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40 Tips for Parenting Defiant Teens on the Autism Spectrum

Parenting teenagers is hard enough...right? But throw "Asperger Syndrome" (high-functioning autism) into the equation, and now you really got a mountain to climb. Do not despair!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you we have a 14 & 1/2 yr old aspie son and he is giving us a dogs life at the moment he's changed so much and is so aggressive, I will try and download ur tips thanks...

Anonymous said...

Omg excellent timing just what I need ... Frequently reduced to tears my 15yr old aspie these days ... Very welcome link thank you :)
15 hours ago

Anonymous said...

My Asperger stepson just turned 13 last month. For the past 6 months he has became very disrespectful ( always with father) to me. I used to be the one he confided in and the only one he would practice his coping skills with. I worked with him on social skills for three years. Now he gets angry when given a direction, he speaks through gritted teeth and clenched fist. He also lies with a very actor like quality ( he gives a good performance even changes his voice to upbeat) and feels as though we (parents) are beneath him. He is very grandiose in his manner at times.
When he has addressed me in anger it scares me so much but I do not let him see it. In one of these episodes he came to my face in a threatening manner. I stood my ground and told him that if he was to strike me or his sister (step sister, my daughter) I would call the police and he would suffer the consequences. He is taller then me and stronger then me. In your years researching Aspergers, when a child challenges with anger and threatening manner what is the percentage that he or she will follow through? Do other parents actually call the police on their children? Would this be the best thing for him? I have no tolerance for violence. He is in therapy but no progress and it has been since last year. It seems he is just going backwards and defiance issues are exploding (no not just puberty) I never wanted to medicate him. I always thought this was a parents and teachers cop out for the hard work to raise and help a child with Aspergers. However, I never thought of possible abuse from him.

His dad also has aspergers (self diagnosed) and is not really a help with discipline because he gets just as angry as he is. Then I have to teach him how to parent. But I love them and want to do what I can to ensure we move forward as a family. I don't know if it's onset of bipolar (he has extreme highs and lows past 6 months) or ODD or all is Aspergers.

Anonymous said...

Yes the teen years are very challenging especially with an Aspie. Our Aspie son is soon 17 and a couple of years ago he became very defiant and destructive. Since this was a rather dramatic change for him I finally called his therapist to ask her for help in getting me through. She said it sounded as though he was actually depressed. Teen boys can manifest depression through defiant behavior. After being assessed by his specialist, my son was put on a very small dose of Prozac which made a huge difference. I think the combination of knowing he was depressed rather than defiant helped as well in how I was interacting with my son. His doctor has taken him off Prozac recently and so far all is well.

Anonymous said...

My son is 18 and was just diagnosed with Aspergers. Over the last several years he had become very defiant, angry, and abusive. We did call the police. It was very difficult, but eventually it lead him to a path of healing. For more than a year, he went to live with some family away from us. We needed to regroup and we realized that we could not let his behavior affect our younger child. It is a difficult thing when you feel like despite your best attempts, you cannot handle your own child. Realizing that you are not alone, helps.

Concerned parent said...

My wife & I are struggling with discipline with our 14 year old aspie son. He is disrespectful to my wife by calling her inappropriate names, kIcking in walls when frustrated, & much more. We don't have access to our kitchen and to some of the other rooms in our house. He'll have an outbreak when anything is touched or cleaned in the kitchen or bathroom the he uses. It's as if he thinks he owns the house at least wants to control everything that goes on in the house. Plus just about everything I do that my son doesn't like my son takes his anger and frustration out on my wife...blames her for my behavior. Is there any parent that has struggled with this issue and has found a solution(s)/technique that worked? My wife feels like a prisoner in her own home and I'm not sure what disciplinary strategy that my wife and I could use to make a difference in reducing his volitility. When we try to correct him, he feels like we don't care and are being mean to him. We tried two different meds a year ago and that didn't work. Police have been called and came out twice but this only works as a temporary fix to calm out of control behavior.

What are good long term strategies? How much is part of being a defiant teen and under his own control vs. due to asbergers is sometimes difficult to tell.

Unknown said...

I have a 17 year old step son that came ro live with us after his Mother died. No one told us he had this ... we had him in two mental hospital s. For a diagnosis, first time when he broke through the school fire wall and started researchung stories out kidnapping, torture, dismembered teen girls body parts. Was told he had RAD (reactive at attachment disorder. I studied on it applied the teqhniques it was working. Then he started hitting himself threatened his little brother terrorized his sisters. I put alarms on the bedroom doors that made him angry, he started looking at was to dismantle them. Then he ran away after he beat up his brother because he didn't like his brothers comment on chores. (His brother told him he was lazy and needed to do his chores) the police brought him back. He said he is going to hang himself. So back off to a hospital. This time in Idaho, he was fine nice boy. He has rights. I was accused of physical abuse. Blew me away! Accused and before a meeting with CPS they sent him home
He ran away again. This time refused to come home so he was put in protective custody. At which point I threw in the towel. His sister came and took him. The day he went to her. She mentioned that he had this type of Autism. Every time he went to a mental health or hospital I asked them to check for Autism, mental retardation. Nope!!! Now he is at his sister's playing his video games and watching cartoons. Not having any directors like I applied. Is this boy going to be a menace without help.

Unknown said...

It's so hard I read and research, both parents involved. But when that other parent isn't there bit is. Not having that support. And loving both. It's so hard.

Unknown said...

I too just sent my 17 year old away. It has affected my 3 other children. They were terrorized

Unknown said...

My son was doing everything yours was. I ended up asking for a treatment center and 2 years later he's a different boy. He's 16. Had so many anger problems and under what your wife is feeling. Best to you and yours

Unknown said...

Call the police, behavior will not get better if child is given "empty threats". A real world consequence for unacceptable behavior..

Unknown said...

Number 18 is interesting. We are struggling to get our 17yr old boy to leave his gaming to eat.
Due to him constantly leaving food I have cooked for him to go cold, I no longer cook for him. The other night I asked him at around 6pm to come and make himself tea. I asked him twice more. At 11pm ( college holidays) He came from his room expecting to cook. I told him he had missed teatime, so he went without. Had enough of his lack of respect.

Unknown said...

My 17 year old is in the 11th grade. He has never failed classes before. He's always done poorly in math. But never failed classes. He is failing art and math and history. It is due to missing assignments. They seem hard to him so he just doesn't do them. We are in the 2nd 9 weeks.he did the same thing last 9 weeks. We took his electronics till he caught his work up. I need advice on how to help him understand he has to at least try. I don't expect perfection. Just try. His dad wants to discipline him like a child that doesn't have asperges. He talks about wanting to die. And wants to hide in his room and on his games. How do I help him.

dragonfly said...

I'm a female aspie and went through a very difficult adolescence. Not coming home from school. "Hanging out with the cool crowd". Sex, drugs, rock & roll. Thinking I had friends. Really I was prey.
That was in the 70s, a hard time to grow up for everyone. I'm 54 now and just recently settled down.
My mother told me to stop faking it. Tried to change my personality. And kept me isolated from the family (6 siblings). They couldn't understand why I got so upset at family gatherings. Labeled me spoiled and ignored me. Sensory overload meltdown.
The other kids are all older. Sometimes there would be spouses with kids. 14 people all talking at once. So I often had a shutdown and went to my room to curl up under a blanket.
Then they would say I didn't want to be in the family.
I was devastated and continue to suffer isolation from my siblings and other issues. Lack of friends, a chaotic work history, self medication.
Pay attention to your child. He may have just had a bad day at school or sees cliques forming and finds himself excluded and hates being different. So he explodes at home.
Is he too defiant to work with a tutor. Can the school provide a dark quiet place of refuge when all the lights, changing classes, other kids acting up are pushing him over the edge?
Just some thoughts that might help
Good luck.

Proud mum said...

I have a 14 year old son with Aspergers, and I think he is coping quite well at the moment. He had an issue with a girl last year who was teasing him that he was gay etc I don't mind if he was, but he is not, anyway he got so fed up with this girl that he finally said to her" if your going to go around talking crap about me don't you think you should loose weight?" It was an honest answer ( she is a little chubby) but he got into more trouble than her, when she should have known better. This girl has known him for 10 years. To him he was just being honest. After the incident I told him to never come back at her with anything but to tell me straight away. So yesterday at school girl walks by and pulls a face at him and he pulls one back in a comraderie fashion. She then goes and fills her cup with water and throws it on him. He is humiliated in front of his peers and feels very uncomfortable being wet. But he walked away and told me straight away. He did the right thing I am so proud of him, but how can I get this girl to leave him alone?

Blogger said...

Which treatment center?

Unknown said...

Hi. My son is Asperger as well. He had also similar situation but with a boy who is our neighbour. I think that having meeting with school Principal and class teacher and talking about your child'Asperger syndrome would help. They should be awar of this bullying girl as bulling is not allowed in any schools . ...and in addition parents of this girl should alsso attend this meeting. This wee girl probabky has issues too,maybe even at home so that is why her behaviour is as it is. I would advise you to get some tops from psychologist ar person who is dealing with councelling-they have great tool in relation how to deal with stress-believe me -you need them as every parent wit Aspie child. All will work for you. 😊 Monika

Unknown said...

Hello my son is heading inti grade 11 next year and the similarities are across the board. So after reading your post I am wondering if you had any successes since your post and if you can share.

John said...

Very nice article!

Unknown said...

Hi. It really helped me reading this as I related to all of your issues with my 18 year old. I'm only just trying to get a diagnosis. This is the first place I've turned to for help after searching the Internet. How is your son now?

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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.

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