Special Needs

DD witnessed a very physical violent ODD episode, advice please

mightmom13mightmom13 member
edited March 2014 in Special Needs
DD witnessed/was involved in my nephew's very aggressive outburst this weekend. His mother had to work and I was to transport my niece and my nephew (her kids) to my folks house and I had DD with me of course. 

When my sister got to my aunt's house to drop them off, my nephew (6 years old) would not leave the car and was already screaming that he wanted to stay with mom. He had to be dragged in the house by 2 adults and held down by his mom as he was hitting with fists and kicking and screaming. My sister eventually told my niece (12 years old) to "take over" as she had to be at work. She did, she appeared to have some experience as she was on the floor with him trying to hold him down but protect herself. DD was witness to all of this. I was kind of in shock and worried about DD AND the drive with DD in the same car. I loaded the car and DD (who is a runner) wanted to help me - I let her as she would not leave my side and I instructed many times that she MUST stay in the drive way. I then got her in the car, padded the non-window side of her/her car seat with pillows and blankets. Then came time to get my still unsettled nephew in the car. My aunt and my niece carried him out, then I took him with my aunt as my niece got in the middle seat and we got him in the other passenger seat, during which he took a big swing and hit the side of my face (it was pretty darn hard). I was pulling the car out and he was either failing or trying to hit and I heard my niece say "stop you are going to hit (DD)." I know he got the car seat but didn't see the rest. He finally calmed, DD passed out per shutting down/exhausted from it all, and my niece went into her book. 

I got them all up there, then took DD home. In the car she kept saying "K hit me, K hit me" and I tried my best to talk it out/explain. When I took her back as my folks were sitting for a couple hours that night - she showed fear of him and would not leave my mom's side. I picked her up that night as she was sleeping so we could wake in our own beds, today was an OK day but ever since she has been testing or re-enacting his behavior when she does act out. She already uses aggression to test the line.  I kept saying how we don't act that way in this house, stick to my usual routine of action - but she never forgets anything. EVER. So I don't know if I should have them around each other again - it won't be too hard, but still. Plus, it was really bad, really really bad for me as an adult to see.

Any advice would be helpful on how to go forward when/if she talks about this or anything else. I will let her behavior therapist know (OT and speech too) via text as well. 

Re: DD witnessed a very physical violent ODD episode, advice please

  • -auntie- said:
    I'm sure it was alarming. For all involved.

    But this sort of outburst is not all that unusual in public schools, so most kids'll witness such a thing from time to time. In some self contained classrooms it might be a daily thing if a particular child is struggling with something. Kids tend to process it and move on. 

    I am hoping, however, with it being family and she used to really like the idea of "K" and processing and moving on are big issues right now - a little concerned. I am sure that I and the therapists could handle it but just wish it didn't happen obviously. 

    I'm sort of confused here. You said "ever since she has been testing or re-enacting his behavior when she does act out. She already uses aggression to test the line." It's pretty rare for kids with ASD to pick up other kid's habits, and you already said she tends toward aggression, so maybe this is part of her repertoire and not something you can pin on your nephew. I would make a simple explanation of her cousin's frustration and continue to work on her behavior. 

    I hope I made the explanation simple enough; we had "car talk" which is best because she is not forced to look into a face or any eyes and can answer while staring out the window. We have our best talks in the car, when she is at home and told "hey I have to tell you something" even in a positive voice or that she needs to listen - you've already lost her as she believes she did a "not nice" thing. And totally not pinning it on my nephew, she is really into verbatim, echolalic (spelling wrong I know) type verbal repetition, so she is using the same words he did and/or actions in situations where she would act out in her own way. Though I wish I could peaceful parent this kid all the way, she won't learn the mom/kid boundaries and my sister was very.....different and conceding with my nephew is the best way to put it. But I am not her and she is not me so no judgement just different styles of handling similar motivated but different situations. 

    It's probably best not to have these two together because he's older and not well controlled. Plus it doesn't sound like the adults in charge are up to managing his behavior if they're calling upon a 12 year old child to de-escalate a meltdown. I was that 12 year old and I am appalled that this was allowed to happen. My elementary school used to have me calm my crazy out-of-control sister down rather than call my mother and admit they were out of their depth as teachers. Once my mother figured out that I was spending much of 4th grade in the office with her instead of class things changed for me. 

    Completely agree that my niece should not have had to handle that, I had to handle my mother's depression at age 7 and though I enjoyed "playing psychologist" it was not the long term relationship "I am your friend first" foundation mother/daughter that I wish on anyone. Luckily my niece understands she is out in 6 years or less, it is motivating her to be self sufficient in her craft but still be a child (fashion and design, making her own real clothes, etc) at times. She was luckily born with my sister's boldness but seems to be using the powers for good. I think I was in shock still when I eventually jumped in but still protecting my child as well. It was tough.

    I have already explained to my mother (I am sure to her approval *rolls eyes*) that I think it is best for DD not to be around my nephew for right now - we have friend only plans for Easter (talk about a day of glory) and the next time I foresee an extended family gathering is mid-May. Though prepping for situations, even the day, is our friend right now - I don't want it to cause any un-needed anxiety down the road - this is where my giant European family comes in handy, you may be able to easily not see anyone you wish to avoid.  

    I am hoping this is an easy situation for her to overcome despite her elephant like memory and event play by play narration. 

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