My 21 year old son is very fidgety, interrupts while I'm speaking with him and has basically lost all his friends over the years. He gets mad about things (like why we circumcised him when he was a baby) that normally would not bother anyone. If something goes wrong in his life (which seems to be a daily occurrence), it is someone's fault. He went from being a popular child to being a loner. I had him move in with his dad because he kept starting fights with his younger brother - obsessing that his younger brother was gay and that he would beat the crap out of him if he found that out. It just seems he is getting worse now. Years ago I had taken him for counseling and they said he was depressed and was very "sensitive" to what was going on. However, this sensitivity has gotten into the danger point where you never know what might set him off. Since he is 21 it is next to impossible to get him to see anyone (no insurance) but he has admitted to my mother that he needs help. He just explodes sometimes and then will apologize after the fact but the explosions are getting more and more. Is he emotionally unstable?
You are referring to anger-control problems and low-frustration tolerance – also called “meltdowns.” These meltdowns are especially common in Aspergers (high functioning autism) children and teens (or in your case, a young adult-child). Some families have learned how to prescribe behavior to prevent meltdowns:
- Look directly at your child who is about to have a major meltdown.
- Give your child permission to have a major meltdown. For example say, "Jon, I know you usually have a meltdown when this happens and I want you to know that it is ok for you to do that now."
- Prescribe the behaviors that your child usually does in this situation when agitated. You'll continue talking after telling your child it is ok to have a meltdown and list what the child normally does. "Jon, when you are feeling this way, you usually start swearing, kicking, screaming, and blowing snot – so go ahead and get started."
- Let your child think about what you said. If your child is truly oppositional, then he will refuse to do what you prescribed. If your child does it, that's ok, you gave permission. Eventually, doing this will help your child learn self-control.
Do you have an Aspergers child who doesn't do well with transitions? Does he have a meltdown at the slightest provocation or change in schedule? Does he kick, punch, destroy property, swear, and runaway when upset?
Click ==> Here’s help in dealing with Aspergers meltdowns...