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Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Hello, im a 39 year old male from Ontario Canada. I have a

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Hello, im a 39 year old male from Ontario Canada. I have a 10 year old son that has been diagnosed with Aspbergers. My son was having one of his out of control episodes where he had shot me in the chest area with one of his airsoft guns (shoots a hard plastic pellet at a hard and fast velocity, at basically point blank range). My reaction to this was to give him a spank on the behind. This was more or less a reactionary response to his action on my part. I don't hit or abuse my son in any way, shape or form. I don't believe in this type of punishment. Recently i've been charged for assault because of my re-action to his shooting me in the chest. Now my question is from a professional point of view, would my spanking him in this situation be an acceptable way of getting this type of situation under control? Any help or feedback would be very much appreciated.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 4 years ago.

I'm glad you said that you don't believe in this type of punishment - most of all, because it isn't effective. Especially in children with Aspberger's/Autism. As you know, they have difficulty making human connection and are generally socially awkward. Additionally, they don't have a great understanding of the social contract between people that it isn't okay to be violent - they don't have a good understanding or grasp of the consequences. Empathy is difficult for children with Aspberger's. Therefore, if you react to him with violence, it is demonstrating exactly what you don't want him to do to others, and solving a situation in a socially unacceptable way.


Holding firmly (think gentle bear hug) and calmly should de-escalate the situation acceptably. You're not harming him, but you are stopping any further physical damage. Then communicating quietly and calmly that his actions were not acceptable should follow. What are your thoughts?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think thats a good answer. I will try the "gentle bear hug". And you're right i certainly don't want to convey to him that violence is any type of solution to problems. Thank you so much for your time and expertise.
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 4 years ago.

No problem! I know that raising a child with Autism or Aspberger's can be very difficult - especially as they get older and physically stronger. I wish you the best of luck,

Dr. G.

PS - if hugging him with his face toward you is too activating (it can be for some Aspberger's kids depending on how much eye contact they can make), you may need to hug him with his face away from you. Just a tip. :)

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