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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Search MyAspergersChild.com

Aspergers and Aggressive Behavior

Question

Sometimes my son with Aspergers reminds me of an adult trapped in his little body – mostly when he says to me “mom, I don’t understand what you mean when you say… (whatever I said) … can you please tell me again?” Wow. Unfortunately, I have just today resorted to trying a medication to help control his aggressive behavior because he’s punching his own face and slapping his legs and kicks at adults; leaving bruises on day care teachers. He just doesn’t understand sometimes that you cannot have a banana if there aren’t any. That’s one example of a reason for a blow up. Do you have any advice on how to bring him out of a flying rage?

Answer

Most of us have moments where we have to stop and regroup and try to get our behavior in check. Even the most even-tempered of us can blow up over something seemingly trivial. For children with Asperger’s (high-functioning autism), understanding their own emotions and being able to control them is more than an occasional challenge. It is an everyday struggle.

Online Parent Support, LLC has created a visual model designed to try to eliminate explosive behavior. This model uses a positive approach to behavior that takes away the ability to self-blame or blame others that can complicate those behaviors. The children who are taught using this model begin to learn to stop their behaviors, identify the triggers, and change the direction of the behavior into something more acceptable than a rage.

Using a model such as this can be very effective in helping children with Asperger’s first identify the situation and their feelings and then to help them learn new and acceptable ways of handling the situation. This system of identification and modification has been shown to be an effective way to bring about lasting change.

During this process, try to understand that your child with Asperger’s has a very difficult time understanding the world. He doesn’t understand why he can’t have a banana today when he had one yesterday. As he gets older, he will gain a bit more understanding of these types of situations and he will begin to learn to apply experiences from one circumstance to another. But these are skills he will have to learn.

Try to be patient with your son and try to be firm and consistent with your responses to his behaviors. If you react calmly to his actions and rages, this will help to temper his reactions. Be sure that you talk with him when he is calm about acceptable ways to behave and alternative behaviors to situations he has found himself in. The more you can talk to him about his behavior and his choices, the better chance he has of beginning to make the correct choices more often.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been giving my 9 yr old omaga 3/6/9 jr vitamins for a couple of years now and it reduced the rages significantly.

Anonymous said...

Lots of excellent reading here, thanks! I was searching on yahoo when I discovered your article, I’m going to add your feed to Google Reader, I look forward to far more from you.

Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group said...

Norm Snow its very hard; physical restraint becomes more of an issue as they get bigger. We have tried to steer him in different directions. But, have had our share of instances. We also resorted to medication after some years of using none.
24 minutes ago · Like · 1 person
Patty Kepley wondering if this parent has removed dyes from the child's diet? Dye, esp Red Dye can cause agression in kiddos such as ours.
21 minutes ago · Like · 1 person
Jessica Mendez I have placed my son into special needs friendly sports, and its help calm him down. He has his moments, but they are not as severe as it used to be. Good luck! ♥
11 minutes ago · Like
Cath Snellman My god son had lash outs and just found out he is celic once the gluten was out of his system he is alot better.
about a minute ago · Like
Michelle Cagle
My heart breaks reading this post. I know how upsetting this is for both you and your son. we've resorted to using adderal for some reason it seems to help balance the tantrums. I fought it for years trying every home remedy with little result. I asked quinlan how he feels during a tantrum he said "I feel scared momma" Those words ripped my heart to pieces as I held him with tears in our eyes. My son was diagnosed with aspergers, adhd and numerous health problems due to his premature birth. I hope you know your not alone. I felt alone for years unable to find someone who understood what I was going through until a friend pointed me to this page. You have no idea how much this page and the people on here have helped us. Therapists, occupational, mental, physical and speech they do help but they never can relate with the emotional effects on the family. I love my son with every breathe I take and I wouldn't trade him for any other.
a few seconds ago · Like

Anonymous said...

We have removed all artificial colors, many preservatives & ALL corn. Any corn or cornmeal makes him mean, hateful, angry & very loud outbursts. He's much easier to deal with, still have our moments, just not as bad !!!

Anonymous said...

Why does corn effect our aspies? I've tried this but corn seems to be hiding in everything.

Anonymous said...

Wow I didnt know corn affects it......im a single mom and take care of my son with aspergers hes 6 and he is very hard to deal with....im looking into classes so I can learn more about it.

Anonymous said...

Corn is mostly genetically modified now so it's altered and my son is highly sensitive to anything that's not natural and organic.... It's been a long couple of years trying to figure out what in the world was going on with him. But we've come to some conclusions and it's a serious pain in the rear if he gets anything with corn... It's alot of work but worth all the research in the long run!!
16 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

In my experience and the all the research I have done for my 10 yr old aspie I have come to relize that all aspie kids are different and respond differently to all things. The only thing you can do is what is best for your aspie and your family. This can be super frustrating cause you just want an answer. It is heart breaking to see our kids suffer like this. I try to pay close attention to the beginning signs of a meltdown or rage. There are signs you just have to really pay attention. I then try to remove him from the situation and re focus him on something else completely. A walk, favorite t.v. show, something funny on you tube etc. Sometimes that doesnt work and he is in full rage and meltdown mode. He has learned to control the hitting over time but when he was younger I had a room that I put thick pads(like the wrestling mats) on the floors and halfway up the walls. a punching bag and balls and such where he could just go and let it all out and i didnt have to worry if he was safe. Now, he still has a punching bag and we use other little things. I let him yell. My son is on clonidine 0.1mg I give it to him at bedtime and it helps him sleep. It also helps him throughout the day with anxiety wich reduces his meltdowns. Being a parent of an aspie is extremely time consuming and a lot of work. Also we eat foods that are high in seretonin and I avoid caffine and sugar as much as i can. My son and I both work very hard everyday to make things peacefull for us both.

Anonymous said...

@ michelle. My son used to say I cant stop mom I dont know how. I dont want to be this way! It is very heartbreaking. and I did feel alone for so long...

Anonymous said...

@ shannon I am also a single mom. If you cant find classes then read. grt on the internet and read. you can order used books online too. Try everything and see what works best for u and your boy. also routine is very very important.

Anonymous said...

I have found with my 4yr old that when he is having a meltdown and hitting and saying he hates me that the easiest way to stop it or should i say calm him down is i drop down to his level change the tone of my voice and change the subject of what ever it is that started it (usually cause he wants it and wants it now) i do of course have some of those days when nothing helps and i just have to ride it out with him, but generally its changing the direction of his focus onto something else that i know he likes or wants that works for me. And your so right Amy, every child is very different, somethings that we do with him are seen as no no's but they are yesses with him, i give him routines but we change it every now and then just so that when lifes unexpected things happen he can handle it a little easier and it works for us ;)

Anonymous said...

Like many have said, as a parent with Aspies you just have to find what works and that's so trying at times!! We personally are so thankful to friends who've done research and after applying some of the ideas we have a much easier 6 yr old. Except for today,... It's been a rough day.

Anonymous said...

@ shaggashop I do the same change it up. I talk to ryan about it and why its changing. He needs to b able to handle life as it comes. I wont always b around to help him. He has become so much more independent in the last year. But we work hard at it everyday.
@ vivian. Yes sigh... sometimes the days r just rough and nothing works. Sigh...

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have a 6yr old that was recently diagnosed with aspergers, bipolar and ADHD combined type. Our first and most important step was to get an in home intensive counselor. He is educated in behavioral techniques as well as mood disorders and he provides the entire family with the tools that we need to help him not fix him. Most children with aspergers have specific quirks that irritate and add high anxiety that cannot be regulated. In alot of these cases, bipolar can be put into play as a 2nd disorder. We attacked the bipolar immediatel and the meds have made a drastic difference in his ability to self soothe uncomfortable situations. Therefore the aspergers behaviors have kinda lightened. His sensory issues are worked through much easier because hes learning to have more self control

Anonymous said...

@Michelle Cagle: corn has gluten in it.

Anonymous said...

My daughter has a lot of issues at home with this, not so much in school because we have been medicating her. Right now she has been on Risperdal but we are working on switching her off of it due to weight issues. But a lot of things can help, from Sensory Diet, changing out foods that may trigger it (getting away from Food dyes and Aspartame/unnatural sweeteners). Some of our issues got better after removing a lot of the Aspartame from artificial sweeteners... also limiting red food dye 40. There are always going to be some meltdowns that you can'

Anonymous said...

can't prevent... but we just have to do the best we can, and have as much patience as we can. Our kids all are different and will respond differently to different methods of treatment.

Anonymous said...

Hello, My name is Jennifer. I was jsut diagnosed a few years ago with As when I was 23. I find it is easier for me to get involved in things that make me feel better about myself like dance class when I was younger ( i took them from the time i was in middle school to my years in college. It always made me feel like I belonged somewhere and to SomeTHING. It gave me confidence in my life to do other things like talking to people that i never met before. I eventually met my s/o through someone i met in my dance classes in college. So that helped me alot just by finding something they are interested in OR if they are younger than get them involved in a whole bunch of things that forces them to be around people so that they will calm down more and maybe even have someone to talk to.. I occasionally see a therapist to talk about things and any time i start to get overwhelmed.

Anonymous said...

So if you think it might help (and I think it will) you should think about having him/her see a therapist/psychologist to help them talk about things like their problems and what they are going through. It really has helped me and not feel soo alone. You all will get through this. It may be a hard process but - "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" :-)

Adult Aspie, with a normal child :^]

Anonymous said...

does medication work for anger management issues in teenagers? I have avoided taking this route for many years but life has been too hard...too many big changes and the anger/rage is out of control, he hates it, I hate it (and am in a state of hyper alertness/stress state due to it) and we are trying to find answers for a happier life.

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. Thus, the best treatment for Aspergers children and teens is, without a doubt, “social skills training.”

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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. The hardest part is you feel like you’ll never actually get to know your child and how he/she views the world.

Click here to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content