Aggressive behaviour during arguments in my 15yr

Hi everyone, first time post. 

My 15yo has ASD/ADHD and his behaviour during a meltdown is getting more and more aggressive. Today as well as the hurtful comments and swearing, he threw stuff around, constanstantly slamming and banging his door, damaging furniture, throwing things out of his window.

His aggression is beginging to scare me. Today this went on for an and a half, it's lasted longer before. He's a twin and had his brother shaking in tears, he hates him. I realise a lot is teenage angst but I can't go through this every time, I worry he might hit me eventually. He also self harms and I worry that will escalate.  

Any advice would be really appreciated x

  • Go and talk to a professional who understands autism, start with Seeing your GP so he can refer you to services. 

  • Learning to process unfamiliar emotions is a tricky time. It sounds like unprocessed emotion is building up (balance of probability), Talking therapy is a good way to gain clarity and more helpful forms of expression.

    Something I've never got round to looking into myself, but I understand playing in tabletop RPG games is also a great tool to use on the side

  • Hello Mrs biscuits

    Welcome to the community.

    I have attached a link below on challenging behaviour which you may find useful:

    https://www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/challenging-behaviour.aspx

    You may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who can provide you with information and advice . You can contact the team via telephone on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor. Alternatively, should you prefer to send a message, you can do so via their webform:

    https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main/questions.aspx

    I hope you find this useful

    Best Wishes

    Lorraine Mod

  • Hi Mrs B - Sorry to hear about your situation. The aim is to create and maintain as calm and as predictable an environment as possible. I’ve worked with families in crisis. At fifteen, behaviours can be becoming entrenched, if not nipped in the bud, so to speak. So, if you can work on teaching your son calming strategies, which prevent escalation of behavioural outbursts (eg he needs to go to his room when he feels his anxiety/emotions rising, maybe provide a punching bag, give him strategies for relieving stress such as screaming into a pillow). 

    Usually, changing negative behaviours begins with changing how we relate to the person whose behaviour is escalating. You may well be doing all of this already, but just in case you’re not aware, if your vocal tone rises, then so will your son’s anxiety.  Best to keep a neutral tone(no matter how unnatural this feels to you). Your son needs more than anything to know that he can rely on you to maintain the sanctuary of his home environment for all your sakes. This is in no way about pandering to your son’s will or accepting aggressive behaviour. This is about prevention and teaching him over time, that he can master self control. The only way he’ll ever learn to do so though, is if you ensure you are oredictable in your style of responding. 

    If you can learn to pre-empt what sets him off, and diffuse it, well and good. The moment you notice things escalating, I would gently and politely direct him to what he’s meant to be doing. If he has already erupted, best not to stimulate him by raising your voice, by engaging with him at all. You don’t want to add fuel to the fire. You need to keep yoirself and your other family members safe. Move yourselves to a safe room, out of your son’s reach if need be, Your safety is paramount. Trauma is often associated with outbursts such as this. Your son’s behaviour can be managed and these aggressive outbursts can become a thing of the past, with knowledge, teaching him calming strategies when he’s already calm and happy, and this starts with empowering you. You need to be the one who’s in control, not him. He needs to know you’ll maintain calm no matter what.  No-one on the spectrum wants to experience these meltdowns. They occur when life is too unpredicatble, and your son is literally fighting to stay afloat from his persepective. It’s as though he’s drowning and his “Sense of Self” is disintegrating ... a very scary place for him to be. Thinking of you and sending strength, hoping you all stay safe. I know how distressing this can be for a family. Hang in there. xx