As a parent of an autistic child, you may find that your child expresses anger in a way that is different from other children. Autistic children may have difficulty communicating their emotions, leading to frustration and anger. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help your autistic child release anger in a healthy way.
Identify the triggers:
The first step in helping your autistic child release anger is to keep a log of your child’s behavior to identify patterns and potential triggers. Once you’ve identified these triggers, you can work on ways to avoid them or prepare your child for situations that may trigger them.
Develop a regular routine and incorporate visual aids into it:
Create a routine with daily activities like meals, schoolwork, playtime, and relaxation. Use picture schedules or timers to help your child understand what’s next and manage their time. This can make your child feel less anxious and reduce anger and frustration.
Include calming activities in your routine:
Create a set of activities that help your child feel relaxed and calm during the day. These activities can include things like dimming lights in the room, watching some cartoons with a snack, practicing deep breathing exercises, listening to calming music, taking a warm bubble bath, reading a book, playing with some sensory bins, or going on a long car ride.
Provide a safe space:
It is important to provide a safe space for autistic children where they can go when they’re feeling overwhelmed or angry. This may be a quiet room in the house or a designated area in the yard. You’ll want to have comforting items such as a tent or curtains to block out light, soft blankets, pillows, weighted plushies, projectors, relaxing music, sensory bins, a bubble machine, and a spot in the yard with things that spin such as pinwheels!
Practice breathing exercises:
Take a moment to practice breathing exercises when you notice that your child is starting to get angry. You can model the behavior by doing it next to them and encouraging them to do it with you. Make sure to get down to their level and make eye contact with them. This can be used as a moment to take a break from the world for a few minutes and bond with each other in a special way.
Give your child choices:
Offering your child choices can help them feel more in control and empowered, which can be especially beneficial for children with autism. By allowing your child to make decisions about simple things like what to wear or what to eat, they can develop decision-making skills and feel a sense of independence. This can also reduce their frustration and anger, as they feel more in control of their environment and daily life.
Encourage positive behavior:
Encouraging positive behavior in your child can help them manage their anger and frustration more effectively. Instead of focusing on negative behavior, such as yelling or hitting, try to praise and reward positive behavior, such as using calming techniques or expressing their emotions in a healthy way. This can help your child feel more confident and capable, and may even motivate them to continue using these positive behaviors in the future.
Encourage physical activity:
Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Exercising can be a great way for your autistic child to release anger! Encourage your child to engage in activities such as dancing, swimming, running, or jumping on a trampoline. Playing outside and getting some sun can also increase Vitamin D and help release pent-up energy!
Teach social skills:
Many Autistic children have difficulty understanding social cues and communicating effectively. Teaching your child social skills, such as taking turns, sharing, and asking for help, can help them feel more confident and in control.
Seek professional help:
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. For most parents of autistic children, consulting with a qualified professional can provide valuable insights on additional strategies to help their children develop effective coping mechanisms for managing anger and frustration.
Things I Use to Help My Autistic Child Manage His Anger
The items listed below are things that I use for my own child in our daily routine to help him manage his anger and frustration. 🙂
A play tent provides a safe and comfortable space for my son to take a break from overstimulation and sensory overload. It’s a useful tool to encourage personal time and independence, as well as to manage sensory needs. You can get it here.
Sensory bins help fulfill many sensory needs for my son such as seeing things in motion and touching different textures. sensory-friendly activities provide children with autism an opportunity to find calmness, focus, and relaxation while engaging in an activity at their own pace. Get premade sensory bins from Creativity for kids by Faber-Castell on Amazon here!
*You might also be interested in this blog post: 20+ Great Sensory-Friendly Activities for Children With Autism
Spinning sensory chair
My son is obsessed with spinning and literally doesn’t get dizzy. If your child the same way, they might like this spinning sensory chair that my son uses. Get it on here Amazon!
Weighted stuffed animal
Many autistic children love the feeling of a little extra weight! My sons weighted stuffed animal really helps him ease his anxiety and calm down from meltdowns. You can get it here on Amazon!
Wooden marble music tree
Watching things move in motion helps fill sensory needs for my son. This wooden marble music tree helps fill that need and also helps him learn different levels of sound! Get it on Amazon here.
Bubble lamp, bubble machine, bubble bath
Watching bubbles really helps my son de-stress and calm down. We use bubbles to create a nice calm and relaxing atmosphere. We have a bubble machine for outside and inside, a 3.3 ft bubble lamp that attaches to the wall for safety, and bubble bath mix for bathtime.
This bubble lamp can mount onto the wall with a bracket, changes colors, and has fake fish that float inside with the bubbles.
This rotating octopus bubble machine requires a few batteries, moves by itself and provides endless entertainment as long as you keep the bubble solution filled, haha.
For bathtime, I put Mr. Bubble into my sons bath water and he loves playing with the bubbles and scooping them into bowls. I just put plastic bowls in the water and the bowls will float on top of the water while he puts bubbles inside! He prefers not to play with bath toys so this provides some kind of entertainment, lol.
Oral stimulation kit
My son is nonverbal so sometimes if we have issues with communication it can cause him to have meltdowns or lead to him getting angry. We use this oral stimulation kit to help redirect him so he can try again with communication without becoming discouraged or want to give up. This oral stimulation kit also helps him with speech therapy!
Jumping gives my son a huge sensory input and helps reduce anger and encourages him to exercise which also helps him release endorphins that positively boost his mood naturally.
We use a mini trampoline inside.
We use a 10ft trampoline outside!
Jumbo puffer ball
Puffer balls are great for releasing anger and tension by squeezing! This is my sons favorite sensory toy!
Other items you’ll want to consider adding to your list: blackout curtains, pop sensory toys and other sensory toy kits, lots of pillows, rugs with different textures, weighted blankets, weighted vests, projector lights, a sound machine, a tablet, a fish tank, a pool, and a sensory swing or inclusion swing.
You’ve made it to the end!
If you’ve made it this far, I want to personally thank you for reading my guide on helping your autistic child manage their anger! I really hope this guide can make a difference in your life and make things a little easier for you both. I know how frustrating it can be. If you ever have any questions or need any help, please reach out to me here. I’d be happy to help!! If you found these strategies and tools helpful, please share them with someone who might need them. Your support could make a huge difference in their life. And if you have any other ideas, let me know in the comments below. Thanks again!
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