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Help me...need to vent

Posted by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 9:31 PM
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My 2 yr old son with autism is so resistant to any change that he looses control witht he slightest change. Sunday he broke his bed so I turned our extra crib into a toddler bed for him and all day long he played on it and pretended to sleep but come bed time it was a completly different story!! We were up with a meltdown till 3am and then he only slept till 8am and woke up in the meltdown he went to bed with...ALL day long Monday, Tuesday, and today and Im about togo out of my mind!! His speech therapist came to the house today for therapy and only stayed 30 min of the scheduled 75 because she couldnt do anything with him..If this meltdown doesnt end soon Im gonna be nuts..I know that sounds awful but im exhausted and tired of the screaming and being attacked while changing his diapers etc...His meltdowns last for days and at times up to 2 weeks..Im at a loss at what to do...??? Any suggestions??
by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 9:31 PM
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by Member on Jul. 25, 2007 at 9:59 PM
First of all, calm down and breath. First of all how bad was the other one broken and did you keep the matress? If it's broken on the ends and wood go to a harware store to get parts to fix it. If it's wood and it was a slat that brook on the bottom. You can use a short coffey table and put the matress on with the ends on each end. If it's metal. Find an old round curtain rod and paint it the same color as the bed frame and use it to replace the bent or broken parts. If the frame is so gone that none of the above can be done, take the old matress and put it on the new bed, but the new one should be as close to the same hieght and color as the old one as possible. Small change is one thing but to kids bed changes are major. Autism or not. If they don't feel the same or look the same they won't feel safe sleeping in it.
Let me know how it turns out. Good Luck,
by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 11:47 PM
Id love to be able to fix it but it was actually his play pen that he had always slept in cause hed never sleep in a crib or bed...Hes actually gotten to big for the play pen so he needed to move out of it anyway but I am at my wits end its been almost 4 days of a continous meltdown with very little sleep...Im exhausted and tired of the screaming and throwing and acting out...
by Member on Jul. 25, 2007 at 11:51 PM
Hi sweetie I totaly understand my son was the same way, I was desperate and felt like a horrible mother. I was so desperate I was willing to try anything, I mean the meltdowns were just like your sons. Okay this is just a suggestion, it worked for me and fro many other people with kids with autism. I started the gf/cf diet (gltuen free/cassien free diet). The first month he got worse and I though oh my Lord what a mistake, after the 2nd month his meltdowns began to subside, slowly they just disappaered, every now and then he will have a tantrum but they have reasons, his toy broke or he wants something his brother has blah, blah, blah. Anyway if you want to look up some info you can check As fro the sleeping issue, try melatonin 1 mg, you can get it at your local health store, vitamin world or even at walgreen it is over the counter, it is usually where they have the natural supplements. You give him a pill or his drops 15 min before bedtime and it's off to sleepytown. Many moms use colodine, i just don't like to use meds, they have enough toxins in their bodies already. Hope this helps.
by on Jul. 26, 2007 at 12:01 AM
Thanks for the advice to help him sleep! We started the gf/cf diet approx 2 mos ago now and this is his first meltdown since but boy is it terrible! Im at a loss here, just waiting for it to stop anytime now...
by on Jul. 26, 2007 at 8:25 AM
Perhaps he misses the way the playpen surrounded him. I'm sure it felt like a safe place for him. Maybe you can make a canopy or something that surrounds his new bed that will create that same sort of safe space for him.
Good Luck!
by Bronze Member on Jul. 26, 2007 at 9:33 AM
Hang in there!  Things will get better.  Change is so difficult for our little guys/gals.  I agree with everyone who has responded.....fix the bed if you can, then transition slowly to the other bed.  Leave both beds up if possible and let him get comfortable with the new bed.  Maybe read to him on it and let him play with toys on it and then try to do naptime on it, etc. 

At this age meltdowns are more common because they have trouble communicating their feelings; think about things that have changed in his daily life, is he frustrated when he's trying to do something or is it a physical discomfort:  Is ears, his stomach, when was his last bowel movement?  Is he scared of something?  The GF/CF diet can help tremendously for some kids (It did mine).

Lastly,  I don't know how he broke his bed, but if it was by jumping on it, get a mini trampoline for him to use instead.  My son loved this and it kept him from breaking his bed!

I know it's hard....I've been there!
by on Jul. 26, 2007 at 11:11 AM

Hi, yes you do need to vent. That's good. First of all, I am a mom with a 6 1/2 yr old with Autism, non verbal...can be quite aggressive and he too has days where he is a screming out of control banchie. The best thing I learned is to (as hard as it is) not pay attention and feed into it. Don't yell back, don't look at and also him Do NOT hit him! My son was like that all the time until I put him on some meds, they helped a good amount, but he is still Autistic and they will alway have underlying issues that meds can't fix, my son broke my jaw when he was 3 and that was the end of that...I put him on meds. I hate this disorder it is so hard. Do you have any support? I am a single mother and my ex takes my son 4 hours a week...yipee not much help, you need to get some respite, get someone to come in ad give u a break. Ask the Neurologist about meds, talk to the dr. he could be in pain that is making it worse? teething?? My son used to get like that when he was hungry and couldn't tell me. Belly aches set him off too. I hope things go better for you and please e-mail me at anytime I would love to talk to you I have been there and still am going through it.
Best of luck..... Amie

by on Jul. 26, 2007 at 11:39 AM

My son loves the closed in feeling of playpens and he loves to sleep on the floor.  My mother made him a teepee with material  and 4 wooden sticks so he can get plenty of the closed in feeling.  I knew a mom her son would only sleep in a tent.  So they bought a tent that was big enough for a twin matress.  Now they make the tents that go on hte twin size beds. 

by New Member on Jul. 26, 2007 at 12:15 PM
. I know how you feel . My daughter has thrown some of the worst tantrums and there were times when I would have to put her in an ice cold shower to snap her from it and I would feel like such a horrible person for it. But my doctor suggested it in order to try to break the cycle...I am a single mom and I just had no one else to hand her to for relief. She is 11 now aand she is so strong when she snapps into  a tantrum mode it gets very scary. The last time she did was in may of last year....she tried to stab me. I had to have her hospitalized for more than a month it broke my heart. She had never been away from me but she was so far gone it seemed and I was so afraid she would hurt herself or one of her sisters. Anyway not to scare you more...but it does get better...she has been home now for a year this month and doing well. We back step some but we have not had a major moment in a year.She is attending 2 special schools a day now so she goes from7:30 - 6:00 and it gives her so much routine that she feels comfortable for the first time. I know it can be so rough and you think you couldd just scream forever....but it does get better. As for medication....everyone is different and I tried for the longest time not to have her medicated but after the hospital situation I had to. I chose to go with the least amount of medication we could and researched it as much as possible.....but I still know that I can not for sure say what effects this will have long term and I wrestle with this daily but I just had no more answers.
by New Member on Jul. 26, 2007 at 1:41 PM

I agree with camsmom on this ignore the bad behavior and only focus on the good. It worked with our son Spencer.  He was so aggressive and would have at least 3-4 tantrums a day but his teacher told us to ignore all the bad behavior. She also had us not just acknowledge the good behavior but reward it.  This really turned Spencer's attitude around. If there is absolutely no saving the bed then just be patient and remember to reward the good behavior and he will come around for sure. Good luck!

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