help out of control toddler

Candis - posted on 02/05/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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so i have a 3 year old little boy who just recently became a big brother! hes cute as a button and for everyone else he is a perfect angle also hes autistic not that that matters much but because of it he has ceertain behavior quirks anyway when hes with me however he is completly out of control he doesnt listen he hits he bits he screams and does that melting thing so you cant take him any where he runs away and a couple of times has run out in the middle of the street im afraid both for him and sometimes of him he's completly out of control i spank him i put him in the corner i explain things to him and all it ever does is seem to make things worse im trying this one time dicipline thing but to get them yoused to it the steps you have to take seem almost abusive and being a child of abuse myself im very sensitive to that. at other times he can be so sweet and cuddly hes my bugaboo but hes never been this bad its a hassle to take him anywhere shoot its a hassle just to get him dressed anymore and on top of that i have a new baby a new job and im just starting to go backto colledge agian. his father and i switch off and on every two weeks but thats pretty new and not going so good his father wont dicipline him wont take any part in his raising and acts like davey is an inconvieacnece all the time so tomorrow im telling him davey will not be going over there any more if he wants to visit him then he can come to our house. hes never even bought davey a single present till this christmas he bought him a tonka truck! so basicly im frusterated im at wits end and i just dont know where to turn from here any advice?

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Iridescent - posted on 02/07/2010

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We have (likely) 2 with autism - our 10 year old for certain, our 2 year old is likely.
First, spanking likely has no effect. He's incapable of associating the pain (if he can register it) with the behavior, unless he's quite high functioning. With healthy kids it's another story, but he's not. It's frustrating to find things that work.

Meltdowns - what triggers them? For my son it was his obsessions within view but being unable to have them (ceiling fans at the store for example), too many people, too many colors (shopping!). One way to control it was to make a tent to go over his stroller for when we went shopping. He couldn't see out, so didn't get frustrated. As he got older, we had to covert a double stroller into a large single. Took work, but did it. Now that he's 10 he is capable of behaving very well. First thing for meltdowns is prevention if possible (the tent). Second, if he's having one, HOLD HIM. Hold his arms tight to his sides, hold your leg over his, and sit until he's calm. He will fight for a few minutes most likely. It doesn't matter where you are, parking lot, store, school, just do it. Once he's calm, try to find out what the problem was if you can, ask if he's ready to try again, and help him back up. Move on. Once he's old enough (we started at 4-5 years) make social stories. Your OT likely knows some about this. You can ask me for help if you need. Read them every time you intend to go somewhere that is difficult for him, or any situation he isn't safety-aware in (my son was always climbing in stranger's cars for example). They are totally positive, state your expected behavior, and the consequence of not complying.

Get a leash for his pants loop (overalls work great) that he's unable to unhook for public situations unless he's in a stroller. Him running away is going to be an issue for a long time.

Sensory therapy would be of great benefit. Does he get services through the school? Ask them what devices you should have at home available to him at all times (ours are a mini-trampoline, a small and large PT ball). There are also songs and tons of therapies that help sensory.

Does he speak? Is it enough to communicate his needs easily? If not, request a communication board to assist him until he's better at speech. We're just starting this with the 2nd child we have like this. Our first used one for a year (we nailed a board to the wall with velcro strips on it, with pictures of people he'd see, his routine, choices he'd be allowed to make that day). Then he learned to talk!

If his father is willing to do what he can in regards to having equipment available even for him to use on his own, or bringing him to therapy (or having therapy go to his house), trying to be consistent with things. It helps. I'm sorry about the problems you're having but punishment is really not appropriate yet - has his developmental age been determined? Ours were both quite behind, and punishing them at 2 and 3 years is the same as punishing a 6 month old for crying. It just makes things worse.

Kelly - posted on 02/07/2010

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Aren't the 2s and 3s fun? Just kidding...:)



I'm sure there are some autistic behaviours going on here. I unfortunately, or fortunately, don't have any experience with that.



I do have 4 kids though and can tell you a couple of tricks that I have learned to help control templers.



The biggest one I have found at this age is to give them choices. Up until now we tell them "eat breakfast now", "get dressed now", "wear this", "get in the bath", etc. It must not be that fun when you think about it. Remarkably, when they feel they have a choice they calm down. So, something like: It's time to get dressed. Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?

What's kinda interesting too, is that 9 times out of 10, they will pick the last thing you say. So if you really want him to wear the blue shirt, say that last.



The other thing is to tell that what you want them to do, not what you don't want them to do. Apparently they only really hear the end of what you are saying, so if you say: Don't go on the road! What they hear is "road" and go there. If you say" Stay on the grass", they tend to stay on the grass.



The other thing that really is boy specific, is that they zone out, and physical touch is often the only thing that pulls them out. So if you are asking him again and again with no luck, and it seems like he is just ignoring you while playing with his truck...its very likely he really doesn't hear you. (Its a guy thing - that's why grown men can watch TV super loud, while working on their computer, and while the kids play on the floor - they just zone it out). The way to get him back is just to put your hand on his shoulder or back - and he's likely to give you his attention.



Absent dads are hard to deal with - my son's dad is not absent but doesn't really give him priority in his life, which is frustrating. Here's where I net out...I don't EVER say anything bad about his dad. Although its hard now, I really believe when they are older, they will know and see the true colours of their fathers...and selfishly, they will admire us and love us all the more when they realized what we went through. They will look back at their childhood and see us - we were the ones that were there, we took them on vacation, we went to their school things etc. The hardest thing to do is just factor them out, and realize you can't change their behaviour - because, for sure, we get more frustrated and lose more sleep over their actions than they do. I'm sure that you have really great male figures in your life and your sons that can serve as good role models...boys need that male figure, but it doesn't have to be his father:)



That was longer than I thought...hope that helps though! Good luck!

Kelly

Andrea - posted on 02/07/2010

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i have a 5 year old who has autism tendenses thats what they call it.we also have an almost 3 year old and a 8 month old we have had to make sure we try as best we can to have a routine. he is horrible when he is with us to but good at school and every where else. we have to limit how much time he spends at my moms house because he wont really listen.it may hurt to have your sons dad come over just to see him instead of the one on one time he is used to but he needs to realize children need structure at home and at dads.maybe he will realize he is only hurting your son by not having structure and hopefully he will change.make him realize he needs to be a positive roll in your sons life and he needs to stop acting like he is a burden to him and help with his care. or he shouldnt be there for your son if he dont want to help

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