Tantrums, Tears and Timeouts

Tantrums, Tears and Timeouts: Helping Your Child with ASD Overcome Challenging Behavior

Does your child scream if he can't wear his favorite shoes? Does he enjoy fondling material of certain textures without regard for where or on whom that fabric may be located? Does he fear the toilet, the market, the dentist? If so, take note he's trying to tell you how he feels and what he needs from you: We at Ligno Academy have learnt that children use behavior as communication.
Pay attention to cues what is your child trying to tell you. Parents and care providers have to be incredibly responsive and sensitive to children with autism regarding their behaviors, imparting a necessary vigilance and hyper-awareness on the part of the parent.
Parents need to become translators to children's behaviors.
As Ligno Academy educators we have highlighted the four most challenging autism behaviors and provide advice on how to best handle them.

Sleep Disruption- Sleep can be tough for kids with autism, as they tend to have highly sensitive nervous systems. Even the slightest variation in their day can affect their sleep for the night. At Ligno Academy we help your child get used to routine so that everyday life is easier for them and in turn you, the parent.
Food Sensitivity- Kids with autism are historically tremendously picky and selective and limited in what they will eat. It's a sensory thing; you have to have lots of trial and error, certain textures, certain foods. At Ligno Academy we realize that everybody eats more when they feel relaxed. At Ligno Academy we know that getting your child to eat a variety of foods starts with expanding their tolerance level: It doesn't even need to be that the child eats a new food but that they tolerate it being on the table. At the next meal they tolerate it being on the plate and then they tolerate just touching it. Then you can slowly expand their repertoire of food.
Meltdowns- Meltdowns happen, that's a given. What matters is how prepared you are and how you can minimize their occurrence. Our advice to you as Ligno Academy is: “Don't put your child in over his or her head." With a tantrum, the child is still in control, they want to get their own way. With a meltdown, they can't calm down and at that point either they've gotten themselves so upset or so overwhelmed they're no longer in control of the situation.
Aggressive Behavior- Aggressive and self-injurious behaviors are fairly common in children with autism. At Ligno Academy we have found that most times, when people better understand the basis for the aggressive or self-injurious behavior and then accommodate or support the person with autism, things can improve dramatically. Certain things can set an autistic child off, Like a change in barometric pressure, which can really affect his sinuses. When he's acting out there's usually a reason for it and in almost all cases we can find out what it is.

Something to Remember
"If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism," says Karin Dick, Principal of Ligno Academy, referring to a popular saying within the autism community. She adds, "There is so much diversity in terms of how autism plays out with each child. The idea that everyone is the same is mythical." This uniqueness can be embraced as well as prepared for.