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How do I deal with my Asperger's child's mood swings!?

He is 6 now and still cries over everything. If his sister who is 3 tells him not to touch something he cries. If I tell him he can't have more milk only water he flips out. He was just chasing his sister all over the house screaming bloody murder because she had his magnifying glass...That he wasn't even playing with. I send him to his room where he screams like he is being killed and kicks the door and throws stuff. I try to stay calm but I get so angry at him. Surely he should be acting better than this at 6. I hate when I am out and he acts like this and everyone thinks I don't discipline but I do. I put him in timeout in his room, I take privileges... It just doesn't get better.


Asked by Anonymous at 4:51 PM on Sep. 6, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • My son has aspergers and he does have mood swings and some pretty nasty meltdowns. We have been seeing a PhD for meltdown/anger issues and he has been put on medication. You may want to consider counseling/therapy to help both of you handle his mood swings and some of the 'issues'. Have you tried changing his diet? I know some people have had luck with the GCF diet. (I know not everything works for everyone).

    Answer by MizLee at 8:06 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • The same way you deal with any child's mood swings ... and you'll need a lot of patience. The reason you discipline is to teach, and he will have a harder time learning ... that means you'll be teaching those lessons longer.
    Keep doing what you're doing ... and if it's not working, consider making the consequences more severe. For example, if he kicks his door and throws things, then when he's done he can bring you every single thing he threw and you can keep it for a period of time - after all, he certainly isn't treating it right.
    Your goal is for him to behave in acceptable ways ... therefore, you can't accept his behaving in unacceptable ways. Hang in there!

    Answer by missingruth at 4:55 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I wish you weren't "anon" ... but since you are, I'll post this here. You're not a horrible mother. And yes, it's frustrating that he doesn't behave better than he does. It's normal and natural for you to be upset by that. As you said, you're doing what his therapist has suggested. You're doing a good job, you just need to keep doing it. You can do this, and it's hard when you feel like all the effort is not paying off ... but it will. It just takes time. You can do this. I'm sorry it's so difficult. Hang in there and keep holding him responsible for his own choices ... that's how he'll learn.

    Answer by missingruth at 5:04 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • ok your son is in the autism spectrum? are you getting any help? therapy? for him, for you? isnt there someone who is helping you with that who can give you ideas on how to get through to him? being in the autism spectrum means that he might chronologically be 6. but developmentally he is MUCH younger.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 4:57 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • also, out of curiosity, is he on meds? My son was put on an anti depressant. It help some of this anxiety, but we later found it could cause mood swings. He had mood swings, but I thought it was part of the disorder. We took him off of it and while his now stims a lot, his mood swings are gone.


    Answer by layh41407 at 5:17 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I think you should speak to his doctor about his behavior. He may need to see someone, a professional that specials in asperger's. You may also be burned out have a child with this is like having 2 children fighting all the time.

    Answer by raemommy at 4:57 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I have a 23 yr old with Asperger's and you will have many more years of dealing with behavior. your school district should be able to help with therapy and social groups. I know you want to remain ANON but you can message me anytime if you need some support.
    There is not a behavior or outburst that I have not had to deal with...well wait she is 23 and has been told she will never drive and her second sister is about to get her license, something she really wants bad but doesn't understand what it takes to get a license. so that will be new for me. Ok my point is when it is Asperger's there will always be a new behavior to learn to deal with and yes your normal for feeling you wants yours to be like the others but you have to accept it and educate yourself. There is a book called
    "Look me in the eye" by John Elder Robinson
    very good book about a boy and his life with Asperger's

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 5:10 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I'm so glad someone in here mentioned Look Me In The Eye. He's the brother of Augusten Burroughs, by the way.

    I dated a guy with Asperger's before I met my husband. He was so funny and quirky and the funny thing is that all of those quirks that I loved were the things that ended up as having him labeled as "high functioning autistic" when he was younger. His mother said that when he was younger he was TERRIBLE and freaked out over everything. Of course, this was before they were even diagnosing children as having asperger's.

    She changed his diet, cut out gluten (which meant for a week he practically lived on beenie weenies because she didn't know anything else, lol) and cut out refined sugar (she's still not sure how much it helped but he says his skin really cleared up) and started doing texture therapy. I don't remember the websites but I'm sure if you google you can find some of this.

    Answer by erinwhitt at 5:58 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • Also, my ex always said "the big thing with guys like me is that a lot of its hit or miss. some stuff is gonna work, other stuff is gonna make me take a crap in my hand and throw it at you."

    Answer by erinwhitt at 5:59 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • My son is almost 8 and we still deal with this, although it has gotten slightly better. We've tried the yelling and punishing, we've tried the talk calmly through it, we've tried ignoring it, and none of it seems to help much. The only thing I've found that works is teaching him self-control and giving him examples of people who don't use self control. I have a brother who is a very good illustration of not having self control. We also learn about anger and being selfish. I probably don't have much help for you, but I wanted you to know you're not a bad mom that your son acts that way.
    In fact, he's whining right now because my husband told him to go get the clothes out of the dryer. Just stay calm, consistent, and don't compare him to other kids. That's not fair for ever :normal" kids, much less kids on the autism spectrum. It never helps, doesn't make anything better, and it will just make you more frustrated.

    Answer by Laura2U at 6:05 PM on Sep. 6, 2010