What happened to my good boy?

Stephanie - posted on 07/07/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 we are currently in the process of having him evaluated at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital for autism. He has always been a good boy until I delivered my second son 6 weeks ago. I feel like we have created a monster by making life to easy for him. He is also in the process of having his hearing check. If my son is truely autistic it is very mild. My problem is he has started yelling when he doesn't get his way or when he doesn't want to do something, say eat breakfast for instance. Some times he will hit me, I'm trying to get in the habit of not smacking his hand back when he hits bc it seem counter productive. I am almost at my whits end between all the test with no answers, his yelling, a new baby and the lack of sleep. Any suggestions would be appreciated to help me deal with this better. TIA

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Stephanie - posted on 07/12/2011

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Thank you all so much for your replies. Sheila you really put it into prespective for me. I never thought about it that way. Since I have posted things have calmed down some. We took him on a date with Mommy and Daddy and no baby Saturday to Chuck E Cheese and I think that did help. I told my DH we need to try to do stuff like that with him at least once month. As for me I had a visit with my dr and she gave mommy a little her for my nerves as needed and prescribed 2 mommy days off a month for me. So hopefully things are on the up swing.

User - posted on 07/07/2011

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Hi Stephanie,


Consider the scenario of being in a relationship. You've been told, either directly or by actions, that you are loved more than anybody else...you have literally been the centre of someone's universe...and then, one day, you are told, Look, someone else is going to come live with us! And guess what, joy of joy, I still love you but there is no way that I can possibly give you the same amount of love, attention, and praise that I did before because I have someone new that I love just as much....oh, and they NEED me, you're going to have to do more for yourself. How would you feel if that happened to you?

Now, consider a three year old with some challenges....even mild ones. If he is truly living with autism, even mild autism, this means his brain processes information in a different manner. It might also mean he can't communicate as effectively as he might want to....and children this age have NO concept of bringing a baby home. They are usually told they are going to have a beautiful baby to love and cuddle and they will be best buddies....and then KABOOM! A true infant arrives and there is no playmate....there is just someone who is taking my mother away from me.

If he wasn't a monster six weeks ago, he isn't a monster now. He is adjusting...you are adjusting...transitions are HARD.

Be firm, but DO NOT overtalk. Strip it down to what you want.. First eat, then play. Do not go into why it is important for him to do whatever it is you want him to do....just say it....First shoes, then coat. First car, then store. First bath, then story. As parents, we tend to over-explain.

When my son was three, and being aggressive, I had this big Mr. Incredible body pillow. If he hit, I said, no hitting, to the spot. The spot was the pillow, and we took it EVERYWHERE. It wasn't easy...it took a good three months he would hit, I would say, no hitting, to the spot. Of course, he wouldn't go...I would take his hand and bring hin to the spot. He had to sit until the aggression was passed....and because of the pillow's size, he could "bury" himself in it...bite it, hit it, etc....It was hard, it was exhausting, but it worked (for us).

Be consistent. Mean what you say, say what you mean. Follow through...do not change your mind, or give in because it will calm him down. If you said no, it is no.

You will get through to the other end...once number two starts letting you sleep, it does get better.

My friend said to me after the birth of her second child, one's fun, two's a zoo! It is an adjustment period.

Sheila

SomeRandomMother - posted on 07/07/2011

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In general, three year olds are the worst of the human race. All three of my kids went from cute, funny and enjoyable toddlers to crazed, selfish, tantruming demon children right around their third birthdays ... the good news is that they do return to that sweet kid you once knew but it takes about a year. Even my son who has ASD went through the crazy threes and returned to a decent kid later.

The first thing you need to do, Mamma, is to get yourself some sleep. I know, easier said than done with an infant and a toddler but get a babysitter or beg family members to help you out for an hour or so every afternoon so you can sleep. My kids had to have an hour of quiet time every day until they started school just so I could have a sanity break.

I think you also need to release the worry attached to the testing, whatever is going to happen will happen whether you stress yourself out or not. A diagnosis doesn't change who your son is ... he's still the same funny, sweet, maddening little guy.

As far as his behaviour goes, we have always taught our son that ASD is no excuse for bad behaviour. I agree, spanking or hand slapping is counter productive. We used time outs. Whenever Dude (or any of the others) started to yell, hit or throw things they got sent to the stairs (our time out spot because I could still see them, there was nothing to play with and nothing to damage). After three minutes I would ask them if they were ready to talk ... if they were calm we would talk about the behaviour, if they weren't calm (my daughter would go several rounds with us) yet then I'd reset the timer for three minutes and try again.

Stay strong, Mamma ... you can do this!

On a side note, a new sibling throws even NT kids into a tailspin sometimes. make sure you are still making special time for him, doing baby-free things everyday. it'll help!

Lara - posted on 07/07/2011

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There are so many conditions that it could be--we had the same thing with my son (now six). He was always such a sweet child, but one day a switch was flipped and he was not the same. It is so hard when they are three because it could just be typical three year old stuff...It could be autism, but our son turned out to have PANDAS. If you google it, you can see if any of the symptoms line up. I don't know exactly how aggressive your child is or if you are noticing any other behaviors. For instance, is he refusing breakfast because of textures of food, colors, he is afraid of contamination etc. (OCD)? Was he sick recently--strep throat or other infection? PANDAS kids can change overnight with an infection (calm, sweet little boy into an anxious, OCD, child that cannot do anything without a huge battle).

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