Oct. 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.

5 Proven Ways To Improve Child's Behaviour Autism Spectrum Disorder

The sheer need to follow a routine, difficulty switching from one activity to the other or trouble using and understanding language appropriately are a few of the common reasons that affect the behavior of the child who under the Autism Spectrum.

Much because of the delay in language skills, the child often coveys his/her thoughts and feeling through behavior.The methods of expression may be inappropriate like shouting, screaming, or aggression towards self and others posing a challenge in understanding and supporting the child.

It is important to understand that there are NO quick fixes for altering these types of behaviour.Let’s check a few proven ways!

1. Prepare for Transition:

The inability of the child to move from one activity to the other smoothly stems from one of the core symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The child has the need to follow a pattern and feels anxious with any sudden change in the routine. Quite frequently, the feeling of anxiety results in the inappropriate behavior.

The best way to handle these behavior manifestations is to make the child prepared for the upcoming transition. This should be done with the help of visual cues simultaneously with auditory support.Cards with pictures depicting the next activity can be shown to the child written in simple and as less words as possible.

For example, if the child is busy playing with his/her favorite toy and has to leave for an appointment soon, 30 mins before start showing a picture stating ‘NEXT…. Followed by a picture of the place that he/she has go or the transportation by which he/she has to go’.

For some children minute warning in form of timer also helps. Set a timer which says 20 minutes to go, 15, 10 and so on. These frequent reminders help the child prepare for the transition. It is very important to remember that any of these patterns would take to form. The child would take some time to understand, accept and respond positively to the change.

2. Order/Structure:

Most children can be very demanding. A few of them throw tantrums like screaming or crying continuously if they want something. A child diagnosed with ASD is no different. It can range from a favorite toy, a favorite snack. It can also be something that they DON’T want to do that very moment.

In such situation it is helpful to give a structure of ‘FIRST’ and ‘THEN’ to their developing minds. First he/she has to complete the task at hand and then they would get what they have been asking for.

This would help the child learn that there is an order in which things can happen and they would follow that. This must be strictly reinforced.

3. Reward positive behavior:

For a child most of the learning happens by the reward and punishment received for the behavior. Therefore, parents should make sure that each time the child does a positive behavior especially during the learning phase, the behavior should be rewarded.

For example, for a child diagnosed with ASD, playing with other children or any other kind of social interaction can be overwhelming. If the child is able to sustain a play activity with other children even for a short duration, make sure to praise.

If the child is not able to understand the reason for the praise due to deficit in language skills, give a small reward.

The key here to make the child understand that he/she did something good and that’s why the positive reinforcement in form of praise or reward is happening. During the initial phase, parents must be especially observant, till it forms a part of the child’s pattern.

4. Focus on TO DO:

Most part of the parenting is focused on telling the child what he/she should not be doing. Research is child psychology suggest that the focus should on the behaviors that parents what their child to do rather than rather than continuously saying what not to do.

Once the child learns the appropriate behavior, the problematic behavior would automatically get diminished.

Therefore, it would be largely helpful to minimize the usage of “DON’T” and “STOP” and increase “GOOD” and “GREAT”. It would not be easy to ignore the resistance initially. However, the child learns that he/she would not get the attention through these behaviour.

5. Remain Calm:

It is easier said than done! Parenting can be a very exhausting journey. Especially with a child diagnosed with ASD which comes with its own challenges.

It very important to remember that children are continuously learning for parents. Therefore, if parents need to modify the child’s behavior, they should modify their actions too. If parents do not want the child to scream and shout, they should not to it also. The child looks up to the parents as role models.