My husband has AS and one of his big triggers is kids crying. It really freaks him out. I try to always be around so that when it happens, he doesn't have to deal with DD because he can't quite control himself and will quickly bark at her or yell loudly at her to stop having her tantrum. She's three now, so tantrums are common.
DH would never hit or spank DD, but sometimes his reactions to her are emotionally hurtful such as scaring her by yelling without any warning at all. If he doesn't use the bark method, he'll use a threat: "I think you need a spanking," (which he would NEVER follow through on, but which he just says because it's what his parents always said to him and he's really just knee-jerk reacting with what he knows) or he will resort to just giving in. For example, if DD wants to hit the wall with a hammer and make holes and I say no and she has a tantrum, DH will come in and override me and tell her to just go ahead and make holes because he'd rather have that than the crying. (This didn't actually happen, I'm just making up a scenario, but he does override me on ludicrous things.)
I've tried talking to DH about it, but he has a hard time articulating to me and the conversation can make him a little angry because he feels guilty about it. One thing I've tried is getting him to just ignore DD, that ignoring is better than barking, even if he has to put her in time out while she has her tantrum and go in his office and put his earbuds in. It worked yesterday, but sometimes I don't get to him before he gets upset.
Any parents out there with AS or married to a parent with AS for which crying is a big trigger? I'd love to know what you do/suggest. He's a really fantastic dad most of the time and he and DD are very close and play together a lot, I'd just like to help him develop some better tactics for parenting a child that's freaking out.