Kicking, head banging, and even biting, sound familiar to you? Aggression and anger are common traits in children with autism. Even though it is normally blamed directly on bad behavior or bad parenting, the reality of anger in ASD children can be traced back to a number of causes that are not related at all with the lack of boundaries or control.
We understand that having an out of control child can be challenging, painful, and even scary, so today we want to remind you that you are not alone in the struggle and we will share with you a few tips to help you deal with these behaviors.
Managing Aggression in ASD children
1.- It’s not your fault: One of the most common feelings in ASD parents is a constant feeling of self-blame and even guilt. We understand the pain of seeing your child out of control and we want to remind you that it is not your fault! You are doing your best as a parent and that is all that matters. Your child’s brain operates differently and that is not something that you can control. Let go of feelings of shame and never allow yourself to think that you are a bad parent because of this. You are doing great!
2.- Look beyond the aggression: Your child’s brain behaves different and it’s important for you to realize that they are not behaving like this on purpose. ASD children are often over stimulated by external sources and this kind of behavior has a tendency to be a defense mechanism. Understanding this can be a game changer for parents, for many times children are fighting battles than we might not see.
3.- Understand sensory signals: Pay attention to the details around your child when he/she is acting aggressively. The following behavioral list will help you determine if the conduct is caused by external sensory overload:
- Auditory: Covering their ears, and tapping hands or feet.
- Visual: Avoiding eye contact, shifting gazes, and avoiding bright lights.
- Smell: Distress caused by air fresheners, cleaners, or other fragrances, smelling non-food items.
- Oral: Chewing hair, fingers, sleeves, or eats non eatables. Licking objects, biting themselves, and even gagging.
- Tactile: Resisting touch, avoiding textures, disliking showers, refusing to wear clothing etc.
4.- Ask for Help: The most important thing that you can do is ask a group of people for help. Ask your family doctor about this, join a community, or even talk to family members.
We have seen that it is common for ASD parents to isolate themselves, and this only makes things worst.
We have a community on Facebook where parents of autistic children share their joys, fears, feedbacks and their journey with each other. You can request to join the community here:
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with stem cell therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation and improving overall brain functioning. Contact us and join an autistic community of support and companionship. Remember, you are not alone!