Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental illness that results from innate brain abnormalities. Children with autism spectrum disorder may exhibit difficulties in social communication and engagement as well as restricted or repetitive activities or interests. Autistic children may also develop in unique ways in terms of how they learn, how they move, and how they pay attention. Here is how to handle autistic behavior in your child.
Learn About Autism
When compared to typically developing children, autistic children’s brains develop more quickly in early childhood, especially during the first three years of life. Why this exponential expansion occurs is a mystery. However, this indicates that autistic children’s brains function differently than average. You could learn your child’s behavior by understanding Applied Behavior Analysis to gain more insight into the different types of behaviors they exhibit. Autism has a heritable component. However, it’s highly improbable that a single gene causes autism. Multiple genes are probably working in tandem. Differences in children’s social and communication development are early indicators.
Signs of autism are more obvious during the toddler years when kids are supposed to start interacting socially with others through things like talking and playing. There may be a wide range in the number of early warning indicators present from child to child. There can be as little as one sign or as many as a dozen, depending on the age of the kid and the severity of the disorder. Signs of autism in older children and teenagers may emerge when they struggle to adapt to new social settings at school, such as learning and obeying new rules, forming new friendships, and showing interests that are age-appropriate.
Teach them Patience and Be Patient
For kids with autism, waiting can be especially difficult since they may be overly focused on one thing or have trouble reading social cues. They may have a meltdown or emotional outburst if they have to wait for what they consider to be too long or if they are performing a task that requires time and focus. Moreover, in all honesty, even typically developing children may have a similar reaction. Set a good example. Your reaction to difficulties can serve as an example for your child. Make an effort to monitor your own responses and show your child the behavior you would like to see from them. Discuss the reasons for the delay, think of creative methods to speed things up, or just take a big breath.
Use Simple Language to Communicate
Communication can begin with simple gestures and eye contact. Reinforce positive actions by acting as an example and joining in. In other words, you should act out your gestures. Integrate nonverbal cues into your spoken exchanges; for instance, when you say “look,” extend your hand and then nod your head to show agreement. Make use of simple hand motions that your toddler can easily pick up. Clapping, opening hands, reaching out arms, etc., are all examples. Remember to react to your child’s gestures. Give them the toy when they ask for it or start playing with it on their cue. As an analogy, if there’s a specific toy you want, point to it and then pick it up. Put it in simpler terms. This will aid your youngster in understanding what you are saying. In addition, this facilitates their ability to mimic your voice. Use largely one-word sentences with a nonverbal child. Raise the stakes if your kid only says one word at a time. Use short, simple language like “roll ball” or “throw a ball.” Follow the “one-up” rule and keep it in place: Use phrases that are one word longer than what your youngster is already saying.
Seek Therapist Help
Sometimes, a vigilant parent might learn to identify triggers and recognize rising tension levels. The behavioral therapist your child sees could be of use. During a behavioral crisis, it is impossible to think clearly and find a solution. One or more level-headed adults must remain with the aggressive child. Make sure no other kids are in the room. You should also remove any potential hazards and relocate your youngster if possible. Find a spot where your child can pace, hop, or engage in whatever sensory activity helps them relax on their own. Keep close to your kid to make sure they’re safe. Physical constraints, even for a limited time, should be a last resort. However, it is a real possibility for some families when all else has failed to ensure their protection. Inquire with your child’s therapist about where you can go to get specialized training in self-defense and the use of safe, brief physical restraints to manage aggressive behavior. Keep in mind that children are a “work in progress,” especially when they enter the challenging teen years. This is the moment to develop skills that will serve them well as adults. Create behavior plans with the support of your kid’s therapist to teach your child effective techniques for relieving stress, managing difficult feelings, and expressing themselves.
Develop a Routine for your Child
Despite the wide variety of autistic traits, many people share similar difficulties. Routines that are followed every day can help with this. They take use of the fact that autistic children tend to enjoy routines and order in their environments. Predictability aids autistic youngsters in learning to cope with anxiety-inducing situations. In uncertain times, it can make people feel safer. Some people may view this as counterproductive. One of the most common difficulties that autistic children confront is resistance to change. However, maintaining a regular pattern can be an effective means of dealing with unpredictability. There may be less damaging and non-constructive conduct if people always know when to time things will happen. The stability and familiarity of routines can be a welcome refuge as we navigate the challenges of change. In a similar vein, many autistic children avoid certain activities while excelling at others.
Minimize Sensory Overload.
When it comes to sensitivities, every autistic child is different. Your child will benefit from it if you remember to keep their individual sensitivities in mind and cater to them as needed. Some strategies for making space for people with extreme sensitivities are listed below.
- Replace your fluorescent bulbs with incandescent ones.
- Dim lights.
- In extremely noisy circumstances, earplugs or headphones should be provided.
- Stop using strong-smelling goods like perfumes and air fresheners.
- Make sure there’s food and clothing available for people who have allergies or sensitivities to things like temperature, texture, itchiness, etc.
- Before touching somebody, be sure you have their consent.
Autistic children exhibit certain behavioral challenges. It is important to understand how they function for you to deal with them properly. You should introduce a routine because autistic children function when things are done in order. You should be careful because sometimes the behavior can be extreme. If the problem of handling them persists, you should seek professional help.