My DS is nine and has high functioning ASD. Generally, he's a quiet sensitive boy. ASD would make him anxious and upset. He's never been violent. He has a sister aged 5, up until recently they have got along well.
A few months ago, he's started to become verbally aggressive, usually aimed at me DH or dd. There doesn't seem to be any trigger. He can just shout and scream at any of us for no particular reason - homework, what's for tea etc . He's done it in front of other members of my family and they phage been shocked at his attitude. I've tried talking to him, reasoning, discipline etc nothing works, he just laughs at me. I don't know if this is anything to do with ASD or is it his age?
I'm finding it all very upsetting, he's doesn't really do it in school, showing therefore that he has an element of control. Nothing else has changed, his TA is very good and has been monitoring him at break time etc and he's playing with friends as usual. I just don t know what else to do. I'm already on antidepressants and I'm finding it hard to cope with his outbursts.
Sounds like anxiety related, my ds has always done this but for us it's better than physical violence so I suppose it's less shocking. Have you seen 'The Explosive Child' book?
Don't assume because he doesn't do it at school that it means he can control himself, more likely the effort of holding it together at school makes him more likely to lose it at home.
Have you tried keeping a diary to work out patterns and triggers? Ideally analyse it against a school timetable/diary too.
Linda Miller's 5P approach might be worth looking at to analyse his behaviour and then you can experiment with strategies to see what works. I find a mix of sensory, collaborative problem solving (Explosive Child method), CBT (Dawn Huebner workbooks) and solution focused therapy works well for my ds.
Thanks for your reply. Think you're right about school - he's in mainstream and his school is high achieving hence it's a bit of a pressure cooker situation. Will definitely look at the Explosive Child x
My dd2 (also 9yo) has also started doing this. Some of it is borrowed mannerisms from her elder sister (who is becoming a stroppy teen at the age of 11) and it is also partly the cost of holding it together during the day. I try and make sure she has as much 'down time' as possible which is not that hard considering she refuses to participate in anything outside of school
Sorry to resurrect a zombie thread but in case the OP is still around I was just wondering if this was a phase that passed? DS 9 was diagnosed last year. He has had the odd tantrum in the past (I wouldn't say they are meltdowns because they happen when he doesn't get his way or he feels frustrated rather than sensory overload) but they are pretty rare. In the last week he had had one big tantrum every day over something being unfair. He gets very angry and screams and shouts and calls me all the names under the sun. He sometimes randomly mentions how much he hates school in these rants. He says nothing is wrong or going on (bullying etc).