I figured I might get better answers tailored to DS1 here rather then other forums. DS1 is 2.5y and speech delayed. He has been in ST for a year and still has the expressive skills of a child under 2y. We now know that he understands most of what we say, well I think anyway. He is a very silent boy and stubborn so it is hard to tell at times. For a while we have been having an issue that if he gets his feelings hurt, anything happens, I tell him he can not have a lollypop or we have to go, he very carefully and systematically goes around and destroys things. Let's say a sister (there are 4 kids) runs in and starts playing with a toy he considers his, he will walk downstairs and tear apart the entire train table, not frantic or in anger, it is quite controlled, dropping every single piece to the floor and then he moves onto other things but the train table is always first. It is getting to the point where anything happens to him and this is the response, destruction. A glass of milk is dumped out, an entire water bottle. Nothing is ever thrown across the room, I swear that he carefully scans the room for potential items to wreck havoc with. Clean laundry thrown piece by piece into the glass of milk on the floor, huge bonus!!
To say that I am tired of cleaning up after his "temper tantrums" is an understatement and he is starting to do it at the science museum, anyplace. If we are out and I say/do something he does't like, he will calmly turn around and dump out my diaper bag, very item out of my wallet. When I say no or offer short simple sentences, he then pouts. He will lay there for 30 minutes, or an hour yesterday, refusing to play at his favorite place. Or climbing underneath the X-Mas tree and getting stuck... He rarely cries, when he does, I know his feelings are REALLY hurt. He prefers to lay down, pout, or hide behind something, he likes to hide his face. He will not allow me to pick him up or comfort him. Redirection does not work, he does not forget and move on. With my other kids I could get by without saying no, I could redirect and move them away, it just doesn't work with him. And he holds a grudge, if something happens, I do manage to distract him for a few minutes, he will still remember and go repeat his pattern of chaos. Autocorrect is on the loose tonight, so sorry!
I'm hoping that by bumping this up, someone who has experience with a simlar child will see it. It sounds very frustrating for you.
but everything has pros and cons
I can't say I've dealt with this behavior specifically, but my ds was virtually unredirectable, did a lot of pouting, and had horredous tantrums. Ds was also quite destructive but that usually wasn't related to his tantrums; it seemed to mostly stem from curiosity and sensory seeking.
If you can, I would get an eval done at a clinic like this. What did EI evaluate him for, was it just speech? Perhaps you can tell them what has been going on and ask for a reeval, particularly as specialty clinics can have several month waits.
I'd have some super advice, except that we're in the same boat.
Valley is 2 today, and surprised us by:
*figuring out the knob-cover-lock-thing on the bedroom door for the first time
*dumping and breaking the very first houseplant we've ever had, that we got last night, which I didn't put up bc I thought I could do it in the morning
*dumping a bag of chocolate Chex stuff on the shag carpet and eating it
*jumping on her new, birthday trampoline without supervision
It's super fun to go check on your kid and finding their room empty with the door open...
We try to keep things sane and safe by pretty much having the entire house baby-proofed to minimize "no touch" (she's *very* sensory seeking, thus takes a great deal of pleasure from dumping and feeling things- my purse always goes up, coffee cups are covered and out of reach at *all* times- if she can't touch it, we really don't have it out.
She has speech, social, and sensory issues (we suspect ASD but won't have a proper referral until Thursday) and we finally just gave in to management over discipline. Literally, if it's on the kitchen counter, she pulls it off, regardless of time outs, redirection, etc. She's not allowed in the kitchen by herself (baby gates) and when she comes in, everything has to be moved off the counter unless she can have it.
We also have a number of things that she's permitted and encouraged to dump- bins of pasta, jars of pretty rocks, etc. Making sure she has enough sensory input throughout the day helps a lot, too. If you haven't already, perhaps get an OT eval to establish a good sensory diet for your boy. If we can't provide these kids with enough stimulation, they figure out how to get it, at the expense of our belongings.
Good luck to you- sorry I don't have any better ideas.
Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.
While my son is more verbal now, he was in your son's boat at 2.5 years old. I agree, it sounds like there may be more going on here. That being said, regardless of reason he's acting out, he's acting out and he needs consequences.
He throws the laundry around and into the milk. He gets a 2.5 minute timeout and then helps to clean up the mess - even if it takes a while and you do most of it - he still needs to help right the wrong.
I found that teaching my son sign language helped tremendously! He was able to give us an inkling of what was going on in his head which helped head off some frustrations (some times). The signing times videos were wonderful. You may be able to borrow them from the library.
Sounds like you have a very smart child on your hands. This may be a case of typical toddler manipulation.
When my speech delayed son was at that age and did stuff like that, I picked him and held him firmly on my lap until he agreed to stop or was over the fit. He would rage, but I wouldn't let him go. He hated it. He eventually learned not to do it. We also practiced ways to express feelings of anger, without being destructive. As his expressive language improved with therapy, he got better at that, too.
We are in the exact same boat. Our son is language delayed and has been having increasingly over the top tantrums with some destructive behavior. Very calculated destruction as well (ie not out of control, flinging things around kind of behavior though we have a little of that as well).
For our son I really believe it is a combination of normal 2 year old behavior coupled with his inability to communicate very well. This is apparently really common for speech delayed kids. We've tried a million things (time outs, making him help clean up, ignoring, getting on his level and talking calmly, even imitating). None of that seemed to help and often escalated things. In fact I think I think it was making things worse because he was being punished for something I don't think he has the tools to control.
So far the only thing that is consistently helping is, 1. We taught him a sign for "angry" (really just him clapping his hands together loudly with a grrrrrr) and 2. I've created an "angry box" with things he can dump, throw, kick, and generally fling about. We just started this about 2 weeks ago but yesterday we said no to a video and rather than destroy he actually went and got the angry box down and started signing angry. I think maybe he just has a lot of intense emotions that he doesn't know how to communicate or handle on his own and this seems to be helping so far.
I do suspect he is quite bright. The things he does at time lead me to believe that I don't know a fraction of what is going on in his mind. He is also a quirky kid. Regardless of anything he still is like a very immature toddler.
I do attempt to hold him at times but I do also have a 4 month old, and I can not safely hold both at the same time, the baby basically lives strapped to me since he isn't the happiest baby. I am LOVING the idea of an angry box and a sign that he can use. I believe it is exactly like fizgig says, I don't believe he has the ability the control himself. I know he has to have all sort of emotions and thoughts whizzing through that head but yet he is virtually silent most of the time. We are obviously trying to give him the verbal ability to express himself (he gets services 4 days a week currently) the best that we can but it will take time. He gets frustrated over something that is out of his control, he has to have his diaper changed and instead of screeching, saying no, and running away, he will allow me to do it but then go and carefully destroy something.