Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Jul 24, 2010.
I can tell you only what I do with my son who also has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) (autistic spectrum disorder). Since I know he has more trouble controlling himself because of his disorder, I go into the room and talk to him. Now he doesn't get violent, but he cries and talks to himself (and he's 17!!!!) A lot of what he says is "I'm so stupid. I'm an idiot." rather than about what he doesn't like. It works for me. I don't like to leave him alone because I want him to know that I understand, but that even though I understand he still has to do it. Often, I offer a little perk for afterwards and he calms down when he thinks about that. I can't speak for all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, but my son can get very worked up and, rather than actually being angry at others, he is more upset at himself. Sometimes he is just overwhelmed when I make a demand of him...it's part of the disorder. Our Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids are not going to react like other kids...I try to teach him how to cope, the best way I know how. This is what works best for us. He is basically a good kid, but he does lose it at times...I think all kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) do.
I don't make difficult child clean his room every day, but I do try to get the food out (yuck), especially since it's not supposed to be in there to begin with.
I have learned not to say "Clean your room," because he immediately becomes overwhelmed. I tell him to "get your socks off teh floor and into the laundry," or "pick up all your books and put them on the shelf." "Clean your room is too big of a job and too vague. It's just overwhelming.
I hope that helps.
Oh, and about the raging, sometimes we let him rage and sometimes after a few min we make him stop. (I can't do it ... husband has to do it. He tells him to cut it out or snap out of it. If I do it, I become a target. Go figure.)
You speak of 2 issues - household chores - keeping his room tidy and finding ways to calm down or chill out . in my humble opinion we need to try and solve the problems or avoid the triggers by getting his input.
I have noticed when I ask you to go to your room and chill out , you go but you express a lot of anger and frustration , what's up ?
try to help him get his concerns or take on the table and then you put your concerns - safety and him being able to calm down and get his needed met in appropriate ways
the message I think we should be giving is that this is not about punishment or time out but just a way for people to calm down , chill out and regroup , maybe together you could think of something that he would find helpful to help himself calm down You can ask him if he wants you to be around or to be alone .
with younger kids usually a comfort corner helps , maybe for him find a distraction that will calm him - a favorite book , some music , a computer game etc
chores - i find for some kids helping , chores etc comes naturally while others it is a developmental delay. My attitude is to try and talk about the home and family and the value in keeping a room tidy etc talking meaning we direct the conversation with questions and focus on listening to your child. What helps is to give household chores an association of fun and help him . Some kids need also help with ' executive functions ' - how to sequential planning and organizing - sometimes lists and directions helps. In general lists and schedules made in collaboration with kids help a lot - it is not you that is giving orders , we are just following the list
My general feeling about keeping the home tidy is - if this is what I want for my home , then I must rely on myself and be prepared to do it alone by myself . This liberates me emotionally from thoughts - he should be , he shouldn't do etc and makes me more relaxed to be creative in fostering cooperation and helping the kid.
The real focus should be on the one on one connecting and chatting , perpective taking and goals for the family and himself and finding solutions to problems in a proactive friendly way.
it is not easy . To sum up - Instead of sending your kid to his room , maybe come up with a better plan , also you can suggest that you will also do something to calm down or even go to your room. About chores - we are not forcing him but want to hear what he would like to do most out of the following . Also to focus on what type of kid do I want to be , does helping/not helping express this , also what does he think about the relationship between him and the family members
I hope this helps
whatamess - (((hugs))) - I completely understand what you've posted. My 9-year-old has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), and he also rages. Often, he chooses to go into his room to get away from whatever is overwhelming him, but then he will throw objects, kick and scratch furniture and doors, etc. It really upsets me, because we can't afford to fix or replace everything he destroys. Recently, during one of these episodes, he unscrewed the heavy knob beadpost balls off of his bed and threw them at me (and his therapists). Had one of those hit somebody in the wrong way, it could certainly have killed or seriously injured. That's when we decided to remove just about every heavy, sharp, or hard object out of his room, including some of the furniture pieces. We even took his shoes out of his closet because he was throwing them at people. I have had him help clean up his disasters (after he calms down). But, in general, since he has SO many other more demanding issues, we clean up after him a lot, and we only give him small chores of which he doesn't feel so overwhelmed. Also, by removing a lot of stuff out of his room, he is no longer able to make such big messes.
I don't have the answers for helping your son calm down during the rages. I sure wish I did. Our son hates to be approached, touched, or soothed in any way when he is upset. He is not able to easily calm down or consider options for solving his problems. These are things we and his therapists continue to work with him on, and I must say, it is one of the most challenging areas. He is often uncooperative and easily erupts emotionally. It's like walking on eggshells all the time, wondering what will be the next trigger.
We don't allow him to have food in his room, but I have found wrappers and crumbs from things he has taken without permission. I try to clean up his space when he's not home. Otherwise, I might set him off by moving something or tossing things out.
It is really hard to endure this as a parent - physically and emotionally. When a child's disability is directed at me or at my property, I struggle to remain patient and positive. Some days are better than others.
If you've read the Explosive Child book, you may conclude that room cleaning is not something worthy of a possible meltdown. Prevention could be better by removing things that he could destroy (as much as possible), and encouraging him to find less destructive ways to deal with frustration and neurological sensitivity.
I hope this helps. I know there is no magic bullet, but you've got friends here.
Friday is room cleaning day. It has been for a few years now. I have made a visual aid to help him see what needs to get done and he can move the pictures from 'needs to be done' to 'finished'. I help him as needed. Just the reminder that it is room cleaning day will send him into a tizzy, every time. He says he doesn't care that his room is messy, that it will just get messy again. We have had many discussions about why it is nice to have a clean home. He doesn't care and says so. He says he will leave his dirty clothes/wet towels on the floor every time. He is not supposed to have food in his room either, but he seems to hoard certain food items- candy, gum, bread, crackers, fruit. And it isn't always just laying out, he hides it in his dresser or by his mattress. This is his only formal chore besides bringing in garbage can on garbage day. He is capable of physically doing these tasks and cognitively able to clean up following his chart with reminders. As far as sending him to his room to chill out, we say 'chill out' instead of time out. This is necessary when he is manic, angry or hyper and starts hurting or harassing his siblings or pet. We always suggest he go outside to let off some energy and he is just so crawling out of his own skin he can't be rationalized with.
I am an adamant supporter of Ross Greene's philosopy. If difficult child were an only child I think it would be easier, being aware and ready to turn every moment into a teachable, collaborative moment is next to impossible when his moods vary and the demands of the rest of the family are always there.
Yes, I know just what you mean! Our son gets "stuck", I guess you could say, and he just can't seem to move into any other option - in his mind, there is only one option - his way. He also doesn't seem to care about the impact his behavior has on others, although, I know this is part of his disability. It is one of the hardest aspects to live with, in my opinion. I feel frustrated that it's such a struggle to get him to do even the smallest tasks, like washing his hands or getting himself dressed, for example. I know he is capable of doing these things, but let's just say everything is a potential battle if I really want to push him to do it. And, as he's getting bigger, I'm more concerned with his physical rages being destructive.
Just the very existence of our older son seems to aggravate difficult child. He literally tries to order his 6' tall, 16-yo brother around - where to sit, how much to eat . . . if we don't intervene, it's ridiculous.
Has your son received any therapy (in-home or counseling), and have any medications proved helpful?
Anyway, my thoughts are with you, and I hope your weekend improves. You're doing the best you can, and that's the best you can do.
Separate names with a comma.