temper tantrums in aspergers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 04-20-2011, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my son has frequent temper tantrums. sometimes they last a really long time like an hour, and other times like 10 min or more. we have been dealing with them more and more lately. they have become so bad that we actually are starting to think he might have some kind of disorder like aspergers. when he has a tantrum, he swings at me and my husband and will spit and scream or try to claw us. My sister's son is the same age(4) and he never does that stuff. we try to gentle discipline. but we have to physically lift him and try to put him in his room while he screams and claws at us. it makes us feel terrible. is this something you see in aspergers? he is gifted as well-never tested for either thing, but we will be going to visit a pediatric psychologist this next week. this has been a struggle for us since he was about 1 believe it or not. anyone have the same behavior in their aspergers child?


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#2 of 13 Old 04-20-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Does he have any other abnormal behaviors? What about sleep or appetite issues? Does he have mood swings?

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#3 of 13 Old 04-20-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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It can be, or not--he is too young for that particular diagnosis, though he can receive helpful therapies. Ds' DP said that though she couldn't yet diagnose him with Aspergers' we could act as if he did and use related therapies we though would be helpful. Though an "ordinary" psychologist isn't going to have the expertise you need. I'm not saying don't go, but I would also get a more comprehensive evaluation.

 

Also, often children with special needs may not respond to discipline techniques that you would expect an average child to--I recommend not trying to put him in his room when he is having a tantrum; I'd just do what is necessary to prevent him from hurting himself and others. My ds is medicated for ADHD; though he still has tantrums, they now range from staring/no eye contact to laying on the floor and slighty banging his hands and feet on the floor (like a cartoon tatrum)--the latter only happens at home. He no longer has the "flailing like we are trying to murder" him tantrums.

 

 

GHSU | Georgia's Health Sciences University

 

What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?

 

This is a summary of my ds' evaluation in February; his issues also started around 1yo and escalated around 4yo; I have no idea if there are any other similarities and am not saying this applies to your son.

 

The results (as transcribed from the Dr.’s teeny tiny handwriting)

1.      Average to high average ability (performance IQ – TONI 3 > verbal SIT-R ).

2.      Achievement commiserate with ability (WIAT II)

One score somewhere was abnormally low; I think it was part of the verbal SIT-R, a section with “strange stories” where you identify what someone is feeling knowing that the feeling is not what they said (like a person who hates apple pies saying “thank you, it’s just what I wanted” when given an apple pie—why would they say that? because they didn’t want to hurt the giver’s feelings).

 

3.      Mild to moderate pragmatic language disorder.

4.      Social developmental delay; in part due to ADHD.

5.      ADHD combined.

6.      Disruptive behavior.

7.      Anxiety (performance and social anxiety)

8.      Chronic motor/vocal tics

9.      Possible CAPD.

10.  Hyperacusis/sensory concerns.

 

Therapy Referrals

1.      Speech therapy with attention to pragmatics.

2.      Continue CBT to address anxiety and behavior.

3.      CAPD evaluation.

4.      OT to address sensory concerns.

 

 

The doctor said that she could see why I was concerned about Asperger's (ds currently has an ADHD/w disturbance of emotion and conduct diagnosis from his psych) but also said that ds was on the borderline (regarding age) for diagnosis (6y11mo).

 

Regarding Asperger’s, the Dr. said that he appears to meet the criteria but that he was a little young for diagnosis and that the ADHD complicates the picture (she went into a lot more detail than that; apparently the diagnostic team spent a lot of time debating this point). We will reevaluate in a year – added maturity and addressing some of his other issues may give us a clearer picture. The appointment took about 2 hrs.


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#4 of 13 Old 04-20-2011, 10:17 PM
 
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He's too young for an Asperger's dx. Check out the list for PDD-NOS and see if it fits as all.

 

And no, my Asperger's child is not like that at all, but that doesn't really mean a thing. Boys present differently than girls, and are far more likely to be violent.

 

I'm glad that you will be seeing a professional and I hope that it helps you find effective parenting strategies. Rainbow.gif


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#5 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks. we do have other "symptoms" that has me wondering if it could be aspergers. he does this kind of head banging movement any time he is sitting sometimes bouncing in place. it looks like a self soothing thing. he has done this since he was about 1 as well. if he wants something that we dont want to give him(candy or something) he will follow us around repeating it over and over. when he meets someone new, he wont make eye contact or talk to them. sometimes he will make funny noises or if someone new comes over he will get super hyper and start running and knocking things over and breaking things. he doesnt always make eye contact with me even. it looks like he is spoiled, i think to other people, but he isn't at all. we are clear and firm with him, but try to allow him as much as we are willing to bend on. it is so  frustrating. he is so bright and very very strong verbally and physically. i don't know what to make of it. we are also talking about what we will do about school next year. i always wanted to homeschool my children, but it is so hard for me some days that i'm afraid i wont be able to do it. anyone have this experience?


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#6 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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With all the symptoms you have described, I would definitely get a full evaluation by a clinical Neuropsychologist.


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#7 of 13 Old 04-21-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2wes View Post

thanks. we do have other "symptoms" that has me wondering if it could be aspergers. he does this kind of head banging movement any time he is sitting sometimes bouncing in place. it looks like a self soothing thing. he has done this since he was about 1 as well. if he wants something that we dont want to give him(candy or something) he will follow us around repeating it over and over. when he meets someone new, he wont make eye contact or talk to them. sometimes he will make funny noises or if someone new comes over he will get super hyper and start running and knocking things over and breaking things. he doesnt always make eye contact with me even. it looks like he is spoiled, i think to other people, but he isn't at all. we are clear and firm with him, but try to allow him as much as we are willing to bend on. it is so  frustrating. he is so bright and very very strong verbally and physically. i don't know what to make of it. we are also talking about what we will do about school next year. i always wanted to homeschool my children, but it is so hard for me some days that i'm afraid i wont be able to do it. anyone have this experience?

Those symptoms, particularly considering his age, overlap with other diagnoses like ADHD and SID and sometimes are co-morbid shrug.gif.  I still recommend getting into a developmental-behavioral pediatrician as soon as possible. We waited until ds was nearly 6.5 before we took ds to a psychiatrist and the DP appointment was still 9 months away -- and though being in school gave them more information to work with, by then I was like this yikes.gif all the time. Despite the issues ds has had this year, my stress is down 90% from last year-- we can't give you a definitive answer; you need specialists. What I did was to make a bullet list of behaviors--I reviewed what diagnoses I thought might apply (ADHD, Asperger's, SPD) and wrote down ds' behaviors that seemed to fit--it was a good starting off point.

 

You could also submit a request to your local school for Childfind; it won't prevent you from homeschooling, but it may give you more options.

 

IDEA Child Find Project

 

Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist


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#8 of 13 Old 04-23-2011, 12:19 AM
 
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Everything Emmeline II said!

Childfind is a great program for general assessment & they can give you some names / numbers for people to do a more intensive assessment. IMO it does sound like some aspergers tendencies, possibly sensory disorders or other related things too. My DS is similar. He has not had so many of the meltdown tantrums like this lately but when he does I have to physically restrain him by holding him so he doesn't hurt himself or others.

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#9 of 13 Old 04-23-2011, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone for the input! yeah, he is such a sweetheart too. it makes us feel so bad when he gets so upset over things. like if his socks aren't perfectly flat on the bottom or something like that. it can be exhausting sometimes. and since he has no verbal delays or any issues in motor skills excepy being kind of clumbsy every now and then(runs in the family) i just didnt know if it could be a mild form of aspergers or something if that is possible? i really don't know alot about it.


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#10 of 13 Old 04-23-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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What are you doing for his sensory issues?


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#11 of 13 Old 04-23-2011, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just try to work with him when he is upset with something. Like the sock example, we would just try to help him arrange them how he wanted them. I have a hard time telling if something is sensory related or if he is just being picky with how something is. Is there a way I should be handling the tantrums instead of putting him in his room? We do that now because he is trying to hit us with his head or clawing at us. We thought it gave him a way to calm down.


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#12 of 13 Old 04-23-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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IMHO, you need to get the book The Out of Sync Child immediately. It is about sensory issues and reading it will help you understand what is going on with your child. It has tons of idea for creating a sensory diet for your child -- that is to say, the kind of sensory input he needs each to get be more together.

 

Having an appropriate sensory diet is the number one thing that helps my DD with Aspergers and her intense sensory issues whichare  part of that. The question isn't "what do we do to fix it when our kid is freaking out?"  the question is "what can we do every day so our child freaks out less?"

 

Sensory issues are always a part of ASD to at least some degree, but can occur in children who don't have any other special needs.

 

For my DD, the best things have always involved whole body moving through space -- swimming and gymnastics are the best, and playing at the playground on slides and swings are next.  She really needs at least an hour a day of this kind of movement to think straight.  For other kids, very different things work better. We had to figure this out -- no specialist was able to. 

 

Next, I highly recommend the book "Quirky Kids" by Klass. It is about a several different dx's, including Aspergers and Sensory issues, the specialist involved, what kids might be like at different stages, etc. It's a very good book.

 

But work on the sensory stuff first. (And I think it's great that you are getting an eval, that's important too, but it won't fix the sensory stuff)

 


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#13 of 13 Old 04-25-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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We have the Out of Sync Child, great book!  Also try The Out of Sync Child Has Fun which shows many activities, resources to buy supplies, and ways to make your own version of amny of the common supplies used for sensory kids.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

IMHO, you need to get the book The Out of Sync Child immediately. It is about sensory issues and reading it will help you understand what is going on with your child. It has tons of idea for creating a sensory diet for your child -- that is to say, the kind of sensory input he needs each to get be more together.

 

Having an appropriate sensory diet is the number one thing that helps my DD with Aspergers and her intense sensory issues whichare  part of that. The question isn't "what do we do to fix it when our kid is freaking out?"  the question is "what can we do every day so our child freaks out less?"

 

Sensory issues are always a part of ASD to at least some degree, but can occur in children who don't have any other special needs.

 

For my DD, the best things have always involved whole body moving through space -- swimming and gymnastics are the best, and playing at the playground on slides and swings are next.  She really needs at least an hour a day of this kind of movement to think straight.  For other kids, very different things work better. We had to figure this out -- no specialist was able to. 

 

Next, I highly recommend the book "Quirky Kids" by Klass. It is about a several different dx's, including Aspergers and Sensory issues, the specialist involved, what kids might be like at different stages, etc. It's a very good book.

 

But work on the sensory stuff first. (And I think it's great that you are getting an eval, that's important too, but it won't fix the sensory stuff)

 



 

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