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Responding to violent autistic behavior in toddlers and children requires significant parental considerations. Interspersions, not intensities; will worsen the behavior further for the child. For example, lets take Adam, who likes hit the child next to him in school because he likes to hear the other child’s reaction–“He hit me!” Or, let’s talk about Sophie; who, out of jealousy, throws her classmate’s stationaries off the table and on the ground.


For children with high functioning or borderline autism, it is often the attention they get from being difficult that keeps children into the habit. For parents, the time to act is now! If you don’t intervene today, the problem would only grow, not to mention that there can be another child victimized tomorrow.

While many of you may have taken temporary measures to alleviate this problem, unless you have a longer-term autistic behavior control strategy in place, the child might end up hurting several others and in worst cases, him/herself.

The DO’s and DON’Ts for Handling Violent Autistic Behavior

Ways to minimize such behavior and assuring everyone’s safety requires some specific strategies to be in place. It’s not that you always have to do something; there are certain things you must also refrain from.

The List of DO’s

  • Visual or non-verbal redirections: Gestures/visuals tell an individual what you want him/her to do without use of words. Hold him/her out, wave to gain his/her attention and then send the message to sit down or stand up with your hands. It is commanding without attending to the behavior.
  • Block aggression without engaging: Best way to do this is keeping the individual from being too close to others. Do it without talking or looking straight into his/her eyes. Also, obstruct his/her view to the target with a beanbag, a chair or something else. Keep him in your view and watch covertly to assure safety.
  • Attend the victim: If the child is attacking or teasing other students, keep eyes on the student being targeted. Ask him/her if he/she is OK, fuss over him/her, and pay lots of attention to the child. Ignore the attacking child and talk about the behavior expected from the victim in such cases. Plain ignoring goes a long way.
  • Assuring safety: Don’t sacrifice safety to avoid attention. This may go without saying but it’s important to recognize that sometimes violent autistic behavior is going to escalate and you are going to have to do something to keep a student from running out into the parking lot or hurting another student. Those are times when you will have to intervene, but do it with as little attention as possible.
  • Check your own emotions: That’s tough. Not letting your blood boil with frustration and holding a neutral face is difficult but possible; an expressive face just reinforces an attention-seeking behavior. Keep your calm and don’t involuntarily yell out–when a kid pulls yours or another’s hair all in a sudden. Take a deep breath for that.

The List of DON’Ts

  • Don’t talk (or yell): A child engages in such violent autistic behaviors – even meltdowns – if upset about something. It is often not intentional and those times are not a good time to try reasoning. Language is likely to increase problems furthermore. Being upset makes a person not want to talk to anyone.
  • Eye-contacts are not advised: Keeping an eye for safety and making eye contacts (i.e. looking directly into the eyes of the individual) engages him/her even more and provides the attention which you are trying to cut off. Look off in the distance; look at another direction…anywhere but directly at the child.
  • Avoid touching: Touching an upset individual will only escalate the situation and fights might break out. If it’s only a pretense to gain attention, physical contact provides that. Physically intervention to assure safety, if at all required, must be brief.
  • Don’t discuss the child’s behavior: That’s simply attending to the behavior, because you are talking about it. Instead, talk to other students about what they are doing right and the behaviours expected from them. This way, you’ll send a positive message and remove the attention from the troubled child.
  • Don’t refrain from teaching appropriate ways to gain attention: Behavior is maintained by a counter reinforcement behavior, the replacement skill here will be something that attracts attention appropriately. Reinforcing should be present in addition to teaching the skill (e.g., tapping your arm, using a communication switch). If it turns out to be a more reliable way to gain attention than the violent behavior, then such negative behavior is eventually going to stop.

Additional Resources to Handle Violent Behavior of Autistic Child

We have a lot of resources to handle difficult and/or violent behavior for children with Autism at home and in classrooms. Here are a few:

Hope this post provides you some insight on handling violent autistic behaviors in children; especially those that are related to gaining attention in particular. Even though the focus was primarily on attention-seeking behavior, the use and importance of reinforcements, in general, needs to be understood. It will ensure that all these strategies become useful for any incident involving violent behavior. If you got some more tips to share, please post your comments below.

Join the discussion 64 Comments

  • Natalie Lloyd says:

    Oh dear. This advice is incredibly outdated, unhelpful and, as an autism parent, makes me feel very sad. This article needs to be taken down or updated as soon as possible.

  • Ellie Wilkie says:

    Why doesn’t anyone recognise the sheer desperation felt by parents and family of a violent autistic child. There is no one to blame No one chooses to have a disabled child and until it happens to you most people don’t understand how devastating having a violent autistic child can be. Every day every new experience every change from routine can provoke a meltdown. The child has no concern or control over where it happens. The attacks often extremely violent and often on the mother have to be controlled in front of horrified spectators. Often the child or young adult has to be physically restrained in order to prevent them seriously hurting themselves or others. This often results in the mother being verbally abused by onlookers and accused of bad parenting. If only it was that simple! There is no help readily available. There is no respite. There is nowhere to turn. Desperate parents are afraid to admit they cannot manage and ask for help in case their children who they love dearly are taken into care. The number of schools with special needs facilities are few and far between and often span a huge range of disability. Parents of neurotypical children understandably do not want uncontrollably violent children in a class with their children. The government is financially motivated to close all special needs facilities and lump all children in together regardless of ability. There appears to be little provision for teachers aids to make the path to a normal education easier. Meanwhile these poor parents and children are left to struggle.knowing that it will only get harder as the child gets bigger and stronger. How can a society where one in twenty children born are on the spectrum behave in such an uncaring and uninterested way. Society is judged not by its strongest members but by how well it protects its weakest.

  • Lisa says:

    There are so many opinions on both sides of the issue. I am an SLP who works with preschool through adulthood, and have a stepson with ID and ASD (so I have been on both sides of the table). I don’t feel like enough is known to truly develop effective strategies when the behavior is this severe, especially as our ASD children are getting older, stronger, and onset of puberty. Those without the life experience have a lot of theories and suggestions, but they all seem to be based on our own behaviors and responses. A restraining order, arrest, and other legal type actions mean nothing to the individual with ASD (but do document the incidents) and in most cases will do nothing to prevent future behaviors or reduce physical attack. We cannot simply tolerate the behaviors, that just perpetuates the behavior. As a previous commenter said; these behaviors are a fight or flight type response to events that happen in everyday life, but those with ASD can’t acclimate to. Most of the time, these violent behaviors are successful for the individual’s purpose and will continue. I feel like there are little to no resources for parents to keep themselves and their children (both with ASD and their siblings) safe. People with ASD and violent behaviors simply don’t interpret daily life the same as neurotypical people do and we cannot expect them to. That does not mean we excuse it or suggest that it is ok, but we need to stop interpreting their actions with a neurotypical aspect, let’s try to analyze the situation from their perspective. A typically developing child may have a meltdown because they didn’t get their favorite cup, as parents or even just adults we work through it with them trying to explain that we don’t always get what we want. What is simply a cup to us, as adults, means everything to the child that wants it and to those on the spectrum it means even more. That doesn’t make violent behavior acceptable it means we need to step outside the box and work out how to work on strategies for dealing with these everyday occurrences. We need more information and strategies to work out how to help them cope. These strategies will only be effective if individualized, because every person has different triggers and strategies to resolve the situation. Parents are not automatically equipped with these skills, obviously they didn’t arrange to have a child with ASD; even educated, experienced, and highly trained professionals are not truly equipped at this point in our world, we just don’t know enough and what we do know is clearly not working. With the rise in ASD and severe/violent cases we need to work on this. Our children are getting older and just “getting through the day” is not effective as they get stronger and will do anything to achieve their immediate wants. Support for those with ASD as well as their families needs to be a priority as we simply cannot lock them away. I firmly believe in early intervention but the struggle to get early intervention is ridiculous; as well as the extreme difficulty getting resources for those that are already adults. To me… I think data is the key. I think ABA should wear body cams to learn, to observe; that way detailed observation can be done to identify “triggers” if/when possible. The incidents are happening and if we can review the footage maybe we can develop ways to identify oncoming issues before or as they happen, maybe that information can be utilized for future use. Seeing these children go through school with IEP’s having the same goals year after year suggests that we are not looking at the child as a whole, we are not modifying goals or identifying individual needs. Instead these children are given goals based on neurotypical development. If a child absolutely refuses to try to write, stop forcing this goal and work on functional communication. Incorporating writing skills as fun features Let’s get a stronger foundation for successful communication then…. Basically how can we work together, join forces, to improve the overall quality of life for our children and adults with disabilities and their families?

    • LindyLoo says:

      Excellent points and well said! I am a teacher in a public school with a self-contained “behavior program”. This used to mean the district placed neurotypical students students with oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), PTSD, severe ADHD, or their home environment caused learned (inappropriate) behaviors for help. Over the past 3 years, 60-80% of my “Behavior Students” are now autistic. The ASD students are shoved in a room with the neurotypical students who make significant progress and move back to their home schools and are very successful. This district has zero support “programs” for autistic children except my class. Being in a behavior class is not what they need but it’s all about the money. The district will NEVER admit this. I feel bad for these forgotten students because the things they do are not on purpose as it is with the neurotypical students. Even in a school with educators, they just don’t get why our ASD students do what they do. There’s is 1 PRIVATE school for ASD students in this area and it’s filled the spring before the next school year and costs $36K a year. A big thing that is missing is parent ADVOCACY for their ASD child. Districts rarely listen to teachers. Parents have to become educated about the topic so they can discuss and demand appropriate services. Not just schools but all public services.

    • Kimberly says:

      Well said! Thank you!

    • Wanda says:


      Dr. Ash – So many people on this page needs your help why aren’t you responding to any of them, especially the ones that are scared for their lives?
      I’m confused!!!!!!!

  • Tami says:

    This article made me angry and many of the comments made me sad. I have an autistic grandchild who is 3. Autism is a spectrum and not all children react the same or display the same behaviors. This article advises parents and caregivers to ignore the behavior…don’t touch them, don’t talk to them, don’t make eye contact- what a crock! In many cases the child is acting out of frustration, fear or other strong emotion and do not know how to communicate what they need. My daughter has shown me that by getting down to his level, making eye contact when possible, grasping his hands firmly and gently reminding him to use soft touches, I can help him to refocus. You may wonder what I am doing here on a site to stop violent outburst, I am looking for ways to help my grandchild communicate and when it is not possible to prevent the outburst, what can we do to understand the underlying emotion and what the child needs. Lastly, autistic children are not prone to attack other children any more than a neuro-typical child. If you read through the comments you come to see that parents and caregivers are the ones who are attacked not classmates, neighbors or strangers. Autistic children are not school shooters. It is a daily struggle for parents of autistic children and no one should be subjected to violence. Instead of telling someone that their child should be removed from public viewing I suggest compassion may be in order for these families.

    • Maddie says:

      Thank you, Tami. I couldn’t agree more. This antiquated explanation of “just trying to get attention” hurts far more than it helps. I found myself on this page because my oldest, who just started public school this year, had been exhibiting aggressive before since the beginning of the school year. She’s 8, and i homeschooled her through the pandemic, so this is her first experience in a classroom. She’s been bullied daily for being “weird” and different. The teacher didn’t see it, so she tells my daughter it isn’t actually happening. That’s when my daughter starts to melt down. First, she tries to escape. But when she can’t, that’s when she becomes aggressive. Her teacher told her, “you’re only doing it for attention.” And you know what? It didn’t help. It’s only ensured that when my daughter is able to communicate her frustration verbally, she’ll be afraid to because she won’t be believed or taken seriously. So essentially, she’s stuck in an environment, for 7 hours a day, where she’s completely powerless, abused and broken down by her peers, can’t get away from her stressors, and then told it’s her fault. As in sure you can infer, it’s not helping her.

  • Sandi says:

    I cannot imagine what it is to have a “Child like this in need” especially when there’s no place to go to actually get help. I’m afraid I’m going to find out though because my Great-grandson, who is 2 yrs. old and looks adorable, has now been diagnosed with this very same Autistic condition, one can already see when being around him that his physical responses to those around him are not what one would consider the norm, he already will attempt to try and hit or bite anyone he can reach, his mom said, when he tried to bite me, that he was teething….having said this and reading everthing I can get my hands on about this, I sit back and wonder what I would do if he injured me or someone that just happened to be near him, I can’t and won’t just sit there an allow him to chew on me. He’s only two years old and unbelievably strong which sounds rediculous when considering his age, he’s a baby….my grandson is already making excuses for him. I don’t want to miss out on knowing him but, already, I am watching closely to prevent him from hurting me, when he runs to me with his little arms reaching out for a hug, I have learned that he is reaching out to bite or hit. Since I am 80 yrs old I’m tempted to put him over my knee and let him know that this is not nice, or worse, bite him back…which I absolutely would no do. What does one do? You simply can not allow him to hurt others because the day will come when “others” get even, children can be mean, even small children. I’m afraid that one day the kids near him will gang iup and “as my grandson who is 7 says” nail him. It’s fine to be judgemental when it comes to his problems, but why would you expect any other parent to not want to protect their own child from injury. What are the legal ramifications of allowing one child, even though he or she isn’t really responsible for their actions, to be allowed free range to injure another child. You can call it what you think but NO parent should be expected to ignore this kind of behavior without some kind of retaliation. It’s easy for some of you to call or refer to those parents as nasty, your own retaliation perhaps, but it simply is unacceptable.

    • Christy Cramer says:

      I have a 21 year old who has been diagnose with the mental capacity of a 12 year old , he gets angry and runs to get a knife every time he has a melt down ! He is strong like a 21 year old though . Need resources as to where to go and what to do before ge hurts someone or rapes someone ! He talks about girls and gets mad because he dont have a girlfriend like his brother . He is so out of control . He has been arrested snd baker acted so many times and they claim there is nothing we can do . Dont want to wait fir him to kill me ir a family member before something us done which would be prison . Please HELP

      • Kimberly says:

        I’m in the same position. Some day, he’s going to kill me.
        Where’s our hotline? Where’s our special programs for moms of autistic abuse? Where are our advocates? Being at single mom of 2 teens with autism is scary. Behavior consultants are few and far between. Low income doesn’t help, but try finding childcare for a 16 year old, 280 pound, 6 foot tall violent severely autistic teen so you can get a job even.

  • Mike says:

    what happens if you are the child’s target at home because all of these have techniques that are situational to others being there to divert your attention to. example my son is obsessed with YouTube and has a meltdown not every time but has meltdowns when the ads interrupt his video, he gets super aggressive and comes for me in the other room having nothing to do with it i and my face are his target for the frustration and anger. I have gone to a supposed Asd specialist psychiatrist and she said this is all normal part of Asd. I feel what he is dealing with is intermittent explosive disorder and ocd with his obsessions over making YouTube playlists stemming from when we lost our cable and internet. but according to her its all normal repetitive Asd behaviors.

    • Dee says:

      Yes! I have the same issue with my high functioning, autistic son. I am usually his target for aggression at home. It doesn’t matter the trigger. There is also a history of abuse from the absent father. When you are the target, and the only parent and adult involved, how can you distract/avoid anything? If you try and give him space, he will just attack the surrounding area of any item within reach. Without medication this will continue no matter what behavioral assistance is practiced. Two weeks ago I have tried Asenapine with my son and had good results. No Zombie affect, and no brain fog. The aggression has decreased. It’s meant for bipolar diagnoses and waiting to see if this will be a medication to suppress the aggression for the long haul.

    • Julia Beregsasy says:

      My 10 year old Granddaughter is being attacked by her 6 year old autisic half brother.
      She has been bruised, scratched and bitten.
      He throws things at her. She is singled out and attacked more often then her other siblings. She is also half Asian. (Not sure of relevance.)
      Background info:
      My granddaughter lives with father 1 week and mother the next week (50/50 custody).

      The mother’s home
      She is married so there is a father.
      1 step daughter(50/50 custody) 11 years old.
      My granddaugher 10 years old.
      Young Brothers 8 and 6.

      Is there anything she can do to stop from being injured. Her mother told her she needs to fight back. I told her no. The parents need to take control.
      -My granddaughter is afraid if she hurts him, her mom and step-dad will punish her.
      -She doesn’t want to hurt him. She just wants him to stop hurting her.
      -She doesn’t know why he keeps attacking her. She isn’t mean to him and doesn’t do anything to cause the attacks.

    • Kimberly says:

      I had to get YouTube premium. It’s been invaluable. Moreso than Netflix. Use your hotspot for wifi, when needed. See if these can be reimbursed in your area through self direction. Wifi as well. However, I have not yet had luck with the reimbursement in my program. Because he’s not an adult yet. Even if he is physically.

  • Anita says:

    This may or may not be relevant to you. My son got violent toward himself because of a food allergy. It was to citrus fruits and citric acid. Those two things are in almost everything. I only found out bc I was in a MD’s office when he went off. The very old time Doc, asked, “what did he have for breakfast?”

    When I told him, he said, “No he had something else too.”

    My husband piped up, “I forgot to tell you when I went to get him, he was guzzling the orange juice.”

    The old doc said, “I knew it! These kids have violent food allergies.”

    Reading lables has been a real PIA, but worth it not to have him jumping out windows, running into the street….. It is worth a look.

    • Hope Helms says:

      I’m having the same issue with my 13 y/o on the spectrum. Did you ever find a solution? I’m at a loss and I’m heartbroken. I’m the person who he asks to do EVERYTHING for him but yet I’m the person he wants to hurt the most. We just went to the doctor a few days ago and got a referral for a therapist but the appointments are months away. Please tell me that you have found something that works that I could try?

    • Cori says:

      I’m sitting in my car, sobbing over the most recent melt down with my son – I the middle of the school grounds this time – biting me, kicking and hitting me, throwing rocks at me, then trying to run. These “helpful” tips are worthless if you’re the target, especially to single moms like us who have no one else to help or divert their violent attention to.
      I’m at a complete loss.
      I literally almost called the police today because I didn’t know what else to do.

    • Meme says:

      This made a lot of sense the story you told I’m in a similar situation with my Autistic 22 year old daughter, she is very combative, only when I’m driving her in the car she hits me from back of car an start going off’ this had stopped for 3 years however it started back when her Dr removed her from risperdone due to weight gain an an other side affects with a movement on her lips, so this is very much depressing to myself as the mom!

      • Lisa says:

        I have custody of my two grandsons. The oldest is 10 the autistic one is eight they said he has intermediate explosive disorder on top autism and a severe ADHD. He literally just attacked me and brutally beat me. He is so strong for an eight year old I don’t know what to do. I’m a 56 year old grandmother raising two grandchildren by myself. I am so emotional right now that I’m lost but I know if he keeps going at this rate he’s going to kill me if anybody has any advice or knows where I can take him please let me know. I’m in Texas.

  • Jen says:

    There are no institutions for children. Most autistic children who attack others do not have the ability to understand the people around them nor do they understand the impact of their actions. They don’t become violent to be mean. They do it because they don’t understand. Many of them are non-verbal. Do not blame the autistic child or individual. Blame society for not providing support to these families and places for these children to go when they get big enough to be a real danger. Parents (and grandparents) don’t want to give up on their children nor do they want to give them away. They want to help them and support them and love them. And group homes or other places that can help with respite care or a place to live where they are safe is a service that needs to be provided.

    • Mike says:

      This is an issue i am dealing with i live in a tax free state so state funding for asd and behavioral sciences is at a real low.

  • Angela says:

    I don’t usually comment on articles, but I feel like simply looking the other way and not engaging my son isn’t any kind of advice at all. I have given this child all the love and care in the world. I cook his every meal. I clean up his messes and still have to wipe him after the bathroom and help with self-care. He is 15. He is taller than me already. He becomes violent to me out of nowhere. He horse-collars me and tears my clothing and hits. Ignoring him MAKES IT WORSE. SO MUCH WORSE. He just becomes more and MORE violent the more I ignore him. There is no “escape” in my own home. I am NOT a punching bag! He is only getting bigger. Where is the support for the PARENTS who are held hostage by violent teens with autism? I love my son but it doesn’t matter how much I try to be loving and kind and sweet to him. We can have a GREAT day and then out of nowhere he decides its just time to physically assault me with NO warning. I have had my back turned before and had him sneak up on me to do this. He even waits until my husband or family isn’t around to do it! He is extremely low functioning and non-verbal. There is no “talking it out.” There is no “signaling to him.” The worst place he assaults me is IN THE CAR. HE HAS NO RESTRAINTS AND GRABS MY HAIR AND CLOTHING WHILE IM DRIVING AND PUNCHES ME IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. IT IS DANGEROUS. I wonder if I should just start calling the cops. To read here that someone’s professional opinion is that I just dont make eye contact and sit there and become someone’s punching bag on a daily basis in my own home is UNACCEPTABLE. I need SUPPORT. I need someone on MY side. My son has DOZENS of people helping him on a daily basis. He behaves beautifully at school, but then comes home and is straight up abusive towards me. It feels horribly unfair and I am SCARED of what he might continue to do to me as he gets older. If he keeps assaulting me I am going to call the cops. I have no idea what will happen but this isn’t safe for me. I shouldn’t have to hide in my own house for fear of my own child beating me up.

    • Jen says:

      My daughter has the same problem with her teenage stepdaughter who has the mental capacity of an infant, is non-verbal and requires toileting as well. She physically attacks her father, her younger autistic sister and even respite workers and people who drive her to respite care, punching, scratching, strangling, pulling hair, etc. This got worse a few months ago and it is a terrible situation. She is very strong and has to be physically restrained and so the police have had to become involved to help.
      While the police and the crisis team are very supportive, they are not getting the support they need medically nor from social services. There is a very supportive behavioural consultant but it takes time to get the plan she has proposed rolling. My daughter is pregnant and due in a few months. She gets pushed and attacked from time to time as well. They are very fearful for the baby. There needs to be more help.
      They are told that if my daughter is being attacked she needs to pack up her son and go to a transition house for abused families. There are no group homes or facilities available for her to live in or go for respite. There is no ability to follow the suggestions laid out in this article. If they want to they can sign her over to child protection but will have to give up parental rights. An absurd and unfair suggestion. That’s not what they want. They love her and want what’s best for her but protects those around her. The mother has chosen to be involved on a very limited basis, making occasional short visits to the home and so the child lives with her father and my daughter on a full time basis.

    • Cara Boynton says:

      Hi Angela, I agree with you. My daughter is 31 years old and she does the exact same things your son does. We have a baby gate we put in front of her door.
      She will attack out of nowhere, and if she can’t get to me or my husband, she gets the dog.
      She is verbal, but has a hard time communicating well.
      I have loved and cared for her all her life and she still attacks. We are considering having her hospitalized to try to get medication right.
      The person who wrote this article obviously doesn’t have a special needs child, only works with them, and poorly.
      Maybe you and I should start a support group of some sort.
      I was thinking I couldn’t be the only parent who needs help.
      If you want to talk to another mom who understands your situation I’d love to talk to you, I need someone who understands too.

    • Susan P. says:

      Hi there, my son is 17 and I’m having similar problems to you. Last night he came after me trying to bite me. I think it was because he was over hungry but regardless, he is getting big and it can be very scary when it happens.
      Anyway, let me know if you might like to chat sometime.

    • Mike says:

      unfortunately,this actually isn’t considered domestic violence the cops can do only so much because it not something the individual has control over, it isnt like if a neurotypical couple was beating on each other and their faculties were all in order and made the choice. I am in the same situation with my son he is 5’10 280 pounds 18 and goes for my face all the time when he is mad at something i had nothing to do with. and his iep team wont do anything to help with mental health only because they’re involved because of his issues with going to school so their go to excuse is we are here for educational reasons not mental health, as i said above i had an Asd specialist say everything he was doing and going through was typical asd behaviors obsessed over making playlists on youtube because of a traumatic experience of losing cable and internet isnt ocd but just normal repetitive asd behaviors. Him blowing something so small as an ad on YouTube to the point he runs from the other room just to slap me in my face over it isnt intermittent explosive disorder that’s normal asd behavior. Just know you are not alone in this this happens to me also. And if you need to talk to or vent with someone who understands what you are going through if there is a way here go for it please. As a single dad going through the same it’s actually in a way refreshing that i now know this isnt just a me thing as bad as it may sound.

    • Angela Mills says:

      My son is 13 and does the same thing to me and we have a ton of in home services in place. I have called the police and so have others who are my support people and he is now on Probation but not through the courts but through the department of health and human services. They are wanting to put him into a residential home for intense therapy, medication management but there are no places open to him because he is high functioning. Reading your story was like reading what happens in my home and I am a single mom. He does great in school but can only handle going about 3 to 4 hours a day and he is done and comes home and does the same to me as your son does. Just know calling the police you will end up with a ton of court fines, lots of court hearings and such. Luckily here where I live, the police are well aware of autism and deal with it as according. They are awesome. I hope by this time, since your comment was a year ago that your situation has gotten better.

    • LINDA says:

      I am in the same boat…My 16YR OLD has crazy aggression out of nowhere will kick, punch, bite and hit me with objects in my head and back. I am doing EVERYTHING to help my son and he is only getting worse as he gets older. There is no help for our kids as they grow older, no support for us parents that DO NOT want to give our kids up! I am a single mom and trying hard to help my son, we have done years of ABA but it’s not working at this point!!! I cry daily because I don’t know how to help him, the gave him meds for his epilepsy that only INCREASE the aggression causing him high anxiety. The only offer they give me is to give him ANOTHER med to sedate him or “calm” basically its Xanax. That doesn’t help the behavior it on masks it until it doesn’t work, but when he has withdrawals from that how bad do you think the aggressive behaviors will get. I am

  • Ingrid says:

    This seems to be talking about kids with autism. Wait til these kids are adults. I have a 23 y/o son with Aspergers. I tried so hard to be a good mother to him. I don’t what else I could have done. He’s violent, he beats us up. Right now its 10:30 am. Starting g at midnight he woke up me and his dad screaming 2 inches from my face. Punching g his dad. Settled down then same thing at 4:30 am and again at 9. I be tried reasoning with him. If I say one wrong thing I get slapped or pushed. I’m in my 50s his dad is in his 60s. Our son is bigger,and stronger. I feel like a hostage.

    • Reta says:

      Get him out of your house before he kills you. See if there is a place you can put him. Make recordings of his violent behavior. If you have to call the police if he starts hitting you.

      • Mike says:

        please people here do not need this type of encouragement, these are our kids you can’t sit here and encourage people to just give up on their kids. Don’t know how these comments are moderated and they allowed that to go through.

  • alison sutherland says:

    Wouldn’t usually comment but feel compelled to. I was looking for some suggestion and ideas as my daughter was slapped today at school. The child in question has slapped and hit several children at school this week without being provoked. While I sympathised with my child about how she was feeling and encouraged her to see these feelings were all valid, I also reminded her that sadly due to how the other child having additional support needs they struggle to control their behaviour. I suggested she write a letter to the child in question outlining how she felt about the event and perhaps this would help her move on from it and also allow the other child to reflect on their own behaviour.

    • Reta says:

      If a child is hitting another child, autistic or atypical, they should be removed from school. If they are severely violent, they should be removed permanently. Teachers have been beaten up too. I worked in a home for disabled children and some never get better or less violent. It is unfortunate but some people should not be allowed in public.

      • Mike says:

        I honestly feel so bad for anyone in any place you work at with a mindset like this.

      • AMG says:

        I highly recommend you obtain training regarding autistic and child behavior. Your comments reflect an absence of understanding about these conditions and a very old fashioned rigid mentality that used to lock such children in attics and regard these children as non-existent human beings. Those times are gone for a good reason, especially when such institutions medically tortured those human beings with electro shock therapy and lobotomies. The barbaric attitudes need to cease.

  • Thanks for sharing such amazing strategies. This will really help those parents whose children have violent behaviour.

  • Once a child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it’s important to carefully monitor his challenges and successes. That’s especially true if he was diagnosed at an early age.

  • Bill says:

    I hate to say this, but there are so so many autistic people in the world now that is there some resource or group for protection when it comes to older autistic kids and autistic adults who are dangerous? Is there a number or a outreach that will actually do something? Police won’t touch the offender because they are autistic or special needs, so is there something for people (neurotypical and not-neurotypical) who are in danger? Or will the world just turn into a giant Micheal Myers fantasy where we should feel bad for Micheal and his family and let him stab people because he has challenges?

  • Sam says:

    My Son-In-Law and daughter have the mentality to let others take care of their children. My wife and I take our grandkids 10to12 hours a day 7 days a week. The unfortunate truth is that one is for sure autistic and the other is probably but not diagnosed yet. They are difficult but loved dearly; not brats, but very special children with very special needs. When things get ruff and tuff between them they must be separated and their attention diverted to constructive behaviors until the situation is defused and interaction between them is possible. It is not easy to do but for their sakes it is necessary. There can be no favorites in this household. Attention must be positive and uniform towards them.

    One is 4 the other 2; the 4 year old is in ABA school. We are waiting for the eval. On the 2 year old.

    I am 73 years old but will not give up on my grandchildren.

  • R says:

    If someone else’s autistic child causes your family a few moments of distress, imagine how much distress that family has to live with 24 hours a day, 7 day a week – for life. Families coping with autism don’t need restraining orders; they need support. If you’re affected by autism, try to learn about it.

  • Miles Parker says:

    What if your kid is the autistic one?

  • Wendi B Fluckiger says:


    • Reta says:

      Don’t fight it anymore. He needs to be put away.

    • Mike says:

      Wendi i am sorry to say this isn’t just the child’s fault, this is the fault of having no support in the home giving into what he wants is called a learned behavior, you casting judgement all these years instead of helping correct it, is why it has gotten so bad trying to deal with it in the home out of embarrassment instead of reaching out to organizations to get him help this was just as much a part of poor upbringing giving into what they want as soon as there is a bit of stress. I know this because i am going through it and his mother always gave him what he wanted as soon as he would bang his head and when i split from his mother and stopped catering to him hitting himself and i made the mistake of saying you are only hurting yourself not me and these children take everything literal, so when banging his head and hitting himself don’t work he turns it on me and yes it sucks, but i also know when i can find the right thing to redirect him like not giving into his head banging this too will change and hopefully in a more productive way than the previous.

  • Claudia Sims says:

    If the kid he hits to get a reaction is mine, I’m getting a restraining order so they have to expel the brat. My child is not a punching bag to accommodate your kid. Put them in a institution if they are violent.

    • Melissa Sikes says:

      Hi Claudia,
      I pray you never have a child with Autism. I have an 8 year old boy that struggles with lights and sounds all day. Every day activities are not easy for him( the Brat) as you say. And as for the restraining order , lets hope you can get one on this mama too !!!!

    • Erin says:

      Brat?? Do you hear yourself? Heaven forbid you ever have a special needs child! Your misguided, narrow-minded hate is what’s wrong with the world today. Educate yourself.

    • victoria says:

      Have you actually looked into root causes of Autism? It is Neurological….. and clearly you’re not educated cause you would know that your brain controls your body, so when angry the brain sends signals to go into fight or flight mode. IE resulting in screaming or lashing out. This is not a child being a “BRAT”. While I would not wish for any child to lay hands on one another it can happen, but no more so than the ratio it happens with children without disabilities. So with that being said, how would you feel if your “normal” child hit someone first to get a reaction (IE piss the other kid off) and got expelled? And people were calling him a “Brat” lobbying to get him expelled… when he could control himself. I don’t think you would like that very much. SO if you don’t have anything nice to say keep your mouth shut. Also what are you doing on this website if your kids are so ‘perfect’? Troll much?

      • Kit Kat says:

        What about when they grow up and become violent and harm others often and damage property and cause fear, they do grow up and although not all become violent, if you read these post many are telling you there adult child (not a brat ) but a grown adult child is committing assault . They need your help , advice, so what do you do when they become uncontrallable and harm many people ??

    • Shilpika says:

      Hi Claudia… I am actually shocked to read this…I have a son who has Autism and is very high functioning and not at all violent but he definitely gets hurt intentionally by some NEURO TYPICAL students …and I am working as an Education Assistant at public school…the kids you are actually calling BRATS do sometimes get frustrated or fixated over certain things that leads to being violent..Let’s together help them together to prepare them for their future and make world a better place to live.

    • Bill says:

      Being autistic is not an excuse to victimize other people, or animals. So this, “let’s feel sorry for him and let it go” is bullshit, because when does it stop at just hitting and start at school shootings? Again? How sorry would she feel if a autistic meltdown cost her child’s life? Or her own and how would her child feel? Being born different does not mean it’s okay to be violent, destructive or cause problems for other people. There has to be some kind of protection and help for people who are victims or in danger, period.

      Applaud you, Claudia. There has to be something for everyone. This is a society, let the autistic parent lose one of their children, or see their children hurt and nobody wants anything done about it. Matter of fact, how about the gov’t, hospitals, medical board and state start compensating and paying for all these issues?

      • jessie jericha says:

        what autistic person ‘shot up a school”?

        Why are you on this site? To help or hurt ? Do you have any special needs people in your family? Because when you get one, maybe then you’ll develop some sort of soul. Until then, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

      • Mike says:

        yeah its called proper mental health system that gives a shit about those that need it instead of calling drug and alchohol addiction a mental health disorder. And no one doing a thing about someone born with a disability. smh i hope people like you in these comments don’t procreate your hate into this world. You’re the type of person to put their mom in a nursing home because you don’t want to take the time out to cook for her…

    • Robert says:

      Sounds like poor Bill was bullied as a kid. Simmer down, we parents of autistic children got this so you can continue to troll special needs threads.

    • Abby says:

      I agree with you 100%, other kids are not to be traumatized by these mental cases. Put them in a institution

      • Just calling it as it is says:

        Have you seen the world your so called non mental cases have built – nations and societies pointing fists, guns, and nukes at each other because of different religious cultural, and/or political ideas and/or because of plain old fashioned greed. People like you, Bill, Claudia, Kit Kat, are part of the problem.

        Get back to polluting the planet and been actively involved in the current and ongoing mass extinction and stay away from threads like this.

    • Laura Youmans says:

      Autistic kids aren’t brats and I’d put money on if your kid is the target your kid caused a problem! So maybe educate yourself about autism and teach your kids to be better human beings than their mother!!

    • Wanda says:

      You need to educate yourself before saying things like that! so disrespectful!! You are being a straight bully, not cool Miss Claudia.

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