My son has ASD, OCD, anxiety as well as global deve... - Mencap


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My son has ASD, OCD, anxiety as well as global developmental delay and severe learning difficulties

Runnermum1978 profile image

My son is almost 18 and his aggressive behaviour is becoming harder and harder to manage. He has been attending the special needs department at college but they have suspended him due to his behaviour.

I am exhausted trying to go down so many different channels for support and really fear for his and our future. Has anyone else been through a similar experience? I feel totally alone trying to deal with it and worried about where we go from here.

9 Replies

My son, had challenging behaviour we eventually sent him to autism specialist school where they concentrated on his communication need, giving him choices with what to do next. This input from makaton and PEC and communication got rid of his bad behaviour.

Runnermum1978 profile image
Runnermum1978 in reply to

Thank you for your reply, it’s love to hear a success story 😊

Sarah_Mencap profile image

hello Runnermum1978

This sounds like a stressful situation for you all.

Challenging behaviour is something that comes up on here regularly. Everyone's experience is a bit different, but here are a few ideas that may help a little:

> we ran an expert event about this last year here - Yvonne has some great ideas and advice that you might find helpful.

> there is some information on Mencap's website here -

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation ( may also be help, as can Mencap's helpline on 0808 808 1111

I hope this helps a little.


Thank you for your message. I have had a look at the links, Yvonne’s advice was very useful and I’ve now ordered her book! The challenging behaviour website was also insightful, I will be reading further into that today.Today is the meeting with college to be find out what they are planning, let’s hope all of this is the beginning of moving forward. Yvonne’s story has given me hope 🙂

Hello, Runnermum1978.

Yes, your son sounds very like mine and my heart goes out to you. Our children can feel all the usual teenage frustrations but can find it so hard to realise their own strength as they grow taller and stronger, can’t they? There have been many nights when I didn’t think all our family would still be standing by morning, because challenging behaviour can be so dangerous. You are doing a remarkable job but you shouldn’t have to do all this alone.

In my case, other parents at my son’s special school suggested I contact our GP for a referral to CAMHS/mental health services and also the social services disabilities team. I’m glad you are already seeking support (it can be so hard to talk about this outside the home) and I know that the time it takes to get support can seem unending. But – in official terms – it is a safeguarding issue, for your son and the other members of the family, and so I have found that (if they are made fully aware) professionals do make it a priority, even where they are so affected by budget pressures.

From your post, it sounds as though there is a strong argument that your son’s college are not meeting his needs and that (if you wanted) he ought to be given any extra funding needed for a more specialist education provider, where students with challenging behaviour can thrive and learn safely. Just to add to what others have said, the Challenging Behaviour Foundation has a list of some of the residential colleges that are able to help but (if you didn’t want to consider that) a number of the same providers have daytime colleges or offer other types of attendance.

I’ve learned that there are some extraordinary and caring people who can really help our children to live happier and safer lives. Whatever you decide is best, I hope you can all keep safe and shall be wishing you and your son the very best of luck.


Runnermum1978 profile image
Runnermum1978 in reply to lqrt43

Thank you so much for your reply, you’ve given me some great ideas for seeking extra help and made me think about things differently. We’ve already changed a couple of things and feel like we have a better understanding of him and our situation. Thank you again

lqrt43 profile image
lqrt43 in reply to Runnermum1978

I'm so glad - good luck. I'll be thinking of you.

Yes I can so relate to tour situation . My son is now 35. When he was a child I was only offered phenobarbitone drug to calm him down. I didnt want his coshed with drugs I wanted him to be calmed. In the end i took him to a homeopath and within such a short time saw miracles happen. So great was the transformation in him,I began to study this wonderful system of medicine and became a homeopath myself. There are doctors who are also homeopaths though the first one I took him to wasn't a doctor. The Faculty of homeopaths (medically qualified doctors) keep a register.

During his teenage years he required different remedies just as his sister had needed to help her to make that difficult transition. It smoothed that very challenging time for us unbelievably.

I wish you well and hope you can get him hope.


My son was/is the same. He attended a special needs college until 19 and then we decided that a residential college would be best for him. He started at an amazing college in September 2019 (after a lengthy and expensive appeal). It is the best decision we’ve made. He’s very happy there. He’s home for holidays which is manageable as we have support most days. They are experts in what they do and he receives lots of different therapies SALT, OT etc . I definitely couldn’t manage with him at home anymore. When behaviour got really bad we also went down the medication route which also helped massively. I’d speak with your Gp if you are interested in medication. Also your social worker. He is also continuing healthcare funded which makes getting support 100% easier, this is also something a social worker can help with.

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