How to Deal with An Angry Autistic Person

How to Deal with An Angry Autistic Person

The difficulties an autistic person encounters daily may lead to feelings of frustration and anger.

While some autistic people express anger in a calm and healthy way, others might struggle to do so and may react repulsively.

Although it may be difficult, there are practical ways you can deal with an angry autistic person and help them manage anger.

One way to help is to understand autism, its characteristics, and its associated difficulties.

You can support an autistic individual dealing with anger management by making efforts to learn about autism through seminars or conferences organized for people with autism.

Another way to deal with an angry autistic person is by strategically intervening in their meltdowns.

By showing love, being empathetic, and using supportive expressions, you can help an angry autistic person feel at ease during a meltdown.

Furthermore, communicating clearly and calmly may also help an angry autistic individual express themselves better.

When communicating with someone in their moments of anger, ensure you speak in gentle tones and use simple body language.

Read on to learn the various ways you can deal with an angry autistic person:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Sara Robbins, LCSW

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Jennifer Wilson, LPCC, NCC

Jennifer Wilson, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(720) 437-9089
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Deb Corbitt, LPC

Deb Corbitt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Understand What Autism Means 

One of the ways to deal with an angry autistic person is by understanding the concept of autism.

Being an autistic person comes with many challenges and differences that non-autistic people may be unfamiliar with.

When you have an understanding of autism, it becomes easier to pay attention to things that may trigger aggression and how you can help in their moments of anger.

Knowing and applying the proper comfort techniques to autism triggers will go a long way in dealing with an angry autistic person.

In addition, researching online or closely observing people dealing with autism can be another way to understand autistic people.

Being friends with people with autism can give you first-hand experience of the difficulties they face.

Likewise, you can gain more knowledge by attending seminars or conferences for people living with autism.

Furthermore, it is essential to note that sometimes, the behaviors they exhibit may be mistaken for anger.

Sometimes, anxiety in autistic persons can be mistaken for anger, but when you have adequate knowledge about autism, you may be able to recognize their actual emotions.

Communicate Clearly and Calmly 

To deal with an angry autistic person, you need to communicate calmly and clearly.

Some autistic people find it difficult to express themselves or understand other people's expressions (facial, verbal expressions, and body language), which may result in anxiety and frustration, resulting in anger.

When speaking with an angry autistic person, ensure you speak clearly and precisely, using short and simple sentences.

When you simplify your communication, an autistic person is more likely to process what you say better, and they can easily identify their emotions.

Also, autistic persons often find it easier to understand visual information.

You may use visual aids when trying to communicate.

Cards with symbols, pictures, and words are effective visual communication methods.

Similarly, use simple body language and appropriate facial expressions to avoid misinterpretation.

An autistic person can be triggered by your body language and facial expression when they do not understand what they mean.

However, when you communicate in a way they understand, they will feel safe and comfortable.

Create Relaxation Techniques 

One way to deal with an angry autistic person is to encourage them to practice relaxation techniques when they feel overwhelmed with intense emotions.

Several relaxation techniques can be adopted for an angry autistic person, and this may include arts and crafts.

Arts and crafts can be a way to express themselves whenever they are experiencing difficulty in engaging in verbal communication.

Also, yoga can be another relaxing activity for people with autism.

Research shows that yoga increases flexibility improves positive behavior, and manages aggression.

Yoga may reduce stress in autistic persons and also improve respiration, energy, and vitality.

Relaxation techniques or exercises can help a person relax and attain a state of increased calmness.

It may also help to lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension, and improve digestion. 

Respect Their Boundaries 

You can deal with an autistic person, by respecting their boundaries.

Your aim is to calm them down and not aggravate them any further.

Like every other person, autistic persons have boundaries too, and their limits may differ from others.

Ensure to ask for permission before engaging them in physical touch.

If you want to hug them in their moment of anger, you may need to ask first so as not to make them anxious.

Respect their answers and give them space when they are not ready to talk.

Also, when autistic persons are allowed to have boundaries, it may be a sign that you respect them, and they may gain confidence and a sense of self-worth instead of feeling dismissed and ignored.

Everyone creates time for solemnity, and an autistic person shouldn't be deprived of boundaries as well.

Furthermore, ensure that you do not force them to do something they are not interested in doing.

The use of force might trigger aggressive behavior.

Intervene During Their Meltdowns 

Autistic people sometimes express their anger during meltdowns.

During meltdowns, they may show their anger by screaming, stomping, crying, etc.

However, you can deal with an angry autistic person by strategically intervening in meltdowns.

While intervening, ensure that the person is not at risk of hurting themselves or someone else.

Remove possible harmful objects, and if possible, relocate the person to a safe environment.

Also, intervening may require that you offer physical support like hugs and talking to them gently and calmly.

Physical touch and support can show immense care and affection, making them feel better and safe.

In addition, it is advisable to intervene quickly in a meltdown, as it may hasten their recovery time.

Recovery time may vary in autistic individuals. It may take up to 10 minutes for some individuals and up to half an hour for others.

Ensure you exercise patience and give them enough space and time.

Conclusion

Dealing with an angry autistic person may be challenging.

The problem worsens when no one understands them or knows how to deal with their anger.

Showing support for autistic people in their moments of anger will make them feel loved and safe.

You can deal with an angry autistic person by understanding the concept of autism, communicating calmly and clearly, intervening during meltdowns, creating relaxation techniques, and respecting their boundaries.

Resources 

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May 25th, 2024

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