Let’s Get Physical

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There was one thing I was always thankful for after we got my little Aspie diagnosed – my little Aspie is a girl. Although her tantrums could be quite intense, they were more of the yelling/screaming type. I’ve heard that boys with Aspergers can have tantrums that become extremely physical, even evolving into fistfights. Luckily, K’s tantrums don’t go that far. She will scream and yell loud enough to hear on the street, but at least there are no holes in the wall in her bedroom.

It’s difficult to figure out the best way to handle a physical tantrum. When kids are smaller, it’s not that hard – usually the best course of action is to let them work it out, as long as they are safe. If their safety is compromised, physcially restraining them may be necessary. Sounds simple, but ask my wife how easy it is in real life. She had a knock-down drag out tantrum confrontation with my son the other day, and he’s not even on the spectrum.

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Imagine this, but with less smiling and more screaming and flailing limbs.

This is all great advice, but kids have this really strange tendency to get bigger. I know… how dare they, right? The problem with this is that bigger kids bring bigger tantrums. Your child is bigger and stronger; you can’t just hold him down until he exhausts himself anymore. He fights back. He throws punches. Pretty soon, you’re no longer just worried about the saftey of you child but your own as well.

The most common advice I hear about this situation is to try and give you child a place where he can physically lash out without an increased risk of injury – for lack of a better way to describe it, a “rubber room” of sorts. I’m not saying to actually build youself an isolation room, but create a space where there are no breakables and the environment is generally safe. Once you child has gotten throught the necessary explosion, then you can provide loving support. Most people advise against intervening, especially if you feel you safety is threatened. It’s most important to protect yourself; you cannot help your child if you are injured.

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Ok, kids! Time to get dressed for school!

I count myself lucky because I haven’t had to deal with this type of situation yet. Not to say that girls don’t have physical tanrtums; it’s just more common for boys to lash out than girls. But I have found out that nuerotypical boys can have tantrums that are just as strong as Aspie boys.

Good luck and be safe out there.

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Posted on May 5, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. In a perfectly evolved world our aspie and autistic children would be born bearing a coating of bubble wrap. 🙂

  2. hmm you seem to have forgotten the 2-3yrs we spent restraining your physically violent and aggressive daughter. The bruises I got was one thing but body slamming her little brother was the breaking point and when we decided to try something more drastic than “her safe place” and tried medication. We are not parents to jump to meds obviously but they have been a huge help in the aggression and violent tantrums that CAN and DID come from your Little Aspie daughter.

  3. I didn’t forget, but there’s a big difference between holding down a 4 yr old girl and a 10 yr old boy. That was my main point. 🙂

    And yeah, meds helped a lot, too.

  4. Hey,
    I just read this post & thought I’d leave a comment.
    I was diagnosed with Aspergers last year ( I am 23 years of age )
    I can’t remember a lot about my childhood but when I ask my mother she tells me that I would have tantrums involving kicking the airing cupboard door repeatedly! I would cry every morning before school & be selfish with my toys ( I’m an only child ) with other kids.

    I have a friend that works with autistic kids some high functioning some low. I would suggest trying to talk to them as much as you can when they calm down & try to understand as much as you can what it is exactly that makes them angry.

    I’ve left it so long & my anger is still really bad. I still punch walls or put myself in situations like walking down a dark alley on my own at night in hope a man will try and rape or kill me so I could beat the living day lights out of someone anyone!

    I’ve found that talking to someone helps me a lot. I think a lot of anger stems from wanting to let out obviously a lot of what you feel but there’s always a reason behind it & if you don’t discuss it it makes it build & build & build. I know your kids are young they may be trying to communicate in only a way they know.

    This is the best I can speak of. If you ever want to talk more just comment 🙂

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