Aggression in a Child with Asperger's
How One Parent Deals With It
Many parents and teachers today must deal with aggression in a child with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm one of them. My son is 13 and he has both Asperger's and Tourette's.
One of the random things we discovered when he was four was that jumping is a great way to help him relieve his extra stress and energy. A therapist put him on a mini - trampoline for a few minutes and for the first time in years he seemed to be calm. We went out and bought a mini - trampoline that afternoon!
It's been eight years since that miraculous discovery, and last year my parents bought our family a larger trampoline for all our kids to use. We still have the little one, which we use inside on bad weather days, but the kids all love the big one outdoors. We have a one-child-at-a-time rule, because we know how excited they can become.
My seven-year-old son also has mild autism and, although he can communicate and fits in fairly well, he is aware of when he does things that set him apart from his peers. The trampoline has been a great thing for him also. He can jump as much as he needs (usually five minutes and the boys are worn out!) without it being looked at as "therapy." It's just fun.
The other thing we have used is a punching bag. I would use this option only if others aren't working, mainly because the punching activity is easily transferred to other things, including people. We have ours hung from a rafter in the basement where it's not obvious and the kids rarely remember we have it. We only mention it when they have gotten so upset about something that the need an extreme physical release.
I hope one of these ideas is helpful to you!
More About the Author
Since my son's diagnosis we have realized that my father also has Asperger's Syndrome. He is a computer engineer, which is proof for me that my boys will be okay and that, with help, they can lead a full life.
My main focus currently has been finding ways to work with my children therapeutically at home to help them reconnect them with the world. I am also working on helping other families in my area gain better access to information and the tools they need. My goal is to open a local shop with educational, sensory, and awareness items, including those crafted by local families and businesses.
Because so much is still unknown and so many families are affected, I think it is important to share whatever we find that helps with our children. How sad it is that so many families are handed a slip of paper with a diagnosis and not handed the rest of the information that may help awaken the amazing spirits within their children.
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- Autism Society of America Web site
- The National Institutes of Mental Health
- The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)