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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Aspergers Children & Teens Who Purposely Injure Themselves

“I am wondering if there are a larger number of young people with Aspergers who self mutilate out of depression, anxiety and other pressing emotions more so than typical people. I want to know if there are members with Aspergers on this site that have ever engaged in this activity and what caused it …depression, anxiety, or is it from the Aspergers? Also, is it common for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to physically hurt himself on purpose ...and what can be done to stop him from doing this?"

Self-injury (also called self-harming and self-mutilation) is often a coping mechanism, particularly with the feeling of being rejected. This is a particular problem for anyone who has difficulty in understanding non-verbal communication. For most people, understanding facial expressions, body language, etc., is instinctive, starting as babies before language acquisition. But just as some people having hearing difficulties or are short-sighted or color-blind, others have difficulty with interpreting the non-verbal signs, which most people use continuously (e.g., when to speak and when to stop, whether people agree or disagree with us, whether others find us amusing or dull, etc.). These cues are not understood by many young people with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism.

The inability to understand non-verbal cues is not immediately obvious, but it is an obstacle that gets in the way of social interaction. However, most Aspergers kids and teens can learn how to cope. Many teach themselves without realizing that they are not getting all the information available. But it gets more difficult in adolescence when fitting in with friends becomes more important. The give and take of a social interaction requires a skill in picking up non-verbal messages that Aspergers kids and teens struggle with, even though their understanding of what is being discussed will be as good as anyone’s. As a result, many of these young people get isolated and bullied.

By the time they reach adolescence, most “Aspies” will realize they are fundamentally different compared to their peers at school, but unless diagnosed, they will not understand why. Being rejected by their peers – over and over again – does serious psychological and emotional damage to young people with Aspergers. Not surprisingly, many become severely depressed and may resort to self-injury.

As frightening as it can be for moms and dads, self-injury among youngsters with Autism Spectrum Disorders is not all that uncommon. However, not all self-injury means the same thing on every occasion, nor is it the same in every Aspie.

The first thing a parent should do is decide if self-injury is giving their son or daughter some pleasure, or if the injury is his/her way of trying to tell the parent something (e.g., a younger child may repetitively bang his head against the wall due to an ear infection).

Self-injury can also be triggered by excessive arousal (e.g., certain frequencies of sound may trigger the behavior). This becomes the parent’s job to reduce the external noise and other arousal issues that can trigger the onset of self-injurious behavior.

On the other hand, the youngster with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism may be using the behavior to bring on a heightened sense of stimulation to the body. A child like this needs training in sensory integration to normalize the senses.

Other kids and teens will engage in self-injury as a social means of getting attention or as a means of avoiding doing a task. In this case, the attention-getting behavior should be ignored, and the youngster who uses the behaviors to avoid getting out of a task should be encouraged to finish the task.

The trick to any unusual behavior is to do a "functional analysis": What happens before, during, and after the behavior? Is this a routine behavior (i.e., something learned)? What environmental stressors are present during the behavior? What, if anything, controls the behavior? Answering these questions will give you a means of managing the behavior in most cases.

Self-harming behaviors are actions that the young person performs that result in physical injury to his own body. Typical forms of this behavior may include:
  • biting oneself
  • burning oneself
  • cutting oneself with a knife or razor blade
  • head-banging
  • hitting oneself with hands or other body parts
  • picking at skin or sores
  • scratching or rubbing oneself repeatedly 
  • carving
  • branding
  • marking
  • abrasions
  • bruising
  • pulling hair
  • punching walls

The cause of self-harming behaviors in Aspies remains a mystery. It is thought that these behaviors may be caused by:
  • a chemical imbalance
  • attention-seeking
  • ear infection
  • frustration
  • headaches
  • seeking sensory stimulation/input
  • seizures
  • sinus problems
  • sound sensitivity
  • to escape or avoid a task

Why does self-injury make some Aspies feel better?

They feel a strong, uncomfortable emotional state, don't know how to handle it, don’t have a name for it, and know that hurting themselves will reduce the emotional discomfort very quickly. They may still feel bad, but they don't have that panicky-jittery-trapped feeling (it's a calm, bad feeling).

What are some of the signs and symptoms of self-injury?

Red flags for cutting or self-injury include:
  • Changes in eating habits. This could mean being secretive about eating, or unusual weight loss or gain, as eating disorders are often associated with self-harm.
  • Covering up. 
  • Frequent “accidents.” Someone who self-harms may claim to be clumsy or have many mishaps, in order to explain away injuries.
  • Indications of depression. Low mood, tearfulness, lack of motivation, or loss of energy can be signs of depression, which may lead to self-injury.
  • Unexplained wounds. A self-harmer may have fresh or scars from cuts, bruises, or cigarette burns, usually on the wrists, arms, thighs or chest.

What can be done to prevent self-injurious behavior?

Cause/Intervention:

Cause: self-injurious behavior is driven by a chemical imbalance or a medical condition
Intervention: treat the child with appropriate medications

Cause: self-injurious behavior is driven by attention-seeking
Intervention: use tactical ignoring of self-injurious behavior; give child attention for appropriate behavior when it occurs; encourage other behavior that makes the self-injurious behavior impossible to perform (e.g., encourage the child to manipulate toys, which keeps the hands occupied and prevents face-slapping)

Cause: self-injurious behavior is driven by frustration
Intervention: teach “frustration tolerance”; give the child constructive things to do to prevent boredom; teach coping skills and relaxation techniques

Cause: child is seeking sensory stimulation/input
Intervention: find a replacement behavior that will meet this need in a less destructive way (see “What can the Aspergers child or teen do instead of self-injury?” below)

Cause: self-injurious behavior is driven by sound sensitivity
Intervention: provide ear plugs; remove child from the source of the sound; remove the sound or reduce the sound level

Cause: child wants to escape or avoid a task
Intervention: provide an escape route for the child (e.g., a safe ‘time-out’ room/corner); provide an alternate task and give options (e.g., child does not want to pick up his room, thus he can pick another chore from a ‘chart of chores’)

One theory suggests that Aspies that injure themselves do so to release opiate-like chemicals in the brain. Naltrexone is a medication that inhibits the release of these opiate-like chemicals in the brain, and the belief is that this will remove the reason for the self-injury.

What else can be done in dealing with Aspergers children and teens that self-injure?
  • Don’t judge. Avoid judgmental comments or telling the Aspie to stop the self-harming behavior.
  • Encourage. Encourage expressions of emotions, including anger.
  • Examine and change. If the self-harmer is your child, prepare yourself to address the difficulties in your family. This is not about blame, but rather about learning new ways of dealing with family interactions and communications that can help the entire family.
  • Find resources. Help the Aspie find a therapist or support group. If you don’t know how to find help, encourage your loved one to talk to someone who might be able to help, such as a teacher, a school counselor, or your minister.
  • Reassure. Let the Aspie know that you care and are available to listen—and then be available.
  • Spend time. Spend time doing enjoyable activities together.
  • Understand. It is vital to understand that self-harming behavior is an attempt to maintain a certain amount of control, which in and of itself is a way of self-soothing.

What are some of the DOs and DON’Ts when talking to the Aspie about self-harming behavior?

DO:

Talk about the subject of emotional and physical pain. This way the self-injurer can talk about their internal suffering, rather than express it by hurting themselves. Ask questions such as:
  • "Do you want to change your self-injury behavior?"
  • "How can I help you?" 
  • "How do you hurt yourself?"
  • "How long have you been hurting yourself?"
  • "How often do you injure yourself?"
  • "Why do you hurt yourself?"

DON’T:
  • Try to impose limits. This may increase the Aspie’s self-harming behavior in order for him to feel as if he has control over the situation.
  • Tell him to not injure himself. This is his way of coping, a final attempt to relieve emotional and or physical pain, and he will continue to hurt himself as long as he feels it's necessary. Telling him not to will just make him hide it more.
  • Keep asking questions if the self-injurer does not wish to talk about his cutting or self-harm. It may cause further alienation and make him feel even more alone and isolated.

What can the Aspergers child or teen do instead of self-injury?
  • Bite into a hot pepper or chew a piece of ginger root.
  • Break sticks.
  • Call a friend and just talk about things that you like.
  • Clean your room (or your whole house).
  • Crank up the music and dance.
  • Do something slow and soothing, like taking a hot bath with bath oil or bubbles, curling up under a comforter with hot cocoa and a good book, babying yourself somehow.
  • Draw on yourself with a red felt-tip pen.
  • Flatten aluminum cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go.
  • Go for a walk/jog/run.
  • Hit a punching bag.
  • Light sweet-smelling incense.
  • Listen to soothing music.
  • Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at. Cut and tear it instead of yourself.
  • Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and watch TV or read.
  • Make clay models and cut or smash them.
  • On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink what you want to do; cut and tear the picture.
  • Paint yourself with red food coloring.
  • Play handball or tennis.
  • Put a finger into a frozen food (like ice cream) for a minute.
  • Rip up an old newspaper or phone book.
  • Rub liniment under your nose.
  • Slap a tabletop hard.
  • Smooth nice body lotion into the parts or yourself you want to hurt.
  • Snap your wrist with a rubber band.
  • Squeeze ice really hard.
  • Stomp around in heavy shoes.
  • Take a cold bath.
  • Throw ice into the bathtub or against a brick wall hard enough to shatter.
  • Try something physical and violent, something not directed at a living thing (e.g., slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an old shirt or sock).
  • Use a pillow to hit a wall, pillow-fight style.
  • Visit a friend.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my fears for my daughter when she is older .she self. Harms in the way of ripping her hair out and punching herself ATM she is only 8 tho do has no idea about cutting yet ( I hope) . I am a cutter myself so have scars which she has asked about but I say a cat did it :( . I fear that when she finds out she doesn't start to do it :(

Anonymous said...

I'm an Aspie adult with an Aspie daughter and ADHD son. I used to be a cutter and my daughter is showing same tendency. I'd rather she didn't and we get therapy. It's a dangerous habit to develop. Infection, the possibility of cutting too deep. Some Aspie's use what seems like self harm because they have trouble with sensation and poor emotional coping skills. That does not make her crazy. Proprioception is a huge problem for most Aspies and she may be using cutting as a way to feel like she's inside her own skin and in control of something. Please don't freak out on her when you notice it, but do seek some professional counseling and if there is a physical activity of any kind she has an interest in, do what you can to get her involved even if she's not very good. It will help her redirect her energy in a positive way and serve the purpose of her having more control over her own body.

Anonymous said...

Cutting is neither uncommon nor suicidal intent. It is a way to release stress and pain and feel some control, albeit a disfuctional one that most people have difficulty understanding. It is not a whole lot different from someone getting drunk due to stress and or depression. You feel like this is at least one thing that you can control if nothing else, it can make you feel like you are getting back at others, or punishing youself if you feel badly...most of all, it is this simple. It is easier to deal with physical pain than mental and emotional, so it is a tranferance of pain to once easier to deal with, whether depressed, angry, or whatever. Which would you rather deal with, the pain of losing someone you love, for example, or a broken arm? Most people would probaby say the arm. But it is not necassily a suicidal gesture, although people who cut can have suicidal ideation same as anyone else displaying signs of depression anxiety stress. The important thing is the reasons why they are doing it. The need help with their core problems, not shame and anger directed at their actions, that makes it worse. Do the need help learning how to deal with stress, or maybe a specific problem overwhelming them, help to change their life if in an unhappy situation they don't know how to get out of, or do they have a chemical imbalance causing feelings of depression, anxiety, and maybe need medications to help control these illnesses over which they have little more control over than an epileptic over their seizures. Find out what the real problem is and offer unconditional non judgemental help and support. If they cut again or feel like they want to, try and understand. Otherwise they will just hide it. Listen, even if there are things you don't like to hear!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 5 years old with an ASD diagnosis and will be entering kindergarten in a few weeks. She is verbal, with a verbal testing score of 118, which makes me wonder if her diagnosis is asperger's. The main issue is her anxiety. She is currently biting the skin on her fingertips. This is a new behavior, and when asked why she does this, her response is she is scared to start school because of mean kids. She has a history of self injurious behaviors including head banging and jumping really hard. Would this new behavior be considered a self injurious behavior? I was thinking of having her anxiety evaluated by a mental health professional. Should I take her to a psychologist vs. a psychiatrist? Any other advice you can give would be extremely helpful. By the way, she does not currenlty receive direct ABA services, but the ABA does provide parent training, Would direct ABA services be helpful?

Anonymous said...

This really concerns me. My son is 13. He is in 8th grade and started a new school this year. He is having a VERY difficult time adjusting to his new surrondings. With his Aspergers, and having been diagnosed with Severe Anxiety as well, depression and self mutiliation are 2 things that really worry me about him. More so when he is sitting staring off at nothing with a blank expression on his face. I know he is going through a very confusing time right now, with puberty and having girls chase after him and what not. It freaks him out. I try to explain to him that the feelings and thoughts he is having about girls is perfectly normal, but I don't think he is fully grasping it. He is embarassed about the changes hapening with his body as well. I fear that with everything he has going on in his life right now, that depression is a very real possibility for him. As someone who has suffered with depression for many many years, I do not want that for him. I do not know how to get him to open up to me about what he is thinking. I have given him a journal to write his thoughts. We have made a thought box for him to put his feelings into on paper. I am parenting him on my own. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My son is almost 14. He has Aspergers. He is not depressed and has never self-mutilated. That is frightening to even think about. As far as puberty kicking in and it heightening the anxiety and already dealing with Aspbergers, it has been challenging. I really dont know if there is any advice like a play by play book or something. I really think it is so unique to the individual and taken one day at a time. I would suggest maybe having a time each day that your son tell you somethings that are concerning him with school and things that happened that day and how he feels about it. This allows him to get the feelings out, which helps to calm them, and it lets them tell you situations that you can help explain to them which also helps calm them. They of course dont easily read situation and they are confusing, so when we can explain them it helps them know that everything is okay, and we teach them how to process life and deal with it. I am constantly reminding my son about social situations and what is okay, and what is not okay. I just feel like constant repetition and explaining to them how and why and what the social rules are, teaches them because it does not come natural for them. They get stressed out when they dont know how to process all the junk.

Anonymous said...

as far as girls....I caught him trying to look at a girl on tv the other day and he just started laughing....I was like "what?!" He was kind of embarrassed and thought he was pretty funny being a goofball and looking at her. His sister likes to tease him, but i have told him that it is normal to like girls and while I dont encourage him to run out and find a girlfriend because he is way too young, I have let him know it is a safe place with his dad and I for him to process his feelings about girls and to comment if he thinks they are pretty. He likes to tell his dad not to tell me when he thinks a girl is pretty :)

Anonymous said...

My son is 13 & just started secondary school. He's having meltdowns, started having suicidal thoughts & started hitting himself. None of which he's ever done before, in fact he was the posterboy for early intervention! It's hard watching him regress!

Anonymous said...

My son is 18 years old, he use to bite himself, or hit people around him!.. it is so difficult to me, but my son says "sorry I can't control myself cause I'm Asperger"...

Anonymous said...

He has had a girlfriend, she was his whole world, and him hers. i've seen him hold doors for her, walk her home everynight, even thou he was afraid of the dark, made sure she was always happy. He was the erfect gentleman with her. On the other hand, she was the one who could always keep him in line, when he stressed about something, no matter what it was, she was always there to make hiim feel better and help him through it. They were inseperable. Unfortunatly we had to move away. I know that was very hard for him. I am terrified for him to start high school next year. I am afraid that he is going to do whatever it takes to fit in.

Anonymous said...

Please help! Anyone else dealing with their Aspie child expressing frustration by saying "I'm going to punch myself" or banging their head on doors/walls like if I say no to something. Not sure the best way to handle this. Have tried explaining to my 8 year old Aspie that it's an unexpected behavior and there are other ways to express anger/frustration, doesn't seem to be helping!

Anonymous said...

I have an 8 year old Aspie too. He has become very quick to anger and frustration lately!! It's alarming! He doesn't threaten to hurt himself (thank goodness) but he does threaten to run away or never talk again or other very grown-up sounding threats. It's so hard for me because it's like he is a 30 year old inside a little boys body sometimes! Talking with him calmly doesn't seem to help. I'm not sure what to do with this frustration he has. He seems angry at me a lot lately which is so sad because I love him SO much! I think I am going to call his psychiatrist and ask about a good behavior therapist that might be able to help. I certainly cannot figure it out and probably because I am so emotionally attached. I wish you all the best. If I were you I would take your son to a "safe room" in the house when he threatens to hurt himself and just explain plainly, "I love you too much to let you hurt yourself. When you can calm down, you can come out." Maybe that will help? I don't know since it involves potential physical pain... Stick with it. You are a GREAT mommy, I am sure!!

Anonymous said...

I have used the tactic of telling my child "You may not hurt any of my children, including you." Since he is a rule follower, this helps buy me some time when he is spiraling. I can usually talk him down.

Anonymous said...

My son does this when his anxiety is up and he is very frustrated we have an area just for him with things that he likes to calm down with. We also teach him coping skills and the right way to handle stress instead of harming himself. One thing we have found that works is a compression vest that is awesome for my son it helps a lot.

Anonymous said...

My 5 year old son does also. He mostly bites himself occasionally us. This only happens when he gets upset. A normal time hes the biggest cuddler.

Anonymous said...

the people i know with aspergers do this, not to kill themselves but to focus the negativity somewhere for a release and it works for them. Self harm is more common than u think, even amongst neurotypicals

Anonymous said...

my 5yr old son also does this wen anxious or his routine as changed ie school holidays are pretty bad last yr he ripped his front tooth out which wasnt even loose this time round hes continued ta pull the skin from the sides of his finger and toe nails until they bleed but he doesnt seem to feel the pain which really worries me

Anonymous said...

My son used to pull the skin around his fingers too a couple of years ago. He is 11 now, I sat down with him and talked to him about trying really hard not to do that and he has managed to stop the behavior now. But he had been pulling at his own hair during anxious times since he was a toddler. My son also does not seem to feel pain.

Anonymous said...

I have observed that anxiety makes this behavior worse for my daughter. However, I also think it is a sensory issue sometimes. (which also becomes more of an issue when anxious) I think perhaps it may be a way to handle sensory input, much like a "release". Just my thoughts. :)

Anonymous said...

I want to know: how can I control or even influence a son who is larger and stronger than I am? I am a single mother (since last Sept., going through divorce) with a very angry 16 year old boy who leaves the house and does whatever he wants regardless of what I say. He was truant most of last year but the school did nothing; he is about to repeat 10th grade and I am afraid I am going to start every day trying to get him to go to school when I can't physically force him.

Anonymous said...

I have self harmed in some way for as long as I can remember. It can can happen in children as well as teens. I used to pick at anything I could as a child and later started cutting. I have a very hard pan tolerance, the pan doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes I have done it out of depression but mainly it is anxiety related. I have no wish to kill or even badly harm myself but it releases the anxiety and makes me feel balanced again.

Anonymous said...

Not just teens, my 5 year old picks the skin on his fingers when he is anxious or stressed

Anonymous said...

When I was a teen, I would poke myself with needles because I felt that no one cared and it was my fault. I felt I must not be pretty because no guys would ask me out, I felt that my parents and teachers only paid attention to me because I got good grades and I made them look good, I felt I was a fake because I didn't think I was as smart as everyone said I was since I didn't truly understand what was taught (I used my great memory to advantage)and I was desperately afraid that someone would find out I was a fake, I felt my "friends" would turn on me at any time (and in fact, did), and my parents were often critical and mocked me, so I felt that they didn't really love me for me. I felt that there must be something wrong with me and I wasn't really lovable because I didn't have anyone who really loved me or knew me for me and just being me.

That was then. I have since found that unconditional love, but I tell my story only to warn parents that if your daughter appears to have it all together, she may not. You need to really, really, really work to have an open, non-judgemental relationship with her and let her know that you love her even when she gets an F on her report card. Dads need to tell their daughters that they are beautiful and take them out on "dates." You need to really listen to her, even if it's not what you would want for her (for example, you want her to go to college but she really wants be a nail technician).

Anonymous said...

Our 11 yr old Grandson bites himself to the point of leaving bruises all over his arms mostly when playing the wii. He gets so angry with himself when he makes a mistake or doesn't score well. His parents have had to take the wii away "permanently" at this point. He also uses biting himself as a threat when things are not going his way. I've been reading on the My Asperger's Child site about how to tell the difference between actions that are diagnosis-related & just bad behavior & also what to do about it if it is bad behavior. I've found them very enlightening & helpful. The articles say meltdowns due to being told "no" are just bad behavior. Not what I wanted to hear. I'd rather think his bad behavior is due to the Asperger's than to my spoiling him. Now I'm the one who has to shape up!

Anonymous said...

My son is now 9 and has always self harmed. It is in major meltdowns that is it at it's worse and he doesn't even remember doing it. He will head butt hard surfaces and full strength punch himself in the head. I usually have to put my body weight on him to hold him back from doing himself serve damage. When he was young he would bite other children to the point of drawing blood. We are testing calming techniques and getting him all the help we can atm. My fears are when he gets a little older and the pubity blues kick in he may take it to far. I have been told by a few professionals that he should never be left alone over the next 10 year's as he has a high disposition for suicide. It is hard to teach him not to self harm as most the time he does not even know he is doing it. He rarely hurts others any more and mainly directs it on himself. Anxiety and depression are our main areas but sometimes he will be happy and having a great time and with in seconds we are a level 10 meltdown.
13 hours ago via mobile · Like

Anonymous said...

I so relate to the skin ripping & bleeding, pulling hair out, & not feeling pain unless they feel like it. What the hell??

Anonymous said...

I dont purposefully do it... sadly its a self destructive stim as per my diagnoses

Anonymous said...

My daught is turning 13 in september. She is in year seven(high school) she is very smart, outgoing. She is having alot of trouble with bullying at school. Am very sure she would not harm heself but very worried about depression, you see she has aspergas. Her thing is hugging and is what I would call an extrivite. Talks to `Everyone and any one'. She has a kind heart but will lie and think it true. she just wants to fit in.

Anonymous said...

My grandson( whom we have custody of) would pick at his sores constantly. As a result he got infections in his lymph nodes and another time had a rash from infection. His meltdowns were accelerating and he was hitting and kicking his grandfather and myself. We had to put him in a behavioral unit of a local children's hospital and they changed his meds to repiridone. He has stopped picking and he is much much calmer. We are not pleased with the weight gain due to repiridone, but our child is happier, more cooperative, and calmer. School is due to begin so we will see how he handles that.

Anonymous said...

My 14 yr old girl engaged in self harm and anorexia type behavior to manage anxiety and emotional pressure from peers. It is tough but with a supportive school counseling and being aware of trigger behaviour we have it currently under control.

Anonymous said...

My son is 17. He is 6'2 and lean with muscles. I am a single mom and have had difficulty with disciplining him. I had to ask for help from men that live near me and know the situation. I have been able to call the next door neighbor to come over to help me and he has been wonderful. It takes a team to work with him. He needs 24 x 7 monitoring because he injures himself and has suicidal thoughts. He went into foster care for awhile because I wasn't able to raise him and work full time and handle all of the responsibilities. He is very angry with me now, but I am allowing him to express his emotions and am hoping that he will be able to understand why he needed more monitoring and trained staff. He tends to vandalize his bedroom walls and doors, cut and burn himself, and wants to do illegal drugs and watch porn. I am so thankful that I have help raising him. I pray that he and I will be able to have a loving relationship again and that he will overcome his anger towards me.

Robyn*Ann said...

My son just hit himself over and over in the face and chest... he's 8. How in the world do I explain to his teachers and school why he looks so beat up? How do I expect them NOT to call CPS on me? He has blackened both eyes, split his lip and bloodied his nose! :(

Robyn*Ann said...

My son just hit himself over and over in the face and chest... he's 8. How in the world do I explain to his teachers and school why he looks so beat up? How do I expect them NOT to call CPS on me? He has blackened both eyes, split his lip and bloodied his nose! :(

Sukai Sutaa said...

I'm 18 and female and I don't have a formal diagnosis but I'm quite sure I have aspergers. Sometimes my bf will go on and on about things like eating healthy and exercising and I don't understand his point of view because its unlike anything I've ever heard and I get so frustrated whenever he talks about it and some other things. It ruins my whole day and sends me into a really anxious state. Sometimes if we won't stop or gets mad at me and starts to ignore me I get insanely frustrated and I want to scratch myself really hard. I don't do it for any kind of pleasure it's more like I'm overwhelmed and frustrated and I don't know what to do and I can't do nothing and I don't really know how to describe it other than I just freak out and want to tear myself apart. I hardly ever actually do it because he went through self harm and it would kill him to know I was hurting myself but the few times I have it was almost like the pain helped me not be so overwhelmed by everything else. Like I could focus on the throbbing pain rather than the mess of a situation I didnt know how to deal with.

Dawn Curinga said...

If anyone else can help I live in Philadelphia, PA I have a 1 year old who is ripping out her hair and eating it hitting and punching and biting and scratching four different Daycare I've had her and told me I can't bring her back there I don't know what else to do I try to get her evaluated at Children's Hospital but they don't take health partners...if anyone can help me please....my email mail address is dm.curnga@ Gmail .com
Thank u

anonymous said...

Hi Dawn, I live in South Jersey and I'm not sure what health partners is but if its state insurance which I have I know Dupont, and Cooper take state insurance. I have been to both with my son who has Aspergers. I would recommend Dupont first. They were great with Him. Hope that helps!

Red_Queen__ said...

As an Aspie myself I don't self-harm that often, it's more when I get angry. I've noticed that punching myself (usually in my stomach or on my right thigh) can prevent meltdowns, like it makes me feel in control. Sometimes when I'm in school I'll scratch my neck really hard for the same reason (to prevent meltdowns). I know it's bad but it's better than having a meltdown. I don't cut, don't feel the need to (thank god), but I do see how some people may want to.

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content