7 year old Aspie starting to RAGE!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2003
7 year old Aspie starting to RAGE!
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 12:02am
Hi All,

New to this board. Mom to Mattie, age 7, with Aspergers. We are starting to see him rage when he gets angry! New behavior for him. Actually starting to throw things when he gets mad. Has anyone else seen this as child gets older? He has been dx since age 5.

Thanks, Ann
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 2:24am

My 9 year old has major rages. One time when he was 8 he had a huge meltdown in the supermarket because I went out of aisle order. He was so angry and out of control, everybody in the store knew he was unhappy. To make matters worse my parents were shopping, didn't know we were there, and in the furthest aisle from me, heard him raging on, so they followed the direction of the screaming and found him. Another incident last year, a kid in his class acted up and the teacher told the class that they weren't listening to her so she cancelled their holiday part. My son had a 6 hour long temper tantrum because he was mad at the kid who ruined the class party he was looking for.

My son's rages are predictable - someone's done a perceived injustice to him, you didn't do what you promised, somebody acted up in class,etc. One thing that has helped greatly was placing him on Luvox - mainly for his obessive behavior- it seems to have more of a calming effect on him than as a regulator of his obessive tendencies. We are having far fewer rages now.

Good luck,


Avatar for suitemadameblue
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 7:16pm
The rages of Tristan (7yo, PDD-NOS,ADHD,ODD,possible bipolar) are precisely why he was dx'd last year! His rages began around 3yo - he would get so mad at me for "punishing" him in his room (sending him to his room for attacking his little sis) that he would throw, punch, kick, scream, etc....and when I wouldn't respond, he would actually try to climb out the SECOND STORY windows!!! Let's just say thank the Lord for attentive neighbors (hubby was out to sea, so I needed all the help I could get at that point)!!

What really enabled us to wake up and get a dianosis of PDD was last summer. We were at BJ's (wholesale warehouse), when he asked me for a certain computer game. I said sure -- I hadn't told him, but that was one of the reasons we went there. After a few minutes, he asked for a different game instead, a more expensive one that I particularly didn't care for. When I said no, he snapped!! I told him that I would still get him the first one he picked (which acutally came with three games in it, vs. the other one that only had ONE game), but we were beyong reasoning. The screaming and wailing began, so bad that it got to the point where in order for me to get him out of there, I had to physically carry him out - which wasn't easy, seeing as how large he is! And, we HAD to get out of there! A warehouse setting, which is all open and concrete, so his episode echoed something fierce. I thought at first that maybe if I got him away from the games, maybe that would help. Nope, he just started running from me and hiding. Terrified, I left, carrying him and pushing Hollyann in the cart. Once in the car, I walked one car length away to the cart return, and he was soooooo loud that it sounded like he was right beside me. I didn't know what to do - he was crying so hard that he was almost purple he was so red. On the cell phone I called hubby at work, and he met us at home. Tristan cried and fought the whole way home - about a 20min drive. Yeah, my head hurt alot by then!

Once home, hubby met us there and took over. The thing that upset us the most was when, in the midst of all the crying, Tristan would say "I....can't.....stop.....crying." Ugh! Still breaks my heart to think about that. It was beyond his control. How do you help with that?? Hubby talked to him for a few minutes, and by then Tristan was "coming out of it" and was just getting tired. He asked to go to bed, so we let him. That was around 4pm, and he slept until the next morning.

While he was sleeping, we called the pediatrician. She saw him the very next morning, and said "You know, after reading his records from past docs (remember, we are Navy, so there have been plenty of docs in his short then-6yrs), I had been wondering about this. I think he may be on the Autistic Spectrum. Here's a doc you should see." Well, getting into a psych took about 3 months, but once we did everything seemed to come full-circle.

Sorry......side tracked there!! lol We still have the rages, but he is now more willing to help us talk him down. A tip that our psych gave us -- when they get to the point where even talking them down doesn't seem to help much, give him a dose of Benedryl. With Tristan, we give him one 25mg pill (actually, we use the Walmart/Equate brand) and that helps. Granted, we only have done that twice in the past year, so it really is a last-ditch effort. But, it does help. Once the med starts to take effect, rather than making them sleepy, it just helps take the edge off. Sometimes Tristan sleeps, others not. But I honestly think the sleep comes more from him physically wearing himself out rather than the med.

*** PLEASE DON'T THINK I AM SAYING TO MEDICATE!!! *** lol I am just giving you a bit of advice that our doc gave to us that seems to work. Maybe this is something that you could bring up with your own doc. As for them appearing as the child gets older. I can't really say anything Aspie-related, but I do know that things will come and go and change as the child ages and changes. Tristan is actually beginning to pick up some tics and little oddities that he didn't have a while ago. When it comes to the rages, the easiest and quickest way to deal with them is to keep an eye out for what triggers them. Maybe keep a daily journal of his actions, and see if a pattern begins to emerge. Tristan's main trigger is being tired/hungry. But, he is also very cyclic (hense the possible bipolar), so we know that there are going to be certain times where we have to handle him almost with kid-gloves.

It's tough to handle, and even tougher to watch alot of times.....but keep in mind that there is a chance that he simply can't contain those emotions just yet, that he's "out of self-control." Keep up the patience!!


Avatar for kingalex
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 3:14pm
Ann, I'm an occasional poster with a 6 year old Aspie. He's had rages since he was about 3, and I know it can be not only scary, but heartbreaking. I've had Alex tell me he can't stop crying also. It also can be embarrassing when you're in a public place, and you know people just don't understand.

Last week we were at a neighborhood kid's birthday party. There were lots of adults there, as well as kids. I called Alex upstairs from the playroom to let him know that they were bringing out the cake. When he heard everyone singing "happy birthday" before he got to the table, he went into a screaming fit. This was particularly embarrassing, as there were many people there I'd never met before, and Alex was older than most of the kids there.

I really related to the not going in aisle order at the supermarket. Alex has SO many rituals he has to follow, and I feel like we all walk on eggshells around the house to make sure that we follow Alex's "routines".

One thing that does 'sometimes' help with the behavior is counting to 3. Dh and I both read the book "1-2-3 Magic", and it seems to work wonders (although once he's well into a rage, nothing helps).




iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 3:08pm
Rages were one of the things that led us to a diagnosis for Christopher (now age 10, diagnosed at age 6). After trying lots of behavioural interventions, we did end up medicating him (Risperdal and Depakote). We discovered a different and delightful child underneath the anger. And the meds calmed him down enough to teach him more effective ways to deal with his frustrations.

As one of the other posters pointed out, Christopher's rages were/are usually in response to situations that are logical--to him. That "perceived injustice" is a big one. Why punish the whole class for the misbehavior of a few children. And changes to routines/rituals--watch out!

If you can catch him before he gets into the "red zone," try to find out why he's upset. He may have a legitimate (for him) reason that you can address. (For instance, my son once went into a rage when his dad told him to get dressed before breakfast. When I took the time to ask why he was so upset, he explained that he couldn't get dressed before breakfast because he didn't want to spill anything on his clean clothes. Made sense to me, so I let him eat in his PJ's, then get dressed.)

Good luck.