My autistic son is becoming very violent, i need ideas :)

Thea - posted on 03/19/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hi,
Please only respond if you have had the same issues and have found a good strategy.
My son is 4 years old and has been diagnosed with classic autism. He is very low functioning and I expect he will soon be diagnosed with an intellectual impairment.
He is non-verbal and we use pictures to communicate. Recently he has been lashing out violently when he doesn't get his own way. For example, I offer him water instead of milk and he immediately lashes out and starts to hit me (like a helicopter!) Quite often he has made contact with my face. I am trying to not over-react when this happens. Lately I have been removing him from the house into the backyard every time he gets physical. I do this probably 20 times a day. It gives he and I time to calm down. Yesterday he really frightened and hurt his 5 year old sister. Do you think this is a just a phase he is going through?

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Ryn - posted on 06/21/2014

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My autistic son is violent and has been since he was 2 years old. Most times I feel he can't control his explosive behavior, sometimes I feel he can. He is 7 now, and at this moment I am healing from a head but that cause a broken nose from him. I have had 2 black eyes, bruises, scratches and bite marks all over my body. I work so hard w my son, I have an ESE educational background and he has ABA services 7 days a week. He is categorized as a danger to himself and others. I can't see myself giving up, although my family and all his doctors/specialist have said I need to prepare myself for him being in a home. They say as he gets older and stronger, I'm getting older and weaker. That is my biggest fear, it put me into depression, and I have no history of depression. However the thought of my son not being home w me, takes me to a dark place. I don't understand why some of our kids have these aggressive/violent side to them. He hasn't copied this behavior, he has been like this since he was so little. I pray so hard for all our autistic kids, but I pray harder for the ones and their families that have violent autistic kids. Everyday I am trying to keep my son alive/safe. I am trying to stop him from SIB or hurting me. He can't really be around other kids because of his impulsiveness. I worry for their safety. I wish I could take my son to birthday parties, heck I wish I could take him to a grocery store. But his meltdowns are so major, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to hold him down. He is getting to strong for me. I just want him to be at peace. I look at him and one moment he can be so affectionate the other moment he is beating you down;physically. It has take a toll on me, but I my only wish in life is to stay healthy enough to take care of him. He wouldn't understand if he was gone, what happened? People wouldn't understand him therefore, they might hurt him. I don't know... It's such a struggle. I put on this strong persona and I know I am strong, but I'm weak at the same time. I am abused daily by my son who I love more than anything. It's just the way my life is, I hoping it will get better and he will be less violent and more calm.. For me, but mainly for him/ I just want Peace for him. I can't really offer advice but I'm praying hard for him, you and your family. It's a terrible way to live... But our kids need us... And always remember, they don't want to hurt us. If anyone is close to Tampa in this group, please reach out. Best of luck to all our autistic warrior moms💙

Sandra - posted on 09/17/2013

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Hi.

My son was violent until we took him off gluten. He has been gluten free for five years and boy what a change. Recently, we were going to have him tested to see if it was a gluten allergy and had to let him eat gluten again. Although he enjoyed not having to be careful, he became out of control. After this, we contacted the doctor and he said that it was the gluten to take him back off. We do let him eat one serving a day but anything above that we risk him becoming aggressive.

There was an incident with a visit with his dad. He was given wheat french toast for breakfast, pbj on wheat bread for lunch, 1/2 large pizza for dinner and oh...yeah...five twinkies during the day as snacks. My son came home and was very out of control. Crying jags, aggressive and at one point tried to put his head through the bathroom mirror. We pinned him down and applied pressure. All night, we took turns staying up to watch him. The next day, he said that there was something or someone taking over his body. He said he had no control over what he was doing and that he was sorry.

Gluten free or restricted diets are easier now then they were when we started. To see full effects, my suggestion is to get your child off all gluten for six weeks. During this six weeks, make a note each day of his mood. Gluten acts like a high in children that are intolerant and children will go through a brief withdraw period. Your child is still young and may not notice as much of the changes. Suggested replacements: Udi or Rudi Bread in the frozen food aisle, chex cereals and quinoa pasta. After the six weeks, note how the change in mood and ability to focus. My son experienced increase in eye contact. After six weeks, if you notice that the change is positive and you may want to try a serving of gluten to see if there is any changes in mood. We noticed one serving in a 24 hour period doesn't have a negative affect but anything more...boy...the beast boy comes out.

Hopefully this will help.

Tina - posted on 09/16/2013

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Using visuals (pictures on card stock), present two or more choices so that he can communicate his wants and feel like he has some control by making a choice. I use visuals to help my nonverbal son communicate better.
I second the behavior therapist.

Ashton - posted on 09/09/2013

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definitely should try a behavioral specialist. n find a coping method for him. let him find one that works best for him. since he isnt verbal, jus gauge it by what calms him down the most. but try something before it escalates too far. my son is seven n started taking it out on kids @ school n animals.

Robin - posted on 09/06/2013

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Hello, Am A mom of a son diagnosed with same at age five. He is now 10. Sounds like the violence is from frustration. We as humans are usually allergic to what we are addicted to. Foods , Ect. There is a lot of information out there. What has helped my son is Digestive enzymes! We have done the food replacement game, However you personally cant be with your child every second. So, that enables him to eat any thing he wants with out having a reaction. (autistic symptoms) The behavior or anger or violence is just as similar to taking a piece of chocolate away from me, certain times of the month except I cant tell you where to go. Houston Enzymes, Emzymedica. Both of these company have helped us. (books) The brain ,gut connection. Everything Jenny MC Carthy has written. Fyi My son only could say mom dad at age five.The first thing we did was take away the milk that he was drinking a gallon a day , replaced it with rice milkand with in two weeks he was speaking full sentences!!!!!

Thea - posted on 03/23/2011

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A behaviour specialist sounds like a good idea. Yesterday I went to his paediatrician and the DR had a glass cabinet filled with his collectable toys. The cupboard had no locks and the DR said the cupboard was off-limits as it was a private collection. Needless to say I spent the full 40 minutes behaviour managing my son's violent attempts to get to the cupboard. I suppose the good thing was that the DR saw his worst side but at $260 a visit it was the probably the most stressful experience I have ever paid top dollars for.

Thank you for all your info, every reply has helped me in some way :-)

Thea - posted on 03/23/2011

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We do a little sign language, just as much as he can handle but he is progressing, though slowly :)

Carolyn - posted on 03/22/2011

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Well, I have recently started experiencing this with my son and had to seek help from a behavior specialist. He started acting out at school and has brought them home. We had to start ignoring what we could as long as he wasnt hurting himself or anyone else. We found his behavior was either to get our attention, or to get out of doing something he doesnt want to do. We now see that everytime he started becoming violent dad would take him and give him deep pressure to calm him down. That was what he really wanted, all along. So he learned to act out in order to get deep pressure message. Its sounds similar to your son and him getting to go outside after becoming violent with you or sister. We now have him do small jobs to earn that deep pressure attention. I mean small like throw a paper in the trash, and now he's understanding that when he does nice things he gets rewarded. It got bad before it got better. But you have to let him know he isnt going to get what he wants by hurting you. Its tough, but I promise you it worked.

Angel - posted on 03/21/2011

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Michael is high functioning.. but he has same outburst since he was 2 and was not even dx at time.. I would find what caused it, write it down, and then try something different next time.. Sound easy but it not always. Also certain meds used for Autism/Asperger/Depression etc.. can cause them to have more common or even more violent outbreaks/meltdowns. Michael has actually stayed in hospital 5 days for a meltdown in which he hurt his sister.. they taught him coping skills in a way that autistic children understand better, and they switched some of his meds.. Michael has done alot better.. Hope this helps.

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We have a son who is high functioning. He does however have the violent outburst. We have found it very helpful to use Abilify. They have 2 and 5 mg. Call the Indiana Health Group is who we use. WE LOVE them. We also have my son in a school that is for him. PUBLIC school no doubt. Have you tried sign language with your son? How about a magana doodle?

Gungun - posted on 03/21/2011

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Same here my daughter is 5 years old nd everytime when she is not able to express herself or talks irrelevant things she hits or scratches me.This also happens in front of others,smetimes i m not able to control myself and give her back:( Can smeone help me to deal with that??

Rae - posted on 03/20/2011

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My son was not communicating much at that age and I would I say was one of the worst times for him and for us!!!! Due to lack of being able to express what he wanted or what was affecting him, the violence lessed the more he began to communicate better. We started with signing as well. My son is now 7yr going on 8yr and now his violence is more of a phase a patten in his behaivour hard to control at thous times but goes quicker. I used a pillow at times where it got bad for him to hit on and increase physical activites to tire him out but he found his own way later by running in circles or drawing circles hundreds of times...... It will ease he just has to find his own path with your help.Take care and hope that helped.

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