What triggers set off your child with autism? This might be something that parents simply can’t explain. It might be loud noises one day or flashing lights the next. Either way, you need to get to the root of these behavioral problems if you’re going to, as people say, “head them off at the pass.” That is, you want to prevent your child from becoming over stimulated or triggered by something before it actually happens. Here are several of the most common behavioral problems to look for. They’ll help you determine the best course of action.
1) Your Child Isn’t Social
Some kids just aren’t very talkative. In fact, shyness and social anxiety are quite different than the social issues that appear in children on the autism spectrum. With those kids, it isn’t the fact that they don’t want to speak up or are too afraid to – it’s the fact that they really don’t know how. Many kids with autism find that they just can’t process social situations. They miss the verbal cues that others pick up on. Thankfully, this is something that you can work on. It just takes practice.
2) Your Child Won’t Pay Attention in Class
How many kids really pay attention in class? Answer that question honestly, thinking back to when you were a child – you tuned your teacher out on occasion, didn’t you? The problem is that kids with autism do this all of the time, not just some of the time. If the topic doesn’t interest them (and many of the ones taught in school fit into this category), they just tune out altogether. This is a situation in which a classroom aide can help. They might be able to adjust the topic so that it holds your child’s attention a bit better.
3) Your Child Acts Out In Class
It’s very easy for a child with autism to become over stimulated. Loud noises, bright colors, and even the actions of their classmates might trigger them to act out in a negative manner. If this is the case, then your child might be better suited to a classroom with fewer triggers. Someplace that’s a bit darker and quieter might do the trick. It will help if the atmosphere is adjusted to his or her needs. Again, this is why you need to work with the school.
4) Your Child Avoids Certain Foods
Many kids with autism have sensory issues that extend to foods. For example, they may only eat dry foods that don’t leave anything behind on their hands. They might react negatively to things like cooked pasta noodles, simply because they are slimy and feel weird in their mouths. If your child refuses to eat what’s placed in front of him or her, then this might be the case. (It’s also possible that they just don’t like the way that a specific food tastes, but don’t have the words to verbalize it.) This is something that you need to adjust to in order to get your child to eat.
5) They Resist Negatively To Small Changes
Children with autism love routines. They want everything to be the same every single day. This means that something as small as moving their desk from one part of the classroom to another might be enough to trigger a meltdown. Since these routines are so important, the teacher needs to understand that even something small like this can cause problems. The teacher will need to allow your child to leave their desk where it is, in order to alleviate this issue.
6) They Act Out In Gym Class
While it’s normal for many kids to hate gym class, because really, only the athletic kids enjoy it, your child with autism might act out in a negative manner during this class every day. You need to find out why. It might not be the classmates or even the activities at all – in fact, it might be the fact that your child simply isn’t coordinated enough to participate, which leads to a meltdown. This is common in many kids with autism, as they simply can’t process the movements and motions that go into playing sports.
7) They Are Extremely Upset At Certain Times of the Day
You need to remember that your child with autism can’t effectively communicate their needs. If they repeatedly get cranky at certain times of the day, such as the period between lunch and dinner, or even between breakfast and lunch, then they might be hungry or thirsty. It’s easy for a kid without autism to speak up and say that they want something to eat or drink. A kid with autism can’t. You need to anticipate their needs. Pay close attention to them and then offer a snack. It might just solve the issue.
Author Bio –
This guest article is a work of Sam Knight in support of Bluesprig Autism ABA Therapy Clinic. If you’re on the lookout for an Autism clinic in Austin, TX, Bluesprig would indeed be the perfect choice.