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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team
Thompsons

Please help!!!!

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My Mum and I are desperate for some advice - so I knew this was the best place to ask..

 

My little brother (he's 8 and AS) has been having difficulties at school. But they seem to have gotten worse this term. It was one of the worst days he's had today. My Mum was called in as Levi was out of control. He was throwing chairs and tables, screaming and shouting, ripping things from the wall - he also managed to escape out of the school gate. The Head teacher has given him an ultimatum now. If he does this again then he will be expelled, because he's a risk to the children and staff.

 

He comes home crying every day. He has an observation book that he brings home that is filled with similar things that happen on a daily basis. We don't know what to do.. He's an incredibly sweet kid for the most part at home.. Anyone have any suggestions/experience with this?

 

I feel so bad for him.. :crying: My Mum had been through a similar thing with myself when I was younger than Levi is. And I did end up getting expelled. But my Mum later chose to home-school me. She's reluctant to do this again with Levi.

 

Any comments are very much appreciated!

Edited by Thompsons

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cmuir   

Hi

 

I really sympathise. It sounds like your brother is struggling to cope at school. If he has a diagnosis of an ASD, then there's a number of things that could/should be done. Firstly, the school are within their rights to expel if a child is presenting a health and safety risk to themselves or others. However, I'd be curious to know if your brother is supported in any way. He's clearly not coping, but should be supported to help him cope. That could be with social skills tuition, social stories, visual timetables, help in the playground, etc. Does your brother have a statement, IEP, or anything similar? If your brother has in fact been well supported, then perhaps looking at a special school is the right way to go? Hope things get resolved soon.

 

Caroline.

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Been in this situation many years ago with my son, He had a book which everything he done wrong was recorded in and sent home to me at this time he started to wet himself alarm bells where ranging. I just didn't know who to turn to for help. My mother in law told me to just ignore it, her son (my child's father) behaved the same and was expelled many times throughout his school life. I scraped this advice and went into the school along with his new baby brother and sat in on the class. His behavior that day was good on occasions he corrected her speech because she was from a different county and used quite a lot of slag. Someone was able to tell me that he was constantly being shouted at throughout a normal day because he could not sit still and the year one teacher used a slang form of talking which he kept correcting in the classroom. She hated him and every time she shouted at him he used the same tone to her which got him into more trouble. I asked for a meeting and told her and the head about my findings they denied it. Following this there was a very serious incident where she looked him in the store and again I was told by another member of staff. I wanted her blood and immediately demanded her suspension from the school until it was fully investigated. I was on the war path and contacted everyone in person and by phone. The school was awash with professionals this was the first step to getting him the support and respect needed to ensure he was educated. The following week emergency 1-1 support was provided from he arrived until he went home. I continued to pop in and out as I pleased to ensure he was being properly cared for. After this the head teacher went on courses on AS, ADHD and began educating all staff throughout the school. He excelled from this point on. He to this day still reacts in the same manner if someone shouts at him and has continued to correct others speech ( which can drive us all insane) but this is how he sees the world. Good luck with Levi and if he has a statement make sure he is getting the 1-1 support he needs to help him through the day and if he has no 1-1 support demand it through the emergency funding the school is alocated. Something or someone is triggering off his behaviour and you could start drawing pictures of him in school and talking about certain times of the day to see where the problems are, lunch and break can be very difficult for them and I had support for these times too, maybe he will be able to express what is happing through drawing pictures at home.

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Kathryn   

Hi Thompsons

 

Do you or your mum have any idea what is triggering this? It's till early in the school year so he may still be struggling to adapt to the change of teacher and routine. It's important to keep communicating with the school. As the others have suggested, questions need to be asked about the level of support that he's getting, and how the school are managing his needs.

 

The head should take into account Levi's SEN before making a decision to expel him. The Code of Practice says it should only ever be used as a last resort.

 

See the link below for further information about exclusion and the school/LEA's duties towards a child with SEN.

 

http://www.ipsea.org.uk/exclusion-support-sheets.htm

 

K x

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trekster   

Some kids react really badly to the chemicals used to clean the schools. If they are benzoate based i would suspect this to be a cause. i am normally very well functioning and able to access constructive ways of dealing with my anxiety, but prolonged exposure to benzoate and im a little monster.

 

Could he be in pain and not able to communicate that pain?

 

Could it be severe sensory overload? (dinning halls made me want to run away and scream due to all the background chattering).

 

Have you tried addressing the possibility that his anger could be related to depression? Prolonged episodes of anger in me are actually depression and taurine, 5htp and being gluten free addresses this.

 

Alexis

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could be internal feelings and emotions coming out just whenever as can't verbalise them into words as well as you can when hos angry upset frustrated maybe emotions cards which alot of autistic people use to point to let other people know how they are feeling without actually having to say anything??? how about calm down zone where he can cool off and reflect??? keep a reward chart at home and school let him help you choose his favourite activities he'd like to do and if he has been good for certain period of time he gets to have that time to spend how he wants to??? to having behaviour record book both school and home write notes in it to keep both informed on how day been etc??? and have regular meetings on progress or any setbacks/improvements that need to be taken with him??? maybe something MH is going on in background that is expressed like the behaviour you are seeing maybe anxiety etc has behaviour disorder been looked into ??? ADHD ODD??? what about meds for help me feel calm less angry inside??? or professional input like pyschologist etc to help support him understand him bit better help improve behaviour at school? does he fear something at school? like phobia?

 

take care

good luck

 

XKLX

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Thank you all so much for your helpful replies.

 

Levi has been temporarily suspended from school for the rest of this week and all of next week. He had a very bad day where he completely tore apart a classroom and the headteacher has said he is too violent to be around the other children.

 

I'm very upset.. I hate to see him like this. It's all happened so suddenly. He was progressing really nicely before the summer holidays. We have tried to work out what has triggered it, but we haven't found anything definate. We know there is a new child in his class this term who he dislikes a great deal. He can't stand to be in the same room as him, and Levi only has to hear him speak and he gets very angry. I'm trying to recall the problems I had when I was his age to see if I can work it out, but I'm not sure. I had suggested to Mum about the lunch hall. That was one place that always got me very upset. I stopped eating at school in order to avoid it. Levi has been eating his lunch at break time on his own instead of lunch time with everyone else, so that doesn't seem to be too much of a problem.

 

Honestly, we feel a bit frustrated with the school... Levi doesn't have a statement to protect him. My Mum has asked the headteacher about getting him one and she said that he needs to have had this behaviour for at least six months before she can apply. Is this correct? I get the feeling she just doesn't want to bother with it, that she'd rather just expel him because they can't deal with him. His class teacher is of no help either. She upset my Mum a lot the other day when she said, "If he were my child, he'd get a good clip round the ear. You need to discipline him." :angry: That's not helpful at all! And believe me, Levi is well disciplined. My Mum has very traditional views, he is usually very polite and we've always taught him to have good manners. I spoke to him earlier and he said "When I get angry, it all just comes out. I don't mean to." I don't think that he is deliberately being naughty. My Mum has been to see the GP and he has done a referral for anger management, so we have to wait to hear from them.

 

Other than that, we've been considering medication. We're just not sure that he'd agree to take it. My Mum is going to try and call around tomorrow and find something out. He does seem a little depressed also.. I wonder if it's the constant stress everyday. Maybe this suspension from school will give him some time to breathe.

 

Thanks again :)

Edited by Thompsons

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Hi Thompsons

 

In these circumstances, schools tend only to focus on the child's behaviour and do not look at what is leading up to this behaviour. My friend's son was like this because the teacher was ignoring a build up of frustration in him due to other children and the class situation (a drama class with no formal structure). On one occasion, for some reason the children were told to wait outside the classroom but my friend's son went in, then the other children wouldn't let him out. It culminated in him throwing chairs around the room in frustration, as he knew he shouldn't be in the classroom but couldn't get out.

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trekster   
Thank you all so much for your helpful replies.

 

Levi has been temporarily suspended from school for the rest of this week and all of next week. He had a very bad day where he completely tore apart a classroom and the headteacher has said he is too violent to be around the other children.

 

Considering hes being treated like a "spoilt brat acting out" (instead of an autistic) at the school that doesnt surprise me.

I'm very upset.. I hate to see him like this. It's all happened so suddenly. He was progressing really nicely before the summer holidays. We have tried to work out what has triggered it, but we haven't found anything definite. We know there is a new child in his class this term who he dislikes a great deal. He can't stand to be in the same room as him, and Levi only has to hear him speak and he gets very angry. I'm trying to recall the problems I had when I was his age to see if I can work it out, but I'm not sure. I had suggested to Mum about the lunch hall. That was one place that always got me very upset. I stopped eating at school in order to avoid it. Levi has been eating his lunch at break time on his own instead of lunch time with everyone else, so that doesn't seem to be too much of a problem.

 

Sounds like a combination of sensitive hearing and a new routine of a different child in the class that is bothering him. i found the dinning room confusing and was so pleased when the years were separated out to eat at secondary school. Does he dislike the child in the class because their voice is high pitched? Certain tones of sound particularly high pitch tones can literally cause pain in some autistic/asperger kids. Also the effects of the constant anxieties at the school of your brother would make that issue worse for him.

Honestly, we feel a bit frustrated with the school... Levi doesn't have a statement to protect him. My Mum has asked the headteacher about getting him one and she said that he needs to have had this behaviour for at least six months before she can apply. Is this correct? I get the feeling she just doesn't want to bother with it, that she'd rather just expel him because they can't deal with him. His class teacher is of no help either. She upset my Mum a lot the other day when she said, "If he were my child, he'd get a good clip round the ear. You need to discipline him." :angry: That's not helpful at all! And believe me, Levi is well disciplined. My Mum has very traditional views, he is usually very polite and we've always taught him to have good manners. I spoke to him earlier and he said "When I get angry, it all just comes out. I don't mean to." I don't think that he is deliberately being naughty. My Mum has been to see the GP and he has done a referral for anger management, so we have to wait to hear from them.

 

Other than that, we've been considering medication. We're just not sure that he'd agree to take it. My Mum is going to try and call around tomorrow and find something out. He does seem a little depressed also.. I wonder if it's the constant stress everyday. Maybe this suspension from school will give him some time to breathe.

 

Thanks again :)

 

He is severely depressed by the sound of things. In me if im really angry a lot of the time and snappy (like i am at present) it actually means im very depressed. Anger can actually be depression in autistic kids. Does he have severe sleep problems? Melatonin trials could help him with this and then he could calm down due to this problem.

 

The school staff members are failing your brother. Personally i would ring the SENCO responsible for the school now and explain hes being excluded due to his autistic behaviour. What does the autism helpline or the regional officer for your area of the NAS say? Every child is supposed to matter according to the government campaign.

 

i wish you well with helping your brother. i was almost excluded from secondary school due to my autistic behaviour. i didnt have a diagnosis at the time.

 

Alexis

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Kathryn   
Honestly, we feel a bit frustrated with the school... Levi doesn't have a statement to protect him. My Mum has asked the headteacher about getting him one and she said that he needs to have had this behaviour for at least six months before she can apply. Is this correct?

 

No, that's complete rubbish. The application for a Statutory Assessment can be made any time. Either the school or the parent can begin the process by writing to the LEA.

 

See the information below on asking for a statutory assessment:

 

http://www.ipsea.org.uk/sevenfixes.htm

 

K x

 

 

 

 

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Hi, thanks for all the replies :)

 

Sorry I've been a while getting back to you all, my Grandfather passed away and it's been a little difficult.

 

Levi has been excluded all this time.. My Mum had a meeting at the school yesterday with his teachers and an Aspergers specialist. I believe the Edwin Lobo Centre helped her sort something out. Levi starts back at school on Monday and he will just be going in the mornings and will have a private tutor who specializes in AS children. It's exactly the same scenario that I had. I have got worries about this. Because I still couldn't cope and ended up being taken out of school altogether. But I'll keep my fingers crossed.

 

The only other thing that the specialist said was that some of Levi's behaviours are that of an older person with AS and that they think he may be copying some of my behaviours.. Which makes me feel really guilty. :oops: I suppose I'm in need of more help myself, it's just the adult mental health team tell me they don't deal with Aspergers :tearful:

 

Alexis - He does have sleep problems. He goes to sleep at about 12 am, and has to have a nightlight as he has a fear of the dark, then because he's gone to bed late, he'll get up late. I'm trying to get around that one myself. In between the awful nightmares and night sweats I'm currently in bed 6am til 5 pm.. I really need to swap the time around as I've become nocturnal. We sound fairly similar if you don't mind me saying - I'm also Aspergers/OCD and we're looking into Fibromyalgia or possible Chronic Fatigue also.

Edited by Thompsons

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trekster   

Hi Kimberley

 

Yes i agree we could be similar i also have severe anger but it no longer involves violence. i asked about sleep problems since he could be so exhausted during the day he could end up blowing up like this due to his lack of sleep. Could you try him on melatonin? i hear its easier to get melatonin for a kid than an adult. Im on taurine, 5htp and gaba for anxiety. Have you considered sending him to a better school eg a special school or one with smaller class sizes?

 

Your brother could be depressed, anger can actually be depression in asperger folk according to Tony Atwood.

Did you find out why he turned over the table and started throwing chairs? Could it be sensory overload?

Did it happen at lunchtime? The dining hall is one of the most upsetting experiences i had to endure at school. Getting older meant waiting longer for my dinner and with painful feet that's not much fun. Understanding how the queue system works hearing random spoons banging on the table to tell us to "keep the noise down" and various other sensory experiences (the plastic seats were very uncomfortable).

 

If he self limits to foods containing gluten and dairy it could severely affect his behaviour due to the high it would give him.

 

Going gluten, dairy, benzoate, aspartame and msg free helped with my aspergers. It brought on the biggest fibro flare but that was worth it for being less zoned out. My OCD is related to hoarding, spending and ruminating.

 

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Well, this past week has been a bit of a nightmare. Mum thought she had everything sorted out. We were told that Levi would have a special support teacher in the class with him. But they didn't turn up. Apparently no one is available yet.. We were told that he would have someone starting from the Monday :rolleyes: So Mum took him to school Monday and Tuesday, but things were no different. They moved his desk to a corner on his own, but he still threw a chair and ran outside and cryed for half an hour, as well as a lot of shouting. So he's stayed at home for the rest of the week and we'll see if there is anyone coming to help him on Monday.

 

The other problem is that I suspect the headteacher is not being completely honest. We had doubts about her before, when she told us that he couldn't have any help unless the bad behaviour had been going on for at least six months. I mentioned that on here and was told that this is not true. Mum went back to the headteacher and told her, she said she'd made a mistake and said that she would sort out a statement for Levi. She then told us, that it had been done and sent off and was awaiting approval. My Mum called up to find out about why she has not heard anything, only to find that no one has ever received a statement. :wacko: She also for some reason has told people that Levi is having time off for medical reasons, when in fact she has excluded him. I really just get so confused with it all. My Mum understands it better than I do, but she's finding it all terribly stressful.

 

As for me, I found a social group with the NAS that I called up to ask if I could join. Apparently not because I'm in the wrong area? I'm just a few miles from this place, but apparently, I'm just out of their catchment area. So that was a bit disappointing. I called the NAS helpline to inquire as to whether there is anywhere else I could try, only to be told that there are no adult services in Bedfordshire. Hmm.

 

Trekster - Thank you for your comment. It is very possible that he's getting over tired. I get very grumpy when I'm tired too.. I'll let my Mum know and see if she'll look into Melatonin for him.. We'd like to send him to a different school. We found a very nice one who caters for ASD kids, but they said he needed a statement before he could get in. Which we haven't got yet, and who knows if and when we will.

 

We're not sure why he gets so angry. It's happening during class time. We think it may be because of another child that he particularly dislikes. They've moved him right away from him, but just being able to hear him and knowing he's in the same room makes him very angry.

Edited by Thompsons

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