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Jon81
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28 Nov 2020, 3:31 pm

In short: my oldest boy refuse to be at home. He's constantly crying and is scared to death by children like his little brother. He's panicking and wants me to drive him in the car. Once he's in the car everything is fine. It's been going on for 4 days now and he's not going to stop. I took him over to my sisters place and he was fine there watching tv. Everyone says he's not the same kid anymore. Not happy, not smiling, not eating. No nothing.

He had been left without supervision for "a short while" in his room at kindergarten where he suddenly started to cry and has not stopped since then. We took him to the doctor today to rule out any physical issues. When we came back from the doctor we figured out he's actually afraid of his little brother.

To begin with they said he was alone in the room. Later on it was revealed another boy was in the same room, and then information of a second boy also being present in the room. It's extremely aggravating not being able to know what really happened. The two boys are not the aggressive type at all. More on the contrary. Either way, he's totally changed now.

Can anyone relate to this? Do these things just happen out of the blue? I know these kids tend to develop irrational phobias at times. It just came so suddenly and our quality of life is reduced to absolute zero now. I'm extremely scared this will stay and we can't live our "normal" life anymore.


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CockneyRebel
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28 Nov 2020, 3:41 pm

I wonder if his brother or another boy his age might have been teasing him. Perhaps you can keep an eye on your two sons when they're together. Another thing you can do is ask your oldest son what his brother did to him. If he's non-verbal, maybe get him to draw a picture. I wonder if maybe his brother or his friends called him the R-word.


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Jon81
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29 Nov 2020, 11:24 am

Yes, he's non-verbal. I should have added more details. Guess I was to stressed up to think of everything.
His younger brother is also autistic (2,5 yo) and he's not doing anything to my older son (4,5yo). However, he's getting panic attacks whenever his younger brother is getting upset. Today, for the first time in 5 days, he didn't need to leave the house at least.

I am also thinking what you are thinking, something must have happened in that room. Or... did he just develop this phobia out of nowhere? Some phobias are irrational so it's really hard to tell what triggered them.

Unfortunately he's not able to draw anything. I probably just had a first experience of my non-verbal boy being bullied. Frustrating.


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MrsPeel
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30 Nov 2020, 12:08 am

You'd probably be best speaking to an expert like a child psychologist, I think.
These are just my thoughts but I could be way out.

To me it sounds like a trauma response of some kind.
Is he having panic attacks or meltdowns?
But regardless, any traumatic incident can reset the fear response to be more easily triggered by quite minor incidents.

Autistic kids can be really sensitive, not just to their own emotions but to those of others around them. So that might be why he's having problems with his little brother being upset, maybe he's feeling too much emotion?

But aside from looking at what is triggering him, the important thing is to reset his fear response back down to normal.
Look at ways you can reduce any stresses in his life and keep him calm and happy.
Maybe spend some time as a family doing something he enjoys?
And talk to the childcare staff about what's going on so that they can watch out for him, too.
As long as he is happy to go to childcare, that would seem to indicate nothing too terrible has happened there, I think.

You're doing a good job, I'm sure he'll get over it with love, patience and reassurance.



timf
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01 Dec 2020, 8:13 am

One can only guess what the key event was. 2 year olds are notorious for tantrums and grabbing things with no regard for propriety. Your four year old may have sensitivities that were triggered by the sound or actions of the younger boy.

You might consider placing boxes or a pile of books in the older boy's room as a sort of "fort' where he can withdraw in isolation. Since his anxieties are alleviated in the car, a sort of bedroom refuge might also serve that purpose.



ElabR8Aspie
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03 Dec 2020, 4:55 pm

Firstly,a question Jon81,

Do you have any pets?

IF so,have there behaviours changed or seen and or observed out of character behaviours from your pets?



Sweetleaf
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03 Dec 2020, 5:34 pm

My guess is something might have happened when he was in the room. Unfortunately no way I can really say what seems some good ideas have been mentioned in this thread already though.

I know when I was around 5 one time my mom was vacuuming and for some reason i started messing with the t.v or stereo volume and accidently got it turned up too loud with the vaccum going. My mom might have tried to yell over it the vaccum for me to turn it down and just all the noise overwhelmed me into a meltdown. As a result I was rather irrational afraid of vaccum noise for a while or at least there being any other noise going on at the same time. Admittedly I am 30 and I still get a little uneasy whenever I have to vacuum.

So I mean could even be something that might not like traumatize an adult, I am thinking in my case it triggered my sensory issues...maybe the smaller kids in the room did something that triggered his and it was too overwhelming.


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ElabR8Aspie
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Juliette
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06 Dec 2020, 8:21 pm

Hi Jon - my youngest son went through similar at the age of 5 yrs. I would describe that time as incredibly traumatic. You may never know what triggered it. After a visit to the Doc, my son was prescribed melatonin(a natural hormone that induces sleep) as he was not sleeping and much of what I was witnessing, was very distressing. Thankfully, he was finally able to get some much needed rest. Then, in order to overcome his amplified reactions by day and inability to cope with his usual day, I tightened the structure. This was key. Once he felt safe in this routine again, things became more manageable for him, but this took time.

When phobias arise and children become “off kilter”, they require calm, consistent responding. It is as though the disturbed mind(caused by either very real and threatening circumstance or irrational fear) needs a reset, as someone mentioned here. Hang in there. The “safety of self” is ever fragile, both in children and adults on the spectrum. Your calm, predictably reliable presence and patterns of responding will help. Once he feels safe once more, things should improve.



MattHughe
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28 Dec 2020, 5:03 am

Have you considered that other kids might have abused him?