In addition, it’s not uncommon for the ASD individual to get along fairly well at work, yet be irritable at home. However, just because the irritability occurs at home does not necessarily mean the “cause” of the behavior lies there. Many people with ASD find work very stressful, but they tend to keep their emotions bottled-up until they get home.
When your ASD husband is acting-out due to being annoyed by something you said or did [or with the kids], what is your initial response? Do you become anxious and give-in to avoid conflict? Do you say nothing and hope that it will pass? Do you get angry yourself and start being confrontational? Your reaction to his frustration is a critical component here.
Sometimes, an ASD individual’s frustration is caused by very real and inescapable problems in his life. Not all frustration is misplaced – and sometimes it is a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. There is a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it may add to your frustration to find out that this is not always the case.
The best attitude to bring to such a situation, then, is NOT to focus on finding the solution, but rather on how the frustrated individual “handles” the problem. Maybe you would be willing to help your husband to make a plan for those occasions when he is annoyed and irritated, and help him check his progress along the way.
If he can approach his problems with his best intentions, and make a serious attempt to face it head-on, he will be less likely to lose patience and fall into “all-or-nothing thinking” - even if the problem does not get solved right away.