Need advice on behaviour — Scope | Disability forum
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Need advice on behaviour

vickyh Member Posts: 6 Listener
My son is 3 years old with non verbal autism just waiting in an assessment I’m have real trouble with his behaviour he will throw anything at me occasionally bite me. Smack me and scream for at least 10 minutes if I say no he just laughs at me and carries on if I try moving him he just goes back to finding something to throw. It’s every day now does not matter what I do. He’s not a great sleeper goes to bed usually between 1am and 3am and wakes up about 8am. Any help or advice would be grately recieved.


  • LouiseH
    LouiseH Member Posts: 96 Courageous
    Hi @vickyh it sounds like you've got your hands full and must be exhausted. Have you got any support in handling how you feel? 

    I have included a link below about dealing with autism. Hopefully it is helpful somewhat.

    Best wishes 
    Louise :smile:
    Louise Hesketh
    Community Champion
  • vickyh
    vickyh Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Louise thank you for the reply I have support from my parents they are fantastic with me and my son unfortunately at the moment can’t go there. I have just spoken to a lady from scope who is a sleep practitioner and she was a great help and getting me the help I need so fingers crossed everything gets better. I will also have a look at your link thank you x
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2020
    Hi @vickyh, I imagine this has been really stressful for everyone.

    I'm glad the sleep practitioner was able to provide some guidance. Just going to tag @SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors who is our Autism Adviser and might be able to offer some more guidance. 

    Also, here is some information from the National Autistic Society about challenging behaviour:

    Some autistic people can display challenging behaviour. It includes what would normally be considered physically aggressive behaviour, but can also include other behaviours if they are having a negative impact on the person or their family. Below we give some general ideas on strategies to try, and information on getting support. We also have specific information about the possible reasons for, and suggest strategies to address:


    Behaviour has a function, and there could be a number of reasons for it. These may include difficulty in processing information, unstructured time, over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to sensory stimuli, a change in routine, transition between activities, or physical reasons like feeling unwell, tired or hungry. Not being able to communicate these difficulties can lead to anxiety, anger and frustration, and then to an outburst of challenging behaviour.


    Completing a behaviour diary, which records what is occurring before, during and after the behaviour, could help you to understand its purpose. It is important to make notes on the environment, including who was there, any change in the environment and how the person was feeling. A diary may be completed over a couple of weeks or longer if needed.


    Be consistent in your approach to the behaviour, and ask others around the person to use the same consistent approach. 


    Speak clearly and precisely using short sentences. By limiting your communication, the person is less likely to feel overloaded by information and more likely to be able to process what you say. Support the person to communicate their wants, needs and physical pain or discomfort, eg by using visual supports.


    Using rewards and motivators can help to encourage a particular behaviour. Even if the behaviour or task is very short, if it is followed by lots of praise and a reward, the person can learn that the behaviour is acceptable. 


    Look at anger/emotions management and create opportunities for relaxation. You can do this by, for example, looking at bubble lamps, smelling essential oils, listening to music, massages, or swinging on a swing. Challenging behaviour can often be diffused by an activity that releases energy or pent-up anger or anxiety. This might be punching a punch bag, bouncing on a trampoline or running around the garden.

     Please do let us know how you get on and if there is anything else we can do to help. :)

  • EmmaR_Scope
    EmmaR_Scope Scope Posts: 28 Courageous
    @vickyh how have things been since you posted? has any of the above helped at all??
    Emma Rose  - Scope Activities for All-  support and advice for parents and professionals on inclusion and children's disability issues
  • LouiseH
    LouiseH Member Posts: 96 Courageous
    @vickyh how're things going? 
    Louise Hesketh
    Community Champion
  • vickyh
    vickyh Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi thanks for all your information unfortunately things are still not better I spoke to a behavior person from scope who contacted his nursery someone there is supposed to be contacted me with some ideas of how to manage. I normally go to my parents once a week with him as they are really helpful but unfortunately can’t while lockdown is on. 
    I’m just taking things day be day really I’ve found when he is kicking and punching if I get hold of him so he can’t move obviously not too hard but that sometimes calms him down x
  • surfygoose
    surfygoose Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Has he got a weighted blanket? I find mine really helpful and having toys to chew. I am 33, I have autism and live in a residential care home. Like you said about being held tightly calming him down, that helps me. That’s why I have a weighted blanket. I can have challenging behaviour, often it is being frustrated if people aren’t understanding properly what is bothering me. Lockdown may be a big problem for him. It has changed my routine a lot and I hate change. I used to like sticker charts a lot and now I have a watch that I earn stars on. I used to wander off-site in my pyjamas every night, getting a settled bedtime routine helped. I spend time with the night staff until late winding down and dealing with any worries, then have my star projector on and lie under my weighted blanket. Sometimes my big meltdowns can be when people think they have explained something and I haven’t actually understood it the right way. I don’t know if I’m being helpful at all. I know I’m a lot older than your little boy so it might not be helpful but if you have any questions that you think I could help with I’m happy to answer as best I can.
  • vickyh
    vickyh Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks for your advice which are the best weighted blankets to get I’ve not looked into them will try anything. Sorry to hear you live in a residential home but sounds like it’s a nice place to be and the staff are very helpful. X
  • surfygoose
    surfygoose Member Posts: 11 Listener
    My really heavy weighted blanket was assessed by an OT a long time ago and I don’t remember where it came from. It’s lasted years and years though, still going strong, I sleep under it every night and staff always put it on me if I’m having a meltdown. However this very week my lovely mum and dad sent me an extremely generous present. They had seen a really nice weighted blanket advertised on TV. It is a children’s one but as I already have one that’s properly for my weight they got a lighter and smaller one for me as a nice option for more easily taking around the house to snuggle in. The make is snoozzzy. The smallest blankets come with a free owl soft toy. My mum was quite upset that the medium blanket does not come with the soft toy! I didn’t mind because it still has an awesome dinosaur cover. It is very soft. The cover ties to the blanket so it doesn’t keep falling into a ball inside the cover. It would probably be good if you can try one out from somewhere to see if he likes weighted blankets because they are expensive. Though if he likes being squished then that’s a good sign. I see advertised a lot lately sensory sheets that are stretchy and tuck in to give the squeeze but not the weight and they are cheaper. I don’t know anyone of my friends who has one though so I couldn’t say if they are good. I’ve only ever had weighted blankets.

    Yes the residential home is nice. It took me a while to settle in because I don’t like change but I’ve been here a year and a half now and it’s good. I was ready to move out if mum and dad’s house and be more grown up. They talked to me about how they are in their 60s now and one day they won’t be around. It’s doing me good I think getting used to trusting other people. I’m one to one when I go out and I was very used to only coping if it was mum or dad with me. It’s good that I can manage to go out with different people helping me now. I still see my parents loads when it isn’t lockdown and we get on better than before because when I was at home they could get quite tired because they didn’t have help and they didn’t have anyone to stay awake at nighttime. Here there are lots of staff all the time even if I need help in the middle of the night. I am really happy that since I settled in here my mum and dad went on holiday together to Italy. I didn’t mean to stop them going on holidays before but they never could because I couldn’t manage holidays and if they sent me to respite it never worked out and I’d have to come home early. I love the thought of mum and dad getting to do nice things just the two of them sometimes because they are always doing lovely things with me and always fighting for me and making things better. Parents are awesome. Your son is lucky to have you already doing everything you can to help him.
  • Kerry_Scope
    Kerry_Scope Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Hi @vickyh
    Sensory direct or a stitch different are reputable companies that we advise our parents on the sleep right programme. Sensory direct offer a try before you buy service, they still charge a fee but if you go ahead and buy the blanket but the fee that you have already paid is deducted from your final balance. 
    Please use a reputable company as I am aware there are cheaper versions of weighted blankets but they are not made to your child's weight. 

    As you say your child likes to be hugged tightly, the other option would be a compression sheet as some children find weighted blankets too much.
    A parent I previously worked with reported sensory direct were very helpful with advise around weighted blankets before they purchased.


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