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I need serious help with my 4 year old... Punk Rock Princess {EBFT} 3 kids; Killeen, Texas 26868 posts
14th Oct '12

ETA: He does have autism, he is "high functioning" and I don't feel like it has much to do with his behavior...although I could be wrong.



He can not be within 2 ft of his brother without doing something mean. He pinches, hits, pushes and kicks him for no reason and laughs about it. I am losing my patience. He doesn't listen to anything I say. I tell him to do something or to stop doing something and he says "No!" or "I can't!" Everything is a power struggle.



I want to be a peaceful, calm mom who doesn't yell or spank but that is not working! Plus I read on facebook people saying not to do time outs either?!? So what do you do? I just need ideas. I hate that he is so mean to his brother. :( He needs to listen to me. *sigh*



Plus I'm on my own for 2 months so Daddy isn't here to step in. Daddy believes in spanking for the first offense. I've been spanking because I don't know what else to do. NOTHING WORKS. I wanted to have DH come home and see that Corbin is a more calm, sweet child and I did it without spanking but HOW!?!

P Pickle Pants 98 kids; California 20522 posts
14th Oct '12

Time outs



Consistency



Take toys/privileges if they repeat bad behavior.



Keep him busy with things to do besides just free play.

vagina. 3 kids; Titz, No, Germany 30923 posts
status 14th Oct '12

Start taking away things he enjoys.



Toys, tv time, something special & that he likes. & make sure he understands why its being taken away & when he can have it back..



I just took away my son's (3

user banned Shreveport, Louisiana 66739 posts
14th Oct '12

I say do what works. If time outs work for you, do them. For us we had to recently implement a rewards system. Maybe take him to the dollar store and let him pick 10 toys out for prizes. Put them up high where he can see them. Tell him if he earns 5 stickers he can have one (or whatever number, we do fuzzballs and she has to fill this cup, so she has to earn 20, which works for us because we can be very liberal about rewarding them to her) then she gets a prize. Every time we catch her not doing what we want we give her them usually from 1-5 depending on how awesome it was that she did. At first we had to like just catch her doing nothing and be like "GREAT JOB not doing _____" and tell her she could put 3 fuzzballs in her cup. And kept reminding her of the prize.



Maybe see if something like that works. Like keep awarding him whenever he is not hurting his brother lol. And see if he catches on and he starts doing it on purpose. If he needs an instant reward maybe a semi-sweet chocolate chip or mini m&m. Whatever he likes.

Brooke Cumberland TTC since Oct 2013; 1 child; Wisconsin 420 posts
14th Oct '12

I have a stepson who's 12 with aspergers (also high functioning), i have a bachelors in psychology plus almost 2 years of graduate school - i will tell you right now, times out and taking things away DO NOT WORK! We have struggled for the past 3+ years and have done therapy, etc. I have learned thru education and experience that POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT is the best option a parent can do with a child with autism. Start a points/rewarding system for him. Stop taking things away period, stop with time outs, and stop spanking (totally up to you on the spanking, i spank my own 2 year old, just that with autism it does not seem to work anyways).... start rewarding with positive behavior. after time he will start to recognize that being nice and listening will benefit him more than being naughty. it takes a lot of effort on the parents part -->time & consistency.



Is he on any meds? The aggression may come from meds or the autism it self. My stepson was on meds that made him more aggressive - found that out the hard way. He is now finally on meds that have worked great for him - a mood stabilizer and an anti-depressant (to help with the obsessions).



Have you taken him to a psychiatrist at all? I know your child is still young but perhaps the Autism diagnose is linked with something else as well... they first said my stepson was ADHD and aderol made him worse. We went and got a second opinion where they properly diagnosed him.

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
14th Oct '12

My ASD 5 yr old is the same way to his little brother. It can be part of the autism as far as socially, they just don't get that those actions are not acceptable and are NOT playing.

What worked for us? Each time, as SOON as he hurt his brother he was immediatly put in his room (with a child lock on the inside) for a time away - not a time out, as he still had the things in his room, but as a time away from us. After a few moments we would let him out and say "Okay, lets play nice now!" all happy like. If he was screaming, the door stayed closed until he stopped then I opened it and said "Good calming down Kieran! Let go play now!"

Whenever he was playing nice with his brother, even if that just meant they were in the same room and not actually playing together, I would say "Good job playing nice boys! It's so much fun to place nice and be kind!" again, in an annoyingly happy voice lol

Alot of ASD kids don't understand that the negative reactions they get when they hit, etc. are not a good outcome. The laughter is often from thinking the reactions of you or his sibling are funny or because he doesn't know how else to react.

Punk Rock Princess {EBFT} 3 kids; Killeen, Texas 26868 posts
14th Oct '12

Thank you for all the replies, I've read them all but haven't had time to reply to them all so:



Thanks for all the reminders on how I should be treating him..
Thanks for advice on things to try!
Mommyinablendedfamily, thank you for all of that! He is not on meds, I'll reply more in depth later..
Mommyofagiggler, glad to know it's "normal". I've often suspected that C doesn't understand laughing/crying..

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
14th Oct '12
Quoting Punk Rock Princess {EBFT}:" Thank you for all the replies, I've read them all but haven't had time to reply to them all so: Thanks ... [snip!] ... in depth later.. Mommyofagiggler, glad to know it's "normal". I've often suspected that C doesn't understand laughing/crying.."


They really don't for the most part, goes along with the social communication aspect of it.

Kieran thinks he can make kids want to play with him by putting them in a headlock..... it's not working lol

Punk Rock Princess {EBFT} 3 kids; Killeen, Texas 26868 posts
14th Oct '12
Quoting Mommy of a giggler!:" They really don't for the most part, goes along with the social communication aspect of it. Kieran ... [snip!] ... aspect of it. Kieran thinks he can make kids want to play with him by putting them in a headlock..... it's not working lol"


Lol, C chases kids and growls at them like a monster.

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
14th Oct '12
Quoting Punk Rock Princess {EBFT}:" Lol, C chases kids and growls at them like a monster."

Oh! Kieran did that! Now, he walks up to everyone and says "Hello Kieran!", he doesn't realize we all have our own names. It's getting a little sad actually, because now that he's at a real school (but still in a preschool program there) kids are really starting to notice :(

Punk Rock Princess {EBFT} 3 kids; Killeen, Texas 26868 posts
14th Oct '12
Quoting Mommy of a giggler!:" Oh! Kieran did that! Now, he walks up to everyone and says "Hello Kieran!", he doesn't realize we all ... [snip!] ... actually, because now that he's at a real school (but still in a preschool program there) kids are really starting to notice :("


I feel you. We're homeschooling but we frequent parks and such and it's obvious. :( Kids can be really mean, I don't know how much he understands.

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
14th Oct '12
Quoting Punk Rock Princess {EBFT}:" I feel you. We're homeschooling but we frequent parks and such and it's obvious. :( Kids can be really mean, I don't know how much he understands."


Kieran is really super sensitive to how others see him - he often has nightmares about comments kids have made :(

We are really open about it, and most kids are really good about once I explain why he does what he does, but it's really hard to watch. He has such a big, loving heart and when these kids make comments he doesn't understand WHY they are saying it and he just crumbles.

The worst one recently, we were camping and he was playing in the lake. I was excited because he actually kept a diaper on! Usually he strips butt naked within a second. These kids started pointing and laughing and making fun of him, and asking him why he still wears a diaper (he's 5, and a big 5). He thought they were playing and he started following them and laughing with them, not knowing they were laughing AT him. Then one girl told him he was gross and to go away. Then he got it. He froze and said "Not gross." she said "Yes you are gross. Youre wearing a diaper and you're gross, go away!"

All night he woke up screaming "No gross! Not gross! No gross!"

I wanted to go out and kick some 6yr old butt!

Punk Rock Princess {EBFT} 3 kids; Killeen, Texas 26868 posts
14th Oct '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy of a giggler!:</b>" Kieran is really super sensitive to how others see him - he often has nightmares about comments kids ... [snip!] ... go away!" All night he woke up screaming "No gross! Not gross! No gross!" I wanted to go out and kick some 6yr old butt!"</blockquote>




:( That just broke my heart. Poor baby.



Is he potty trained at all? I'm having such a hard time with C..

Mommy of a giggler! 2 kids; Edmonton, Alberta 9017 posts
14th Oct '12
Quoting Punk Rock Princess {EBFT}:" <blockquote><b>Quoting Mommy of a giggler!:</b>" Kieran is really super sensitive ... [snip!] ... :( That just broke my heart. Poor baby. Is he potty trained at all? I'm having such a hard time with C.."

Not really. We get the occasional pee in the morning, sometimes mid day, but I'd say less than 4 potty trips a week. He did great (pee AND poop) multiple times while we were on holidays, come home, and nothing.

Malissa Kay 50 kids; Woodstock, Illinois 45 posts
14th Oct '12

Its tricky when the child has autism, they tend to function at a lower level than a typical child of the same age, some are very calm and quiet but others can be very violent, along with all in-between. I have spent alot of time with autistic children and i have found one thing that does work, consistency. no matter if you are at the store or at home or at the park the punishment for all "crimes" must be the same and in the same order, regardless of how bad the offence was. Ex:
Action- Hits brother
consequence-
1-clear verbal warning, get down on eye-level and make them look you in the eye and tell them in clear simple terms to not hit anyone and if you continue you will get (enter next consequence here)
2- usually time-out, child therapists will tell you time outs should last the same number of minuets as their age (eg: 4 years old= 4 min time out) when they complete that part, and they have to sit still in the spot they are told for the entire time or time starts over, get back down at eye level and tell them in the eye why they were in time out and make them appologise to the person/persons they offended (such as to little brother for hitting and to you for not listening to the warning) also tell them clearly what will happen if they repeat the offense
3- This one is tricky, some parents resort to spanking at this point, spanking is especially controversial for autistic children due to the lack of maturity therefore arent as likely to view it as a consequence and are more likely than children without any disorders to feel it is abuse and to feel that mommy or daddy dont love them or something to that nature. I personally have to resort to spanking with my 8 year old from time to time, so im not against it, but my 8 year old is fully aware of why and it has nothing to do with love or trust, its because she did wrong and did not learn from the warning or the time-out and therefore because of her actions she gets a spanking. For an autistic child it is best to get them entertained by something away from where the problem was, like if hitting the sibling after time-out and the "i'm sorry" get him to play with blocks, or watch tv, look at a book, if they are content doing something else its less-likely that they will go back to the offense.
Hope this helps you, i know how hard it can be with children with behavior problems and these are methods i developed with the help of child therapists for both the autistic children i have cared for and my own 8 year old with ADDHD.