Asperger's Syndrome Community
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Avatar universal

10 yr old son aspergers hard to control

i have a 10 yr old son who has been diagnosed with aspergers since he was approx 2 1/2 years old. his behaviour has always been hard to control but lately has gone really off the rails. he is spiteful to his 2 yr old brother hitting him benidning his fingers back and has also tried to suffocate him once before. he runs away from home quite a lot he hates any type of rules and doesnt want to live in the house because of that and has decided he wants to be placed in foster care etc and will do whatever it takes to get there. i do get very angry with him and have smacked him quite a few times even though i dont like doing it and now he is scared of me which upsets me but i dont know what else to do with him can someone please help me because i am at the end of my rope i have two younger children and am pregnant again and with him the way he is it makes me fear for my other children. i am begging for anyone to offer some help and advice
10 Responses
365714 tn?1292202708
You may not like this but part of your problem may be because your son probably shares the same frustration and feeling of lack of control that you feel...

I would not recommend getting frustrated, mad, exasperated, impatient, anxious, and physical from my own personal experiences.

My anxiety level is like a barometer... If people around me are anxious I pick up their anxiety. The more anxious they are, the more anxious I am. If you are getting exasperated, angry, and frustrated, then I will be too. I will be anxious and angry that you _are_ making me angry and anxious.

Physically if my dad lashed out against me, I returned the same gesture. (If he slapped me, which he did, then I'd try to slap back...) If he got more violent then I'd either drop down to the floor and play dead or run...  Dad tried to send me to my room other times to prevent from doing something he'd regret.

The physical punishment caused long term fear and probably a bit of PTSD...  For a long time when he got even just the slightest mad I got into defense mode. When I got older I sometimes went into attack mode if I perceived a threat.

If you feel this kind of frustration and anger (which I get the impression from reading your post), you need to take a break and your son needs to take a break too.  It isn't worth it. For one thing your son may be starting to think that hitting is the way to cope with frustration.

If I am right, then I can relate to your son.  On those occasions my dad lost his temper, I didn't understand what I did wrong to deserve it, which only made me feel worse... The last serious episode I remember at about age 9 or 10 was over leaving a car door open and the battery died...

I had in my own mind my own idea of "fair" and "unfair" punishments. If my parents crossed those boundaries I set, then I'd get very mad or upset. Those upset feelings could either erupt outward or internally. Outward, it could be me lashing out against my sister. Internally it could lead to hurting me by biting or hitting.  Chances are I probably didn't always tell my parents my idea of fair and unfair punishments...and left them guessing.
Sibling violence:  Unfortunately I was pretty nasty to my younger sister when she was little. For one thing, she was into my stuff, got the most attention from my parents (when younger), her screams hurt my ears, and her high pitched voice was a problem at times, plus I was stressed out with other things like school, being picked on, etc..  Most of it was just plain and simple jealousy, rivalry and the typical stuff you'd expect between siblings that are almost 8 years apart.

I pinch sister, she screams... I pinch her again and she screams again... I put my hand in front of her face as if I was going to pinch, then she'd get annoyed. It was a predictable reaction which kind of gave me pleasure... I was in a way conducting a psychology experiment.  *tisk, tisk* I'm not proud of those moments anymore...  I still find it strangely funny the times I put ice cubes in her diaper and watched quietly as my parents became confused about what could be upsetting younger sister and causing her to dig into her diaper.  That lasted only so long before I got caught... I think they made me put an ice cube down my pants and once I realised it wasn't so "cool" then I didn't bother again.

Our personalities clash. She's a social butterfly... I rather swat the perceived social mosquito and the swarm of friends she invites... I knew better than to swat them physically but I'd retreat into my room and wait it out like a storm. To my sister, her social life seems to be one of the most important things if not THE most important thing in her life. For me it seems to be the least important.

Thankfully my relationship with my sister has gotten better over the years. We still are polar opposites personality wise. That makes bonding a bit challenging.  In spite of it, we've had good times together. It hasn't been entirely bad. Oddly enough now that I am away I miss her a little. :'(
365714 tn?1292202708
To make things clear, I have no hard feelings against my dad. I do love him and am glad he realized he needed to work on his temper and stopped.

Having me go to time out and him taking a break was the best thing he could do at the time.  Unfotunately that kind of temper problem seems to have a strong genetic link in his family lines... That's something I have to watch for when my stress mounts up and I start to feel like I've lost control.
Avatar universal
When my son was younger I was very frustrated over things I felt he did deliberately -- but later understood that he didn't.  (Academically he is very smart and therefore I'd expect the same level of intelligence in everything he did - which is wrong especially in social skills.)  When I got angry he would feed off of my reaction and it escalated til both of us felt like running away.  I'm sure my neighbors could hear me yelling.  As I have educated myself in the field of Aspergers, AND most recently attended an ABA workshop, and now have my son in ABA counseling -- our battles have almost been totally eliminated.  I know part of it was me - and boy am I ashamed of that!!  Luckily, I have time to be a much better parent to him.  He is work ing progress -- but so am I. LOL
470168 tn?1237474845
I presume there are professionals involved with your son.  Have you told them the problems you are having at home.  They should refer you to maybe a clinical psychologist who might then be able to refer you to ABA as mentioned by maggie.  I'm not exactly sure who would refer you, but I you haven't tried this approach yet it is worth it.
Another system I have heard works well especially with Aspergers/ADHD is the 1-2-3 Magic approach.  Again this is a system that can be used on all the children, so you don't have to have different systems of control/reward etc.  Again the principles are quite easy to teach and you have to be constant.
If you haven't spoken to anyone about your difficulties at home don't feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed about it.  You are not going to be judged.  Children with autism need different approaches and strategies and when they are in place and everyone understands what they should be doing all the anger/frustration/stress etc does die down.
Avatar universal
at the moment social services are involved thinking about putting him into a foster home because they feel he is not safe at home because he tells people i have beaten him with a rolling pin ! it has been checked and they have found that to be untrue but at the moment his main obsession is to go into care homes because someone told him they are great places to be and you have to be as bad as possible to get there so thats what hes doing at the moment.i do have to admit that when the social workers etc are involved his behaviour is worse. at the moment we havent heard from any of them and his behaviour has improved a little still not great but its a start.i have checked on different websites etc and have decided to get him some homeopathic remedies to try to help his behaviour brightspark and mindsoothe jr are the 2 which have been recommended to me. hopefully that will work with his behaviour and also with his sleeping !!
470168 tn?1237474845
If he has been told that foster homes are great, then you need to use something like Social Stories to explain things to him.  Plus who told him that!  You probably know that autistic people can take things literally, have no idea about social things etc, so he will literally believe it is a better place.
Explain to him that foster homes are for children who don't have parents because theirs have died or they are not able to look after the child.
Explain what parents are and that they love their children more than other children and always want to do the best for their children.  Tell him that no-one will love him more than you do etc etc.  He needs to be told this because he just hasn't got this understanding in him.  It must sound and feel very hurtful to you, but it is totally unintentional and without any understanding.  Eventhough he doesn't understand these things they need to be explained to him.  For example my son likes to sleep over and tells me that he doesn't miss me etc.  So I have explained how I feel when he isn't with me and that that is how some people feel when they are separated from their family etc.  These are very difficult concepts for them to understand, but they can learn it although it might be in a academic way rather than an emotional one, but these are lessons worth learning because when he needs help/advice he needs to know that he should go to family first etc and not to a complete stranger.  Do they teach any kind of life skills etc at his present school?  Is he had a special school?
Instead of fostering have you considered respite care, where he may go somewhere overnight or for the weekend?  My concern is that Social Services may go with what the client (your son) wants rather than meet the need which is to teach some basic social understanding.   And what he wants may not be in his best interest.
I think if things are really difficult at home then some respite care could be useful to all of you.  But that he also needs alot of input from a professional who deals with social interaction and life skills training who will also help you address some of his naievity and gullability through things like social stories, problem solving  etc.
365714 tn?1292202708
That does sound pretty rough. My mom went through foster care and had good and bad experiances.  When I went through a time wanting to leave, she was able to ground me with some honest opinions...  She said I'd be worse off than at home.  I believed her and stuck with my family.

If this is your son's objective, to get mad and even just lightly touch him on the arm will only help this and make him believe you are abusing him. Somehow you're going to have to stay as calm as you can. I agree with Sally44 on the literal thinking. When my parents joked about monsters and stuff (to playfully scare me), I took it to mean the monsters _really_ exist and it worried me and I couldn't sleep.

Over time and some learning from various speech tharapies as well as persistance from my parents and myself, I've come to learn not to take everything literally, but on some occasions I may still be taken off guard. In that case I try to ask if the person is serious.  The hardest times I have are if someone is joking but trying to sound mad at me...(I wish I can draw a specific example) when really they aren't. They were being sarcastic.  I may take them to be offended and appologize.

It's somewhat inconsistant. I may understand sarcasim or I may not. It depends on my mood and if I feel self confident. If I'm feeling down, then I take sarcasim to be insulting and take things more literal.

maggie338 has some pretty good points, though with intelligence, I don't think it is a matter of having any less than anyone else. It's just how it is carried out.

Even the brightest person in the world could be perceived to be less than average intelligent if they blunder socially. It *****... Some sources think Einstein was dyslexic. He may have been, or he may not have been.  I wouldn't be surprised if many scientifically minded people had some issues with social skills to varying degrees.
365714 tn?1292202708
Before seriously acting out on any homeopathic "remedy" make sure to study everything you can find on it, both the negatives as well as the positives. Consider the sources too.

What I find when studying about such treatments like MB 12 shots, a lot of good claims, testimonials, and little else, but when I consider the source, I find it a bit disconcerting to find no _real_ scientific study done by an unbiased research group.

I'm sorry but TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) don't count. They have an invested interest in such things. Of course they aren't going to say anything but positives about the approaches they support.

It's like watching a pr in school about how well Exxon was cleaning up the oil spill in Alaska.  It was a video put out by Exxon of course... They made no mention how the spill occurred.. No, of course not. Their attempt was to show how well they were saving the environment after a tragic accident (they caused!)

The lesson the teacher was trying to convey was to consider the source when doing any scientific study.  If you're reading up about treatments and "miracle" cures on sites that either sell the product or support it, then you may be getting into dangerous (or at least not fully reliable) territory.

Call me a stickler but I believe hard work (especially from the person's own willpower) will go far more than any other so called "treatments" out there.

That being said, proceed with caution. Make sure to weigh out the pros and cons as well as keep in mind what is best for your son, not necessesarly what you think is best. In this case behavioral therapy such as ABA sounds like the most helpful and effective.
Avatar universal
I did my homework on vitamins and healthy diets.  Then I cleaned out my cupboards of processed foods, foods with dyes and white sugar.  While grocery shopping, I read labels -- read every ingredient.  Even most spaghetti sauces have sugar.  I buy juice -- not Kool Aid or juice DRINKS!   I avoid canned foods -- even fruits.  I buy fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.  Within 2 weeks, I did see a major improvement in his behavior.  I do buy potato chips once in a while or something thats 'forbidden" but for the most part I try to avoid them.  For breakfast, he'll have whole oatmeal (not instant), and I'll add cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar), honey, butter (not margarine), raisins, or slices of apples, flaxseed, etc.  He loves it.  I pack his lunches for school, and I'll put make him a sandwich with whole wheat bread and peanut butter (only ingredient is PEANUTS!!), 2 types of some fresh fruit, a "100% juice" box, and sometimes a cookie or pudding.  It really has made a difference in his behavior.  Hope this helps!
365714 tn?1292202708
I agree canned fruits are bad... They taste like can... In the case of pinapple, they can make a person gag.. I used to drink juices but lately I've found just plain water to be the best way to quench thirst. I've gotten pretty tired of koolaid drinks even though I liked them as a kid. They leave a bad aftertaste and in turn I find myself drinking water to wash that away.

Otherwise I don't really notice much difference with me about eating processed foods vs unprocessed other than maybe flavor... artificial foods taste...artificial... I guess sugar may give me a bit of a rush if I eat a lot, but I can get a rush from things I enjoy doing. If I get to writing or drawing something funny, that can give me a rush too... Odd.

Then again I suspect a sugar rush can happen to everyone... Speaking about rushes, I saw something cvalled "energy shot" sold at our local Walgreens... Another thing to avoid along with red bull... My dad got me one on a trip once and it was non-stop talking for a while...

I'd go for the organic food but every time I grab an organic food, my grandma forces me to put it back because she claims I don't have the money to waste on it, even though it is my money...

I guess in my case organic and natural may not be healthier if it stresses out someone and in turn stresses me out because they are stressed out and disapproving...

Fasting causes my mood to dip considerably at triggers that may othewise not bother me.  I need to keep on myself not to skip meals. If I skip meals I may or may not feel the burning stomach hunger pangs right away, but my mood will sure drop...

That's something else to look out for.  Chances are your son may ignore or not notice the hungry feeling and in turn just go on until he either has a fit or like me, collapse from lack of energy...  Thankfully I havn't had that happen in a year now... When I first moved here, that did happen. I'd feel dizzy and faint before I felt the stomache pangs indicating hunger. Other times earlier in college I'd feel just generally sad and be prone to feeling rejected... One day I couldn't stop crying until I finally borke down and ate something even though that felt like the _last_thing I wanted to do.
That helped.

So yeah, keep from getting starving hungry, make sure to eat three meals a day with some possible snacks and that does wonders.  I'm not disciplined enough to completely remove sugar from my diet...

Anyone a chocolate lover?  How would that feel to be forced to just give that up?  Something tells me that would be a huge bummer...

IAs far as vitamins go, I'm trying a "B" complex as of today. We'll see how that goes...
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