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stamfordmom
stamfordmom asks:
Q:

My child is extremely addicted to video games and has anger issues.  How can I help him?

I am the mother of 3. We discovered at around age 7-8 that my youngest going on 13 had what is known as sensory integrtation disorder. We have strategized through this for the most part. I have been reading up on aspergers and see 9 out of 10 that he fits this description. When he entered middle school he "joined a social interaction group" with a few other students. HOWEVER, at home we are having some major issues. I have 2 main concerns at this point with my son. He will get so engaged (fixated) on what he is doing at the time- like a video game that he will not remove himself from the game to go to the bathroom- he will actually soil himself. Then he will remain "in it" for hours on end, even if someone points out the fact that he is offending a whole room of people. He gets extremely self righteous and indignant and almost in denial. Then it gets really ugly if you pursue it. I am almost at my wits end and hope that I am not the only parent going through this ...looking for some strategies or feed back on the subject.. The other thing is his outrageous language and level of anger when asked to participate in any group function. I am at the point where I am beginning to fear him, he is a BIG boy and has actually shoved his father and threatened to pull a knife on me (two years ago). Anyone who has any insight into this behavior I would appreciate it.
In Topics: Children and video games, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Feb 28, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

As you have noticed, there is a great deal of overlap between sensory integration disorder and Asperger's Disorder. Indeed, a large number of children with Asperger's have sensory problems. They often have sensory difficulties with different kinds of sounds and textures, which often leads to a concurrent diagnosis of Asperger's and sensory integration. It is difficult to know whether your son qualifies for a diagnosis of Asperger's because a thorough assessment including interviews, cognitive tests, and completion of rating scales is required. However, the diagnosis isn't as important in this case because the treatment and management of Asperger's and sensory integration disorder are very similar.

In the case of you son, I think that you will need to designate more structure and limits to his video game use. You can explain to him that video games have caused a great deal of stress and strife in the home, so you will have to handle it differently from now on. I would suggest only allowing him to play video games for specified chunks of time (e.g., an hour) in which you will physically turn off the video console and TV at that time. You can post this new rule near the TV and provide warnings to him as the hour approaches (say at fifteen, ten, five, and two minutes). Then, you must follow through with the limit and turn the TV off. To ease the transition, you might think of some kind of small reward for him if he turns off the console and TV without argument. When the video game is off, he is advised to use this time to use the restroom, get a snack, rest. Depending upon your comfort level, he can turn the video game on again in thirty minutes or an hour.

In general, he will require warnings around transitions and lots of information about what to expect. Structure and limits are also very reassuring. These measures should reduce the frustration and anger that is typically a result of confusion or surprise about expectations being sprung on him.'

And, if you or someone in your family ever feels threatened, you should be open to the possibility that you may have to call the police for support. There is quite a bit of good information available to help educate law enforcement individuals on how to manage children and adults with developmental disabilities. This type of education helps to reduce the strain that can result when uninformed officers come into contact with individuals with special needs.

http://www.autismriskmanagement.com/

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes.

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Additional Answers (5)

fliss
fliss writes:
i really feel for you. my son was diagnosed with ODD and ADHD 6 months ago aged 4. It all came as a massive shock and it was the nursery that instigated it. I feel he was diagnosed and I was sent away with no info. I had to find it all out myself. It is so hard to cope with the behaviour anyway. I can't believ they did this without informing you. You have the  right to be involved and informed and be part of it as his parent.
> 60 days ago

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dad of two
dad of two , Parent writes:
Short and sweet unplugg  the game throw it away and get some help for your son and the family.Before the threats become a reality.
> 60 days ago

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chazzon
chazzon writes:
I went through alot of what your child is going through when I was younger. I am 22, In the army, an living a fairly productive life. I went through many phases to get to were I am today. Couple things, Video games for kids of this type could be a method of escape. For me I was able to vent my frustration out on a game, without the effects causing me or anyone real pain or issue.  Also, it's a good way to interact with people. Depending on his interaction with the community he could be a positive thing, or a negative. Getting your child into a sport would be a good way to reduce his gaming time, an deal with some of the anger issues. I still deal with a build up of anger. However I balance a social life, with sports, an my work. Try finding out a sport your child likes, then see if he would like to try it, Once you find the activity he is enjoying, chances are he will find friends there an thus giving him a social group. This will also help with his personal hygiene issue. From personal experience this is a long term obligation. My parents went through alot with me, However you gotta stand firm, an sooner or later he will balance everything out in his own mind an stabilize.
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Well, first of all, I would take the video games completely away since you mentioned he "soiled" himself. This is your first line of defense and action. He would NOT get them back either under any condition. Then I would seek professional counseling on anger management. Also, Christian counseling. Hope this helps. Whatever you do, take the video games completely away. It appears he can not handle them responsibly.
> 60 days ago

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Livescore148
Livescore148 writes:
hi......Video game addiction is more than a simple desire to play video games - it is a need and compulsion for video games that cannot be controlled. Addictions, whether they be to video games, substances or work, are psychological behaviors that lead to unhealthy consequences, both physically and emotionally.http://www.rayrocket.com.au/
1 day ago

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