Does your child with special needs need help managing their anger? Certified peer mediation specialist David Wolffe shares what anger management techniques help children with special needs manage and express anger in a positive way.
What anger management techniques/tools that you use to work for those with special needs, such as Asperger’s syndrome, autism, ADD, or ADHD?
Children will let you know in a certain way what the issue is, and as the parent, you need to be an observer and a listener. Parents need to be alert and gather information about their kids. For example, yelling and screaming is not something you would do with child who has autism, or you wouldn’t give a lengthy explanation to a child who has ADD.
No matter what a child’s needs are, parents have to understand their behavior. If the parent is calm, the child will be calm—or vice versa if the parent is upset. Regardless of the child’s need, it is a matter of looking at her behavior and dealing with that behavior in a clam way. Whatever level of needs she has, she can understand that certain behavior is not acceptable.
If the child is upset, let him calm down and ask him to draw it out for you or tell a story of what happened. Also, work with the professionals so you can learn to work with the behavior. Overall, you can’t give one specific technique for each case; it is a matter of getting a whole toolbox of different types of techniques and seeing which one they respond to best.
David Wolffe, author of Peace: The Other Side of Anger—Helping Teens with Anger Management, is certified as a peer mediation specialist from the International Center for Conflict Resolution of Columbia University Teachers College. He founded P.E.A.C.E., Inc. to help teens express anger and manage conflict in positive ways.
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