Thursday, April 4, 2013

12 year old is having fewer outbursts

        Hi, I receive some notes about children who have improved, and I wanted to share this update on the blog because it explains the various changes these parents made to help their son develop better self-control.  Notice that there are a combination of changes:  from altering a stressor (math class) to walking away during a tantrum. Also, note that there are still some outbursts, but the frequency has gone down significantly.  There are changes over time, rather than a quick fix, in most cases. (For the original description of this child's behavior, go to the Nov. 7, 2012 post on the blog.)  Here now is the update: 

Hi Dr. Gottlieb,  Although there are still occasional anger outbursts, the frequency has declined dramatically, for several reasons (I believe):

1.  We are so extremely fortunate to have a Math teacher as dedicated as our son's.  After explaining that our son was having a lot of issues stemming from his anxiety in Advance Math, she went above and beyond her duties, and had been staying after school, as well as, during lunch to help him with his homework.  She also promptly gave him an "award" for "Most Improved Student" last month to boost his morale.  Although his grade has only improved slightly, that gave him a peace of mind immensely.

2.  He is less aggressive with his sister, after we explained that he is her leader, and she looks up to him.  He really took that role as "Big Brother" seriously now.

3.  He has not had any physical episodes with me since we implemented all these changes.  There were still a few 'shouting matches," but those subsided much faster than before.

4.  My son seems to be more aware of his actions now, and it helps that I just walk away when he escalates.  That "little break" helped to calm him down and he is managing to calm himself down quicker as well.

5.  We also told our son that if he finds Adv Math too challenging, he can go back down to his own grade level next year.  That option seemed to sit very well with him as well.

I understand that not one single thing brought on these changes, but I truly believe that your suggestions set us on the right path. 

In addition, and I'm not sure if it's just coincidence, however, we have permanently eliminated all his TV programs.  It took a few months to adjust and it was tough at first.  But now, he seems a lot calmer now.  He only watched Disney and Nickelodeon channels before (so nothing violent), but even those programs seemed too stimulating for him.  He is still allowed occasional movies, but no more regular TV shows.  Perhaps there is a strong correlation between his anger outbursts and television.

I just wanted to give you an update, and also to say thank you for everything.

1 comment:

  1. Did you follow the steps in his book or what did you do to improve your sons outburst? Thank you!! Looking for help!