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Looking for advice for my 5 year old sister. She may have autism and ADHD

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ocean9seal
ocean9seal Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi. I’m looking for any kind of help for my sister. She is 5 years old. She is typically well behaved and kind but recently it is becoming more often where she gets violent and won’t listen. I cant find a trigger for this change of behaviour, it’s literally like a switch has been flipped.
Sometimes she lashes out at school. Her teachers are using a sticker chart to encourage her to be kind and to reward good behaviour but it doesnt seem to be working too well. My mum has gotten in contact with the schools SENCO and my sister is on the list for an autism and ADHD assessment. 
She seems to understand that her behaviour is unkind when she lashes out and does apologise after she has calmed down but Im unsure how to prevent her lashing out at all.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

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  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,981 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @ocean9seal. Firstly, I would like to take the time to welcome you to Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. How are you at the moment?

    Thanks for already finding the courage to reach out to us. I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out, especially when you are new.

    In terms of advice, your first step would be to identify what 'violent' looks like. It is more effective if you can identify the particular behaviours which are 'violent'. 

    This is mainly to enable you to deal with one behaviour at a time, rather than a group of behaviours. After all, they may require different approaches. 

    In terms of identifying a trigger, it might be worth keeping a diary. With this diary, it would be useful to identify what happens before and after your sister displays the behaviour. 

    Often, neurotypical people don't think of the triggers for neurodivergent people. This is because often these types of brains work differently and wouldn't trigger a neurotypical person.

    This is also referred to as an ABC record. This stands for antecedent, behaviour and consequence. If there are not any particular triggers, are there consequences happening each time?

    For some autistic people, consequences are seen as positive even if they are negative for someone else. For example, less socialising time is often a reward rather than a punishment.

    I can hear her teachers are using a sticker chart but this is not working. It sounds like this is probably because a sticker reward provides one benefit which is a reward.

    If your sister is not seeking a reward or cannot understand the cumulative effect of stickers, this is not likely to work. This is because the function is not the same as what your sister is needing/seeking.

    I hope this at least makes semi-sense. Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any follow-up questions about this.

    Wishing you and your family the best of luck with your sister's autism and ADHD assessment. How are you all feeling about all of this at the moment? 

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if you would like to talk about this further or need any further support. We are all here for you and listening to you.

    Take care for now and we will look forward to, hopefully, hearing from you again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • durhamjaide2001
    durhamjaide2001 Community Co-Production Group, Scope Member Posts: 11,212 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi this may be a sign of autism I have autism myself and is very kind and caring but I can sometimes have meltdowns which might be happening to your sister. For this sticker charts don't work. What works for me is rewards not punishment. Is there a teacher where she could go to. If she feels like she is going to lash out. 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,981 Disability Gamechanger
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    I feel like you have added a really useful point @durhamjaide2001. Thank you for this - people we trust can be fundamental!  <3
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
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