During the teenage years it is not uncommon for an autistic teen to show signs of aggression.
It may be due to the combination of the autism, with the onset of the age of puberty with all of its ramifications of hormone change, and the physical bodily changes of growing into an adult.
Aggressive autism can occur suddenly out of the blue, and the first thing the parent or caregiver has to do is to ascertain the cause of this sudden aggression.
Some Signs To Look for To Determine reason For Aggression.
The parent should think about any possible reasons for the outburst of aggression to include—
n Has the teen been upset at school or the special school being attended, has the routine or pattern been interfered with in any way.
n Is there any sign of another physical illness causing an upset of which the parent has not been informed.
n Is the teen getting regular sleep in accordance with his/her routine.
n Is he/she/ showing any new reaction to articles of clothing, to new people, or even new smells and food.
So how does a parent react to deal with this autistic aggression being expressed by the teen? Communication with the teenager is probably already difficult enough and there are various things which can be considered in dealing with this situation.
Dealing with Teen Autistic Aggression.
Teenagers suffering from autism take in information which they can see rather than what they can hear, and paradoxically the way parents and caregivers try to communicate with the autistic teen is by verbal contact . . . . so—
a). In any verbal contact with the teen to determine the cause of the upset, which has sparked off the aggression, the spoken sentences should be kept as short as possible.
b).During an aggressive outburst it is wise to speak as little as possible and do not expect any immediate response, remember that the more that is spoken the greater will be the degree of confusion and aggression of the teen.
c). Remember that the autistic teen will receive information more receptively as a means of communication, so set a program of rules……
d) Post these rules up in an easily seen place, and each time there is an outburst of aggression, say to the teen precisely yet firmly “Now Jimmy, remember rule number one which says . . . and point to the rule. Slowly the autistic teen will recognize this method of communication.
By establishing a precise set of rules for the teen, the parent will have a positive method of communicating with the autistic teen, who will appreciate the visual input of information rather than a series of questions to which it is likely that the parent would get no response anyway. This method has been found to be an effective way of getting answers from the teen as to what is causing the upset, and leading to his/her agitation and aggressive behavior.