Autism and Aspergers
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Chalenging behavior

AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
edited June 2014 in Autism and Aspergers
This afternoon my lovely teenage daughter had a complete meltdown. She has managed to contain her anger for about a year now so it came as a real shock when she started to throw anything in her reach and then, with only slippers on, kick a door into fire wood (no exaggeration, good job we have a wood burner!). Her, much older half brother, found it really difficult but listened to my advice. I just have to let her go. There can be no restraining, words don't work and can actually make the situation worse. So, rightly or wrongly, I just withdraw myself (always mindful of her safety) until she has spent her frustration/anger. The trigger? Never simple to identify but she has been mentioning her mother quite a lot (those who know me will know the history) maybe this holiday time reminds her. I kind of blame myself, I had left her and her brother for about an hour and a half while I did some Easter shopping. I think they just played on laptops not interacting much. I breeze home and suggest we go for a walk. My daughter was having none of that!
After about an hour we did go out, leaving the house in a terrible state. She was very apologetic and did help to clear up some stuff but there is still much to do.


  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Wow that must be sole destroying after such a long break from such behaviour. I know we see occasional slips and it reminds you we have been coasting along quite happily for a while. Don't blame yourself Alistair, we all know it's rarely just one thing that triggers a melt down. Usually a build up and then the slightest thing kicks it off. Hope it all settles back to "normality" and you are ok
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks, Heather.
    We are fine now, I don't know if I told you that we used to refer to her 'outbursts' as the Hulk. Well, she has apologised a few times saying: 'It was a sad Hulk coming out of the box'. She is so sweet!
    It is demoralising, though, and our poor house is still a bit of a mess. I just can't bring myself round to putting back curtains and pictures on the wall in case they all get pulled down again.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Wow hormones are probably playing havoke with your daughter. Not nice for you, but at least she acknowledges it wasn't right. Perhaps she is containing a lot of her outbursts as she matures. I hope so. X
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    I'm certain it had something to do with her cycles. Does PMT kick in about a week before a period is due?
    Apart from the great work they do with her at school she also has (funding an issue at the moment) a fantastic play therapist working with her to help her understand and control her anger. I think maturity is playing it's part as well. I hope so, she is so strong now and can really cause damage. The thought of her doing this in adulthood is unbearable!
    Thanks for your support Heather.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi.Yes PMT is definitely a week before. my daughter is always aggressive before hers. She knows she's doing it and cries a lot. Being a young lady is pretty tough! Hope she learns some coping mechanisum, as any women has to learn that and it isn't easy. x
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Two things, one common (I think), the other quite personal.
    First, I understand why a person with autism may find it hard to get out of a car but the question is how do you deal with it? The day before yesterday my daughter and I went out to an unfamiliar place and everything went fine (with a little humorous prompting) she got out of the car and we had a lovely time. I talked to her about how well it had gone and reinforced the point that she had made the right choices.
    Yesterday we went to a supermarket and it took about half an hour before she got of the car. I talked to her about this and today we had our normal Saturday routine of Library visit and then youth club. Before we went and during the short drive there she said 'I must remember to get out of the car' I tried to ask her why she sometimes didn't want to get out and she said that she didn't want to be naughty. I told her that I didn't think that she was being naughty and wanted to help her have a happy time. She said 'I want to talk about something nice'! Today she got out without any hassle but tomorrow......well who knows?!
    So how do other people deal with this ?
    The other question is about periods! After the Library my daughter went to a drop in youth club (mainstream but a safe place) . I failed to inform the adults it was her period and forgot to provide her with spare pads. Sorry but it's not something a bloke really thinks about. When she came home she went to the toilet and asked me to get her some clean pants and leggings. She copes well now but her soiled leggings where covered in blood and the pants she had been wearing were in her cardigan pocket, torn in half! Apart from my own, obvious, failing can anybody suggest how I can help her cope with this. She is going to have to learn.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Oh bless her. She must have been horrified making a mess. As I say, my "normal" hahahahaha, daughter is a very similar age and is now managing her own menstrual issues. But is it possible you could start encouraging your daughter to take a handbag with her....everywhere!?!?!?! Just keep a few spare pads and knickers inside, in a bag for her and inform all carers spares are always in the bag. I doubt she will understand initially that it's there for herself to access, but if the bag is always with her the idea may develop? Not an easy situation. I can appreciate, having been raised by my father, he would have died if I had asked him about periods. My older sisters taught me as only a woman would appreciate what it involves. Good luck.
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks Heather, it is really interesting and helpful to hear from women who have been raised by their father.
    She was given a handbag by one of her school friends. I'd forgotten this, but I had suggested that she take it with her . She didn't want to. I think that I will be more insistent and do as you suggest but perhaps add a few other things and ask school and her respite carer to reinforce this. Can I ask for the word 'normal' be banned?! Isn't the PC description 'neuro-typical'? I don't know but maybe we could say 'average'?
    Oh, and by the way, on the getting out of the car issue I did follow your advice a while ago and asked a passer by to encourage her to get out to go to a hospital appointment. I was lucky that this passer by was a social worker!
    Thanks,as always, for your support.
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    edited June 2014
    do you use a visual schedule for what is happening thru the day? my son becomes a bit obsessed about his but it really helps him to know what is happening now and next.

    i just write down on a paper where we going, what will happen next etc.

    eg if you going out the time you will be back etc etc; supermarket shopping indicated etc .

    i am assuming she can read here but if not then visuals/pictograms.
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi natashailg, good to hear from you again. She can't read but I can do piictogams and 'easy read' stuff (it was part of my last job). However I am not that organised and while we do talk (she has good verbal skills, very chatty!) about what is going to happen during the day, we are not at school or work and I prefer things to be more laid back and she needs to cope with changes.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Alistair..just thought. An in joke amongst my circle of lady friends, is the Bridgette jones knickers. Most females have the frilly nice undies and then the monthly safety armour to stop leaks. Whether it's ever crossed your mind to buy black undies for your daughter, sounds perverse, but the dark colour won't show the leakages so much. Strange info to post, I know. But perhaps men have never thought of a simple thing as how to keep your nice undies safe! :)
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks Heather, that is (it is weird talking about this!). We do have a selection of underwear and now you mention it the black ones are the 'survivors'! Lighter ones are often torn, binned or flushed if they get soiled! I'll bear that in mind next time I go shopping for them (a task I dread!). Thanks!
  • NaomiNaomi Member Posts: 29 Listener
    I was reading through this and I was struck by the extraordinary humour (as well as courage and determination) of the parent. These are not easy experiences and you are coping so well, you should be proud. As a mother, I can say your daughter is very lucky to have you.
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Well, Thank you, Naomi! Laughter was sadly lacking in our house for a few years but humour is a great healer, don't you think? Nettbuddy has been one the main stays of support for me. (I am lucky to have my daughter!)
  • JimJamsJimJams Member Posts: 175 Listener
    I use symbols with my son , stick them all over the place as prompts and reminders, maybe by saying to herself I must remember to get out of the car is not enough, stick a visual prompt on the car window for her, I,e car stops door open and have fun or picture of dentist etc.
  • NaomiNaomi Member Posts: 29 Listener
    Humour is crucial. I think of all those really grim moments, not just mine but also friends' grim moments, and if you are able to laugh at the situation (normally in a black humour type of way, but who cares, a laugh is a laugh) it can be like a ray of sunshine breaking through the darkness. Keep it up with your daughter. I am so impressed. Teenage girls are not easy at the best of times!
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