Complete meltdowns/ violent tantrums

Hoping for some insight or guidance on this issue. My son is 4 with ASD/ADHD. Around April he started having these destructive tantrums where he would destroy anything in his path. These lasted about a week and then stopped. At the time nothing set him off, it was like a switch flipped and boom DESTRUCTION! For the last two weeks or so its started again. Usually lasts for about 15-20 minutes. Hes hitting, screaming, scratching, following us when we try to leave him alone, and keeps telling us hes mad but never a reason as to why hes mad. We have a BSC currently and she is stumped. I feel like i am 100% alone in this. School starts back up soon and im worried he will be kicked out from yet another place because of his behavior. 

  • Hi Kelly,
    It can be so hard to deal with a person who melts down with no warning and without telling you what's wrong first and giving you a chance to help problem solve.

    Have you been working with the BSC for long? If you've only been working with them a short time they may just need more data points, and a pattern may emerge soon.

    In the meantime there are so many things that can make a difference with a kid's behavior. I would keep track of as many factors as possible. So, in your child's external environment it could be something he ate (so many possibilities here), something he wanted but was denied, another person he's mad at or afraid of, overactivity, underactivity, boredom, overheated, too cold, overreaction to aversive sensory stimuli, and many more. In your child's internal environment he could be in some kind of pain (maybe not if he says he's mad, but worth considering unless he's very adept at communicating pain), he could be under some kind of physical or emotional or psychological stress.

    Another thing to consider is the response you are making to his behavior. Different responses may serve to either increase, or decrease, or have no affect on the frequency of the behavior. I know it's a lot, but tracking how you respond each time could help you manage his behavior more quickly.

    Honestly, if at all possible, I would try to keep him out of school a little longer if it helps you get this solved, but I understand that that isn't always possible. The various school districts are supposed to have behavior specialists too, but adding a different environment can cause things to worsen (or actually sometimes the opposite, but there's no way to know for sure).

    Best wishes. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
  • In reply to Beryllium Fall:

    I had this problem with my son,when he was little.Food allergy testing helped.Wheat,corn,gluten,dairy,can be big factors in negative behavior.When I removed problem foods,his sensitivity to light,sounds,and smells was reduced.My son came up sensitive to every single grain.Also peanuts and banannas.I switched to as much organic food as I could afford,and removed chemicals as much as possible,and he also seemed very sensitive to his mattress.I kept him on this deit until age around 19 or 20.Now,I just let him eat whatever,within reason.