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Violent Behaviour
  • 7974
    Posts: 4
    Hi Everyone
    I’m really struggling with how to deal with my sons violent meltdowns,he’s 9 and being going through CAMHS for 3 years very long story short they’ve agreed with the ASD with a PDA profile. I feel I’ve had to fight for this!
    I feel totally alone I have no family support at all,none of them have taken the time to get to know him that’s their loss however! At home I’ve changed my work cut my hours etc to make things more routine for him, this has helped him day to day.
    However as many of you will know he’s like Jeklly and Hyde dramatic moods which have swearing and shouting if I’m lucky it stops there on many occasions though it goes further, throwing things,shoving me, punching me, kicking me, spitting at me,destroying things in the house.
    Yesterday he started at 3;30 and didn’t stop until about 5:30 with all of the above then he got knives from the kitchen grabbed the kettle that hadn’t long boiled and then lastly he tried to strangle me. I actually struggled to get him off of me.
    I feel totally depressed today, how the hell am I ever going to manage him in the next couple of years he’s getting bigger all the time and stronger. I honestly could run away and feel so low. It’s such a hard thing to deal with every day there never seems to be a end in sight.
    I feel like I have no control over him and I’m on edge all the time basically waiting for the next time this happens.
    Anyone with any advice would be appreciated
  • I am so sorry to hear you’re going through this. My daughter’s behaviour has been quite explosive in the past, but since applying PDA strategies life is far calmer (although not without its challenges). We have had to think very hard about how we approach every situation and the language we use. There’s lots on here about strategies which we’ve found really helpful. Life is also calmer since she stopped going to school, as she was under unbearable pressure there (although at that point she wasn’t diagnosed so we didn’t understand why). Are you getting any support from school and are they using PDA strategies? There’s a guide for teachers on here which may be helpful for them. Also, are CAMHS supporting you with his behaviour? Hope you are ok, sounds like a really difficult situation.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,578

    I am sorry to hear that none of your family are willing to help out with your son, this must be upsetting but you are right, it is their loss!

    Usually when our children are so aggressive at 3.30pm it is because their needs aren't being fully met at school and they are coming home full of rage at what they have been made to do at school.
    Does his school understand his PDA? Does he have the full understanding of the school staff? Have the school had any PDA Training and are they giving him 'reasonable adjustments' at school or 1:1 support from a TA?

    Our children find school so hard due to all the demands, requests and expectations for the Teachers - may be this is why he comes home so angry and hurts you.

    Could you ask for a meeting at school with his Teacher and SENCO?

    When he comes in from school at 3.30pm have a drink and snack waiting for him.
    Have is favourite piece of tech (or toy) all charged and ready.
    Try not to ask him questions about school, he will talk to you when he is ready or you could chat later ie 6pm?
    Place all sharp items ie knives, scissors etc in a box or safe (only use when necessary and put back immediately).
    Be careful not to be in a vulnerable position when he is very angry, ie don't sit on the floor etc.
    If he tries to harm/hurt you ie kick, hit, strangle - Make sure there is a room with a lock on the door that you can run to!

    You need to find out if it is school that makes him so violent at 3.30pm, if so try to help school put support in place for him.
    You are right, you won't be able to manage him if he continues to be so angry when he is a few years old, so try to act now, he needs your help.

    Take Care
  • 7974
    Posts: 4
    Thanks Ladies
    I think the issue the other day was there was an incident at school and they phoned me when he was home so he heard the conversation, he doesn’t like any kind of discussion about him and is quite paranoid about people talking about him.
    The school have been doing things the PDA way for a few months now which has made a massive difference with regards getting him there, the school don’t usually see any of his aggressive behaviour and have no great issues with him at school,this I feel this is slipping recently and feel it will only be a matter of time before they see this side of him.
    He was also waiting on a package to come and was frustrated that it hadn’t arrived so a combination of these things led to the meltdown I’m sure. However in these instances I’ve tried loads of techniques but feel when he gets this way it wouldn’t matter what I did, it has to come out for a release for him.

    Now onto CAMHS I have had not a bit of help from them at all, I feel like I basically diagnosed my own son they were saying because he’s ok in school it didn’t fit then when she consulted someone else who was an expert in Autism who diagnosed/agreed on PDA nothing since.

    What do I do? My own mental health is dangling by a thread and I know I desperately need help with him. I work with the NHS and have done violence and aggression training which I never thought would be of use with my own son! It’s like he wants me to be scared of him in a way.

    I’m still recovering from the other day as it was so bad and he knows I’m not myself he looks at me and said what’s wrong with you these days you’re so quiet, he’s so insightful with me as we have a close bond, which makes me feel awful about being relieved to go to work, I need this time to recharge myself.
    I read and read people’s comments and it gives me small comfort to at least I know I’m not alone after all.
  • June67
    Posts: 812
    Hi Joanna, I completely identify with so much of what you are saying; the feeling down and being on edge constantly is so exhausting especially if the only break you get is when he's at school and then you dread the state he'll be in when he gets home as you have to be prepared for anything and still won't be ready for what happens. The worry about how you can nip the behaviours especially the fury and aggression in the bud before he grows to big to control is something that plays on my mind lots too. The key things are keeping you both safe while he works through his feelings; as suggested above anything 'weapon like' needs to be out of reach and having a safe space is important.
    Although he probably likes the control aspect of you being scared it probably terrifies him too as he doesn't really want that either. He is probably very confused right now.
    You are right to consider the effect this is having on your own mental health as if you are not able to be strong you will not be able to help him and fight for what he needs. Get to your GP or find private counselling from someone who 'gets it' accessing this has really helped me stop blaming myself and feeling inadequate as a parent and be able to start working on the things I can do. You really do need to access some form of respite as you need as you say time to regroup ask everywhere for it e.g. CAMHS, GP hopefully there will be something available. Not that we have got very far here with anything like that yet and have only just got some sessions with CAMHS because of his anxiety/low mood while we wait for family therapy to be available. We still haven't got a written report from them regarding his diagnosis in May despite asking several times either, the system is too stretched to give people the time to stay on top of these things.
    As you say reading comments and threads on here shows you, you are not the only one struggling. Hope you have better times soon.

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