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Featured I need your comments in kids' anxiety

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Sabrina, Jul 17, 2017.

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  1. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    In this case I am not referring to the classical social anxiety, nor the anxiety to talk in front of a public.

    I'm talking about sudden fear of a situation that in the eyes of most people is totally normal.
    I want to expose two cases: my nephew, 13 years old, he is the typical kid that knows all about red areas where not to go in a city, for example, or will be worried because his new house is close to the woods (because that means there's a risk of fire). I get it, I'm an aspie too, you have to be ready.

    But, it started to be weirder than usual
    when he had a chance to sleep alone in his new house and he preferred to continue sleeping with his older brother. I let that pass (in my mind) but what actually worried me was that he didn't want to go to a certain mall because he was afraid of the mechanical stairs.

    We went anyway. His mom had to hold his hand all the way while we were on the mechanical stairs, and he leaned on her as an old person, because he was so afraid. Any way, I thought, 'this is a red flag', but, 'not my circus, not my monkeys', so I didn't say anything.

    But yesterday we went in a safe, short, excursion with my daughter and a few other kids. Suddenly her face starts to get red, and I can see that she was about to cry. So I stopped with her in the middle of the road (letting the rest of the people continue ahead so we would be left alone) and she tells me that she's afraid to fall down (trip and fall). I talk to her, trying to calm her down. I thought she had, so we continued walking.

    After a few minutes I notice that her nose starts getting red again, and that she is breathing heavily. Again I stop, I make her drink water and convince her to put on her headphones, since music calms her down. It worked.

    But I'm still wondering why did that happened? She's done this kind of excursion before, it's not the first time, and in the other occassions she enjoyed herself. I'm puzzled.
     
  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    By "sleep alone" do you mean sleeping on his own
    in a room with no one else while there were others
    in the house?

    Or just plain nobody there but the kid himself?

    Was he previously fearful around escalators?
    ====
    The girl child.....Does she often trip/stumble?

    Or has someone she knows recently been injured?
    Or was she wearing shoes that made her feel unsteadY
    Or had it been a long time since she last ate?

    When I was seven I concluded that it was dangerous to
    fall. A girl I knew had fallen on the playground and she
    had to be admitted to the hospital for her condition.
    She had not injured herself.

    I didn't know at the time that she had leukemia.
    She died. She was 8 years old.
    I took in the idea that falling was bad.
     
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  3. Ambi

    Ambi Well-Known Member

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    In the first case, I would wonder if he just has never had the introduction to using the escalator at a much earlier age, and frequently (that's how I got used to it - it was very scary in the beginning, but that was when I was about 4 - so I got used to it). It sounds like he is only now getting a chance to have his own room in a new house? That also could be that he just never got used to sleeping in his own room at an earlier age, so now he seems behind. Or does his mother coddle him a bit too much?

    For your daughter, that is mystifying to me. Perhaps when she is calmer you could just ask her in greater detail - like what caused her to worry about falling, has she always worried about this, etc.
     
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  4. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    sounds almost phobic THEYVE both suffered a trauma
    but now you have to discover what it is
    what i find traumatic they wont
    what i mean is they have experienced less than me
     
  5. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    i don't have kids, and am totally unknowledgeable about raising children or dealing with phobias or personality disorders in children, i was just curious if someone has talked to both children (separately) and asked them why they are afraid? i know i'm being overly simplistic, but its all i could think of
     
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  6. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    Allergic reaction to pollen? Then potentially your child reacting to the changes in how she feels as her body reacts to the pollen..... which is manifesting as anxiety..... Were you and your daughter in an area that you have not been to previously, like out in the country.
     
  7. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    I'll answer each question:
     
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  8. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    He's been inside malls ever since he was a baby. BTW, it was not all the escalators, just that one in particular.
    I asked her again today, still she doesn't know.
     
  9. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    Yes, it makes sense. My daughter also got scared recently, in January, because we were inside a cable car. I remember she also got very afraid when she was hanging from a harness while climbing a wall in an amusement park.

    Thank you, it seems acrophobia (more info in a following post).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  10. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    I have to check that out.
     
  11. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    Maybe is this (my daughter started to get anxious while we were going up the hill, and also while we were in that cable car; and the escalator that my nephew was afraid of, was between a third and fourth floor, more or less).
    I suppose some phobias are hereditary (?)

    (Wikipedia) Most people experience a degree of natural fear when exposed to heights, known as the fear of falling.
    Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up.
     
  12. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    specialists in phobias recommend gradually becoming used to cause of the trauma instead of flooding which is doing all at once
     
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  13. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sabrina, I am assuming that cousin was Autistic by what you said. If that was the case, it is not really unusual at all for him to still want to sleep with the brother if that was his routine, and if it was then a new home it could be even more understandable as new places can be even scarier so that routine of being with the brother could be comforting. As for the escalator, if he was never on that specific escalator before, yes that could be scary too, as for those on the Spectrum new things like that, at new places can create fear, as sensory issues can be involved. Our youngest son is afraid of all elevators and cries nonstop until he is off it, as the up and down motion scares him.

    As for your daughter, I cannot remember if you said if she had Aspergers or Autism yet, or was an NT. That could make a difference in terms of my answer too. If she had sensory sensitivities, or allergies, it could be the smell or pollen on that day that was bothering her, or even the heat or humidity. That is why she could have tired and with red nose. Or, another possibility was she could have thought the pace of the other kids was too quick, or if she never had walked with those exact other children before, that was new to her too, so it could make her not want to walk with them which could drain her. Or if she had less energy before the walk, as she was tired or hungry that would make the walk more difficult too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  14. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    Thank you for your answer. What you explained about the new environment sounds accurate.

    BTW, my nephew is afraid of elevators too (he's not diagnosed, but the description of an Aspie boy fits him). My daughter fits the profile of an Aspie, too, although she's not diagnosed either.
     
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  15. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    the theory of phobias is they wrongly associate something with danger something frightened your nephew but he was just about to get on escalator so he becomes phobic about the escalator its just an association same for all phobias
    for instance with me i was kicked by a horse as a child and i developed an allergy to pollen i associated being beside grass with danger the mind is very powerful i have asthma because of panic disorder
     
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  16. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    These things can get better with age. Aaron is much more tolerant now, to the point he loves meeting all types of people, and will like going to all new places. He finds it is exciting now, whereas the first four years of his life he would not deviate from routines, either at home or in public. Everything had to be very precisely. Dylan still does not do as well in public. The first several times he goes into a new place he screems, so we have to slowly condition him for that new place, by breaking those visits down a step at a time for him to gain comfort. Then he is fine with that newer place.

    With regards to elevators, although I said it was likely the sensory up and down (quick) motion that Dylan feared, it is hard to determine exactly if other factors are involved, too. As Dylan has many sensory issues, it could be the small enclosed space, the doors quickly shutting, the whooshing sound or air pressure changes, as he puts his hands over his ears, too. We have no way of knowing specifically, as he cannot talk yet. So, we have to watch his expressions, postures and gestures. It looks like you try to analyze those things too, so good for you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  17. Momo

    Momo Well-Known Larrikin

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    Children can be very irrational at times, and there isn't always a logical reason for their actions. Without regular exposure to such things to allow the kids to get over their fear they could end up with a bad anxiety disorder or phobia.
     
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  18. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    Kids are incredibly resilient, their curious mind just wants to understand.

    Like a sponge, they absorb everything around them.
     
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  19. Katleya

    Katleya Sarcasm Lover V.I.P Member

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    Sometimes it'll seem that a phobia is "new", when really it's something that latches on another deep-set, seemingly unrelated fear.
    I'm thinking of the escalators in particular, because I had a shift in my behavior in stairs and escalators around that same age:
    - I used to sprint up/down any stairs, without being the least bit worried about it.
    - When I was 5 or 6, I even tried to walk up an escalator that was going in the opposite direction, and took a great, big fall. Didn't care.
    - Come 13 or 14, I was watching some TV show, and they mentioned how some girl tripped, fell in the stairs, and knocked out a bunch of teeth.
    Well, guess what? It's been 20 years and I have not been able to use stairs or escalators without holding the rail like my life depends on it, all because I've always been terrified of something happening to my teeth.
    Most people probably thought nothing of that line of dialogue in the show, meanwhile I'm still dealing with the aftermath every single time I encounter stairs.

    So, a long post to say that maybe something set the kids off, and it's so insignificant that it couldn't be identified by someone else. (I'm really struggling with language and figurative expressions tonight, so I'm sorry if I make no sense. Oh, I loved that "not my circus, not my monkeys" line, I'd never heard it. Now I can't wait to have an opportunity to use it)
     
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  20. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I agree with this. I think in general, all it takes is one thing to happen to change ones feelings for the better or worse, which could either allow that person to do that thing, or not do that thing. At any moment things could be going greatly or badly, but then turn in the opposite directions, if something bad or good happened respectively in their mind. It all depends on that person, their fears, comforts. and needs, and how they processed that event in their mind, and if they experienced that thing before.

    In your case where stairs and escalators were new and fun earlier on, and even when you fell it was not a big deal as you likely fell either earlier there or somewhere else and you recovered, you thus did not worry. But, when you saw on tv someone tripping on stairs and breaking teeth you took it literally maybe you felt all persons who used stairs and escalators would break their teeth if fell too. That feared you more as you never broke your teeth, and so it was scarier for you, so you wanted to prevent that.

    I am wondering if you could get that negative thought out of your mind of breaking teeth on the stairs and escalator by you watching people going up and down them and focusing on their mouth and how their teeth are not broke because of all their experiences. Maybe if you watched that over and over again with them having no teeth injury doing that, that could recondition your mind not to greatly fear doing that. I do think holding on rails is good habit though, but hopefully one day you can see that rail as peaceful and calming like a ray of light or arc to a rainbow. Try imagining something like that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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