Support for my son — Scope | Disability forum
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Support for my son

slim Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited April 2019 in Autism and neurodiversity
My sons 5,he has severe non verbal autism,adhd, severe learning disability,sleep disorder,he attends a special needs school who are fantastic but we cant see a change from when he started over a year ago.Its very hard & frustrating when he cant get across what he wants,he has meltdowns,he kicks,headbutts,bites etc,he put a teacher in hospital as he drew blood when he bit her,he bites the other kids & has bitten my young granddaughters,he doesn't cope well with transition either,its a constant worry with him especially as to what would happen if we weren't here.I have 6 children,hes my youngest & the only 1 with special needs,I love him so much but just wish there was more help for him as we dont get any xx


  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,945 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @slim welcome to the community! I will tag @Jack_W to see if he is able to offer any advice :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,388 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @slim and welcome to the community.

    With your child being non verbal what communication tool do you and or the school use? The two main options I am aware of are picture cards and signing, or the mixture of these two. Both can take time  to learn, though picture cards can be quick and flexible. As consistancy can be important in the learning process. If you are not using the picture cards yet, these can be very quick in conveying meaning and aid communication. They can also be good at creating visual organisors to help your son get into a routine.  It also helps to show him what is planned for the day so he is not taken too much by surprise in a change in routine. With either system it is important that you communicate verbally with him at the same time.

    Sorry I don't really have any advice regarding his current behaviour, though hopefully this will change over time. One of the advantages of him being in a special needs school is they often have better access to specialist help not often available in mainstream schools. The normal advice I would give is if you see your son getting frustrated try and divert his attention, or if he has his own room suggest he goes and play with his favourite toy or something similar. We did this with our daughter and eventually she would tell us when she was going to her room to be alone, as this was her safe area. The problem with this strategy is I appreciate that there can be very little to no warning in what is about to happen.

    Your son's school realy could be one of your biggest assets. Many run sessions for parents and if they do this it is worth taking the time to go to these. Peer support from other parents can be very useful as well as the chance to ask questions. 

    With regards to financial support it is worth applying for DLA for your son. Not sure how much the rules have changed but if you or your partner work and get child tax credit having DLA used to add a premium to this. 

    One thing you did not mention is your son's appetite and diet. If this is a problem I would suggest talking to your doctor regarding childrens vitamin supplements. We started giving our daughter vitamin supplements without telling anyone, within a couple of weeks the SENCO asked if I could go in and see her. She asked if anything had changed at home as they had started to notice an improvement in her behaviour over the previous two weeks. There are ways of presenting food that children would not eat normally.

    If  you are looking for specific advice or support then please mention them, as it would be a lot easier to respond to your needs, and we are here to help and listen to you.

    My final question though is how are you? With what you have said it is not unusual for parents to ignore their own needs and this is not a good path to go down. You need to take care of your own mental and physical welfare, not only for yourself but for your son.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Senior online community officer
  • SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors
    SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors Member Posts: 32 Pioneering
    Hi @slim!

    It's very difficult for everyone involved when communication doesn't flow easily. As @Geoark has mentioned, a method of communication other than spoken language is essential. Picture cards are very useful for children who have learning disabilities, they give a clear image so the child doesn't have to process additional information. Images give a visual clue, which then often reduces the frustration felt by the child, and adult! Your child's school should be able to give you some cards with images on for the everyday things you need, I'm sure if you send a list they'll happily provide symbols. Alternatively, you can google some images, or draw them yourself! (Don't worry about the standard of your drawing, children really don't mind!). The idea behind using images is that instead of adding the pressure of spoken language, you can use an image to lessen this press. For example, at lunch time, you could give the option of two items for your son to choose from (such as apple or orange). He would then point to the image that he wants, and you repeat the word, so he begins to understand that the word belongs to the image. Images often also help with transitions, as you can give a visual clue as to what is happening next in addition to the spoken word. This may help to reduce anxiety about what is happening next.

    It may seem like things are difficult, but from experience things do get better (I know everyone says that!), it's just about finding out a way that best works for you and your son. Have you also considered attending any local support groups to you? Meeting other parents in similar situations often works wonders, sharing advice and general day-to-day tips.

    Feel free to ask if there's anything else we could help with!


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