Showing posts sorted by relevance for query frustration. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query frustration. Sort by date Show all posts

10.9.09

Young People with AS and HFA: Controlling Frustration

"Any tips for dealing with a 14 y.o. autistic child [high functioning] who gets frustrated over almost anything that doesn't go the way he thinks it should?! NO Patience Whatsoever!!!"

Many children, teens, and even adults with Asperger's [AS] and High Functioning Autism [HFA] are known to have a low tolerance for frustrating experiences that result in either meltdowns or shutdowns. This post is dedicated to them...

We all know what frustration is, and we've all felt it, whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage. Frustration is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of life. And it can make you feel as though you're at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.

The Nature of Frustration—

Frustration is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get frustrated, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and nor-adrenaline.

Frustration can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be frustrated at a specific person (such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your frustration could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger feelings of frustration.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

Expressing Frustration—

The instinctive, natural way to express frustration is to respond aggressively. Frustration is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of frustration, therefore, is necessary to our survival.

On the other hand, we can't physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common sense place limits on how far our frustration can take us.

Children and adults use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their feelings of frustration. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your feelings of frustration in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express frustration. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn't mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.

Frustration can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your frustration, stop thinking about it, and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your frustration and convert it into more constructive behavior. The frustration in this type of response is that if it isn't allowed outward expression, your frustration can turn inward—on yourself. Frustration turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression.

Unexpressed frustration can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of frustration, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. Children and adults who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven't learned how to constructively express their frustration. Not surprisingly, they aren't likely to have many successful relationships.

Finally, you can calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.

Frustration Management—

The goal of frustration management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that frustration causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions.

Some children and adults really are more "hot-headed" than others are; they get angry more easily and more intensely than the average person does. There are also those who don't show their frustration in loud spectacular ways but are chronically irritable and grumpy. Easily angered children and adults don't always curse and throw things; sometimes they withdraw socially, sulk, or get physically ill.

Children and adults who are easily angered generally have what some psychologists call a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that they feel that they should not have to be subjected to frustration, inconvenience, or annoyance. They can't take things in stride, and they're particularly infuriated if the situation seems somehow unjust: for example, being corrected for a minor mistake.

What makes these people this way? A number of things… One cause may be genetic or physiological: There is evidence that some children are born irritable, touchy, and easily angered, and that these signs are present from a very early age. Another may be socio-cultural. Frustration is often regarded as negative; we're taught that it's all right to express anxiety, depression, or other emotions but not to express frustration. As a result, we don't learn how to handle it or channel it constructively.

Research has also found that family background plays a role. Typically, children and adults who are easily angered come from families that are disruptive, chaotic, and not skilled at emotional communications.

Strategies to Keep Frustration at Bay:

Relaxation—

Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down feelings of frustration. There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques, and once you learn the techniques, you can call upon them in any situation. If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered, it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques.

Some simple steps to try:
  • Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won't relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your "gut."
  • Non-strenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.
  • Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as "relax," "take it easy." Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.
  • Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.

Practice these techniques daily. Learn to use them automatically when you're in a tense situation.


Simply put, this means changing the way you think. Angry children and adults tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you're angry, your thinking can become exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, "oh, it's awful, it's terrible, everything's ruined," tell yourself, "it's frustrating, and it's understandable that I'm upset about it, but it's not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow."

Be careful of words like "never" or "always" when talking about yourself or someone else. "This !&*%@ machine never works," or "you're always forgetting things" are not just inaccurate, they also serve to make you feel that your frustration is justified and that there's no way to solve the problem. They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution.

Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything; that it won't make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse).

Logic defeats frustration, because frustration, even when it's justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself. Remind yourself that the world is "not out to get you," you're just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. Do this each time you feel frustration getting the best of you, and it'll help you get a more balanced perspective. Angry people tend to demand things: fairness, appreciation, agreement, willingness to do things their way. Everyone wants these things, and we are all hurt and disappointed when we don't get them, but angry children and adults demand them, and when their demands aren't met, their disappointment becomes frustration.

As part of their cognitive restructuring, angry children and adults need to become aware of their demanding nature and translate their expectations into desires. In other words, saying, "I would like" something is healthier than saying, "I demand" or "I must have" something. When you're unable to get what you want, you will experience the normal reactions—frustration, disappointment, hurt—but not frustration. Some angry children and adults use this frustration as a way to avoid feeling hurt, but that doesn't mean the hurt goes away.

Problem Solving—

Sometimes, our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Not all frustration is misplaced, and often it's a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. There is also a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it adds to our frustration to find out that this isn't always the case. The best attitude to bring to such a situation, then, is not to focus on finding the solution, but rather on how you handle and face the problem.

Make a plan, and check your progress along the way. Resolve to give it your best, but also not to punish yourself if an answer doesn't come right away. If you can approach it with your best intentions and efforts and make a serious attempt to face it head-on, you will be less likely to lose patience and fall into all-or-nothing thinking, even if the problem does not get solved right away.

Better Communication—

Angry children and adults tend to jump to—and act on—conclusions. And some of those conclusions can be very inaccurate. The first thing to do if you're in a heated discussion is slow down and think through your responses. Don't say the first thing that comes into your head, but slow down and think carefully about what you want to say. At the same time, listen carefully to what the other person is saying and take your time before answering.

Listen, too, to what is underlying the frustration. For instance, you like a certain amount of freedom and personal space, and your "significant other" wants more connection and closeness. If he or she starts complaining about your activities, don't retaliate by painting your partner as a jailer, a warden, or an albatross around your neck.

It's natural to get defensive when you're criticized, but don't fight back. Instead, listen to what's underlying the words: the message that this person might feel neglected and unloved. It may take a lot of patient questioning on your part, and it may require some breathing space, but don't let your frustration—or a partner's—let a discussion spin out of control. Keeping your cool can keep the situation from becoming a disastrous one.

Using Humor—

"Silly humor" can help defuse rage in a number of ways. For one thing, it can help you get a more balanced perspective. When you get angry and call someone a name or refer to them in some imaginative phrase, stop and picture what that word would literally look like. If you're at work and you think of a coworker as a "dirt-bag" or a "single-cell life form," for example, picture a large bag full of dirt (or an amoeba) sitting at your colleague's desk, talking on the phone, going to meetings. Do this whenever a name comes into your head about another person. If you can, draw a picture of what the actual thing might look like. This will take a lot of the edge off your fury; and humor can always be relied on to help un-knot a tense situation.

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

The underlying message of highly angry children and adults is "things should go my way!" Angry children and adults tend to feel that they are morally right, that any blocking or changing of their plans is an unbearable indignity and that they should NOT have to suffer this way. Maybe other people do, but not them!

When you feel that urge, he suggests, picture yourself as a god or goddess, a supreme ruler, who owns the streets and stores and office space, striding alone and having your way in all situations while others defer to you. The more detail you can get into your imaginary scenes, the more chances you have to realize that maybe you are being unreasonable; you'll also realize how unimportant the things you're angry about really are. There are two cautions in using humor. First, don't try to just "laugh off" your problems; rather, use humor to help yourself face them more constructively. Second, don't give in to harsh, sarcastic humor; that's just another form of unhealthy frustration expression.

What these techniques have in common is a refusal to take yourself too seriously. Frustration is a serious emotion, but it's often accompanied by ideas that, if examined, can make you laugh.

Changing Your Environment—

Sometimes it's our immediate surroundings that give us cause for irritation and fury. Problems and responsibilities can weigh on you and make you feel angry at the "trap" you seem to have fallen into and all the people and things that form that trap.

Give yourself a break. Make sure you have some "personal time" scheduled for times of the day that you know are particularly stressful. One example is the working mother who has a standing rule that when she comes home from work, for the first 15 minutes "nobody talks to Mom unless the house is on fire." After this brief quiet time, she feels better prepared to handle demands from her kids without blowing up at them.

Some Other Tips for Easing Up on Yourself:

Timing: If you and your spouse tend to fight when you discuss things at night—perhaps you're tired, or distracted, or maybe it's just habit—try changing the times when you talk about important matters so these talks don't turn into arguments.

Avoidance: If your child's chaotic room makes you furious every time you walk by it, shut the door. Don't make yourself look at what infuriates you. Don't say, "Well, my child should clean up the room so I won't have to be angry!" That's not the point. The point is to keep yourself calm.

Finding alternatives: If your daily commute through traffic leaves you in a state of rage and frustration, give yourself a project—learn or map out a different route, one that's less congested or more scenic. Or find another alternative, such as a bus or commuter train.

Assertiveness Training—

It's true that angry children and adults need to learn to become assertive (rather than aggressive), but most books and courses on developing assertiveness are aimed at children and adults who don't feel enough frustration. These people are more passive and acquiescent than the average person; they tend to let others walk all over them. That isn't something that most angry people do. Still, these books can contain some useful tactics to use in frustrating situations.

Remember, you can't eliminate frustration—and it wouldn't be a good idea if you could. In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will cause you frustration; and sometimes it will be justifiable frustration. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can't change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you. Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even less happy in the long run.

==> More tips and tricks to help your child on the autism spectrum to handle frustration and anger...


==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism


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COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...  I love your articles. Little everyday reminders of how to help and work with my son that doesn't require me to sit down and read a whole book. Not a lot of time for stuff like that these days.

Anonymous said...  My husband and I are the parents of 12 year old twins. One of our sons, Thomas, has Aspergers. (He also has ADHD). Writing is very challenging for him and his chief method of coping with the negative emotions he feels when asked to work on a writing assignment in 6th grade is avoidance. As an accomodation to reduce explosive meltdowns, Thomas is allowed to call his own time outs. He is good at anticipating a meltdown and has not had any big ones since we began using this self-management technique, but now that it is two weeks from the end of the school year with some big writing projects left to do, he says he is feeling "stressed out" and takes so many time outs that he isn't completing his school work. I think he truly is feeling stressed, but I would like him to develop more tolerance for the negative feelings he gets when faced with something that challenges him (whether the academic challenge or writing, or the social challenge of ignoring perceived joking and teasing.) The school staff work with him one-on-one as much as they can, to work through his frustrations over writing, but there are other children who need one-on-one attention too, and so Thomas ends up during some course blocks doing none or very little school work. How can I help the school transition Thomas away from the avoidance technique of "time outs," and towards the goal of sticking with his frustrating assignments and working through the negative feelings? The school wants to avoid melt-downs, almost at all costs, because these are so disruptive to other students and even destructive (Thomas had to earn back the cost of repairing a wall when he slammed a door knob through a wall, and, in a separate incident a week later, he paid to replace a door that cracked when he slammed it shut during a meltdown.) How can we and the school help Thomas develop more tolerance for the painful emotions he feels when he is faced with challenging situations?

Julianna76 said...  My son was diagnosed at age 15. He is 31 yrs old now and has 2 college degrees in the engineering field and no one will hire him. That is frustrating. My son while growing up never had meltdowns or tantrums. Instead he shut down. Middle school of course was a nightmare. I asked him if the kids teased him or bullied him and said "yeah". When I asked how he felt about it he said, "Mom, they don't feed me, clothe me or shelter me. They are nothing to me, so why should I care what they think about me. I choose to ignore them." I see sadness in his eyes sometimes because he worked very hard to get those degrees, and to the parent who said he was worried about his son's handwriting..."don't sweat it". My son is 31 and I still can't read his handwriting. I see the sadness when he gets a phone call or an email stating he didn't get the job. Voc Rehab follows up and it seems employers don't like candidates who don't look them in the eye and talk about their hobbies or their families or what they did last weekend. My son says, "That is irrelevant. I am here to discuss my qualifications for the job not my hobbies or family." He is very matter of fact and despises small talk for the sake of conversation. I will tell you all now, you think you are having a hard time now,....just wait until all those "programs" dry up in the wind the moment your Aspie child graduates from college. Oh and forget disability. My son tried twice...turned down. The state of NC says he's not blind and can walk, so therefore he is not disabled. So he lives at home, AAS and BS degrees on the wall, may have well just framed a piece of toilet paper for what's worth. Just 25K in students loans to pay back.

27.10.11

Helping Your Child on the Autism Spectrum to Cope with Frustration

"If things are not the way my son (high functioning) wants/needs them, we often hear swearing or he will just ignore me when i ask what is wrong (like he expects me to mind read)....i think he finds it difficult to put his feelings into words, so it often pours out in yelling and abusive names. Any suggestions?!"

Does your high-functioning autistic (HFA) or Asperger's child seem to experience more than his fair share of frustration? And does he often slip into a meltdown once he’s frustrated? If so, then read on…

Most kids on the autism spectrum go through peaks of frustration throughout their childhood. Younger ones often express their frustration in tantrums. At that point, many of them learn the word “frustrated,” and moms and dads and teachers help them to find compromises and alternatives and to develop at least some degree of “frustration tolerance.”

In the preschool years, further triggers for frustration emerge (e.g., comparisons with peers, new expectations, observations of older kids - especially siblings - and grown-ups, etc.). A youngster may be prone to frustration if he has minor delays in some developmental area, if he has easily succeeded at many things and does not remember the process of learning them, or if he is developing a somewhat perfectionistic personality style.

How your child deals with frustration is influenced by how you react to it. If you model an unhealthy response to the frustration you experience in your life (e.g., with impatience, anger, etc.), your child may learn that this is an appropriate way to deal with frustration. If you are calm, positive, and look for solutions when you get frustrated, your child will likely adopt this approach to frustration.

Here's how parents can help HFA and Asperger's kids cope with frustration:

1. Explain that everyone, including grown-ups, feels frustrated sometimes. Talk about the process people go through of not being able to do something and then practicing and getting better at it.

2. Give lots of encouragement for small accomplishments. If a youngster reaches a plateau with a new task, celebrate how far he has come. Reassure him that, in his own time, frustration will diminish, reappearing occasionally as a signal of his hard work.

3. Help them develop a strategy of taking one small step at a time in approaching new things.

4. Identify how your child expresses frustration and the activities (or social situations) that tend to elicit it.

5. Instead of recognizing that failure is temporary, an youngster on he autism spectrum often concludes, “I’ll never succeed.” That’s why encouragement is by far the most important gift you can give your frustrated youngster. Take his dejection seriously, but help him look at his challenge differently: “Never,” you might reply, “is an awfully long time.” Eventually, he’ll learn from your encouraging words to talk himself out of giving up.

6. One of the first mistakes that many kids on the spectrum make – and that moms and dads often encourage – when faced with frustration is to just increase their effort (i.e., do whatever they are doing - more and harder). But then they are violating the Law of Insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results. When frustration first arises, rather than plowing ahead, your youngster should do just the opposite (i.e., step back from the situation that is causing the frustration). For example, if your youngster can't solve a math problem or learn a new sports skill that he is practicing, he should set it aside and take a break. Stopping the activity creates emotional distance from the frustration, thus easing its grip on them.

7. Provide alternatives to unacceptable expressions of frustration. Since frustration is a form of pent-up energy, doing something physical to burn-off the negative energy often works quite well. Going for a brief - but brisk - walk, jumping up and down for a minute or two, or some other physical activity helps to semi-exhaust the child so that little energy is left over for tantrum-behavior (e.g., throwing things, yelling, hitting, etc.).

8. You can help your child learn to soothe himself by demonstrating patience and self-control, and by suggesting self-calming strategies (e.g., cuddling with a favorite stuffed animal, singing a favorite song, taking a break and doing something fun, beginning the task again with a smaller step so that there is a first success to build on, etc.). Your long-term goal is for him to learn to recognize when he’s frustrated and what he can do about it on his own.

9. You can help your youngster hold on to his sense of self-worth by helping him remember his past successes – and the struggles that preceded them. Put his current struggle into perspective by recalling other times that he thought he’d never succeed, until he did. Help him learn to notice the strengths that he can count on to help him triumph — guts, determination, endurance, careful observation (no matter how fledgling some of these qualities may still be).

10. You can help your youngster recognize that learning involves trial and error. Mastering a new skill takes patience, perseverance, practice, and the confidence that success will come. To a young person, achieving success, whether it’s writing his name or hitting a baseball for the first time, can seem monumental.





==> My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums

19.3.19

Helping Kids on the Autism Spectrum Who Get Frustrated Easily

Question

When my 15y/o son with autism (high functioning) meets with disappointment, and when things don't go just as he wants them to, he has his meltdown …then it is so difficult to get him redirected back to doing what he should be doing. Are there any tips you can give me about how to try to get him back on track, to help him accept that something didn't work out or that he can't do or have something he really wanted?

Answer

What you’re referring to here is low frustration tolerance (i.e., needing immediate pleasure or needing to avoid pain at the cost of long-term stress and defeatism). Low frustration-tolerance originates from the youngster’s dysfunctional and irrational beliefs. Behaviors are then the result of avoiding frustrating events which, paradoxically, lead to increased frustration and even greater mental stress.

Low frustration tolerance occurs when the youngster gets very frustrated and has an unwillingness or inability to tolerate the necessary short-term discomfort that is sometimes required for long-term gain. 
 
The opposite of this would be HIGH frustration tolerance. High frustration tolerance is simply the ability to tolerate or cope with discomfort and hard work in the short-term in order to achieve one's long term goals. Kids and teens with high frustration tolerance tend to be much more flexible, logical, rational and calmer in their thinking, behavior and general approach to life – and they are far less likely to suffer mental health problems as a result.
 

Here is what I would say to your son if I were meeting with him one-on-one…

Low frustration tolerance is just what it sounds like. You do not tolerate even the most minor frustrations well. You are easily irritated. You have a short fuse. Now …here is how you can increase your ability to deal with stressors, irritations and frustration without blowing your cool:

When the irritation happens and before you lose your cool, you have a thought or some belief which either lowers or increases your frustration. Consider some of the situations that irritate or annoy you. Look at some of the thinking which may be causing you to be more irritated or frustrated than you need to be. Here are some examples:
  • "I can't stand being frustrated, so I must avoid it at all costs."
  • "I can't take this."
  • "I can't wait that long."
  • "I should always be happy and content."
  • "It shouldn't be this difficult."
  • "It shouldn't be this way."
  • "My mom should stop doing things which annoy me."
  • "Things must go my way, and I can’t stand it when they don't."
  • "This is too much."

It is important to listen to what you are thinking, because then you can change what you are thinking. If you change your view of what is happening, you can change how you feel about it. If you can tune-in to what is going on in your head, you can rewrite the script. A large part of feeling frustrated comes from feeling helpless. Realize that you aren't completely helpless.

Now here is what I have to say to you, the parent...

There are nine distinct dimensions reflecting differences in temperament that influence how kids on the autism spectrum respond to the world around them. Understanding these may better help you to understand your son and figure out strategies for coping better with his temperament:

1. ACTIVITY measures the amount of physical energy a youngster puts into behavior and daily activities. An active child moves around a lot, even when sleeping. These kids prefer more active kinds of play over quiet activities such as reading. Many resist sleeping and fall asleep only when they're exhausted. Moms and dads need to notice what works when they are trying to calm an active youngster at bedtime.

2. ADAPTABILITY measures a youngster's adjustment to changes and transitions. Highly adaptable kids can be taken anywhere, anytime. They can sleep anywhere. As they get older, they are easy going. Kids low in adaptability react negatively to changes and need a lot of time before settling into situations. Unexpected situations can arouse strong reactions. Kids low in adaptability resist change, and often insist that every detail of daily routines be followed. They frequently are clingy. You can help them feel more in control by giving them simple choices to make (e.g., “Would you prefer doing your homework before or after dinner?”).

3. APPROACH/WITHDRAWAL measures a child’s initial reaction to a new activity, person, or situation. “Approaching” children tend to have a positive first reaction. These kids are often also very active and may go barreling into new situations, sometimes frightening other kids nearby. Helping them to slow down a little is very useful. “Withdrawing” kids have a negative reaction to the first time they experience something new. Sometimes they slowly warm-up to a situation, so it's important not to rush them into things. Let them set the pace at which they assimilate into what is going on.
 

4. DISTRACTIBILITY measures a youngster's tendency to be diverted by noise, interruptions, and other things going on around them. Highly distractible kids are acutely aware of everything that's going on around them. Simply explaining to a youngster, "You're getting distracted" can help him become more aware and regain his focus. Kids low in distractibility focus well, even in challenging environments, such as school.

5. INTENSITY refers to the level of energy a youngster puts into self-expression (i.e., the amount of volume and drama in the youngster's life). Intense kids express themselves with great vigor and gusto. Older kids speak in extremes (e.g., “Today was THE BEST or THE WORST day ever”). When they are in a good mood, they can be delightfully enthusiastic about something. When they are in a bad mood, a negative reaction from a parent can unleash a major tantrum or meltdown, abusive back-talk, threats of violence, or threats of running away. Moms and dads of intense kids need to learn how to not escalate with them. You should speak in a matter-of-fact tone of voice with them. After an eruption is over, try to help them learn more appropriate ways of expressing themselves that will be less offensive to others around them.

6. MOOD is a measure of a youngster's disposition. Some kids complain a lot. Others smile a lot and are always content. Some tend toward optimistic, others pessimistic. Kids who are more serious may have an analytical way of looking at things. If they tend toward pessimism or negativity, you can use their analytical perspective to your advantage. Speaking in a measured tone, help them understand what is upsetting them; help them broaden their perspective. Help them see things in new, more adaptive, ways.

7. PERSISTENCE/FRUSTRATION TOLERANCE measures a youngster's ability to complete a task in the face of obstacles. Kids with low frustration tolerance tend to give up easily when something doesn't go easily. Children and teens with low frustration tolerance do not like to be left alone. Kids who are low in frustration tolerance can be helped to increase their persistence by gradually stretching out the “adult response-time” to their kid's demands for help. Try breaking tasks down into smaller and easier pieces. Encourage them to do something until they can complete it. Kids with high frustration tolerance can persist in the face of difficulties and are more comfortable entertaining themselves. They sometimes find it difficult to walk away from something unfinished. You can help by giving them advance warnings (e.g., “Dinner is in five minutes”).

8. REGULARITY measures how predictable or unpredictable a youngster's biological functions are (e.g., hunger, fatigue, bowel movements, etc.). “Irregular” kids will rarely do anything with any predictability. Moms and dads should resist nagging a youngster about eating with everyone else. Instead, try making healthy snacks and food available for when they ask for it. Kids who are more irregular may handle chaos and spontaneity better than kids who are very “regular” and who do better in predictable and structured environments.

9. SENSITIVITY is a measure of a youngster's sensory threshold. A youngster low in sensitivity is better equipped to handle a stimulating situation (e.g., crowds or shopping). A youngster high in sensitivity has a low tolerance for exciting or stimulating situations, and will be prone to meltdowns. He over-reacts to physical stimuli (e.g., sights, sounds, taste, smell, and touch). Sensible accommodations to help sensitive kids can make coping easier for the youngster (e.g., learning when to turn down the volume).

Understanding your son's temperament will go a long way toward helping him fit into a society that is quick to judge harshly behaviors and emotions that are "different." To the extent that a mother or father can learn to accept a youngster for who he is, it greatly helps that child or teen to learn to feel good about being himself.

 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD
 
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14.10.10

How to Deal with an Aspergers Child Who Also Suffers with Anxiety

Question

How do you deal with an Aspergers child who also suffers with anxiety?

Answer

For kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism), anxiety can be overwhelming. What causes this anxiety? Just about anything can cause anxiety. The stress of social situations when you have weak social skills, changes in your normal routine or in the order of things, depression due to the loneliness that can come with lacking social abilities, and frustration. Truthfully, frustration is the root of anxiety in kids with Aspergers.

In kids with Aspergers, anxiety builds as frustration builds. Something as simple as being forced to make eye contact and explain your reasons for choosing a certain book to read can cause frustration. Imagine trying to find the words you need and learning that some of those words are missing. Imagine having to look someone in the eye and feeling actual physical discomfort when doing so. Imagine eating in a noisy, crowded cafeteria when the sights, sounds, and smells are painfully overwhelming. Imagine having a deep desire to make and keep friends, but not having the social skills needed to accomplish this desire. Frustration is around every corner, and with that frustration comes anxiety.

Aspergers anxiety must be understood before it can be eliminated or at the very least, managed. Knowing the youngster’s anxiety triggers, or daily frustrations is a good place to start. Once you know the youngster’s frustrations, you can make a plan for these stressful Aspergers anxiety situations. 

There are several choices of treatments for parents to choose:

• Moms and dads can choose to teach coping skills at home. Search the Internet for published resources that can make the job easier and more effective.

• In some cases, medication is a necessary treatment. Anti-anxiety medications can make it easier for kids with Aspergers to deal with the depression and anxiety issues. Since medications are not for everyone, a trusted doctor‘s guidance is necessary.

• Counseling is a common treatment option for anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as psychological counseling can help. Social skills training, sensory integration therapy, and language therapy can also help with the underlying causes of a youngster’s anxiety-inducing frustration.

Aspergers anxiety is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. Finding the right combination of stress management and treatments will help your family deal with the frustration that leads to anxiety.

More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book


==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

12.9.16

Understanding the "Easily Annoyed" Child on the Autism Spectrum

“I have a 9 year old son with [high functioning] autism. My main issue with him is that he is sooooo easily annoyed at EVERY THING! Including ME! If I don't hear his question the first time and say, "What did you say?" …I get, "Nothing, never mind" (big huff and rolling eyes). If his 5 year old sister is crying or getting into his stuff, it is MAJOR drama (screaming at her, slamming doors, etc. etc.). If I am not walking around smiling with sunshine shooting out of my butt (sorry for the metaphor), he automatically thinks I'm angry about something and says, “What's wrong?" I say, "Nothing..." and then it is the whole, “Whatever, never mind.” It's not just the rotten attitude, but his being chronically annoyed. He can't find his shoes, and I get, "arrrgghhhh, I can NEVER find my shoes!!!!" (huff, slam door, and more arrrgghhhh). The toys that he has all lined-up in a row don’t look right, the pants he wants to wear are dirty, his sister doesn't want to watch what he wants to watch – anything and everything! Sometimes I think he needs to be on some kind of medication. We've tried counseling... no help there. Is this just his personality? Is it a symptom of autism? He doesn’t behave this way at school – just at home. I am at my wits END!”

Indeed, children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) are often easily annoyed by others. They are quickly overwhelmed by minimal change and highly sensitive to environmental stimuli. They like everything to stay the same – even their parent’s mood and their sibling’s behavior (which is obviously an unreasonable expectation)). They are anxious and tend to worry obsessively when they do not know what to expect. Stress, fatigue and sensory-overload can throw them off balance. As a result, they may seem to be upset about “everything.”



In addition, it is not uncommon for HFA children to behave fairly well at school, yet act-out at home. However, just because the acting-out occurs at home does not necessarily mean the “cause” of the behavior lies there. Many HFA students find school very stressful, but they tend to keep their emotions bottled-up until they get home. Most young people on the autism spectrum do not display the body language and facial expressions you would expect to see when a “typical” youngster is feeling a stressed or angry. While kids on the spectrum may appear relatively calm at school, they are often experiencing very different emotions under the surface – and may release those pent-up emotions in the safety of their home.

When your HFA youngster is acting-out due to being annoyed by someone or something, what is your initial response? Do you become anxious and give-in to avoid conflict? Do you say nothing and hope that it will pass? Do you get angry yourself and start shouting? Maybe your answer is, “All three depending on the day!” Welcome to the club! Trying to help an annoyed, angry child to calm down – time after time, day in and day out – is exhausting and stressful.

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

The adamant expression of annoyance in the form of anger serves a purpose. It lets you know that something is wrong in the same way that burning your finger lets you know that the oven is hot. It hits rapidly, and the reaction is instantaneous. Similarly, for example, your youngster is upset because he can’t watch the TV show he wants to – and BAM – the parent has a fight on her hands. Keeping this in mind, let’s switch gears and get into problem-solving mode…

How can parents help the “easily annoyed” HFA child? Here are some thoughts to ponder:

1. The first step in helping your child overcome this problem is to change your reaction to his behavior. If you give-in, or say nothing, or get angry, then your child will know that he can push your buttons – and that it works. He knows that if he can wear you down by complaining or getting angry, he will get his way in the end. Instead of being held accountable, he has figured out a way to avoid negative consequences. Therefore, parents need to learn to overcome their “knee-jerk” reactions of giving-in, ignoring misbehavior, or getting angry.

2. Do not simply assume that there is nothing to be annoyed about. Your youngster may not be wrong for feeling this way. There may be some justification for her frustration, even if the behavior is not justified. If your youngster can’t be civil in explaining her annoyance, then say something such as, “I understand you feel annoyed. I’m sorry you feel that way.” Then leave it alone until she has calmed down. If she starts acting-out her frustration (e.g., cussing, throwing things, hitting, etc.), then that is when you want to address the behavior. You can’t control the way your youngster feels about things, but you can give her consequences and hold her accountable for acting-out. It’s normal for all children to be annoyed from time to time. It’s not the feeling of frustration that is the problem, it is the resulting behavior. So, don’t punish feelings, only punish misbehavior.

3. Consider whether or not a consequence is really necessary. Let’s say a 10-year-old boy is annoyed and frustrated about something, so he mutters something under his breath, walks into his bedroom and slams the door. When you look at it objectively, a youngster who is working on his frustration has actually handled it fairly well – in this case, going to his room to calm down. In a situation like this, you may decide to waive the consequence. While different parents have different rules about what is allowed and what is not, there should be some latitude to allow your youngster to express frustration as long as property is not damaged and no one gets hurt.

4. Sometimes, a child’s frustration is caused by very real and inescapable problems in his life. Not all frustration is misplaced – and often it is a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. There is a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it adds to the parent’s frustration to find out that this is not always the case. The best attitude to bring to such a situation, then, is NOT to focus on finding the solution, but rather on how the frustrated child handles and faces the problem. Help your child to make a plan for those occasions when he is annoyed and irritated, and help him check his progress along the way. If your child can approach his problems with his best intentions and make a serious attempt to face it head-on, he will be less likely to lose patience and fall into all-or-nothing thinking, even if the problem does not get solved right away.

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

5. Parents need to understand that the HFA child typically has a very low toleration for frustration. This frustration comes from a lack of understanding of his feelings. He is unable to identify and express what he is feeling, so he lumps all the “bad” feelings together. Moms and dads witness the overflow of “bad” feelings that come out all at once. It's important that you don't take them personally, even when they seem as though they are directed at you. A young person on the autism spectrum wants to tell his parents what is on his mind, but most of the time he does not know how to say it properly, or he misinterpreted his thoughts and feelings altogether.

6. Often times, when a child is easily annoyed, it is because she has poor problem-solving skills. She has not learned to solve her underlying problems in healthy ways, so she yells, throws things, and calls people names. One of your most important jobs is to give your child some problem-solving tools. The development of problem-solving skills should include your HFA youngster as a contributor in planning and execution. Thus, be sure to include her input in all the suggestions listed below. The ideas described are something you are doing WITH your youngster, rather than TO her. In order to help the easily annoyed child, parents need a thorough understanding of their child’s perspective. Any approach to correcting frustration and resultant acting-out behavior that does not include the youngster is not going to have long-term benefits.




Here are some ways to assist your HFA child in learning a few problem-solving skills:
  • Enhance sensitivity to verbal and nonverbal social cues through games and role play, teaching your youngster to identify social cues in body language and pitch of voice.
  • Have your youngster make a video of his own nonverbal cues, and then have him explain his feelings on the basis of cues demonstrated in the video (e.g., hand gestures, facial expressions, voice intonation, and other indicators of social intent).
  • Help your youngster identify his own feeling states through self-report and observation.
  • Help your youngster to assess likely outcomes of potential responses and to select a response that can be initiated given the limitations of the situation. Compared to non-frustrated kids, frustrated ones tend to evaluate pro-social responses less favorably. Thus, they are not behaving a certain way to purposely hurt those around them, rather they are simply making decisions based on social skills deficits.
  • Help your youngster to assign meaning to social cues. This step is necessary because easily annoyed, frustrated kids commonly interpret neutral interactions as threatening – and then respond defensively. Unlike “typical” kids, HFA kids do not intuitively know how to exhibit socially acceptable behavior, and the level of their required assistance depends on the social supports they have previously encountered.
  • Help your youngster to attend to social cues that are often missed or misinterpreted.
  • Help your youngster to develop ideas about how to respond to each social circumstance he encounters. This step is necessary because, compared with “typical” kids, AS and HFA kids identify fewer alternatives and seem unaware of the various options that may be open to them when confronted by a social problem. These “special needs” kids need help identifying their options and possible outcomes (this is why constantly telling them what they are doing wrong does not increase the likelihood of improved future performance).
  • Your youngster should learn to identify and classify social cues by friendly, neutral, and hostile categories of intent. The youngster can practice by assuming the roles of his siblings and/or peers in disputes.

If the HFA child is exhibiting threatening behavior and seems unable to control it, then getting him to work with a professional is the best approach. A qualified therapist can provide coping techniques for the youngster to deal with his tendency to be annoyed by others and the resultant frustration and acting-out. In addition, the therapist can provide you with valuable insight and tools for helping your youngster deal with his negative feelings.

 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD
 
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COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said…  Almost word for word what I say/do when my Aspie son thinks he can get away with that type of behavior.
•    Anonymous said… Anxiety is also a good thing to learn about. This will probably drive a number of his behaviours. Meditation and mindfulness are great for both of you! Plus he most likely is doing some of these things at school - they just have structure and support staff to manage his needs. It's 100 times harder at home. Like my sister said, moan and chat when not there because then you have the energy to manage when it doesn't go right. Rob long (ed psyc) says "calm when they get it wrong, happy when they get it right"
•    Anonymous said… At that age they get a huge testerone increase . Have a Google of it and see if that helps explain his change in behaviour.
•    Anonymous said… Brilliant article
•    Anonymous said… Find a therapist who specializes in Behaviour Modification Techniques ... PAY THE MONEY TO LEARN It and most importantly ... STICK TO IT! Temple Grandin is th best expert on Aspergers and Autism and she has spoken frequently on the need for manners, rules and good behaviour for children on the spectrum.
•    Anonymous said… Firstly, I would remove the bedroom door, and explain that when he can be trusted with it by showing some self-control he may get it back. We have done this at our house. He can choose to control himself, but he is controlling you , as he seems to have you all walking around on eggshells, so the anger is beneficial to him. He needs to lose something, such as a privilege, when he is being obnoxious. As a boy, he is only going to get bigger, stronger, and harder to train. Teach him more acceptable methods of expressing displeasure, such as just telling you he is upset. Then when he does it, thank him for using words instead of anger, and try to reach a compromise. Maybe you could make some house rules and post them for all the kids, such as: No door slamming, Work out problems calmly, Don't touch other people's things without asking permission, etc. And try to get him into the tub two or three times a week and put a cup or two of Epsom salts in there as the water runs. The magnesium helps anxiety tremendously.
•    Anonymous said… I can't tell you what a miracle biofeedback was for us. He can control his physical response to stress and anxiety.
•    Anonymous said… I get the same thing from my Aspie and she tells me I am screaming when I am not at all it is annoying to hear that stuff all the time
•    Anonymous said… I would say anxiety. That's how my husband and oldest son project their anxiety. The right meds for both of them helps with that so so much.
•    Anonymous said… I'm really not having a go at all but some of this ( and I mean some not all) can be solved by very strict parenting - not a day without the house rules... Nothing. Hard work but you will get there... It's very hard to differentiate between what is truly aspergers behaviour and what is a naughty child... The latter needs telling. Aspergers isn't a licence for bad behaviour non stop. I have been through it with my son but honestly you will get through to the other side by just sticking to your guns.
•    Anonymous said… It is expectation. In their all or nthing thinking, They expect you to be a certain way. Perform to a certain level. Respond immediately. Know everything. Be everything. When you fall short of their expectations, as you invariably will, you get the eye roll and huffing and puffing. Teach them that people don't operate at their level. That they can and will do it their way, in their own time. Just because he expects it does not mean it's going to happen.
•    Anonymous said… It is like reading the story of my 12 year old! Sigh.
•    Anonymous said… it is the autism, my son has same diagnosis. there are many tricks to helping him. these kids benefit from programs that teach them how to read body language. set s place for his shoes and make sure they are put in same place for him til he gets used to doing it for himself. allow him to have his own tv solves the tv issue. and with my son i just have to do his laundry regular esp. if he has a fave shirt he wants to wear everyday cause it has to get washed after every use, they can be OCD about a lot of things! sometimes you just got to see the humour in it.
•    Anonymous said… Keep smiling keep loving him xx have a good moan and chat when he's at school xx surround yourself with positive people! You are not alone in this xx
•    Anonymous said… My 14 year old! The constant mumbling "whatever, you don't care" under his breath when I don't hear what he said to me or he doesn't think I'm interested in what he says. Everyday! I think I just expect to hear it now on a daily basis. Some days it's not as easy to tolerate.
•    Anonymous said… My 9 year old until I insisted on putting him in lexapro . He's a different person now. The psychiatrist wanted him in mood stabilizers . They didn't work he was angry then at times a zombie and gained weight which caused more problems . Find a good Psychiatrist. Good luck it's a game of trial and error. It's so exhausting and emotionally draining . Mine is also 9
•    Anonymous said… My daughter does some of the same things. I do not allow her to continue with the behavior. I tell her yes things are going to agitate her but she can't control other people only herself. If she is agitated I tell her to remove herself from the situation of possible.
•    Anonymous said… My daughter is on a natural supplement called GABA recommended by her therapist. It is amazing and helps with the anxiety.
•    Anonymous said… my poor lad spent quite a lot of his time in bedroom when younger. It's v tricky to know what's right but my boy is 14 now and just fabulous!
•    Anonymous said… My sentiments exactly. My son (not an aspie) has been in therapy since he was 8 years old (he's 18 now) and it did help some.. but since he has been on Paxil he is just feeling so much better.. we are getting to see the real kid
•    Anonymous said… My son has always reminded me of an old curmudgeon. LOL! Part of it is from anxiety.
•    Anonymous said… Not saying this is the case in every family, BUT kids do mirror how their parents act in any given situation. How the parent reacts in a stressful or bad situation is important. Are Mom and Dad yelling and screaming at eachother or the kids or they acting like the adult and staying calm ? I think all kids will see how far they can push you,but with our kids in the spectrum it may be other triggers setting them off 9 times out of 10 and it's your job as their parent to help them through it.
•    Anonymous said… Now if you try to hold his hand he digs his nails in you, if you hold his arm he yells your hurting him which we are not. Prior to him moving in my home last year I never had issues with him.
•    Anonymous said… Pathological demand avoidance after all these years my daughter is finally diagnosed she is now 40 years old!!!
•    Anonymous said… Sounds like A 7 old i know saying "Life is horrible" etc for any "good" reason
•    Anonymous said… Sounds like my 5 yr old grandson who hasn't be diagnosed but is being evaluated for it, he doesn't act like this at school either. His 2 yr old sister shares the same attitude so I'm questioning why do they share the same type behavior? My grandson growls to express his anger a lot. I discipline him as if he is a just a normal child but with a slight difference bcz he needs to learn it's not ok to hurt people and the fact I don't know if he's autistic or not. He scratches the paint off my wall in time out. I figure if he can behave at school, he can behave here or at home.
•    Anonymous said… Sounds like my 6 nearly 7 year old son
•    Anonymous said… Sounds like my hubby and daughter LOL!
•    Anonymous said… That's like the majority of 14 year olds!... It's up to you to decide whether you accept it or not...not much to do with aspergers imho
•    Anonymous said… The therapy recommended for my daughter was cognitive behavioral therapy. In one year her tantrums and anxiety have decreased dramatically.
•    Anonymous said… This sounds exactly like my 8 year old daughter.
•    Anonymous said… Took him to an air show yesterday and spent most of the time disciplining him. to stay side by side as we walked, disturbing other people, asking for food or to buy him stuff bcz I wasn't paying the high prices. He makes up his own jibberish language (which I used to do and a young child), he is impulsive(what comes to mind he does-something I used to do).
•    Anonymous said… Very difficult when this is your everyday, my easily upset one is an adult now and manages himself better , he really didn`t know anyone else was upset by his actions or why they would be. Empathy is not his big thing I have had to learn to love him in spite of his behavior.
•    Anonymous said… We are living this nightmare now with our son. He is 15. Oddly enough when he was younger he rarely got upset. It wasn't until the end of 7th grade that the anger issues began to show and now its a common occurrence. Just dealing with a teen is hard enough but then compound that with Aspergers. It's exhausting! We recently turned to a psychiatrist and counseling. Too early to tell if it has helped...he is more aware and is trying to make a conscious effort to not get angry. Its a start (:
•    Anonymous said… Wow I thought I was reading my own story. I have a 8 year old high functioning Aspergers who is exactly this story. Yesterday he totally lost control and became violent. Later he broke down crying and asked for a cuddle. He revealed that all his friends for dumping him and he felt different confused and that no one understood him. As devastating and heartbreaking as that was for us to hear at least I know he trusts me enough to have those tough conversations. Even at 8 he loves his cuddles. I don't think anyway has the right I think we just work it out along the way as every child is different there sensory needs are different and the way the my respond is obviously different. Hang in there stay calm and take a breath
•    Anonymous said… You pick and choose your battles and keep moving forward
•    Anonymous said…Oh you just wrote about my son. He is 19 now. But still. Cracked it yesterday cause one of his computer leads got tangled - they seem to have a very short fuse.
*    Anonymous said... My son gets frustrated to the point that he always seems upset or angry. He will give up on things if they don't go his way without even putting any more effort into it. I've dealt with it for so long that I just tend to go on with my day and not let it get me down. I've tried to explain to him how to persevere and get something accomplished, or how to fix his problem. He tends to be very stubborn and often doesn't listen to that either. It does wear out a parent! He is 19 and done with school now, so this is also a hard transition time. I'm hopeful that eventually he will outgrow the teen years and maybe develop a more laid back attitude toward life.
*    Anonymous said... My son who is also 9 is the same way and also has very high anxiety. His doctor put him on a low dose Zoloft for the anxiety because it was affecting everything he did and it's done wonders for his anger as well.

Post your comment below…

1.10.10

Preventing Temper Tantrums in Children with Asperger's Syndrome

Kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism) have difficulty in communication, a wish for everything to stay the same, and sticking to their favorite routines. They can get very angry and upset if something unexpected happens or when they do not understand what they are told or what is expected from them.

Their frustration levels are much higher and even the slightest thing can set them off. To outsiders their sometimes violent tantrums seem to be without a cause. As a grandparent of a boy with Aspergers, I know from experience there is always a reason for him to express his frustration in such a way.

Typically, rages in Aspergers kids occur when the youngster has experienced a maximum sensory overload and can no longer interpret the environment stimuli occurring around them. The rages and outbursts may occur because of miscommunication between your youngster and another youngster, or when your youngster is simply not able to interpret the communication occurring in their environment.

In most kids with Aspergers, rages occur because of frustration in their ability to interpret and communicate effectively, and in combination with the sensory overload of the activities around them. If you feel that your youngster is experiencing rages, temper tantrums, and outbursts due to environment stimulation complications, it is important to place your youngster in an environment where you can, to some extent, control what happens in the environment. Progressively, over time you can increase the exposure that your youngster experiences in their environment as a way to slowly teach your youngster how to manage and respond to the stimuli without experiencing feelings of rage.

When your youngster lives with Aspergers and has feelings of rage, it is important to understand some of the early warning signs that a temper tantrum is about to occur. In kids with Aspergers, biting of the lower lip or chewing on their play things is quite common when feeling distressed. In addition, your youngster may begin to pick at their hands or fingers and show signs that they want to rock in a chair. Some Aspergers kids, when feeling frustrated, may begin pacing, or even bolt out of a room as a way to alleviate the frustration they feel when too much stimulation is present.

All of these early warning signs are important to signify that a rage is about to occur, and when you see these warning signs in your Aspergers youngster not only should you defuse the situation, but also look around the environment to determine what could possibly be causing the rage to occur. By learning by experience, you can teach your youngster how to more effectively manage their rage and feelings of frustration so as to create a more peaceful, tantrum-free, environment in which to live.

Causes of tantrums—

Kids with Asperger have more trouble communication so are unable to express their frustration in a more acceptable way. Their anxiety level is much higher and they are known for their extreme reactions. It can be as simple as being touched unexpectedly or a stranger bumping into them and they feel it was done on purpose.

Another problem for those with Asperger can be sensory overload. Some kids with Asperger, have great difficulty with their senses such as the feel of their clothes, tags inside their clothes or the taste or texture of certain foods in their mouth. These uncomfortable senses make them feel uneasy and lead to built up stress. Anger tantrums can be a seen as a stress release.

What NOT to do—

One thing I learned over the years is this: never give in when they are throwing an anger tantrum. For example, if your youngster asks for a cookie and has an anger tantrum because you said "no," you will reward him for this behavior if you give him the cookie anyway. This way they are rewarded for their unacceptable behavior - and guess what - they will do it again and again and again because it pays off! I know it’s hard to stay calm, but shouting back will not work. Hitting you youngster will not work either. Realize it is the only way they can get rid of their frustration.

What you can do—

Isolated your youngster or walk away from the scene yourself if you feel unable to control your own feelings. Be direct and tell them they are on time out so they can calm down until they are able to talk about it. Find out the reason why your youngster has an anger tantrum so you both can learn to avoid it in the future. Trying to distract or redirect your youngster might help when they are still young. Holding your youngster firmly and not allowing him or her to escape can work sometimes. It is called holding therapy and it can have a calming effect when deep pressure is put on the body.

What worked for me and my grandson was to put our hands against each other and let him try to push me as far away from him as possible. It would put pressure and strain on his arms and legs and help him to vent his frustrations. Don’t let him push your body or get physical, just pushing through the hands will calm him down. I never gave my kids the idea they should be ashamed for their feelings of frustration or anger. It’s okay to be angry but it’s not okay to hit or hurt somebody because of it. Being angry is not something they are able to control, but they do have a choice what they do with their anger. Try to talk about it to them, create an open communication with your youngster. Support him or her in any way you possibly can.

Just never give in to their expressed wishes while they are angry, or they will learn being angry and throwing anger tantrums will pay off and give them what they wanted in the first place.


==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

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