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Autism

Aspergers Violence

07/21/2010

Question:

Hello I wonder if someone can offer advice as I am at a loss what to do. I have 2 children, 10yrs & 7yrs. The eldest was finally, formally diagnosed with aspergers over a year ago. Although he loves his brother he is extremely dominating, often dictating how & which game should be played. If his brother disagrees, he will quickly move onto name calling, nipping & other provocative behaviour before suddenly lashing out. At this point he will use his legs to deliver a powerful kick to the neck or chest, or \ & fist pounding on his back. His brother has now over the last year taken to attacking him in a equally violent manner, often for no apparent reason. We live in very small 1 bedroom house where daily I am forced to sit in the kitchen, banning 1 boy to the bedroom, the other the living room, in a bid to create a safe distance between them. Due to the difficulties my eldest does only half a day schooling. The youngest has been now been suspended due to his increasing anger & aggression which has manifested during school hours. My parenting methods has been consistent where threats of withdrawing `treats` always carried out. I`m usually optimistic but now I fear I`m near the end of my tether and becoming depressed.

To complete the picture; the father lives abroad and both boys have type 1 diabetes. The eldest also suffers attachment disorder, multiple serious food allergies, and will not sleep

Any parenting advice would be greatly welcome

Answer:

I congratulate you for seeking help. In many situations, oppositional and aggressive behaviors respond well to behavior management strategies (for instance, reward systems or time-out). These behavioral strategies are more complex than they sound and should be developed/monitored with the help of a professional with experience in the area.

I encourage you to request a comprehensive psychological/psychiatric evaluation.

I encourage you to speak with a service coordinator at your County Board of Developmental Disabilities; many times you can have access to additional services (for instance, paid providers or behavioral supports).

Finally, I do encourage you to "listen to yourself". Many parents feel stress because of the behavior problems of their children. Alleviating this stress (with counseling or medicines) can be just as important as the behavioral or pharmacological interventions that your child needs.

For more information:

Go to the Autism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Luc   Lecavalier, PhD Luc Lecavalier, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
The Ohio State University