Violent meltdowns

My eight year old son has SPD and has very violent meltdowns where he attacks me. I am not sure how to deal with these and whether to punish him or not.


He never learns from consequences as loses all control when angry. He is very sorry afterwards and feels bad and can self harm. He says he doesn't want to do it but can't control it. If I do nothing then I am giving him the green light to hurt me.

What do I do? I live alone and fear he will seriously hurt me. Val

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Sep 07, 2016
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My Sweet Son
by: Anonymous

My son is 6, but his violent ways started at 3. When I was pregnant with him, I was beaten by his biological "donor" to the point where he almost didn't survive. He started out this sweet, curly haired, dark skinned, joyful ball of fun.

Then, when he turned 3, things got BAD. He would not just throw tantrums, he would lash out violently. He attacked my then 2 year old daughter who was laying on the bed watching movies. He came and sat on her back, wrapped his arm around her neck, and choked her until she was blue. I had to give her mouth to mouth.

Then, when he was 4, I was pregnant with my 4th child, he would kick my stomach, punch me, throw things at me, and he would yell that he hated us and he wanted us to die. I always showed love to my children. I don't favor ANY of them. I still love on him just as much as I ever have.

When he gets mad, he will go into a room where one of my other children are at and punch them, kick them, chokes them, etc., and when I ask why he does it, he tells me he can't help it. He is so sweet sometimes, MOST OF THE TIME, and then there are times when I feel like I gave birth to Satan himself.

At first, being inexperienced with this, I would punish him either by sending him to his room or spanking him. As time went on, I realized that spanking him only made it worse. He feels like we all hate him, HE TELLS ME I DONT LOVE HIM! I love him more than I love my own life. I was willing to give my life to make sure he was brought into it.

Recently, he pushed his 5 year old sister down the steps, threw his 2 year old brother off the porch, pushed his 9 month old sister down who was trying to pull herself up to a standing position on his leg, and punches his 7 year old sister in the stomach ALMOST ON A DAILY BASIS.

He is not all violence, though. He sometimes just shuts down, for no known reason to us, he will just get emotional and SHUT DOWN. He won't talk to me, he won't even tell me what is wrong.

Thinking he was just being a selfish, spoiled, brat, I tried to bribe him. I may be wrong for it, but it wasn't until he declined $20 and dinner at Chuckee Cheese that I realized HE CAN'T HELP HIMSELF! He don't know what's bothering him. He can't process whatever this feeling is. He has turmoil going on in his mind and I am doing NOTHING to help him.

Punishments aren't help. Yelling isn't help. Shunning him off to his room isn't help. I really don't know what to do. I want to get myself treatment so I can learn ways to help him. I want to get him into treatment, but I'm scared of the medicines. I'm scared that he will only feel worse, as I did when I was a child.

I was molested, I was drugged, I was beaten, I don't want to risk this with him. I want to help him, but I don't want to sign his life over to the system. I want to know what I can do as an alternative to drugs. He is my son. He is my life. I love him. I need him more than I need this oxygen to breath. I'm lost, I don't know what else to do.

They are going to put him on drugs, then I will lose the good in him too. I am just so helpless... sorry for rambling, but I wanted to get this off my chest because it's burning holes, I feel like I'm dying in this trap that I am in.

Apr 03, 2016
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So violent
by: Val

I am a mom of 5 NY 7 year old
Threatens to stab me or anyone who upsets her and
Always huts her sister, I'm at my wits end I've asked for help
And have to wait till the 24th for her to see someone in the
Meantime when she is doing it, I have to take the knife from her hand before she can, its like the devil is inside, its eveyday
I'm worried, I try calming her by doing stuff like let's cut out magazines pictures and clue faces if how were feeling in a scrapbook, or take her for long walks, I don't smack her, I just lost know nothing seems to be helping, I've gone to call the
Police once, and she didn't care, my other children are scared
I love her so much, hurts to see this, I try go to what and how it starts and it can be as small as her sister looking at her :(
Val

Jan 07, 2016
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Self injury child
by: Anonymous

My son is three yrs old has very bad tantrums when doesn't get his way or can't communicate headbangs bites,etc..sometimes at night from his sleep for no reason he gets in a transe and had a tantrum saying non no and attacks,wants to hurt himself..long story short the doc says its spd?!can it be misdiagnosed something else/more?!

Dec 10, 2015
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Help them calm down.
by: Anonymous

Being someone that has these melt downs for years, I would not recommend disaplinary action. Your child literally doesn't mean to do it. It's just a trance they go into and will need help to snap out of it. I'm 25 years old and still have trouble getting myself out of them. The best thing you can do is help them ground themselves. When you notice warning signs of a melt down, start immediately before it becomes full blown.

Use 5,4,3,2,1: Think about 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch (and touch them), 2 things you can smell or like the smell of, and 1 slow, deep breath.

4x4 breathing also helps. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breath out for a count of 4, and repeat 4 times.

Your child honestly is not trying to be bad, they can't help it.

Apr 04, 2015
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my daughter is violent
by: Anonymous

My 10 year old daughter has SPD and Aperger syndrome and can be very violent. I have noticed a lot of things different now she is ten. Does not know how to make friends, The other children dont understand her. It has been very difficult not just for my daughter but for my family and my self as well.

MY daughter bites. she will be getting help for this the school she goes to are going to fast track her appointment as soon as.

Nov 07, 2014
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meltdowns
by: Anonymous

My 6 ur old has very violent meltdowns at school they have been told not to put him in a noisy situation but they do and sometimes it just happens don't know what to do he is already in ot


Feb 08, 2013
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My 11 year old and violent metdowns
by: Anonymous

My 11 year old has SPD and I know its the hormones, but she has taken to lashing out at me with kicking, hitting and has even used a whip at me. There is no dialogue that takes place at the time, just name calling and the hitting. This has happened thrice now. I have not hit her back, though am sorely tempted to ... just firmly try and deal with the situation. Unfortunately I end up in tears. Afterwards there are consequences, she is aware of that and sometimes tells us her own punishment! She is very sorry later, when we talk about it she says she had a bad day and 'needed to get it out of her system' - she has done two years of OT and I don't want to go back to it, as she has become very aware of these things and it affects her self esteem. I don't want to take her to a therapist. will that help?

Feb 27, 2011
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deal with SPD with OT
by: TERRI

GET YOUR KIDS OT...
watch what he or she is doing.. eating...
Lights.. AND GET OCCUPATION THERAPY
SPD is not a thing to be fixed by DRUGS.. and your kids is not going to be KILLING YOU>>

IF You let her SIT and not get OT she may cuz you wont help her....

IF SHE DOES IT IS ONLY YOUR FAULT!!!!


Jun 20, 2009
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I go thru the same things!
by: Crista

We deal with the same thing with my son. I've found that keeping my calm makes the battles much shorter. If I start loosing my patience, he can tell and it feeds his fire. We've figured out lately, when he lashes out at my husband and I, it stems from something else bothering him. We've been working with a psychologist as well as his pediatrician. We had to change psychs until we found one that would help my husband and I learn to be proactive with Josh. She's been a BIG help. She suggested taking things away, for a brief time and reinforcing good behavior.

We've been giving him stickers when he displays behavior that we want. when he gets 7 stickers, he gets a prize. We went to Oriental Trading company and got a bunch of little prizes and he can choose what he wants.

Another things we've found with Josh is that he does much better when he has some sense of control about things, doesn't have to be anything big....picking what plate he has his dinner on, picking where he rides in the car, but it helps him to feel in control. Lack of control is a big trigger with his outbursts.

I really can relate to your concerns with this problem since my son can be so unpredictable and you never know if what stopped the episode last time will work this time.

Jun 17, 2009
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what I've found
by: Anonymous

My 5 yr old has melt downs at any given point in time for any reason that seems suitable to him at that time. I have found that pressure and weight helps. Some people call it restraint. I myself am looking forward to getting a weighted vest for my son. Also, I try to "wear him out" before events. Laughing seems to be the best "wear out" technique and tickling works real well. Provides touch, movement and laughter.

Jun 15, 2009
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feeling your pain,but help is their
by: Anonymous

I have had the same problems with my daughter. Since she was very little I have talked to the doctors and tried to explain it to daycare. But now that she is in school and has to follow stricter rules. we have found a medication with a psychologist that help her with the mood swings and meltdowns. I did not tolerate hitting of any kind. and yes, she has tried I just hug her and hold her and tell her that I love her and hitting is not how we show frustration or anger. now lets breath. and we do some deep breathing. and if she is still upset she can paint, write, yoga, dance to soft music. it has stopped alot yelling and destruction in my house. any hitting or kicking I would stop as soon as possible due to the fact it is not tolerated in school or daycare and no matter how sorry they are for it later teacher will still punish your child.

Jun 13, 2009
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my 13 year old
by: Anonymous

I BELIEVE IN SOME TYPE OF DISCIPLINE FOR THIS ,MAYBE TAKING A GAME AWAY FOR SHORT PERIODS BECAUSE THEY DONT UNDERSTAND LONG TERM,WORK UP TIME AS PUNISHMENT AND ABSOLUTELY DONT ALLOW HANDS ON CONTACT AGGRESSIVE,MY KIDDO DID THE SAME PHYSICAL ATTACKS BUT LETS FACE REALITY ,EVENTUALLY THEY COULD HURT SOME ONE ELSE.MY DAUGHTER HUGS ME HARD SHE WANTS TO HIT ME ME BUT CONTROLS IT TO DEEP PRESSURE ATTACKS SOME DAY WHEN I GET OLD SHE MAY BREAK MY RIBS LOL BUT ITS THE PRESSURE SHE WANTS MORE THEN THE HURTING OF ME IT TOOK ALOT OF WORK AND EVEN CALLING THE POLICE TO SHOW HER HANDS ON ATTACKS ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION.

I am not naive to the fact these kids are unpredictable it was not till she was 11 till she stopped hitting and started squeezing me ,I wish you the best of luck and know that your the safe one THEY DO LOVE US,EVEN THOUGH AT TIMES I SWEAR MY KIDDO HATES ME.I COULD GO ON AND BORE YOU TO DEATH,BUT TRY AS HARD AS YOU CAN TO NOT ALLOW THE HANDS TOO HIT YOU.AT ONE POINT i WRAPPED MY KID IN A BLANKET TO STOP FROM GETTING HURT SHE WOULD VOMIT AND CALM DOWN .I AM NO PRO JUST A MOM WHO UNDERSTANDS ....ITS NOT EASY

Jun 13, 2009
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answer
by: Val

Thank you everyone. I suspected I am not alone. I have been fighting for help since he was three and got nowhere but kept pushing.Was told he had autistic traits but recently SPD was diagnosed and possibly aspergers. We have started seeing an OT and we see a child psychiatrist but no one seems to be addressing his violence.

Sometimes I am made to feel it is my fault because I don't punish him enough but I see him and live with him and he does seem unable to help it and very remorseful afterwards.He already hates himself and says he wishes he was dead and I would be better of with out him which breaks my heart and he has tried to strangle himself which no one took seriously apart from me. The new psychiatrist is much better than the old one but things have reached a standstill again. The school is terrible and resist believing his problems as much as they can and even suggested we left if we didn't like it! I have the "The Out-of-Sync Child" but still unsure of how much he can help what he does. If he can't help it how can he stop? Val

Jun 13, 2009
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Help is out there
by: Donna

Hi Val, I completely know how you are feeling. I went through the exact same issues with my 7 year old boy. We tried all kinds of avenues to help him before he was diagnosed with SPD. Behavior management helped a little, but he became more frustrated with us. Once he was referred to a Paediatrician everything started to change. She was fantastic, she referred us to several consultants one of which was an OT who introduced him to a sensory diet, which was tailored for his needs, a brushing technique to desensitise his skin. This has totally changed his and our lives for the better She also recommended a book called, "The Out-of-Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz, which as it states is a bible to parents of children with SPD and it helped us enormously to understand him further and what we could do as parents to help him. We still have our down days, but the up days far out way the bad and this keeps me positive.

Don?t give up Val, you have a wonderful child underneath all his confusion, his behaviour is out of line not because he won?t do things right, but because he can?t. Go and see you Paediatrician as soon as you can and get him and you the help you deserve, and remember if you can?t be an advocate for your child who will. Keep strong and good luck, it will all be worth it.

Jun 12, 2009
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Meltdowns
by: Anonymous

This sounds like something you should discuss with your pediatrician.

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