One of the most difficult aspects of autism is the aggressive behavior that some children exhibit.
This can range from verbal outbursts to physical aggression. The good news is that there are strategies that can help lessen and even prevent this type of behavior.
In this article, we will discuss strategies that can help you deal with these aggressive behaviors and provide you with information on what you need to know in order to effectively deal with it.
But first let’s understand why some children with autism behave aggressively.
Why do autistic children behave aggressively?
There are many reasons why autistic children may behave aggressively. One reason could be that they are experiencing sensory overload. This means that they are bombarded with too much stimulation from their environment and it becomes overwhelming for them.
Another possibility is that they are trying to communicate their needs but are unable to do so effectively. This can lead to frustration and eventually to aggression.
Some other possible reasons for aggressive behaviors include:
- Struggles with language
- Feelings of anxiety
- Negative sensations from their environment
- They may not understand their surroundings
What aggressive behavior may look like?
So now that we understand why an autistic child may act aggressively, let’s discuss some of the common ways it will manifest. These aggressive behaviors can include:
- self injury
- injuring others
These behaviors can be directed at other people, animals, or objects.
Now that we understand how these behaviors manifest, let’s discuss ways that you can deal with them.
How to deal with aggressive behaviors in autistic children?
Here are some tips for dealing with autism-related aggression:
Try to identify the triggers
If you can identify what is causing the aggressive behavior, you may be able to avoid or minimize the trigger.
Create a calm environment
A calm environment will help reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to aggression.
Provide structure and routine
Structure and routine can help provide a sense of security for people with autism, which can help reduce aggression.
Use visual supports
Visual supports, such as pictures or schedules, can help people with autism understand what is expected of them and can help reduce frustration.
Communication can help reduce frustration and provide a way for people with autism to express their needs.
Giving people with autism choices can help reduce frustration and provide a sense of control.
Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement, such as praise or rewards, can help encourage desired behavior and reduce aggression.
If you’re dealing with autism-related aggression, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you understand and cope with this behavior.
With patience and understanding, you can help reduce aggression and improve the quality of life for everyone involved.
Notify your child of routine changes
If there’s going to be a change in your child’s routine, such as a visitor coming over or an outing, be sure to let them know well in advance. This will help them to prepare for the change and avoid any potential meltdowns.
Additionally, try to stick to a regular routine as much as possible. Having predictable daily activities can help to reduce stress and anxiety for your child.
Create a safe space for your child
Sometimes, children with autism may need a break from stimulation. Creating a calm and quiet space in your home where they can go to relax can be very helpful. This could be a corner of a room or even just a small chair that they can retreat to when they need a break.
Help your child develop good habits
One of the best ways to prevent autism aggressive behavior is to help your child develop good habits. This means teaching them how to effectively communicate with others, how to manage their emotions, and how to cope with stressful situations.
You can do this by modeling positive behavior yourself, providing support and understanding when they’re struggling, and encouraging them to express their feelings in healthy ways.
Developing good habits will not only help prevent autism aggressive behavior, but it will also lead to a happier and more fulfilling life for your child.
Encourage positive social interactions
Autistic children often have difficulty with social interactions. This can lead to frustration and ultimately, aggression. To prevent this, you need to encourage positive social interactions.
One way to do this is to set up playdates with other children who also have autism. This will allow your child to interact with others in a safe and controlled environment. You can also join an autism support group.
This will give you the opportunity to meet other parents of autistic children and learn from their experiences. There are also many online resources that can be helpful, such as blogs and forums.
Effective modifications to address aggressive behavior
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is considered the gold standard for treating children with autism to change their aggressive behaviors. It can be used to help children with autism learn new skills, reduce problem behaviors, and improve their quality of life.
There are many different types of medications that can be used to help with aggressive behavior. Some of these include:
- mood stabilizers
- anti-anxiety medications
Medications can be very helpful in reducing autism aggressive behavior. However, it is important to work with a qualified medical professional to find the right medication for your child.
Other Forms of Therapy
In addition to ABA therapy, there are many other types of behavioral therapies that are effective in reducing autism aggressive behavior. For example, if your child is having a hard time forming sentences a speech therapist can help them improve their communication skills. This will make your child less anxious and aggressive when they are trying to communicate.
Aggressive behavior in autistic children can be very challenging to deal with. However, there are many different strategies that can be used to help manage and reduce aggressive behavior. It is important to work with a professional to develop an individualized plan that will work best for your child.
Remember, every child is different and what works for one child may not work for another. Be patient and keep trying different strategies until you find something that works for your family.
At Golden Care Therapy our trained ABA therapists will work with your child to find the best approach for addressing theiragressive behaviors.