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Anger and Violence in ASD Children

"Is anger and violent behavior usually a part of the AS condition? I'm currently waiting for an evaluation and diagnosis for my 5 yr old – AS is suspected."
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Lenette said...

Hi all
My son just turned 17. He was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 12. He always had a quick temper and stubborness is his middle name. Not getting something his way or being told "no" or "stop what you're doing" triggers violent arguments. Lately he is getting more aggresive and it sometimes feel that he is deliberately starting a confrontation just to annoy his father and me and to start an argument. I am really beginning to fear my own child as he is now turning into a young adult and is very strong in his hands and arms - in the past months he has physically attacked me a few times during an argument. How do I handle these outburst and does his changing hormones have such a big influence?

Anonymous said...

somebody who cyberbullied me claims he has asburgers,i dont know him and his profile is private so i cant tell.he says he doesent remember comenting me and he doesent know me when i haveproof he said what he said and showed it to him. is their a way to tell if he really has so upset about the cyberbullying!

Anonymous said...

I am at the stage where I’m looking for more help and advice concerning my beautiful son. He is just turning 10 and was diagnosed with Aspergers at age 4. I have been a single parent for approx 5 years and this may be having an impact also on his behaviour as he has more ‘control’ of his actions at his fathers house than with me. I understand that I am his ‘safe person’ and he needs to release his anxiety/emotions.
The day finally came (and I knew it would one day) where he was physical in anger towards me. He was having ‘a moment’ and he grabbed me in a headlock in anger. I am fearful that it will get worse and he is a big boy and will be taller than me before he is 12.

I know he has anxiety during the week with school, is not doing well academically, has had some bullying last term, homework has always been a struggle and he is lacking in confidence and motivation. We have an appnt to see a paediatrician but that is a month away.

We have been working on a system of 'consequences’ good / bad, rewards for good and things taken away such as tv or planned activities for negative behaviour.
He says he doesn’t care if I take tv etc away.

We can have 6 months of calm in the house followed by a few months of rudeness, back chat, defiance and now physical anger.

I have just been onto your website and have printed some information concerning violence.

Concerned mum.

Anonymous said...

My son has aspergers...he is violent and tells me the many ways he would like to kill myself and my husband. His new medicine curbed this about %75 percent but it occasionally shows back up. It is scary and I am shocked that the just release a very disturbed person back into their home and if a spouse were saying these things there is no way they would be allowed back in the home.
The level of Help for such children is almost nill. Instead of psyciatric help...they want these type of children arrested and put in the populace of just plain criminal kids. This is wrong and for an asperger kid who is a can be potentially ruinous to the child.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, please help us out with your advice if at all possible. Our son who has just turned 11 was put on Fluoxetine on the 15th of August having been diagnosed with Aspergers. His dose was 10mg/2.5ml per day. We were also advised to get him some CBT. His worst characteristic is his violence and this stems from his anxieties. After a few weeks the medication started to work and we felt as though we had struck gold as our son was now less anxious and the violence had completely gone. He started his new school and everything was going really well. However for the past 2 weeks we have noticed that his behaviour has been getting worse and we are now back to where we started. We have contacted the psychiatrist by email and we are awaiting a response. We don't have an appointment with him until the end of Oct.

Any advise would be very welcome.

Anonymous said...

My son is 5 years old, in kindergarten, and was diagnosed the end of
May. Here is the problem: He is very abusive, both physically and
mentally, to me. He says he hates me, says I'm mean, that he wishes
someone would kill me, that I would leave and live somewhere else, among
a list about a mile long. I also have scars where he has scratched and
bit me. He has also charged me like a bull, and buried his head in my
gut. The only form of punishment we can use is sending him to his room.
When he wont go to has room, by saying no or lying on the floor, I have
to physically drag him to his room. Then he flies into a rage and
attacks me. I can't win. I am tired of walking on eggshells around him
because my legs hurt. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can deal with
him besides ignoring him when he is being abusive. It tears my heart in
two every time he says he hates me or he wishes I was dead or gone.
Please help.

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher and also think my son has Aspergers. He has never grown out of the 'terrible twos' and is now a teenager. He grows increasingly stronger. The best advice to manage negative behaviour is to always keep calm yourself. Don't shout. Request that an action is taken -giving plenty of warning and time. e.g. tell a child they will be leaving the park half an hour before they do. This is much better than deciding to just leave. Always give the child a choice in their action e.g. go to your room or sit there. Don't ever back your child into a corner by insisting on a specific action.It doesn't work and they will show their frustration in anger. Even for a car journey you can ask if they want to sit in the front or back, or distract them ( age dependent) by talking about something they are interested in as they get into the car. During a tantrum (if safe) leave them to it. Don't argue or demand anything at this point. Then request the action be taken again when they have calmed down. If you stay calm, they will. If you explain why, you always get a better reaction. We can't go **** today because...but we will go on... Always keep to your word! They will get frustrated and annoyed at anything that they see as injust. You have to be fair and see their point of view. After an outburst, discuss their behaviour and ways of dealing with it.
These are my own tried and tested methods with my child and quite a few others. I'm not an 'expert' but do have qualifications in special educational needs and psychology... hope this helps:-)

catsareaspies said...

i'll describe what a violent meltdown feels like. you see a red fog, your head feels hot, the person you're angry at seems like a soft object you'd like to smash, you feel yourself moving without having any control over your movements, you have to, you absolutely MUST hurt that other person otherwise you'll go crazy and you won't be able to stand it. afterward, you may not remember what you've done.
i have asperger syndrome, general anxiety, ocd that drives me crazy, hyperactivity and problem concentrating.
as a child, i'd get rage attacks. they were far in between. usually, i'd only scream and not be able to stop. i'd feel dizzy like i'm about to faint. i'd feel like i can't take it anymore and i'm about to go crazy.
if provoked, however, i did resort to violence, like that time when another girl in school taunted me and i saw a red fog. when i came out of it, i was told i pinched her and wouldnt let go.
as a grownup, i once walked down the street with a heavy suitcase, moving from one apartment to another. two drunks twice my size got out of the alley. one put his hands on me and rubbed them on my body. the other laughed. they both turned and walked away. i came after them, circled them, and went for the man's temple with the suitcase. he ducked. i would've killed him otherwise. i went for the other man, the one that laughed, and tried to slam the suitcase between his legs. he stepped back. i came back to my senses and let them walk away then.
i did what i did because i felt like i was going to explode if i dont wipe that damn smile off his face.
surprisingly, when i sign up for kickboxing classes, i found i learned to control my rage attacks. by punching and kicking bags while building my anger, and stopping when the instructor told me to, i learned self control. i do believe i've got my rage under control now.
part of the reason i got so mad was because i couldnt find words to say how i felt or why what the other person said or did was wrong. the others out talked me any time, easily. i cant always put an idea in words. knowing i'm right and the other person is wrong but doesnt realize it and the frustration of my inability to express it contributed to my anger, plus the feeling that i was trapped in an alien world with rules i couldnt understand caused me to feel anger often, especially in childhood, without knowing why. also, i'd want to the person to leave me alone and he/she wouldnt and i didnt know any strategy to make them stop.
so i went over in my head over strategies to free myself of bullies, like getting up and walking away, etc. i have an answer to many scenarios now. plus the right things to say in a given situation, which i've gone over in my head many times till i found the words.
i even wrote a story in my blog, living among aliens, based on my life experiences, that deals, among other things, with rage attacks, their causes and the person's copying techniques, along with other copying strategies for dealing with other aspects of asperger syndrome.

Rachel Shamariah said...

Wow my 5 year old is doing exactly the same hurtful things. When did your son's start? No diagnosis but no assessment either. Help.

Rachel Shamariah said...

Help. My son is five too. No diagnosis but no assessment either. What precipitated his outburst? Hurtful death talk. " ill just kill myself ", I hate you. Always after he does something he knows is a bad choice.

Anonymous said...

hey my twin son is 2 years old and as anger symptoms, i have spoke to a specialist who thinks it could be this, but cant diagnose un till at least 4 years old, as you parents are experienced with older children can anyone please tell me if your children started symptoms so young, hes been angry and violent since around 9 months.

Anonymous said...

I am a professional nanny who cares for a 3 year old boy who has high functioning autism. I have worked with this family for over 6 months and we have made some amazing progress, however my charge is really struggling with seperation anxiety when his mother leaves for work in a morning, if I arrive whilst he's still sleeping and I wake him I am greeted with happy smiles and even the occasional hug! However if he wakes before I arrive the moment I walk through the door all hell breaks loose, screaming, shouting, and the odd bout of violence kicking, slapping, hitting e.t.c the moment mummy leaves the house he is almost instantly fine. This can be incredibly disheartening and upsetting for all involved, he is aware if what he is doing is upsetting those around him and I do believe he thinks if he screams loud enough mummy will stay home as when she is home she will do anything to keep him calm and happy. He will also behave this way if mummy leaves him with his dad. Any advice on how to help the family with this would be much appreciated.

............... said...

I'm. Afraid my lil brother is going to kill my mother one day he has aspergers and she lets him get away with everything and buys hike everything it seems to me he. Will not make it as an adult

Unknown said...

The media experts who are saying aspergers isn't related to violence--what planet are they living on? Surely they cannot be living with someone with this problem.

Cerebral Fitness Inc said...

Some people with autism have very sensitive nervous systems. They are easily irritated, frustrated etc. They can get violent because they are having difficulty regulating their emotions and physiological responses under stress. If retreat is not possible the anger and attack can come out. These folks would do well with an Occupational Therapist to work on sensory modulation; some might use programs such as Zones of Regulation or How Does Your Engine Run as part of the treatment. The whole family can learn the program to support the kiddo.
Dr DeLaCroix, Cerebral Fitness Inc

Matt said...

what annoys me about having aspergers is how annoying people are telling me to do stuff for them, even from my parents which really irritate me since im not that smart. it stresses me out so much at how they do that and i try my best to tell them and they keep saying 'come on matt your smart' while cracking a smile or smirk which tells me they are only messing with me. ive come to the point of getting aggesive to them telling them to leave me alone.

Christy D. said...

I'm not sure where to start. I have an 11 year old son. I was called to the school yesterday after he had a major meltdown, during which he threatened to stab the RTC officer's daughters to death and laugh at them while they burned in hell.
He hasn't been diagnosed with anything other than ADHD and has been in a special needs school for speech delay and occupational therapy. This is his first year in a mainstream school. He is having a lot of difficulty adjusting to it. I didn't know he was having these behaviors in his old school because they never told me. I do know that he has had these types of outbursts at home and has had to be restrained to keep him from destroying things or hitting himself when he is frustrated or angry. He has made threats of harm to others when in these "rages" but has never actually hurt anyone other than himself.
I'm wondering if I should insist that he be tested for Asperger syndrome. The new psychologists have mentioned having him tested for high functioning autism, but not Asperger syndrome.
I also have a 16 year old bipolar daughter. As a mom, I feel like I'm drowning and can't get my head above water to get a breath. I'm actually starting counseling myself, which I had never considered before, but have been depressed quite a bit lately and have started having some social anxiety issues.
I'm so lost.

Unknown said...

Give them love and redirect them to their favorite activity but also build a rapport in case the activity is not available when anxious and or aggressive. What are steps to keeping your child calm?

mich said...

My 14 year old son has Aspergers and tourettes with ADHD. He is very inappropriate. He cusses and talks sexual at home a all the time. He even does inappropriate gestures. He seems to be trying to provoke me. He has these rage attacks when he destroys property and tries to hurt people. Yesterday he chased me with a bat. He seems to be getting worse. I wonder if it could be a mood disorder or bipolar also. It seems to get worse during periods of time. He destroyed a school room and attacked the teachers. We have some therapist but none seem to help us or him. How much can we take before we need to send him to residential? I have three other kids. He does this in front of them and they are younger and scared.

Unknown said...

I call BS on anyone who really thinks that an Aspie "can't control and/or doesn't know what he is doing." I have lived with an Aspie s9n for 28 years. He now shares with me a lot about what it is like to be an Aspie teen. His anger episodes were explosive and resulted in a lot of rage. He did state that he knew exactly what he was doing (although at the time he was happy letting us believe he wasn't in control). He used this as a manipulative because it consistently worked. Everyone was terrified and gave in. He did share with me that the frustration and the "wanting" his way were kind of like an urgency, BUT he would PUPOSELY talk himself into a tantrum to get his way. It didn't matter if police were called or he'd end up in the mental facility..... it is also very much hormonal too, so it does die down A LOT by the mid twenties.

Unknown said...

I call BS at the control part...and the anger one...we can get angry at the situations when we feel we can't help it but we learn to control our anger fits with time, just like a kid who learns a new skills aren't a 100% built-in function in our system but just like every human we can improve with time

and I wanna make a point on something that really made me mad...don't put all autists in the same bag...never EVER have I threaten my parents to get something that was catching my every kids this that age I did in fact tried the puppy eyes and the''pretty please'' tough x)

what I mean is...we all have a character on our own and we know that we can improve just like every other human.

for the ones searching ways to control the emotions of their youngsters at a certain age...look up for a technique called ABA, this and social abilities group, which are made especially for the ones struggling with social skills and that need to develop these.

Unknown said...

I'm experiencing this now with my 12 year old son who's on the autism spectrum. I feel like my son know what he's doing in his rage moments. I'm glad to hear that it can be controlled. Thanks Karol Mooney

Unknown said...

I'm 15 year old girl I have Aspergers.I feel completely mental and out of control when I feel angry to the point I could kill myself I broke things and smashed things then I turned to self harm this time I was 11/12 years old.I am 15 now and nothing's changed I could kill myself in one of these out bursts it's very scary

I have severe chronic social anxiety body dysmorphic disorder and also I was adopted.I was abused in the past.

My birth parents are both schizophrenic mental health runs in my family 2of my siblings are schizophrenic too and the rest of my 4siblings have had chronic depression and borderline personality disorders.

Aspergers is very hard to deal with I haven't gone to school for 3years since I was 12/5 I and 15and a half now.

Aspergers people really can't help it because if it's not you there hurting it's normally themselves through self harm....

Unknown said...

This thing of any child hitting himself has been abused in being hit, put down with words telling him/ her that they are a loser..with held from food and just not treated as being important and valuable... Marking a child with 'Aspergers' is right from the pits of HELL... ALL children are trained to hit themselves.. and others..NOT born that way!!!

Unknown said...

Hi everyone. What medicine works for the violent outbursts? Please help.

Unknown said...

My son is no longer a child, and he managed to serve in the army. He still struggles, but has learn to manage much better than he used to. Who's anger and depression stems from just being unhappy with life. He has learned to take a step back, sometimes before saying something, sometimes after, and calm down rethink and also he has learned some empathy and others perspective. This is something he is going to struggle with for the rest of his life, but he refuses to give up and so do I. Know that there is hope!

Anonymous said...

Prozac causes this behaviour. Should not be prescribed for patients with anger management problems. Can't believe someone did.

Greg said...

Karol Mooney I absolutely agree. My aspergers son 24 has a huge amount of control over our family through his rages. It’s like living under a dictator in our household with a dread fear of not upsetting him or knowing what devious thing he will try next to cause family upset. He has never admitted it to us but I just know he is conscious of exercising and using this control to get what he wants, certainly in his adult years. I have often caught him weirdly smiling during rages as if he is enjoying the distress and mayhem he is causing. It’s really good that your son has opened up to you about his insight into his own state of mind. I think it will give others hope including me!. I think they start out young having these rages simply because it goes with the condition. As time goes on It dawns on them the power their rages have over other people to get their own way. They then exploit this advantage ruthlessly because the lack of empathy inherent with this condition. I must say living under this fear has virtually destroyed my marital relationship. I feel so angry that this has happened to us. When we started out I certainly never dreamt that we could come to a situation like this. I had such a close relationship with my son as he grew up into his early teens but we have drifted far apart as his life span out of control and he started to hate me. My wife thinks she can ‘love’ him better and gives into him from of fear of his rages. She is now an alcoholic. My wife and my son are like two children who keep throwing tantrums all the time. I am the only one working and feel everything is depending on me. I’m getting to the stage of walking out because I just can’t take it any more. They are just not trying to improve their lives.

Unknown said...

I was born with Aspergers in 1956. Doctors were so stupid then that they did not even know how to diagnose the illness in children. I exhibited intense anger, depression, irritability, learning problems, a lack of empathy and I have few friends. Instead of getting good treatment, I was abused by my parents, spent two years in an institution where I was physically, emotionally and sexually abused, and finally incarcerated in a maximum security mental hospital because I beat up my car one day. Even now, I suffer the same symptoms. I have no confidence in doctors. They are quacks who only care about making as much money as possible. If they really cared about people like me, they would help alleviate the problems I have. I have spent thirty years trying to get the right medication. In Canada, the health care system is so bad, that trying to access a psychiatrist is almost impossible. As a victim of child abuse, I carry the scars each and every moment of my life. THe abusers are dead now, but there acts live on in me. I am angry that no one loved me as a child. No one cared about me. At least now, children are somethimes treated better. Yes, even now in Canada, adults cannot get the help they need. There are no facililties to treat us. Suicide is constantly on my mind. I have been hospitalized twice for over doses. Someday, I hope somone truly cares for people like me.

Unknown said...

This blog is amazing and dead on. I go through this with my son amd yes mood disorders is underneath the Aspergers. My son needs a mood stabalizer as well as coping skills and cbt. I feel bad that he cant understand emotions and other ppls perspective but it doesn't give him the right to be violent towards me I am his biggest fan and it just hurts to go through this....

Unknown said...

Omg please hold on. Im so sorry you have been abused. Can you relocate to N.Y. its not perfect but there is more support especially for Aspergers. My son is struggling with it and it hurts me how he treats me bc I am his biggest fan and I could help him if he would just let me. Big sigh. I feel like alot of ppl dont care and so you can forget about the ppl who do. Reach out to a mental health hotline its free google it you can chat online and its anonymous. Please dont kill yourself you have so much to offer you could miss your blessing. Trust me I know from experience. God wouldnt bring you this far for no reason. Its hard on me bc Im the mom and the dad so I looked at as bad cop anyway hang in there and God does love you 💘 take care

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