After Big Guy calmed down from a horrific tantrum this evening during which I got kicked in the shin and both Sarah and I had various items thrown at us, he sweetly pointed out "But I didn't break anything during my tantrum. I tried really hard not to break anything." He clearly wanted a pat on the back, which Sarah had to give him because my shin still hurt too much for me to feel charitable. We suggested that maybe now that he's had a tantrum that didn't involve breaking furniture or lamps, we could try stopping hurting people during tantrums.
That basically encapsulates how things are right now. Tantrums are still intense and violent, but progress is being made with the help of a wonderful behavioral therapist. We have adopted a zero tolerance policy towards whining, which is helping us get him to use his words (and a non-whiny tone of voice) to ask for what he wants and teaching him that when he asks nicely, he often gets what he desires. We have been much more "tough love" (not in a mean way, but in a boundary-setting way where we don't give him attention if he's doing undesirable behaviors and we don't try to over-explain why we're saying no when we say no). It seems like a little progress may be happening. Then again maybe I'm being overly optimistic because he's only been home for a few days so I'm not exhausted from his constant tantrums yet.