Home Forums Physical Restraint v Seclusion Aggression and restraining Re: Re: Aggression and restraining

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Hi NickI’m surprised there have not been more responses because this is quite a commonProblem. The anxiety, which in our kids, can be equated to extreme fear causes theNatural human response of ‘fight or flight’. Your son is trying to avoid the situations that cause anxiety/fear by staying in his room. his ‘safe’ zone. It is ‘safe’ because it is known. The ‘unknown’ causes the anxiety/fear.This is where schedules, predictability and routines serve their purpose they remove or we hope they help to remove some of the ‘unknown’. What’s happening next is hopefully resolved by seeing the picture or the object or hearing the words that describe as best it can what is happening next. All well and good. But first we need to find a way to entice your son out of his room or rather make him feel less anxious to venture out. This is where medication does play its role. You mention rectal diazepam ( quite intrusive delivery) firstly does it work? Is this used as and when needed, or daily dose? I suspect probably on a ‘when needed’ basis like when he’s having a ‘meltdown’, being aggressive. Probably suggested by professionals because they don’t like the idea of using drugs, especially with a six year old. I know it’s not the ideal using drugs but in some cases it’s often the only real option you have in order to address the anxiety quickly. Stress anxiety reducing drugs really need to be looked at more thoroughly by the medical profession as something that may well have to be used throughout the lifetime of a person with Autism. . Autism is a ‘stress filled’ entity I believe and sadly often remains throughout their lifetime. Other ways to help calm reduce anxiety can be ‘tried’ alone, but it’s not uncommon to do some or all of these in tandem with medication. Other ways like:Aromatherapy…lavender oil is good easily obtained, reasonably cheap to use. Less is best though. A drop or two on his clothes or bedclothes, if this can’t be tolerated place on cotton wool ball and put on radiator. These are the safer options leaving the room ‘burner’ or bowl of water usage only if it can be done safely. You can add other oils such as Bergamot and or Geranium. Caution against use in bath as our kids are often very susceptible to irritation of the skin. And massage which is ‘extremely’ helpful can only be introduced gradually our kids usually do not like ‘touch’. Starting at the feet is something to work towards. Test skin area for any reaction first.Rescue remedy: a homeopathic medicine to calm and relax. Easy to use a couple of drops on the tongue or rubbed into the wrist. It is harmless. Does it work? Well my son liked it, kept coming back for more, but then it is made up in Brandy! Seriously,It’s worth keeping an ‘open mind’.It certainly did not cause any adverse reactions in our son, but wasn’t used alone.Deep Breathing: Trying to teach your son to breathe deeply. You need to show this and hopefully he will eventually copy you. Show him by putting your hand on the tummy that it goes ‘in and out’. Exaggerated movements are needed here. He may not do it properly but it is introducing an activity that can be worked on and is ‘proven’ to help relax. I didn’t say for how long! (lol)Music: the relaxing kind ‘new age’ type of music. This helped our son. Later we moved to Mozart when he developed seizures because apparently a certain piece helped with this. Can’t say it worked with the seizures but relaxing it did. The only difficulty here is the mode of delivery. We worked on getting our son used to headphones and he had a little mobile set, a walkman type setup. Now we have progressed to wireless…but these headphones are much larger, so he can move around easier without having to ‘hold’ the little bag with the small unit in. we do still use the small one when we go out. You can still get the Mozart Effect book.Exercise/ Dance. We were fortunate our son loved to walk preferably at night he didn’t like daylight/sunlight. Simple exercises, stretching, bending you can try but we didn’t have much success here. Dancing of a fashion pacing backwards and forwards or across the room and back on good days worked ok to music. This time the music is pop or rock. Swimming. But unless you can afford your own pool, going to the public pool has it’s hazards. You can enquire as to special quieter times. Most children with autism love water. We used a swimming buoyancy aid called The Little Otter.( they are named Konfidence suits now) Fantastic! All in one suit with floats that you can remove as they gradually get more confident in water. These are a few tried and tested ideas. No guarantees though as our kids are unique. What works for one will not always work for another. But you will find things that work for your son. It may take time to find them but persevere as best you can.I do need to mention sensory issues. These are far and wide and again unique to individuals but ‘ALL’ kids with autism have them to greater or lesser degree. HyperSensitive or hyposensitive to touch, sound, visual, smell and not just external stimuliRemember the internal can be just as interesting, painful, overwhelming or plain annoying.Imagine you cannot switch off the sound of your digestive system, or the sensations this brings. Or the constant sound/feel of your blood flow system. We often forget these areas that impact just as dramatically as the outside environment. It’s a tough world ‘autism’ and I do now think that our kids grow into their autism.They gradually over the ‘years’ get used to their unique way of experiencing the world and begin to recognise and accept what helps ‘them’.A great book on sensory issues is by Gail Gillingham “ Autism-Handle With Care”In my opinion still ‘the’ best on this subject. Our own drug use by the way was more on the ‘knock you out’ side. Sleeping draughts, which had little effect only to exhaust him more through fighting the effects. ( this is worth remembering , our kids have unique takes on medication, what can knock an elephant out often has little or no effect on our kids. The reverse also applies, some drugs need to be smaller than normal dosage. It’s all trial and error)Our son was like a dynamo constantly on the go of course with hindsight we can see it too was ‘anxiety’ our son was ‘fleeing’. 23 years ago we didn’t understand it as much as we do today. Sorry this is long Pam