Sometimes I feel so scared when Pudding hits out. He does it in frustration when I say no to food, or TV, or need to change his nappy. It’s not just my concern about being hurt – which is a real one. (I’ve had my glasses kicked into my nose, leading to bleeding; I’ve been thumped in the throat and kicked in the solar plexus; I’ve been pushed over when he’s caught me off balance.) What really worries me is my reactions to it. When he hurts me, my immediate thought is to hit back, to hurt him and teach him a lesson; not, I know, the best way of dealing with things and I work very hard at suppressing this instinct. But what else can I do? No matter how often we patiently explain ‘No hitting’, ‘Gentle’ or ‘Hands down’ it doesn’t seem to make the blind bit of difference. Doing nappy changes I can sometimes distract him with toys or singing, but that doesn’t always work either.
The worst part is my worries about the future. If this sort of behaviour continues, I can see the potential for years of it. The other day I read something about parents of an autistic teenager who regularly hits them and can do a fair amount of damage. If, as expected with the ERT, Pudding now reaches a normal stature, he’ll be bigger than me by about 12 years old. He’s already so strong now…
Some days he will hit out at Twiglet loads as well, and Twiglet doesn’t help with the way he reacts to it and escalates the incident even further. But there are of course, beautiful moments between them as well. Just now, Pudding was sitting on the floor watching TV. Twiglet went and sat down next to him and Pudding immediately reached out his arm to pull him in for a cuddle. So sweet.
(The TV is on at 10.30 in the morning because Pudding has been really whingey, but mostly because after I said ‘No TV’, he ran to the toy garage and put all the cars away in the box, put the lid on and stacked it on the toy box, then ran to sit on the sofa. How could I refuse to put TV on after that?!)