father consoling teenage son
Charu Ramanathan

Strategies to Stop Aggressive Behaviors

father consoling teenage son
Charu Ramanathan

Strategies to Stop Aggressive Behaviors

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The Covid Saga continues, and the possibility of sending our kids to schools or other centers outside the home is still unclear. Many of us have seen our carefully organized support systems and schedules for our autistic children completely fall apart. It has been hard on us parents for sure, but it certainly has been hard on the children, with self-injurious behaviors and aggression on the rise.

A recent conversation between parents of teenage boys that were experiencing such behaviors had a lot of great strategies. We are sharing them here to help those who are in similar situations.

Stopping Aggressive Behavior by Identifying Triggers

Many times there may be an internal trigger like pain or discomfort or a seizure onset that triggers the behaviors, especially in non-verbal children. Try to identify and eliminate this with the help of a journal to note down the sequence of events and discuss it with your doctor/therapist.

Stopping Aggressive Behaviors Using Medication

If you are comfortable with this option, consider exploring the possibility of new medications with your doctor rather than just increasing the dose of existing meds. A mom of a teenage boy found great results in prescription Seroquel (an anti-psychotic) on top of anti-anxiety meds he was already on.

Protecting Yourself and Feedback

A large exercise ball can serve as a boundary to protect yourself when your child is going through an episode. Any kind of proprioception feedback could be important for self-regulation.


Protecting Your Child

Use joint pads and helmets to the extent your child will you to protect them. Such items could be covered in your Waiver if you have one.

Finding Support for Stopping Aggressive Behaviors

There may be affordable classes you could take at your county’s educational center or community college.  These courses can help you plan and anticipate situations and triggers that could lead to aggression. Discuss with your local Disability Services, BCBA, or SSA to provide resources to create a ‘hurt-proof’ safe environment in your home.

As always, reach out to your community for support. You can now post anonymously for further protection of privacy. This is a judgment-free space. We are all in this together.

About the Author

Dr. Charu Ramanathan is a repeat entrepreneur, passionate about using technology to positively impact and elevate human life. She is the co-founder and CEO of vitalxchange, a patient focused health network centered around people, patients, caregivers and families. Vitalxchange uses advanced AI technology to match community members with others in similar situations as well as information and resources to thrive. She is also the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Lokyata Global, which is developing advanced credit scoring algorithms to foster financial inclusion in emerging economies. Prior to this, she co-founded CardioInsight, a Company specializing in noninvasive cardiac imaging systems. She led CardioInsight through its growth stages and ultimately its acquisition by Medtronic in 2015. Dr. Ramanathan has been the recipient of several awards for her contributions to technology and humanity including Crain’s 40 under 40, TiE Immigrant Entrepreneur and American Red Cross Hero. She holds a BS from Cochin University and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, USA.

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