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Techniques Thread: What Have You Tried & What Did & Didn't Work!
  • I'll start this: I tried reward charts (gold stars etc.), star of the week certificates like they have in school, promising an increase in pocket money, an inflatable punchbag to take out aggression on, telling her to punch and scream into her pillow, telling her to take time out before she blows, emotional support in calm moments to talk it through, clear stated boundaries, PECS visual charts on the walls as reminders, promise of sweet treats...threat of loss of computer/Wii time, threat of loss of pocket money, sending to room, loss of treats, loss of family outing and obviously telling off.

    Nothing so far has worked, positive or negative. I get responses like "I don't care" if I threaten sanctions. The inflatable punchbag ended up getting deflated and put away, as she still kept attacking me anyway and it took up too much room. So when I first read about PDA and about how parents say "nothing has worked" I really understood where people were coming from. She will scream that she doesn't care when she is warned and then later wheedle and beg to have the e.g. loss of PC time removed.
  • Oh don't get me started! Lol
    I've tried most of those too, including the punchbag! Dd had a love of cutting things up, so I would give her (child friendly) scissors and a load of paper, or paper just to rip up. Star charts were ripped down and torn up, pillows were thrown at me rather than punched etc.
    Just like you I tried sanctions. Useless, not bothered.

    On a more serious note, one of the parenting courses I was sent on suggested 'active ignoring''. Ignore the bad behaviour, praise the good. Busy yourself with something else while they're behaving badly, they'll soon stop. So I tried it, dd was about 8. She got so sick of me ignoring her no matter what, that she went and got a kitchen knife and started picking at my clothes with it saying, 'Have I got your attention now? Are you going to keep ignoring me?'
    At the next meeting I told them what had happened and asked what I should do. I was told to use my 'best judgement'. When I said I wouldn't be trying that again they replied, 'So you have made the choice not to use that technique.' Choice! What choice?!

    As to what works, the only thing I know is a success is to say things to her in writing. I started this a long time ago as it was so difficult to say what I wanted to say. If I really needed to talk to her about something I would write a letter and leave it on her bed. Eventually she'd get back to me, having had the time and space to think about it.
    These days she has her iphone, I have the ipad. We communicate best this way. We can both say what we want, without interruption and the use of a smiley face or a x means she understands I'm not angry, just talking. And if she gets abusive I can switch it off lol.

    Many of the notes I put on her bed, under her pillow were simple 'I love you' notes, or a reminder of something she did that she should be proud of. Often a small thing but just a reminder to her that it had been noticed. I didn't find out until years later that she had a box that she kept all the notes in. This showed me how important they are to her. Which reminds me, I haven't done one in a while.
    If you haven't tried it before, try it tonight, you might be surprised at the response.


  • LuLu
    Posts: 11
    I agree. We have tried most things too.

    Two nights ago I stumbled on something that seemed to work (well for 2 days at least !!!) for our DD 5.5yrs.

    Showering, for example, is a major issue at our place. She loves the shower itself, but I think it is all the other tasks around it that are the issue, eg. undressing, washing, drying, redressing etc. I was sitting on the edge of the bath, watching her in the shower, trying to get her to wash herself. She just sang and spoke louder so she "couldn't" hear me. I started motioning as if I was washing my own face...she did hers. I thought I would test it out. I then did the same for her bottom and armpits. Again, both times she did hers.

    Last night, trying to get her to undress for a shower and she was too busy dancing, singing and screaming around the bathroom as a delaying tactic etc. I casually pretended as if I was undoing a zipper on a jacket, just the same as I wanted her to do. She did it !!!!

    As I said, not sure how long it will work for, but might be worth trying.

  • Marymary my daughter will not be ignored, she ramps up her behaviour ten-fold if you ignore her, in fact one of the things that can start a tantrum in her is being ignored, she has a thing about thinking people are not listening to her (absolutely untrue!), ignoring her or interrupting her (it's her that interrupts!). This parenting course thing makes me mad because the traditional techniques don't work for even most typically autistic children letalone those with PDA traits.

    I do tell our daughter all the time that I love her, praise her and stuff, so she does know. She is so stressed though that sometimes when I say "I love you" she says "are you sure?" and I think this speaks to her very atypical understanding of the world and people. She can be very intolerant of praise and loving sentiments however, she shouts and says "stop flattering me!" and it seems even those things make her stressed.
  • Oh Lulu, the shower! What a nightmare.
    Dd is 17 and it's still an issue.

    I was very interested in the technique you stumbled across though. Time has taught me to keep instructions/directions to a minimum but I had never considered doing actions instead of using words. I will give this a go, thank you.

  • Planet, are you sure we're not sharing the same child?
    All of those things , interrupting, being ignored, unable to take praise or compliments and the questioning about "do you really love me?" are dd to a tee!

    I hope you realise the suggestion to write notes was a general one and not aimed at you personally. Reading back I realise I didn't make myself clear. I know you have suggested writing things before and this certainly seems to be the only way dd will accept praise etc.

    You and I (and probably everyone else here) know the normal rules of parenting do not apply to our children. I went to them to show willing. After the first one, where I tried everything they suggested and did really well on the course by the way, I knew this was no good for us. I'm not an idiot, I know what should work, but it doesn't!

    Anyway, I'm ranting again.
    Hope all is well with you and yours
  • Spooky Marymary! Such a relief to hear others say it, as you can't help but wonder at times if you might be doing something wrong. I have to remind myself how atypical her perceptions are, so I don't send myself crazy!

    Oops - I did think you meant me with the notes, that's me being a bit literal I guess!

    Hope it's all good for you too. My daughter was like a changeling for big chunks of the time since she started back at school and I wondered when she was going to snap, but she's getting back to normal now!
  • My apologies planet, Not your fault, I know on reading back, I didn't make myself clear, and I should know better ~X(
    It is very spooky how similar our daughter's sound, which only makes me more convinced that there is indeed a sub-sect, if you like, of autism that our children fit into.
    Going away for a week on Saturday so won't be around for a while. But "i'll be back" lol

    Take care pet
  • The general thought on PDA strategies would seem to be that no strategy is going to work reliably and what works one day may not work the next... and perhaps crucial to remember, what doesn't work today may work tomorrow... or next month or year.

    The 'ignoring' thing is a particular case in point - we have both results, sometimes it *is* effective, other times it dramatically escalates situations just as has been described.

    Notes are tricky for us because of the severity of my son's dyslexia and because he sort of doesn't recognise writing as something he *can* read but can be really good (notes he writes to himself are better now that he has reached the point he can understand his own writing and spelling) Another strategy picked up at a PDA seminar is another 'de-personalising' thing "I wonder if..." or talking to someone else.

    It's a bit like needing a big bag of tricks and you pull something out and give it a go, then something else. Like doing a one-woman show the whole time. No-one can say that parenting a child with PDA isn't intellectually and creatively stimulating!

  • No worries Mary! Have a lovely week away.

    dirtmother yes that's one of the most frustrating things, the lack of stability over reactions. You can never make a plan! It doesn't help either that having Asperger's myself I am resistant to change/like routine and can feel cornered if I feel forced into something. My brain can get stuck in doing things one way, so it's hard to keep pace with the non-uniformity of the situation!

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