My 5 yr old Aspie son told me he thinks of killing baby

Page 1 of 2 [ 23 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

javabuz
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Gender: Female
Posts: 69
Location: Blacksburg, VA

11 Jun 2009, 8:59 pm

I am 8 months pregnant with my 3rd child. My 5 year old with Aspergers told me tonight that he keeps trying to get these thoughts out of his head. "What thoughts?" I responded. "Of killing the baby when she comes." he replied. I was stunned. I don't know where it came from. He doesn't watch any violent shows or games. His fixation is animals, so the worst thing he might see is a death scene is something like "the Lion King" but I am TOTALLY freaking out now. His is not violent to himself or sister (she is 8 year old NT) or even other peers. I am wondering if I am going to have to sleep with one eye open once the baby comes.

Anyone have thoughts on this? We don't have him set up for therapy outside school, but he has a full IEP set up for the school year when he starts kindergarten in August. Should we have him is some kind of counseling? Both my husband and I are home all day with the kids (my husband works from home and I am SAHM)

Any thoughts you have would be great, this is really disconcerting to me.


_________________
Located in Virginia (USA). Son has SID, Asp, ODD -- he is 5.


Tracker
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Posts: 933
Location: Behind your mineral line

11 Jun 2009, 9:12 pm

Did you ask him why he want's to kill the baby?

I know that I had desires to hurt my 1st grade teacher (she wasnt very nice), but I never actually acted on these thoughts. There is a big difference between an occasional angry thought (which happens to everybody) and a uncontrollable hatred.

It could be that your son is simply afraid of getting less attention, and is having the random thought 'hey, if I get rid of the baby, I wont lose attention'. But then he thinks, 'no that is a bad Idea, i shouldn't do that'. I know I had far more violent thoughts then that as a young child.

I would find out more what your son is thinking, and what he meant by thinking about offing the baby.



2ukenkerl
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Age: 60
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,192

11 Jun 2009, 9:19 pm

Tracker wrote:
Did you ask him why he want's to kill the baby?

I know that I had desires to hurt my 1st grade teacher (she wasnt very nice), but I never actually acted on these thoughts. There is a big difference between an occasional angry thought (which happens to everybody) and a uncontrollable hatred.

It could be that your son is simply afraid of getting less attention, and is having the random thought 'hey, if I get rid of the baby, I wont lose attention'. But then he thinks, 'no that is a bad Idea, i shouldn't do that'. I know I had far more violent thoughts then that as a young child.

I would find out more what your son is thinking, and what he meant by thinking about offing the baby.


Tracker is right. I have had thought about driving off the edge of a cliff. Not for ANY special reason. Outside of some insects, like flys, ants, roaches, some wasps that invaded my home, etc..., a few people that REALLY hurt me, I haven't really hurt anything or anyone.



ShadesOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2004
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 16,983
Location: California

11 Jun 2009, 9:53 pm

When i was little I'd get random terrible thoughts in my head and try to get them to go away, but I couldn't. things like shoving sewing needles into my fingers, and I couldn't control them, they hurt to try to get away too.



DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 62
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,015
Location: Northern California

11 Jun 2009, 10:39 pm

My son said all sorts of things about his little sister after she arrived.

I think step 1 is not to panic. Realize that a 5 year old has very limited ways of expressing himself, and is going to use extremes as a result. Unless he quite specifically sees himself doing something he is actually capable of doing, I think it really is more about his worry about not wanting the sibling, or what this means to his life, than a real vision of death. Or it could be a fear about the infant he is expressing. But odds really are against it being exactly what it sounds like.

Also, remember that children his age play war, et al. "I just killed you! You're dead!" They don't really get what it means. It's quite normal.

You aren't ever going to leave the baby alone with him, anyway.

But DO use this opportunity to engage in conversations with your child about any negative feelings and worries he may have about the baby coming. Let him express them; don't just discount them or judge them. Keep him talking so he can fully sort his feelings into appropriate places.


_________________
Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


Last edited by DW_a_mom on 11 Jun 2009, 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

natesmom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 631

11 Jun 2009, 10:47 pm

Wow, the previous posts are really eye opening.

I work for the school district as a school psych (no way implying that I am a specialist). My third year, I remember a 6th grader who had a significant history of saying things like that. He was incorrectly labeled ED - by a neuropsychologist who worked as a school psych in the district. That alone baffled me as I considered her one of the best and I was some newbie who really had a lot to learn. I observed him and immediately picked up that he had Aspergers (yes, a little pride there:)). This student would just say things off the top of his head. This child didn't seem to have the filter. In addition, he combined things he saw on the TV to life to make his own story, even though it seemed like a horror story as did his pictures. It's hard to explain. I couldn't really talk with him about it either. I was just another adult trying to get something from him. I definitely knew that he wouldn't act on it. I can't remember how I knew. I just gathered the information and observed him. I just knew.

It must be frightening to hear him say those things. I can't diminish it and I can't say, "Don't be concerned." I just wonder if he is saying that but means "I don't want this baby around" or something like that. A lot of kids don't like it when a new baby enters the picture. Perhaps he is already at the point of knowing that life will be different. He has his routine and what he knows. Throwing a baby into the mix kind of messes up what he knows. Is he the youngest in the family?

I am NT but I hate heights, why? Because when I am close to an edge I have this strange feeling of jumping. If I didn't have a filter, I would probably say. I want to jump. Make sense. I am never ever going to jump and it's embarrassing even stating that but that is just an example. I think we all have some strange thought.

Perhaps others will have suggestions to help your son out when the baby arrives. Does he have any strong likes or interests? If so, perhaps bombard him with those when the baby arrives. I think this would make him feel loved and important. Does he seem to thrive on attention? If so, find a way to give him a lot during this time. If he thinks of the baby as times that he was happy to, there may be a good association. If he remembers being ignored or his interests not being met, perhaps his perception will be different. I really am just guess here. I honestly believe those on the spectrum will do a much better job. Perhaps they will say I have completely lost it and don't know what I am talking about.



Gifted-Monster
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 389

11 Jun 2009, 10:50 pm

*Shrugs* I think of killing people all the time.

Difference is...I know I can't get away with it. That...and the ways I want to do it don't exist yet. *Shrugs*

It could be he's scared of competition for your affection and thusly been exposed to animals, knows it's kill or be killed when there's competition.

Asking him why, as others better than me have stated is probably the best idea. Once you find the reason, you can eliminate it or marginalise it.


_________________
"We will not capitulate - no, never! We may be destroyed, but if we are, we shall drag a world with us - a world in flames."
- Adolf Hitler


gbollard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Oct 2007
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,009
Location: Sydney, Australia

11 Jun 2009, 11:39 pm

1. Don't Panic.
It's not the Omen or anything and it's probably not outside influences like TV/Movies/Games. Your son isn't a serial killer and there's probably no need to seek counselling.

2. Be Diligent
The flip-side of don't panic is - don't relax entirely. It's 99% likely that this is a wording issue but you should always prepare for that 1%. If your son starts showing negative feelings, jealousy etc, then you need to address his needs too.

3. Prepare for Arrival
Your son is possibly not able to find the right words to say - or he's trying to use stronger words than he's heard (and getting it wrong). For instance, if a friend or grandparent says "you're going to be nice to the baby aren't you, you'll have to be careful and not play too rough ..... etc.... ). It might translate to him as "try not to kill it".

Instead of constantly talking to him about how not to kill the baby, try changing the way you (and other people) talk to him.

For example; talk about the sorts of fun he'll have with the baby, how he can help with the nappies, how the baby will look up to him as a big brother to protect it. Tell him about positive things he can do with the baby and good fun ways to play with the baby - peekaboo games etc. and don't focus on the negatives eg "be careful", "don't touch the head" etc... There will be plenty of time for positive correction of these things once the baby arrives.



malya2006
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 5 Feb 2009
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 103

12 Jun 2009, 12:06 am

i have a 5 year old son with asperger's also. when i read your post, i didn't think he meant he wanted to kill the baby. my initial thought was that he was SCARED he would kill the baby. my son has major anxiety, i think most people with as do. i think if my son said that to me, I would think he is so nervous about the arrival that he is afraid he would do something to harm the baby because it is so fragile. I would dig deeper into it before being worried.



Dilemma
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 205

12 Jun 2009, 4:19 am

I would keep an eye on him when baby comes.

My daughter who was 2 when her brother came (as yet undiagnosed) couldn't be left alone with him until he was over a year because she would randomly try to hurt him with a toy or hit him or something. She has always been extremely jealous, she wouldn't let the baby near her for the first couple of weeks and she's still very possessive of their father (although she understands he is both of theirs father and shares him much better than she did) she used to meltdown completely if daddy touched or gave any attention to the baby. Now it's only if he gets him out of the car instead of her and occasionally at other times, but she is still very possessive of him. Like your son, there is no obvious reason for any of this, this was not learned anywhere, we have a very stable home.

Anyhow, they are mostly safe together now and she can be a really loving big sister much of the time.

I wouldn't be too worried but i would keep a close eye on them.



TheKingsRaven
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Posts: 306
Location: UK

12 Jun 2009, 5:38 am

I randomly get really weird thoughts all the time, for example I can't see baggage slides at an airport without feeling like I'm about to slide down one. I doubt I'll ever do it.



Dragonfly_Dreams
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 18 May 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 451

12 Jun 2009, 7:20 am

Yep. I get random weird thoughts all the time. Some are evil, cruel, horrible, and disgusting. *shrug* I figured either everyone had them, or it was somehow tied to my OCD. Doesn't mean we act on them though.



DW_a_mom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Age: 62
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,015
Location: Northern California

12 Jun 2009, 11:37 am

I want to add to my post, a bit of a ways above.

While I'm really not worried your son would hurt the baby, and it was important to deal with that right off, I AM concerned that he is having thoughts that upset him. It reminds of when I was in post-partum depression. Thoughts would just worm their way in and stay there, no matter much I wanted to be rid of them. I used to worry that it could reach a point I was so overcome by them that I might not be in control anymore. That was when I got myself some medication. I honestly don't believe in trying to treat a 5 year old for depression or any other mental health conditions, but you might want to keep an eye out for other warning signs that he has issues above and beyond the AS.


_________________
Mom to an amazing AS son, who recently graduated from the university (plus an also amazing non-AS daughter). Most likely part of the "Broader Autism Phenotype" (some traits).


javabuz
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Gender: Female
Posts: 69
Location: Blacksburg, VA

12 Jun 2009, 12:56 pm

you guys are really very helpful. I am sure there is some part of him that is scared about the baby coming, but at the same time I can't think of anyone who has expressed more excitement over this baby than him. He wanted a girl, we are having a girl. He helped us paint her room, pick out things and he keeps asking, "when is she coming??? She is going to be so cute, I can't wait!" He brags about her to strangers when we are out and about.

I am not naive enough to think he is not nervous, or won't have major transitions issues. It was just the level of violence that he expressed that caught me so off guard. I didn't want to overreacte to it because I want him to feel he can express these kinds of thoughts to us without fear of trouble.

Today we started a dialogue on all the important things he is going to do to be a big helper and all the things he can teach the baby about animals (his fixation). I think this is moving in the right direction. I tried to really focus on how he will have lots of times where he doesn't have to do anything and he gets to be a kid, play his animals, and get plenty of attention from mom and dad.

I will take some steps to help with safety. When we first moved him to a real bed we immediately installed chains on the exterior doors and put a bell on his door so he wouldn't have any ideas of wondering outside at night. I think we are going to go back to a bell on his door again (or maybe the baby's room). Yes, he will have to be CONSTANTLY supervised too.



Aspie1
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,764
Location: United States

12 Jun 2009, 5:51 pm

While it's disturbing that your son said he actually wants to kill the baby, I'll give him the benefit of doubt. After all, no one in their right mind would say that of the blue; on the contrary, people say things for a reason. So, your son's statement about killing the baby couldn't have come from nowhere. Something must have happened or someone must have said something that touched a nerve in your son, causing him to think about it. Your son, in turn, interpreted the event or statement incorrectly, and reacted the way he did, even if the reaction was only in his mind.

Try to think back and remember any conversations your son had in the past few months, with family and relatives, or even with you. Perhaps a well-meaning but misguided aunt/uncle or grandparent said something like this to your son: "Your parents will be so busy with the baby, they won't have any time for you." Or like this: "It's time to give away all your toys to the baby, because she's going need them more then you." Or: "You're going to have to forget about kids' stuff and be responsible for the baby." Also, I'm sure your son already picked up more than enough information from other kids and from the media, about how the older kid will get shafted and pretty much lost in the shuffle when parents have a new baby.

I think the best way to find out why your son thinks about killing the baby is to ask him But remember: NEVER use the word "why"; it's too confrontational, and your son is likely to just clam up. Instead, next time you son mentions it, ask him: "when did you start thinking these things" or "what gave you these ideas?"; basically, any questions that attribute the "kill the baby" thoughts to an external cause. And after you find out what's bothering him, clearly explain how it's bad to talk about killing someone (possible exceptions include truly despicable people, like Hitler or Bin Laden). Because in a young child, it'll be simply disturbing; in a teen or an adult, it could result in legal action.



gina-ghettoprincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,669
Location: The Town That Time Forgot (UK)

13 Jun 2009, 8:42 am

Don't worry about it so much, OP. I doubt he meant he would actually try to kill the baby.

When I was younger, I was very jealous of my younger brother, and I was constantly planning ways to get him "lost" in the woods so I'd be an only child again. But I never would have actually tried to hurt him on purpose.


_________________
'El reloj, no avanza
y yo quiero ir a verte,
La clase, no acaba
y es como un semestre"