I know I have a hard time with them…but our son, Andrew, who has Autism, has a horrendous time with transitions. Not just huge life changing ones, but little ones too, like moving from one activity to another in school.
This summer has been one HUGE transition for our Andrew, and thus, he’s had some behavioural and emotional issues cropping up. Another transition is coming for him on Tuesday. Not only is he starting in a new school, but he is also entering Grade One. He goes from being in school for about 2.5 hours, to going all day from 8:20 am to 2:40pm and he will be staying at school for lunch. Andrew will be expected to sit for longer periods of time, at a desk. It’s going to be a large source of stress.
We’ve seen some often disturbing behaviours of late. The most concerning to us is the self-injury (he will try and hurt himself by hitting himself, squeezing very hard, etc) and the self-depreciating remarks (I hate myself, no one likes me). We are sure it’s his way of getting attention. We’ve been trying to ignore the behaviour and most of the time it works, but not always. It’s escalated in the last day or so…we went and met his Teacher and new Teaching Assistant on Tuesday. We know it’s his way of dealing with the stress of it all. If it continues, we’ll be talking with the doctor to see what avenues we should take. We try and get him to verbalize (he’s very verbal) how he’s feeling, but I think it’s quite difficult for him to put into words why he’s so agitated. I know I get stressed out with change, so I can just imaging how bad it is for my beautiful 6 year old.
Andrew will often tantrum about every little thing when he’s like this. We generally remove him from the situation and have him have some “quiet time” on the stairs or in his room until he can calm down. We’ve had him in his room a lot during the last few days, LOL.
Why am I sharing this with you all? Well, I am hoping that someone out there might have some ideas for coping strategies for us and for Andrew. Some of his comments are really bothering me, and I cannot get him to see that he’s loved and wanted and that we like him, we just don’t like the behaviour he’s exhibiting. He’s always been a bright, happy, little boy and lately, well, not as much. Any advice, or comments, would be appreciated.