Rate Of Comorbidity Between Autism & Ocd
People with autism have at least one anxiety disorder around 40% of the time. Rates of comorbidity with OCD specifically range between 17% and 37%, studies show.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders to occur concurrently with autism. Rates vary since it can be tricky to diagnose both disorders together and distinguish them from each other. Comorbid rates can also be skewed due to misdiagnosis or missing the diagnosis altogether.
People with autism have a much greater incidence of having OCD over the general population. It is important to recognize when both disorders co-occur in order to tailor treatment specifically. If a person has autism and OCD, but only the autism is diagnosed and treated, they wont be able to effectively manage their symptoms.
Set A Comfortable Place Where You Can Relax For Your Child In Your Home
It could be a bedroom for the child or a game room. Ensure that the designated protected area is free of objects that could break or injure someone if they are cast or knocked down. The mood of this safe place can be established and modified to something your child can find calming.
Try to create a less airy atmosphere, if your child likes it, by making the area sunnier or quieter. It is important to note that not all children who are autistic have the same causes or preferences, so try to see whats best for relaxing your boy.
One kid might not like bright sunshine and prefer the curtains to be closed, while another may find it admirable.
Autism And Sensory Processing
It is estimated that at least 80% of children with autism have some type of sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing involves taking in information from the environment, processing that information, and then meaningfully responding to the information.
Imagine you are in a classroom and someone calls your name. You are able to hear your name being called, recognize that its your name, and then respond as you feel it is appropriate. For children with a sensory processing disorder, this process is interrupted in some way within the brain.
For many children with autism, stimuli within the environment is over-processed or processed more intensely than it is for typically developing children. This is why many children with autism experience sensory sensitivities. They may be sensitive to any type of environmental stimuli, but some of the most common include loud noises, bright lights, crowded or busy places, etc.
To better understand how anger is related to sensory processing, lets consider the analogy of filling an empty cup.
In order to address sensory processing concerns, it is best to visit with an occupational therapist, who can work with each individual child to develop a unique sensory diet. A sensory diet is an individualized plan that outlines a childs sensory needs and ways to get needed input. A sensory diet might include things such as:
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Reducing Aggressive Behavior In Children With Asd
First and foremost, if you understand the causes of your child with ASDs self-injurious and aggressive behavior, this can help your child learn to manage the behavior.
How can you look at what is triggering the behavior and what your child is getting out of?Well, when accepting that aggressive behavior is sending a message, it is up to the parents to determine what that message is and provide the child with a more appropriate tool to deliver it.One strategy that can be beneficial to the parents is called the ABCs of behavior. The A is the antecedent , the B is the behavior itself, and the C is the consequence .
First, parents need to define the antecedent and look where the behavior occurred, who did it happen with, when did it occur, etc., being specific. For example, James hits his brother at night during the bedtime routine. The parents should closely examine what is happening immediately before the hitting. Is the child watching a favorite TV show he does not want to leave? Is the child scared of the dark? Is there a reason he does not want to go to bed? Then the parents should begin to adjust the antecedent. Such as, add the use of a timer before transitioning. Eliminate the option of watching TV before bedtime routine. Add a night light in the childs room. Provide a highly preferred item to transition with during the bedtime routine. The highly preferred item can be a favorite toy, book, blanket, etc.
Learn During Calm Times
In neutral times, when your child is not upset, you can talk to them about ways to keep their emotions from flaring up. By learning to own their anxiety and frustration, they can get through it with a little patience or by taking things in smaller steps.
You can work with your child and their teachers regarding the best ways for them to learn to calm down.
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Figuring Out Your Childs Needs
Theres been a lot of research about how people with autism lack a so-called theory of mindthey dont understand that you are a different person with different needs than theirs. That may be true, but teachers, parents, and specialists are often just as lacking their understanding of what might be called the childs theory of sensation and perception.
You dont get why she experiences a flickering light bulb as a bolt of lightning, a doorbell ringing as the sound of a thousand church bells. You dont appreciate why a child might need to tap his foot and run around the classroom to keep from falling out of his chair. And you dont grasp how yogurt, because of its smoothness, may be one of the only foods that doesnt make your daughter feel like she has a mouthful of pebbles.
Your child may have as hard a time figuring out your needs as you have figuring out hers. She may not notice that today is a bad one for you, and so try to be less needy. He may talk endlessly because he cant read your cues of boredom.
Ensure That Your Words Have Consequences
We know that mutual respect is the first step to getting our kids to listen. This respect will help them be open to what we have to say. If they feel that they matter because you respect them, then they will develop respect for you. This will help when it comes to disciplining your child.
The second step is ensuring that our words have consequences. When it comes to discipline, your words must have weight. If you say you are going to do something, you must do it.
For example, if you ask your child to stop hitting the couch while you are typing an article for Lifehack and they keep hitting it, then let them know that if they dont stop, they get a five-minute time-out. True story, this just happened. He stopped. Why did he stop? Because he knew I meant what I said. If he didnt stop, he knew it would mean an immediate time out, not an additional warning and more time to carry on with the behavior that I asked him to stop.
I asked in a calm voice while looking into his eyes, letting him know I was serious. He also knows that I mean what I say because he is now seven years old and has experienced consistent follow-through with punishments for years. I dont ask the same thing several times. I also dont make threats. I follow through with reasonable punishments when the instructions and requests are not followed by my child.
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Managing Ocd In Autistic Children
Research is ongoing to discern the environmental risk factors for OCD. However, we know that because it is an anxiety disorder, it can be triggered by prolonged and pronounced stress. Increased anxiety can lead to OCD behaviors as well as emotional and physical outbursts.
For parents, keeping your child safe is the first concern. To do this, the goal is to keep your child calm and reduce potential stressors.
Here are some tips:
Talk to your childs doctor about your concerns if you suspect OCD, autism, or both. Early intervention and treatment for autism can help to reduce anxiety as well as manage symptoms of autism. This translates to a better overall quality of life and a higher degree of productivity and functioning.
Develop An Anger Management Record
The person may keep a diary or chart of situations that trigger anger. List the situation, the level of anger on a scale of one to ten and the coping strategies that help to overcome or reduce feelings of anger. A simple and effective technique for reducing levels of anger is the Stop Think technique.
A person notices the thoughts running through their mind. 1 Stop! and think before reacting to the situation 2 Challenge the inaccurate or unhelpful thoughts 3 Create a new thought.
A plan can also be developed to help a person avoid becoming angry when they plan to enter into a situation that has a history of triggering anger. An example of a personal plan is using the Stop – Think technique when approaching a shopping center situation that is known to trigger anger.
To improve my ability to cope with anger when I am waiting in long queues.
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Managing Autism Meltdowns Tantrums And Aggression
An individuals aggression can be directed at his/herself or others and can be scary for everyone involved. It is essential to understand that not every child with autism will display aggression. However, for parents who must deal with their childs outbursts of rage, feelings of frustration, exhaustion, and embarrassment often arise.
Unfortunately, aggressive behaviors can create many additional issues for children with autism, including decreased quality of life, limited access to educational and social support, increased stress levels, further behavior problems, and injury.
Parents: please do not get discouraged if your child is displaying aggressive behaviors. There are treatment and prevention measures that will help your child who is showing aggressive behaviors.
This article will look at the topic of aggressive behavior in detail, and will attempt to offer some solutions.
Strategies For Assisting Siblings Of Autistic Children
The type of support given to siblings will often depend on such things as the age of the sibling, their friendship networks, familial support and their living environment. However, there are many complex processes impacting on how young people react to their brother or sister’s Autism Spectrum Disorder. When assisting siblings one must keep in mind that each person should be listened to carefully and their individual experiences and needs assessed.
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Causes Of Anger In High
Although each case of autism is different,there are several common causes of anger in high-functioning autistic children:
Being overwhelmed by multiple tasks
Anyone with autism, including high-functioning autistic children, can get easily overwhelmed and frustrated when asked to perform several tasks at the same time. This is particularly the case when a new task is combined with the routine one and when tasks need prioritizing.
Children with autism have fragile sensory systems that can easily get overloaded. Responding with anger outbursts and aggressive behaviors is sometimes simply an automatic reaction to being physically uncomfortable in situations that cause sensory overload.
All the unwritten rules and unpredictabilities of daily life may be hard to navigate for autistic children, regardless of their level of functioning. They dont always fully understand what is going on around them and act out aggressively out of frustration.
Changes in routine
Children on the autism spectrum can become distressed when their routines are changed. Unexpected events like having to take a different route to school or eat a different type of breakfast cereal can increase the childs anxiety levels. The feelings of confusion and helplessness may cause a meltdown.
Other peoples behavior
Intolerance of imperfections in others
Stress and anxiety
Is Asd Associated With Aggressive Behavior
Anger and aggression are common across all levels of the autism spectrum. Children who struggle with more substantial social and communication issues, and those who engage in more repetitive behaviors, are more likely to have problems with emotional regulation and aggressive actions.
It is crucial to understand that several underlying medical issues can cause or contribute to an individual with autisms aggressive behavior. However, when the medical issues are correctly treated, challenging behaviors may decrease or even disappear altogether, significantly improving your childs quality of life.
As parents, we must grasp that behavior is a form of communication. In other words, our kids are not purposefully hurting themselves or others. At times, many doctors may dismiss behavior as just part of autism. Try to remember our children often use their behavior to communicate that they are in pain or do not feel well.
Therefore, parents must make sure their child receives a complete medical workup by determining any underlying medical issues that cause or contribute to aggression. It is vital for parents of children with autism to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of medical problems that trigger aggression, so they can effectively advocate for their children in medical settings.
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Listen To Your Child To Understand Where The Anger Is Coming From
To really deal with your childs anger, you first need to try and determine where its coming from. This can be especially challenging if they have trouble communicating their feelings and desires to you. Ask your child whats wrong and really listen to what they are telling you. Help them learn to manage anger through communication. Are they upset because they cant locate a favorite toy or object? Or is it something deeper? Talk to your child and try to understand whats wrong. You may notice that these temper tantrums occur at the same time each day, which may offer a clue as to the trigger.
One of the most important and useful tools that you can use in a situation where your child is frustrated or angry, but having a hard time expressing their emotions, is a communication device or strategy. You can create some sort of visual board or visual representation of emotions, triggers, and consequences to help your child express themselves. Schools like Lexington Life Academy employ strategies to help students communicate effectively and your childs school can implement visual aids and zones of regulation to help children with autism to communicate and manage anger effectively.
Change Whos In Control By Entering And Blending
There is a concept in the marital art Aikido called entering and blending that shows great promise in managing the aggression that can occur with ASD.
By entering you have also blended with the child by coming to face in the same direction as they are moving, and most importantly, you are looking at the situation from their viewpoint without giving up your own viewpoint that their behavior is unacceptable.
Entering and blending can also be a verbal technique that allows you to avoid responding to every sentence your child says with a counter sentence and perpetuating the argument. By blending and entering we give a little, turn to see their viewpoint, and try to resolve the situation from that position using their words.
Its a powerful technique.
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A Temper Tantrum Is Not An Autism Meltdown
A temper tantrum usually occurs when a child is denied what they want to have or what they want to do.
Parents observe many tantrums during the terrible twos. This occurs when young children are developing problem-solving skills and beginning to assert their independence.
In fact, this terrible twos stage is typically experienced between 12 months through 4 years old!
When you look at why temper tantrums occur at this stage, it is important to consider typical development and why toddlers are so easily frustrated:
- Emerging desire to become independent, but limited motor skills and cognitive skills make it impossible to actually BE independent.
- Emerging, developing language skills make communicating wants/needs frustrating.
- The prefrontal cortex of the brain has not yet developed – this is the brain center responsible for emotional regulation and social behavior – so they do not have the ability to regulate!
- Toddlers are developing an understanding of their world, and its often anxiety-producing. This anxiety and lack of control often result in tantrums when it all gets to be too much to manage.
A hallmark of a tantrum is that the behavior will usually persist if the child gains attention for his behavior, but will subside when ignored.
When parents give in to tantrum outbursts, children are more likely to repeat the behavior the next time they are denied what they want or need.
Treatment For Aggressive Children With Autism
Knowing how to stop an autistic child from hitting is key. Aggressive behavior can hinder a childs progress at school, at home, and in social interactions. If your child has an autism diagnosis and is engaging in aggressive behaviors, seek treatment options as soon as possible.
The earlier the intervention , the greater your childs chances of developing alongside their peers and becoming independent.
At Therapeutic Pathways, our Board-Certified Behavior Analysts put together an ABA treatment plan for each child engaging in aggressive behaviors. We work diligently to remediate harmful behaviors and encourage children to engage in safer, more appropriate behaviors.
For more information and to learn more about our ABA methods, contact Therapeutic Pathways at 422-3280 to see if our Behavior Center program is right for your child.
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How Is Anger Irritability And Aggression In Children Treated
Behavioral intervention is the first line of treatment for childhood anger and aggression. Though there are quite a few evidence-based therapies that can be helpful, the Child Study Center emphasizes two primary approaches that focus on changing the interpersonal dynamics that lead to and result from angry outbursts. These are complementary therapies that address a childs behavior problems from different directions.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy is a three-pronged approach that helps a child acquire new and more effective strategies for regulating angry emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
- Emotion regulation, which allows the child to learn to identify anger triggers and preventive strategies.
- Learning alternate ways to express and address frustration will help the child and parent weigh the potential consequences of each choice and minimize conflict.
- Developing new communication strategies, via with role-play for practice, helps to prevent and resolve anger-provoking situations.
Even though CBT is conducted with the child, parents actively participate in treatment and support childs progress towards learning anger management skills.
Some children also take medication to help manage other mental health conditions . But cognitive behavioral therapy and parent management techniques are the primary treatments.