People with autism often struggle to communicate. Sometimes, experiences like meltdowns and aggression seem to be uncontrollable and out of nowhere. Yet, what’s often the case is that some type of trigger can create it. Sometimes that trigger is called anger rumination. In autism therapy programs, the goal is to help a person improve communication and coping skills so that triggers don’t cause negative behaviors. Camp Worth offers structured autism therapy programs to teach this.
What Is Anger Rumination?
The term “anger rumination” refers to a cognitive-emotional process. A person expressing anger rumination often dwells on some type of past anger experience or frustrating event. An individual remains focused on whatever the stressor is, often engaging in repetitive expressions of distress. It could be things like past mistakes, feelings of shortcomings, and regrets.
What’s difficult about anger rumination is that a person is solely focused on the negative they feel and is thinking about so much that they cannot focus on control strategies. This can lead to many negative outcomes, including:
- Being unable to assess whether something is true
- An inability to assess someone again to see them in a different light
- Difficulty with solving problems
- Ongoing emotional distress
- Aggressive displays that seem out of nowhere
- Reduced behavioral inhibitions
- Social anxiety
Anger Rumination and Autism: What Happens Now?
Communicating that past experiences and regrets don’t have to define life today to a person with autism is difficult. However, there are several things that parents and teachers of children with autism can do to help with ruminating thoughts for people with autism. This may include using anxiety strategies to help a person to change their focus. Other ways that anger rumination can be minimized in people with autism include:
- Getting physical exercise to help reduce stress and feelings of frustration
- Spending time outdoors in nature, which can help impact a person’s perspective
- Incorporating distraction techniques to change focus off of the anxiety-causing concern
- Going for walks can help to reduce tension and frustration
- Learning meditation and techniques for mindfulness can help to reduce ruminating thoughts
What helps each person with anger rumination and autism may be different, but it is worth trying a few different strategies. Each of these strategies can help improve a person’s quality of life, with or without autism.
Another critical factor is to work towards understanding where the anger rumination is stemming from whenever possible. By learning this, it may be possible to help a person work through those inaccurate thoughts and emotions with more constructive behavior. The achieve this, verbal communication skill development becomes the focus.
How Can We Help Anger Rumination Through Improved Communication?
Working to improve the way a person communicates is always crucial. Being able to communicate enables a person to express themselves, their thoughts, and their emotions more effectively, allowing them to work through difficult experiences. Though it is not easy to do this, there are tools and strategies that can help you.
At Camp Worth, we offer a wide range of resources to help in this way. In our residential treatment for children with autism between 11 and 17, we create new opportunities for learning, communicating, and stress management. Most importantly, we help parents to create better situations at home.
Our goal is to provide the resources a child needs to thrive in life. That often includes learning how to manage responsibilities, communicating without anger or hate, and working through high-stress situations with success.
Find the Support You Need at Camp Worth
Anger rumination is an essential concept to understand. Communication coupled with the right strategies for coping allows people with autism to find the support they need in difficult situations like this. Our team at Camp Worth can offer help in this area. Learn more about our programs online or call us at 855.915.2545 for guidance.