Monday, August 13, 2007


I cannot believe that I'm posting this, let alone that I'm posting this about an 11 year old child. ::sigh:: But I'm posting to get it out of my head, and maybe if anyone reads this and can offer some insight, they will be able to do so. I've emailed everything I'm typing here to our RDI consultant, in hopes that she can help explain to me what's going on.

I don't know if I've mentioned or not, but we've been seeing lot of new flare-ups in Austin's behavior. They are typically short-lived and we're using the Collaborative Problem Solving method from The Explosive Child to try to work through them. Well, we have a new one now. Austin is hitting. This isn't something he even did as a toddler! Yesterday he hit Riley in her side, and I punished him by sending him to his room. Afterwards, he apologized to her on his own, and we discussed what had happened. He promised he'd never do it again. I told him that there would be serious consequences if it did happen. (Also, I told the same to Riley, that there would be serious consequences if she provoked him as she did this time).

Well, today, a few hours ago, we were leaving a friend's house and Austin hit Riley again. (I should add here that there have been more than just these 2 incidents. Austin has been aggresive towards both of the girls the last month or so) Today, there was no provocation, aside from him being frustrated with her. I waited to address it when we got home so I could think with a clear head, and he told me that he was very sorry and that he just forgot and he really wouldn't do it again next time. He said he just gets so frustrated with her. I gave him his punishment (no watching any tv at all for 3 days, and no Braves games for the next 3 games), and he had a meltdown. He's been in his room since. He calmed down after about 20 minutes. I went in to check on him. He told me that there is something 'wrong' with him because he can't remember what he's not supposed to do. I told him that I didn't think there was anything 'wrong' with him. I don't know if that's the right response or not, but that's what came out.

My dh and I are just at a complete loss. I don't know what is going on with Austin these days. This is a child who has always been so sweet, caring, loving. He wouldn't dream of hitting anyone, even when he was little and it was at least more 'age-appropriate'. What on earth could be going on with him? I am beside myself... I would never have dreamed that my 11 year old son would start up hitting at his age!

Of course my brain starts racing: Is RDI causing him to regress? Is this hormone/adolescent related? Is this the side of Aspergers I've always read about and dismissed finally showing itself? Are we seeing this as a result of using the problem solving methods of The Explosive Child instead of just punishment/discipline?

I am more afraid to leave the house now than I have been for a very long time. Austin's attitude and behavior are at an all-time low. Or at least it rivals ages 2-4 when he would scream anytime we went anywhere. The main difference now is that I can't wrestle a 70 pound 11 year old into the car when he's freaking out. And Reece is having her own lovely stuff going on that I haven't the energy to go into right now.

I can't see the screen anymore for the tears. Hopefully, I'll have some good insight coming from our consultant, and I'll be able to make some sense of this soon.

4 comments: said...

Jennifer, check your email, I just sent you a file from RDI homeschoolers about just this issue. This is an awesome handout to help you with this. HTh Rhonda

lisaquing said...

I wish I had answers! It probably doesn't help, but an 11yo boy hitting his sister sounds pretty darn typical to me! Not that that makes it right or OK. Don't over-react though! As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

roxanne said...

A simple one word explanation for beginning to hit at age 11 "Hormones"

LAA and Family said...

Hello, I found your blog on the Aut-2B-Home blogring (I just joined in the last month or so). The problem you are having with your son hitting is something we started dealing with a few years ago with our son, when he was six. With him it was a frustration thing. While it is typical for siblings to hit and my other children do this from time to time, it's more scary for me with Samuel because he is autistic. Anyways, this frightened me enough 2 years ago to seek in-home help with him. My son is going to be big and tall (he is 80 lbs at age 8; Dad is 6ft 5in tall) and I want to do everything I can now to get his behavior under control.

I can very much relate to your feelings of being afraid to leave the house, etc.. It's getting harder to ride in the car with my son and I almost won't do so anymore unless his older brother or an in-home helper is with us.

I hope that you have been able to get some help with this through RDI. I'll hopefully be contiuing to get help from our in-home services provider. I am setting up his education at home this fall and have been reading "A Work in Progress" Their chapter on disruptive behaviors and dealing with them has been very helpful.

Best wishes!