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Rebellious Aspergers Teenagers

"Why does my Aspergers teen reject everything I say? Why is he so argumentative and defiant?"

These are some of the many questions you, as a parent of a rebellious Aspergers (high-functioning autistic) teen, might be asking yourself right now.

The teenage years can be a very rough time for both the teen and the parent – especially when you consider the challenges that are part of the Aspergers condition.

Why do Aspergers teens rebel?

It's normal for any teenager to show a little bit of rebellion now and again. However, teenage rebellion that is constant, interferes with normal daily functioning, and is destructive calls for much more attention. Aspergers teens rebel for a variety of reasons:
  • Peer pressure - Some forms of rebellion can begin with pressure from peers to join in various destructive behaviors.
  • Independence - These years are a constant struggle between dependence and independence. Rebellious adolescents want to have total independence and prove to you that they can do things themselves. At the same time, they are overwhelmed and still desire parental protection.
  • Hormonal changes - As adolescents bodies are changing, hormone fluctuations can bring about all sorts of mood changes.
  • Discovering their identities - Adolescents are at a point in their lives when they are trying to figure out who they are as a person, their likes/dislikes and what they will be doing for the rest of their lives. They use this time to test and try out many identities until they find one they are most comfortable with.

In what forms do adolescents rebel?

How your Aspergers teen chooses to rebel depends on his own individual feelings and problems. Some forms may include:
  • Argumentative - quick to anger, overly defenseless
  • Change in appearance/interests - trying out new clothing styles, hairstyles, tastes in music
  • Rejection of rules/curfews
  • Running away from home
  • School problems - cutting classes, missing school, drop in grades
  • Spending more time with friends away from family members
  • Substance abuse - experimenting with alcohol and illicit drugs

How can you prevent teenage rebellion?

Preventing all forms of rebellion can be a difficult chore as some of this behavior is a normal process of growing up. Keeping the dangerous forms under control is necessary though in order to avoid further problems from developing. If your Aspergers teen is showing harmful rebellious behavior, further treatment with a mental health professional should be sought. Rebellion could be due to another underlying problem. 

As moms and dads, the following methods can be helpful in keeping rebellion at a minimum:
  1. Don't be too harsh with criticism - Adolescents like to experiment with their individuality to discover who they are. As long as it is not harmful, let them try out new things. Give your opinion, but don't criticize.
  2. Keep an open relationship with your teen - Let them know that they can always come to you with their problems, under any circumstances. If your rebellious teenager feels the need to be alone, give them some space to work out their problems by themselves first.
  3. Punishments should be fair - Set reasonable consequences for broken rules as unfair punishments can create further rebellion.
  4. Set up some reasonable house rules - If your rules are to strict, your rebellious adolescent might feel the need to break them. Give your adolescents some say in home of these rules and curfews so that they feel some ownership over them.
  5. Try not to argue with your rebellious adolescent - Yelling and arguing with your rebellious adolescent about your differences only sets a bad example of how to deal with problems. Try to approach the matter at hand in a calm fashion. If that cannot be done, give yourself some space for a while and talk about it at a later time once tempers diminish.

==> Help for Parents of Teens with Asperger's and HFA


Anonymous said...

Omgosh I NEED to read this!! I have a almost 12 year old that I love dearly but he also is soooo hard to get along with!!!

Anonymous said...

I thought it was just my 16year old. I have NEVER said this before, but hes driving us crazy. Everything is a debate..

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world with my 14 yr old daughter who has to argue with over everything ! And really fights me and all I seem to do is scream

Anonymous said...

I have a son going on 16 with AS and a daughter that is 14 that doesn't have it, both argue and disagree :) So yeah it is magnified with our AS children but trust me, most teens are defiant by nature

Anonymous said...

Because he's a teen.

Anonymous said...

Our son is a 17 year old Aspie...very defiant and it has been getting worse. He is actually in a behavioral health unit right now and was just put on medication. We were told that most Aspie teens have a hard time with "no" and they cannot understand right and wrong. They will argue you to the moon. He is also ADHD.

Anonymous said...

It doesnt stop even when the youngest is 45. They dont out grow it......give up and pray for them.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD 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.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

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 or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your 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.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD 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 ASD 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."

Click here to read the full article…

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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to read the full article...

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.

Click here for the full article...