I was wondering if any of you ever find yourself having to either raise your voice or actually yell at your autistic child?
I realize that this may be a sensitive issue for some but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of of both.
Since Gavin’s been gone and Elliott’s been really struggling, I find myself having to raise my voice to him, simply to get his attention. Even worse, when he doesn’t listen or flat out refuses to comply, I’m guilty of losing my cool and yelling at him just to get him to stop the whining and do what he’s told.
I hate doing that and I’m trying really hard to find my reserve of patience but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
The reason I want to broach this subject is because I think it’s important to remember that we are only human and we are charged with a job that often times call for superhuman abilities.
Now I’m certainly not condoning abuse at all. I don’t condone any type of verbal or physical abuse. Please understand that there is a huge difference between abuse and simply raising your voice or yelling. Not that either of them are right, but there is a difference.
However, sometimes we say things that we later regret or raise our voices to our kids out of frustration.
Is it right to do so? Should we try harder to make sure it doesn’t happen? Of course it’s not right and of course we should try hard to avoid these situations.
Having said that, before you beat yourself up to badly for raising your voice or yelling at your autistic child, please remember that your not perfect. Your human and you are prone to making mistakes, especially when under the constant pressures that a special needs parent is under.
Lizze and I have this agreement that if one of us is not in a good place, we can put ourselves in a time out and the other with take over. Also, if Lizze sees that I am struggling with the boys, she will tag herself in and allow me to remove myself from the situation and vise versa.
It’s important to me that I know my limits and when I feel myself approaching that limit, I take a time out and get myself into a better place.
You single parents out there are simply heros to me because I don’t know how you do it alone.
Without someone to trade off with, things probably get pretty overwhelming at times. Please know that I have nothing but respect for you and what you do. You are all amazing to me.
It’s still important to recognize your limits and if at all possible, remove yourself from the room or situation. Trust me, I known that’s not always possible. Maybe you could put on some headphones or scream into a pillow.
You can always vent your frustrations in the My Autism Help Forums. Trust me, we all get it. No judgements, just understanding and compassion..
I’m always here if you would like to talk. I also started a hash tag on twitter so you can ask questions about autism, special needs parenting or simply start a discussion. Just include #MyAutismHelp in your tweet and others can join in the discussion or answer your question.
Hang in there everyone. I struggle from time to time, just like anyone else.
I’m trying to learn that it’s okay not to be perfect or have a limited amount of patience.
Chin up and stay strong. Don’t be afraid to use the resources I have provided to ask for help or guidance. Heck, even if you just want to chat with others who understand.
Sometimes..yes I lose my temper and get loud. My son is four. We have no family it’s only the two of us. And the location we are living in is because life happens and there’s no decent school for him. We have been around each other 24/7 for almost 2 years with the exception of one night. 8 hours. I love him. I take him places. Bathe him. Feed him. Try! And play with him. But honestly he sucks the fun out of everything. He’s nonverbal and these days he starts screaming before I even wake up. And it doesn’t stop.
Sometimes..yes I lose my temper and get loud. My son is four. We have no family it’s only the two of us. And the location we are living in is because life happens and there’s no decent school for him. We have been around each other 24/7 for almost 2 years with the exception of one night. 8 hours. I love him. I take him places. Bathe him. Feed him. Try! And play with him. But honestly he sucks the fun out of everything. He’s nonverbal and these days he starts screaming before I even wake up. And it doesn’t stop. He jumps over ALL my furniture. I breathe.. Try and take myself out of situation, but I’m losing it.
nrc7407 there too many things that are easy about raising a child in the Autism Spectrum, especially when you’re single. All can do is the best we can do. 🙂
I suspect I have Aspergers, it would explain so much … but my daughter is the one going to be assessed and we are different. I think people slip through the diagnostic net because there are no stereotypes.
Waiting for my daughter’s assessment to confirm whether she has Asperger’s. I find myself yelling at her and I feel so bad afterwards.
I’m a single Mother, divorced and to me I should be the one comforting my child and the Dad should be the tough guy but I have to be both.
I hated being yelled at and still do .. and I’m doing the same thing! People do say you turn into your parents.
My mother constantly screamed at me when I was growing up. At my father, and at me. And it was terrible for me, just cause of my sensory issues all by itself made it bad enough. She would come home always in a rage about something, and take it out on us. I remember once her coming home shouting in the kitchen about how she couldn't see, and without turning around to look at her I suggested she turn on a light. She shouted that she couldn't see because she was wearing sunglasses. Another time she was screaming at me, shouting that it was too dark to see and demanding that I come all the way downstairs and turn on the kitchen light that she happened to be standing right next to. For some reason or other she refused to do this herself.
It was all absolutely dreadful to listen to, like a series of electric shocks. I would always start hyperventilating, which she hated, so she would shout at me some more, which would make me hyperventilate more and start hitting myself and stuff, all the stuff autistic people do when they start to have a meltdown. You'd think she would eventually have realized that it was her screaming at me set that off all these autistic behaviors that she found so annoying, so additional volume would not help the situation. But it was even worse when she shouted and screamed at my father in front of me. For no reason at all. I would sometimes deliberately do something to piss her off, so she would start in on me instead of him — not to protect him but because it was better for me to get screamed at than to watch her do it to him.
Later as I got older I stopped putting up with it. Shouting back never worked so I would simply go away from her. Once I was helping her unpack the car, carrying heavy items out of the car and into the house. And she was screaming at me the entire time, I don't remember what about, and I started hyperventilating and she screamed, "Stop hyperventilating!" And I said, "Stop screaming." And she started shouting something to the effect that she was so frustrated, etc., basically that she had a right to scream at me. So right there, right in the yard, I set down the box I was carrying and just walked away. I didn't mind helping her unpack the car but I minded being screamed at as I did it.
To this day I can't stand it to hear someone raise their voice at me. Even if they're just doing it so I can hear them better. I basically cringe and curl up into a little ball, because I get this image of my mom stuck in my head.
It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized her behavior (a) wasn't my fault and (b) probably constituted child abuse.
You are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your perspective is so important because myself as a parent, I don\’t always realize how much actions impact my kids.
I am guilty of this quite often. I don't do it as much with my aspie kiddo but with my others. There are days when we have what I call perfect storms where so much is rising to the top and it is not uncommon for more than one of my kiddos to be having a meltdown. Sometimes I have to yell just to be louder than them so they can hear me. I do have to say though that in our house I just have to yell for a minute for them to realize oh no we have pushed mom over the edge we need to chillax. I know I am far from perfect and I quit striving for that a long time ago. The worst times are when I am on my womanly cycle. I struggle with awful hormone issues and my oldest is following in my footsteps and with my oldest 3 being girls it doesn't look like things will be quieting down anytime soon._
Wow. You have your hands full. Thank you for sharing.
can I just say that the whole single parenting thing seriously sucks? It got a whole lot harder when my sons preschool decided that they could no longer meet his requirements after he missed 30 days, 4 of those being suspension days when I removed him for what was becoming what I and other parents felt were unsafe conditions. I couldn't get answers out of the school after I tried more then once. Kid were getting bitten, scratched, and one child had her elbow dislocated….these are PRESCHOOLERS…ages 3 to 5 here and they wondered why I didn't want him there until I got answers. Then came the revolving flu bugs…we all know them so well since they are almost impossible to get rid of. So yeah he missed a lot of school, but seriously? The school he was at was even an Autism only school run on the Autism scholarship transitioning to a Charter School. Regardless mom lost her alone time, and it's been about 2 months like this. Thankfully for Christmas I got to go see my dad and take about a week and a half break. I got to leave him somewhere safe, and that he loves, and go see friends and just be an adult and have fun…lol. Sadly I don't get this kind of break often. My dad lives 6 hours away, and most of my friends and family live at least an hour and a half away. Finding a baby sitter? Right….that seriously doesn't happen very often at all.
With the massive change in schedule with the whole school thing it threw my son off horribly. Melt downs left and right, and out right refusal to do things. He now bawls like crazy whenever I get frustrated and cries that mommy is angry…and at only 4 it's really hard to explain to him that I'm not angry with him, it's his actions that make me angry. Like seriously why did you just smash half a dozen eggs on the carpet, dump 2 packages of yogurt on the carpet, and half a gallon of milk? All of this while I went to the bathroom…ugh. I will say this…at least my sister has stopped asking me when I'm going to have another kid now that she's got two typicals…and she's married…how on earth did she expect me to raise two kids on my own on top of what I'm already trying to do?
Sadly, the situation with your child\’s school is all too common. Something really needs to change.
@Toni I think you are incredibly brave for sharing your comment. Too often, I think we feel that we can give endlessly to our children's needs and that we should not get frustrated, overwhelmed or just plain tired. We are human, and have been charged with an incredible job that we show up for everyday. We show up and we love everyday…that's enough.
My recent post Coming Soon
I totally agree. 🙂
I do end up yelling at my son with autism. Sometimes, as a human being, I feel frustration and anger and it comes out. Today, my son REFUSED to get ready for school. He had a meltdown that lasted for well over an hour. Finally I just yelled at him on how frustrated I was and I wish he would just tell me what his problem was. You know, he calmed down after that. (I would say that most of the time yelling equals an increase in his meltdown). Then I explained that I was frustrated and I was sorry I yelled. Then I turned it into a lesson for him that when we don't understand something and we become frustrated we yell. But we can get more out and more solved if we just talk it out. So Rob, you're not the only one. It's not abuse. We're human.
Thank you for your honesty. I totally agree. In fact I\’m laying next to Elliott because he was refusing to go to bed. Something was wrong but he couldn\’t express it. I layed down with him and he felt better. Tonight was left of those nights that I will be sure to learn from. 🙂