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How to Manage Stress-Related Blind Rage in Children with Autism

Autism can be a difficult disorder to manage in your child, especially if they have a tendency to fall into moments of "blind rage" against you. Anger and violence are common in these moments, and dealing with them as they occur is difficult. Instead you need to understand how high stress leads to these behaviors and how you can avoid them.

Autism Can Lead to High Levels of Stress

Autism is a powerful condition that changes the way children perceive the world. Autism can create a variety of rigid behaviors and beliefs that a child feels they must perform and adhere to in order to feel comfortable. Deviation from these behaviors can cause a great deal of stress in a child's life. Beyond that is the stress put on them as they struggle to communicate and reach out to their peers and family members.

Stress and anxiety are two of the most common problems associated with autism, especially in children who have yet to adapt to their environment. Often those with low levels of autism try to behave in ways that appear "normal" to those around them. This causes even more strain and stress for them as they act against their nature. Those with high levels of autism may simply grow stressed when their space is invaded.

As a result, many children with autism or Asperger's syndrome suffer from a problem known as "blind rage." This is a result of an inability to express their stress in a constructive way. Instead of talking with you about it (as they likely cannot) they may lash out at those around them, including friends and family members. Striking, grasping, and even biting may occur in what many psychologists call a "semi-conscious" state or one in which the child is barely aware of what they are doing.

Relaxation Treatments You Can Perform at Home Can Help

The first step in managing this situation is to spot stress triggers in your child. Maybe they start pacing around the room before they get angry or call out to you. Some may start self-harming or talking in very quick and agitated ways. Others may get very calm and then lash out unexpectedly. When you see these moments occurring, you need to trigger the relaxation response by:

  • Giving your child physical and mental space to calm down
  • Offering them a comforting massage or hug if they come to you
  • Reading them a story to encourage daydreaming or fantasy
  • Breathing slowly and deeply while holding them on your chest to signal for them to mimic the behavior

These simple treatments can help your child calm down and avoid the dangers of blind rage. Other treatments, including prescription medications, can also help calm your child's anxiety or teach them new and positive patterns of behavior. Talk to a professional at a company such as Functionabilities Pediatric Therapy for more information.