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

Dealing with Tantrums in High-Functioning Autistic Kids

“Karla, my 5 year old daughter with high functioning autism, has frequent intense tantrums over the most smallest of things, especially when we are out in public! But my question is should I deal with this differently than I do with my other child (older son) who does not have the disorder?”

The short answer is yes. There are a few special considerations due to the traits associated with the disorder (e.g., sensory sensitivities, insistence on routine, literal thinking, etc.). But, you do want to make the distinction between a tantrum and a meltdown. Those are two different problems that should be addressed differently (more on meltdowns here).

Some High-Functioning Autistic (Asperger’s) kids throw frequent temper tantrums, and others rarely do. Kids throw temper tantrums as a way of expressing anger and frustration. If the behavior is dealt with incorrectly, your daughter may learn to use temper tantrums to manipulate you and to gain attention. In dealing with temper tantrums, the ultimate goal is to teach her acceptable ways of expressing uncomfortable emotions.



Surviving the Temper Tantrum—

The most important things to remember when Karla is in the throes of a temper tantrum are:
  • Don't let the disapproval of other people affect your response to the temper tantrum.
  • Don't punish Karla.
  • Don't reward her.
  • Isolate her if possible.
  • Keep her safe.
  • Stay calm and ignore the behavior to the extent possible.

When Karla throws a temper tantrum, she is essentially out of control. You must make sure that you stay firmly in control. Punishing her for throwing a temper tantrum, by yelling or spanking for example, makes the temper tantrum worse in the short term and prolongs the behavior in the long term. Trying to stop the temper tantrum by giving in to Karla's demands is even worse. This is the way to teach an HFA youngster to use temper tantrums for manipulation, and will cause the behavior to continue indefinitely, even into adulthood.

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

At Home—

When Karla throws a temper tantrum at home, calmly escort her to a place where she can be left by herself (e.g., a designated “safe place”). Then leave the room and don't go back until she calms down. When Karla is calm, have a talk with her about her behavior. If you don't feel safe leaving her alone, stay with her, but don't respond to the temper tantrum in any way. Don't even make eye contact.

In Public—

If Karla throws a temper tantrum in public, escort her out of the public area if possible, and take her to a place where you can have some privacy. The best place to take her is to the car, where she can be buckled into the car seat. Then you stand near the car or sit in the car and wait it out without reacting to the temper tantrum. When the temper tantrum subsides, talk to Karla about her behavior, and then return to your activities.

Sometimes it won't be possible for you to escape from the public place easily. For example, if you are in a commercial jet and Karla throws a temper tantrum while you are coming in for a landing (as my daughter once did), you are basically stuck where you are. Likewise, you may find it hard to escape if you are standing in a long check-out line at the grocery store with a cart full of groceries.

Under such circumstances, all you can do is grit your teeth and hang on. Ignore the screaming youngster. Ignore the glares and snide remarks of the people around you. Keep your cool. (Anyway, a screaming youngster in a check-out line speeds it up, so Karla is actually doing everyone a favor.) Once you are able to make your escape, talk to Karla about her behavior.

Teaching Alternatives to Temper Tantrums—

Once Karla has settled down, you and she need to have a talk right away while the memories of the episode are still fresh in her mind. She threw the temper tantrum because she was angry or frustrated. Don't get into the issue of why she was angry or frustrated. Concentrate on the temper tantrum itself, explaining to her that the behavior isn't appropriate. Then teach her what she should do instead when she feels angry. This works with kids of any age, even toddlers.

First describe the behavior: "You felt angry and you threw a temper tantrum. You were screaming, throwing things, and kicking the walls." You say this so Karla will understand exactly what you are talking about.

Then you explain that temper tantrums are not proper behavior. Make sure that you are clear that the temper tantrum is bad, not Karla. "Temper tantrums are not appropriate behavior. In our family, we don't scream and throw things and kick. That behavior is not acceptable." This has an impact on Karla, because she wants to do the right thing. You help her by explaining that temper tantrums are the wrong thing. And don't worry about using big words such as "appropriate." If you use big words with an HFA youngster, she will learn big words. If you use only little words, she will learn only little words.

Then give Karla some alternatives: "I know you felt angry. When you are angry, what you do is say, 'I'm angry!' Can you say that?" Have Karla repeat the phrase after you.

Next review what you have said. "What are you going to say next time you're angry?" Get her to repeat the phrase, "I'm angry!" Then say, "Next time you're angry, are you going to scream?" Karla will probably say or indicate "no." "Next time you're angry, are you going to throw things?" "Next time you're angry, are you going to kick?" End up with, "Tell me again what you're going to do next time you're angry."

You will have to repeat this discussion many, many times. It takes a long time for an HFA youngster to learn how to control a temper tantrum.

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

Preventing Temper Tantrums—

You may notice after a while that certain settings and circumstances seem to precipitate Karla's temper tantrums. My daughter, for example, always threw temper tantrums when we went to a restaurant.

You can prevent temper tantrums by talking to Karla beforehand. Explain to her what you are about to do (e.g., "We're going to go have lunch at Taco Bell"). Then tell Karla what kind of behavior you expect, putting your expectations in positive terms (e.g., "At Taco Bell, we're going to behave well. That means we will be polite, speak quietly, and use our words to ask for things and to say how we feel"). After you have told Karla what you want, tell her what you don't want. (e.g., "We will not scream, throw things or kick. We don't do those things in public. It bothers people").

This tells Karla not only what behaviors to avoid, but why to avoid them. Then get her to agree to this. Say, "Now, tell me how you're going to behave when we go out. Are you going to speak quietly?" Karla should indicate "yes." "Are you going to use your words?" "Yes." "Are you going to scream or throw things or kick?" "No." Then say, "That's great! We'll have a good time!" My daughter never once threw a temper tantrum if she agreed ahead of time not to. Run through this litany every time you plan to go out, because if you forget, Karla will revert to temper tantrums in that environment!

If Karla tends to throw temper tantrums in stores after you refuse her demand for treats, you can often avert the temper tantrum by making a game out of her demand, as follows:

Karla: "I want candy!
You: "I want a rocket ship to Mars."

Karla: "Give me candy!"
You: "Give me a rocket ship to Mars."

Karla: "Give me candy!"
You: "I'll give you candy if you give me a rocket ship to Mars."

Karla: "Here." (Pretending to hand you something.)
You: "Here." (Pretending to hand Karla something.)

Karla: "But this isn't real."
You: "What you gave me wasn't real, either."

Karla: "But I don't have a real rocket ship!"
You: "Well, I guess you're out of luck, then!"

This may not work with every youngster, but it worked with my daughter. It's good for an HFA youngster to learn that it's okay to want things, but it doesn't follow that people always gets what they want.

Another way of dealing with the grocery store temper tantrum is to discuss treats with Karla beforehand. Tell her where you are going, and what kind of treats, if any, she can expect to get at the store. You might say, "When we go to the store, you can select one lollipop, any flavor you like, as a treat." Make it clear that one lollipop is all she will get. If you don't want her to get a treat that day, you should tell this to her ahead of time. An HFA youngster will often accept not getting a treat if told beforehand. But make sure that whatever you tell Karla before the trip to the store, you stick to it!


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

Tantrums Versus Meltdowns - And How to Manage Both

 ~ Tantrums Versus Meltdowns


One of the most misunderstood Aspergers and High-Functioning Autistic (HFA) behaviors is the meltdown. Frequently, it is the result of some sort of overwhelming stimulation of which cause is often a mystery to moms and dads and teachers. They can come on suddenly and catch everyone by surprise. Aspergers and HFA kids tend to suffer from sensory overload issues that can create meltdowns. Kids who have neurological disorders other than autism spectrum disorders can suffer from meltdowns, too. Unlike tantrums, these kids are expressing a need to withdraw and slowly collect themselves at their own pace.

Kids who have tantrums are looking for attention. They have the ability to understand that they are trying to manipulate the behavior of the others, caregivers and/or peers. This perspective taking or "theory of mind" is totally foreign to the Aspergers or HFA youngster who has NO clue that others cannot "read" their mind or feelings innately. This inability to understand other human beings think different thoughts and have different perspectives from them is an eternal cause of frustration.





Tantrums—

A tantrum is very straightforward. A youngster does not get his or her own way and, as grandma would say, "pitches a fit." This is not to discount the tantrum. They are not fun for anyone. Tantrums have several qualities that distinguish them from meltdowns.
  • A youngster having a tantrum will look occasionally to see if his or her behavior is getting a reaction.
  • A youngster in the middle of a tantrum will take precautions to be sure they won't get hurt.
  • A youngster who throws a tantrum will attempt to use the social situation to his or her benefit.
  • A tantrum is thrown to achieve a specific goal and once the goal is met, things return to normal.
  • A tantrum will give you the feeling that the youngster is in control, although he would like you to think he is not.
  • When the situation is resolved, the tantrum will end as suddenly as it began.


If you feel like you are being manipulated by a tantrum, you are right. You are. A tantrum is nothing more than a power play by a person not mature enough to play a subtle game of internal politics. Hold your ground and remember who is in charge.

A tantrum in a youngster who is not on the autism spectrum is simple to handle. Moms and dads simply ignore the behavior and refuse to give the youngster what he is demanding. Tantrums usually result when a youngster makes a request to have or do something that the parent denies. Upon hearing the parent's "no," the tantrum is used as a last-ditch effort.

The qualities of a tantrum vary from child to child When kids decide this is the way they are going to handle a given situation, each youngster's style will dictate how the tantrum appears. Some kids will throw themselves on the floor, screaming and kicking. Others will hold their breath, thinking that his "threat" on their life will cause moms and dads to bend. Some kids will be extremely vocal and repeatedly yell, "I hate you," for the world to hear. A few kids will attempt bribery or blackmail, and although these are quieter methods, this is just as much of a tantrum as screaming. Of course, there are the very few kids who pull out all the stops and use all the methods in a tantrum.

Effective parenting -- whether a youngster has an autism spectrum disorder or not -- is learning that you are in control, not the youngster. This is not a popularity contest. You are not there to wait on your youngster and indulge her every whim. Buying her every toy she wants isn't going to make her any happier than if you say no. There is no easy way out of this parenting experience. Sometimes you just have to dig in and let the tantrum roar.

----------


Meltdowns—

If the tantrum is straightforward, the meltdown is every known form of manipulation, anger, and loss of control that the youngster can muster up to demonstrate. The problem is that the loss of control soon overtakes the youngster. He needs you to recognize this behavior and rein him back in, as he is unable to do so. A youngster in the middle of a meltdown desperately needs help to gain control.
  • A youngster in a meltdown has no interest or involvement in the social situation.
  • A youngster in the middle of a meltdown does not consider her own safety.
  • A meltdown conveys the feeling that no one is in control.
  • A meltdown usually occurs because a specific want has not been permitted and after that point has been reached, nothing can satisfy the youngster until the situation is over.
  • During a meltdown, a youngster on the spectrum does not look, nor care, if those around him are reacting to his behavior.
  • Meltdowns will usually continue as though they are moving under their own power and wind down slowly.

Unlike tantrums, meltdowns can leave even experienced moms and dads at their wit's end, unsure of what to do. When you think of a tantrum, the classic image of a youngster lying on the floor with kicking feet, swinging arms, and a lot of screaming is probably what comes to mind. This is not even close to a meltdown. A meltdown is best defined by saying it is a total loss of behavioral control. It is loud, risky at times, frustrating, and exhausting.

Meltdowns may be preceded by "silent seizures." This is not always the case, so don't panic, but observe your youngster after she begins experiencing meltdowns. Does the meltdown have a brief period before onset where your youngster "spaces out"? Does she seem like she had a few minutes of time when she was totally uninvolved with her environment? If you notice this trend, speak to your physician. This may be the only manifestation of a seizure that you will be aware of.

When your youngster launches into a meltdown, remove him from any areas that could harm him or he could harm. Glass shelving and doors may become the target of an angry foot, and avoiding injury is the top priority during a meltdown.

Another cause of a meltdown can be other health issues. One example is a youngster who suffers from migraines. A migraine may hit a youngster suddenly, and the pain is so totally debilitating that his behavior may spiral downward quickly, resulting in a meltdown. Watch for telltale signs such as sensitivity to light, holding the head, and being unusually sensitive to sound. If a youngster has other health conditions, and having Aspergers of HFA does not preclude this possibility, behavior will be affected.

Behaviors That Should Not Be Punished Because They Are Part of the Disorder:

 

~ Managing Tantrums

Temper tantrums range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. Aspergers and HFA kid's temperaments vary dramatically, so some  may experience regular temper tantrums, whereas others have them rarely. They're a normal part of development and don't have to be seen as something negative. However, unlike “typical” children, kids on the autism spectrum don't have the same inhibitions or control.

Imagine how it feels when you're determined to program your DVD player and aren't able to do it no matter how hard you try, because you can't understand how. It's very frustrating! Do you swear, throw the manual, walk away and slam the door on your way out? That's the grown-up version of a temper tantrum. Young people on the autism spectrum are also trying to master their world, and when they aren't able to accomplish a task, they turn to one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration — a temper tantrum.

Several basic causes of temper tantrums are familiar to mothers and fathers everywhere: The youngster is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, temper tantrums are often the result of the child's frustration with the world. They can't get something (e.g., an object or a parent) to do what they want. Frustration is an unavoidable part of their lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Temper tantrums are common during the second year of life for all kids. This is a time when kids are acquiring language. However, children with Aspergers and HFA generally understand more than they can express. Imagine not being able to communicate your needs to someone. That would be a frustrating experience that may precipitate a temper tantrum. As language skills improve, temper tantrums tend to decrease.

Another task that all kids are faced with is an increasing need for autonomy. However, even though Aspergers and HFA kids want a sense of independence and control over the environment, this may be more than they may be capable of handling. This creates the perfect condition for power struggles as the youngster thinks "I can do it myself" or "I want it, give it to me." When these "special needs" children discover that they can't do it or can't have everything they want, the stage is set for a temper tantrum.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA

Avoiding Temper Tantrums—

The best way to deal with temper tantrums is to avoid them in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some strategies that may help:

1. Aspergers and HFA kids are more likely to use temper tantrums to get their way if they've learned that this behavior works. Once the young people are school age, it's appropriate to send them to their rooms to cool off. Rather than setting a specific time limit, mothers and fathers can tell them to stay in the room “until they've regained control.” This option is empowering, because these kids can affect the outcome by their own actions, thereby gaining a sense of control that was lost during the temper tantrum.

2. Young people on the spectrum have fairly rudimentary reasoning skills, so you aren't likely to get very far with explanations. If the temper tantrum poses no threat to your youngster or others, then ignoring the outburst may be the best way to handle it.  Continue your activities, and pay no attention to your youngster – but remain within sight. Don't leave him or her alone, otherwise he or she may feel abandoned on top of all of the other uncontrollable emotions.

3. They may be especially vulnerable AFTER a temper tantrum when they know they've been less than adorable. Now is the time for a hug and reassurance that your youngster is loved, no matter what.

4. Those who are in danger of hurting themselves or others during a temper tantrum should be taken to a quiet, safe place to calm down. This also applies to temper tantrums in public places.

5. Consider the request carefully when your youngster wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn't. Choose your battles carefully, and accommodate when you can.

6. Distract your youngster. Take advantage of your child's short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. Also, you can simply change the environment. Take your youngster outside or inside or move to a different room.

7. If a safety issue is involved, and the youngster repeats the forbidden behavior after being told to stop, use a time-out or hold the youngster firmly for several minutes. Be consistent. Aspergers and HFA kids must understand that you are inflexible on safety issues.

8. Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach to make struggles less likely to develop over them. Obviously, this isn't always possible, especially outside of the home where the environment can't be controlled.

9. Know your youngster's limits. If you know he or she is tired, it's not the best time to go grocery shopping or try to squeeze in one more errand.

10. Make sure your youngster isn't acting-out simply because he or she isn't getting enough attention. To an youngster with an autism spectrum disorder, negative attention (a parent's response to a temper tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your youngster being good ("time in"), which means rewarding him or her with attention for positive behavior.

11. Occasionally, an autistic youngster will have a hard time stopping a temper tantrum. In these cases, it might help to say to say, "I'll help you settle down now." But, do not reward your youngster after a temper tantrum by giving in. This will only prove to him or her that the temper tantrum was effective. Instead, verbally praise the youngster for regaining control.

12. Set the stage for success when your son or daughter is playing or trying to master a new task. Offer age-appropriate toys and games. Also, start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks.

13. Temper tantrums should be handled differently depending on the cause. Try to understand where your youngster is coming from. For example, if he or she has just had a great disappointment, you may need to provide comfort. If he or she is simply a sore loser at games and hits a playmate, then you may to provide a consequence.

14. The most important thing to keep in mind when you're faced with a boy or girl in the throes of a temper tantrum – no matter what the cause – is simple yet very important: Keep your cool. Don't complicate the problem with your own frustration. Young people on the spectrum can sense when mothers and fathers are becoming frustrated. This can just make their frustration worse, and you may have a more exaggerated temper tantrum on your hands. Instead, take deep breaths and try to think clearly.

15. Try to give your "special needs" child some control over little things. This may fulfill the need for independence and ward off temper tantrums. Offer minor choices, for example, "Do you want orange juice or apple juice?" or "Do you want to brush your teeth before or after taking a bath?" This way, you aren't asking "Do you want to brush your teeth now?" …which inevitably will be answered "no."

16. Your youngster relies on you to be the example. Smacking and spanking don't help. Physical tactics send the message that using force and physical punishment is acceptable. Instead, have enough self-control for both of you.

17. You should consult your child’s pediatrician if any of the following occur:
  • tantrums arouse a lot of bad feelings
  • tantrums increase in frequency, intensity, or duration
  • you keep giving into your child’s demands
  • he displays mood issues (e.g., negativity, low self-esteem, extreme dependence)
  • your youngster frequently hurts himself/herself or others
  • she is destructive
  • you're uncomfortable with your responses to the child's tantrums

Your doctor can also check for any physical problems that may be contributing to the tantrums (e.g., hearing or vision problems, chronic illness, language delays, learning disability, etc.).

Remember, temper tantrums usually aren't cause for concern and generally diminish on their own. As Aspergers and HFA kids mature developmentally, and their grasp of themselves and the world increases, their frustration levels decrease. Less frustration and more control mean fewer temper tantrums — and happier mothers and fathers.

The Top 20 Triggers for Meltdowns in Kids on the Autism Spectrum:

 

~ Managing Meltdowns

When it comes to parenting a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there are a few scenarios that are fertile ground for meltdowns. Some examples include (but are definitely not limited to):
  • all afternoon shopping trips
  • an endless car ride
  • long wait at the doctor's office
  • slow service at a restaurant
  • too many homework problems

These are moments where a meltdown is coming on fast, but can still be diverted. These are the times when moms and dads need “diversion tactics” (i.e., a supply of items and ideas that can fill a moment or turn a head).

While diversion tactics come in handy with any youngster, it's particularly imperative for kids with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who are often significantly less able to amuse themselves, negotiate transitions, or avoid meltdowns. A parent needs to be quick, versatile, creative, and resourceful to keep things running smoothly. Planning ahead can help.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA

Here's how to make sure you always have plenty of tricks in your bag:

1. Your diversion tactics should do one of these (and preferably more than one): Soothe, Entertain, and Distract. They must be deployable at a moment's notice, especially in stressful situations. The space of time between the need for soothing, entertainment and distraction, and the onset of complete disaster can be brutally short.

2. Some of the tactics in your “diversion kit” will be actual items (i.e., things you keep in your purse or pockets for emergencies). It doesn't hurt to have some on hand at all times (that's why most of these are small) and then to load up with extras when you know you might need them. Some possibilities (depending on the age of your ASD child) include:

• Animal crackers
• Coins
• Crayons/coloring book
• Deck of cards
• Dice
• Doll
• Fidget toys
• Finger puppets
• Flash cards
• Hard candy
• iPad
• iPhone
• iPod
• Keys
• Little notepad and pen
• Magnetic travel game
• Photos
• Pretzels
• Puzzle book
• Raisins
• Small storybook
• Stickers
• Toy cars

3. Some of the tactics in your “diversion kit” will be ideas that you can implement without any need for props. You may have to go through a few before you find one your ASD youngster will run with, so keep a list if you can't keep them all in your head. Some possibilities include:
  • 20 Questions
  • A is for ..., B is for ...
  • Blowing a raspberry on his or her arm
  • Clapping games
  • Getting a drink from a water fountain
  • Hide something in fist -- guess which hand?
  • I Spy
  • Let youngster choose what to do next
  • Looking out window
  • Math facts
  • Play with youngster's hair
  • Pushing hard against each other's hands
  • Rock-paper-scissors
  • Saying something silly
  • Taking a walk
  • Tell me three things you did today
  • Tickling
  • What color am I looking at?
  • Whispering secrets
  • Word games where each person adds an item, alphabetically, and the next person must remember the whole string of words

Putting together a good list of diversion tactics is one thing, maintaining it is another. As your ASD youngster gets older, changes interests, gets bored with some things and taken by others, you'll want to keep changing and replenishing the tactics in your "diversion kit." Remember, the objects don't have to be big, they don't have to be fancy, and they only have to be able to run your youngster past a bit of boredom, anxiety, or a little rough behavioral spot. But they do have to soothe, entertain, and distract.

Note: If you only have a couple diversion tactics, they can fade with overuse. The more tactics you've got in your “bag of tricks,” the better.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA

Teaching Your HFA or Asperger’s Child Alternatives to Temper Tantrums

“My 5 y.o. son Noah (with high functioning autism) will tantrum over all things big and small. If he is the least bit frustrated over something – well look out, because ‘it’s on’!  Not uncommon for him to have a dozen tantrums in a day. I would be happy to just get that cut in half. Any tips for the chronic ‘tantrum-thrower’ would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.”

The best time to teach your son alternatives to throwing a tantrum is immediately after he has one. Once Noah has settled down, you and he should have a talk while the memories of the episode are still fresh in his mind.

Your son threw the tantrum because he was frustrated or mad. Don't get into the issue of why he was “out of control.” Focus on the tantrum itself, explaining to Noah that the behavior isn't appropriate. Then teach him what he should do instead when he feels upset.



Here’s a simple method that often works when done the right way:

1. First describe the behavior. For example, "You felt frustrated and threw a tantrum. You were throwing things, screaming and kicking the walls." You say this so your son will understand exactly what you are talking about.

2. Then you explain that tantrums are not proper behavior. Make sure that you are clear that the tantrum is “bad” – not your son. Say something such as, "Tantrums are not appropriate behavior. In our family, we don't kick, scream or throw things. That behavior is not acceptable."

This will have an impact on Noah, because like most children, he really does want to do the right thing and please you. You can help him by explaining that tantrums are the wrong thing to do when feeling upset.

As a side note, don't worry about using big words such as "inappropriate." If you use big words with Noah, he will learn big words. If you use only little words, he will learn only little words.

3. Next, give your son some alternatives. For example, "I know you felt frustrated and angry. When this happens again, what you do is say, “I'm angry! Can you say that?" Have Noah repeat the phrase after you.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA

4. Lastly, review what you have said. For example, "What are you going to say the next time you're angry?" Get Noah to repeat the phrase, "I'm angry!"

Then say, "The next time you're angry, are you going to scream?" Your son will probably say or indicate "no."

Then say, "The next time you're angry, are you going to throw things?" …and "The next time you're angry, are you going to kick?"

End up with, "Tell me again what you're going to do the next time you're angry."

You will have to repeat this discussion many, many times. It takes a long time for a youngster on the autism spectrum to learn how to control a tantrum and reach for alternatives instead.

Hunger + Tiredness + Low-Frustration Tolerance = Tantrums

Although the triggers for tantrums vary widely, the causes are often very simple, tiredness and hunger being the biggest two.  Low-frustration tolerance is usually the third major trigger. Tantrums can occur as your son tries and fails at new tasks and struggles to express his frustration in an appropriate manner.

When tiredness and hunger are at play, you may have noticed Noah’s frustration level go from 0 to 100. If so, this is your cue to remove him from the situation and try to get him fed and rested.  When tiredness and hunger are NOT at play, you may still notice your son’s frustration level gradually building up. This is why it’s important for him to learn to recognize when his uncomfortable emotions come into play.

When your son learns to identify when he is starting to feel frustrated, he can then learn to take advantage of the other alternatives. But, this requires having an understanding of his emotions. You will want to focus on nurturing your son’s self-awareness with respect to his feelings. Make it your goal to help Noah reach a place where he is able to pause and self-reflect – even in the grip of intense emotions – then constructively answer two questions: “What am I feeling?” and “What do I need?"

When it comes to coaching your son in managing his emotions, you will want to follow some basic ground rules for healthy discussions on the matter:
  • Consistently prove to your son that it’s safe to share his feelings with you. Whenever and however Noah reveals his emotions (e.g., through angry outbursts or tearful whispers), it’s important that you remain calm, keeping your own responses and emotions in check.
  • Explain to your son that emotions are not right or wrong, including frustration and the subsequent anger. However, what is right or wrong is how he behaves when he is upset in this way.
Best of luck!



==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA

Articles in Alphabetical Order: 2007 - 2009

                                           2007—



                                           2008—



                                           2009—
 

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.

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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.

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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."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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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.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content