Questions about Asperger & anger control

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Questions about Asperger & anger control
4
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 4:36pm
I have a newly diagnosed 8 year old nephew. He has always had problems with controlling his anger and frustration. His Dr. had him on some medication that seemed to be helping with the outbursts but was making him gain ALOT of weight and he was hungry all the time, so they took him off of it. One of them was Paxil - which they took him off a week or two ago. He seemed to be doing better, but the last couple of days have become unbearable for them. I've heard bad things about Paxil and withdrawal. He has had some of the worst outbursts he has ever had and even had to leave school today. I've been doing some reading about Asperger and I understand the basics but are these 'outbursts' typical? Are Asperger children medicated? If so, what usually helps? He hits, bits, screams nasty things, escaped his room by climbing out a window, etc. How can you discipline a child with this condition, they have tried reasoning, explaining, removing him from the situation, etc. The family is really having a rough time. Is there any good literature that is basic and helpful? The books she has found have been too technical or medical and hard to find advice. He is seeing a psychiatrist and has a supportive school situation - they were the ones who flagged the condition.

Thanks,

Larie
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 9:55pm
Welcome to the board Larie. To get straight to your question, yes, these outbursts are typical. We call them Meltdowns. They are called that because they are reminiscient of of what happens when any given radiation source goes unchecked and is allowed to build to critical levels. But no fear, there IS treatment for meltdowns. While they cannot be eliminated altogther (at least, not without the application of very heavy mind altering drugs) they can be reduced by up to 95% with the application of individuallised behavioral therapy as applied by the primary caregivers. In English? Mom, Dad, and teachers need to identify your df's (dearest nephew's) biggest problems and learn to understand, adapt, and discipline. No, I'm not talking about spankings. On this board we use the word 'discipline' by it's most concrete meaning; the application of appropriate structure, boundries, and organization. I'm talking about ruts, routines, and rituals. Your df has them, and they are unique to him and him only. If he didn't have them he wouldn't have been dx'd with AS.

In order to understand how to reduce meltdowns we must first understand where they come from. This is a very long proccess and one that is slightly different for each Apsie, so I will only be able to point you in the right direction for your research.

First and foremost, meltdowns are most typically caused by one or both of two things, sensory input overload, and/or a break in personal routine. An example of SIO would be being forced to be around to many people for too long, hearing noises that set off sensory intigaration issues (vaccuume, baby's voice, people singing, etc), or being around loud, bright, colors that might be considered overwhelming (though maybe fascinating) by the Aspie. In reality, just about anything can cause a sensory overload. Each Aspie's issues are unique unto themselves though many have common complaints.

With breaks in personal routine, this can be anything from a percieved persoanl injustice (got in trouble for someone else's bad behavior, was punished for doing what he though he was suposed to do, etc) to being interupted when talking or playing. Or in my 8yo dd's (dearest daughter) case, it's being interupted while doing a school assignment or any other task that requires concentration.

The examples that I have given you are not the sole causes of meltdowns nor are the examples of specifics the sole examples of specifics. What it basically comes down to is researching AS by talking with other parents of pediatric Aspies and spouces of adult Aspies. Try to understand how your df sees the world, I garauntee that it is very different than you and I do. Upon understanding this you will begin to see why he gets upset about the things he does and how you can help him either learn to cope with it (if it's something that cannot be changed) or make modifications in his life to better suit his individual needs.

Come back to the board. Ask as many questions as you like. Describe specific situations. Chances are, we lived that situation ourselves and can tell you how we handled it, either successfully or unsuccessfully.

Peace,

Candes

PS: Sorry for all the spelling mistakes. I haven't consumed enough coffee to get over my dyslexia yet today. LOL

Peace,
Candes  
Avatar for lariedg
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 06-19-2003 - 11:10pm
I'm going to pass this message board onto MIL and SIL so they can maybe get some information, support and ideas from you all. Thank you for your time and information.

Larie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 1:47am
You also mentioned wanting a good book reference. Of course Candes' novel was fabulous. But I also have read a couple others. "Asperger's syndrome and Difficult Moments" (which speaks exactly about these meltdowns, or as they also term them neurological storms, and rages) I read it in 1 day. Fabulous, easy read. Another is "Asperger syndrom and sensory issues" also easy read and may be quite helpful. Both are on amazon and I believe very reasonable.

Welcome to our board and I hope things go better for the little guy and his loved ones.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 9:10am
Lurker here with another book suggestion. I like "The Explosive Child" by Greene. It's not specifically about Asperger's Syndrome. Instead, he talks about any child that has meltdowns caused by rigidity and a low frustration tolerance. This includes kids with ADD, Asperger's and other disorders.

Anyhow, it's worth a look at.

Norda99