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anger at school

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Can anyoe please help, my 16 year old has tourettes/aspergers

having very stressful time at school at moment, just before end of term was out of school for 6 weeks, becomes angry very quickly and hits out/threw a chair

is seeing pychiatrist/counselling, and identified that has minimal emotional language, so goes from calm to angry in split second(which we did know but is difficult to hear from others!)

made suggestions such as emotions thermometer and some way to identify for him self whan he is getting out of control

Difficulty is, he is 16, and doesnt want to seem different, and is very high functioning in some ways.

Really need some practical tips, as we re scared he will be permamnenlty excluded, obviuosly the counselling, etc, will help longer term, but we need something asap

He is currently having some lessons out of class to reduce stress and gets help with home work, etc

The pysciatrist said when he says he cant remember things/episodes this is genuine, but they re not sure if due to high anxiety or something else

He has had just 3 sessions with counsellor

sorry bit garbled, but tired, and concerned xx

I wondered about something like a rubber band on wrist (but d probably flick at some one!) so he could snap it if began to get cross, so would distract and give time to think!


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My own son has huge difficulties with his own emotions. He often cannot even put a word to how he feels about certain things. He has no idea what expression his face has for different emotions.

And he also suffers alot with anxiety. He has been out of school for 9 months. He used to get so upset he would vomit in school.

The CAHMS psychiatrist has said that he was overloaded and overwhelmed on a daily basis, but was trying to contain himself and copy others behaviour in an attempt to please. But he just could not take it anymore, and he has been very ill.


Anyway, what CP suggested is that we made a scap book of pictures of my son doing certain things and the facial expression emotion linked to them ie. things that made him happy, things that he did not like etc. Because my son cannot even say how certain things might make him feel.


If your son is being seen by Clinical Psychologya and CAHMS, they can go into his school and work with him and the school. There is supposed to be a "multi team" approach to these types of difficulties - but I know that often it does not happen. Health professionals do not communication with Education professionals and visa versa. That often means the child falls through the gaps in the provision being made. He is at risk of being excluded.


If it is also related to anxiety. And when anxious he may lose his ability to process language, his environment etc - then the school needs advice on how to reduce his anxiety. There are lots of things that can be done.


I have heard of a book by Tony Attwood about teaching emotions, that might be worth having a look at.


If he is going from zero - explosion immediately that shows that he is functioning at the very threshold of what he can tolerate and he is probably chronically anxious. It is about the fight or flight mechanism. He needs more than a rubber band on his wrist.


When he is calm, can he give you any ideas about what is going on in his head?


If it were me I would ask CAHMS/CP involved to go into school and give them advice on reducing anxiety and for him to be given an emotional literacy programme to teach him about his own emotions and the emotions of others to be delivered by a specialist teacher or speech therapist [not a TA], and ask that they also give advice to home so that you can continue the same strategies there.


Also think about whether he could drop a subject, move between classrooms before or after everyone else, have somewhere to go during breaktimes if that stresses him out, have a TA prime him about lessons and what is going to be covered, and also meet him afterwards to make sure he understood any homework he had to complete.

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