Is there a way to stop aggressive behavior when my son with Aspergers is in the middle of a meltdown?
It is not uncommon for kids with Aspergers to become aggressive. Aspergers causes a youngster to struggle to understand how his behavior affects other children. The many symptoms and characteristics of Aspergers can cause extreme frustration. This frustration can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and aggressive behavior.
Here are a few specific reasons for aggressive meltdowns:
- Change of routine— Inability to handle unexpected changes in the daily schedule, such as a substitute teacher or a cancelled class period.
- Communication problems— Inability to recognize humor, sarcasm, or slang during conversations with peers.
- Sensory issues— Inability to handle the discomfort in his environment due to sights, sounds, smells, or other sensory dysfunction.
- Social struggles— Inability to understand social cues and gestures or to make and keep friends.
How can you stop your Aspergers child from becoming aggressive? Aspergers calls for a direct approach. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills training, and occupational therapy will help with levels of frustration and also touch on self-control – a necessary skill for all of us. However, there are several things moms and dads can do at home to lessen the impact of aggressive meltdowns:
• Teach children to recognize red light/green light behaviors, red being a poor choice and green being a good choice.
• Social stories are excellent for teaching Aspergers children about problem behaviors. These should be used during quiet moments and not during any stage of aggressiveness or frustration.
• Role-play appropriate responses to tricky situations with your youngster. Role-playing is an excellent option for teaching all types of social skills to kids with Aspergers.
• Removal from the situation is necessary once a meltdown has developed.
• Redirection can sometimes be used during the beginning stages of a meltdown to reduce the escalation.
Individual counseling may be beneficial if you are still struggling with aggressive Aspergers behaviors. Sometimes a caring professional specially trained to deal with the issues brought on by ASD can make a difference. Some schools are able to offer this counseling, but you can also find help through your doctor and your local Aspergers support groups.
My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns in Aspergers Children