What prompts rage in adolescents?
ASD children who are not particularly symptomatic in early childhood may still manifest features of social isolation (difficulty with forming and maintaining relationships) as well as suffer from difficulty with transitions. This may progress through middle childhood and adolescence, and these children often experience anxiety and depression. In the course of their development, having not received early diagnosis nor early intervention, many overtly high functioning ASD children fail to develop the building blocks essential for recognizing and modulating their angry feelings, and can run into severe problems with their aggression.
When ASD teens are given unlimited access to video games and social media that have aggressive and/or sexual content, there can be significant consequences. Too often, this type of media exacerbates the poorly regulated sexual and aggressive urges that can morph into horrific fantasies. These fantasies have the potential to turn deadly.
It is of paramount importance to address these children’s needs for attention, care and success at every stage of development. The public and professionals alike must understand just how crucial it is to find the means to identify and help this very vulnerable population.