ASPERGERS AND ANGER HELP! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-11-2013, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I believe my DD, who will be 6 in August, has AS. I've been trying to figure it out for a long time and she fits almost every "symptom" for Aspergers. She will be going to the doctor next month and I will bring it up roses if we can figure it out for sure. She is socially awkward although doesn't fit the extreme end of the spectrum on social aspects. She has motor skill delays, that's a big one, she gets very focused on one topic or thing at a time, she is talkative but only about herself, she doesnt make eye contact with anyone she doesnt know well or stares for a really long time at people she does, although she does make good eye contact with me and my two other daughters. She doesn't seem to have empathy for others or understand what others think or feel except for me, she gets EXTREMELY upset if she thinks she's dissapointed me or made me angry, she feels horrible, like beating herself up about it. She is very literal, she does not understand joking or sarcasm at all and takes great offense to many many things because they are misinterpreted or because she's highly sensitive. And the biggest thing, she has extreme anger. So many little things make her mad all day long. It's gotten especially bad lately to a point where she I just pissed and screaming and yelling all day long over everything. It has made life for everyone in the family quite miserable lately and I'm at a complete loss of how to help her or what to do. We have talked about feelings a lot and I tell her all the time that it's okay to feel angry, that we all feel angry. But it's not okay to be mean when we're angry. We have come up with ideas that help her feel better, such as hitting her pillow, screaming into her pillow, hugging, counting and breathing... But even those don't seem to be working right now.
Can anyone give me insight to what is going on and how I might help her and all of us to make it better?

Mama to three wonderful girls, H (9-2-04), A (8-23-07), and Q(4-24-11, our Easter baby). Married to D since (6-3-00).

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Old 06-15-2013, 08:39 PM
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I don't have any answers for you but I saw your post and wanted to bump it up for input. 

 

Anyone have any experience or advice to share? 


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Old 06-16-2013, 01:56 AM
 
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No concrete answers, but a book suggestion or 2: The Explosive Child. I recommend this book for its philosophy more than the awkward scripted parenting advice. The authors' basic message is that every child does well if they can, and if they aren't, they are lacking certain executive functioning skills. These skills can be taught (and learned) - perhaps more difficult for a child on the autism spectrum. With my ASD child, sensory issues often preceded the anger and meltdowns, although it took some time for me to recognize this. Sounds, sights, touch, even smells, that I didn't even notice were often part of my kid's meltdowns. Check out The-Out-of-Synch Child for a good discussion of sensory issues, which often overlap with the Autism Spectrum diagnoses. Hang in there. It does get better.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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Old 06-20-2013, 01:46 PM
 
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Loved the Out of Sync Child books!

When kids have a hard time expressing their feelings to others, or even identifying and understanding them themselves, it can be very very frustrating and lead to explosive outbursts and anger. My son has struggled with this very issue for years! I wish I could say they outgrow it, but they don't, instead you learn tools and ways to manage it so it doesn't take over their day. We help my son identify things that frustrate him and make him upset so he can identify his triggers early on. We started this when he was very young. We gave him a lot of ways to express his anger, but never told him that it was not ok to be angry. Anger and frustration are natural and I feel its important that they know that, but also learn how to express it.

The best way to help minimize it for our son is to do things that provide a lot of sensory feedback. Kids with ASD often struggle with sensory issues and this amplifies normal frustrations and makes the fuse even shorter. I give him things he can do that work with his sensory needs. He's now old enough to walk the dog, so that's one way he calms down and redirects. When he was younger I had sensory activities available, things that provided tactile feedback: shaker bottles, swings, play dough. And sometimes they just need to know its ok to find a quiet spot and have alone time to process it all. Once my son and I started identifying his triggers and seeing when things would escalate, we were able to utilize things like this to make the outbursts less frequent or redirect them quicker.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:35 AM
 
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With my kids with ASD, we had to practice using anger management skills in the moment. Talking about how to handle anger is great, but he couldn't move from feeling angry to doing something about it without coaching. 

 

When he was starting to go off, I would try to stay calm. I would ask him what the problem is. He would explain it. We would then talk through what to do about it and I would walk him through handling the problem.  Often this would mean he needed to ask for help or ask someone to do something for him.  Sometimes it meant he needed to take a time-out and come back to his problem. Sometimes it meant changing activities. 

 

We also adapt the environment to help him as much as possible. He gets warnings about transitioning before we go from one activity to the next. We keep a regular schedule. If it's a "free day," we make a list of what is happening today in the morning and follow our list as much as possible. 

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Old 07-15-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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My kids see a counsellor, a wonderful young man who they think is the coolest dude ever, who teaches them anger management strategies. It is always fascinating to me to see what he's been working on with the kids and realize that so much of what we "neurotypical" types do to control our emotions is so totally taken for granted because we do it without thinking. Anyways, you might look into your area and see if there are any such folks doing anger management stuff with kids. Our counsellor specializes in working with kids on the spectrum, but has a substantial number of NT clients as well. Great skills for all kids to learn, frankly. :)


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