Violent Autistic Child

Fallon - posted on 11/07/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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my son is 4 yrs old and has autism. he is also on risperdone (.50ml twice daily) i have told the dr.'s that he gets into these moods where if he is bothered or anything he just lashes out! for example: he can line up some cars if his brother goes and touches his cars are gets to close to his "personal space" he hits him, jumps on him, really harms him. if we are passing by a store he wants to go to and we dont stop, he will throw his shoes through the front of the vehicle, throw his booster seat, unbuckle himself and hit his brother with anything he can get to, and i will stop the car get in the back seat and hold him down until he stops screaming/crying and the minute i will get in the front seat he will hit his brother again or throw something again. i have learned to ignore the problems in the back seat but it goes to far when he harms his brother. im sooo afraid he will just get into this mind stage where he will really harm him to the end. sometimes i have to go pass these places, the places im talking about is walmart, his school, parks, piggly wiggly, dollar tree, toys r us, gas stations b/c he wants an icee or ice cream. sometimes i have to go to a dr's appt right next to the place and he will be soo upset that we didnt go to the place and he will refuse to get out the car, get buckled up again, or participate where ever we are going. the problem will last about 15mins to almost 2 hr's and he will be this kid i dont know and just will snap out of this problem and be a loving child again. i always said he had bipolar jokingly but i dont know. the dr's all tell me its just a autism thing with the mood swings but come on now, this bad? and what do i do when he harms people? i can live in a separate home with him and have my other son living alone! has anyone ever had this problem also?

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Sarah - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son, now almost 15, has had these issues since he was about 2. Nothing could stop him when he went into one of his rages, other than sheer brute force. We literally would have to throw him on the floor and sit on him until he was crying ( that was our cue that he was *back*).

At 11 years old he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, but I always thought there was a little more to it. We had him on so much Risperdal that he was asleep within an hour or so of taking it, but he was STILL violent. We also had him on tenex 2x a day...still didn't do squat for his aggression.

Finally at 14.5 years old, I got the doctor to address the anxiety and depression that the psychological tests said he had. Seven months ago the doctor put my 85 pound teen on 20mg of prozac, 2mg of tenex, and 12.5mg of abilify daily. Within 2 months, the frequent rages were GONE. The child who had to be restrained so violently in January that he broke a tooth...the child who bit me last year so hard that the bruise was 5x5 inches around has been *normal* for the last 5 months. He has not had a single issue at school in over 9 weeks. Last year he could not go more than 3-4 weeks without hitting someone or screaming in their face at school.

Barbara - posted on 11/09/2010

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I agree entirely with Debbie. Get him off of drugs. The DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctors will tell you that drugs do not help the autistic and will do more damage to his body and his brain. If you do not have a DAN doctor in your area, see if there is a chiropractor who also does nutrition or, better yet, a Certified Nutrition Tester. My friend who has a chlld with autism, also had to deal with aggression. Her son became so agressive that she said they were prisoners in their own home. He was on several drugs and had been on a myriad of drugs over the years. His aggression got worse as his health declined. Once she started giving him a whole, live food supplement from the sea, he began to calm down. Within three weeks his mood swings stopped. Over time all aggression stopped and has not returned. They can take him anywhere.
Although our son, who is now 34, was not near as aggressive, we also noted that mood swings stopped within three weeks. We got him off of five mind altering meds and have kept him drug free for seven and a half years thanks to this same seaweed supplement and other nutrition. We are very careful about what he eats not giving him any kind of junk food. I consider allowing drugs the worst mistake of my life. I would not got back to drugs for any reason. Contact me if you want more information.

Lisa - posted on 09/29/2012

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Yes my 7 year old is exactly like that ! He has threatened stabbing his brother and tried choking his self just because he didnt get what he wanted it started when he was 3 . Then now is that bad seek therapy. It dont get better if you dont

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Lisa - posted on 08/28/2012

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my son is 7 and been hitting me and ppl for yrs!! been in and out of mental hospitals just read every thing you can look online the med we just put him on his abilfy seems to be a mircle pill but its only been like 3 months but hes doing so much better now my story is way to long to go into but help is out there

Krystal - posted on 11/25/2010

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I am goin thru the same thing with my 3 year old! No idea what to do! Good Luck

Diane - posted on 11/24/2010

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When our son was diagnosed with Mild-to-Moderate Autism back in 2001, he tantrummed on average of 4-6 hours per day in combined episodes. A meltdown in public could take at least an hour to calm him down, if not more, and he was carried out to the car often, while kicking and screaming because he was denied a preferrred item, or told he could not go on the merry-go-round again, or we passed McDonald's without going in for French Fries. The top three things that helped him most were: 1) Consulted with a DAN Doctor who ordered testing based on our answers to a lengthy questionnaire, and then prescribed which supplements and treatments were needed based on testing results (such as antifungals for yeast infestation, antivirals as needed, vitamins and minerals based on deficiencies, etc.).



2) dietary intervention by removing gluten (wheat/grains products) and casein (dairy products) helped calm him down so that he could function in his educational program



3) Personalized Educational program to meet his needs (at first, his home ABA program and off-site therapies, and eventually school when he was able to mainstream into a typical school classroom with an aide, following an IEP plan specifically catered to meet his individual needs.)



A balanced approach of the above three is what helped him get to where he is now, thriving in Middle School with minimal supports.



diane in TN

Fallon - posted on 11/20/2010

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i have asked about the weighted blanket or vest and they told me it would do more harm than good to him b/c he has bad sensory issues and hates to be restrained so that would work, i have wanted to make one of my own and try just in a trial and error thing. make i can try soon to make one

Ginger - posted on 11/20/2010

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Have you tried a weighted vest? When talking to my doctors and Childrens Mercy Hospital in KC. They suggested that. You can make one yourself and save some money. But I would research on the interenet what they look like and go from there. Since they are weighted they are suppose to have a calming effect. I used a weighted body pillow for my son at night. So he can feel like he is laying next to me and will feel secure.

Valeria - posted on 11/19/2010

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i would stop the medication or talk to his doctor to report the reaction. The medication can change the mood. It is just a thought!

Fallon - posted on 11/18/2010

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i have an appt. with a behavioral therapist in dec. maybe something will change. my friend with an autism child told me that when she was in the vehicle she would cover her windows with dark covers to where she child wouldnt see the places that make him rage and when they would get to a destination he would be fine. maybe i could try that...thanks for all the help. he sees a nero and psychologist once a week, they tell me its autism b/c every child with autism has mood swings, but in my eyes the mood swings last too long to be normal mood swings. his speech and OT therapist and teachers say its more than autism but i dont know. i guess i will just video the rages and then they can see what i have to go through almost on a daily base. i have also heard that a special diet would work for alot of autism kids, but he is allergic to soy, dairy and barley foods. maybe i can look into the test for a diet for him.

Lisa - posted on 11/18/2010

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I agree with Barbara. Try to find a DAN! doctor in your area. If there isn't one close enough for you to go to, you could at least have your primary care physician do blood tests for food sensitivities. the cleaner your son's diet is, the better his chances will be. I'm not saying to avoid prescription meds all together if that's not a possibility, but a special diet can be a big help. It has been very beneficial for my son with autism.
http://www.amazon.com/Special-Needs-Kids...

Elizabeth - posted on 11/11/2010

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Christina-I was wondering who told you that your son was too smart for special education? If your son has been diagnosed with Autism he qualifies for Autistic Support Services at school. I would request in writing a full evaluation for special education services. The school will either evaluate your son for services or they have to tell you in writing why they are not going to. Please visit Wrightslaw.com for educational information and also visit Starfishadovcacy.org. On Starfish there is an educational consultant that on Tuesday nights she has a free chat where you can ask her questions to help you receive the services your child deserves at school.
I would also try to get your doctor to do a referral to a child psychiatrist or a neuropsychologist to further evaluate your son. A child with Autism can also have bipolar disorder as well as other disabilities. Since I'm not a doctor and do not know your son I cannot say for sure if your son has a co-morbid condition or not but I would trust your instinct and try to get a second opinion.

Kristen - posted on 11/10/2010

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I feel for you. I can relate to some degree, my son has ADHD/PDD-NOS/ODD is 11 and has aggressive issues himself. Although he reserves his anger and aggression mostly for me and home I have experienced more outbursts when he was younger. It is very common in Autism. Mood disorders are very common in the diagnosis. My son certainly has it and his behavior is pretty unpredictable. Since your son is still so young theres a good chance that he may just not have found the proper medication to help him just yet, I dont know what other medications you have tryed before the risperadol but sometimes it is trial and error before you find the combination that works best. My son was on that at one point and we have been using seroquel now for the past few years, however he is almost maxed out. Aggression may always be there but there may be another medication that may work better for him than what he is taking. It could be bipolar, I have thought the same for my son, but it doesnt matter what you call it, alot of kids in the spectrum have underlying mood disorders and it will be treated the same whether he has the actual diagnosis or not. It is impossible to even diagnose a child that young as bipolar and ADHD, Autism and alot of other things all present themselves very similarly to each other that its hard to differentiate. I would talk to the doctor about looking into another medication for your son and if you dont like the answer there is nothing wrong with a second opinion. Recently while my son was cycling I had to send my daughter to stay with her dad for a week as he was so aggressive to everyone in the house it wasnt right for her to be here. I know thats not realistic for everyone and you feel as though you shouldnt have to do that. Keep asking questions and hopefully you will find something that works better. Its hard to watch our kids go through those emotions. Especially when theres nothing you can do to help. Learn proper restraining if he is physically harming anyone. There are ways to restrain to keep him and others safe by how you hold them without hurting him or yourself. Good luck to you.

Christina - posted on 11/10/2010

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I have to say this also sounds like my son who is now 8. He has been diagnosised autistic, ADHD, OCD, and ODD and he also will just snap and beats people up, screams if things are not the way that he wants them. I have suggested that he maybe bipolar and the dr insist that he is not that is Autstic and these are some of the behaviors. He is too smart for special education or any of the programs that are offered. But he is in trouble everyday but after his eposisde he wants to sleep. The school is threatening to put him in the hospital but I of course think that that would make the situation worse. He does not like to go anywhere though and of course I can not leave him home. If I have to go shopping he gets mad and stomps, screams and throws things. Once he is in the car if I turn on the street to our house and dont go home he gets even more mad. I am so lost on what to do. He takes his meds and they are not really helping. He sees a counselor but IDK I feel like I am runnin out of options. I dont want to put him in the hospital. please if anyone has an idea send me a message..i am new to all of this bratty_brunette1980@yahoo.com and I am on facebook

AnnMarie - posted on 11/10/2010

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For my autistic PDd nos 15 year old he can get violent but as with any child me and my husband nipped it in the bud along time ago you know children need boundaries and when he crosses them he gets the corner I know it sounds like a joke but for my son that's what works

Cindy - posted on 11/10/2010

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If you can, videotape you son when he is having one of his outbursts. Take the tape (or memory disk) and give it to the doctor to view. You can also send via e-mail. Once the doctor actually sees what is going on he/she will be able to give a better suggestion. Also, if you can, try and find a child psychiatrist or doctor who specializes in developmental disorders. My son did very well on Risperdone but can not take stimulants. It took several med changes to figure that out. I also will go out on a limb and say that your child does need some sort of medication. If he does have another disorder then there are medications to treat it. Medicating a child with Autism is always a tricky subject/discussion topic. Some children can be managed by diet and behavior therapy but others need chemical intervention to help them. ABA therapy does work. Good luck, I'm praying for you.

Jennie - posted on 11/10/2010

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I deal with this problem everyday. It's like my son is a time bomb! I can not take him many places because I do not know the bomb will go off. I have just learned how to restrain my son during these rages because he put bruises on me. I am looking into a therapy dog but they are so expensive.

Debbie - posted on 11/09/2010

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Get him off the Risperdone! Just saw Temple Grandin (herself autistic, movie made about her life for HBO) and she is totally agaisnt this line of drugs being used on children. A better approach is high protein breakfast, fish oils and POSSIBLY a low does Anti-Depressant (SRRI). I would personally recommend ABA therapy. There are four functions to behavior, and frankly, your son has learned that the tantruing works, if he can keep it going long enough. Even if it is only every third time that he tantrums that a parent caves, it could be enough to keep it going. You must learn the functions of behavior, and how to respond in order to garner the response you ar elooking for.

Pamela - posted on 11/09/2010

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My almost 13 year old is Autism, Mental Retardation, ODD, ADHD, Bipolar, and OCD and others. He has been a very violent child most of his life. Couldn't speak until 5 and was very hard to communicate what was wrong and express himself. With what u all wrote remind me of all the times those things happen, if u can get the right meds that will help so much. I end up having to put in a Rehab for a year and half. When he came home, he was a different child, not really violent (some little issues but learning) Express himself, meds are really much better. He still has mightmares, not sleeping, sleep walks. I would say there is a end rainbow at the end of the tunnel if u keep at it. I had a rough time but I kept on pushing thru it all. Not perfect but good enough to make life a little easier.

Carolyn - posted on 11/09/2010

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this sounds like my house. My son (I'm actually his guardian, since he was 4 months old) is 5 and is diagnosed Aspergers, ADHD, OCD, ODD. I think he's bipolar, though. He takes Risperdone .5mg 2x/day, Tenex (for compulsion 1 mg 3x/day) and Concerta 36mg. He is also violent. I have installed safety glass in his bedroom window and have alarms on all doors and windows in the house. I have been known to put trashbags over the car windows (leaving windshield and front windows uncovered, obviously) to lessen his anxiety about stopping places when we travel. He loses it about EVERYTHING, sometimes will even go into a rage because I laughed on the phone when he was in the room, so I must be laughing 'at him'.
Our behaviorist and psychologist work with us almost weekly and I am not seeing any improvement. I, too, am a single parent, with 4 children under 16 in my home. (My 5yo is the youngest) It's horrible for the other kids as well, they are sometimes afraid to move if he is in the room and often seek to go to someone else's home. I'm losing my own home, all for the love of a child. Just keep working with the doctors and keep trying. Use role-playing to explain the behavior you expect him to use in the car, and practice it at home in your driveway often. And don't give up - keep after the doctor, update him often, so that they know what your son is doing.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/09/2010

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Fallon-Did you get a chance to talk with the doctor? I hope so. My son was 5 the first time he tried to jump out of the car. We were driving 80-85 on the autobahn in Germany and he tried to open the car door. Thank Goodness I had the child lock on the car or he would have been seriously hurt or even worse. It took a child psychiatrist 6 months to diagnose my son with bipolar disorder nos. It finally came down to a terrifying experience in the psychiatrist office where my son tried to jump out the fourth story window because he didn't want to be in the office and then he continued to go into a full on rage where he got physical with me. I ended up giving him an emergency med and we couldn't leave the office until he was calm since he was a danger to himself and others. I hope the doctor will listen to you and at least change the med your son is on.

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I do not have a son like that. My daughter study's for an pre school to grade 3 teacher and as such we had to do some research on problems with children. I saw a lot of interesting stuff on the net relating to autism, axiety and other disorders. That is why, I want to pray for all of you wonderful people who have to deal with this problem. I bless you with patience, wisdom and a spirit of endurance. May God help you to cope with these day to day problems and I pray that each and every one of you will find the medications that suits your child the best. My daughter suffers from axiety disorder, She is now 20 years old and it took a lot of unerstanding during the years. What can I say about your problems. It sounds enormous, but still, out of love for your precious children you carry on with love, kindness and sometimes tough love. I salute you. May God grant you grace for this task.

Aimee - posted on 11/09/2010

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My son (pdd-nos) was getting to that point, too, after a recent move. It's terribly upsetting! I knew I couldn't continue to be a punching bag for a 6 year old (when I'd stop him from hitting his little sister he'd focus on me). We saw a psychatrist b/c I too thought bipolar. Well, in our situation a medication to help him control his impulsivity has helped a lot. Does your son see a psychiatrist? I think it would be worth having an evaluation...and if something is determined then he can be treated. And if it's not, then the psychiatrist will probably have resources or suggestions to offer too!

Fallon - posted on 11/07/2010

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thanks so much. he has about 80% of the red flags for bipolar disorder. he has ADHD, separation anxiety, aggressive behavior, fatigue, very much of a risk taker (when we dont stop at the places he trys to jump out the car(i ahve to put special locks on my doors and windows b/c he has broken the windows with the seat belt buckle to get out to go to the stores and stuff), very much of mood swings, low social anxiety, cant wait up in the morning b/c he cant go to sleep all night (he takes melatonin for that, which dont help AT ALL), night terrors since he was 2yrs old, obsessives and compulsions A LOT (thought he had OCD at one time) delayed speech (at a 9 mth speaking level) destruction of property and animals...i have researched A LOT about early on-set bipolar disorder and he fits it to a TEE. i will contact his dr. tomm and let him know that my son is getting to big to restrain him anymore and its ENOUGH! someone needs to do something!!! i always thought it was jealousy by his brother but i do more for him than my other son, but he also is aggressive towards everyone when he has these phases.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/07/2010

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You are not crazy at all. I use to feel like I was losing my mind and that I was crazy. It took patience and an understanding psychiatrist to finally figure out what all was going on. Your son could possibly be lashing out because he can't tell you what he is feeling but then again it could be more going on. If your doctor isn't listening to you then it might be time to find a new doctor. As a mother you know your son better than anyone else and you have to trust your instincts. Unfortunately it's the squeeky wheel that gets what they want. If you cannot change the doctor your son sees then I would keep pushing for a referral to a specialist. I've heard of people calling the doctor every day and letting them know what is going on. A child with Autism can have co-morbid conditions including bipolar disorder. I pray that you finally get some answers and that things get better for your son and your family.

Fallon - posted on 11/07/2010

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thanks soo much for understanding me and not thinking that im psycho talking about my child like this. its just i see his OT and she has told me about his anger b/c if he is into these phases and we get to OT and he dont want to be there he will throw the chairs and kick and scream and really freak them out and they have told me thats its more than autism more like bipolar, but i have told the dr. that and he just told me that its autism mood swings. how do i get them to understand before he really hurts someone? i have researched bipolar and he is EXACTLY like it but no one believes me. he is nonverbal and the dr. says its b/c he can get the words out so he is violent, but does he have to hit on someone that didnt do anything to him? he is this way with me, his dad, family members. i have told the dr. the meds arent working and he said just keep him on it and see maybe he was having a bad day, WELL NO DUHHHH he has a bad day almost every other day..lol..i dont know what else to do...

Elizabeth - posted on 11/07/2010

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You story sounds like mine when my son was 4. He would get so bad that we would have to hold him for hours. He was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder NOS at the age of 4 and a year ago at age 8 he was diagnosed with Asperger's. We also tried Risperidone. I have heard that it can make the anger and aggression worse so I would talk with the doctor about maybe trying a different med. If you feel that there is more going on I would ask for a referral to see a child psychiatrist or a neuropsychologist and have them evaluate him. I hope this helps. Please know that you are not alone.

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