Learn how to deal with autistic children, calm them down, and what to do and not do.
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While taking care of or providing assistance to children that have autism, parents, teachers, and guardians can experience frustration from having to tend to their behavior.
Such behavior can be sudden or last for many hours. It might also be difficult for anyone to control and cause embarrassment, especially when out in public.
Still, some autistic kids like talking with family members, friends, or other people that they see outside.
This is more likely to occur when someone brings up or shows images of something they’re passionate about.
It can also happen that they talk for too long, to the point of becoming annoying to other people around them, parents included.
The information shown below details how people, parents, in particular, can better deal with the unwanted behaviors related to kids with autism.
This can be aggressiveness, self-harm, annoying reactions like tantrums, or even talkativeness. Preparation is key since kids with ASD can be overwhelming to deal with.
But knowing what to do and exercises that can be conducted will greatly assist in reducing frustration.
So, keep reading to learn the best strategies for calming down and disciplining an autistic child.
Autistic kids are very susceptible to meltdowns. Nevertheless, managing them will only last for so long until a spell occurs that makes the parents feel overwhelmed.
Teachers and others that don’t have constant access to the child also have problems with this. Everyone’s threshold for patience is limited, but how aggressive and unwanted behavior is handled can make dealing with it a lot easier.
After a while, tantrums in autistic kids may become a common occurrence as well, a repetition that doesn’t stop any matter where they are.
It can be a scary experience, both for the child and the parents, teachers, or anyone else that’s around during the time that it occurs.
Parents should be sure that the environment of an autistic child is safe, and that those around them, including siblings, are safe as well.
Struggling with aggression can take a toll on parents but can be understood more when efforts are made to find out what’s invoking strong reactions from kids with ASD. When these are spotted, management becomes a lot easier.
Such aggressive behavior can be targeted at anyone, but peers are common.
They’re the most likely people to disrupt their routine or challenge repetitive things that occur.
Aggressiveness is also common among caregivers of the child since they often attempt to shift their activities. Therapists might also have this problem in kids with severe symptoms.
Much of the aggressiveness are autistic kids acting out on their impulses.
They’re not planned out before they occur. Their reactions happen without thought, spur the moment incidents with no intention on their part.
However, some autistic children do display aggressive reactions for them to get their way. An outburst may cause parents or caregivers to give in to the behavior that they find comforting, repetitive things that occupy their time.
This can be harmful in the long run, since they may resort to a raised level of aggression when the activity or behavior is suddenly cut off. Head banging is a common reaction.
Parents should keep themselves calm, even when they’re annoyed.
Then observing parents reacting negatively their behavior could be interpreted as normal since it can appear identical to how they behave.
Self-management in stressful scenarios around a child with autism might be the most important step in getting them to understand why their reactions aren’t okay.
Here’s more of what parents can try to deal with meltdowns:
Teaching an autistic child how to listen better isn’t something that happens quickly. There are no firmly held rules of this, but some families have experienced good results by utilizing taking heed to the following advice:
Kids with ASD usually learn at a different pace than other children their age do. This includes the processing of new information as it comes to them.
Parents should do everything to ensure that they’re not speeding along too quickly by trying to have them take in new things at too great a pace.
Pausing can help give them time enough to understand, comprehend, and react to the things they say.
Children that don’t have any disorders might also exhibit this problem. It’s not only an issue for people with ASD.
Knowing that they have parents, teachers, and friends to help that are patient with them can do wonders for their mental health and confidence in learning and trying out new ideas to avoid meltdowns.
Read More: ABA Therapy Techniques
Autistic kids respond well when there is lots of positive reinforcement made by the people they interact with.
Parents should keep a generous tone in actions and language in their company, even when they show an onset of anxiety and stress.
Short attention spans are a well-known ASD symptom. It can make communicating difficult for them since they’re prone to get sidetracked easily.
But some children can learn to understand better when efforts are made to talk with them when they’re busy with playtime.
Physical activity in this situation can be done indoors or outdoors. While inside, they should be made to play in an area that’s safe for them to move around without damaging anything or getting themselves hurt.
Positive reinforcement can be in the form of affection as well, especially when it comes from a child’s parent, their pet, friends, and other family members.
Affection might be required more than the average child, so positive behavior from them should be met with a hug or pat on the back whenever they display good behavior at school, out in public, or at home.
Furthermore, it’s fine to give them a bit of their own space if they have moods where affection doesn’t help.
Autistic children normally have issues with expressing themselves with others.
To let them know that they aren’t alone in their feelings, parents should constantly show them that they’re in their thoughts and are important, either through communication or non-verbal means.
Parents can learn much about kids with autism, even by using the principles concerning how it’s treated to help cope with struggles on their own.
Their special needs can be thought-provoking, revealing to people ways and methods of interacting with other people and solving problems by staying calm and being willing to communicate.
Support groups are strongly recommended for children with autism. It can help parents not feel so alone, and allow networking with other people in their local area to find out more information about good therapy centers.
Let them know that there are consequences and rewards for the actions they do.
This is one of the tenets of ABA therapy, so a therapist from a center can help parents understand better disciplinary methods and learn when to engage in positive reinforcement.
Children should be navigated towards the path that gives them the positive reinforcement they enjoy so much from behaving well.
When bad behavior is done, they should understand the consequences of what isn’t given to them, such as fewer rewards.
Parents can seek counseling for themselves if they find themselves feeling upset or impatient over the behavior of their autistic child.
But most importantly, they should remain positive through any circumstance.
They can motivate their child by letting the reward for good behavior stay in their thoughts.
Praise should be given when to act well, from everyone they know. This shows them the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
Communication is the source for parents to avoid losing patience.
If this doesn’t work, parents can try finding other issues that might be causing them to feel impatient or annoyed by their child, such as their health-related problems or incidents that happen at work that lead to stress at home.
Here’s what shouldn’t be done to deal with autistic children: