Autistic outbursts or 2 yr old behavior? | Autism PDD
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Autistic outbursts or 2 yr old behavior?

My son is 19 months and having a lot of "meltdowns" lately, especially in public. How do you know when it is age appropriate or if it has more to do with Autism? He just started walking about 6-8 weeks ago, so when we go to the dr., etc., he wants to run and get into everyting and the battle ensure from there when it is time to return to the stroller.

He cries, kicks, screams, thrusts- you name it. It is hard but I don't give in and I just stand my ground. He cries over everything at home too- like getting out of the tub, going in from outside, putting away toys he is stemming with, etc. He is not talking yet so I know he gets frustrated but so do I - HELP!!!!!!

It sounds like he may be having trouble with transitions - which is typical toddler behavior thoungh I think with ASD kids it may be a little more extreme.  My advice is to pick your battles. Some things are non negotiable but many are. Also maybe try to help him prepare for the transitions i.e. 2 more minutes, one more time etc. Toddlers like to have some control over their environments so maybe try to give some choices (i.e. walk and hold my hand or go in the stroller). I've raised five kids past two. The only kid who did that at times was my ASD kids. THey have their reasons for meltdowns that NT kids don't struggle with so they tend not to have many flipouts. In fact, I'm not sure my other kids ever had a total flipout. Short tantrum, yeah, one of them used to do that sometimes, but nothing like my ASD son, who would really lose it. I too am wondering what is 2 yr old stuff and what is asd.  i know this am was asd i wouldn't let her bring her stuffed dog in the store.  1 hr screaming fit!  ewwww! 

I remember those days-sort of- its like a blur. I think if you are really exausted and frazzeled to the core, and feel like you are the only mom in the world that feels this way when you see other moms looking so care free and interacting with their toddlers-I say its ASD

I just remember feeling really inept. Like how can everyone else handle this and I can't? I must be reeeeeeeeeeeeeealy stupid cuz no one else is having these problems.

not too technical but it sure was true of my situation

cailinsheils- That is so my son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need to talk! The binky is wonderful- I used it twice by 1000 this morning- unsure what caused #2 meltdown. My son screams at everything- can't reach his truck, wants milk, hold me, I don't want you to leave the room, etc. I am trying to teach him sign language but he has poor eye contact so it is hard. Anyway send me a private message and I can email you if you need an ear- I understand!!!

I just posted recently about the terrible two's versus ASD My Post.  It was and still is extremely overwhelming.  Today was the worst day EVER with him.  I had bought some Baby Einstein Shampoo and body wash thinking I'd use it as a reinforcer with him because he has an extreme obsession with all things Baby Einstein.  Common sense would have said that wasn't a good idea and since I have no common sense well let's just say today was a fiasco.  My 4 year old has strep and is very clingy and whiny and Declan screamed and cried and screamed and cried all day....non stop for these stupid god forsaken bottles.  I actually screamed at him like a friggin' lunatic because I thought I was going to lose my mind.  God was with me though because my Mom ended up getting home from work a few hours early.  As soon as she came in the door I just burst into tears, I bet she was regretting coming home early.   Thank God they are going to their Dad's for the weekend because I am in some serious need for some silence.

I'm right there with you, babyboy2005.  I have a 19 mo. and he is a handful.  He screams over every transition (leaving the park, leaving grandma's house, coming in the house from being in the yard - EVERYTHING!) We're better off never leaving the house.  It's absolutely impossible to change his diaper.  He throws himself around, twists his body, and of course, SCREAMS.  I posted a topic "does the screaming ever stop" because that is basically all my son does.  I, for the life of me, cannot understand WHY the neighbors have not called the police yet.  I wish I could give you some advice, but the only thing that works for me when he is in a complete frenzy is giving him his binky.  Someone once mentioned using an egg timer. This way the child has time to process "all done", and that you are moving onto something else. Just make sure if you're gonna be longer than the timer is set for you remember to add more time.  Oh, and don't forget to give several warnings before the timer is about to go off.  The one I used the most was rewards everytime we were planning to go somewhere. For instance if I went to the grocery store I'd let my son choose a lil car or a coloring book and he'd hold it all the way through the store. If he was misbehaving I'd tell him how he would lose his treat if he didn't behave. It took some time, but eventually he learned. The only problem now is that he's older and has moved onto more expensive rewards.

Thanks fo rhte encouragment Floridamom- I am hopeful that it will improve! I do the same as you- I try to avoid meltdown situations too. We go to run errands early in the morning after breakfast and way before nap time. He sleeps well during the day and thankfully most nights now too. It seemed like as soon as I posted about the sleep troubles he stopped waking up! Funny how that works.


Pinkquinn- I know I am not alone!!! It is nice to know that!

Oh how I remember those days!  I think it was the terrible 2's and the ASD.  I felt like the worse Mom is world.  At the time I had no idea that ds was ASD.  Now knowing what I do, I look back and think if only I had known, every trip to the store was horrible know the drill.

I say what you already know, pick your battles, gives simple but short alternatives, schedule everything at "good times" and know that this too will pass.  Vent anytime!

Babyboy2005, I think you posted about sleep problems recently too? Your son sounds a lot like mine did at his age (he's now 2 1/2). One thing his OT told me after witnessing one of his tantrums that helped was that his tantrums were normal but he was having more trouble than most calming down or regulating himself (this also goes along with the sleeping problems). She told me that after 15-10 minutes of tantruming he wasn't learning anything, he was "stuck" and I needed to help him get out of it, change the scene, hold him, distract him  - whatever helped him calm down. It really did help and he's doing much better now. Also, try to see what the triggers are when you're out, is he tired or hungry, overstimulated? All kids are more likely to meltdown in those situations.  I think it's really difficult to tell whether ASD or two year old behavior in a lot of cases. I know some NT two year olds who have some serious meltdowns too - has a lot to do with personality and temperment. I read a book called "Raising your Spirited Child" about NT kids who are more sensitive, intense etc that had some good suggestions. 

Hi, I'm new here but I agree with what amah said per her OT.  Mine said the same things.  My son also had tantrums with transitions like coming in the house after playing, leaving the park, stopping to come and eat, you know the list.

At about 20 months was the worst for us, now at 26 months he is much better at transitions.  We still have some crying at times but nothing like before.  I really have to respect his sleep times and eating times to keep the peace around here.  Trying to go food shopping with a tired, hungry 2 year old (ASD/PDD or not) can be a nightmare.  I know a lot of times it's impossible to schedule life around my son but I try my best.

Hang in there - my son DID improve in the last 6 months!!!!