My 6 year old son was diagnosed with Asperger's in January, we've slowly been coming to terms with the diagnosis. It wasn't a complete surprise. He's always been a stubborn and difficult to manage child, but the last couple of months his behaviour has gotten almost unmanageable.
He has very frequent meltdowns, sometimes we see them coming, sometimes we can't. When they start there is no going back, he will scream, throw things, turn furniture upside down, lash out, kick, hit, spit and scratch and it takes him a long time (30 mins plus) to come out of it. Afterwards, he's always tired and sends more compliant. It's almost like Jekyll and Hyde. The meltdowns and defiance is mostly triggered by refusal to cooperate, "do as he's told" It is almost impossible to discipline him without all hell breaking loose.
We are really struggling cope, we have 2 smaller children, who also suffer. The whole family seems constantly on edge and the relationship with my husband is deteriorating because it too. Does anyone have any advice on how we can get our son to listen to us without him kicking off? Or any useful resources out there? We really need help.
Thank you for listening
NAS37524 said:, he will scream, throw things, turn furniture upside down, lash out, kick, hit, spit and scratch and it takes him a long time (30 mins plus) to come out of it.
Hi sorry to post this you probably know but just in case you don't i wanted you to know that the things he is doing, he can't help it. He isn't making a choice to behave like this. He feels as upset about it all as you do if not more because he has no idea what's going on. It's no good punishing this behaviour because that just makes the confusion and unfairness of it all so much worse.
This. I've had meltdowns like this even as an adult (always, thankfully, at home. Also always when I've been fighting it all day) and it is the WORST. Once it's got going there is no hope of control.
Then it's over and you're confused and exhausted and embarrassed and your limbs hurt where you've been punching/kicking the floor without even registering it. It's worse as a child because you don't even have the capacity to bottle enough of the day-to-day stress up that it happens at home. You do it in public too and then people are staring at and talking about you in a very negative way and it just adds to the despair of it all afterwards.
Thank you all for your replies, it's much appreciated. I'm sorry Emma and Song that you are still struggling with this even after all these years. Big hugs to you.
I know my son can't help his meltdowns but it does not make it less frightening, frustrating and sometimes downright dangerous for everyone in our family including him. It's heartbreaking and I wish that there was something I could do to help him communicate and cope with his feelings. He's only little now but the thought of what he could be capable of when he's bigger fills me with fear in all honesty
It's ok- I honestly think I'm doing pretty well. I have a job, a partner, I'm living independently with a bunch of pets to keep me busy! Life's fine. ^^
I completely understand you being worried about when he gets bigger. For my part I often ended up lashing out at my parents and especially my younger sibling (to the point of leaving marks) and as I wasn't diagnosed until I was quite old he didn't understand and thought it was great fun to wind me up until I did what he saw as "throwing a tantrum" and what to me was a deeply overwhelming, uncomfortable and frightening experience. Obviously that led to a great deal of animosity at the time.
We have a very friendly and supportive sibling relationship now but it has taken a long time and a lot of active understanding for us to get to that point.
The great advantage your family has is that you know why what is happening is happening, so you can access the support and information that is out there for you to help him through it as things crop up (including this forum!).