HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Aspie Anger Control

"Is it common for children with Asperger's Syndrome to be rather explosive? My daughter can fly off the handle in a heartbeat for what seems to be rather trivial matters (to me anyway)."

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism easily can have as much of a problem controlling their anger as other children. Because children and teens with Aspergers have difficulty understanding emotions and their impact on others, however, they often have more difficulty than other children reigning in their anger.

In addition, teens with Aspergers aren’t living in a void in which they don’t understand that they’re different from other kids. Often teased by their peers, they can have incipient anger they don’t understand and can’t easily control.

Helping these children and teens with anger control issues requires direct communication about the affect of their anger on others as well as methods of improving their low self-esteem and poor sense of self-worth, which is often at the root of the child’s anger.

Anger that’s acted-out badly needs to be treated like any other unwanted behavior. Some form of reasonable consequence directed at getting the point across that the behavior is wrong needs to be combined with a pragmatic discussion of the meaning behind the anger and other ways to control the anger. Remember that what punishes the Aspergers child can be much different from what punishes other children.

If the anger seems to be a part of your child’s frustration over how he/she is being treated by others or from depressive feelings, finding better avenues to discuss what is really going on can help him/her deal with the issues without using anger as an outlet. Most Aspergers children are of greater than average intelligence and have the resources to understand the relationship between their anger and the underlying social issues their dealing with.

In situations where the anger seems to be an overwhelming issue, families should not hesitate to speak with a family therapist or other psychotherapist for help. 

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Aspergers Children and Teens 


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... As the saying goes "if you've seen one kid with autism you've seen one kid with autism". They are all different just as neuro-typical kids are. The daycare our son was at starting noticing issues with transitions at 2 yrs old. Had him evaluated at home and they saw no issues because he was at home. Long story short the daycare kept us informed and said he would not do well in the 3yr old class due to its size and structure. Had him evaluated again by having a doc give us forms for all his caretakers old and new daycare to fill out including us. He narrowed it down to aspergers or ADHD. Tried rydalin for one day and it sent him over the edge (which it will do if you are not ADHD) Been in speech and OT ever since then and we take courses and read up as well and he's doing beautifully. Can still see the asperger issues but they are getting milder all the time.
•    Anonymous said... I am blessed, I have enough ASD myself that I "get it" when my 15 yr old totally goes Bonkers over NOTHING! We have to work to find the triggers, hard since they don't often Share what they feel. They really do have a Reason for their explosions, We just don't always know what the reason is! Hard work developing communication so we can understand their reasons, but its worth the work!
•    Anonymous said... its all just trial and error. You'll have periods of regression and then again of progressio just don't give up, ull find what works for ur family.
•    Anonymous said... Mine def has explosive anger and he is 5...
•    Anonymous said... mine does, at the drop of a dime.
•    Anonymous said... Mine doesn't get upset about anything. He gets a little ticked sometimes but never angry explosive. He is very mellow in fact. Does that mean he doesn't have AS?
•    Anonymous said... Mine is also quite explosive.
•    Anonymous said... Mine sure does and often about the dumbest/weirdest things!
•    Anonymous said... My 8 year old has for years with nothing helping so far.
•    Anonymous said... My son did throughout elementary and most of middle school. He is now 15 and through many talks, discussions and maturity, he seems to be controlling his anger/frustration rather well. I have always been open and honest with him about how others can be, why they can be that way and how he is "different" than most kids his age. In time he kinda grew into his own, better understood himself and his own actions and I'm so proud of him. I would explain to him why things would effect him the way they do but he was never to use having Aspergers as an excuse to not be in control of his own actions and emotions. We have an open relationship and he knows he can talk to me about anything. That has been our biggest tool I think. He also did receive consequences when he would misbehave. I don't treat him differently just because he has Aspergers. Also very important. They get treated differently enough as it is.
•    Anonymous said... seems trivial to you - but not to your asperger's child. To them, expectations and perceptions are different than they are to you. It is difficult to think on their level. I almost lost my daughter a few times because of her outbursts, but she is learning and maturing and it is getting easier. Good luck!
•    Anonymous said... this sounds like the methods we are using with our son too. He's only 7 & it's only just begun to improve, but it's so great to read your post & hear how well it's worked for your son at 15, gives me hope! His sensory & social difficulties 1st became apparent around age 2, w/ diagnosis starting at age 4. Up until last summer we had never discussed with him what his diagnosis were or what they meant. He had a bad meltdown at a store one day & as much as I tried to hold it together, when the clerk got in his face & scolded him (making the meltdown escalate drastically of coarse), I LOST it! Ended up yelling at the clerk & blurting out "my son has Autism & thanks to you this meltdown is about to get a thousand times worse! In the future please keep your comments & opinions to yourself unless you know for sure what you're dealing with!" Needless to say, I felt awful later (once I calmed down & got him to a safe place) for lashing out at that complete stranger! But...it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! Since he had heard every word I said to her, he asked "mommy what is Autism & am I going to be ok?" The dreaded question & praying I could answer it correctly... We talked for a while about it & that seemed to be a turning point for him! It helped him understand why he feels the way he feels sometimes & that has helped him deal with those feelings. We never allow it to be an excuse for bad behavior, & there are always consequences when that happens, I think accountability for actions is very important because that is "the real world". A few months later, I heard him explain (as best he could) to a Neuro typical child that he had something called Autism & that's why he needed a break away from them to calm down! Priceless!

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5 comments:

living among aliens said...

i've learned anger management in a very unpredictable way. i learned kickboxing. i didnt know it, but kicking and punching bags while thinking about things that angered me and then stopping when the instructor told me to helped me control my rage attacks.
i often felt anger as a child without knowing why. it confused me and made me sad.
a rage attack makes a person with asperger syndrome lose control and that person might attack someone much bigger without worrying about the consequences, including legal ones.
i've attacked two men twice my size by trying to slam a heavy suitcase into one's head and the other between the legs. the first one ducked and the other stepped back. i drew my hand back in order to throw the suitcase forward - my motor skill are terrible - the men were frightened. they saw who they were dealing with and walked away.
in my defense i can say one of them put his hands on me indecently while the other laughed after the stumbled out of the alley, dead drunk.
but it wasnt self defense, either, because they walked away and i ran after them, went around them, blocked their way, and almost killed one. the heavy suitcase would've killed him.
i'm very strong and from what i've read on the internet and in forums many aspies are stronger than the average.
an aspie rage attack is caused by constant bullying, feeling of alienation, inability to put frustration into words and not knowing any other strategies.
a rage attack is scary to the person who gets it. it makes one feel like he/she is lost in a red fog, the top on one's head feels hot, the heart beats faster, one may not remember what he's done afterward. it makes you feel out of control. you feel yourself moving and have no control over your arms and legs.
i took sick feral cats to the vet and paid with money i barely have. i asked the neighbor's wife if they need any help after her husband has gone blind because of a genetic disease. i'm not a psychopath. i care about people. i never lose my self control with small children or animals and dont snap at the slightest provocation.
if not provoked, i dont have rage attacks.
one thing that can help, though, is to prepare for a case in which one is bullied, and work out strategies of dealing with it, like walking away, for instance.
i even wrote in my blog what it feels like to have a rage attack. i described rage attacks and what it's like for an aspie kid to grow up surrounded by aliens.

Anonymous said...

My son everyday fly's off the handle at me. It can be depressing at times. School only sees one side. I am thinking of video taping him so the school can see how he is at home.

Anonymous said...

my Asperger's son is also diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder but i'm told that can be due to the frustrations and extra stresses in connection with too much sensory stimuli as well as miscommunication/missing some non-verbal cues.
and yes, things seem trivial to you but to them it's a whole lot more of an issue because of all the above mentioned, it's triple the stress and triple the frustration :(

Anonymous said...

you can get some change in the at home behavior by giving him the chance to de-stress by allowing him time to himself as a routine, when he comes home he gets to de-stress with 1 30 minute episode of a cartoon he enjoys or 30 minutes of video game playing or reading or some other thing that he enjoys. at first it'll be change and difficult to get him to come back to homework or chores or other tasks, a timer may help, one that rings about 1 minute or two before time actually runs out so he learns that the ring means it's time to be done/pick up before time runs out. I'm at the point with my son where it's much easier now than it used to be but the time to himself without stress "refreshes" him and he's in a much better mood and better able to deal with other stressful demands.

Anonymous said...

My daughter does, it helps at therapy;)

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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