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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody!

Does anybody have "the secret" in taming these "after school rages"?
i pick my kids up in the late afternoon from school, and the teachers love them, (they are loud and bubbly, but that is well loved :joy ) - but - as soon as I get there, they start shouting at me, shout at each other, throw there stuff, refuse to get dressed, throw stuff through the car, scream at each other in the car. it is very, very horrible.

and i do work hard to keep my calm.

I tried everything to manage their behaviour, but now i kind of thing the problem lies elsewhere. is there a "trick" for them to calm down or not flare up so much?

food? nintendos? does anyone have a similar problem and solved it?

thank you gals!
 

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One day, my daughter was crazy after school like that and I asked her, "Were you trying so hard to be well behaved all day and now you have to let it all out?" And she said, "YES!"

So, you aren't alone on dealing with that!

I try to have some sort of snack ready for when they all get home and I let them have their down time (tv, computer, whatever). I really don't know how people get their kids off to sports and other activities. My kids are done for the day after school.
 

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Would stopping at a park help?


For awhile, my kids were in a school that was only a couple of blocks from a nice city park, and we would drive straight there. They could decompress for awhile on the equipment, and then we would go home. For my DD with sensory issues, just swinging in peace and quite for 30 minutes or so was a great re-set.
 

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This was an ongoing problem for us the whole time DD was in school. I know why it was happening but I couldn't "fix" it. This obviously isn't for everyone, but our solution was to pull her out of school. She homeschools now and it works great for us.
 
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Oh yeah this is a thing all special-needs kids deal with in school. To be fair I think regular kids have to deal with it too, but I think for special needs kids it's just that much harder--having it to hold it together all day, and just having so much more stuff to deal with on top of that ... Yeah.

The thing that I find that helps in my situation it's really a lot like Linda on the Move--snack first thing when They get home, and some downtime, preferably outdoors, this seems to help regulate the extreme mood swings.

But no matter what you do, being in school day is hard on kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
but our solution was to pull her out of school
they LOVE school. it's a waldorf school, so it's tiny and everybody is very loving (i am not strictly antroposophic, but I love the athmosphere there ...) - they go to the all-day-program, we started last week, because they wanted so badly. and they love it.

DS1 is devastated at the moment because he has the flu and can't go.

It was no difference though when they were on the short day program.

What I just found out, kind of accidentally, is that audiobooks work pretty good (at least for now). the tiny ones started with the flu, so i had to drag them to school to pick the bigger ones up, and i left DD2 with my iphone and an audiobook in the car, and she continued listening, and DD1 and DS1 listened, too! only intermittent shouting for "not hearing well enough" - but I guess that's easy to fix. :D:D

I will try to bring snacks. I just read "the autism revolution" - (did anybody here?) - and the author mentions that the kids are often not aware of their hunger.
So, I'll try that one to.

Stopping at the park does not work so well, since they just come out of an "free play" phase and have all the possibilities to run around at home ...

i'll keep you updated
 
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Yes, I was going to suggest audio books- my kids (not SN, but 5, 6 and 10 years old) have been listening to them for years. The challenge is to find ones that are reasonably interesting for the 10 year old but not WAAAY over the 5 year old's head. I probably have 100 audio books by now on my phone and a little old MP3 player :) I try to have already had them pick what they'll listen to next time we get into the car, otherwise even that can start an argument. A good audiobook (turned up pretty loud) and a favorite semi junky snack (like gold fish or something) usually keeps them happy.
 

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they LOVE school. it's a waldorf school, so it's tiny and everybody is very loving (i am not strictly antroposophic, but I love the athmosphere there ...) - they go to the all-day-program, we started last week, because they wanted so badly. and they love it.

DS1 is devastated at the moment because he has the flu and can't go.

It was no difference though when they were on the short day program.

What I just found out, kind of accidentally, is that audiobooks work pretty good (at least for now). the tiny ones started with the flu, so i had to drag them to school to pick the bigger ones up, and i left DD2 with my iphone and an audiobook in the car, and she continued listening, and DD1 and DS1 listened, too! only intermittent shouting for "not hearing well enough" - but I guess that's easy to fix. :D:D

I will try to bring snacks. I just read "the autism revolution" - (did anybody here?) - and the author mentions that the kids are often not aware of their hunger.
So, I'll try that one to.

Stopping at the park does not work so well, since they just come out of an "free play" phase and have all the possibilities to run around at home ...

i'll keep you updated
I get that pulling out of school is not the solution for everyone, it's just what we did. My daughter liked school too and especially enjoyed walking home together afterwards. It didn't stop her having a total meltdown once we got home.

I hope that audiobooks continue to work well for you.
 

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I've seen this called arsenic hour even for average kids, special needs kids it'll be a lot worse. Here's a good article: http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/family-life/Arsenic-Hour

I agree that trying to get to a park or somewhere that they can be wild if they want could be a good idea. We just had a hell ish time with kiddo coming down from a horrible grandma visit- trips to parks and the farm I work at helped a LOT.
 
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I've seen this called arsenic hour even for average kids, special needs kids it'll be a lot worse. Here's a good article: http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/family-life/Arsenic-Hour
Great article :)

DH can't understand why I feed the kids so early, when he rather eat dinner around 6pm.
And I laughed when the article said for the parent to change in to comfortable clothes--here all the kids socks come off and are tossed all over the living room/even undies seem to be shed, in the bathroom, a lot of days. Ahhhh...home!
 

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Sorry I don't have anything brand new to add to this discussion.

I don't think it's just kids with autism who may not know they're hungry. My neurotypical (well, ODD) kid often does not know and becomes beastly. I feed them in the car first thing after they get in, although if they haven't finished their lunch that's the first thing they have to eat. But sometimes handing them a popsicle (from a little cooler) is an inredible mood changer.

My daughter with ADHD is exhausted after school. Just fried. She can't deal with interpersonal challenges in that state.

Audiobooks are a lifesaver for us. What I would say is, try some well-read ones you think will be above your youngest child. You might be surprised. Even when my son was clearly not getting the nuances, he'd enjoy them. Mine are 7 and 8. They have a lot of stuff on iPod they listen to over and over - Roald Dahl (not just his famous ones, there are some other good ones out there), Beverly Cleary (Henry Huggins, Ramona - they love those), Marguerite Henry, Jessica Day George - those are all authors who have spanned the 5-8 age range for us so far. Also, it's easier to listen to a fun story that might be an easier reading book than you'd pick up than to listen to drivel. Horrible Harry - we like him, too. We get them from the library (can get a 3 week download) and the selection is pretty good.
 

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But sometimes handing them a popsicle (from a little cooler) is an incredible mood changer.
A friend of mine was saying, during the summer, that she can tell that her kids are getting dehydrated by their moodiness. Popsicles are a great idea!
 

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I once read something that makes perfect sense to me when I think about it.
I read that most children save their WORST behavior for the people they feel safest around.
Not that your child doesn't feel physically safe at school... but he is at school, and there is a certain amount of pressure around. He has friends, he has all sorts of teachers, he has a principal, and all of these people can be larger than life to a child. So he's sort of on his best behavior at school.
Then he gets home, where he is in his comfort zone, around the parents that he KNOWS are permanent fixtures in his life, that he knows love him no matter what, and so this is where he has his meltdown.
It is really pretty common for kids to melt down after school. They are exhausted, and they've been sort of tense all day. It is similar to how we feel when we come home from a long day of work, but children don't have as much self-control as we do.
So my advice would be, basically, to just not take it personally. Treat your child's rage as if he is just making noise. Try not to have an emotional reaction at all, but just stay as calm and cool as you can, and let him know you'll respond to him when he is calm.
When I work in schools, a lot of times we'll have a "sensory room" that is darkened, with pillows and stuffed animals and things, where kids can go when they need to calm down. It isn't a punishment... just a safe place where they can let it go. You could try having a mandatory quiet time after school... for half an hour everyone has to go sit or lie down in a quiet spot and rest, listen to music, color, do puzzles, etc. This would give him time to unwind from school and get into a better frame of mind!
I hope that helps!
 
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