Strange Fears?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jamieh, Feb 3, 2013.

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  1. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    My oldest son has been going through this phase...(I hope it's a phase)....of being afraid of the weirdest things. He refuses to walk upstairs in our house without someone next to him. He also has started doing similar things at school. He says 'I'm afraid' of all kinds of things. His schedule has been messed up so he has had hard days at school. I think the not knowing the new routine is setting him off more. We had a pretty bad meltdown when my hubby traded his truck for a SUV. E was so excited until it came time to ride in it. He kept saying "I'm scared...I have never rode in it...I'm scared!" We did eventually get him in it. But it took about 20min to calm him down enough to talk about why he was scared. Is this normal behavior? I have him on a waiting list to see a dr for Asperger's. But the waiting list is up to July.
     
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Change is scary. Keep being patient, supportive, etc. Logic might or might not help in certain situations, you can try it. Creative solutions sometimes help (i.e. a companion teddy bear for the stairs or a "special" night light or flash light).
     
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    How many changes are happening at the same time?
    If he's anywhere close to being a spectrum kid (some don't make diagnostic cut-off, but still have significant traits), these behaviors sort of make sense. These kids have trouble managing change - takes them much longer to process, sometimes need to go through obvious transitional steps (not that it's always possible... but if a "new" vehicle can be bought before the old is sold, then... first he just sits in it with the door open, then (after a few days of doing that step), sits in it with the door closed, and so on...

    We found that part of the challenge is any one specific transition, and part of it is the number of transitions happening at once... multiple transitions tends to mean that none of them go well. <sigh>

    You're doing well to already be looking for a more comprehensive evaluation at this age...
    In the mean time, have you read "the explosive child"?
    We found the book helped us sort out which things were non-negotiable (safety, for example), which were active projects... and which were not worth making a battle over right now. Scared of the dark, or the stairs, or those kinds of things? probably not worth a battle, find some work-around if you can, or just walk/talk him through it every time.
     
  4. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    In the last 7 months we have had a lot of changes. We moved to another state, he moved schools, we started a new church. But since Christmas he switched Occupational Therapist (OT)'s. He started seeing a vision Therapist and a counselor. I think the biggest cause of his latest problems at school is that his weekly schedule has been messed up. He was going mon-wed full days and getting out on thursday for Occupational Therapist (OT) early then going a full day on friday. Now his Occupational Therapist (OT) day is friday so he doesn't go to preschool on fridays anymore and he goes to vision therapy on tuesdays so he is getting out of school an hour early for that. I told his teacher that he just needs time to adjust to the changes because he is having a lot of meltdowns at school. The new car was unexpected and kind of spur of the moment. It took him about 3 hours to accept that his dad traded the truck. Then he was willing to talk about it and even sat in it. The next day was when he had the meltdown about riding in it.
     
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, just a different perspective... even a totally neurotypical kid has problems with MOVING. Took ours (ok, one isn't neurotypical, but the other is almost a easy child) over a YEAR to make that transition. Moving is automatically a high-stress event, and it takes time to process the event, then process the stress.

    The truck is just a smaller version. Moving from one vehicle to another, instead of moving houses/cities/etc. But switching vehicles is a stressor, and with all the other stuff going on, it was a "too much" stressor - as in, "last straw". Had you switched vehicles a year ago, it might not have been as big a deal.

    Messed up weekly schedule? Not abnormal for that to be a trigger... but possibly, more in the light of "one more stressor"...

    Our kids are complex!
     
  6. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    very complex. I am constantly reminding myself that these changes that seem minor to me....like re-scheduling an appointment after I told him it was on monday is a much bigger deal to him.
     
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Do you like owning your own library? (we have to keep buying bookcases...)
    If so... you might also like the book "Be Different" by John Elder Robinson.
    He's an Aspie who didn't get a diagnosis until he was about 40... somehow managed to survive and even end up relatively successful in life... he has some good ideas and suggestions. He tends to lump Aspergians (Aspies as we know them) with proto-Aspergians (people with things like ADHD, because... in the "how are you wired" category, we ARE related...) - and we found some good ideas there.
     
  8. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    I will have to check it out. I have a stack of books on adhd next to me right now. I have flipped thru them...haven't really read one completely tho..
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Let me guess... you're ADHD too? (or classical girl-type... the old ADD or new ADHD-inattentive type... like me)
     
  10. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    very...I have a hard time finishing anything. It takes me a really long time to finish a book unless I'm stuck in a car for a long time. lol I usually read a book when we go on vacay
     
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't be afraid to get help for yourself, too... I couldn't function at work without my medications now. No problem when I was single, but... married, two kids of which one is a major difficult child... not a HOPE!
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I actually don't think it's particularly normal to be afraid to get into a new car. From my perspective, my kids loved the idea of trying new things. Even Sonic, my spectrum kid, wasn't a fearful kid, just very atypical neurologically..lol. That doesn't mean that it's a BIG deal either. If he is spectrumish, some spectrum kids are VERY cautious...all spectrum kids are different. I think the best way to deal with these changes are to let him know in advance what will be changing and to slowly transition him into them and to let him have his meltdown if he has to...until he gets used to the new house, the new car, the change in his bedroom furniture, etc.
    Sonic did NOT like abrupt changes. We had to warn him. He still had meltdowns when he was a youngster. But now he's grown up and he does rather well with changes. Even a spectrum kid can learn to adjust.
    I really wouldn't overworry about this issue. It's just part of how he is. No matter what is wrong with him, this will improve with time. It doesn't matter if the Aspergers waiting list is until July. Whether or not he gets the label (often younger kids don't get labeled until they are older and it is more obvious), he is w hat he is and you can still help him with his issues. A label won't change him overnight.
    After watching my son Sonic evolve from what he was like as a little one, I truly advise everyone who may have a spectrum child to relax and know it can and usually does get quite a bit better. Work with your child, try to get interventions, but don't panic. My son used to be afraid of the loud noise of the fireworks so I would stay home with him. He still doesn't like loud noises, but he is able to tolerate them as an adult without jumping and covering his ears...and he can participate where things are loud, even if he is sensitive to the noise and doesn't like it. At one time he could not transition from one activity to another without a meltdown. He's used to doing that now and can do it easily, even if inside it makes him frustrated or uncomfortable. Today is not forever. Please remember that, and take care of yourself and your little guy :)
     
  13. Jamieh

    Jamieh New Member

    I agree with- you Midwest! I actually told his counselor that I didn't care what they called it...I just need help with figuring out how to get us through the day. He also has a really hard time transitioning. At home we tell him what will happen for the entire day and when he will have a bath, snack, bed. We give like 2 or 3 warnings before we actually do it. He does pretty well with that. We can't be like 'OK KIDS GET IN THE CAR WE ARE GOING TO EAT' without telling him beforehand. Otherwise its a huge meltdown. Or if he is coloring a picture we have to let him finish before moving to something else because if it isn't finished he freaks out.
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jamieh, this is how we did it...lol.

    "Sonic, fifteen minutes and we have to leave. Get ready."
    "Sonic, Ten minutes and we have to leave. Get ready."
    "Sonic five minutes...."
    "Sonic three minutes..."
    "Sonic two minutes..."
    "Sonic one minute..."
    And we usually gave him some extra time to get ready. Sometimes he would cry anyway when we had to take him, but it did help a lot.
     
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There's an example of a missing skill.
    Find ways to practice, with VERY small breaks in an activity like coloring...
    Perhaps, part way through... have him stop for a small snack, leaving everything exactly where it is, and then come back to it. Prep him ahead of time, though - don't just spring it on him.
    Develop ways to "put things aside" without having them disturbed, so he CAN come back to them.
     
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Timers are useful, too.
     
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This summer I moved with my son to a new home. We stayed in another house way longer than I should have because I was avoiding the trauma of the change, it took a year for him to settle in. The day we were moving, my car motor blew, forever....so I had to get a junker car and my son was beside himself. He is older now and does tell us things that bother him sometimes. He was very upset that if he sat in the back there would be no temperature number to watch go up and down when the weather changed. God was watching over me and the stress I was having (we had just had him switch schools after months of trauma in his middle school and needing to be home till the new placement was settled...so MANY changes)...Anyway, somehow the car I got happens to have a temp in about the same place! The car didn't work twenty four hours after I bought it, but heck, the temp thing was there! uggg. He struggled terribly with that new car, he didn't want to ride in it etc. It was not fear, it was change.

    BUT he does have many many fears and anxieties. He is now sleeping in his own room but in this new house just as in the other he is afraid of bad guys and people shooting through our walls etc. He is afraid of noises constantly.

    I worked with a really high functioning little guy who could NOT step in a different class room than the ones he was used to. If class went to another room to watch a presentation or for a party he literally had to put one toe in and we practiced over days (I was a mainstream consultant as part of my Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) job) if we knew ahead of time. He would panic.

    Q was so panicked over bees that my mom bought him one of those bug net hats and he wore it everwhere for several years. (thanks mom, lol....but it worked, he thought a bee wouldn't get him at all if he had that hat on). This past year he stopped riding on horses and just does care and helps the little ones when they ride, he suddenly was afraid. He also became afraid of escalators. We morph through different fears over the years.

    Anyway, I think for many kids these types of symptoms are there....more or less, That's why it is a spectrum....some have very minor issues others more severe and the very same symptom can vary in degree.Same is true for most disorders such as ADHD, Tourette's, etc....

    Not sure if he is more visual but in a similar plan to MWM, I have used both in schools and with my own son for years and years....little two inch cards on a key ring that had the numbers 3,2,1 and stop and go on them. I said the word minutes but really the specific time didn't matter....So I'd show the three and say...three minutes then all done or then we go or whatever depending on the situation. then after some time (if we were in a hurry, maybe thirty seconds, maybe a few minutes....we show the 2 and say 2 minutes then..... then 1 then we show the go or stop card (again depending on what was going on)

    I had a ring with common pictures of what we did too, so had a picture of our car, the bus, the school, our house, grandma, the store, a picture for mc Donalds or whatever..... so I could then show the picture of that item. Now, my son is verbal...though he learned to talk later, but he does have auditory and language processing difficulty. He mostly uses verbal language to communicate but those visuals took so much stress out of our lives. IT is their first schedule really.

    It is sooo simple to have on a name tag necklace around your neck. on that same necklace I always had a card with the "five point scale" or whatever one we were using at the time. IF you look that up online it is really useful for helping them to learn to regulate their emotions.

    For the little ones another great program is "how does your engine run"....it is similar but helps them identify when they need to slow their engine etc.

    You have been through a lot. Lucky kid to have a mom who gets it so much
     
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