I don't know how to help! — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

I don't know how to help!

starbuck
starbuck Member Posts: 151 Courageous
edited December 2021 in Autism and neurodiversity
I have a 20 something son with possible autism (never diagnosed) and communication problems. 
I have a teenage daughter who also has signs of asd and adhd, again never diagnosed. 
The bottom line is they hate each other. They always have. Our son was 4 when his sister was born and even though we had other kids after her he's never got on with her like the others. 
He used to lash out physically all the time as a kid but he's managed to control this a lot better when he grew older. 
Our daughter has always argued with him - tbh they're both very alike and will argue black is white, but sometimes our son still physically hurts her and it's not acceptable. 
Yesterday they started arguing after arriving home from a long car journey - the triggers were there, a visit to family, a long drive home in the dark during which I got lost.
Within minutes of coming home our daughter had said something really horrible to our son in retaliation and he'd grabbed her [detail removed by moderator]. 
I'm in bits, our son is feeling suicidal,  our daughter and her siblings say he should move out and I don't know where to turn. 
I cannot condone his violence yet at the same time I cannot condone the cruel things his sister said to him. 
All advice will be welcome and taken on board because I have no-one else to turn to and I want to do what's best for both of the kids. 

Comments

  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 914 Pioneering
    Hi @starbuck

    Thanks for reaching out to us. I always appreciate how much courage it must take to reach out.

    I am sorry to hear things sound really tough for you all.

    Please may I ask if the other siblings have autism/ADHD? 

    I am wondering if it could be because they conflict with each other's needs? 

    Also, as they say, people tend to take things out on those that are closest. Could it be because they understand each other in a way that no one else does? 

    Are they both aware of how to handle their triggers in different ways?

    Is there a way they could calm down in their own spaces when they are triggered?

    Do they treat each other like this under normal circumstances when they are not triggered?

    Please see the National Autistic Society for more support services https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/help-and-support/urgent-help https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/family-life-and-relationships/family-life https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/behaviour/meltdowns/all-audiences

    I hope this helps but if you have any more questions or need further support, please don't hesitate to let us know  :)

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities, and assistive technology. Pronouns: She/her.
  • starbuck
    starbuck Member Posts: 151 Courageous
    They both have coping mechanisms for when they start on each other but now and then the circumstances create a perfect storm and they both lash out at each other. I think all our kids have some degrees of autism/adhd and n ow the holidays have begun they're all cooped up together. I took our daughter out of the house for an hour yesterday while we were visiting relatives to give them both some time apart - she wanted to scour the charity shops with one relative while her brother wanted to stay in and play vinyls with another, but it wasn't enough. I blame myself because I didn't go straight in the house with them when we got home like I usually do to make sure they're not squabbling. It was freezing cold so I finished emptying the car before going in. 
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing 🙄
    I'm off to have a read of those links now - thankyou 💜
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 914 Pioneering
    Hey @starbuck

    I am sorry to hear you are experiencing this.

    In all honesty, I think hindsight and blaming yourself are too easy!

    I always believe and encourage people to use what is termed the ABC chart. This means identifying what happened before behaviours occurred, the behaviours which happened, and the consequences.

    This can then help you all to identify (a) how to reduce the probability of triggers, (b) more positive alternative behaviours for dealing with those triggers and (c) different consequences for those behaviours as sometimes behaviours will be for certain consequences (be it positive or negative!). 

    For example, some people see time out as a negative consequence of challenging behaviour. However, often for people with autism and other sensory difficulties, that time out is reducing their sensory overload and social demands so it is actually perceived as a positive!

    I hope you find the links helpful but if you do have any questions or need anything to be clarified further, please don't hesitate to reach out to us again soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities, and assistive technology. Pronouns: She/her.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 813

    Scope community team

    Hi @starbuck thanks for reaching out, I'm sorry to hear about the difficult time you're having, and I hope @L_Volunteer's replies have been helpful, and as she says, try not to blame yourself. Often you are doing far more to help than you realise. It's important that you reach out for help, which you have done here, so that's really positive step already. 

    Situations like this are often difficult to deal with emotionally. Did you know Scope has services which can help support you? Family Services, like Navigate, might be worth taking a look at.

    I'm very sorry to hear your son is feeling suicidal, is he getting any support for his mental health at the moment? Some organisations which can help, if he feels he needs it include: 
    • Mind, for help with understanding suicidal feelings
    • Samaritans which he can call anytime day or night on 116 123
    • or he can text SHOUT on 85258
    Remember if there's ever a danger of immediate harm, call 999 right away.

    Do you feel you're getting enough support at the moment? If you'd like us to offer any additional support we can do that, just let us know.

    Alex 
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • starbuck
    starbuck Member Posts: 151 Courageous
    Thankyou. I'm trying to get him some help from the local mental health services but he's reluctant to see anyone. I'll send him those links - thankyou 💜
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 813

    Scope community team

    You're more than welcome @starbuck, I'd definitely advise having a chat with family services, if they cannot assist you, I'm sure they can point you in the direction of someone or somewhere that can. 

    I can be a scary thing approaching someone for help, so I can understand your son's reluctance. I've sent you an email offering some additional support which might be helpful for you all, so do have a look whenever is best for you.

    Do let us know if we can help any further, and remember to take care of yourself as well :)
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.