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Old 03-02-2009, 12:40 PM   #1
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Question Trying to deal with an aggressive autistic 12 yr old girl

I was wondering if anyone can offer some advice. I am a step-mum to a 12 yr old Autistic girl and she is having more and more violent 'outbursts' when she doesn't get her own way.
As she doesn't have any speech it is understandable why she is getting so frustrated when any other child would be able to talk things through but her way of dealing with her frustration is to start kicking, scratching and at times biting.
A side from giving in and giving her everything she wants - which isn't helpful in the long run for her - can anyone offer some advice on how we can manage this? The last episode was in the car where I feared for her safety and others! Please help and advise .....

 
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
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Re: Trying to deal with an aggressive autistic 12 yr old girl

My first instinct is that at age 12 she's getter bigger and stronger and that talking with a Dr. about her issues would be advisable. Does she have a child psychiatrist or child neurologist involved? If not, you could call your local university hospital for a referral name and try to get an appt. asap. I would imagine that medication might be something to explore to help calm her nervous system. Another suggestion is occupational therapy with a therapist who specializes in sensory integration.

Another suggestion is to consult with a speech therapist about starting a picture communication system. Like you say, she is probably so frustrated and wants to say her needs but can't. There are some great techniques now for non-verbal picture communication.

Keep us posted.

 
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: Trying to deal with an aggressive autistic 12 yr old girl

I work with non-verbal, autistic (as well as other developmental disabilities) children with extreme aggressive behaviors. The worst thing you can do is give in to what they want. The behaviors will spike for a while when you begin laying very consistent boundaries down, but it will absolutely help to rid her of her behaviors. Does your daughter know any sign language? Look to teach her some if she doesn't, so at the very least she is able to answer yes or no questions. This will open up your communication immensely. Make sure you ask lots of questions about comfort, pain, hunger, thirst, and always consider her basic needs and insure they are being met. While you cannot always give in, many times aggressive outbursts are the result of a need or ailment not being addressed.

Another helpful tool we utilize for the autistic children are weighted blankets. Because autistic children are very sensory driven, the added pressure can offer some great relief and comfort. Allow the child to utilize it when she becomes aggravated, and I am sure you will begin to see a drop off in behavior.

Be careful of depending on medications - they will help, but they will not solve the problem. Most children in this scenario that I have worked with, have simply been doped up when they have high level aggressions, often with heavy sedatives. This is no way for a child to live, so explore every other avenue possible. Seek out the advice of a Behavior Specialist - they will definitely be able to give you insight and ideas on how to curb the behaviors.

Good luck!

 
Old 03-31-2009, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: Trying to deal with an aggressive autistic 12 yr old girl

i totally understand what your going through,and being a mother of an Autistic girl i have the tantrum trouble also.The way i deal with it is,let them calm down for a bit,because in "full flight" i dont think she hear's you anyway.Then in a CALM-COLLECTED voice, {ready} change the subject,focus her attention on something else;ie,fav tv show,idol,animal.
The "thing" that upset her in the first place Will come up again but if you can focus her on something other than the "thing" for 2 mins she and you will be calmer and can deal with it better.No Asd child can cope or deal with stressful situations or in your case tell you whats bothering them,but it is so much easier and stress-free for everyone to take a step back and count to 50 or in my case 100.I really hope this helps and Best of luck,remember your not alone.

 
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