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Suspected Autism and Pushing

4 replies

RalphieRooBear · 13/09/2022 08:14

Hi All, I'm posting this with the aim of being able to support my friend whose DS, she'd 3.5, is currently being assessed for Autism.

I will state, this is new to me, and so I apologise in advance if my wording or language offends anyone, I genuinely don't mean to, so please just kindly educate me if needed.

I'll refer to him as DS even though it's my friends child, just to make things simpler.

DS is a lovely kind natured little boy, who we spend a lot of time with as I also have a DS who is four weeks younger than he is.

The problem she is facing is that he will push other children, it doesn't seem malicious when he does it, he just walks past and shoves them, sometimes they just stumble, other times they fall over, one two year old fell and smacked his head on a ride on toy.

When we go to playbarns/parks anywhere where there are other children, my friend watches him constantly; if he hits, she removes him, sits him down, explains to him why he's had to sit down, explains to him to use kind hands only, asks him to repeat what she's said, he then sits out for three minutes, then she takes him back to the child and he willingly says sorry, but he will then do it again as soon as he sees another child. 9 times out of 10 the session will end with her in tears because she's doing everything she can to teach him it isn't okay, but it doesn't seem to be working.

The difficulty is he loves playbarns, and she also has a 2 year old, so she doesn't want to exclude them from the things they enjoy.

To make it worse, recently this happened and a mum stood up in front of everyone after he'd pushed her son, and shouted in DS face 'what is wrong with you!' and told my friend she should go round the room telling people there is something 'wrong' with him.

I'll also add, he never does it to my children, or to children he knows well.

I have referred to my friend throughout this, because we mainly take the children out together, but I will add her partner is also amazing with him, and they both do everything they can.

Anyway, thank you for reading, I just wondered if anyone has any tips in what we can do to help him stop pushing other children?

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HotPenguin · 13/09/2022 19:26

It sounds like he might find it overwhelming being with lots of other kids. Could you take him to outdoor places instead, with fewer children?

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RalphieRooBear · 13/09/2022 20:13

Thank you @HotPenguin for responding.

We go to the playbarn during the day in term time, when usually there's only around five children in there, including our own. We also went to lots of parks in the summer, but the same thing happened.

He's currently at nursery in a room with around 20 children in, but he doesn't do it there.. perhaps because he's familiar with those children.

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Bobobab · 13/09/2022 20:26

DS can be physical with kids when he gets overexcited... I guess it's still that he's overwhelmed but hes so happy that I dont realise, his outlet seems to be pushing or grabbing.

He was very different at a SEND session where they adjust the lighting and music etc. I would have always said he coped well in loud and busy environments before.

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Annoyingkidsmusic · 14/09/2022 23:49

You say she is watching him, but what is she actually doing to prevent him pushing other children?

In my experience, if you have a child who is impulsive and hits/pushes other children then you MUST be proactively preventing them from doing this. Not “sit down & think about” after it has occurred- you as a parent must be right beside your child, blocking them from hitting/pushing, and firmly explaining;
“We do not xyz”
“I cannot allow you to push Timmy”
“Katie does not allow you to hit her- keep your hands off her body”

Rinse and repeat for as long as needed, it will take a lot of consistency and firm boundaries over time to address this.

You must put in the time to show that this behaviour is not tolerated, and stay beside the child, and help them support them by managing this situation until this phase is passed, but the parent needs to be 1-1 and block the child from being able to hit or push in the first place.

I fully understand that boys can be loud, boisterous, and love a bit of rough & tumble, and all children have off days and a low threshold when tired, hungry, ill, overstimulated etc. But when it comes to hitting & pushing, other parents patience will only go so far tbh. Nobody pays for days out & soft play etc so have their children constantly hurt by other children.
I’ve found the best way to modify poor behaviour is to get ahead of it, model the behaviour you want your child to show, even if this means staying beside them to support them while they learn these skills.

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