Recommendations for containing DD when she's being aggressive at daycare - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 4.5 yo DD has autism, including sensory processing stuff, language problems, stubbornness and general unwillingness to comply with social requests. 

 

We both have to work full time out of the home, and DD is thankfully at a great in-home daycare run by a retired special ed teacher. They understand DD and adore her. 

 

However, she has taken to pushing over some of the smaller toddlers over the past few months and has really hurt some of them. Daycare providers now stay right by her side so they can quickly intervene if needed, but 1) this is really taxing for them to be on pins and needles about her, and 2) they can't always be right by her side every second.

 

When she's having an aggressive streak, and is not being responsive to verbal instructions or gentle re-direction, they put her in a high chair to separate her from the situation and keep the other kids safe, but this option isn't ideal because she's getting too big for it and they are worried she will tip the chair over. 

 

We/they are working with DD for permanent behavior change, but that is apparently going to take a while. Until then, we need a good, safe, stable, and AFFORDABLE way of physically containing her for about 15 minutes so she can calm down and daycare can finish attending to other duties with the other kids (e.g., pottying, diapering, feeding, etc).

 

We really need to make things work with daycare - she gets HUGE benefits from being there, including special ed instruction, peer modeling, social skills practice, and a lot of love from people she has bonded with. 

 

Ideas?

 

 


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#2 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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If you're in the US, you can go through the school district. After the age of 3, the school district has the responsibility to provide appropriate and free education to every child. For yours, this may mean a special needs preschool or fully-integrated preschool with an aide or other help to meet your DD's needs.

 

Preschool for SN kids is a whole different ball of wax from preschool for typically developing children. We started off as die-hard homeschoolers and now will be pushing for preschool right when DD turns 3, if they're not able to get her in sooner. A SN preschool especially is cool as the staff (this is a blanket statement, of course- districts and teachers vary tremendously) usually have the skills and tools to work with SN kids, and the child can also receive speech, OT, etc, right there.


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#3 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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Oh, and to actually answer your question (sorry about that!)- are you looking for something to physically restrain your DD while she cannot be supervised? Because, maybe I'm totally missing the gist, I don't think that's a thing unless you're looking for a special needs highchair for big kids, which run into the many hundreds of dollars. There have been so many injuries (and, let's be honest, deaths) resulting from the use of restraints and/or isolation on ASD kids that I'd be very wary of letting anyone, no matter how awesome, use them on my child. Perhaps a car seat?

 

Sorry again.


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#4 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, thanks for replying.

 

Yes, she is already enrolled in special needs pre-school - 4 mornings a week. She goes to daycare in the afternoons and on Fridays. She's learning lots and making progress in both environments, but also has this problematic behavior that we are trying to work through.

 

Yes, we are essentially looking to physically restrain her for very short periods of time. Ideally, she would be sitting in a chair that she cannot tip over or otherwise hurt herself in. The chair would be in line of sight of the daycare providers. (It's a living room/kitchen/dining room with an open layout).

 

Ugh, I feel like a monster just typing that. Please know that neither I nor the daycare providers are being cavalier about this idea. We are looking for a way to keep the other kids safe until DD develops past this pushing phase.

 

The problem is that when she is in one of her "pushing the toddlers is fun" moods, she will wait until the providers have stepped away from her side and immediately run over and do it again - one time pushing a little tyke off a chair and hurting him before they could stop her. The only thing that stops the behavior when she gets really set on it is placing her in the high chair for about 10 - 15 minutes. Then when she gets down, she has stopped perseverating on that activity and she is able to safe around the other kids. 

 

And yikes, I looked at the link you provided, and that is nowhere near what we are looking to do. Basically a safe chair for bigger kids, yes. Like a Rifton chair, except not $1000. Maybe such a thing doesn't exist?

 

I was looking at this - any idea if this would also be a danger?

 

I really feel like they are doing the best they can, and they have a ton of in-house expertise on working with special needs kids, including kids with autism. They know all the tricks in the book and are trying them, but they also have a responsibility to keep the other kids safe. If we can't make this work, I'm afraid they will ask her to leave the daycare, and I'm not sure where else we'll find competent care for her. We've considered a nanny in the past, but couldn't afford it. And we can't afford for one of us to not work. So we're a bit stuck.


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#5 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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Thanks for not taking offense! I worry that I come off too harsh- you sound like a lovely mom and it seems like you have a really solid plan, and valid concerns.

 

The Educube looks pretty cool, actually! I'd worry that she could topple it to the side easily, but since it's so low, the chances of her getting injured look way lower than if she was higher off the ground. Would you get any additional use out of a big-kid stroller that might make it worth the price? This stroller seems to have some decent reviews and a high weight limit. Perhaps something like that would work, where she can't easily get leverage off the floor or rock hard enough to crash down?

 

I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but it really sounds like you've got a wonderful head on your shoulders and are doing very well with your girl!


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#6 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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I totally get what you are saying. She gets hell bent on pushing other kids over, and until the "push, push, push" mantra is removed from her head, they need to stash her someplace so she is not harmful to others. Having 1:1 during that 10-15 minutes is not an option but the setting that she is in works well except for that one problem. The only thing I can think of like Erin suggested is a carseat. I'd say one of the massive Britax Regents would contain her for quite some years to come. They are not made anymore but since this isn't a seat for driving, Craigslist would be a great place to look. I'm not familiar with daycare laws, so this it out of my element. But I am guessing that a highchair is currently used because it is what an accredited center can have at their hands all the time, a heavy carseat stuck in a corner, I'm not sure that would pass during an inspection. 

 

The Educube in the link would not of held my fit throwing child at that age at all. Good luck. 


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#7 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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http://www.adaptivemall.com/sosionsi2.html

 

How about the Tumbleform Soft Sitter (above link). It would not contain her for a wild ruckus tantrum, but will if she is just stuck on 'repeat-repeat' and also is soft- could be sort of a high chair or floor setting. Sort of a place to 'reset'...especially if they can give her a tangible distractions while she sits for a bit (sensory ball, tangle, etc).

 

My DD (PDD_NOS) would get stuck on a pattern (though she was not aggressive) and simply removing her in a loving but firm way for a bit helped a lot. We used a playyard- but she could not climb due to gross motor delys, so I doubt that would work for a climber!

 

 

Good luck, sounds like you have a good set-up.

 

Do they do a sensory diet? I found my DD got much more physical when she really needed some 'heavy work' sensorywise. We had her jump on a trampoline, push a weighted pushcart, etc. 

 

The etiology of 'why' will help determine how to prevent it as well (is it aggression just for agression on smaller kids- kind of a venting, or a sensory need, or a no able to communicate type situation??).

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#8 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Peony - yes, you summed up the situation exactly.

 

We do have a Britax carseat that we use in the car for her, but we have another carseat in DHs car, so we could probably leave the Britax at daycare. I'll ask them what they think of that idea. I'll peruse our state daycare laws too and see whether there are any exceptions that can get made (if necessary) to accommodate a special needs child. I think the daycare providers are open to doing whatever will work, but of course they need to be mindful of staying in compliance with their licensing requirements, so maybe I can advocate with the licensing people if needed.

 

ErinYay - don't think we'll need a stroller, since one of the OTHER goals we're working on is getting her to walk herself more places (she doesn't have any gross motor problems, just "wandering off" problems) - we don't want her/us to rely on using strollers to get her from point A to point B. But thanks for taking the time to think of some ideas for me!

 

KCMichigan - thanks for that idea, too. That might be another good option if the carseat idea doesn't work out. As for sensory diet, they do get the kids outside once or twice a day, even here in the Pacific NW where it's rainy and cold 8 months out of the year! She has things to push and climb. It may not be enough, though - and I'm not sure what to do about that other than buy the daycare some more stuff! She is also a BIG TIME climber; has been obsessed with it since she first started walking. That also continues to be a problem at home, daycare, preschool - basically everywhere - because she will try to climb anything and she is very persistent about it. We have climbing stuff for her indoors and outdoors at home, which we redirect her to, but she also climbs (or tries to climb) the tables, counters, TV stand, gas fireplace, window ledges, trees, fences, grocery store shelves, Christmas tree (!), door jambs, toilet, towel racks, etc. etc. And yes, we do take her to the local climbing wall! orngbiggrin.gif  


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#9 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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Quote:

 As for sensory diet, they do get the kids outside once or twice a day, even here in the Pacific NW where it's rainy and cold 8 months out of the year! She has things to push and climb. It may not be enough, though - and I'm not sure what to do about that other than buy the daycare some more stuff! She is also a BIG TIME climber; has been obsessed with it since she first started walking. That also continues to be a problem at home, daycare, preschool - basically everywhere - because she will try to climb anything and she is very persistent about it. We have climbing stuff for her indoors and outdoors at home, which we redirect her to, but she also climbs (or tries to climb) the tables, counters, TV stand, gas fireplace, window ledges, trees, fences, grocery store shelves, Christmas tree (!), door jambs, toilet, towel racks, etc. etc. And yes, we do take her to the local climbing wall! orngbiggrin.gif  



Our sensory Diet was on a two hour rotation. So outside once a day would not be enough! Plus, DD loves to go outside-- but sometimes she would play with dirt instead of burn off steam! She also would swing and swing and not do anything else! Have you done OT? It was not about stuff-- rather it was about a set routine and doing certain activities at certain intervals. Our OT was invaluable and really really helped us decrease the behaviors related to sensory needs.

 

We also made out DD a weighted blanket at age 2, she still sleeps with it 4 yrs later....

 

Our OT had our DD on a brushing program and that helped A LOT! We found she was touching people for sensory input--- a weighted vest and joint compressions/tight squeeze hugs also decreased the instance of 'touching/pushing' others. We also did specific sensory seeking stuff each hour at first and then lengthened it to two hours. 

 

We have a kid swing indoors- would that help your DD?  Also a small geodome for climbing constructively has been good. (could be put indoors)

 

 

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#10 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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I'd be curious about the OT as well. Your DD has some behaviors that were/are very similar to my DD1. We traveled for intensive OT to basically learn what to do with her throughout our daily routines, every single thing was such a battle then and it honestly changed our lives. She was 5.5 then, 5 when we started regular OT here locally. DD1 was not in a school/daycare setting then but I our therapist would go to places and make suggestions, come up with routines that may work better for that particular child. 

 

Heavy work, lots and lots of heavy work is what was key for my DD1, the child can not be ran too hard, she just does not wear out. She is a climber as well. We switched to encouraging that in controlled environments like you with your climbing wall, we do that as well. thumb.gif Gymnastics loved her because she could scramble up the balance beam like it was nothing! She turns 9 in a couple weeks and has turned into a sports fantastic, they keep her body and mind busy which is key for her because she does not deal well with downtime, she still has a tendency to turn aggressive with siblings if left to her own devices. 


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#11 of 11 Old 12-22-2011, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions. 

 

We haven't been able to afford OT (neither the co-insurance payments nor the time off work to ferry her to the appointments), but we just paid off our car, so maybe we can look into that option again. 

 

I will look into a geodome, a weighted blanket, and a weighted vest. And items for doing "heavy work." I'll suggest they give her some tight hugs at daycare more often. I'll keep thinking of ways to support her to get more activity. She spent about a year in the hospital as a baby getting treated for brain cancer - she's probably still making up for lost time! And I suspect kinetic activity is a big part of how she is trying to neurologically re-calibrate after all the injuries to her brain.

 

It's hard for us to balance all of this against the schedule that comes when both of us work out of the home (and my DH commutes an hour each way). Mornings are: get ready to leave the house, and evenings are: fix dinner, get cleaned, bedtime routine. And we have another child, DD's older brother, who needs our attention too. We just can't focus as much on therapeutic interventions for her as she needs. It makes me feel really sad, overwhelmed, and worried for the future. greensad.gif

 

I'm so thankful for this forum, and I really appreciate all your support and ideas! 


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