The Top 5 Parent Concerns for Children with Autism and What You Can Do

signs of autism in infants

You are not alone if you think your child has autism or if you have just been given a diagnosis.

signs of autism in infants

You’re probably concerned about your child’s health, their actions, and their development. At the same time, you want to do what is best for your kid.

We’ll share with you some useful strategies for assisting your child with common parenting issues such as tantrums, disobedience, or aggression, whether they’re related to behavioral difficulties or autism symptoms that are associated with developmental delays or other areas of functioning.

Challenging Behavior Management

Many parents of children with autism are unsure how to deal with their child’s challenging actions.

Many parents have a lot of conflicting ideas about what’s best for their kid and how to help them overcome these behaviors. They want to do what’s best for their kid, but they also desire to understand what their child require s and how to make them happy and at ease.

signs of autism in infants

We’ll look at some of the most typical parental behaviors and strategies for managing them.

Disruptive Behavior

Being disruptive to other people in their environment is one of the most common problems seen in youngsters with autism.

This implies that many youngsters with autism may have a detrimental influence on others around them.

This is not to blame the child or anyone else for this, and it’s vital to remember that not all kids with autism have uncontrollable behaviors; but, if your kid is being rowdy to you or others, you’ll want to figure out how best to deal with it.

When a youngster throws items at school, disrupts their teacher during class, or acts in an improper manner when their parent is on the phone or cooking dinner, for example, it’s an indication of disruptive behavior. Disruptive behavior might also be exhibited by having temper tantrums or meltdowns.

Elopement

Elopement is another prevalent challenging behavior exhibited by children with autism. This is when a kid runs away from their place of residence, which they are supposed to be in.

This usually happens when a youngster wants to get away from his family at the park or leaves school during class time.

Noncompliance

Noncompliance is another typical challenging behavior that parents of children with autism confront with their kids. Parents everywhere want their youngsters to pay attention to them and follow instructions, at least somewhat of the time.

Children with autism may experience more difficulties complying or doing what their parent asks them to do as opposed to children without the condition.

This is also not the case with all children on the autistic spectrum. Some children with ASD are excessively compliant, as opposed to being rude or difficult for no apparent reason (sometimes referred to as “milder forms of aggressive behavior”).

What to Do If Your Child Has a Challenging Behavior

If you have a kid with autism, you might be overwhelmed or stressed when he or she exhibits any sort of challenging behavior.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with a child’s challenging behaviors, there are a few things you can do to handle them.

Functions of Behavior

When trying to figure out what to do about your child’s challenging behavior, one of the first things to consider is why their conduct exists.

Behavior is defined as the actions of people. Behavior has four functions: it can be intentional or unintentional, purposeful or impulsive, helpful or harmful.

Most children’s behavior is caused by one of these four reasons.

There are other more formal ways to figure out the purpose of a behavior (which a trained expert, such as Behavior Innovations’ behavior analysts, can help you explore), but, as a parent, you may come up with your own ideas about the function of your child’s behavior in an informal way.

Consider your child’s specific behavior and consider when it occurred. Consider not only one time, but also how that behavior manifested itself on many different occasions.

Consider how the person’s behavior affected others. Consider what occurred after the individual’s conduct.

What exactly did you do? What did your kid do? What events occurred? Consider your child and what they might have been attempting to say even if they were not communicating perfectly.

Which of the four behavioral functions do you think might have motivated your child’s behavior?

The four behaviors’ purposes are:

  • Access
  • Did your kid want anything in particular, such as a toy or a favorite possession?
  • Escape
  • Did your child want to get out of doing something or avoid anything, such as not wanting to get in the vehicle when it was time to leave?
  • Attention
  • Is your kid trying to get your attention?
  • Automatic Reinforcement
  • Was his behavior caused by a sensory deficit, such as the sensation he gets from flapping his arms or picking at his skin?

Positive Reinforcement

Consider what you want your child to do instead of them engaging in the problematic behavior once you’ve figured out what it’s for.

To encourage your youngster to exhibit the more proper behavior more frequently, utilize positive reinforcement.

When you provide a child with something they enjoy when they execute a desired activity, the chance of that action recurring is increased..

You may use positive reinforcement in a number of ways. For example:

  • If you play with your child for 15 minutes when you are done talking on the phone if they didn’t cause a fuss and kept quiet while you talked, you may have more attention for them.
  • If your child is able to get in the car properly instead of throwing a fit when it’s time to leave, you may give him or her a unique prize (such as a sticker on a sticker chart or a preferred toy).

Concerns about Speaking and Communication

The most frequent worry for parents of a kid with autism is language or communication difficulties.

In reality, a research by the University of Utah found that 78.6 percent of parents they interviewed were concerned about their child’s speech and communication before receiving an ASD diagnosis (Richards et al., 2016).

Communication and speech difficulties will vary from one youngster to the next. All children with autism, however, struggle in this area in some manner or another.

Some children with ASD may be unable to talk at all, while others can speak but have difficulty communicating in other ways, such as having conversations or expressing their ideas and emotions properly. Some children with autism are able to speak at great length about the subjects that they are most interested in, often known as their special interests.

Parents of children with autism often have another major worry: echolalia, which is when a youngster repeats things he or she has heard. Parents may also observe that their kid has trouble utilizing nonverbal communication, such as comprehending body language.

What Should You Do If Your Child’s Speech or Communication Concerns Get Out of Hand?

The most effective technique for assisting your kid with communication and communication is to give them with practical communication training.

This is a strategy that not only helps your youngster learn effective communication skills, but it also has the bonus of decreasing challenging behaviors (Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008).

This is the greatest method to assist your child live a better quality of life, one that is more pleasurable, less stressful, and that helps them develop abilities that will benefit them throughout their lives.

When working on functional communication training at home with your child, choose the communication talents you want him to utilize and then praise and reward them.

To get more assistance with functional communication training, contact a professional service company.

Social Behaviors Issues

Many parents of children with autism are concerned about their child’s social skills or how they connect with others.

The behavior of your kid may change as a result of other people and their environments. As a parent, you may notice that your child behaves differently than other children (Guinchat, Chamak, Bonniau, et al., 2012).

You may notice that your child does not play with their sibling, does not look at other children, or even you as much as other kids do; they don’t make eye contact as frequently.

Many parents of children with autism report that their child does not participate in what is termed joint attention (Bolton, Golding, Emond, et al. 2012; Sivberg 2003).

When two people are focused on the same thing in order to interact with one another, they engage in joint attention.

  • In this example, a toddler directs his gaze to a puppy and perhaps even exclaims “Puppy!” in order for his parent to also look at and comment on the animal.
  • The toddler wants the parent to pay attention to what they’re looking at, and so does the parent. In this scenario, it’s the puppy that everyone is looking at.

Social skills and communication abilities are closely related since they both involve interacting with other individuals.

Parents of children with autism may notice that their kid has trouble forming friendships or that they have difficulties in social relationships and interactions with others.

If a kid with ADHD is left to his or her own devices for too long, it’s easy for caregivers to notice that he or she gets overwhelmed in a group setting and wants to be alone. There are several different types of social skills issues that an autistic youngster might encounter.

What to Do When Your Child Has Poor Social Skills

Some things that you can do as a parent of a child with autism to assist your youngster enhance their social abilities while also validating and supporting your child as an individual include:

  • Giving your kid some personal space and leisure (in a quantity that works for them)
  • Encouraging social interactions in a careful manner and assisting with the organization of social events that your child will be more likely to enjoy (for example, having a playdate that incorporates your child’s particular interest)
  • Providing cues for your youngster to assist them remember important social skills (such as thanking Grandma for the cookies)
  • Don’t push your child to be like “other kids.” If your youngster doesn’t want or need a lot of pals, they don’t need them.
  • Teaching your kid how to deal with strangers in public places, such as the grocery store or a restaurant (including the nonverbal communication that goes along with those skills).

A service provider can assist you in determining the greatest approach to help your youngster develop social competence.

You should talk to your child’s doctor if you have any questions.

It’s natural to be concerned about your child’s development and well-being, especially if you don’t know what to do about the issues you have. It’s critical that you talk with your child’s primary care physician about your concerns, if you haven’t already.

A child’s doctor will usually ask some screening questions at the child’s well-child visits to determine whether the youngster has or has not met any of the key developmental milestones, such as walking and saying their first words on schedule. Even if this is the case, your concerns may not be addressed by these queries.

Always keep in mind that you are accountable for your child’s health and development. You must be open with the doctor about anything you notice in their behaviors or how they develop from things you notice in their social interactions to how they communicate, as well as any sensory issues you believe may be happening for your youngster.

Seek Intervention

If you have concerns about your child’s behavior or development, consult professionals with experience in addressing these issues. You can work with a knowledgeable expert who will show you how to teach your kid new abilities that will assist them live a better quality of life.

Contact Behavioral Innovations if you’re a parent and want guidance on how to handle the issues you have with your child’s autism or wish your kid to get therapy.

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