Ticking time bomb?!

Posted on: March 8, 2012

I think a lot of parents will be able to relate to some of what I write in this post.

Luckily for me, A has always been reasonably well behaved – controllable on a bad day.

Meltdowns are a common occurrence with ASD children, although it isn’t a sign of them being necessarily naughty it can be challenging and emotionally draining. Some parents I’ve spoken to in the past have told me that their childs meltdowns can last hours.

Whenever A is really good – I don’t fully appreciate it as I’m always wondering when a bad day is going to come. A bit like having some good luck – your always wondering what’s going to happen to cancel it out?

Recently A has become aggressive towards me, and although its controllable, I can’t help wondering if it continues how I would cope, he’s already very strong for a 3 year old and sometimes he does hurt me – I know its just a sign of frustration and if I’m honest I’d rather him hit me than someone at nursery. I just wish he could tell me why he feels the need to punch or slap me?!

I wouldn’t ever describe A to have had a meltdown as such, he has his moments where he’ll scream in a shop or at home and try and fight/climb his way out of the restraints of his pram – but its been nothing that isn’t easily fixed – usually with bribery if I’m honest.

I often wonder when the meltdowns will arrive – will they arrive?
Will I be able to cope? Will he get more physical towards me?
I know lots will say don’t worry about it – but its good to be prepared right?

I know a lot of friends I’ve acquired from social networking do receive daily physical attacks from their children or meltdowns, in which they just have to wait anxiously for them to calm down.
I wish I could explain more about them to give those who don’t know a better understanding, sometimes its their way of letting off steam – often they let things build up or contain anxieties until they are at home (their safe place) to let loose, often being disruptive and sometimes self injurious.

If any of you have any experiences you’d like to share or any concerns just like mine, please comment.

Hopefully this post has highlighted more about Autism for awareness.

L x


7 Responses to "Ticking time bomb?!"

Amy used to have very aggressive meltdowns when she was little, and she’s always been very strong. I used to worry about her hitting children at school because of her strength, though she never did. Now, at aged 12, she is verbally aggressive. If she hit me (which I’m sure she won’t) she would definitely hurt me. But it’s something I have always been very strict about. Autistic or not, they need discipline from a young age.

CJ x

M used to hit me when he was A’s age. Often from frustration as he couldn’t vent any other way. But, he had to learn he couldn’t do that, I used to have to tell him Max No! Sometimes, pretend to cry so he could see that it was wrong. He didn’t like it, and would scream and cry, but it is something you have to be strict about. Yes they are autistic, and there are reasons for their behaviours, but they do need to learn what is not allowed. It can be hard, but for their own good for mixing in the future.

I used to wonder if it would get worse, thankfully it didn’t. The key was trying to get to the root of the reason for it, which is really hard when they can’t talk, but you learn to recognise things.

It does get better I promise you. M couldn’t talk at 3, even at 5 it was very limited, but it comes in time and gets easier. 3/4 was the most difficult age I found.

Take care, and keep blogging SuperMom x


M current aggressive to his baby brother it’s hard to judge when Autism starts and sibling rivalry ends!
Tried and tested solutions welcome plesssssse.
Hope A settles soon x

My son is now nearly 21, but was non verbal until about age 5, after a lot of speech therapy and hard work he can now comunicate enough for us to know what he wants and needs. He was also very aggressive when he was younger mostly due to frustration, but he was always made to understand that acting this way never got him what he wanted. Believe me this was not easy to do but persistance in this made him realise what he needed to do. I would say it took him until he was at least 7 before his aggresive behaviour started to change, but we were very strict with him about this, as I used to think if he was like this when he was small and often hurt me what would it be like when he was older and alot stronger, so I knew it had to be stopped. He does still have outburst but never ever hits or lashes out at me or any other person, he knows this is a no no, although the same cannot be said for his door or his bed which he loves to hit when frustrated. Although this does not happen very often nowadays.

My daughter was also quite aggressive until about age 6 and had many meltdowns and even when she wasn’t, I lived in fear of those meltdowns and often was afraid to take her in public. They weren’t always violent, but disruptive. At school she used to take her clothes off in protest. I agree with the other posters that it is important to be consistent and strict with discipline. We used to give time out for tantrums. But it is also really important to try and figure out and anticipate when these instances are likely to happen. Most times there is a pattern. For instance my daughter has a really tough time transitioning from one activity to another and when I finally started to recognize this as a major trigger for her meltdowns, I was able to better prepare her which went a long way to reducing these incidents. I know it sounds hokey but for about 2 months I would write down every tantrum or meltdown and describe what exactly preceded it, what were we doing, what was I trying to get her to do and what was her reaction. That really helped me to recognize a pattern and it was then I was able to help her and to reduce her aggression but also her own stress by talking with her before we got there about how we would handle things when it was time to go onto something else. That is really when my daughter started to grow out of it.

All the above notwithstanding, do know at age 3 tantrums and meltdowns and even aggression are common in non autistic children and many kids naturally do grow out of it.

weighted blankets….yes blankets with weights. achild can use it to calm down. PRESSURE PASS.I used this with tristyn in school. Laminate a photo of his latest obssion(Mario) or something he likes and when he is going to exploded he hands it in to a teacher. Now the kid dosent have to explain whats going on(will escalate more).Teacher will designate”safe place” and child can calm down away from stimulie

Meltdowns. **Sigh** Although I do agree that children need to know that hitting, etc is not ok,- while they are in the middle of an extreme meltdown it can still happen. I am a bit sensitive about the term “discipline” because family members have said to me that with the right “discipline” certain behaviors would stop. Really? If that were the case, then all it would take to produce wanted behaviors is the right “discipline”. There are consequences for poor behavior choices here, and we expect respect, manners, etc. BUT, when she has a meltdown over a sensory issue or her inability to make herself understood, it can escalate and yes, I still get hit, scratched, and yelled at. (Seldom but it happens) She is VERY verbal and can tell us what she wants to the extent that SHE understands what she wants / needs. She is dealing with things I will never fully understand. She wants so badly to make good choices and feels bad when she doesn’t. I believe there are just some things you cannot “discipline” out of a child with autism. Meet them where they are.

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