Are there any Aspies who don't throw tantrums?

Anne - posted on 06/19/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My son, who will be 6 in September, is at the beginning of the process of being assessed for Aspergers. He doesn't tend to have meltdowns or tantrums like the one's I've heard or read about. I would just like to know if there are any young children who have had a diagnosis that do not have the tantrums and meltdowns.

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Georgie Ann - posted on 09/25/2013

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At this age I do have other issues....seems like motivation is the biggest right now especially with school. He extremely hates school, but only likes to go because of a few of his friends. One of my other biggest concerns is getting him out of the home besides school. If he wants a video game or wants to go to the movies it is no problem, but going out to see his father or sisters or other relatives is difficult. I definitely have learned to pick my battles. I learn something new everyday even at the age of 17. If anyone has any ideas about getting him interested in other things to get him out of the home that would be wonderful

Georgie Ann - posted on 09/25/2013

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I have a 17 year old son who was diagnosed with Asperger's when he was 10. He never had tantrums just meltdowns, but the meltdowns were manageable. I had the school system test him. At first they were not going to test him because he was never a behavior issue. I work with special needs children in the public school system and from my experiences my son is mild compared to what I have worked with in the past. He is on a higher maturity level.

[deleted account]

Kids on the spectrum are basically like the general population.
It all depends on the child... and their unique personality.
I'm a family daycarer/foster mom, and with the 13 children in my care who have been assessed or diagnosed as ASD, 5 have never shown any signs of meltdowns or tantrums.

[deleted account]

Amanda, I'm glad mine aren't the only ones who do that! I had never heard of it happening so I didn't recognize what it was until about 18 months after I had first noticed the behavior. Then of course I felt bad!

User - posted on 06/19/2010

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Hi Anne,

My husband often asks of our son, is that typical for a child with autism? Well, it's typical for our son.

That's the thing with spectrum disorders and their impact. Every single child is unique unto themselves. Some behaviours might be more common than others...but that doesn't mean you will see it in your child.

Good luck with your assessment.

Sheila

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Heather - posted on 09/26/2013

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My son is that same way when it come to family, but then they never show up for any of his birthdays etc, so I just let it go.

Heather - posted on 09/23/2013

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My son, now 20 and an aspie, was an imploder. He would get upset and shut down. It took time and gentle prodding but we, his worker and I , were able to get him to open up at least some of the time. They are very bright so they need to learn that holding things inside is bad for them and can effect their health. Aspies have a hard time talking about things, I found it easier to get my son to talk if we were someplace quiet end alone and I kept it short, unless he wanted to talk longer.

Tatiana - posted on 09/17/2013

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I was wondering the same thing. My youngest (7 years old) who was diagnosed with High Functioning Asperger's/Gifted has only had one minor temper tantrum his whole life. My idea of his "meltdowns" are when the situation (social interaction/noisy/change in environment) get's too much for him he becomes very weepy, crosses his arms across his chest and turns his back (literally)on everything and everyone. I can see his meltdowns coming on now and am usually able to avoid it completely by asking him if he wants to take a walk with me to a quieter place with no people. He very quickly nod's, grabs my hand and "escapes" the offensive environment. Once he is settled and has had his space to recover he will usually return to the area and carry on playing again. He can also have this reaction if he is told he has had enough computer time. He then removes himself from the family and starts crying, I give him 5 minutes and then I go to him and ask him why he is crying. He tells me he was upset about having to stop playing on the computer but now he just does not know how to stop crying. I give him a hug and sympathize with the fact that he finds it difficult to stop crying (not because he had to stop playing!) and within a minute of doing that the "meltdown" is over and he rejoins the family to have dinner/ play in the garden/ go for a shower etc. and he does this with great enthusiasm and happiness. Sometimes Aspies react to the situation in a negative way and then find themselves stuck in that zone. I guess each aspie will have their own version of a "meltdown". It is important that we as parents just keep in mind that very often they need our help and support to exit that state :-)

Shasta - posted on 07/16/2010

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my son has the meltdowns but he doesnt seem to care abt sound and texture like alot of kids do...or sensory his is him being aggressive and he obsesses over a few things..so they r all different good luck

Tricia - posted on 07/06/2010

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I have twins (boy and girl) who will also be 6 in September. Our son has severe tantrums and aggression issues. The psychologist states the aggression is a reaction to sensory issues. He wants to be social, but doesn't know how to handle himself with others. Our daughter has no major tantrums, but she doesn't have the extreme sensory problems either. She is on the other side of Aspergers, and doesn't want to be social at all. We have to bribe her to get her to leave the house at all.

Marie - posted on 07/05/2010

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My husband and my oldest son have never had "meltdowns". My younger son had only a period of them. My older son was confirmed Asperger before his more severe younger brother. :) My number is 360-753-2271

Anne - posted on 07/04/2010

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Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences with me. Since posting my original message, my son has had 3 major meldowns one of them was last week. I told my son that he couldn't give a sweetie to one of his friends. I wasn't being mean, his friend was quite a distance from us and walking in the opposite direction, my son started off by using my butt as a punchbag and then a collapsing full sobbing into my arms. I just cradled him like a baby, holding him tightly until he was calm enough to carry on our walk home.

My brother witnessed another meltdown this weekend and was really shocked at the intensity of it as he has never seen it before.

Nancy - posted on 07/04/2010

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I think there are, my son type of meltdown is not the tantrum type nor the meltdown drama type. Mine is the qiute, I don't hear you type or the I'm so tire type (being lazy) and he's 13.That also camn be challenging. We have to keep at him until he realy gets it and does it. Some times it ends up, that he realizes that it wasn't so bad after all and he does it the next it with out any reprocussions

Kathy - posted on 07/03/2010

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The problem here is that the hallmark of Autism Spectrum Disorders is an expressive and receptive language problem. While Aspies usually have a very well developed vocabulary, and usually good articulation, they still are not able to fully express themselves.

When an Aspie has a meltdown or shut down, they are usually trying their best to communicate something that is bothering them. They just can't express it. It is why speech therapy (by a competent speech therapist) in pragmatic language is so important for our kids.

Jennifer - posted on 07/03/2010

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My daughter who is 12 now goes through phases where she will have meltdowns frquently and then we will go a couple off months without meltdowns. I think it depends on what is going on in their life at that time. If things are calm and on routine she usually does very well. When she has stuff going on at school or with her other activities she is agitated more easily into a meltdown. And then, of course she sometimes meltsdown for no reason or when something we think will send her into one she will remain calm. Hopefully your son and you already have ways of coping that you don't even realize and thats why he's isn't having meltdowns. Each child on the spectrum is different and unique in their way of coping with things. They all enrich our lives in so many ways and tend to give us a different way of looking at the world.

Anja - posted on 07/02/2010

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my son - now 10, diagnosed with Asperger's doesn't throw tantrums either - or at least not yet. Kinda worried with Erin's reply with puperty coming arround.

Alyson - posted on 07/01/2010

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Hi Anne
My son used to have meltdowns when it came to things like having his haircut...sensory, lots of hands on with him helped ! He still dislikes being hugged etc and he`s 17 now but he can tolerate if need be. If he is upset he tends to withdraw, it doesn`t happen very often now, but i just allow him his space if it does.

Lana - posted on 07/01/2010

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My daughter has has Tizzy fits but she goes to her quiet place and clams down. BUT she did have a full blown tantrum at the age of 18 at college. She tried to get away but people kept following her until she had to lock herself in closet luckily some one hid her until the people went away. She was very embarrassed and posted her rant on her facebook page. She threatened to go home and never come back to college again.

My son hasn't had a 'fit' since 2nd grade, But he has always had a "safe" place to go if needed. But he has done quite well for now. Fingers crossed he is way bigger than me these days!!

Melanie - posted on 06/30/2010

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Just because you don't see or hear the meltdown doesn't mean that he isn't having one.
Most of the time my son has meltdowns that are very quiet. However, if we pay attention to them he then gets more upset becomes vocal and has a tantrum. If we ignore his "silent" meltdowns he will self regulate.
He rarely has verbalized (ie screaming, crying, physically abusive) meltdowns and those he is usually so upset that he knows he needs help to calm down. For us, because he loves touch, that means pulling his back to my front, grabbing each wrist and crossing our arms over his chest and trapping his legs with mine and squeezing just a little until the meltdown has stopped.

So it is entirley dependant upon the child. Mine is so independant that he would rather control himself when he can.

Amanda - posted on 06/21/2010

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My 5 year old, just recently diagnosied with Aspergers, doesn't have tantrums, but he emotionally 'shuts down'. He closes his eyes, becomes limp when you try to pick him up and just collaspes in a heap on the ground like he has fallen asleep. He will stay there for as long as he needs to (normally no longer than 5 minutes), then he gets up like nothing has happened. Good luck with your daughters assessment :)

[deleted account]

Hey, that's okay! At least now you don't have that question floating around in your mind anymore. :D

Anne - posted on 06/20/2010

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Oh no!!!! I think I may have spoken too soon and put a hex on my beautiful son's temperament, since posing this question, my son has had a few tantrums and been really angry and he's started to get really upset over the most minor things. Ahh well, just have to get on with it and deal with situations as they arise.

[deleted account]

I very strongly suspect that my daughter has AS (after researching son's classic autism) and she does not have meltdowns (son does). Both of them tend to do what I would label "shutting down." Instead of externalizing all of that frustration, anxiety, or sensory overload, they close themselves off. For my son (4), that means crawling into my arms and falling asleep. For my daughter (7), that means crawling under a table and hiding until the moment has resolved itself.

Anne - posted on 06/19/2010

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Thanks for your input Erin and Sheila, this has answered my question. Erin, on reflection, I think you are probably right that I might be catching them before they get out of control.

Erin - posted on 06/19/2010

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My son doesn;t have many tantrums. Before he turned 12 he hardly ever had a tantrum, maybe once in a while like a neurotypical child. Now that he's 12 and going through puberty, he's beginning to have them. I can usually "catch" them before they get out of control, and that may be what you're doing without even realizing it. Or, your son just isn't having meltdowns, which is great for all involved!!

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