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Fatherly: What To Do When Your Autistic Child Gets Aggressive

By Christian Dashiell

One of the most challenging situations parents face is when they cannot calm an aggressive child. It can make parents feel scared and unsafe; when other people are around, it can be mortifying. And although there are some best practices for any parent trying to calm an aggressive child, there are specific considerations for parents of autistic children when behavior turns combative.

Research shows that autistic children do tend to show more aggression than their peers. A recent study published in Autism Research showed that autistic kids demonstrate higher levels of verbal aggression and disruptive behavioral intensity throughout childhood. Autistic kids under the age of 6 showed more physical aggression than their non-autistic peers, but these levels became equal to their non-autistic peers as the kids aged.

And, it’s crucial to note, this is something autistic kids generally grow out of. “Adults with autism are actually significantly more likely to be victims of aggression than they are to be aggressive with other people,” says Darren Olsen, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor of pediatrics at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City and co-leader of the hospital’s Down syndrome and autism clinic.


Read the full article via Fatherly

Developmental & Behavioral Health at Children's Mercy

Children's Mercy Autism Clinic