he was screaming and shouting at her and the next minute she was hugging him and telling him how good he is. She treats him like a little boy and he knows that she will always stick up for him. He definitely plays on it sometimes and he also plays my parents off against each other (he often lies about things my DF has said to him and as my DM is volatile anyway, she will then confront him while he watches and enjoys it.)
I am moving out in the New Year but I am so worried about my parents, especially because I have now lived here and seen for myself how bad my brother’s behaviour is. They have let this situation continue and while I admire them for caring for him, things are getting out of hand. The ladies who work at his autistic specialist day centre are no help either. He runs rings around them and they let him on the computer, where he searches for arguments/fighting from soaps etc on YouTube and copies the behaviour at home. I have tried to encourage them to ask for respite but they refuse it. In the past they have tried NHS behaviour support, behaviour support from the day centre but nothing makes a difference. I feel really helpless and I don’t know what to do.
Hi Laura, You are right, your parents need help in supporting your brother to becoming more independent. I found the NAS site useful to give me ideas.
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