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What do you do when your SN child acts aggressively? - Page 3

post #41 of 48
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

A visual timer might help as well.  It's a one-hour clock that you set for whatever duration you choose (say, 30 mins for a show) and a red screen covers the area and then gets smaller as the time elapses.  Like a slice of pie getting smaller.  Holy, that's a bad description!  But it's worked here and then the conflict isn't between mom and child - the clock showed what time was left.

Sometimes a picture is worth a 100 words! There's a brand called Time Timer. I've contemplated getting one for my non-special needs, but very intense child who has trouble with transitions. http://www.timetimer.com/


One of my friends with a special needs child also used this BOB TV Screen Time Manager. I think you just program the amount of time you get and then it will automatically turn the TV off after the amount is up. Again, it makes the device, not the parents, the 'bad guy'.


post #42 of 48
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post

I think we're coming to that, not leaving them alone together. It's hard because she's his little shadow and loves to be with him at all moments in spite of the fact that he hurts her. Gets hard when I have to do something out of the room for a minute, but I guess I will just have to take her everywhere with me like I did when she was a baby. Thanks for the hugs, even if they are online. :) 

I think it might be a good idea to take one child with you when you need to leave the room and you can't leave them alone together, but this shouldn't necessarily be the younger sibling. I think it would be good to also take him along with you on occasion. Also,

If it's always the younger girl you may want accompanying you, this may (could, but not necessarily) create (more?) sibling rivalry issues and may aggravate some behaviours of your dc towards her or you as a parent, I think. I would just make sure that every time you need to leave the room, one of them comes with you. Depending on the situation and what you're going to do around the house, and taking into consideration the moods, vibes, skills and likings of each child, etc., I would figure out which one to have come with me, and 'make' this happen as much as possible in a natural flow (non-coercive) kind of way, of course.


As for cutting a piece of carrot triggering an outburst or violent reaction, EVEN such can be prevented. But that is a parental skill you wil develop even better over time. And once in a while you will 'miss' and then you will all have to get through it, unfortunately.


post #43 of 48
Thread Starter 

The timer is a great idea. We could use that a lot! 


I did consider that it might make him resent her, except, generally, he does not want to stop doing what he is doing when I need to pee or do laundry and she does. So that makes it kind of a forced choice. 

post #44 of 48
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post

Stephandowen, we tried to kind of follow that idea today. I brought him to his room after every episode, to his beanbag chair with some books. He calmed down, but had several violent outbursts. We're planning on setting up a better area for him later in the week. 


I emailed his developmental pediatrician and he is suggesting Risperidone. Anyone have any experience with it? 


We did pick up the rescue remedy sleep spray but it didn't seem to work. About an hour after bedtime should have been we had to move the kids into the bathroom b/c of tornadoes (We are safe!) and he did crash two hours after bedtime with melatonin. 

Sadly, he likely will continue to have these violent outbursts for a little while. There is no "quick fix", instant solution (at least, there's none that I ever found!). This is more about giving him the tools to take control of his own actions. He WILL have outbursts. You just have to teach him what to do in those moments. If you are consistent, he should even get to the point where he can tell he's going to be out of control and he'll excuse himself to his quiet place. DS is 7 1/2 and he can now see when he's getting really upset by something and will (sometimes, not always) go to his room. He tells us "I just need some alone time". Sometimes he still has outbursts (dh got bit twice this weekend, unfortunately) but it's a million times better than it was 3 years ago. Sometimes he just needs a little reminder from us ("it looks like you're having a rough time, do you need some alone time?") to remember what to do when he's getting upset. Very rarely do we have to carry him to a safe spot anymore (which is good- because he's too big now!). I encourage you to stick with it. It's HARD. I know. Sometimes you'll feel like it's easier to just ignore the misbehavior or tantrums, but you really do have to be consistent. Every. single. time.


I can't help with the medical/drug side as we've never tried any of that with ds.


Oh, one more thing, once he's asleep at night- does he sleep all night? Does he wake up during the night? Does he snore? The whole story about my ds is around here somewhere, but I will say real quick that at 6 1/2 years old- my ds had never slept through the night. He woke every single night, multiple times. He had horrible snoring issues (you could hear him snoring in his bedroom, which was upstairs on one side of the house, if you were downstairs on the total opposite side of the house- with the tv turned on). It turns out he had obstructive sleep apnea. At 6 1/2 years old we had his tonsils and adenoids removed. It was, literally, a miracle. In the last year since we had it done, he's slept through the night almost every single night (except when he's sick or has a bad dream). He no longer snores. Since he's sleeping through the night now, his daytime behavior improved dramatically! You know how when you don't get much sleep at night, how you're off the next day and kinda cranky? Now imagine that every day for your entire life! No wonder ds was so crabby all the time! We had the surgery done during his spring break. When he returned to school, everyone was shocked at the transformation. Even people who didn't know he had the surgery were coming up to me saying how wonderful ds was being and wanting to know what had changed over spring break lol.gif Anyway, I wanted to throw that out there just in case it sounded like your ds. If I had known the complete transformation it would have had, we probably would have considered the surgery sooner.


Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post

We do have immediate consequences for some things. If he hits, etc there's always an immediate consequence. The warnings thing was more about ending a preferred activity. TV is the only one with that many warnings... we warn him when it starts that it's only one episode. Then a 15 min, 10 min, 5 min, and 1 min warning. If we just turn it off he gets really upset screaming "You didn't tell me!!" so I know we need some warning, though I may be over doing it.

An emotions poster sounds like a good idea, I will have to find or make one. 


Ah, yes. We've been through "warning h*ll" as well. You have to find the right balance between "not enough warning" and "too much warning". I've found that if I stray too far into "too much warning" then ds is just stressed through the whole activity and then flips out at the end because he feels he didn't really get to enjoy it. If I don't give enough warning then he claims I never told him eyesroll.gif  For us, we use a timer. Right now we have a little tiny timer that we can set for however many minutes we decide. DS can watch the time counting down (a colored visual timer would have been better when he was younger, but now he understands the counting down so can do a regular timer). Another thing we've done, we let ds decide how much time he gets sometimes (usually). We will give him a choice "do you want 20 minutes of tv time or 30 minutes?" and let him decide. Then he can help set the timer. During that time I may casually ask "how much time is left?" so that he looks at the timer and can see how much time. It doesn't seem to stress him out as much as if I'm telling him how much time is left.


Another idea that we used when ds was younger is we made him "tokens". Really they were just pieces of paper that I had cut up and "laminated" with clear tape. Each of these little tokens was worth 15 minutes of screen time (computer or tv- very much his preferred activities!). He had to turn in a token to get his screen time. We set the timer and when it beeped he had to decide whether he was done or whether he wanted to use another token. We found that this helped him because he could see how many tokens he had left and he knew that that he was in control of when/how they were used.


With non-preferred activities, we found that if ds was in a good mood then we could "race". He would do his non-preferred activity (which was homework, though your ds is still a little young for that) and I would do dishes or cooking dinner or whatever. Whoever finished first, won. Of course, ds always finished first even if it meant I had to clean the same bowl 5 times lol.gif We are really animated through this and I would run into the kitchen table (where he was) and peek to see how much he had left. He would run into the kitchen and peek to see how much work I had left. I would make a big scene ("Oh no! I can't believe you got that page done already! I'm still washing this dish and then I have all this left to do! I better go even quicker if I want to win!").

post #45 of 48
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips.

He does wake over and over again, but he doesn't snore. He grinds his teeth, but I've read that it's fairly normal at his age. I've contemplated having a sleep study done at different points. This week he is sleeping a bit better, we got a "fatboy" bean bag that is big enough to act as a bed for him and he's wanted to go to sleep and even stayed asleep for 9 hours the first night. (Not since, but one night was glorious lol) 

post #46 of 48

I had to reply to this because I'm just now considering that my son may have Aspergers. He has been aggressive since he was around 2 years old, and unfortunately it's not just towards his older sister but to other kids, too. Sometimes it's out of fun, he thinks its playful to shove, push, wrestle even kids he's just met. Other times it's out of anger or frustration. After he started with the aggression DD picked it up (though only to him, not other kids) and they've been in some really nasty fights (much better now). I feel bad sometimes b/c she can often push him into it (verbal teasing, etc) and then sometimes she'll do it innocently and I am trying not to get overly hard on her for her brother's issues. 


I've struggled with this for years, and while he has made big improvements over the years at age 6.5 I'm realizing he is not going to grow out of this any time soon. He also has some very mild but quirky SPD issues, but they don't interfere with his quality of life (e.g. he is always naked at home but has no problem wearing clothes when people visit or he goes outside; he can't handle the sound of toilets flushing so he leaves the room/stall and I do it for him). He's actually a really good sleeper, but a very picky eater which makes even the thought of dietary restrictions give me palpitations. I don't have the courage to go there yet - cutting out grains, sugars, etc would make our life a living hell (DD is even more picky than he is).


I can so totally sympathize with what you are going through. We've always worked on teaching coping skills and he is better than before, but the bottom line is I've just had to accept that he cannot be left alone with young children, that he must be closely supervised, shadowed at the playground, etc. It's very hard work and sometimes I do lose my temper, too. We try to avoid situations that are tough for him. We homeschool and get together with other kids either one family at a time, or in small groups with lots of adults who are aware of his issues. Fortunately he's not really interested in having lots of friends so he isn't begging to go out and play with large groups anyways. Public kids' functions are the worst; fortunately neither kid is all that interested in such things. Riding on the ferry has always been tough b/c he wants to go to the kids' area but it's a nightmare for me.


I'm just starting my research journey - fortunately my BF has a 20 year old Aspie son and has tons of wisdom, experience, and information to share. I don't have any answers for you, other than to say I just so know what you are going through and send you many hugs...

post #47 of 48
Thread Starter 

Thank you for sharing your experience. I kept thinking the aggression was going to go away, he'd outgrow it, learn to cope, but it just kept getting worse and worse. So when you say you came to the conclusion that its' not going to go away any time soon, that's really where I am now. That's why we went ahead and started the meds, no matter how much I didn't want to do it. They're helping so that's good, but I still feel guilty over it.

What a great resource your friend must be for you! I don't know anyone else who has a child on the spectrum over age 6 so there's not anyone who has really been through it and have that kind of experience like that. Good luck to you with your little guy!

post #48 of 48

Thanks, Stephanie. I had "the chat" with DH today (he was away yesterday) and he actually took it way better than I thought he would. He's supportive of moving forward on this, and I'm very excited to think that we may be finding some answers about our little guy, and importantly to be better able to support him. Good luck to you on your journey, too!

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