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I'm not sure this is the appropriate forum but I think this may be related to my son's ASD and I know that parenting decisions are often different for autism and other special needs kiddos so thought moms here might have some thoughts.<br><br>
My guy with autism is emotionally explosive and has a very low tolerance for frustration. Immediately explosive. His brother comes up and takes a toy (or just sometimes comes near him and Andrew thinks he might take a toy, or a toy doesn't work right...or any number of other things) and he immediately does an ear piercing scream and throws an incredible and loud and physical fit. He can be unbelievably loud. It is startling and disturbing and did I mention loud (even when you have had it a million times). His brother in fact tends to immediately hand him whatever he is throwing a fit over, even if Caleb had it first. So he is being reinforced. I try not to reinforce this but occasionally I know I have because it is heart stopping in intensity and I know I've sometimes fixed a situation just to stop it. I've been trying to be more conscious of my reaction.<br>
Caleb is starting to imitate the same behavior (though half heartedly testing it out and it is easy to handle with him) and I really think Andrew has figured out this gets him what he wants. He has always been volatile but we hadn't seen this until I'd say the last 6 months and it is escalating. I just don't know how to handle it. I can't prevent it because it is literally 0 to 100 in under a second. An immediate reaction and a consistent one. Help anyone?
 

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I can't offer much help, but I can offer some sympathy. My ds1 is on teh spectrum and has suddenly having behavior problems at school and at home. Now his younger brothers are mirroring his behavior. It is really frustrating and makes me sad. We are going to counciling individually and as a family starting next week to try to deal with what's been going on.
 

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My ds does the SAAAAAAAAAAAME thing. Man, is it ever rough. It's getting better, but ONLY because my tolerance level has gone up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: We have had to literally be trained by therapists how to handle it, as in they have been right there, "talking me down" as he escalates. It is so so SO hard. TEACCH therapists (who I love) are the ones who are helping us through this. My ds can get really violent too (head thrashing...man that hurts when you get whacked in the eye socket...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ). What you HAVE to do is de-escalate, even as he explodes. For Caleb, teach him to just leave the situation and come to you as fast as possible when it happens, so you can get him out of the way of flying hands and feet (that would be what my ds does) and so he doesn't immediately reinforce the behavior. Take several deep breaths, deliberately tell yourself "relax." Let your body relax. Relax your face. Drop your shoulders. Give NO REACTION AT ALL. The reason he's exploding is because it's a routine, not because it gets him what he wants (although that is slightly motivating). For ASD kids, they thrive on routines, they feel safe and predictable. In your ds's head, he knows "when I scream/act out, xyz happens," which is something he can predict with almost 100% accuracy. It feels safe to him, he knows what's coming next, hence the behavior. The key to breaking it is to change YOUR reaction.<br><br>
Remain calm, give no reaction. It will be HARD. I know, I have been there. It'll get easier. If he's throwing things or in danger of damaging property or other people, put him in a safe place. For us it's ds's room, we have it babyproofed and have made it a "safe" room.<br><br>
The key is your reaction. He's looking for it because it's predictable. Change that, and his behavior will change. If you have to leave the room and compose yourself (I've had to do that), that's fine too.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> Hang in there.
 

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here too.<br>
I calmly, quietly, firmly remove him to his room.<br>
If you did that, it would prevent him from getting the toy (or whatever) as a payoff. And it would maybe, sorta, hopefully keep it from being such an example to little brother. (if you ignore the behavior, I worry what it would teach the other child)
 

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Finch-<br>
My sister is a special ed teacher and that is exactly what she told us to do with ds1. He has been upping the anti a lto lately, but last nights tantrum actually ended pretty quickly, because I didn't react to him. I just calmly went about making dinner and just told him calmly that he wasn't going to get what he wanted no matter how much he carried on. Unfortunately, the younger boys get very upset by it. I barely got there in time to grab my 5 year olds hand as he went to slap the seven year old. Afterwards my 5 year old came to me and said, "I keep praying to god to make it quiet." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><br><br>
Unfortunately, ds1 is 7 and I can't physically remove him from the area. He's just way to strong. So I am trying to figure out how to deal with helping the other boys deal with it, and change ds1's behavior at the same time. Even when I take the other boys elsewhere ds1 continues to follow us and scream. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I sure hope the therapist can help us out. Because the stress is really getting to me!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>race_kelly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7229893"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Unfortunately, ds1 is 7 and I can't physically remove him from the area. He's just way to strong.</div>
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Oh I feel ya on that one....today while ds was having a meltdown in speech therapy and trying his best to ram me in the face with his head, I said to his ST, "this is really gonna suck when he gets bigger."<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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I hear you on the upsetting the other child thing. Used to be, my younger ds would laugh when his older brother screamed and broke things. (btw he is not dx asd and I don't think he will be, but he has some related issues) Now, younger ds weeps, these deep sobs, gets really upset and scared. It is very hard to handle. He also imitates but luckily he can't do anything like the same intensity and duration!<br><br>
I have to work very hard not to escalate. Esp since older ds is 5 and won't stay in his room, or throws and breaks things and trashes the room when he is in there.<br><br>
On the up side, this is all a lot less frequent than it used to be. The other night, ds was coloring and I was telling him lots of his crayons are broken b/c he used to break them whenever he tried to use them, but now he doesn't. He commented 'OT changed my mad life'...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Finch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7230481"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh I feel ya on that one....today while ds was having a meltdown in speech therapy and trying his best to ram me in the face with his head, I said to his ST, "this is really gonna suck when he gets bigger."<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:</div>
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But they learn more communication and coping skills as they get older. It is a long slow learning process but it does work and they do grow up, honest!<br><br>
I love your explanation and what you are doing is right on. It is just that what takes a typical child 2-3 times to learn behaviorally may take our ASD kids 200-300 times to learn.<br><br>
My ds still can get aggressive but it is much more rare and he will go and sit out now when he is told and stays there quietly. This is a huge improvement.<br><br>
One thing we have found works for him is a zero tolerance on hitting and an instant time out or "break" (We tell Mike to "take a break" and he will now but I used to have to physically put him there but I had to do it VERY NEUTRALLY). It is the same as your safe place. I find if I do this one the first instance it helps to keep it from escalating. If Mike is to the point of hitting then he isn't anywhere where he can listen to or process any kind of verbal direction.<br><br><br>
Another important thing to do is teach a "replacement behavior". In other words in this case teach him how to appropriately ask for things. At first you may have to teach this as a separate skill and you will have to honor each and every time he does it appropriately so you may want to somehow work that out with his brother. Maybe he gets some special reinforcer or attention for being a good helper with his brother.
 

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This is going to sound really nutty, and potentially bad, but when my ds does this, we throw a blanket over him, and he stops. I think he gets overstimulated, and the sudden black out will quiet him down almost immediately. He has gotten to where now when he starts getting overstimulated he will cover himself with the blanket and lay real quiet on the floor. We take the blanket everywhere now. It doesn't always work, like today he tantrumed for 3 hours straight. But it had intermittant quiet perdiods where he was hiding under the blanket. I would say in a given day he spends about 2-3 hours screaming, and nearly one hour under the blanket. That's all together throughout the day, so not all at once. He's almost 2, BTW. It might be worth a try. I have a crib sized blanket we take out in public, and a down filled throw we use at home.
 

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Serenity,<br><br>
Have you tried a sensory type diet with him where he gets regular quiet time under the blanket and maybe similar type interventions scheduled throughout the day? Perhaps that would help keep him from getting overstimulated and cut back on his meltdown time each day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow! Thank you for your posts...I was sort of afraid I would come back and find no replies! I feel less alone and have some helpful ideas too (which I'm going to have to digest after getting some sleep it is 12 am here and what is wrong with me staying up <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: )
 

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Renee, my son has been recently diagnosed, and we will be starting family therapy soon. Hopefully they will give us some tips. The blanket helps quite a bit here, but it's hard with a hyper 4 year old in the house as well. My ds does great while dd is at preschool and the house is quiet and he's left alone. But once she is around again it gets tough. I finally figured out tonight that my ds didn't have his 2 cars to play with. I thought that he had moved on and was playing with other toys since he always knows where his cars are. But I had unthinkingly put them in the toybox, and he didn't know where they were. I got them out tonight and he was mostly quiet and content all evening. I thought he was progressing beyond cars, little did I know, lol.<br><br>
Rachelle, I stay up often, too. I know I have to be up at 6 am with the kids, but it's so hard to go to bed. This is my quiet time, KWIM?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Serenity Now</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7232526"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is going to sound really nutty, and potentially bad, but when my ds does this, we throw a blanket over him, and he stops. I think he gets overstimulated, and the sudden black out will quiet him down almost immediately. He has gotten to where now when he starts getting overstimulated he will cover himself with the blanket and lay real quiet on the floor. We take the blanket everywhere now. It doesn't always work, like today he tantrumed for 3 hours straight. But it had intermittant quiet perdiods where he was hiding under the blanket. I would say in a given day he spends about 2-3 hours screaming, and nearly one hour under the blanket. That's all together throughout the day, so not all at once. He's almost 2, BTW. It might be worth a try. I have a crib sized blanket we take out in public, and a down filled throw we use at home.</div>
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I don't think that sounds bad at all. You know what your son needs and you are providing it for him. It sounds like he's learned to do that for himself also.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>race_kelly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7233982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think that sounds bad at all. You know what your son needs and you are providing it for him. It sounds like he's learned to do that for himself also.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: It's actually a pretty good idea. I mean think about it, when you are upset, doesn't it feel better sometimes to just bury yourself under the covers in bed? Seriously, it helps me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: Can't be a bad idea for a kiddo.
 
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