Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Coping with aggression?
I think the majority of parents of a child with autism can admit they've gone through stages of anger and aggression with their child. Maybe its a short phase, maybe its regular. It can be from something as obvious as frustration, or something you wouldn't think of like pain. I remember my son getting so angry when he had pain. He didn't know that's what it was so if we entered a bad phase the first thing we checked was his teeth.
But what happens when the anger and aggression is daily. It can last hours and your child is now a young man. My pre-teen is 5ft 6 and 12 stone. Hes 11!! He can get so angry over something so small and yet it can last hours. Its heartbreaking. I have a nearly adult sized pre teen and hes not afraid to hurt. What are you supposed to do? All you can do is wait it out and protect yourself, give him space until he calms down and protect him from himself. Easy right? I wish.
I had this blog all figured out before I sat down to right it, ive been thinking about how I was going to write it for days and now I'm here I cant put down what I want to say.
When your own child is coming at you and wants to hurt you for up to two hours at a time what are you supposed to do? Hes not just a child though, hes nearly a fully grown man so he has the potential to hurt me. In reality if I let him he would. In the moment when I'm standing blocking his punches, blocking his kicks and making sure he doesn't get the better of me when he tries to choke it feels like an abusive relationship. And he enjoys trying to make me cry, seeing my reaction adds fuel to the fire so I have to keep my blank mask on my face. Reminding myself, its ok, he'll calm down, he doesn't mean it, hes your baby boy, its just your hormones.
So what happens when that mantra doesn't feel like its working anymore? When you genuinely contemplate running. You know you cant and in reality you wont but it just feels too much. Its too hard to see him that upset and your too drained.
I had the worst weekend I can remember recently. I vomited from sobbing so much because he decided he wanted a packet of nappies. The tv ad showed a child of about 8 drifting off into a wonderful dream and floating to candyland. Of course he wanted this too and as the packet said from 8-15years there was no reasoning with him. No matter how much distraction, ignoring, or just saying no, he became angrier and angrier. All of the relaxation techniques did absolutely nothing. I just had to let it run its course. By the end of it he was in tears, I was in tears and my mother was in tears. My hearts breaking because I cant explain to him why its not possible. I went to sleep that night in tears because I couldn't stand the thought of having to wake up again to do it again. I was petrified of the facing the following day and terrified for his future.
How do I know if this is autism, if its puberty, hormones, behaviour?? I'm clinging onto that hope its puberty, hormones will level out and that light at the end of the tunnel is coming for young man. I'm praying the psychiatrist will figure out a medication that will help him mellow.
As it turns out for reasons of sanity I bought the nappies and after a few hours he decided the feeling of your circulation being cut off wasn't so comfy and it wasn't how the ad looked. He ripped up the entire packet and they haven't been mentioned since. He now wants me to ring the postcode lottery for them to deliver a big cheque. The problem with that is we don't live in England and I cant just ring them up.
I don't know if what I'm doing is coping, I kind of have too but whatever it is I'm doing, I'll keep doing for my son.