I’m so done with this crap but I don’t know what to do

Gavin just had another catastrophic meltdown. Right now we are trying to figure out what to do.  The whole thing happened because his play was getting darker and he knows he’s not aloud to play like that with his brothers.

Not only did he lie when we questioned him about this but he freaked out upon receiving the consequences for his actions.

The punishment was that he lost the TV in his room.  That means we removed the Netflix box from his TV so it would be rendered useless. We told him he could still watch TV, just not in his room. All we did was take away a bit of his freedom.  That was it. We wanted to make sure that we had more to rake away,  should we need to.

He completely lost it.

I physically got him upstairs by walking very closely behind him and in a very firm voice,  tell him to move it.

Once in his room,  he proceeded to meltdown.  He banged his head on the wall and floor.  He punched his door and stomped his feet,  shaking the entire house and rattling all the windows.

As we are trying to find ways of addressing this behavior,  I decided to try something different.

During this meltdown,  Gavin stopped several times to fix the sheet on his bed or move something out of the way. I told him that as long as he’s not following the rules and safely being angry and frustrated,  I was going to take one object out of his room (at a time) until he was safe again.

He’s allowed to be angry and frustrated.  However,  he’s only allowed to kick,  stomp or punch his mattress.  He’s allowed to screen but only into his pillow or mattress and not the air. He knows this and I reminded him several times before beginning to remove items from his room.

I made about 5 trips before he decided to take my words seriously.

He, of course,  self-injured.  We,  of course,  didn’t react.  Not reacting makes him angry because he can’t control our behavior through his violet actions. The problem with him is that instead of just stopping the behavior,  he escalates to a point that we eventually have to intervene.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case today and removing items from his room did the trick.

We didn’t call the police because honestly,  I’m afraid to take that step because there’s no going back. Plus,  I’m concerned about how Elliott and Emmett would react to that. That may totally freak them out and I know that Elliott would lose it and his anxiety would become even worse.

This is a really shitty situation to be in,  pardon my french.

A huge part of me wants to drag him back up to the hospital but that requires a huge commitment on our part and it’s a great deal of traveling. As bad as this sounds,  we simply don’t have the resources to waste on another pointless hospital stay.

I have to figure something out.  I know that almost no one will take him because he’s got so many medical issues. Our options are very, very limited.

 

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.

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rmagliozzi

What about having a plastic punching bag in there he can beat up as much as he wants, or possibly teaching him to do something less damaging like ripping paper? You could collect phone books for him to rip up and just bring them out during meltdowns, but you'd have to clean up afterward to make sure he doesn't eat them, due to his history of PICA.  Just a thought. I have no idea if it would work on Gavin.
We also do loss of favorite priviledges and toys for my children after bad behavior.
 

lostandtired

@rmagliozzi that's a great suggestion. @Chloe123 suggested something like that as well. She suggested fabric also. Let him tear the fabric up when he's frustrated and see if that helps calm him down.

Although, having control over these tantrums means that he could just stop. For whatever reason he likes to drag it out….

kat13

Turning off TV, computer, taking toys, ect. is a common practice for us too.
 
When we started this sort of punishment technique about a year ago because it was going completely out of control, just like you describe and we couldn't even think of anything! The response to it was actually worse and just escalated tantrum itself. We decided to continue and be persistent. Over the time, she actually became really paranoid about anyone coming into her room as she thought we are there to take something out or turn TV/computer off. However, the tantrums went gradually down. But something still didn't feel right as she continued the behavior. So that when I knew something wasn't working as we expected.
 
I don't know if it will ever stop, but I can tell you what I do now. When she had done something wrong (btw, you do have to explicitly tell him what was wrong and what wasn't appropriate along with why do you think it isn't right), I go to her room, she runs right after in the effort to prevent me taking something away from her. That isolates the whole drama scene from where ever it is to her room. There with just the two of us, we can try to straighten things out verbally. What I find is going a long ways with her in particular is the excessive talking. She had a huge speech delay (at age of 4 she had only 10 words in her vocabulary), and lots of tantrums were a result of it, but wasn't always obvious.
 
So instead of straight execution of the punishment, I repeat what she did wrong, why I think it was wrong, how it made me feel and others. Then I just try to explain to her what and how it is more appropriate for that particular situation for her to do. Then I tell her that this time I will not take anything away from her, but if that happens again, she will be grounded (that is the term we use for turning TV/computer off as well as taking away her toys). And we do have to ground her from time to time, but honestly, it had been about may be a half a year since I changed the tactic that I don't really recall when was her last fully blown  tantrum as you describe.
 
So far, I am really trying to catch it and correct it right there if I can. I am a Software Developer, and what helps me think is that you got to program them, they don't have those natural instincts, you got to teach them all of it yourself.  
 
And it is a lots and lots of work.! I just can't image how much burden on you with three boys on spectrum, but it looks like you are doing the great job with all of them! My husband tells me I got a way more patience with my younger on than he can ever take, but that what you got to have when you have child on the spectrum. We can't just give up on them, we have to find a way to help them! I don't think screaming is a really pleasant thing even for the screamer itself. 
 

peace_paradox

I honestly don't know what I would do, if I were you. It seems like you have done everything within your power to discipline Gavin lovingly and safely. I guess the question for me would be how much damage is this doing to your family, not just in the moment, but in the long run?
 
We are so used to having a solution to every problem, but it seems with Gavin there may not be a solution to "fix" him. I'm so sorry for your frustration and pain. I have lived through the violent meltdowns with an autistic son. I also have an adult daughter with severe mental illness. She's quite frightening. 
 
I'll continue praying for you and your family, and your many urgent needs.
 
Victoria Hudgins
San Diego, Ca

lostandtired

@peace_paradox that's thing. I think it's killing us. At my last health check they said that body age was 81 years of age. I'll be 34 next week.

This has to stop but I don't think we have very many options due to his health issues.

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