Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN education, SN recommendations.

Feeling like I am failing as a parent

(15 Posts)
Orange32 Tue 25-Mar-14 09:26:40

Hi, not sure if this is the right area but I just need to put this down. DS, aged 9 is very hard work at the moment. he displays certain traits of Aspergers, we are waiting on a CAMHS appointment but no idea when this will be. He justs seems to be regressing back at the moment to where he was a few years ago.

The main problem is I just don't know how to help him any more, he is so angry with me and seems to hate me a lot of the time. When things are good he is extremly good but he can change very quickly to a very angry person. He has been sick the last few days, out of school yesterday and then today refused to go to school. He is now in his room reading where i send him after there was an argument with us.

I am changing into a mean horrible parent to him and I hate myself for this, I am scared I am going to damage him and ruin his childhood as I don't know what to do anymore and not sure how to be the mammy he needs. I feel such a failure and incompetent as a parent.

Any advice on how to help DS and myself would be greatly appreciated as I have no-one i can talk to about this in real life. TIA

Redoubtable Tue 25-Mar-14 09:47:36

Orange32 You are certainly in the right place. There are lots of us here who have felt exactly as you are describing.

It is very hard work. It is very easy to blame yourself and feel that you are failing your child. If it is ASD, then your child requires a greater degree of parenting and that is very wearing and exhausting.

First off, breathe. Give yourself permission to be stressed.

The thing with ASD is that it seems to provoke huge anxiety. My DS would be like this and has been very angry and aggressive to me and his sisters.
What has worked for me is
- giving him lots of positive reinforcement for positive behaviours,
- visual schedules so that he knows what the plan is for every day/activity,
- using the reflective listening in 'How to Talk so Kids will listen' book which has helped him to recognise his own emotions moreso
- using mindfulness to help him destress particularly at night.
- all of the above is alongside his OT and SALT therapy

OneInEight Tue 25-Mar-14 11:34:41

He sounds a lot like ds2. For us the biggest thing that has helped is to treat the outbursts as a panic attack. This really helps me and dh to deal with the situation more calmly rather than escalating the situation. We don't tend to punish (may be controversial) and certainly not for things that happen at school as this makes him worse. We choose our battles and reduce demands particularly if we know he is stressed. Nine was the age we really started having problems with ds1 and ds2 - I think the differences between them and their peers really widened at this point and it took us and school completely by surprise.

Mollyweasley Tue 25-Mar-14 14:22:02

Orange thanks, it is tough!
Redoutable where can we find info on mindfulness for children, what do you do with your DS?

Redoubtable Tue 25-Mar-14 15:46:23

Smiling mind app has age appropriate guides. They have an app on the itunes store but I havent found it on Google Play yet. Its Australian.

This seems to have a strong evidence base- I know in Australia, they have put some resources into integrating mindfulness into mainstream schools (mindfulness has a strong evidence base in general)

I've also used QuiJong which was available on google Play but seems not be available any longer.

This Greater Good centre at UCLA Berkley . I like this and it has given me lots of confidence and resources for dealing with my DS. I tend to make up my own visualisations with DS now. He loves it.

He's a bit prickly at the moment and I said to him this morning that we need to go back to doing some mindfulness before bed...he agreed.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 25-Mar-14 16:45:38

Hi orange and welcome to the board.

I recommend choosing your battles, trying to remain calm, never asking a question that can be answered with no and ... Oh choosing your battles.

Asd/Aspergers in the house is exhausting at times. Be kind to yourself and dont beat yourself up. I am sure you are an amazing parent who is having a really hard time at the moment.

Keep coming on here for brilliant support and advice.

Good luck smile

PolterGoose Tue 25-Mar-14 19:11:54

Hi orange I've got a 10yo ds with AS who has a lot of anger 'issues' and violence at home and school. I use a combination of sensory integration stuff, the book 'Too Loud Too Bright Too Fast Too Tight' is quite illuminating on sensory defensiveness (which my ds has a lot of) and also an approach based on a chap called Ross Greene who wrote the fantastic 'The Explosive Child' book, there's a summary of his approach here in a pdf

Prevention is key. Keep a diary to spot patterns and triggers. Some very simple things can make a child more reactive eg needing a wee, thirst and hunger, confusion and surprise, there are many more and are different for every child. If there's a particularly common time of day or week when he's worse try to see why, can you change anything? Lots of us with kids with AS find our children need a lot of 'downtime' to chill, recharge and reduce anxiety and frustrations. Reducing demands at tricky times is important too.

Mocker Wed 26-Mar-14 17:44:35

Hi

Can I join? In the same boat as the OP but with a 5 year old that never stops.

His attention span is very short though so never just veggies out (he sleeps for 10-11 hours every night without problems though). He just gets more and more wound up and tired.

Any advice on calming him down? (Examples of behaviour: he will spin round and round in a circle for about 5 minutes if i let him or he just talks ALL THE TIME. Mostly incoherent ramblings. It really winds me up and I get so short tempered with him.

Hugs to the OP. I feel such a bad parent too sad

PolterGoose Wed 26-Mar-14 17:48:36

Mine spins, he can go for ages but once he's finished he is a lot calmer. If spinning is stimulating your ds (or just a PITA) you might want to try some sensory techniques, the book 'The Out of Sync Child' is a good place to start.

Mocker Wed 26-Mar-14 22:37:46

Thanks Polter. I will take a look. It drives me absolutely batty and I long to scream "just be normal" blush

Redoubtable Wed 26-Mar-14 22:41:33

Mocker your DS sounds like a sensory seeker. That is that his brain isn't effectively using incoming sensory information and is seeking extra information so that it can perform typical tasks.
Think of listening to the radio with cotton wool in your ears; you would turn the radio up to get the same level of info.

In treatment, he would be given the information that he seeks in a constructive way, alongside heavy/deep proprioceptive work to help his brain make sense of what it is receiving.
So when he would be encouraged to pull heavy loads (e.g. a sibling on a sheet) or to crawl through a confined space, or to use large movements (like cleaning windows grin).
See here

Mocker Wed 26-Mar-14 23:07:16

Thanks Redoubtable. Off to read...

He has aspergers and Dispraxia. He struggles with social interaction and seemingly cannot play nicely with other children sad

shanelle5 Thu 27-Mar-14 08:09:28

Nothing constructive to add except what a wonderful, supportive and knowledgeable bunch of people here, OP AND Mocker some really good tips there from Redoubtable!
Also want to say, you are are NOT a bad parent or failing your child!The very fact you have got a diagnosis and some knowledge means you will have pushed, fought and supported for what you needed and been there to get the best for them. Nobody who has a SN child finds that alone easy! And just coming here to ask for help and advice shows how caring you are and that you are trying your best. Dont beat yourself up, none of us are perfect parents and through the challenges of having a child with often complex needs would put a strain on even the most Mary Poppins of Mums some days! x

Mocker Thu 27-Mar-14 12:44:48

Hi orange

Sorry for hi-jacking your thread! It just rang a bell with me (and depressed me actually as my ds is just 5 and is exhausting as it is!)

I really appreciate all your advice and have order the Out Of Sync child. I am hoping it will explain a lot.

Orange32 Fri 28-Mar-14 16:01:05

Thanks all for your kind words. The last few days have been good, the school have put in place some OT for him which started yesterday so he was happy with that.

it is so noticeable the older he gets how stressed and upset he gets over some simple things and this stress then comes out in an angry manner with him which I know with my head he cannot control but sometimes my heart forgets this and get upsets with him. I have to try evey harder with this going forward.

Thanks again, i am sure I will be back for more advice shorlty.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now