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Hi there I have a 3 year old son with Down's Syndrome. He is adorable but sometimes his behaviour becomes very difficult to manage. He refuses to eat at the table with the family and if he is left to sit with with us he will escalate into a full blown tantrum ie: bang his head try to throw himself off the chair, scream inconsolably and become aggressive. He doesn't calm down and can behave like this for up to 2 hours. He will sometimes only eat if I distract him with toys or the tv. He bites, scratches, pulls hair and slaps when he is angry. Normally these episodes happen several times a day but he does have good and bad patches where sometimes it's worse, sometimes it's better. A few days ago he got into a temper because I tried to feed him his breakfast. He hit his face on the floor so hard he made his nose bleed. I'm really struggling to cope.
Can anyone suggest anything or offer any advice? Could it be possible that he also has Autistic spectrum disorder. I can't get any medical professional to take my concerns seriously. Some of them have suggested I am being an over anxious mother, but when he is seen he is mostly happy and contented. They don't see the other side of him.
I am sorry to comment back to your question so late. I was wondering, do you have an Early Intervention consultant or coordinator for your son? I see that you are in the UK and I am aware that there is Early Intervention available there just as it is here in Canada and the US. The reason I ask is, often when I have issues that are related to behaviours for my son or for children in the group that I run specifically for Down syndrome, our EI has a lot of really great suggestions. Often Ds when also mixed with Autism do have very specific behaviours and I am sorry that your medical professionals are not taking your pleas seriously. One thing I have learned to do - if possible for you, is to video the episode if your medical professionals are finding your explanations of the behaviour hard to believe. It is at that point which they may refer for a further developmental assessment which can help to indicate if Autism or one of the spectrum disorders is or isn't present.
Certainly the behaviours do need to be taken seriously and I don't for one moment think that you are over anxious at all, if your son is having the kinds of behaviours you are describing. I know this may sound odd for me to ask, but are you doing any sort of discipline routines when these types of behaviours are happening? Ironically I just posted a blog entry about discipline in my blog (we have a son with Down syndrome also) and I blog frequently about issues surrounding day to day life. I think on a personal level, physicians do not understand the nuances associated with behaviour that sometimes accompany Ds, unless they specialize in pediatrics for Ds.
I do have some ideas which I had received from our Early Intervention consultant, who herself is an Aunt to a teenager with Down syndrome. I wonder if it might be helpful to pass on some of the things she has mentioned to me and our group in the past. If you think this might be what you are looking for, could you message me directly? Many of the things which could be applied you may have tried, so rather then list them all here in one long post, perhaps you could message me directly with what you have already tried and see if we can go from there.
I'd be happy to share with you. Just mouse over my user-name and chose the option to send message.
In addition to anything I have mentioned, please keep in mind, that while I or others may have extensive knowledge in many areas, you should always seek professional medical advice from your own physician, as it pertains to medical conditions or concerns.
Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.
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