View Full Version : Please help me with evenings with DS...He cannot function
DS, newly diagnosed with ADHD, cannot function in the evenings. He is ok in the morning and holds it together at school. He is lousy with transitions. We give LOTS of time b/c of this. Even so evenings end up with DS throwing massive temper tantrums b/c he doesn't want to get a bath, go to bed, put on pj's etc... Add to that DS needs to have always have the same routine and when it is altered even a little (DN had to come over tonight for 2 hours b/c my sister had an emergency with her MIL who is in rehab with a broken femur) DS is a massive mess. Tonight was not a banner night for DS (nor for DH and I). DS just shuts down when he can't transition and hides (I would to). We did talk to him about how the routine had to change a bit tonight and made him tell us what he understood (which was all of it). He just could not do it. We have our second meeting with a outpatient mental health svs at KKI this week. I will be discussing this at length. I need to find the best way to help DS so that he can function. I'm at a loss and hope the psychologist has some suggestions. Anyone BTDT, what worked for your DC?
04-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Do you use or have you tried using a picture schedule? It might help your DS to be able to *see* what the routine changes are going to be.
04-12-2011, 04:17 AM
nak but :yeahthat: (we use written words now, but same principle) and
Also big bin of rice to dig in when stressed
Have you tried any other stress relievers? Brushing protocol seems to help J a bit.
04-12-2011, 09:30 AM
Does he have an activity or tv show that is his absolute favorite thing inthe world? And if so, can you hold off on him doing the activity/watching tv show until his witching hour?
I was having a really hard time with getting dinner ready - DS1 falls apart in the late afternoon/early evening. He also loses what little ability he has to control his impulses towards DS2, which are usually aggressive when he's tired and/or angry. I could barely put already-cooked food onto plates because i was constantly having to intervene.
DS1's favorite thing is to watch "liquid fireworks" videos on Youtube. So now I don't let him watch any during the day; at 5pm it's Video Time and the boys take turns choosing which vidoes to watch (DS2 usually chooses the Wiggles, lol). If DS1 is aggressive towards DS2, he loses a turn. They get about 30 minutes total of video time(they watch them on the tv through the DVD player).
Things are still far from perfect but it's helped a lot. I think DS1 gets some calming sensory input from the colored lights and music. He will usually jump up and down while he watches, which helps him burn energy and calm himself too; but if he's tired he'll just chill out and watch.
ETA: Forgot to say, my point was that maybe you could use the "favorite activity" as a way to help calm him & prepare for the transition to bedtime or whatever routine. ALternatively it could be a carrot (i.e., you can watch Ben 10 after you're in your pajamas).
we use picture schedules not all the time. Now we talk and I have DS tell me what he understands. Then we might role play what he didn't.
We have the brush for brushing. We were doing it. I could go back to it and try it.
We also do DS's fav TV show or a DVD b/c it does help him unwind. Then for dinner he flips out and won't come up b/c he can't watch it. We have been setting a timer and giving warnings about when time is up so he has more time to adjust. Still get some tantrum but not all out at that.
DS and the rest of us I think have been OFF lately also. It's like we are in flux and the whole household is affected.
04-13-2011, 08:35 AM
I went to see Kate McGinnity recently (Walk AWhile In My Autism author). She is a speaker on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Challenging Behaviors. It was very good.
She talked about how autistic people see in pictures and how to use that to our benefit in teaching them appropriate behaviors. While your son isn't autistic he may tend to see in pictures. She said that there is not a "No" picture so telling a child not to do something may actually cause them to do it. She talked about not telling a child what not to do but rather what they should do. Gave an example of a child who always kicked her g-ma. Every time they went to g-ma's house they reminded her not to kick g-ma and every time she kicked her. Had they said keep feet on the ground the child wouldn't have kicked g-ma.
She also talked about how pictures can get "stuck" in a person's head and the things that they do to get the pictures unstuck can be so called bad behaviors. She mentioned adults who hit people that told her that hitting the other person helped move the picture in their head so they worked on other ways to move the picture as most adults had more than one way to move a picture. She talked about a man who when out in public if he got "stuck" and couldn't move the picture in his head he would walk over and hit a brunette on the head and he said the picture moved in his head. Yes I know this sounds weird. She asked what he did if it happened at home and he listed off different things he did at home. So they worked on giving him something else to do in public that mimmicked what he did at home.
Maybe your son's hiding is a way for him to calm himself and try to get the pictures in his head moving again. Same for yelling or stomping or whatever.
Also had a great presentation on how a child may know an answer to a question but they have to wait until the see the picture in their head and many times the people around them don't give them enough time to answer and thus form an opinion that they don't know the answer. Plus for some people each time you re-ask the question it restarts the picture display in their head so it takes longer for them to answer.
She talked about how repetitive behavior is something that they need/crave. Great video showing how "normal" people deal with stress (tapping pencil, playing with their thumbs etc) and how they are seen as socially acceptable but the autistic person's is different but look at Bill Gates and his rocking motions in meetings and how successful he has become. Very good video.
Things I learned was that too many times we tell our boys what not to do and should be retraining ourselves to tell them what to do. That we are doing the right thing by letting them have some of their repetitive behaviors, they need them.
I know I do not love picture schedules but it does sound like you need to creat one for DS at night. It sounds like he needs it. Also when you need to change the routine you can have his input. Tell him that the schedule is changing and have him add the new pictures to the schedule. That way you can continue to help him process the change via words, as you do now, and with pictures.
04-13-2011, 06:40 PM
I'm gonna jump on the picture schedule bandwagon. Worked very well with my adhd middle daughter. Also, when she was upset, I would draw a picture of what the choices were, or what was going to happen next....just drawing in front of her distracted her enough (she would get fascinated with my drawing) and the pictures/diagrams/words helped to crystalize the concepts. Works for my typical 5yo and also for my hysterical/drama queen 14 yo. For her it's lists and/or diagrams. It really can work like magic to help get control of a situation. My 5yo really likes a list and loves to check off things after doing them.
I first learned this from my dd's SEIT teacher who had an autistic son herself.
Going back to the picture stories. I have several. First going to see if I need to recreate the wheel or add to one we already have.
04-13-2011, 07:49 PM
I was going to suggest one of those charts like teachers use, where you can slide a different activity into each slot to show the order for the day. But several people beat me to that basic idea.
04-13-2011, 08:22 PM
Had anther thought about the transitions, since you said it helps a bit to use a timer and give several warning that the current activity is going to change...if your DS is not touch-sensitive or avoidant, could you include a physical cue along with the audible reminder/warning? Like a gentle squeeze of his hand or shoulders, and give a big hug when time's up. Just to give him more sensory information that things are changing.
I'm gonna try this with DS2, we are having a heck of a time around transitions these days.
DS is a sensory avoider, so that probably won't work--except for tickling. I find that tickling does work for him (we use it to break him out of a cycle or calm him down). Not sure I want to start it with transitions as it could end up riling him up and I get the opposite effect.
04-22-2011, 08:13 AM
How are things going?
I am late to the game here, but in addition to all the other great suggestions, I wanted to suggest paring down the night time routine to the bare bones. Move bath to the morning (or just to a weekend and only bathe once a week), have him put on his pjs before dinner, whatever. Anything that can be done at a different time of day, move it. Fewer transitions and tasks may make it easier for him manage the absolutely essential ones.
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