Child's behaviour — Scope | Disability forum

Child's behaviour

Kirstie74 Member Posts: 9 Connected
The last few months have been utter hell, my daughter, asd, adhd, epilepsy, 7 years old, her behaviour is dreadful and getting worse in ferocity with each passing day. She is very defiant, has severe mood swings resulting in destruction, hurling abuse foul language, screaming and shouting which can last for hours. There's no reasoning or pacifying her in anyway.
The anger in her is terrifying and very upsetting. I feel such a failure as I cannot help her in anyway she doesn't respond to anything I do to help it just gets worse so I have resulted in putting her into her room, where she's safe and ignore her until she finally stops. She is very subdued afterwards and wants to be hugged and reassured she is loved. I constantly tell her I love her and cuddle her but it's getting very hard to cope with it all. I have my own health issues and I feel awful everyday, I drag myself through each day. 
Waiting for a call back off her paediatrcian don't know what else to do


  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member

    Have you contacted NAS or not? They might be able to offer advice. What about therapy? Would that make a difference or not? Also see if you can find a squeeze ball for her to use during her outbursts.
    Is she good at writing or not? If so suggest she keeps a diary instead. The best thing to do is remain calm. Don’t back down either. But do ask yourself “Why”?
    You might wish to read the article. Ask for a referral for a therapist too. What does the school say? Is she at a specialist school? Definitely seek out help for her. 
    Also helpful. Try saying “I love you but this is not okay” consistently to her as well. 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,358

    Scope community team

    Hi @Kirstie74,
    I'm sorry to read this. It must be really tough and exhausting for you at the moment, but thank you for reaching out.

    I'm going to tag in @SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors as I wonder if they might be able to suggest something for you.
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  • Kirstie74
    Kirstie74 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Thank you. 
    I have spoken to her paediatrician and we're tweaking her medication and seeing if this helps. If not we'll have to see him again and go from there 
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,382 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Kirstie

    It sounds like a very difficult situation for you both. There is some very good advice on the site @April2018mom gave to you.

    From experience once your daughter kicks off there is very little you can do, she is still young and will not have very good communication skills to be able to communicate what is upsetting her. I often compare these melt downs in my daughter as her trying to regain some control over her life. One thing I did a lot was to send her to her bedroom until she calmed down. As she got older she learned to take herself to her room when things got too much and before things got out of hand.

    Keeping a diary is one of the key ways in helping to identify what is triggering these outbursts. Whilst it is possible that these things can build up in her at this age she is probably reacting immediately to something. The other thing I noticed is that her condition is co-morbid with ADHD and epilepsy. If she is on medication it may be worth discussing with the paediatrician to see if this could be a possible source of the current issues. I know of one case where a child with ASD and epilepsy was mute until they changed her medication for epilepsy after a short period she was a regular chatter box. Do not make any changes to medication without consulting your doctor or paediatrician, this can be more dangerous. (sorry not aimed at you in particular but have known parents to do this.)

    While your daughter's behaviour is obviously of immediate concern please don't forget to look after your own physical and mental welfare.  I get a sense from your post that this is already dragging you down and this will impact on both. So while you may not agree lets get some things out of the way. 

    First you are not a bad mum or a failure, in any sense. Very young aspies can be very challenging for any family without the additional challenges of ADHD and epilepsy.

    Second while I agree the needs of children come first, sometimes putting the needs of the parents first is putting first is putting the needs of the child first. If the parent is constantly in pain, run down and not getting much sleep, first they will not be at their best and second their children will pick up on this, usually in a negative way.

    Third don't take what your daughter says too seriously, or personally. She probably has much control over what she is saying and doing as you have in controlling her behaviour while she is having a melt down. I am often shocked how some parents internalise what is happening as something aimed directly at them and how this affects their parenting, yet even knowing this it is a trap I fell into. I have found the more relaxed we remain the easier it is for our daughter to get through stressful times at home.

    May I ask if your daughter is in mainstream schooling?  If so is this behaviour being observed by the school?

    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!

  • SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors
    SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors Member Posts: 32 Pioneering
    Hi @Kirstie74

    So sorry to hear your having a difficult time, I can assure you it’s true when I say we’ve all been there at some point. 

    Challenging behaviour is so difficult, especially when there’s seemingly so little you can do to help. The advice you’ve had above is all good, and we’d also recommend a few other things to try. Some of them may work and some not so much, but at least if you have a list of things to try from a range of people you might be able to pinpoint something. 

    Definitely keep a diary of what’s happening, when and maybe why you think it’s happened. Even if it’s just a few notes on your phone or a scrap of paper, it might come in handy. 

    Challenging behaviour is often a form of communication - it’s true, it’s just often very very difficult to find out what for. We’ve had enough professionals tell us it’s always a form of communication and often disagreed, but eventually we got there, and low and behold it was! Do you use any forms of alternative communication with your daughter? Symbols, sequence strips or other types of visual aren’t just for non-verbal children. In the midst of a meltdown, spoken language will be the first thing to go. Could you use pictures to allow your daughter to show you what is wrong, or just something simple like a choice between ‘be with me’ or ‘leave me alone’. 

    Its really difficult but sometimes it is safer to leave children alone whilst in the swing of a meltdown - obviously somewhere you know they are safe, I’m not suggesting for a second to leave her if it’s inappropriate. But maybe try sitting at the doorway, or close by that you can see she’s okay, but out of harms way. You do need to keep yourself safe, please remember that. 

    Please please do do not feel like your a failure, your doing your very best and that is shown by you reaching out for advice on what to do. If there’s any specific scenarios you’d like to share we can try and give more specific advice, but don’t feel like you have to. 

    As @Geoark mentioned, are school supporting ting you in any way? Is she displaying similar behaviours there? It’s often not the case, but they may also be able to give some advice, even if they don’t witness it themselves. 

    Feel free to go comment if there’s anything more we can help with.

    The @SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors ?
  • Kirstie74
    Kirstie74 Member Posts: 9 Connected
    My daughter attends a Sen school and they are excellent with her and we work hand in hand together to help Scarlet. 
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,382 Disability Gamechanger
    Having spent my childhood in a SEN school I am a huge fan of these type of schools, especially for autism. Having worked as a temporary teaching assistant in a number of such schools I was always been surprised how well the children do. My daughter was in mainstream as she seemed to cope, at least academically. I recently said something that triggered her and the venom and hatred she expressed shocked me. 

    One reason I am such a big fan is they often provide opportunities for experiences which would not be available in mainstream schools, and access to specialists.

    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!


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