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Not good at staying calm around my autistic son

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Hello,

I'm looking for some help and advice as to how I can be calmer and less stressed around my son,

He is four and a half and was diagnosed with autism last year. His behaviour is a challenge - hitting/not listening/screaming/eating everything.

I find myself increaingly loosing my temper/shouting at him over the smallest things. I also have a one and a half year old and I'm worried about the effect our fraught household is having on her.

He is always hitting/poking her eyes etc and I am ashamed to say I am often too rough/pushy with my son. Everyday is a battle at the moment. From reading other posts it sounds like things aren't going to get easier anytime soon.

I'm not being the mummy I want to be to my little boy I love so much. I wonder if I have anger issues.

Does anybody know of any organisations or have any advice (please don't judge me) where I can get some help/speak to somebody.

Thank you

i am autistic. i don't judge you. behaviour can be challenging, particularly if not understood, and if exposed over a long period of time without respite - as an autistic person, i have meltdowns because of overload, it is therefore perfectly logical from my pov that you are as, an NT person with an autistic child, experiencing an 'overload' of your own. 

possible solutions: 

a. speak to your GP, explain your stress levels etc, ask for support and advice or referrals. do not battle this alone or feel you are on your own, which can add to stress levels increasing

b. ask your GP for possible referral to further support. dependent upon your area where you live, there may be various help and support.

c. check out this site (NAS) as there are details about challenging behaviour.

d. this---> www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk

e. this---> researchautism.net/publicfiles/pdf/essential-guide-autism-challenging-behaviours.pdf <---for info purposes

you need to feel that you have strategies in place and support that can alleviate some of the psychological burdens for you; also, strategies and the right techniques will give you further ability to at least feel you are /managing/ the challenging behaviour rather than having to /battle/ it and feel like you are fighting a losing battle. 

i am sorry that i can not provide further information at this stage.

Hello,

Thank you so much for your advice, I never looked at it from the perspective that I too am having some sort of overload.

I have thought for a long while I perhaps need to go and see my GP and I think your post has ecnouraged me to do this.

You are right about needing a stratgy, I will have a look at the links and hopefully find something that helps, thank you again.

Hi, my son who is 5 also does this it's like he is almost obsessed with it!  He mainly does it at home but can do it when we are out and about which can be a bit embarrassing. We were told by specialists it's just a phase and when he starts doing it dont make a big deal of it, just try to occupy his mind with other things.  How do you deal with it?

From similar experience of struggling to keep calm while caring for our son who has severe autism, learning disability and behavioural issues, I'd say probably you're having problems with too much stress, and that most people under this level of stress can feel like they have "anger issues". It could help talking to a counsellor and getting tips on how to manage stress, if you've not done that already. One tip is get some exercise every day whether just a brisk walk or travel to work/errands etc by bicycle. Another vital thing is get some respite. You should hopefully qualify for short breaks from your council, it may be only 60 hours a year but it helps a lot. You have to find a decent provider - we've been happy with Scope and Mencap. Its possible to pay for some respite yourself, the going rate for 1-to-1 support seems to be £15-16/hr but if you use childcare vouchers from work thats like getting 1/3 off. If you get tax credits there can be more help still. Some people maybe feel guilty putting their child in respite but as long as you pick the right provider, why not? Our son has a good time when he goes there, we get recharged and are then nicer to him, and its not the child themself you're trying to get a break from, its their level of disability, and you're doing them a favour if they have fun with people who have more energy to give them for a while then you've got more to give them later.  Not to mention the other child , who needs a break too from all this. We too have another little one and have also worried about the effect on her of a fraught household - over time she seems to have dealt with it reasonably well. as long as both kids know you love both of them, maybe you can explain to the younger one sometimes Mummy gets stressed and sad when the older one plays up, but that no-one means to be unkind. I think you may find his sister gets used to him doing some crazy stuff to her. Our daughter who is now 2 1/2 is used to a lot of crazy things. Her brother pokes her, tries to walk through her etc, luckily he's not bitten her yet but always a certain risk. He chews her toys. Despite this they have a lovely bond. She used to cry when he let out blood-curdling yells at the dinner table (as he needs to do,  for sensory regulation), now she thinks its funny!  She also now tells us off if we're short/speak sharply with him, and says that he's sad. She acts as a brake on us failing to be calm, bless her.

Good luck, I hope things can become less stressfull for your family,