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Six Most Common Causes of Anger in Relation to Autism Disorders

Adults diagnosed with autism disorders are prone to anger outbursts. An ‘on-off’ quality where individuals may be calm one second and in a rage the next is common. Family members and significant others may grow resentful over time due to misunderstanding this behavior. Conflict within the home can be handled properly by helping the affected individual and immediate family members understand the causes of this anger. According to autism-help.org, these are six common causes of anger in relation to autism disorders:

  1. Being swamped by multiple tasks or sensory stimulation

Multitasking has become more common in today’s on-the-move society. People expect others to be able to do more than one task at a time. But what may seem minimal to some can be extremely stressful to an autistic individual.

2. Other people’s behavior

An autistic individual may take great offense to insensitive or sarcastic comments that most may judge as light humor. Being ignored, whether on purpose or by accident, is a prevalent trigger as well.

3. Having routine and order disrupted

Autism causes individuals to function differently. Many subconsciously cope with stress by following strict daily regimes. Disrupting a routine means disrupting a coping mechanism. The order kept in an individual’s room or space serves a similar purpose. Simply moving something around in their area could cause a huge disruption to their comfort zone.

4. Difficulties with employment and relationships despite being intelligent in many areas

Many autistic individuals report feeling like their talents and capabilities are often overlooked and unappreciated.  Employers may not sympathize with their needs. People who are uninformed about their condition might dismiss their attempts at friendship or communication.

5. Intolerance of imperfections in others

Both physically and mentally, the individual may have stressors indirectly caused by people. Big noses may be one. High-pitched voices or people who speak too fast may be another. Allowing them to express these pet peeves may result in further understanding of their anger-related behavior.

6. Build up of stress

Everything previously listed can potentially add up to this one. Individuals who have not taken steps towards managing anger can have a hard time dealing with built-up stress. Many autistic individuals must be taught how to process their stress and emotions.

While understanding is key, it is only the first step. The next step is to use this knowledge to change your approach towards autistic individuals. What’s the underlying issue behind their anger? And how can you prevent an outburst from occurring in the first place?

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.

If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental health disorder, Pasadena Villa can help. We are here to answer questions and connect to care. Pasadena Villa currently offers treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Cary, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about our program, call us at
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