Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Reasons for "Bad" Behavior in Aspergers Children

“Does Aspergers come and go? I have a 5 year old tentatively diagnosed with Aspergers, but while he's always special, there are weeks when it's like a switch is turned on and everything turns 'bad' - these are the times when we struggle to enjoy him as a person. His resilience becomes very low, he argues with everything we say, he refuses to play at all with others nicely ...well you know the sort of symptoms. But then after a week or so, the switch goes again and he's back to loveable with a few quirks! Is this normal?”

It is normal for a child who (a) experiences periodic anxiety and (b) has a limited ability to soothe himself. Kids with Asperger’s (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) are particularly vulnerable to anxiety. This vulnerability is an intrinsic feature of AS through specific neurotransmitter system defects, a breakdown in circuitry related to extinguishing fear responses, or a secondary consequence of their inability to make social judgments throughout development.

The social limitations of AS make it difficult for kids with the disorder to develop coping strategies for soothing themselves and containing difficult emotions. Limitations in their ability to grasp social cues, and their highly rigid style, act in concert to create repeated social errors. They are frequently bullied and teased by their peers, but can’t mount effective socially adaptive responses.

Limitations in generalizing from one situation to another also may contribute to repeating the same social gaffs. Furthermore, the lack of empathy severely limits skills for autonomous social problem-solving. For higher-functioning kids, there is sufficient grasp of situations to recognize that others “get it” when they do not. For others there is only the discomfort that comes from somatic responses that are disconnected from events and experience.

In a nutshell, the more anxious the AS or HFA child is, the more he will “act-out” his emotions rather than using more functional methods of discharging the negative energy associated with anxiety. This results in the “bad” behavior that parents see.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


•    Anonymous said... I notice the pants are suddenly half way up his legs. lol. Have asked paediatrician if his testosterone could also be tested when we hit rocky periods, but he believes it has nothing to do with it, but we have put him on Omega that contains evening primrose oil and it has made a huge difference than normal omegas esp with aggression.
•    Anonymous said... It does have to do with the stress level. Find a Masgutova Core Specialist and you will have a great tool to change his brain. Worked for my would be a miracle except it is based on the last brain research and we did the therapy for several years to get our miraculous results.
•    Anonymous said... its about the week before the full moon in our house without fail
•    Anonymous said... Sounds like you are describing my 6 year old
•    Anonymous said... This may sound weird, but our son, not so much now but when younger, use to elevate in behaviour with the "new moon", 3 days prior and 3 days after, asked our paediatrician and he said it's not proven that these kids can change with the luna cycle, but I wsn't the 1st parent to have noticed behaviour change with the new moon, also he use to elevate when going thru a growth spurt and still does.
•    Anonymous said... This sounds familiar to me with my son x
•    Anonymous said... To answer your question NO Aspergers does not come and go . Aspergers is under the umbrella of autism if you have it.... You have it for life.
•    Anonymous said... Was just talking about this!
•    Anonymous said... We find this depends on our 10 year old son's anxiety levels... x
•   Anonymous said... We have longer cycles which over the years I think are determined by whether my son is going through either a cognitive or physical growth period. These times we often have very challenging behaviour and when it begins to settle a bit ( could be a month or so later) I suddenly realise how tall he is. Sometimes it's at the end of term always worse at the end of the year and if he's had more stimulation at school. So we have cycles of periods which are harder and it's very stressful during these times which place the family under great strain.

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Michelle Johnson said...

Yes, my son is 8 1/2. He is on the mild side of the spectrum, and I've noticed since he was a baby that his "symptoms" have peaks and valleys. I've brought this up to our doctor, he didn't seem to feel there was much to this theory, but speaking with other parents who have kids on the spectrum, they all report the same thing.

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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