Question on how to deal with 2 children with difficult behaviour

by Carol
(Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

My 10 yr old is on the autism spectrum with Tourette's, ADHD, Anxiety and OCD. My 5 yr old is currently being assessed but my feeling is he has Aspergers and ODD. Because they are both high-functioning some family members (and school workers!) feel that its just a discipline problem. Consistency, rules and love has made my 10 yr old, now, much better to deal with. The other one is a work in progress.

My problem is how to discipline them when they fight ALL of the time. The 10 yr old hates a lot of certain noises and the 5 yr old is typically loud and sometimes makes these noises on purpose to bug his brother (attention-seeking I think). I don't condone any violence whatsoever and always take issue with them when they speak negatively about the other. But they continue to practice both of these anyway. It's gotten to the point where they yell that they hate each other, which kills me inside as I always wanted them to be the best of friends, although I don't try to force it.

We've been in Play Therapy and family therapy for just specifically these problems (the OT, SLP, psychologist, occupational therapy and behavioural therapy are all separate from these dr. visits) and the best these professionals could come up with is to 'keep them doing separate activities in separate areas of the house as much as possible'. I am a divorced mother with the majority of custody and work part-time while I manage my own business. I have about 2-3 hours a day, M - F to spend with them and get housework, meals, bathtime done.

I really really need some suggestions... anyone?


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May 25, 2011
An Idea
by: Michelle

Hi there. I want you to know that my kids are both typical children and they still fight constantly. I don't think it has to do only with there disorders. My boys are 7 years apart, what could they possibly have to fight about right. EVERYTHING. All the time, everyday. OMG I think some days I am going to lose my mind. Then I remembered that my sister and I fought like crazy, and my husband and his brother fought like crazy, and we all turned out fine and great friends. Not saying that it doesn't have something to do with the disorders your children have been diagnosed with, but know that all parents listen to their children fight. They don't really hate each other. Well in the moment they do. Families don't always have to like each other, just so long as they know they love each other.

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