Tantrums/behavior issues

Kelly Smith - posted on 08/09/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My 5 and a half year old son has PDD-NOS. He is doing good this Summer learning some new skills/trying new things(he went on the Ferris Wheel, learned how to swing by himself, and started going on the potty during the day:). But his behavior is not very good since Summer started. We have a lot more melt downs, throw down tantrums that he screams like he's being stuck by needles or something bad, and his behavior out in public is awful. He doesn't list, doesn't share, actually threw a train at a little girl when I told him we needed to go because he wasn't sharing the train table and other kids wanted to play.I know I need to take him out to socialize(plus he has a 22 month old brother that deserves some time away from the house), but I am so nervous about how he is going to act. And I can't always be one on one with him when I am chasing his brother around. I'm not sure what to do.

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Sandy - posted on 08/10/2010

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I have 6 yr old twin boys with Autism and PDD-NOS. We had a behavioral therapist for a year, I learned a lot. These kids usually respond well to structure and rules, picture schedules work well. Also I often go over rules with my boys and make them repeat so they understand. It usually helps to say (while holding up fingers for the numbers) "#1 we clean up our toys. #2 shoes on and potty #3 go to park #4 snack #5 bed.. or what ever it may be. they have to be simple and clear. I have them repeat them back to me.. they ALWAYS remember exactly what the plans are.. this help reduce tantrums. This also works well with rules. #1 no hitting etc... "what happens if we hit?? time out" I purchased a visual timer, it works wonders for timeouts, cleaning up, timing playtime or toy sharing.. even eating. My boys like to take forever to eat. I only recently started bring them out in public by myself, many times i make it a short trip cuz someone has to bring a screaming kid out to the car. However, the more they are use to other people and learn rules the easier it gets. Don't worry about the looks you might get at the store if your child starts a tantrum, it is none of their business. I have strolled through a store with screaming kids in the cart and finished my shopping. Mine start first grade this year.. i am worried about all day school and lunch time. Their social skill are getting better the more they are around other kids. Good luck to you, stay strong, and be consistant about whatever rules you make.. they thrive on it.

Tammy - posted on 08/09/2010

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My son has Aspergers and does the same i now take a little bag with some things to divert his attention/anger like small books,calculator sensory things and most of the time its a god send the other times i just have to play it by ear i have four kids so i understand u need to take them out.. hope it helps

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Holly - posted on 11/19/2012

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My son is 9 and is pddnos he keeps peeing everywhere he is potty trained but he regressed and now pees everywhere

Madeline - posted on 08/20/2010

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I know all about the 'stuck with needles' screaming and you're right, everyone needs a little alone time / break. Maybe you have a trusted family member or friend who could trade baby sitting.

Kelly Smith - posted on 08/20/2010

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Thank you! We have started a behavior chart that is color coded and has a magnet with his picture on it. We also have to "rules he has to follow to move up on the chart. If he is in one of the "good" squares at the end of the day, he gets to pick a Thomas sticker to put on a Scooby -Doo chart(2 of his fav characters). If he gets 5 stickers..he gets to pick a DVD he has to watch..if he gets 10, he gets an ice cream treat. So far, so good.

Annette - posted on 08/20/2010

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You have gotten alot of good advice here already. I just wanted to add that my son is now 6 and when he went to Kindergarten (at 5) this is what started with him as well.

The year before Kindergarten he was going to 1/2 day preschool that on 3 days a week was just for special needs, and then on 2 days a week added in NTs. They worked a lot with social stories, but didn't really see the aggression/tantrums. They did see the (completely expected) lack of empathy and not understanding that what I did hurt you.

Then he went on to Kindergarten and it all went haywire as you describe. Throwing himself to the floor. Screaming, kicking, hitting at teachers, etc. In fact, the teachers there were considering adding that piece to his IEP. By the end of the first semester it had gotten better, and by the end of the year, that type of behavior wasn't even really on their radar.

He has started first grade on Wednesday and for the first two days of school we have not only not had any anger/hitting issues AT ALL, but he also has not had to be removed for tantrum issues.

Hang in there. It can get better. Use some of the tips above and over time I think you'll see a huge improvement. I espcially underscore the use of picture schedules, # rules, and having him repeat the rules and the consequences. But remember to step in and remind him of the rule when you see a situation that might erupt. Now Matthew, what's rule #1 (which in our house was always no hitting). And what happens if we hit? Okay, so what are you going to do?

Hugs, hang in there.

Rita_2_davey - posted on 08/14/2010

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It is so hard dealing with children with this illness. If at all possible, see if there is some place that you may take him to interact with others'. When your 22mos. old is having a nap try and make this your one on one time with him. I wouldn't be taking him into a crowd of children, start out with a few at a time until you feel that he can mix more. When he has his melt downs, its' hard but walk away, while at home, make sure he is in a safe place so that he cant' break items or hurt himself. Once he realizes' that your not going to put up with his actions, he will curtail them somewhat. Dont' expect a quick fix. Possibly when your hubby is home from work, have dinner and maybe take him to the park or somewhere that its just you and him. The same applies to the 22mos. old. Just take different days. Give him things to do, even cleaning. Not something major just little things, even try the vaccuum. Its' an understatement to say that they can't do this/that. They are actually very smart in their own little ways. Keep the environment low key. When it comes to a point where he is going to hurt your 22mos. old make sure he is disciplined. Have him put in his room, take things out that he really enjoys. You dont' have to make his time out any more than say 20-30min. Keep things out of the way that he may be able to harm someone with. Keep in mind that they are very smart but are not conscious about the hurt part. They aren't feeling that pain. As well if need be have someone come into your home that deals with these type of illness' so as to help you in ways of how to deal with him during a crisis period. They love putting things together, lego's etc. T.V. shows but they wont' sit for a long period. Have him help you with little things in the kitchen, show him how to clean his room, set a calendar up as to what is going to be done at what time. Get good boy stickers etc. Have a paper board in his room with days on it, when hes' good give him stickers and when he misbehaves' remove them from the day before showing him that he doesn't deserve that many because he was misbehaving. Alot of little things help most, rather than big things.
I wish you all the best, take care, Rita

Kristen - posted on 08/13/2010

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One of the BEST tests to do on kids with ASD is the OAT test - It stands for Organic Acid Test. Look to Great Plains or Doctors Data Labs. Your general ped, probably won't do it or even know about it. In fact, might think u r nuts, but I can tell u that many moms will give me symptoms of tantrums, bad behavior, aggression, waking at night, being silly, not focusing - and 8 out of 10 times...it's yeast. You would be amazed! Many ASD kids have VERY restricted diets - they LOVE carbs, juice, SUGAR! I would suggest "googling" yeast and behaviour in autism, or autistic yeast symptoms, etc. Once you have yeast - very hard to keep in control and it will often flare on and off - but some Nystatin, Ketaconazole, and even some natural anti virals (look at Brainchildnutritionals.com for their yeast protocol) will keep it under control. Also, NDF in the summer to remove chlorine from the body and lots of epsom salt baths, esp. after swimming!! Call if u wnat more info - 925-325-4159

Kelly Smith - posted on 08/13/2010

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Kristen W.----How do you go about having them tested for Yeast?
Everyone--Thank you for all the great advice and thoughts! Makes me feel better knowing there are people I can "talk" to that understand:)

Kristen - posted on 08/13/2010

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Have you had him tested for yeast? Often behavior flares are associated with yeast. Also, if he has been doing alot of swimming this summer, chlorine depletes magnesium (which is a calming mineral). Summers are often filled with "special, fun time" and often diets are filled with lots of treats, sugar, etc. Because you mentioned this is a new behavior - it's something you might consider. If you'd like to chat, feel free to contact me. 925-325-4159 Kris

Lucy - posted on 08/11/2010

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Your so right Sandy...my son has to have structure and routine..if I take him out of it he falls apart...thanks for the advice!

Julie - posted on 08/11/2010

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Our son has severe autism; he went through a major meltdown stage as well....its hard; I always (even now) have a "go-bag" with things just for him (distractions, focus items). The main thing is he can't be rewarded for the behavior; I know w/ autistics almost their entire world is set up by "habit-routine"if your son attatches screaming etc.. into part of his habits (espec. w/o resistance from you) then it'll be 2x as hard to break. How about meds? Our son takes a form of Prozac to help keep the edge off any potential behaviors he also takes Risperidol which is a really good med... also when he has meltdowns we isolate him from the "problem-trigger" if it continues we (usually my hubby) puts him in a bear hug restraint on the floor talking calmly to him repeating that this doesn't work and when he chooses to calm down the dad'll let go...this helps teach him tomake the right choice and learn a new set of responses as well. I know it seems unfair to your other son; (we have 2 other kids so I know). What we try to do is when we can't do something or we have to change plans we will tell the other 2 that they can go by themselves the next day with dad orhow about taking him out alone while someone else watches your older son. Maybe work in teams if you wanted to play at the park have someone else with you so that when your older son needs to be removed/dealt with then someone else you trust is their to watch your younger son so he isn't forced to leave the activity because of his brother. Just know that our son is now 9; he has improved in just about every area in leaps and bounds at times so I can say at age 5 you should be getting to a point where things start to improve if handled properly w/ discipl. etc... good luck! God bless....

Ashley - posted on 08/09/2010

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my daughter just turned 2 she has signs of autism and i know how bad her fits and screaming can get.
when she does do thes little misfits i simply pick her up wherever iam and i make her look at me and make her understand what shes doing is wrong if she still continues she gets a time out by then that works

Lucy - posted on 08/09/2010

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I know how you feel..my son is 21 months(autism -pdd) has the worst tantrums when he goes out of his zone. He has an older sister (8yrs) who gets so embarassed with his meltdowns that she asks me all the time to just leave him home. I am trying the books and toys...ALL THE BEST!

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