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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Help with meltdowns

Posted by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM
  • 18 Replies
My nine ye old son is autistic. He is high functioning, just struggles with temper tantrums and acting out. He used to be abusive to himself but not others. Now he is starting to hit and kick and throw things at kids at school and his sister at home. He constantly talks negatively and is cursing at me. He constantly talks about death and killing. I know he doesn't really want to hurt anyone but I don't like hearing it and I don't like my five yr old daughter hearing it. He is angry all the time and medication is not helping. Neither is therapy or punishment. I feel like I'm going to lose my sanity. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Please help!
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM
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Replies (1-10):
all4gumby
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM

With my kids punishment does not work, because it is still attention.  It sucks, but we ignore the behavior (trust me I have been through a lot).  Since we started ignoring the melt-down they have been much shorter when they do occur (which is less often).  

When you start to ignore, they will escalate to try to get your attention, if you react then the next time it will be worse.  As long as my children are not trying to hurt themselves or others I ignore them.  If they do something that is not okay, I remove them from what ever it is without talking to them or showing any emotion. Some examples of what my son did that I ignored: pinch, kicked, and hit me, spit, climbed on counter tops, stabbed matteresses with a pen, went through my purse throwing everything around the house,  slammed doors, etc.  

Once my son is calm and does what ever we originally requested him to do, then we dicuss how he could have handled it better.  

My kids have therapy, but we also request parent counseling, that way they teacher us how to handle these situations.  We have had a lot of success!  We have started to run the sessions and are using the skills that they taught us and have seen a huge improvement with our children over the past year.  

They still have melt-downs occasionally, but they do not last very long.  We do not use time-outs or punishments.  We do positive reinforcement.  Anything that they earn is never taken away.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Apr. 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Is he currently in any therapy?  School?  Those therapists or teachers might have some ideas for you...hugs mama!

Bfox4622
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:19 PM
Thank you so much for welcoming me. I appreciate any advice and especially support from anyone who understands what I go through on a daily basis. Thank you all4gumbi. The only problem I'm having is that he is trying to hurt me and others when he gets mad(which is ALL the time). My daughter gets scared and screams when he goes stomping at her and it turns to chaos. I try not to punish him a lot because it doesn't seem to work anyway, buy he has to understand that there are things that are not allowed no matter how mad he is. And he can't just abuse people every time he is upset ya know? So I don't know what to do.
Bfox4622
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM
To Darby: thank you for the warm welcome. :). Yes he is in school but we are probably going to have to move him to somewhere else because he keeps getting suspended. The teachers and social worker seem just as clueless as I am. Lol. I am married but basically Doing this alone because my husband doest understand this and just wants to keep punishing him for everything. Therefore, the responsibility falls on me for everything. This is my stepson. I've had him since he was three but he has never been this difficult to handle. I'm really worried about my five yr old daughter seeing all of this behavior.
kajira
by Emma on Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:33 PM

I homeschool my special needs child for similar issues at school - though not quite to that extend. His was more lying, and behaviors that got him kicked off the bus, he stabbed a kid at school with a pencil, etc. that kind of stuff.

Stuff, that the older he got, I could see in a school setting, would get worse, and he needed that more 1 on 1 interaction inbetween school work to really learn and do his best.

My son is on meds for problems unrelated to autism, and when it's working well, some of his side effects of rage, and mood swings are also helped a bit by his meds... but his meds go in spurts of working really well and not working so well. Sugar and other things make his meds stop working at peak performance too, and we'll always end up having to mess with his meds to keep him stable.

Our son has talked about death, killing, torture, etc. It's pretty scary, because I know my son DOES have it in him to act on those behaviors... we just do our best to make sure he knows he *can't*. 

A lot of behavior is to get a reaction, or to express his feelings, and we work hard to teach better communication and more effective ways of handling/coping strategies.

i have a 2 1/2 year old daughter, and I also worry about  my son's behavior and how it will directly impact her long term... and my son requires 24/7 supervision. 

My son has a pychotic disorder on top of his autism label... so his issues are slightly more indepth, but his symptoms started a lot like you were describing around 6-7.. and slowly got worse as he got older.

I don't have any magic solutions off the top of my head, but if you need a shoulder, or to talk to someone who has a similar experiences, my inbox is always open.

girl_incognito
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I'm sorry :(

I can help you with your school issues. Does he have an IEP?

Quoting Bfox4622:

To Darby: thank you for the warm welcome. :). Yes he is in school but we are probably going to have to move him to somewhere else because he keeps getting suspended. The teachers and social worker seem just as clueless as I am. Lol. I am married but basically Doing this alone because my husband doest understand this and just wants to keep punishing him for everything. Therefore, the responsibility falls on me for everything. This is my stepson. I've had him since he was three but he has never been this difficult to handle. I'm really worried about my five yr old daughter seeing all of this behavior.


Bfox4622
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:58 PM
Kajira, thank so much for understanding my frustration. I just don't know what to do anymore and as a result I walk around angry a lot of the time. I don't want to hate my child but it's so hard being around him lately. It's nice to know that someone else is going through this though. :)
TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Apr. 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

 I think you got some really good advice from these ladies...I can never be of much help in this area because my son's behavior is really good!

But therapy you can get him on your own or anything in school should help!

 

Chirinos
by Member on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I know exactly how you feel my 10 year old Autistic son is the exact same only he dose not do it at school only at home. Punishment dose not work on him either. If you find ways that help your son with his behaviors please let me know so I can help my son as well. Good Luck..
Bfox4622
by on May. 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Can anyone give me advice on how to keep my daughter from copying all this behavior that she sees her autistic brother doing? Also, does anyone have a child that's taking abilify?
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