Help with a special need teen...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Justincredible, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Justincredible

    Justincredible New Member

    I am at my wits end... I have a step-daughter who is deaf and is autistic who will hit, spit, flip me the bird. I have no idea what to do with her. I put her in the corner for about 10 min. I just don't think she will ever learn not to do this behavior. Anyone out there going through this or have any suggestions??
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi and welcome to the board.

    Couple questions -- (usually we have a lot of questions for new posters so we can get a "better picture" of the situation) How long have you been part of sd's life? How old is your sd? Is there any ongoing therapy to assist the family with behavior issues (and to help her deal with her disability) - or a psychiatrist or therapist that has worked with her in the past? Does she attend school? Does she display these same behaviors when her father is home or she is at her mother's house?

    Sorry for all the questions. But hang in here - it's early yet and a lot of caring and knowledgable folks will be along shortly with suggestions, experiences to share, and probably more questions!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How does she communicate with you and is she getting help for her disabilities? Did she EVER get interventions? Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids AND many adults are emotionally much younger than their ages, and also have a compromised system of frustration control. I'm not sure she can control herself. If she can, she may get so frustrated at not being understood that she lashes out. Of course, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids also don't understand social niceties. It is too much for YOU to show her or to help her.She needs a professional who understands autism. In her case, she is also deaf...a tough combo. There is probably somebody out there who can help her.

    Welcome to the board. I am sorry you have to be here though :/
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi and welcome! My son has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) so I get living with that. I am also a Sp. Lang. Pathologist and worked at a school for the Deaf for a long time. I have similar questions to the others.... What form of communication does she use and is she in a program for Deaf/H.H. or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or both?

    We had several students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who were Deaf/HH and to be honest as the population was growing a few of the teachers and I had a tricky time getting other staff and admin on board realizing that teaching methods, discipline methods and communication development had to be done differently. There is quite a history of Deaf people being misdiagnosed and some still resist any dual diagnosis even if it is an actual reality for someone. I actually had a Deaf social worker tell me one time, once a person is born deaf that is is done they do not have Learning Disability (LD) or any other problem. I realized where she was coming from so did not argue but of course anyone with a brain can have brain damage in other areas than just where the hearing is or just where vision is etc. She was trying to make sure that just because a child is Deaf they are not labeled with a dozen other things that are really only related to being Deaf. This all makes it trickier to find really good education for some kids who have mixed conditions that affect their behavior and learning. Over the years we got much better and I even got them to start using picture visuals (we only used ASL at our school, English was taught as a second language through reading and writing) for those that had communication disorders (NOT differences related to English being a second language).

    It is likely her issues are communication related. She does not know the social rules for communication...who you can say things to and who you can't. Aggression is often from frustration and anxiety when things do not go as planned in the mind of a person with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Putting her in a corner for 10 minutes wont work because it is not teaching her more appropriate behaviors. That kind of intervention is used for typically developing kids who have the skills to do better but are choosing not to, it gives them a chance to cool down and make a better choice. If she does not have better choices in her abilities then it may work to help give her a break, but it may also make her more upset.

    Sounds like you need help getting to the bottom of the behaviors. What are the skills she is missing? Does she have sensory issues that are making it harder for her to function? What kinds of evaluations have been done to help analyze her communication abilities and her motor plus sensory skills. If she uses ASL has the testing been done by therapists who know ASL, have they at least used interpreters? Do you have any home services? If you give us more of a picture of how much she lives with you, what kind of therapies and school programs she has etc...we might be able to help you. Are you and your husband her primary home? How old is she? There is a lot that can be done, but she will likely always be a child who needs very different parenting strategies and will be a challenge in some ways. It can be done though! I have seen it with many kids....some do better in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) programs with interpreters and some do better in programs for D/HH with autism consultants helping to guide the program. Just depends on the individual child.

    Glad to have you on the board. Hope we can give you some support and ideas. We all live with challenging kids so know it can be very wearing. We do understand being at your wits end very very well.