Down Syndrome discipline issues..help please

Jeanie - posted on 08/26/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am a full time stepmom to a wonderful 11yr old, Jacob. He is a very happy, loving child most of the time. But, when he doesn't want to do something he is very stubborn!!! He is a very strong, hefty boy, so you can't force him to do things. One example; he is very into movies. Now matter how many times he is told or gets in trouble for it, he gets tons of movies out and has them everywhere. He is scratching and ruining them. I took all the movies and put them up except for a few his special ones. I find them all out of the cases and all over the house. Same issue with books and other things. Does anyone have advice on getting him to listen? I get so frustrated when he refuses to do what I ask. I work full time and have 3 other children, one of which has adhd and odd. Also, I would appreciate any advice about chores and helping him to do every day activities without being reminded several times. He's smart and knows what he should do, but he isn't motivated.

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Your welcome. I hope it does work for you. Raising 3 Children with Special needs is so hard. I had more than enough with 1, but you have 3. That is totally amazing that you haven't lost your mind. I have lost mine. I have ICRS Syndrome - I Can't Remember Squat! LOL Honestly, once you get into a routine as Darla mentioned, it will take a lot of the stress for all of you out of an otherwise stressful day.

Very important to have their Dad's participation with you. It's not easy and I'm sure he's tired at the end of the day, but once you all get into a rythmn it won't seem so stressed and hard for either one of you.

Think too, that it takes lots of energy on your kids part to behave the way they do. I'm sure they don't want to do what they do, but it's like, they are being driven by a magnet to repeat the behavior. So, replace the bad with good behavior. Figure out what it is they are really telling you. Maybe each child wants time once a week just with you and just with Dad. Sort of like a date. I bet if you rearrange some activities you'll come out the better for it and so will they. Good Luck. Susan ( :

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D'Lane - posted on 09/01/2009

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Thanks so much for the post!! I am a Grandma! raising my 5 yr. old grandson,Caleb,who is DS and exactly the same about the DVD's!!! the only thing that has worked for me is taking them away. And "gramma" is the only one who "touches" them. I love the behavior/chores chart,I'll start ASAP. Thanks again. D'Lane

Albe - posted on 08/30/2009

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You are going to have to stick to your guns and put the videos away even the ones he likes. At 11 years old I am sure he has ( O my little one has D.S. too and she loves music) that favorite thing and make sure you take it away and each day he is good you may return one at a time till he understands that he can not do that and if he does it again then you take one away and so on. Hey I'm a new mom but maybe this will work. I will probably be asking you this in 10 years so I hope you are open to questions to. Good luck and God bless. O by the way You are a great mom and don't second guess that, especially when you are trying to discipline your kid........



Ps do a choir chart on the wall and each day the kids do things they get to put a star or sticker of some sort by the end of the week Movie night popcorn drinks and candy, or do park day lunch at the park or you can do something big at the end of the month, another idea is go to the $1.00 store pick up some prizes and wrap them up put in a box and you could let them pick one out at the end of the week. Who don't like surprises and you could throw in McDonalds gift cards or DQ so on this might even work for your son who brakes the moves and makes a mess all kids like a little something. Any way let us no what works



:) Albe

Mistie - posted on 08/29/2009

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Quoting Jeanie:

Susan, thank you for your comment. I am actually in the process of making chore charts for all the kids that can be lamenated and used like a dry erase board. I have clip art photos for Jacob's. I like the idea of the "pick bag". I was trying to think of a way to motivate them without money. I will give that a try. I think it will work for them.



Make a pic of a cd to represent a movie and place it at the end of his chores as a reward for chore completion. If you can make a picture sheet or board of the steps (process) you expect him to complete such as taking the movie from the case,  placing the case in a cetain place  and placing the cd back into the case when the movie is over and bringing it back to you, Then allow hin into the treat bag. This  allows you to get the chores completed with a movie reward and then teaches him to take care of his movie by being allowed into the treat bag. Be consistent and use visuals.

[deleted account]

That is awesome to have that support from his Teacher. It will be a huge help to you and Jacob to have goals in school to support yours at home. Advocating for our children is one of the single most important things we can do for them. Good for you for being such a neat Mom and not giving up! Susan

Jeanie - posted on 08/28/2009

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I would love to have time alone with each child. With 4 kids it's so hard. I do try to spend some alone time with each one though. My husband is a very good father. He just doesn't get it sometimes, ya know? With him, Jacob can get away with murder...not the rest of them though. I'm trying to get him to realize that Jacob needs to have responsibilities and consequences as well. We will get there, it will just take time. I think right now I am just overwhelmed and frustrated. Being a blended family makes it tougher. One good thing did occur today. Jacob's IEP meeting is coming up in a few weeks and his teacher called today and asked if there was anything in particular I wanted her to work with him on. I told her I was setting up the chore chart and that I wanted him to be responsible for his things and his room. I told her I was going to make him clean up his own room daily and that weekly I am going to have him dust, sweep, and take the trash out in his room. So, she is going to add those and a few other household chores in his IEP and start having him work on those at school as well. That will really help me. If he is learning that at school, it will reinforce what we are doing at home.

Jeanie - posted on 08/27/2009

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Susan, thank you for your comment. I am actually in the process of making chore charts for all the kids that can be lamenated and used like a dry erase board. I have clip art photos for Jacob's. I like the idea of the "pick bag". I was trying to think of a way to motivate them without money. I will give that a try. I think it will work for them.

Darla - posted on 08/26/2009

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i have a 16 yo boy with down syndrome and whiile like you say he is very loving most of the time he has his moments.. my best advice is repition and routeen, they like to eat at the same time everyday as well as get up and go to bed, same for showers or baths... my son loves yogurt so it makes a great motivator as well as other healthy snacks that you can trick them into thinking is a treat. i dont know what to say about the movies, maybe put them away all together untill the erg to take them appart goes away.....

[deleted account]

Down Syndrome Children and Adults have 'stubborn' as part of their personality. When my son was young he belonged to a baseball team called the "Challenger League" for kids with Developmental Disabilities. Several Dad's of the kids were the baseball coaches. One young boy around your son's age, loved to hit the ball when he was in the mood, but would plop down with his legs folded like a pretzel, after he hit the ball, because he didn't want to run. I distinctly remember his dad and another dad picking him up, still remaining in the seated position and placing him on first base.

This is what I would do if I were you. I don't know if you have a computer, but I would make many copies of all his movies. That way, you still have the original movie in tact and can use them for future copy making.

I would say that with all of your children, the best thing for everyone is structure, and also an environment where there is as little clutter as possible. My son who is now 25 with Fragile X Syndrome, still has issues with ADD. He was ADHD and OCD but the Hyperactivity calmed down as he got older. He still has some Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors but the best way to deal with all of them is consistency. Your husband definitely needs to be supportive of your efforts. You have your hands full, not to mention your plate, your bowl and everything else.

Use a star reward program. Every time he does something you ask he gets a star. Begin slowly for each child and use poster board to make a schedule of chores etc. Take Pictures of each of the chores and put them on the Chores Poster with Velcro so that you can switch them around for each child.

Get a "Pick Bag" with stuff you can get them from the dollar store. A small piece of candy, a toy truck, etc. whatever it is that will motivate them. When they get 2 stars they get to pick something. Do that for a week or two and then make it more challenging by going to 3 stars. Make the pick bag something positive. Put cards in it that have a list of games that they can play with you or an activity you all can do together.

As long as you are consistent, keep to a schedule, and keep your voice at a low tone, you'll be fine. I learned a long time ago that when my son wouldn't listen to me, I kept lowering my voice. Worked like a charm. Don't be afraid to ask his teachers for support and ideas. I don't know what area of the country you live in, but he should be entitled to some services in the home to assist you and him in doing his ADL's and help him to grow into the next part of his life into Adulthood as a happy healthy young man who has all kinds of possibilities ahead of him.

Hope this helps. Susan from NY

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