New Here :) | Ambitious about Autism
Skip to Content

New Here :)

Carrie J's picture
by
Carrie J


New Here :)

Wed 4 Nov 2015 8:22pm

Hello All 

My 2 year old son is waiting for his autism diagnosis. The Drs are sure this is what he has. 

My Thomas is non verbal and also doesnt eat any food ( he used to though ) but drinks his peadisure fibre and loves orange juice Smile

Im looking for advice on behaviour as this is getting worse for him. He bites and bangs his head alot and hits out at anyone when he is having a meltdown. We get these about 2 or 3 times a day.  His twin brother James is now really scared when Thomas goes into his meltdown. which can make Thomas worse.

 

 

 

Back to discussions
Read our guidelines
7 Comments

  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Carrie

    Welcome to the forum smiley

    When you say your son used to eat food but doesn't now, did the change happen when you moved him onto solid food?  You may well find that this is a sensory issue and that he only likes a certain texture of food.   My son was diagnosed when he was about 3 and ate all his baby foods (except the egg one and he still doesnt eat eggs).   He prefers food that doesn't have lumps, likes the different foods separated on his plate and has a very limited number of foods that he does eat.   Might be a case of trial and errors to find what his tastes are and then cater to them.

     

    Re the meltdowns that's a sign of perhaps sensory overload or just frustration at not being able to make himself understood.   Are you seeing speech and language yet?  Your son might still be a little bit young but might be worth trying picture cards to help him communicate his needs/wants.   You could make your own by taking photos of the things he might be wanting such as his toys, his cup, etc.

     

    You might find the section on challenging behaviour in the "Understanding Autism" section of the forum which you can find in the drop down "Menu" button.

     

    Hopefully some of the others will pop in with some tips too.

    Josie - Community Champion
  • JuliaM's picture

    Hi Carrie

    Im new to the forum too, I can't offer you any advice on your little boy as my daughter was diagnosed at 13. Although Im sure I've come across some of your issues in the early days without being really aware why. Meltdowns are painful to watch and its hard to know what to do to support them. I try to just use soothing words like " I can see your upset"  " I understand why that would bother you" but at two they dont always understand and if he's like my daughter he wont accept affection when he's distressed. Which is hard as a mum because all you want to do is hug them.

    These guys on here seem really supportive, Stay strong cause im sure things are't always easy for you at home it can be really wearing and lonley as people find it hard to understand. Just remember nobody knows your son like you do so follow your gut and do what you think it right. x

  • Carrie J's picture

    JosieB wrote:

    Hi Carrie

    Welcome to the forum smiley

    When you say your son used to eat food but doesn't now, did the change happen when you moved him onto solid food?  You may well find that this is a sensory issue and that he only likes a certain texture of food.   My son was diagnosed when he was about 3 and ate all his baby foods (except the egg one and he still doesn't eat eggs).   He prefers food that doesn't have lumps, likes the different foods separated on his plate and has a very limited number of foods that he does eat.   Might be a case of trial and errors to find what his tastes are and then cater to them.

     

    Re the meltdowns that's a sign of perhaps sensory overload or just frustration at not being able to make himself understood.   Are you seeing speech and language yet?  Your son might still be a little bit young but might be worth trying picture cards to help him communicate his needs/wants.   You could make your own by taking photos of the things he might be wanting such as his toys, his cup, etc.

     

    You might find the section on challenging behaviour in the "Understanding Autism" section of the forum which you can find in the drop down "Menu" button.

     

    Hopefully some of the others will pop in with some tips too.

     

    Hi Josie 

    Thanks for the advice Smile  He used to eat pasta that was his fave dish plus he used to love sunday dinners Smile Its all gona a little wonky Sad The DRS are trying to figure out why but our appointments with the specialist keeps getting canceled. He Also has bad bouts of diarrhea and these are very dark green but i was told not to worry about the color. 

    I have tried blending everything to a smoothie texture but still no luck. I think hes also forgetting how to chew. He drools alot also.

    The meltdowns im still trying to figure out why. He can be pleasent one minuite then ultra violent the next. He hurts himself and this scares me more. We have a speech and language lady but shje says he is far too young for them to step in fully at the moment.  Sad  He gets free nursery and she sees him here for now,

     

    Smile

     

     

  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Carrie

     

    Oh I remember Tom having really bad gut problems when he was young too.   Tom really only eats dairy food now, cereal, yoghurts and cheese although he likes chicken (I think that's the only meat he eats) and he loves pizza but it has to be Dominos!!   He will also only eat roast potatoes, no chips or anything else and he also likes yorkshire puddings but that's about it for his food intake.   He eats a lot of them and is perfectly healthy otherwise.

     

    Meltdowns when your child is just a toddler are really difficult as they can't tell you what is bothering them and sometimes even when they are older and verbal they struggle to describe how they are feeling ... Tom can still say "I don't feel good" but he cant be more specific than that and he doesn't mean that he's sick in any way because he knows how to say "I don't feel well" so it's some other emotion that's perhaps just confusing him because he can't connect it with what's causing it.   When he had meltdowns when a toddler  I used to hug Tom from behind, hold his wrists and pull them round so that he was hugging himself too and this did calm him down ... found out later in life that he likes tight hugs and if you held his hand when he was little you had to squash his fingers together.  He still can't stand anyone touching him lightly he would rather you hit him on the arm than tap him to get his attention.

     

    Your son's biting and heabutting may well be a sign that he's looking for sensory input so you might want to try a sensory chew toy for him to bite on.

    Josie - Community Champion
  • lmsdeva's picture

    Hi Carrie,

    Your son sounds very similar to mine who has just turned 2 and a head banger during meltdowns.  If he is at home we wrap him tightly in a weighted blanket when he starts having a meltdown, as he likes to feel the deep pressure and it seems to calm him.  You can buy weighted blankets but try it with a heavy throw or something first to see if it works before spending money on one.  Josie's idea about hugging from behind is one I will try as it keeps them safe as well as calming them down hopefully x

     

  • Buttercup's picture

    Hi, I really feel for you. My son is nearly 5 and was similar to yours at age 2. He didn't lash out, but his meltdowns were heartbreaking and frightening - for him and others. 

    Definitely look at sensory issues. Deep pressure is often appreciated by kids on the spectrum, but don't wait for the meltdown to start, include it every day. It helps children who can't feel where their body is in space. This is sometimes what the head banging and other behaviours are about, the need to feel where their body is. I still sometimes wrap my son up in a blanket like a sausage roll and then Squish him. It must look very strange, but he loves it. My younger son who is not autistic loves it too. I found I didn't get a lot of advice about sensory issues from professionals so you might have to do a bit of research. If you Google proprioception and vestibular issues , and you might find that quite a bit of it relates to your son. It's so individual though, you have to become a bit of a detective to work it out.

    On the other side, trying to reduce the sensory load your son experiences in a day might also help. That can be hard I know, especially when you have another child who probably needs more input. But reducing the amount he has to deal with (not permanently) might help if he is currently overloaded. I have heard some autistic people describe it as your senses constantly being assaulted by the world. It's not necessarily like that for everyone with autism, but the way my son was reacting certainly seems to fit with that description.

    Another thing that helped when my son was younger was giving him choices - in things that weren't vital , such as what to have for snack. He didn't speak either, but I would hold up the items (milk or juice, yogurt or biscuit) and wait for any sign that showed he was choosing one of them). It helps with communication and also gives them an active role in the daily routine. 

    What a shame you're not really getting the speech and language input yet. We hired a private speech and language therapist for a few sessions, and although it was expensive it gave me loads of ideas of ways to help my son. I know that's not always an option, but if it is I would say it is definitely worth it. 

    It is horrible when your child's behaviour seems to be getting worse, but it won't necessarily always be like that. My son has made huge progress and can now cope with loads of things that used to cause huge distress. 

    Amy - Community Champion
  • NNatalia89's picture

    Hello Carrie J & welcome on forum from me to. I have 2 boys on spectrum (5y & 2.5y old). As it turned out I'm also on spectrum my self. Both of my boys go trough head banging stage. With my older one it was extremely frightening as he was looking for furniture corners to trough his head on to! God bless he grow out of it quickly. I think for him PECS was huge help and he was  only 3 when he start to use them. As for my younger one head banging started quite recently (around 2 months ago) but fortunately his banging in to soft furniture (sofa, bed mattress etc) or in to person he's angry with (again better that than furniture corners!). He's been introduced to PECS about year ago with no results what so ever but at the same time we introduced him to Makaton (sign language) & after 4 months he start showing some response for it. Even though he's not making signs him self it seems as he understands what is expected of him much better since we start using it for him, also he's meltdown aren't so often any more. So I would say it's definitely something worth to look in to. Also with head banging if it's getting very bad & unsafe as it was with our older one (when was younger) u can ask OT for sort of protection helmet to use it temporarily (I believe better safe that sorry).

    As for food... Haven't got such problem with my older one, but my younger one finally start eating after over a year of terrorof refusing any and I do mean any kind of food! (though only blended dishes with little lumps inside, so we kind of teach him to eat textures etc all over again). So I do feel for u. As I do understand how worrying it is. There was a day's when my son was living on painkillers and baby milk! Problem was that he didn't recognised his stumick pain as hunger. Also he always has had a lot of sensory issues when it comes to foods (to lumpy, to smooth, to dry, to wet, to cold, not cold enough).. Now just like that he started to eat! And slowly (like 10 months old baby) learning new textures & tastes. And he seems to be always hungry now! Heheh. When he stopped to eat for first 3 weeks he got very dark green loose poo & it smelled acidic for some reason! It was really hard at that time & so much worry! One thing which I know for sure was that his back teeth coming out might have something to do with it. About week after he start eating again he's got his dentist appointment & she said that he got his back teeth out and she said that for sure it might have been a reason for him he needed dummy so much last months (he also stopped using dummy the day he started to eat again!) & that eating might have been painful & uncomfortable for him because of it. 

    I hope that's of any help. Don't give up. Do your research and try PECS or Makaton (2 is definitely not to young! Just research proper way to introduce it; and take things slowly not all at once). I hope it will get better soon, and u won't have to worry about eating for as long as I did.

    Autism. It's not a processing error. It's a different operating system.

Back to discussions

Back to top