A R T I C L E 1 2 : M A N A G E M E N T O F B E H A V I O R : A U T I S M
AUTISM EDGE SERIES I am very excited to share this series with you. Autism Edge was born through the journey I have embarked gathering insight and knowledge along the way. I would love to share what I have learnt in the last 6 years with you.
Experiencing problem behavior in children with autism. Children with autism shows more likelihood to behave in ways that are deemed unacceptable like ignore requests or instructions given, acting aggressive, shouting and screaming, laughing uncontrollably, taking their clothes off whenever they feel like, ignore social ques, stimming like rocking back and forth or shows tantrums unexpectedly out of the blue.
What are the characteristics of autism? When we look and understand how they behave in normal conditions, the easier it is to understand when they misbehave in terms of being autistic. Characteristics of autism can include the following but can also vary from severity: struggle to understand language,expressions or reading body language, have difficulty taking in sensory input, find it hard to participate in activities one on one or in groups, struggle to organize productive play, unusual speech, avoiding eye contact, not babbling as infants, not responding to their name, having difficulty in conversation, frequently repeating phrases or echolalia and difficulty in understanding feelings.
How to manage difficult behaviors when parents and caregivers work and or look after them. Children with autism can be triggered by anything like unpredictable routines, loud sounds, change in the environment, etc. How to manage or decrease problem behaviors? When looking at certain behaviors, we need to understand why your child is behaving in a certain manner. What was the trigger? The behavior is the way the child reacts to the specific trigger or triggers. Your reaction will in turn give the child feedback on was the behavior acceptable or not.
Do you give them a reward or consequence? When starting out choose one behavior that you deem as misbehaving. Identify the trigger or triggers. Decide on a reward or consequence. Make the change and move to the next behavior. Here are a few ways to assist in the right behaviors: Organize or structure a predictable routine by using pictures. Pictures help them to view and perceive what they can expect of the day, week.
Introduce environmental changes slowly that could cause over stimulation or input. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Clear communication is essential. Let them look at you so that they can focus. Give one instruction at a time. Use language, pictures, symbols or any other form of communication. Plan the week ahead of time and prepare your child prior to the event.
Always avoid trying new things when the child is tired, out of routine or overstimulated. Always, always try to reinforce positive behaviors. Give them the right attention when good deeds or behaviors are shown and try not to give any attention to negative or bad behaviors. When doing activities communicate first THIS and then THAT. Follow through with what you have said.
Give choices so they can feel a sense of control. Redirect problem behaviors instead of saying no! Be attentive to the child’s sensory input. How stimulated they are prior to activity.
Make instructions clear with one word or one phrase sentences. Stay calm. Keep in mind each and every child is different and acquire different types of attention. Every child is unique in their own way.
Health and happiness for the child is the ultimate aim or goal and we need to enrich their lives through being there for them and present.
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Please have a look at "Coming home to Autism" on Youtube or their website. They have an amazing series. Go to their link here https://cominghometoautism.com/ for information that they are sharing.