Aggressive Meltdowns - Awaiting assessment

Hello

I have a 6 year old son who has been experiencing behavioural and social problems since around 4yrs. Over the last 2 years, things have become worse and his aggression is escalating.

He is currently awaiting an assessment by cahms and is due to start counselling at school in the New Year. He's a very intelligent boy in a lot of ways and academically he is thriving but he's always had problems with his social ability and controlling his anger. 

He had a sensory assessment done earlier this year which picked up hypo and hypersensitivity and adhd/high functioning asd have been handed about but even the woman who completed his sensory check said he's quite difficult to work out.

The last few weeks things seem to have really stepped up a few notches. I'm assuming the run up to Christmas isn't helping but he's had a violent meltdown pretty much everyday and is very angry towards everything. I have been kicked, punched, bitten, had things thrown at me and he's trashed his bedroom I don't know how many times. We also have a 5 month old and he's becoming very rough and wanting to hurt her which worries me a lot. 

Things seem to have just gone from bad to worse and it's taking it's toll on me and my partner too. I know there are huge waiting lists but it seems inconceivable to me that we're expected to wait for another 1-2 years whilst dealing with this, or not as the case may be. I've been on parenting courses and scoured the internet for help with his anger but nothing seems to work.

Hoping for some support/advice from the group if possible as I am losing the will at the moment and dreading Christmas holidays.

Thank you in advance.
Victoria

Comments

  • Hi Victoria,

    I know exactly where your coming from so I just wanted to say hello and see how you are coping.

    It's really upsetting to see our children behaving so destructively and we so desperatley want to help them feel calm and be able to recogniose and regulate their emotions. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience - I've been waiting for my son's 'tricky phase' to pass since he was 3 and to be honest - it just hasn't passed and there seems no reason for it. He's just turned 9 and still runs rings round the staff at school. The difficult thing is he's pretty manageable at home but a chaotic, angry and very distructive boy at school. Even very experienced staff are at the end of their tether with him.

    I've found it almost impossible to find support for parents of children with destructive behaviour so I was looking at this webpage for anyone else out there to be honest.

    How have you coped over Christmas and how are the school helping to support your son? Have they had any suggestions to help with his emotional regulation? Is there a Thrive practitioner in your school?

    Anna
  • Hi Anna

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. It's comforting to know you're not alone, I always think talking to other people who are in the same boat helps. 

    My son has been behaving in this way since he was around 4, although looking back there are some little things that may have been linked when he was very little.

    He seems to be the opposite of your little boy in that he's nowhere near as bad at school. It all came to a head in school but I moved him to another one and they've been very understanding and accommodating and have put various strategies in place to help him manage but they still see the aggressive and anxious behaviour from time to time.

    At home its a very different story and over Christmas it's been nothing short of hell if I'm being brutally honest. Surprisingly, Christmas day he was an angel, but my partner and I both agreed to give him a lot more slack as it was going to be a difficult day for him with all the people coming and going and him going to see his dad. 

    However, every other day was horrendous. He had a meltdown everyday at the smallest thing, didn't hear anything we said or asked him to do and trashed his bedroom and several occasions. More recently, he had a very severe episode where he punched me in the head, punched me, but me with a metal pole that he'd got from his football table as he trashed it and other things like biting etc. But the more concerning part was that he hit our 6 month old and bent her fingers back and shouted I wish you hadn't been born. So that really rang alarm bells and I took him back to the doctors who have now referred him down the autism pathway and put an urgent referral back in to CAHMS. I'm hoping they accept this because I'm really starting to worry about how I'm going to cope with his aggression. It sounds ridiculous for a boy of 6 but he can be so intimidating and I worry what he's going to pick up and throw and also worry for the safety of our little girl, his sister, sometimes too.

    So fingers crossed someone listens now. 

    I've also just ordered some more visual aids to help him and going to take a trip to hobby craft to make some things to hopefully make things easier for him to communicate.

    What's happening at your end? Have there been any assessments etc? How was your Christmas? And Happy New Year to you 🙂

    Victoria x
  • Sorry for late reply Victoria, this last week has been quite stressful!

    Your Christmas sounds really very difficult and stressful for you all. I'm sorry to hear that things escalated - you must feel so torn between your two children, needing to protect whilst needing to support is such a juggling act. Did you hear back from CAMHS yet and how are the visual aids working out? It will be interesting to hear how their assessment goes. 

    Our Christmas was fine but since returning to school his behaviour there has been worse than ever and impossible for the staff to deal with. Nothings changed for him over Christmas to cause this mayhem - I think he just finds the school environment so restrictive. He's been extremely rude and refusing to back down about anything. He'll challenge and try to instigate an argument with anyone there - even the head has no authority over him. I had a 2 hour meeting with them this morning and they want to look further into why he's behaving like this as none of their methods are working, in fact he's getting worse. He's out of the classroom and in a staff office most of the time now.

    Today they suggested I contact our GP and request a referral to a paediatrician for an 'ADOS assessment which I've just looked up and is an 'Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule' - so we're looking at the same as you. They also want me to ask the GP for a referral to CAMHS to check out attachment problems and anything else they can think of. I'm going to get onto this tomorrow.

    I've often thought attachment may be an issue as he had major heart surgery as a tiny baby and he was so unwell I was unable to look after him properly until he was better at about 8 months. We're really close now but perhaps he has a deep seated mistrust of adults he's not close too and so treats them very negatively. Who knows to be honest! I feel like everyone's grasping at straws but at least the school finally seem up for the challenge of finding out what's going on with him instead of just thinking he's naughty which hasn't helped.

    How has your son been this week?

    Happy New Year to you too!

    Anna
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