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Help! 12yr old in constant meltdown...we're at breaking point.
  • Willowfi
    Posts: 5
    Hi, just looking for any help and advice to shine a light on what feels like a constant dark battle at the moment. Our 12yr old son was diagnosed with Aspergers aged 7, then after years of struggling with his behaviour we came across PDA 2 yrs ago. We can't get a formal diagnosis of this, but the school's etc have been very supportive as it describes our son so perfectly.

    Generally we have managed with him (it's been a huge struggle) but since Xmas he has become more and more argumentative and abusive. We can't get him to do anything without a huge fight (and we do use all the strategies going!). He is swearing at us, hitting us, scratching us (this can include his younger brother). The outbursts build from nowhere. He isn't sleeping properly at night, stays up late on rampages then naps during the day. He is now obsessive with animal cruelty and has been vegan for the last few months.

    Has anyone any advice? Been trying to get an appointment with CAMHS for the last few months, he is under them and his last appointment was almost a year ago.

    Just feeling so low. I can normally connect with him but feel he is totally lost at the moment. It's the school holidays and it seems to have only made things worse.
  • aliveit
    Posts: 61
    I can't be of much help i'm afraid as i dont live in the uk, but i relate to your story.
    My son 9, over the past year, year and a half has been using anger, abuse and violence as a first resort and not a last as described in the documentmentation. Its soul destroying 4 all concerned, especially his brother 10 and sister 2.
    I am 2 days into school holiday and have so far organised the days around activities and down time to avoid boredom and lack of routine. Despite that a meltdown b4 going out this morning delayed us by 30 minutes and had the whole family in tears. My son just doesnt realise what stresses him, wont accept his condition and is in extreme panic mode the whole time.
    At our diagnosis at help 4 psychology they recommended some temporary beta blockers just to calm him for a while so we can work on the techniques.
    Haven't got them yet as things slow here too. Appointment next wednesday at autistic centre... fingers crossed for some help even though they r not massively informed about pda.
    Will let u know how it goes.
    After meltdown son switched back to calm and engaging and have even got a few smiles out of him, though 50 euros spent on lunch and activities so not an every day possibility.
    Keep breathing... thats all we can do sometimes!
    Take care
    Alison
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,483
    Hi, has your son recently transferred to Secondary School? ie is he in Yr7 - going into Yr8 in SEpt 2018?

    Just wondered, if he became more aggressive and abusive around Christmas, could it be that Secondary School is really difficult for him?
    Even if the staff are supportive, it could be that the size of the school or big number of pupils or finding his way around the school has sent him into overload but he is showing it at home? ie holding it in at school?

    If this is the case you will need to talk with the school and really find out what the difficulties at school are for him. He may need less subjects, less transitions into different classrooms, reduced timetable etc etc?

    Paula
  • Holly59
    Posts: 2,580
    Hi Willofi,

    https://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources

    Have you watched the Webinars . There has been more added . I would think it’s the worry of attending the High School that has accelerated the behaviour . Did you manage to get an out of area referral for a diagnosis ?
    I would return to your GP and with your supportive school ask for an urgent multi disciplinary team meeting . What you don’t want to happen is School refusal .
    Has the High School Offered the opportunity of flexi schooling , days off to recover ? They must by Law offer a full transition to the next school .

    Pat xx
  • June67
    Posts: 589
    Hi don't forget the role physical changes beginning and hormones buzzing around he doesn't know what to do with, coping with puberty is hard for 'standard' kids add in all the extra anxiety our kids feel coupled with their emotional immaturity and obviously not being in control and having things changing like going to secondary school which all happen at once it's no wonder he's struggling and acting out/melting down when he feels secure enough to do so at home. Try to find out if there are any specific issues/lessons etc at school as you may then be able to have more targeted conversations with school about what his needs are and how well they are actually meeting them. With my eldest we started by just catching him in the right mood and got him to highlight his timetable in different colours for like/good, ok, dislike/not good. We were then able talk about each colour section and why they were good or not, the lack of teaching assistant in some of his most challenging lessons or inconsistent appearance with no explanation were some things we could talk to school about after a few sessions. No instant changes but at least he felt heard, he still shouts swears and hits out a stressful times but this is gradually reducing as his stress levels fall. Sometimes he just needs to have space and time to distract himself enough from the drains of the day. Keep strong it's not personal and you are doing your best to help even though you may not always have the answers. Keeping everyone safe is obviously priority number one, after that its just do your best.

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