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Aspergers and aggression in toddlers?

Posted by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM
  • 12 Replies
My dd will be three the end of October and we suspect she has Aspergers (currently working on getting a diagnosis.) Lately she's been having huge violent outbursts and meltdowns. She will hit and kick and push and scream. She's very verbal, but often won't tell me what's wrong or will she kicked/hit/pushed because she wanted to. Other times she tells me that she's made because her brother was going to ruin "mickeys treats" which is all imaginary. Mickey is her imaginary friend and she will get made if I am say in Mickeys way or she will cry if we left a mickey at home when we go somewhere, etc.

Often times I write it off as normal toddler temper tantrums, but lately I'm not sure it is. Sometimes it seems that I make it worse when I try to help her. Earlier she was upset so thought maybe she just needed attention so I pulled her into my lap and tried hugging her and she just started screaming and kicking more.

I feel like I can't help her. And I'm afraid it's going to make my two other children act out because I'm forced to give her more attention because she demands it. I don't know what to do and I don't know if its something worth bringing her to a doctor or if its just normal toddler stuff. Sigh.
by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SamMom912
by Platinum Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Your poor DD.. Sounds like she is having a rough time. 

As an Aspie, our kids are very black and white thinkers, in absolutes. They have difficulty being flexible in their thinking and in their actions. They have difficulty managing their expectations; seeing the "grey" in situations. 

For example... This past winter, we were expecting a snow storm. All day wednesday everyone at school was saying "oh, tomorrow's going to be a snow day, no school thursday!" .. Well, the storm was delayed, and on thursday we woke to green grass... Well, try to convince my 6 yearold there was school... Was next to impossible! In his world, everyone said no school. Lol... Black and white thinking... Sigh.. Tough... 

Your DD needs your help; but I dont think it is in the typical way of hugging and comfort that way--- . Right, the holding down, comfort didnt work for my guy either,but the verbal compassionate caring and problem solving did.. "Wow, i can see youre having a hard time. Im so sorry, what can we do to help? " and them brain storm ideas about what will help her be more "rational" and help to increase her reasoning skills. He self regulation skills, her frustration tolerance and her problem solving skills. 

In order to be flexible herself, she needs you to teach her. When you can; be flexible for her. When she refuses to do something; say its ok.. You can be flexible.. Would 5 minutes help her? But then after the 5, you can be flexible... This has really helped my son stretch and understand when he needs to be the flexible one... 

kajira
by Emma on Sep. 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Having an imaginary friend isn't sign of a autistic kid.... I would be more concerned about early mental illness that mimics autism/schizophrenia symptoms.

The reason I'm saying this? My son had imaginary friends, and he's got a psychotic disorder... You can have sensory, OCD and other issues, but the imaginary friend thing, especially how she reacts to it is how my son talked/reacted about his imaginary friends... they weren't fake to him, they were real.... and expected everyone else to treat them as such too, to the point he'd flip out violently over it.

His anti psychotics took away his imaginary friends and showed him they weren't real... now i'm not saying that's your daughters case, but my son's symptoms were present as a toddler too, but he didn't get diagnosed until he was older, and by then, the mental illness had time to progress a lot further.

You need to get her into a child psych to have that evaluated. 

kajira
by Emma on Sep. 2, 2013 at 1:17 PM
And I say that because my son was diagnosed autistic before we figured out he also had a mood disorder and a psychotic disorder that had similar symptoms to autism. The imaginary friend thing was one of the key differences. I'm autistic and while I've never had an imaginary friend, normally, autistic kids wouldn't develop the ability to have an imaginary friend for quite a while, much older than 3 - we lack the ability to imagine or pretend something like that. Not that we can't learn eventually, but pretend play isn't something were very good at....
MamaSarah1104
by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM
Does it make it different that its Mickey Mouse and not something that she's completely made up? I kind of thought since she watches Mickey's Clubhouse all the time it's just because she associates it with her life some how.

There's so much mental illness in our family I wouldn't be surprised, but My husband has Aspergers and I feel like for the most part she acts just like him with her sensory stuff and need for routine etc.


Quoting kajira:

And I say that because my son was diagnosed autistic before we figured out he also had a mood disorder and a psychotic disorder that had similar symptoms to autism. The imaginary friend thing was one of the key differences.

I'm autistic and while I've never had an imaginary friend, normally, autistic kids wouldn't develop the ability to have an imaginary friend for quite a while, much older than 3 - we lack the ability to imagine or pretend something like that. Not that we can't learn eventually, but pretend play isn't something were very good at....

JTMOM422
by Platinum Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 1:40 PM
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Unfortunately without the dx it's hard to say if this is typical toddler behavior or something else. One thing I would do is set up an area that she can have her outbursts. An area with pillows, blankets and soft animals. Where she can kick and scream but there is nothing around for her to get hurt.I would also look into maybe seeing an OT to see if any of this could be sensory based. 

SamMom912
by Platinum Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 2:09 PM
My son is an aspie- he had an imaginary little brother named chico ( from handy manny)... That he would tell people about...

I feared someone would call cps when Chico failed to show up... Since DS was so adamant about his existence... Lol...

DS is an only; all of our friends had younger siblings-- i think this was his way of dealing with the sibling issue.




Quoting MamaSarah1104:

Does it make it different that its Mickey Mouse and not something that she's completely made up? I kind of thought since she watches Mickey's Clubhouse all the time it's just because she associates it with her life some how.



There's so much mental illness in our family I wouldn't be surprised, but My husband has Aspergers and I feel like for the most part she acts just like him with her sensory stuff and need for routine etc.




Quoting kajira:

And I say that because my son was diagnosed autistic before we figured out he also had a mood disorder and a psychotic disorder that had similar symptoms to autism. The imaginary friend thing was one of the key differences.



I'm autistic and while I've never had an imaginary friend, normally, autistic kids wouldn't develop the ability to have an imaginary friend for quite a while, much older than 3 - we lack the ability to imagine or pretend something like that. Not that we can't learn eventually, but pretend play isn't something were very good at....




kajira
by Emma on Sep. 2, 2013 at 2:34 PM
mine got his from legos... having an imaginary friend wouldn't be that odd - but if they can't understand it's not real - that's an issue with reality, that's unrelated to autism. I'm not saying she's going to be just like my son - but that the risk is there if you have a history of other types of mental illness. Autistic kids CAN have an imagination - pretend play though is usually part of the delayed growth they look for though... I would be concerned though if they couldn't understand it's not real. Having a pretend friend is fine - the insistence and inability to understand no one else can see it, and they aren't real to anyone else... would be something that I'd be on the look out for. It's really normal in school age children, autistic kids often learn about it from their peers once they start school... My son and I had similar sensory and routine issues- and that's about where our similarities ended. He's got a mild autism diagnoses, but his behaviors and symptoms were caused by his inability to think rationally, or clearly and make sound decisions because his thought processes wasn't able to be rational due to a chemical imbalance in his brain.... Just make sure that she's able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, my NT toddler knows the TV isn't real, where-as my son at almost 10 still struggles to understand the TV's not real and garfield the talking cat won't just waltz into our house and start talking to him for real. It's those kind of subtle things you are looking for.
Quoting MamaSarah1104:

Does it make it different that its Mickey Mouse and not something that she's completely made up? I kind of thought since she watches Mickey's Clubhouse all the time it's just because she associates it with her life some how.

There's so much mental illness in our family I wouldn't be surprised, but My husband has Aspergers and I feel like for the most part she acts just like him with her sensory stuff and need for routine etc.


Quoting kajira:

And I say that because my son was diagnosed autistic before we figured out he also had a mood disorder and a psychotic disorder that had similar symptoms to autism. The imaginary friend thing was one of the key differences.

I'm autistic and while I've never had an imaginary friend, normally, autistic kids wouldn't develop the ability to have an imaginary friend for quite a while, much older than 3 - we lack the ability to imagine or pretend something like that. Not that we can't learn eventually, but pretend play isn't something were very good at....

TheJerseyGirl
by on Sep. 2, 2013 at 4:45 PM
Maybe still part if the Terrible Twos? My daughter is not autistic but was a horrible toddler..
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emarin77
by Gold Member on Sep. 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Talk with her child psychologist about it.  She or he will tell you correctly how to communicate/disapline her. Your daughter will start using her words more within a year as my son did too and still is at age 5.   

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Sep. 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Hugs mama...these ladies have some great advice!

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