Handling PDD-NOS

Jaimee - posted on 02/25/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter was recently diagnosed after almost a year of testing and trying to figure everything out. She recently was placed back into daycare while I attend college which has helped tremendously. However, I noticed that she is still hurting herself alot when she gets frustrated or unable to have what she wants. This is no normal temper tantrum, she pulls her hair, bites herself or someone else, kicks, throws herself against the walls and everything else. She does some serious injury to herself. The main problem is her lack of communication skills, she can understand what is being said but is unable to respond in the ways she wants. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to help relieve her frustration or how to deal with the throwing of her body. It takes all i have to hold her still and not get her to hurt herself or me. It is a little harder rite now bc I am pregnant and she tends to kick me rite in the stomach and several times it's made me sick.
Any suggestions? We are trying sign language which she is starting to pick up but not a lot. I am lost..

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Jess - posted on 09/25/2011

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The possibility of her hurting herself, or you, or the new baby, is very real. If you have not already, make sure you her doctor knows. There should be a "team" that helps you with her, her regular physician, her psychiatrist, and a counselor, preferably someone who specializes in spectrum disorders. Together, you should be able to come up with ideas on how to minimize her frustrations and safe ways for her to cope. There are also ways to restrain a child that will not hurt them or you. Staff that work with children at school or other institutions can be CPI trained. I'm not sure if there is a specific training for parents, but here is the website: http://www.crisisprevention.com/

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Wow, Jaimee! That's a tough one! My son is 10 (also has PDD-NOS) and when he gets really frustrated or upset, he hits himself, too. If he's REALLY upset, he'll say, "Just kill me!" It's horrible to hear your child want to hurt themselves.

How old is your daughter? Do you have a therapist she sees who can help you with some strategies when she starts to get frustrated? The lack of language is no doubt part of her frustration. The sign language is a great idea. Maybe you can teach her a sign that means, "I'm angry and need some help here!"

When my son was little and would get angry like that, I would give him a pillow to punch. Maybe she needs an outlet for her anger that won't hurt herself or anyone else? Maybe one of those nerf bats she could hit stuff with and not do any damage?

When she cools off a little bit, we've found it helpful to put our boy in a warm bath or shower. The water is soothing and relaxing. Good luck to you!

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