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I don't have anything more than anecdotal evidence to go on, Christy, but I truly think some of it has to do with all the change going on around him. I see similar outburst from my Nik; where he used ot be always pleasnat and happy, he now has moments of rageful tantrums and deliberate bad behavior. So many parents of SN children seem to be talking online lately about how difficult the transition to school is, Whether it's after a summer break or going to school for the first time...even when there are NO major changes at home.

Toss a baby sister into the mix and, well, I can see how it might get dicey for Elias to hold it together ALL.THE.TIME. I find myself constantly looking for answers, too. I think all we can do is our best and look for the ways in which we can reassure our boys that their world is still safe and stable.


Hi Christy. I am usually a lurker, and often find myself in awe of your journey with Elias, even if I can't totally relate. I have 2 neurotypical kids but I am a teacher so even if your experience doesn't directly relate to my children I find I glean loads of insight for some of my students. However, I thought you might find it comforting to know that my 7 year old daughter is showing similar behaviors. She is anxious, full of rage, and acting out in ways that seem desperate for control. Mind you, she is in 2nd grade so school is not a new experience for her, and she loves her school, her teachers and her friends - and we are still dealing with this reaction to the change of a new year. I kinda forgot how last year went, but because it was a new school for her then we were a lot quicker to dismiss her anxiety and ride it out. I obviously don't have any answers, but I'm sure that the stress of a new year is at least a significant factor and *may* subside as things settle down? I just hope I can offer some hope - sometimes it is what gets you through the wait and see! Good luck - you are an amazing mom!

It is such a bummer when you have those moments when you truly entertain the idea that your child is an angry/aggressive/mean/cruel (you fill in the blank) kid. Luckily the moment passes but there are periods of time when they seem to be more frequent. I am only talking about my own experience of course but Angus has been through this too. I just try to find a quiet moment to myself (which I know is next to impossible when you are back at school with 2 young kids who need you and a husband you are probably dying to spend time with) BUT if you can, just mentally list all the things that Elias is trying to work out for himself right now at this stage in his life and you may find that he has even more going on than you do! Controlling our behavior and emotions is LEARNED and he is still just starting his journey. It is easy for me to remember how hard it all is when even at 38, I have occasional temper tantrums! This too shall pass.

Big hug from Zurich. The roller coaster of parenting plus the worry that something "more" is going on....make sure that you carve out a smidgin of time for yourself, too...

You know, Christy, I've been thinking about this, and I wonder if Elias would benefit from being sent to his room? Remove the books, toys, (lamps!) etc. from his room if you have to, and just tell him he can't come out until he's calmed down. It may be an over-simplification, but perhaps once he discovers he's not getting the (negative) attention he wants, he'll seek it in a more appropriate way. Good luck!

Casey has some of these issues too, although I'm not sure you would call it rage or even really anger at this point. He's 4 now and I definitely notice when he's overwhelmed he throws super screaming fits. It seems to be connected with the evening time. He has sensory integration dysfunction (I think you mentioned in an early post that Elias has this too). I'm not trying to give advice, mainly 'cause I haven't found much to help, just commiserate with some of the frustrations of parenthood.

If this behavior showed up in a child in the school where you work might you suggest some counseling. Obviously he can't get it in school but maybe a few sessions with an outside person?You mentioned a while back that you thought he was starting to be more aware of what other kids could do that he can't. Maybe he needs some help processing all of this, along with the arrival of his sister.

I agree with JWG that you may want to consider counseling. My 9yo SN ds' tantrums seemed to get out of control, but with play therapy he is learining how to interact with others appropriately and how to handle his own behavior. It is no magic wand, but it has helped a lot.

I have been hearing a lot of similar experiences with the first weeks of school from my fellow SN mama friends. It takes so much for some kids to hold it all together as well as they do, all day at school, that once home, they let it all hang loose. Home is the safe place to do that. You are a wonderfully attuned mom - hopefully things will settle into a comfortable routine and the rages will lessen. If it continues to be a concern, do look into the play therapy.

I sooooo appreciate hearing from you all. It helps to know that other children both typical and SN seem to have more melt-downs/tantrums at the start of the school year and the add on that Elias is at a new school with a baby sister that's developing withe ease while he's also beginning to understand that he's "different" and well, its a recipe for frustration and anxiety.

DiVaughn, our trouble with time-outs in his room is that he just leaves and if we hold the door shut from the outside he gets even more angry and pounds on the door. I've considered an outside lock but have mixed feelings about it.

And as to counseling, as a school counselor myself I'm all for it and in fact we started the process this summer with a psych but after two visits did not return--I think it just wasn't the best match for Elias. So our plan is to do more research and find someone whether its a play therapist or behavior annalyst or occupational therapist who specializes in sensory processing issues...(Yes meg i think this is one of his issues and why we see the melt-downs at night.)

And Kate thanks for reminding me that kids break down where they feel the safest. its funny b/c I've said that to parents in the past when I've had my counselor hat on but forgot to apply that same wisdom to my own situation.

Oh I could go on but my bed is calling......

Hello, friend who doesn't know me. I have been reading for some time now and wanting to write. Life keeps me overwhelmed and the time was not coming to me so just now I decided to just tune out all else and share my thoughts.
We have things in common as well as differences -- same with our kids. My son is 6 and he was actually born late -- he didn't seem to want to be born, taking 32 hours, and from the day he was born we kind of sensed something... that turned out to be autism. He is a pretty complicated fella. We didn't start the process of diagnosis until I was pregnant again. His sister is 4, and she is NT, and a HANDFUL. Right now she stands in my kitchen raging at her daddy for not giving her a "treat."
I NEVER assume that my experience means I know anything about anyone else's kid. Each child is a case of one, particularly kids on the spectrum like my guy. BUT, I hear you. I hear you worrying about the rage. I think I blogged for a whole year or more about my feelings about the inexplicable rage in my son. And it seemed worst around his sister.
Now, though, I tell you this with great fear for the peril it might bring to us on the eve of starting first grade, but because I've felt such HUGE empathy as I read your posts: the rage didn't last forever. Sure, I can't promise you the same. I do have an abiding conviction though that the rage will get better at your house. I understand how it hurts to see your son angry, aggressive. I understand it's scary, and it's so different from how you ever imagined your family. I so imagine you share my same craving for just a bit of ease, slack of tension, respite from rage. I wish I could say I knew why the rage abated in my boy, or how to make it last, or that if I knew I could hand it to you and it would work the same for your son who is not otherwise that much like mine. All I can say is we kept trying. We did two years of ABA. We worked hard on improving his language so he could express himself differently. We helped him name emotions. We got him as physically active as his other limitations (hypotonia, eye problems including double vision, allergies, asthma, etc.) allow. We used stories. We tried alternative practices, and went to a D.O., or osteopath. We worked on our own "stuff." We limited tv. We worried, cried, considered voodoo... Yeah, it's not a recipe, and if it were, it doesn't sound too appealing. But who knows if maybe just time helped? Maybe just he and his sister both growing helped? I am not sure what, but something is going to help your strong, unique, beautiful Elias get through this rage period. Hold fast. I send you good thoughts. I have a feeling one day Elias will be calm and his sister will be screaming at the top of her lungs in the kitchen over a treat, and you will remember that this is a sign of good things, and that change is always part of everything... I love your blog.

Me again realizing I said it all wrong the first time. I know you have been at this parenting thing actually longer than I have and probably know everything I said in my first post better than I do... really what I was trying to say is that you are not alone, it's great that you vent about things by writing, you write beautifully, it's hard to parent when you are tiiiiired, two kids are harder than just one especially when one is a baby still, you are doing a wonderful job, and I really, really do think things are going to get better. That is what I meant to say. I hope some of that came across. Wishing you happy days...

ghkcole, you said everything perfectly in your first comment, not wrong at all. And your second. You understand. I hear you. Thank you for hearing me and for following our story. I need to hear stories like yours, that it gets better, that the rage may dissipate, even if you cant predict our family's future it helps to hear your version of life on this crazy back road. Thanks for writing and sorry i didn't respond sooner but please know i appreciate all your words.

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