Everyday And Social Skills For Unfamiliar And Difficult Situations
Sometimes autistic children and teenagers might seem like theyre behaving inappropriately. But actually they dont have the skills to handle unfamiliar or difficult situations.
For example, your child doesnt say hello to someone. Your child isnt being rude on purpose they might not know they should say hello. Your child might start hitting something because a particular noise is upsetting them. Or your child might smear poo on the wall because they like the warmth and texture of it, not because they want to upset you or do the wrong thing.
Breaking tasks into steps can help autistic children and teenagers learn everyday skills like how to get dressed or how to use deodorant.
Tip : Find Nonverbal Ways To Connect
Connecting with a child with ASD can be challenging, but you dont need to talkor even touchin order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.
Look for nonverbal cues. If you are observant and aware, you can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that children with ASD use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when theyre tired, hungry, or want something.
Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. Its only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and its no different for children with ASD. When children with ASD act out, its often because youre not picking up on their nonverbal cues. Throwing a tantrum is their way of communicating their frustration and getting your attention.
What Is Negative Reinforcement
Negative reinforcement should not be confused with punishment. A parent can use negative reinforcement to shape behavior, and the approach uses an undesirable task to achieve results. For example, a child may dislike doing puzzles. Parent can encourage compliant behavior by cutting a puzzle activity short after the child follows directions without whining.The target behavior is following directions and the negative behavior is whining. The child learns that he is able to finish the task immediately once she stops whining. Otherwise, the activity continues.
But What Do I Do Right Now
IGNORE If you know the behavior isnt in response to true physical pain, and the behavior is non-harmful, seek to ignore it. For example, if your child is throwing crayons at you get up and walk out of the room. Any verbal discipline or chastisement actually reinforces what your child most likely wantedyour attention!
After some time away from the child, return to the room and offer your presence.
REMOVE Until you start practicing ABA principles at home and preparing your child for upcoming triggers, you may need to remove your child from the situation. This may mean that in the short term you leave the store without finishing your grocery list or your child goes to his room until visitors leave the house.
Remember ABA is all about working toward long-term changes in behavior, and sometimes short-term solutions will only prolong the change process.
For some children time outs are effective both at home and in public. However, they are only part of the story and alone will not result in long-term change.
Spanking is highly discouraged when working with children with autism.
Why? Because your childs final takeaway will be that when others do something they dont like, they can respond physically. This can lead to hitting other children or throwing rocks on the playground when they are upset.
In addition, spanking fails to take into account the reality that your child may be acting out because he or she is truly in pain or experiencing a valid need.
How To Discipline Your Child For Hitting Others
Among the top parental concerns is how to discipline a child for hitting, including hitting you. When your child hits others, it disconcerting and often starts a cascade of worries and imagined scenarios involving a life of crime for their child. Understandably, parents are motivated to stop the aggressive behavior, but what works? While it seems daunting, you can learn how to discipline your children for hitting you and others and put your worries for their future to rest.
The first step in approaching your child who is hitting is to remember the meaning of discipline. To discipline means to teach and is about showing kids a better way to handle themselves and situations. Discipline is not about punishment. When disciplining a child that hits you or others, your goal is to teach them gently what to do instead of hitting.
The next step is understanding why, in general, kids hit. While children and circumstances are different, some prominent causes of hitting include:
- High frustration
- Feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated
- Not knowing what else to do in a situation involving conflict with a peer or parent
- A still-undeveloped verbal ability to express complex ideas like feelings
- A fear-based reaction
- Reacting to being teased or bullied
- Losing a game and not knowing how to handle defeat
- Thinking their teacher, parent, or other adult is treating them unfairly
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Why Do Asd Children Hit
For autistic children, aggressive behavior is a physical way of communicating when they cannot express their feelings in words. If they feel frustrated, upset, hungry or tired, their emotional state has a direct impact on their conduct.
This is why children react aggressively towards their parents or even siblings.
Aggressive behaviors are common and normal during early infancy, especially if your child has communicational challenges. The best way for you, as a parent, to deal with these situations is to understand what your child is going through and offer the support they need to express their emotions properly.
They May Suffer Sensory Difficulties
of course; autism is a neurological and mental condition.; Due to alteration of the anatomy of specific nerves of their body, these kids may have difficulty processing certain stimuli like pain and pressure. These kids also feel very uneasy at certain tastes, smells, or sounds. For instance, a child with high functioning autism may intensely dislike certain kinds of music.
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Yelling Threatening And Criticizing
Yelling, threatening, and criticizing your child with autism can often backfire and do more harm than good. Your child may even become more disruptive over time. Remember that the goal of disciplining your autistic child is to provide an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and not to lower their self-esteem.
Managing The Misbehavior Of Autistic Children
Knowing how to discipline a child with mild autism as well as more serious autism is understanding how to manage their misbehavior. One approach is to make rules and have consequences for breaking them. For this approach to work, parents need to follow certain guidelines:
- Rules must be extremely clear with no room for interpretation. Children with autism are literal, black-and-white thinkers. Stating, Dont jump on the couch, means that they can jump on anything else.
- Consequences also must be clear and used consistently, every time a rule is broken.
Positive reinforcement is a highly recommended form of discipline for children on the autism spectrum This type of discipline teaches children to understand what behaviors are desirable and encourages them to do more of it.
Build on positive behaviors kids already use. When you catch them being good, reinforce the behavior with praise. Token boards add a visual, concrete element to positive reinforcement. The board sports a picture of a reward the child wants to earn and has pouches for kids to place little tokens you give them for positive behavior. When theyve earned enough tokens, they receive the reward.
Autism Parents Seek Help For Behavioral Crises
Our child soon to be a teenager has autism, and there are times when we find ourselves in a true behavioral crisis. What can we do besides call 911?
So important is this question and so broad the situations and options – that weve invited two experts to provide answers.
This response is from child psychologist Lark Huang-Storms. Dr. Huang-Storms works within Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network at Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland.
Check out ‘Help for Child with Autism & Recurring Behavioral Crises: Part 2‘;for further perspective, including consideration of long-term residential treatment.
A meltdown can be really tough with a toddler and truly frightening in an adolescent or teenager both for those witnessing it and for the child who has lost control. With an adolescent, the stress of surging hormones and increasingly complex social expectations can mount faster than coping strategies can keep up. As a result, its not uncommon to see an increase in out-of-control behaviors.
Understanding Common Autistic Behaviors
We usually discipline children because they consciously act in inappropriate ways, whether it’s swiping treats off a sibling’s plate or intentionally tripping a child on the soccer field. However, a child with autism may not be able to control certain behaviors, and it’s important that they are not harshly punished for them. Some behaviors that children with autism may struggle to control include:
- Biting their hands and fingers
- Hand flapping or rocking
- Screaming or yelling
- Hurting themselves by banging or hitting their heads
- Not looking at people or making eye contact
- Physical aggression toward peers and grown-ups, like biting or kicking
Many of these behaviors stem from children’s struggles to express their needs or desires or understand social norms and cues. You shouldnt place your child in time-out, shame them, or spank them because of these behaviors. Rather, it’s important you work to better understand why they are acting out in this way and, if necessary, try to avoid those triggers in the future.
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How To Help An Autistic Child To Stop Spitting
Coping with an autistic childs inappropriate behaviors can pose some serious challenges. The key to dealing with a particular behavior is in understanding it. Whether the reason for the behavior is too much sensory stimulation, a change in daily routine or problems processing information, not being able to say how he feels can cause a child with autism to feel anxious, stressed, frustrated and angry. All of these emotions can lead to difficult — and embarrassing — behaviors like spitting.
Watch your childs behavior to determine what need spitting fulfills. Pay attention to her mood and to what is happening at the time she spits. She may like the attention spitting gets her or the way the saliva feels on her face or hands. Sometimes kids with autism use behaviors such as kicking, pinching, biting, hair pulling and spitting to avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Spitting is especially common among younger children with autism, Dr. Matthew Siegel, a clinical investigator at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, points out on the website, Autism Speaks 2.
Avoid reinforcing the behavior. If your child spits to keep from doing something and you let him get away with it, you are reinforcing the negative behavior. Its important to address the behavior early on before it gets worse. If you ask your child to do something and he resists, follow through with the request. Despite inappropriate behavior like spitting, be ready to stand your ground.
Autism And Hitting: How To Stop A Child With Autism From Hitting
Sometimes being a parent to a child with autism is hard. Not being able to understand why they are upset or frustrating is heartbreaking when you just want to be able to help your child. Unfortunately sometimes being upset, frustrated or angry can lead to aggression and lashing out. It is not uncommon for an autistic child to hit their parents, siblings, teachers or anyone close to them.;
In this blog, SpecialKidsCompany will look at autism and aggression, potential triggers and strategies for hitting behaviour.
Autism aggression triggers and strategies for hitting behaviour
There are lots of things than can trigger aggression in a child with autism. Finding the root cause of your child’s aggression is important to enable you to find the right strategy to help them overcome it.
Trigger: Sensory Overload/Deficit and their environment
It is worthwhile exploring whether your child’s behaviour changes depending on the environment that they are in. Do they behave differently at home or at school? This could be due to sensory issues.;
Children with autism often have sensory differences, which can mean that they are either over-sensitive or under-sensitive with certain senses. This could be touch, taste, smell, noise, light sensitivity, temperature sensitivity or even colour sensitivity. Sensory issues can have a huge impact of an autistic child’s life and how they feel and react.;
Strategies to deal with aggressive behaviour caused by sensory issues
Trigger: Changes to routine
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How To Discipline A Child With Autism Using Positive Parenting
Okay, now Ive told you what not to do. Dont treat a child based on actual age without considering his language and cognitive abilities, dont use punishment willy nilly, or on a regular basis, and to really think about the use of time out. Now youre probably wondering how to discipline a child with autism. I could go on and on for hours and hours, so these are going to just be a few tips.
I hope you enjoyed this video blog about how to discipline a child with autism. If you did, I would love it if youd leave me a comment. Tell me what your idea of discipline is. Give me a thumbs up, share this video with others who might benefit, and to learn more about how to help children with autism I would like it if youd download my free 3-step guide to turn autism around for your child or client.
Ready to learn more and turn things around for your child or client with autism? Sign up for my free 3-step guide!
Behavioral Interventions For Children With Autism
The first step to disciplining a child with Autism is explaining the intervention. Talk about what they did wrong and why it cannot be done. You can also explain social norms to help clarify something, but the process for disciplining Autistic children varies too much after explaining the reason for it. Each behavioral issue and best method for responding to the issue differ based on the childs diagnosis and symptoms. Just like treatment, discipline should be individualized based on the childs needs.
Common behavioral challenges for children with Autism include the following behaviors. Browse the list and think about which one could be the best starting point.
Check out these;this article from Applied Behavioral Analysis Edu;that walks;you through how to identify triggers and different behavioral issues. Each step can be customized to fit different treatments, as well.
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Disciplining Your Autistic Child: The Ultimate Guide
As humans, we are social beings, governed by societal expectations. To be functional in society, our social conduct is important and, because of this, teaching children good behavior from a young age is key. One way children can learn what types of behavior are appropriate is through disciplineit is part of educating your child to learn right from wrong and understand socially acceptable and respectful behavior.
Implementing discipline strategies can be challenging and often require the parents to enforce consequences to a negative behavior. When you discipline a child with autism, this challenge is somewhat heightened. This is because many children with autism find it difficult to understand non-verbal social communication cues such as facial expression. Nonetheless, it is possible!
Implement Visual Schedules And Guides In Your Home
Most autistic children will succeed best with visual learning.
So the next step to disciplining your autistic child is to implement visual schedules and visual guides in your home.
Whether you use PECS to communicate with your autistic child, or you use a visual timer as a part of your routine, implementing visual strategies will help keep behaviors at bay.
Visual schedules help give your child a sense of control in their environment, and it plays into our last tip by helping your autistic child understand whats coming next.
Rule Out Medical Conditions
Before you begin taking steps to get your child to stop hitting, talk to a doctor to rule out any other medical conditions. When depression, epilepsy, or even allergies are ravaging the body of an autistic kid, hitting may be a response to the pain or discomfort. Hitting is their way of expressing negative feelings with their body, and fixing the medical issue can resolve the hitting problem as well.