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Unread 9 Jan 19, 11:05 PM  
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TC Devon
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Hello
My daughter is HF autistic. Shes almost 8. Over the past few months shes becoming increasingly violent towards us, mostly me (mum) Its often in response to frustration, anger and her initial response is to lash out-punch, kick, arm twist or hit. She pulls at my clothes to rip them. She just keeps going. You cant reason with her when shes in this mood. Shes very strong for a little girl. Its like she wants to hurt you. If i ignore and she keeps hitting at me. Its relentless.
This is a new thing. Violence was never a problem. Coincided I believe with issues at school. In addition to this she has very poor self esteem.

I just dont know what to do. My son (5) is scared of her. He says shes a bad girl. My dh seems to barely tolerate her, avoids her. He just says he is rubbish at parenting her. I trying to read up on nas what to do, trying to diffuse situations, trying to not cry myself.

What do I do?

Shes brilliant at school.
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Unread 9 Jan 19, 11:32 PM  
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dvc
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OK so I may get flamed for this but I would suggest the first thing is for your husband to step up and support both you and your daughter. Maybe the school could help you as she is so well behaved at school. Could it be that she needs more to occupy her at home? Also I wonder if there are support groups in your area that may be able to help,you. Can your gp suggest any? I really dont have experience in this field as you can probably tell.but I dont think you should be trying to do this all on your own. Good luck with it all.
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 12:02 AM  
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Totally empathise, my friend is going through a similar scenario with the aggression and I know how draining and exhausted she is all of the time. She has managed to get a CAMHS appointment for the whole family but there seems so little support for families out there. Several of my students have reported a total lack of support with their children with SEN. Are there any charities that can help?
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 12:20 AM  
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We had exactly the same situation when my son was about 8 and he was diagnosed with Autism.
His psychologist said that the behaviours occur only at home because it is the place where he felt secure and safe. All attention was attention regardless of whether it was positive or negative.

We created a safe space for our son because when he was in one of his meltdowns he needed to small dark place for a form of sensory deprivation then he could regulate himself but when they are in this behaviour you cannot reason or talk to them as they are just overloaded and cannot cope.

Please remember although it doesnt feel like it today you are doing a fantastic job regardless of how awful you feel - it is not your fault or your childs but there are strategies you can try.

Please private message me and we can have a private chat but itll be a couple of days before I am free but I didnt want to run when you are in crisis.
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 07:30 AM  
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I follow Big Life Journal on FB which creates work for children you could maybe do with her to help with self-esteem. Theyre sharing the 5 day Self-Love challenge at the moment. The resources look good. She could make a little scrapbook with you maybe.
Always start every conversation with her with a positive to reinforce everything that is good that you love about her. The other advice Ive had is to not speak to the child face to face - stand sideways on. Feels a bit strange a first but something Im trying out.
Youre doing an amazing job in the hardest of situations xx

Edited at 07:33 AM.
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 11:05 AM  
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my son is exactly the same though for us he always been that way any time he's struggling he lashes out and I usually get the brunt of it the older he gets the worse it is as they get stronger and its much harder to contain them.

As it is a relatively new behaviour for her I would guess that there is something she is really struggling with at the moment and as such is unable to regulate herself enough. If you think school was the trigger I would maybe arrange a meeting with the senco and see if you can identify what is was/is that she is currently struggling with.

I know a lot of ds triggers and there are loads school being a huge one and for those its easier to try and diffuse the situation before he goes into full meltdown but the slightest thing can set him off. Once they go into meltdown all you can do is ride it out and try to limit the damage they do to themselves or anyone else.

does she have any sensory items that help I try to build some sensory time into our daily routine to help bring his stress levels down.It was suggested to me when we were having really tough time and the idea is that their stress levels coping with daily life run on a scale of 1-10 if they are struggling they are at a 9 and so the slightest thing sends them to a 10 and triggers a meltdown.By introducing regular sensory time you are reducing their basic stress level to a 6-7 and therefore it takes a lot more to reach the 10 reducing the amount of meltdowns. I was a bit sceptical but it has been successful to some extent esp after school where he bottles it up all day then explodes as soon as soon as he feels "safe" we've gone from he only had to see me to go in to meltdown mode to we can usually get home before it happens unless its been a really hard day.

I do try to talk to ds after a meltdown sometimes its way after as he will shut you down if he doesn't want to talk and pushing him will only cause another-I always make sure I name the feeling and say that its the behaviour I wasn't happy with. I know you were angry/frustrated that zxy happened and its ok to be angry everyone gets angry sometimes but its not ok to hit mummy that's not a nice way to behave. He's starting to understand how he's feeling and even why he felt that way and just lately he's started finding other ways of lashing out like slamming the stairgate over and over not ideal but at least on those occasions he's not hurting anyone.
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 12:22 PM  
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It's really difficult to give advice as every child is different. However, I can relate to some of the issues as my DGS (9) has autism.

Unfortunately his violence began around age 3, I appreciate it's easier to deal with physically when they're smaller.

As he got bigger it was increasingly difficult to control, I did suffer a few cuts and bruises for a while though. If we were out in public I just took a deep breath and held him close knowing that safety was the most important issue. He cut my arm badly once, digging his nails in. Afterwards, when he was calm, he asked me if he did it. That's something that stayed in my mind and helped me cope.

Over the last year or so his 'lashing out' has subsided, he is starting to understand his own feelings, recognising when his frustration peaks.

I believe the most important thing is to talk to your daughter when she is calm. We always found that he was more 'open' to conversation as he was getting into bed or when in the car. This still remains the case.

I think it's also important to talk to your younger son if you haven't already. Have you told him she has Autism? We told his younger sister as soon as we could have a conversation with her, using the word even before then. At 8 she totally gets it and always has, she's a fantastic support to her brother. She knows he does 'bad things' but is not a bad person.

I can't comment on your DHs attitude but, if he's a good support otherwise, I'd guess comes it comes from a lack of understanding. It really is a learning curve for all of your family but working together is key.

I hope things calm down for you a little moving forward, there is ALWAYS a trigger that relates to change of behaviour - it's finding it that's difficult.

Use everyone around you for help, you're doing your absolute best and everyone needs support at times. If you need to cry then so be it, no shame in that either.

Jillx
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Unread 10 Jan 19, 03:53 PM  
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TC Devon
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My son is in FS just 5 yo, I try to tell him his sister finds things harder than him. He does nt get it, he says shes bad. He is a very timid little boy so is quite affected by her outbursts.
My daughter is incredibly anxious, we have had problems, where she was falsely accused of being a bully by another parent/child. They were quite persistent. Constantly in school over every little thing. School investigated and all unfounded. She can be quite honest and will say things, not in a mean way, just factual. These accusations has totally knocked her. She now lacks trust, this parent/friend that accused her was a good friend. She thinks no one likes her, shes horrible. Shes full of self loathing, when it was all kicking off she said she wants to be dead, hurting herself. Recently this has stopped. During the holidays we had a calm happy girl. Two days back and its kicking off again. We are under Tahms, who are putting her on a course for self esteem but it starts in April. They ve signed us off.
Im going to keep focussing on her good points telling her she is fab. Rewarding the little things. I need to try to help her identify what her emotions are, obviously she struggles with this. Ive spent all day reading articles. I just want to help her, help our family.
Dh is supportive with other things , he finds her challenging.
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