Tantrums... — The Bump
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Tantrums...

So, literally since D turned 3 he's started having some pretty amazing tantrums. As best I can tell, it's developmental stuff...specifically that he knows what he wants but can't say the words yet. About the same time this started he started coming out with random new words more regularly (yellow and yummy just in the last week).

Tonight was full of fantastic tantrums. From what I can tell, this seems to be similar to the tantrums most typically developing kids have around 1.5-2..which makes sense since he's newly 3 and I guess it's common for ASD kids to lag about that much.

I hope you don't mind my asking for a little reassurance after a hard day...but please tell me it gets better (you know, before we move onto a new challenge)

It's been one of those days...

BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

 

Lilypie - (2llN)

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Re: Tantrums...

  • It's totally like a switch flipped. One day, fine. Turns three and everyday since there's at least one WHOA thrown in there. Generally we're ignoring. Typically I reiteratewhy it ain't happening ("I'm sorry you're upset, but we don't go outside without shoes on.")...and then go on with my day. He's often looking for my reaction, ie it will die down so I look over, he busts me looking and it starts up again. I do intervene if he's possibly going to hurt himself, like today when he was flailing pretty bad and hyperventilating....didn't concede, but turned it into a lesson in coping mechanisms like taking deep breathes to help calm down.

    When DH got home I totally needed Calgon to take me away. I took a bath. Just needed a little time without other people putting demands on me.

    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

     

    Lilypie - (2llN)

    Lilypie - (2L9u)

     

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  • Just make sure you don't react emotionally to the behavior.  Stay calm, continue to state the facts of the situation, and make sure he doesn't hurt himself.  

    What interventions are you using to work on communication?  Flash cards, etc?
  • Just make sure you don't react emotionally to the behavior.  Stay calm, continue to state the facts of the situation, and make sure he doesn't hurt himself.  


    What interventions are you using to work on communication?  Flash cards, etc?
    . Basically we're still trying to find something that works. He's getting verbal, sign and picture prompts. The pictures are currently just at school, but verbal and sign are happening everywhere (home, aba, school, speech). He's not shown much interest in any of it

    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

     

    Lilypie - (2llN)

    Lilypie - (2L9u)

     

      My Recipe Blog
    ~All AL'ers welcome~

  • Princess_LilyPrincess_Lily member
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2014
    DS was the tantrum king from 18mo-3yo. I feel your pain. Fredalina & I frequented the same boards, our kids seemed quite similar in many ways, and many a time I vented - cried, laughed the whole gammut. I remember three books:

    The Out of Sync Child
    Raising the Spirited Child.
    1-2-3 Magic

    While they^ weren't the be all end all answer -,these books helped me make sense of it all.

    The tantrums started to get easier as DS' vocabulary improved.

    I kept insisting he used his words, and modeled a lot. - "Milk please". This encouraged the vocabulary while helped him communicate his wants/needs more

    Also I gave him two choices when getting a snack or dressed for the day giving him freedom to choose made him feel more in control of his world.
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  • -auntie- said:
    Some thoughts.

    You are probably correct in surmising that this is the "terrible two" phase of development based on his age and dx.
    I really think that's what it is.  Overall, that seems to be where he's at developmentally.  Speech is probably more like 18 months. 


    While it's tempting to ascribe tantrums and frustation to an expressive language delay, some of the most prolific tantrummers I know on spectrum are advanced in terms of speech. A really good tantrum takes some bandwidth, it could get worse as he has more cognition. Improvements in speech may not extinguish the behavior.

    It really seems like his tantrums are exaserbated by not being able to say what he wants.  I'm encouraged that if he's tantruming it means his bandwith is increasing.  As difficult as it is to deal with this, it's good news if he's cognitively able to do more (remind me I said that when the next tantrum comes, lol).  I'm aware speech improvements both may not come and may not end the behavior if they do come.




    What works for kids not on spectrum doesn't always apply to kids who are. Explanations can exacerbate a meltdown level tantrum so they're best avoided in the moment. Plus, most of these kids have lousy CAP and receptive language skills, so talking just pisses them off further.


    I'm purposely keeping explanations, when I do them, very short and simple.  Only maybe one of his tantrums approached meltdown level so far, thankfully.  Actually, I have a question about that.  If something can snap him out of it, ie turning on a favorite TV program as a distraction, is it a meltdown?




    Clearly stated expectations and Social Stories can often prevent some more predictable tantrums. But not all.


    I've found that telling him what's coming up helps, even if it's just a couple minutes warning.  Giving him a heads up what's coming seems to really help.  I'm not that familiar with social stories.  I do try and explain things before they happen though.




    Most people on my forums report that this kind of challenging behavior tends to get worse from about 4-6, then level down a bit. A lof of kids chill out as they start to hit the changes associated with puberty.


    Oh great...just three more years ;)




    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

     

    Lilypie - (2llN)

    Lilypie - (2L9u)

     

      My Recipe Blog
    ~All AL'ers welcome~

  • DS was the tantrum king from 18mo-3yo. I feel your pain. Fredalina & I frequented the same boards, our kids seemed quite similar in many ways, and many a time I vented - cried, laughed the whole gammut. I remember three books: The Out of Sync Child Raising the Spirited Child. 1-2-3 Magic While they^ weren't the be all end all answer -,these books helped me make sense of it all. The tantrums started to get easier as DS' vocabulary improved. I kept insisting he used his words, and modeled a lot. - "Milk please". This encouraged the vocabulary while helped him communicate his wants/needs more Also I gave him two choices when getting a snack or dressed for the day giving him freedom to choose made him feel more in control of his world.

    I'll keep those titles in mind.  Been meaning to read the first two anyways.

    It's encouraging that things improved with vocabulary. 

    We're doing modeling as well, both verbally and with signs.  Choices seem to help with DS as well.  Thank you for reminding me to do choices for food.  Getting him to eat lately has been a challenge, perhaps giving choices will help that.  I've gotten away from letting him pick lately.

    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

     

    Lilypie - (2llN)

    Lilypie - (2L9u)

     

      My Recipe Blog
    ~All AL'ers welcome~

    Princess_Lily
  • I agree about social stories.  Those have really helped my daughter.  We have visual schedules too, since most of her meltdowns are related to a transition she doesn't want to do or doesn't feel like doing.  But when she is taking a picture off of her schedule, it's like she is choosing to do whatever task I need her to do, like get dressed for school without throwing a fit or crying.  
  • Three was the worst. I remember saying that over and over again. Four was awesome for us. We went camping for the first time, and joined a church where he could actually be dropped off at the Sunday School. "Normal" stuff.

    We did try 1-2-3 magic and it worked okay, better than nothing. DS was a tantrumer for effect, so us leaving the room or putting him in his room (usually the former was more successful) was a good way to blunt the effect of his screaming and crying.

    DS has always been so-so with Social Stories- nowadays he'll argue his way around everything so I don't use them too often. But at 3 they were helpful for things like Target trips. He hated Target trips because he had a hard time understanding that it was temporary. We did a lot of first this then that. And I'll be honest, I kept a huge supply of dum-dum suckers in my purse.

    And at three I could at least redirect him. Literally he could be tantruming about something and I could say- "whoa look at that bird!" and he'd stop. Being silly and goofy helped too. Like if he was tantruming about putting his pajamas on I could say "let's see how fast you can put them on- go!" It was really hard staying positive through all that, but the positivity does beget positivity.

    Good luck- it passes. Eventually. Then he'll find some other way to drive you crazy :)

    [Deleted User]Princess_Lily
  • I just remembered that DS's school team made him a bunch of laminated signs for use at home. Like he'd always tantrum over the outdoor hose when I'd tell him to turn it off, so they made me a giant "stop" sign to put on the hose. The visuals helped him remember. He's a rule boy though. They said to get him to calm down at school they'd validate his feelings but encourage him to stop (I know you're sad, and it's okay to be sad but you have to do it on the green couch.) For some kids they said they had to make signs that said "Stop crying!"
    [Deleted User]
  • I just remembered that DS's school team made him a bunch of laminated signs for use at home. Like he'd always tantrum over the outdoor hose when I'd tell him to turn it off, so they made me a giant "stop" sign to put on the hose. The visuals helped him remember. He's a rule boy though. They said to get him to calm down at school they'd validate his feelings but encourage him to stop (I know you're sad, and it's okay to be sad but you have to do it on the green couch.) For some kids they said they had to make signs that said "Stop crying!"
    I do this exact thing when the tantrum goes on longer than 5 min or so.  It doesn't make her stop throwing the tantrum, but it does cut the length of time it lasts down considerably!
    [Deleted User]
  • Have you tried just letting it run it's course?

    That's usually what we do. I generally only intervene ifhe might hurt himself. Even then, I'm trying to use it as a teachable moment rather than just caving into him.

    He had one today for 25 minutes because we had to go inside so I could make his lunch. No intervention. He'd wail, quiet down, remember he was mad, and wail again.

    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

     

    Lilypie - (2llN)

    Lilypie - (2L9u)

     

      My Recipe Blog
    ~All AL'ers welcome~

  • edited October 2014
  • I found this somewhere and it has been immensely helpful. Bear hugs don't help dd but upside down and speaking in a whisper below her level are effective in helping prevent tantrums. http://www.yogapeutics.com/blog/4-surprising-ways-to-support-a-childs-self-regulation-avoid-melt-down
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  • @BeaF12‌ Is there an Android equivalent to that app? One that would be 3 yr old friendly?

    BFP#2 2.5.11 (EDD 10.15.11) DS born 9.28.11

    BFP#4 8.27.13 (EDD 5.6.14) DD born 4.23.14

     

    Lilypie - (2llN)

    Lilypie - (2L9u)

     

      My Recipe Blog
    ~All AL'ers welcome~

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