Anyone else feel like me when their autistic child started school?

Amber - posted on 09/30/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 he just started school this year. He's gotten sent home already once for yelling. This morning a kid in his class said "that's Jacob I don't like him he's loud and he runs around." so I'm assuming he's not making too many friends.. Kinda breaks my heart, I understand that maybe hes just happier by himself, but still you always want your child to be liked. He seems happy enough, so that's good. I just feel like the other parents see him and think wow she's a horrible mother she can't control her child or wow that kid is bad... He's been having trouble at home lately too. Lots of yelling for no reason, get angry easily, just not following directions.. I've been patient with him.. Given him extra time.. I feel like I've tried everything and his attitude and yelling is just not getting better :-( any tips, ideas, similar experiences, etc. Would be appreciated.

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jason has a younger sister aged 4 but it seems mentaly she can be older then jason, she seems to understands more

Sharlene - posted on 11/18/2011

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I just read your post, That's abit like james he does'nt remerber certain things and you do his homework with , like example sight word[he wont remerber them shortly after learning them.When you say he seems younger, What do you mean in he's mental devolpment or something else. James is the age of 8 yrs but he mentally got a mind of a 5 yr old.

Janet - posted on 11/18/2011

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Hey Amber, the stuff I posted about earlier is basically bare bones ABA - find out the function of the behavior, and then teach something more appropriate instead. Its really important to get as much done as you can before they reach 5 or 6 so if there's something you think you can do now, then do it, do not wait. Every little bit helps. Make sure you stay in contact with the school and anyone responsible for your son other than you so that you are all on the same page so to speak about "what to do when.." - ABA folks will call that a behavior protocol. It helps when everyone is consistent.

Amber - posted on 11/18/2011

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He's not receiving any behavioral therapy yet. He's on the wait list for ABA which will be given in the next few months and IBI which has a 3-4 yr wait list.. I haven't seen any other privately or government funded programs for behavioral therapy. His teachers and EA's are awesome with him though, there were times where they probably should have suspended him or at least called me to come get him and they haven't. They have what they call a sensory room where he goes to cool off if he gets overloaded..

[deleted account]

hi can some pls have a wee read over this i know its long sorry .........i am now even more lost then before up till now ive thought my son may have adhd was told at 2 he wouuldnt be diagnosed till he went to school then at school was told he need to be between 7 and 8 but i no long think he has adhd as after a meeting with his teacher yesterday as she phoned last week to ask me to come down as shes worried about jason. i was expecting to go in to be telt he was doing this n doing that wrong but was in fact the oppisite she is really worried as" jason seems to be younger then he should be for 6." i already knew this. when i told her that i had been saying this for sometime now she grew even more concerend as after a discussion some examples were raised "jason asked me on (wednessday ) if it was thursday i told him it was thursday tomorrow he then asked so what day is it tomorrow ? i told him that tomorrow was thursday so he asks when is it thursday " alot of convos between him and others are of the same type he asks a question but doesnt understand the answer. jason knows that monday to friday is a school day and sat and sun hes off school but he can not tell you what day comes after the next. he has a school bag and a homework bag that he must take to school each day but he always remembers his school bag but can not remember to take 2 bags if he isnt wearing a jacket he doesnt remember that either. a feww weeks ago now he "lost his home work book" he went to school with it but never come home with it. The school moaned that it was at home but i knew that i wasnt after talking with his teacher yesterday he must of lost it on the school bus that morning or at after school care, but the thing is he found it last week he come home one day with it i thought his teacher had found it in his tray at school but turns out after speaking yesterday that he just turned up with it and is unable to say where or when he got it back he doesnt know and doesnt relize it was missing. His teacher says this is really worrying. he is in primary 2 started school last year so he has had time to adapt but he is still crying for nursery he doesnt want to be at school he wanst to go back to nursery he doesnt relize that he is to old for nursery ( 7 in feb) his teacher beleives he seen nursery as security he would of felt safe and secure at nursery, he is not distressed in school just every friday he crys to go back to nursery on monday, he recieves speech and langague theropy once a week they come out to the school to see him and his teacher is doing some extra work with him at the moment she is going to start something after christmas but not sure what i asked her if she suggets taking him back to the doctor to find out when he seems younger in his self but she has asked me to wait till after christmas once shes started the other stuff with him. should i wait till after christmas like she says or do i make an appointment the now? x

Sharlene - posted on 11/18/2011

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My son that's 8 yrs old goes to a main stream school with a autism unit kindy to yr 6 , Thers'always drama's but the teacher's and special aid's try to prevent bad behavior before it acurrs, Does he have behavior therapies or social councillor.And if you are aware of his behavior's before they acuur ,Try to calm him down and talk to him and if you have try to hold him so he does;nt do physical harm to him self or you and others.I hope this bit of info might help, cheers

Amber - posted on 11/18/2011

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I live in midland Ontario .. I don't think there are any special schools in my area, I'd have to move down south towards Toronto. I plan on moving more south when I'm done my college course. Hopefully that will help a bit more. I've had many meetings with the school. I think they're going to put him on an IEP, I have a meeting with the principal Tuesday morning, so will have to see how that goes.

Janet - posted on 11/18/2011

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Amber, chin up darlin'! You can get through this!

First thing I want to ask is, what type of Autism was he diagnosed with? It will help to pinpoint the deficits they found when they assessed him.

There are two "behavoirs" that you've mentioned in a few posts - 1) Yelling and 2) Vomiting and an issue where he can't relate to others and they can't relate to him.

Lets tackle the two behavoirs first. Do you know why he does either of these behavoirs? Its one of 4 reasons (and I remember them by using the word SEAT)

S - Sensory - They can be doing a behavior because they like how it feels or makes them feel (flapping their hands, spinning around in circles, hopping up and down etc).

E - Escape - They don't want to do whatever you asked them to do - their behavior is to make it so they don't have to do it.

A - Attention - Their behavior is so you'll pay attention to them.

T - Tangible - They want something from you.

Tangible can sometimes be a hard one so here's an example - If your daughter throws her cup and you pick it up and ask her "Oh, you want some juice?" then give her some juice, she will learn that when she wants juice, she can throw her cup and you'll get it. Every time she wants juice, she'll throw her cup.

How do we find out what it is? We start "charting" the behavoir - which is just a fancy way of saying "Write down what happened just before, during, and after it happened. "

For Example:
We got ready to go - Jimmy wouldn't put his coat on and had a big meltdown - after 10 minutes of arguging, one parent stayed home with Jimmy and the other went

Its not instant, but after a bit you may start to see a pattern in the behavoir - he does it just before something.. or when you ask him to do something or when he's not getting attention etc. Once you know the function of the behavoir,its easier to avoid and TEACH him a MORE APPROPRIATE thing to do when he wants to do that behavoir.

Screaming, depending on what the function is - may be the only way he knows how to talk to the other classmates. It may be that he needs something, or that he doesn't like being at school, or that he likes the way it makes his throat feel.

Vomiting, again, depending on the function - may be that he gets attention out of it, or that his shirt scratches him and if he vomits on it you change it, or that he likes the way the vomit makes him feel.

Unfortunately, you won't know until you write it down and see if there is a pattern to the behavoir. Then, make a plan to change the behavoir.

Now.. with the kids not understanding him and him not understanding them... I recommend that you go in and have a chat with the class, while your son is in another part of the building. I first saw this here: http://momnos.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-be...
and it really tends to hit home when you sit down and explain it so that kids will understand it. Bad comments are generally because people don't understand something and fear it.

Intelligence is relative in my opinion. If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will always be lacking. If you judge a toaster on its ability to dry your hair, it will also be deficient. Everyone is different and should be praised for their differences.

I hear a lot of "Its the teacher's job to..." Well. Yes. But. Its our job as parents to look out for our kids, and if we can do a better job at something than a teacher, then why not help? After all, they have between 10 - 30 kids generally in a classroom depending on the age of the kids. We just have ours to worry about. And we know them better. Maybe we can help make everything a little bit easier by spreading awarness about why our kids are the way they are, help our kids cope better with the world around them, and help the world cope better with our kids.

All in all. Good luck!
(ps.. sorry this was so long!)

Charu - posted on 11/18/2011

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Where about's do you live? My son's just started school, but instead of Mainstream I sent him to a Special School. Kilpatric Primary. He used to go to a normal Nursery and we had the same problems as you. i can remember other parents looking at me as if I'm a really bad mom and can't control her kid. As Abhi used to scream, cry, throw things and was out of control. Its beacuse they don't have to put up with the same things as us so they don't understand. But if you can't send him to a special school, speak to his teachers explaining his problems in detail.

SomeRandomMother - posted on 10/05/2011

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My son, Dude, is 11 now and I can honestly say that you are just entering the toughest part of the journey, in my opinion. That's the bad news, the good news is things do get better.

When Dude was three years old he started having what we called 'Grand Mol Meltdowns' He would freak right out with little to no provocation and his fits could last for an hour, with him screaming, threatening and getting physical. At that point we didn't know he had ASD ... we kind of thought he might be possessed or something! lol

Things were rough for about four years, but you are better off than we were because you know what you are dealing with. As soon as we found out that Dude had ASD we started reading, networking and figuring out what this diagnosis means for him. We began to really watch him and take note of his stress tells (the physical quirks and tics that tell us he is getting over stimulated), what may have brought them on and act quickly to divert the meltdown.

As he got older we were able to teach him the vocabulary he needed to verbally express himself rather than physically act out. We always have told his teachers and caregivers about his ASD. We have told them that we are a team and that we are trusting that they will help him at school to understand what is happening around him and to help others to understand him.

In essence, you son probably does not understand everything that is happening around him so he is acting out in fear or frustration. If you can translate life for him and give him some tools to constructively express himself things will improve.

As to the throwing up ... we had a foster daughter who did that. Its annoying and gross but it is also a stress reaction. With Dude and our foster daughter, in an effort to help reduce their stress levels when they were away from us, we always sent them a small bag with a few 'home items' in it. Our FD like to have one of my inexpensive bangles and stuffed dog that reminded her of hoome. Dude's bag usually held an inexpensive MP3 player with some of his favourite songs and a few Lego guys. We asked their teachers to set up a 'safe place' in the classroom that they could keep their bags and retreat to if they felt they needed some down time.

It worked!

Hope all of this helps ...

Susan - posted on 10/04/2011

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Say something to the teachers its part of there job to help explane to the other kids so they understand and learn about how everyone is diffrent and tolerance. Also look into a specialized school for your son that will help him learn and grow he has just as much right to school as everyone else! Good luck!

Amber - posted on 10/04/2011

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My son is in a regular school.. I hate taking him in there in the morning because now I hear kids every morning saying they don't like him and stuff. It's frustrating, I want to say something to the teachers, but I mean it's hard to explain to a 3-4 year old that kind of stuff. I really thought my little guy was over the barfing thing! I just can't believe he did it at school!

Dori - posted on 10/03/2011

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is your son in a "regular" school or one spilizing in special needs ?? my son oliver 3.5 just started school last week he seems to be enjoying it but hard to tell most days as he's not to good at expressing himself or what he has done and yes my son does know the barfing trick he has done it a couple of times with daddy

Amber - posted on 09/30/2011

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Has anyone else had the pleasure of dealing with a child who makes themselves throw up by coughing? My son has started that again today at school. He threw up twice on the desks today alone..

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