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

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Calming Techniques for Aspergers Children

"How do you deal with an Aspergers child (age 5) who frequently has severe temper tantrums whenever she doesn't get her way, for example, can't play here favorite game 24/7?"

In order to understand what calming techniques will work with your Aspergers (high functioning autism) child, you will first need to determine what things irritate her and have some understanding of the context in which she is throwing a tantrum. While she is calm, make sure your child knows what the expectations are, but don't confuse the issue with trying to talk to her about things at a time when she is already upset.

Here's a basic plan:
  1. Recognize the signs (e.g., facial expressions) and triggers (e.g., transitioning from one activity to the next) that your child is becoming upset, and intervene prior to a tantrum. Try to redirect her to an alternative activity, something that she enjoys.
  2. If "redirecting" does not stop the tantrum, tell her to stop. Don’t add any extras, just STOP (calming and directly).
  3. If she still doesn't stop, remove her from the area in which the tantrum is taking place. Provide some physical redirection to an area where she can calm down. It can be very effective to call this her SAFE place. It may include a bean-bag chair where she can sit. But, eliminate any extras in the area, such as toys or other preferred items. 
  4. If she doesn’t voluntarily go to her SAFE place, physically escort her there.
  5. Tell her she must be calm for 5 minutes before she can get up.

This may seem like a overly simple process in order to deal with what may be a challenging behavior. The key is to be consistent so that your child will always know what is coming. If the child is in school, try to provide this program across all environments. 

It is amazing how many children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism will actually learn to go to their SAFE place independently as a way for them to control themselves. You want your child to self-monitor her behavior, and you want to show her that you believe she has the ability to calm herself down.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... We also struggle with tantrums and even rage with our 8 year old son. I agree with setting clear limits. Zoe, can you give me an example of emotional regulation? Im not sure i know what that means.
•    Anonymous said... Trying to stop it before my 6yr son goes over the hill has not been easy for me,
•    Anonymous said... Let me know...my 10yo aspie is getting too aggressive for me.
•    Anonymous said... Lately its been take the flight system before the storm hits, I ask him whats wrong or what happend, and sometimes he can express bit other times it break or throw things,,,
•    Anonymous said... get some some books or flyers on how to calm down, even picture stories. During calm days talk about other options for dealing with there own stresses better, taking a deep breath, counting to 10, walk away, dive into a bean bag, give them alternative options, ask them to use words to tell you what's bothering them. Then at times of tantrum calmly remind them of the other options, guide them, it will take time. You have to also understand why the tantrum is taking place as you may deal with different tantrums in different ways, for example is it too much sensory stimuli, boredom, just plain refusal, what happened before the tantrum etc. My son used to have very long tantrums, we worked on this for about 2+ years, he still has some but they have reduced considerably in how often and for how long. It took a lot of consistency, guidance and repetition to see improvement, it won't happen overnight. I am not talking about the typical kind of tantrums that you see in kids, children with HFA/Aspergers can, as you know, have tantrums that are on a whole other level.
•    Anonymous said... Assertive limit setting works for me - acknowledging and validating the childs feelings and difficulty but setting firm limits around what kind of behaviour is and isn't acceptable. We also work on emotional regulation and perspective-taking as a backdrop to this.

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

keep regement going, dont give in. they learn that by giving a temper tantrum they eventually get what they want and if you let them keep doing it, the temper part.. they eventually wear down and get tired.. or sometimes use reward system, I will let you have this if you do this first. get your dirty clothes to the washer, pick up your room.. etc etc

Anonymous said...

My 5yr old has us under his thumb, I guess up to now we have found it easier to give in as his tantrums are soooo bad! I'm the 1st to say this hasn't worked :o( have on occasion said "if u do this/that ul get a treat" then the minute he gets the treat he's back to the tantrum with more force. At the end of our tether. Can't sit him on a step/in a corner he just gets up and throws things. Won't stay in his room, if forced he trashes it, and to get some headspace I've locked myself in my room in the past only he has kicked the door so hard it now won't close :o/

Anonymous said...

And when he's not having a tantrum he demands constant attention, can't leave the room without him following, and even then its constant "mum? Mum? Mum? mum? Mum? Mum? Mum?" Non stop all day. :o(

Anonymous said...

My 5yr old has us under his thumb, I guess up to now we have found it easier to give in as his tantrums are soooo bad! I'm the 1st to say this hasn't worked :o( have on occasion said "if u do this/that ul get a treat" then the minute he gets the treat he's back to the tantrum with more force. At the end of our tether. Can't sit him on a step/in a corner he just gets up and throws things. Won't stay in his room, if forced he trashes it, and to get some headspace I've locked myself in my room in the past only he has kicked the door so hard it now won't close :o/

Gerit1969 said...

my 12 year old demands hugs from me consistently. Sometimes 5 minutes within each other. Most of the time to show affection but other times he demands a hug as a way to get me to forgive him for something he was not supposed to do. I need some help here as this is extremely exhausting at times especially when he is having an emotional meltdown.

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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