Kid's behavior got far worse recently

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 14 Jan 2024
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Posts: 1

12 Apr 2024, 9:09 am

Hi, my kid is in kindergarten. He's always had behavior issues, but in the last 2 months, they've significantly worsened. He's doing more unsafe things like sticking scissors in mouth and running away and rocking in chair.

He's highly intelligent otherwise, he's potty trained, etc. We took him for a clinical interview and it took the professional 15 minutes to say he exhibits a lot of symptoms of ASD and that the formal evaluation will decide the severity.

The formal evaluation is still pending, but my guess is he's ASD1. I was wondering if any other parents had experience with behavior worsening out of seemingly nowhere. We've punished him, instilled structure, etc. Nothing seems to work, he's out of control and can't be supervised on his own lest he will accidentally kill himself.


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Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,092
Location: Alpena MI

14 Apr 2024, 2:15 pm

what has changed? Is kindergarten new to him? Do you have the advice of a therapist or counselor, are you autistic too?

Learn as much as you can about autism, about accommodating the neurological struggles, about finding ways to keep him safe.

Anxiety surrounding new surroundings and experiences is likely to increase if he is not prepared to deal with them.

You may need to talk to a family therapist to help find new ways to work with him as he grows and matures.

Occupational therapists can help you figure out his best strengths and his worst weaknesses and help you grow and communicate better as a family.

You will get more good information when he is formally diagnosed and you can use that information to build in accommodations and new ways of doing things at home to help him every day.
The best thing for him is to know that he is not alone in this world and that you are all "in this together" as a family, to find the best ways to live your lives together and help him grow to successful adulthood.

You might find it is better for him to go to a special school, or to be home schooled if you continue to have problems with him acting out and being dangerous to himself. With formal diagnosis, you will have a better idea of how to work with your son to help him succeed.


"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” Samuel Johnson


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Joined: 25 Oct 2013
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Posts: 1,041

26 Apr 2024, 9:11 am

There may not be a specific trigger such as conflict with another student or teacher. A trigger might even be something you would not think of such as a new smell. However, you may wish to have a longer range plan such as providing consequences that can help him learn to control his own behavior. We would ask our children what punishment they wanted such as three swats on the hand or five minutes sitting on a chair in the corner of a room. They would always choose the swats (I suspect it was because it was over more quickly).

We chose to homeschool. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to try to work through a school system. You might take a look at the free pdf booklet Aspergers, an intentional life. ... e_2017.pdf

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 11 Mar 2022
Age: 47
Gender: Female
Posts: 69
Location: UK

28 Apr 2024, 10:13 am


Just wondering are the behaviour issues happening at home or at kindergarten?

It might be useful to keep some kind of diary to try to look at what could be the triggers for behaviours, e.g. is it that there is a particular day of the week he finds difficult at kindergarten? (e.g. when his favourite adult is missing or they serve a food he doesn't like?)

Regarding doing unsafe things, I think kids on the spectrum find it difficult to assess and understand risks so he might not really understand that putting scissors in his mouth is highly dangerous (even if you explain it). I think he will get there eventually but in the meantime perhaps it's best to try to put all sharp things up high?

The running away sounds like something else... is he upset when this happens? Again, if you can identify the triggers, maybe that can help you figure out how to help avoid that? If he's not upset, but just likes to wander off, he might need extra supervision at kindergarten and at home, it may be related to not understanding risks and dangers (see above)... again, I think he will eventually stop doing this as he gets older and understands the world better, but in the meantime he probably needs adults to keep a close eye on him.

Rocking in his chair sounds like what some people call a 'sensory seeking' or 'stimming' activity, which many autistic people like doing when they are anxious or just feel like enjoying some movement. You can actually buy some special things for putting under chairs to rock on, or put stretchy tapes around chair legs for him to push his legs against instead. You could google 'autism fidget toys'..

Hope this helps, take care