3 1/2 year old (almost 4) starting to say violent phrases, angry phrases, also ticks

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PlainJane, May 18, 2011.

  1. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    Hi everyone. I am the mother of a 3 1/2 y/o son who will be 4 in August. He has a Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnoses, but I have been told that other diagnoses may have to wait because he is too young to tell. I also have a 1 year old.
    My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son is considered high functioning. He has some signs of anxiety, possibly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but again the docs want to wait and see, since until recently his behavior, while difficult, was not disturbing. He attends a typical preschool 3 half days a week and has an in classroom therapist for social/ behavoiral therapy since most of issue weakness are in the social / conversational area.

    But a few weeks ago, he started saying, almost obsessing over fire and burning. He also started saying to himself, "Put the baby in the oven". and "bad baby". He will say this over and over. (He does have a history of saying phrases over and over, but they were not violent in the past.)
    Today he said to my one year old "I'm going to burn you and pinch your fingers off" This down right scared me and my husband.
    Not all of his violent phrases are towards my other son, but those are the ones we are most concerned about.
    Also, he used to get up at night to use the potty, but now he will scream, and hit himself in the area around his penis or bladder and yell "bad!" His language is very developed for his age so he definitely has the language to exspress himself. (I really believe he is more of an Asperger's child, but the docs disagree) I have to carry him into the bathroom and tiolet him completely. (i.e. pull his pants down put him on the potty ect) If I ask him if he has to go potty during any of this, he will scream, and spit and swing his arms and basically have melt down. We've also noticed he has been holding in his BMs for several days, and his behavoir will be the most out of control until he goes, then there is actually a noticable difference in his behavior the minute he comes out of the bathroom. We have tried toileting him, encouraging him to go, but he refuses.

    My son is NOT the classic case of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). From day one, all the docs and therapists have said either he is a unquie case, or that this might be something else that they are misdiagnosing.

    Also ticks have started. They are all throat clearing / noises at this time. At first we thought it was allergies, but we did recognize it as ticks after a little while.

    I'm just worried because he's so young and I know that different disorders and such may not be properly diagnosed or show them selves, so to speak, yet at this point.

    Has anyone dealt with this? I'm afraid he's going to become aggressive. He's such a sweet boy that seems to have a compulsion to say these things. I can't explain it. I guess you have to see it to understand.
  2. keista

    keista New Member


    Sorry, I don't meant scare you but your post sent chills up my spine.

    Firstly, If your son is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), then more than likely, he heard those violent phrases from somewhere - TV, school, friend's? While certainly possible for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, to come up with their repetitive phrases on their own, it's usually a phrase they hear often, and like it for whatever reason, and then repeat it. When I think of my own son, who is now 15, and who still picks a "phrase of the week" so to speak, he's never created one. Odd sounds, sure, but actual language phrases come from somewhere. The closest I came to thinking he came up with one of his own was when he was 5. We were driving down the road and he started saying, "Here we are, lost in Downtown Charleston" He repeated it every time we got in the car. I thought it was cute. What I had forgotten was that he was watching home videos and that's exactly what I said on the video as I was filming us driving along.. by the way at the time I didn't not know that he had Asperger's, but I was aware of his mimicking and repetitive behavior.

    I'm not done yet, please keep reading
    When my son started pre-K, he was fully potty trained. Day time, night time, pee and poo. I had no clue that he was on AS yet. The public school told me that he had some language delays and he was getting placed in the special class. I was shocked annoyed and aggravated, but said OK. Shortly after school started they called me in to discuss his masturbation issues. ????? He doesn't do that at home. Eventually I did notice it at home. OK, so the kid's giving himself a treat, steer him to the bedroom - this is stuff you do privately, son. Then one day he was in my room watching TV and he started calling me. When I got in there, his pants were off and there was a brown ball on the floor ????? Long story short, he was retaining his bowels until they exploded out of him. Turns out he was masturbating because he was getting erections because the impacted BM was pressing on his prostate. (pediatrician confirmed this all) I felt horrible that I hadn't noticed him retaining, but like any first time mom, you learn from your mistakes and move on. So I made sure he tried to have a BM every day. Oh he was so resistant. He REFUSED! I went over his diet with his Dr and was told that it was OK and shouldn't be causing this. Did get tips to make the diet looser. Finally I started asking him WHY he didn't want to poo. "Poopies are UGLY!" So he's turning 5 in a month, I have a baby on the way, and I have to do potty training again? UHG Nothing I said or did would convince him that it was a GOOD thing to put the poopies in the potty. One day I finally asked him WHY he thought popies were ugly. "Ms L says poopies are ugly" I just about blew my top! Ms L was the class aide. Apparently it was her job to help the special kids with the potty - some of whom weren't potty trained at all. Now my son did not need assistance in that capacity before he entered the classroom, Ms L NEVER assisted him personally, but just what he heard and observed created this new issue. It took 3 years to get him to stop retaining his bowels.

    If both of these behaviors started at the same time, I'm willing to bet that there is a pretty serious problem in one of his environments. Totally possible that nothing REALLY bad is going on, but, like in my case, the caregiver is just and *****' idiot and being inappropriate, but you should investigate this further.

    by the way when he says these violent things, does he look or sound aggressive? Or does it look like your sweet innocent kid trying to play a role he's not cut out for?

    I'm concerned for your son, please keep me updated.
  3. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    Keista, I can't thank you enough for your post. I must admit that the though faintly crossed my mind that something was going on somewhere. He's with me all the time except for preschool. Its nearly impossible to ask him about school, because while he has good concrete language, he basically has no social language, so to ask him about social situations at school isn't an option. When I ask his teacher if she's seen any behavior change she says no. His in classroom aid is more descriptive and good about communicating to me. She says she hasn't noticed these behaviors at school. His therapist is only there one hour a week though. I called her and relayed this behaviors, so she is aware they are going on.
    When he says these phrases, it sounds like he's just rescripting them. I have wondered if some other child in the class was saying violent things and my son is now scripting them. My son's therapist had suggested this as a possiblilty too.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids do mimic what they hear. My eighteen year old son still likes to say things he has heard SOMETIMES ON TELEVISION...but they are not violent. I do think the violent talk is a red flag. So are the tics. Tics are not a part of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I would take him to a child neurologists to see if he has Tourette's Syndrome, which is a real medical disorder that includes a high risk for psychiatric problems as well. On the other hand, the throat clearing may not be a tic, but rather a stimulant. Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) stimulant...say repetitive things or do repetitive things or copy what they hear or make repetitive noises.

    I would check it out. Hugs and good luck!
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    If this preschool allows you to just drop by, I would start doing that. Try to chat with parents of "normal" kids and dig for info. The school won't see this behavior especially if they know they are the cause of it. Again, It could be "benign" stuff that just translates to your son very poorly, but the real con cern is if what if it isn't benign?.

    On a lighter note, I learned to love my son's tape recorder feature. (helped me "spy" on my husband when I had to go back to work temporarily) husband had had a virtual affair, and supposedly it was over, but once trust is broken, it's really hard to get it back unless you have proof. Problem is, that it's really hard to prove that something ISN'T happening. He was back to his old self, but was this a cover up? One day my son sat down at the computer, waved his hand and said, "I don't want to talk to you" and got up and left. ????? I came back and was about to do it again, when i asked him if he was talking to me? He said, " Nah, that's what Dad does all the time." :faint: That was all the proof I needed.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I agree that there's a chance that this may be scripted/mimicked speech, but at 3 1/2 with a very advanced vocabulary it's also possible it's not. Picking it up from another child is a reasonable explanation but is he watching any tv/dvd's that are violent in nature? This includes children's programming--when you pay close attention it's very surprising sometimes what's really there.

    As for the ticks and potty behavior, neither is uncommon with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids. Many kids will hold BM's at school, even neurotypical kids who simply prefer to use the bathroom at home. If he's hitting his penis/bladder area you'll want to look into urinary tract infection:

    Tics are very common in kids on the spectrum. What many parents find is that the tics ebb and flow--may increase with anxiety or new situations, and often when one type disappears another type will develop.

    Just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't leave him alone with the little ones. He's too young to really understand how much harm an action could cause.