Hi everyone. I'm new here and looking for support and advice.
My 11yo daughter has autism and for the past several months has been making big, nasty messes everywhere. We can't leave her alone for even a few minutes. Here are some reasons why:
She thinks it's funny to pee on the floor even though she has been potty trained for a few years. We never punish her, but always tell her, in no uncertain terms, to go in the potty. She just giggles and bounces off.
She often screams as loud and long as she can. We have no idea why. Food often helps, but not always.
I keep literally EVERYTHING locked up and she still gets into things. The other day I found iron filings from my son's science project all over the carpet in my bedroom. Not as bad as the pee, but still a mess.
We have turned our front and back door knobs around to keep her from running outside without us. This works well, but I fear she could still get outside without us knowing. It's scary.
And countless other inconveniences. Sometimes I feel like I'm at the end of my rope.
Any non-punitive suggestions welcome.
Thanks in advance.
Hello Kate's mum. My son once got out of my house despite my attempts to keep him in. It is so scarey! Luckily I found him in the garden. The masses, is she playing with them or does she like your reaction do you think?
Sounds like she uses all the hot buttons to get your attention as she doesn't seen to get your attention for good behaviour.. It is a reinforcement loop - you only react on disagreeable things so she does them as she craves your attention. Try making your best effort to only react on good things she does.
Generally it sounds like you need to invest in relationship with your daughter.
Hi - and welcome :)! I agree with Tinyexplorer. It’s very important to understand the “why” in “why is your daughter behaving in this manner?”. Generally, any attention is good attention for a child on the spectrum.Your daughter needs you to praise the good behaviour and pay no outward energy whatsoever to the negative.
If you attend to your child when she misbehaves, you are actually inadvertently training her to misbehave. It’s important to note when your child is behaving well(even if it’s simply sitting and waiting patiently for a few seconds). Praising them then and there, giving brief attention at those times, will increase the times they are behaving well. It is this simple.
This might also be anxiety driven behaviour and could be symptomatic of the need for structure(which those of us on the spectrum need and crave).
You sound like a very caring Mum, and you, along with how you respond to your daughter has an incredibly significant impact on her ability to feel safe and secure in her home environment.
We do react to good things as well. She gets mostly positive attention. And pretty much whenever she wants it. But, yes, she does enjoy our reactions.