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My shadow.

5 replies

SachiLars · 19/08/2023 13:00

my 5yo non verbal ASD son has recently become like my shadow. I can’t leave him with anyone including his Dad without him going bananas. Have barely gone for a wee in peace because he is following me everywhere. He didn’t used to be anywhere near this bad and would go with his Dad easily, but since I had one night away he’s been glued to me.

We’re out tomorrow day / night and my MIL is looking after him but I’m not even sure how to get out of the door without a meltdown.

Has this happened to anyone else? Did it end?

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itsmyp4rty · 19/08/2023 13:43

That's really hard. Sounds like you are his security and because he didn't understand what was happening when you had a night away he now doesn't feel safe and doesn't want to be apart from you for a second.

I don't really know what the answer is apart from perhaps going out for very short times repeatedly over a number of weeks so that he learns that you always come back. I would do this very, very slowly - start with just 5 minutes - and keep your coming and going upbeat but very calm. Almost like you would with a puppy to get them used to separation.

TBH I'd cancel tomorrow, it's just likely to be traumatic for all of you, and start working very gently and slowly on the issue.

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SachiLars · 19/08/2023 17:59

Thanks for the insight.

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Scratchybaby · 26/08/2023 06:20

I have a sort of similar situation and was dreading the prospect of dropping DS off at school when he starts reception. He was (eventually) fine with drop off at nursery, but it took a long time of him seeming genuinely panicked that I was just leaving him there forever.

Right now I'm using the phrase "I'm just going to the shop and I'll be riiiiiiiight back" any time I leave the house for a short period and it seems to help him process the fact that yes, I am leaving him, but it's only temporary. If your DS has an established understanding of a place you could go that's a short trip - like the shop, the bathroom, anything - and start working on that as a cue that you're leaving him for a minute but coming back? If your DS is non verbal, but understands/responds to some language, it could be useful to build in a phrase that he associates with you coming back, alongside practicing the gradually increasing periods of time away.

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openupmyeagereyes · 26/08/2023 08:24

SachiLars did you try a social story to prepare your ds for your trip away? That might be a good idea in the future. How did he get on with MIL for the day?

If it’s still an ongoing issue I suggest starting very small and building up to longer periods of being away from him. Try a social story about separation and have a script that you use with him to help him understand and to reassure him that he’ll be safe and you’ll be back.

We had a couple of periods similar to this: when ds started school and when the parent of someone he knew died. It did pass.

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SachiLars · 26/08/2023 11:26

@Scratchybaby Thanks, I’ll try the consistent phrasing. His language comprehension is really limited so I might have to think about 1-2 words.

@openupmyeagereyes I managed to get away second time I tried after a really long settling down period. He was fine the whole time he was there.

We’ve still a way to go with it. Had a total meltdown when I popped in the shop and left him in the car with his dad yesterday.

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