Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Violent Behavior in Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

“Is it common for aspergers teenagers to retaliate (sometimes violently) when they feel that they are being mistreated by siblings, peers, etc.?”

Common? No. Does it happen? Yes.

Most juveniles with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) have strict codes of behavior that often include a dislike or even hatred of violence. Even among them, however, aggression can be a problem when the juvenile or young adult becomes frustrated, feels unfairly treated, or feels excluded. Juveniles with AS and HFA can persuade themselves that aggression is justified in these circumstances. Aggression toward younger siblings may be a problem, as may aggression at school, but the usual arena is at home.

This kind of aggression may be explosive, in which case there is often a sharp onset and a sharp offset. The AS or HFA juvenile may be even more unaware of the impact of his aggression than others who have tantrums. Parents often say something like this: “He calmed down quickly, long before we could feel calm. He just seems to want to carry on as if nothing had happened. If we try to talk about the tantrum, we might set him off again.”

Aggression of this kind may begin at an early age, and moms and dads find it difficult to deal with. Counter-violence makes matters worse, but it is a solution that often appeals to fathers. Withdrawal during the tantrum, and then discussing how it felt to be on the receiving end of it, are often useful. But living with this level of aggression can be one of the most difficult aspects of raising a child on the autism spectrum.

These juveniles have a lively sense of self-preservation. They may therefore suppress an aggressive response to a bully or another aggressor, but turn the aggression on to a more vulnerable person later, who may have had nothing to do with the situation. The target of aggression is most likely to be a juvenile's mother, or later in life, a spouse.

Emotional processing is difficult for AS and HFA juveniles. They can’t tell themselves to “just forget it” or “life's too short to worry so much.” They want answers – and they want justice. Incidents that have happened in the past (sometimes many years before) may linger in the mind of an adult with AS and may resurface at regular intervals (called “rumination”). When they do, it is as if the individual is re-experiencing the episode over again, and he may become suddenly and unexpectedly aggressive.

Discipline for Defiant Aspergers Teens


anonymous said...

Any advise on how to with a child who behaves this way.

Unknown said...

My daughter is 12 years old and has been progressively becoming violent. It began as verbal then tonight it was physical against her best friend.
I honestly do not know what to do? She also started scratching herself as well.i am at a loss of words and ideas. She refuses to talk to me or anyone else about these issues.

Constance Knapton said...

Hello, How is your daughter since your last post?

J K said...

I’m stuck between two aspires my undiagnosed husband and our diagnosed teen son who lashes out at his dad then we have a younger sibling who is adhd as well so it’s like a circus around here. I’m the aspies calming person however that then creates havoc with my spouse. When the eruption breaks out I’m the one who has to try to diffuse the situation while because he is aspie too he tries to win the argument and defend him self causing more fuel to the fire. Then he tries to involve his family which upsets the teen aspie. Help!!!

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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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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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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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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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content