The first stages of dealing with the behavior

When a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or social communication disorder, the mother begins to notice clear symptoms on the child such as  isolation and repetitive stereotypical behaviors, or that he performs unwanted behaviors to move away from the environment, satisfy his sensory needs, or attract the attention of his family members. 

Here comes our role as parents and specialists to know the basic stages of early intervention in order to intervene intensively and to know the priorities of this child, as these priorities differ from one child to another.

 There are basics to work on:

First: Repetitive stereotyped behaviors during the day:

When the child starts spinning around himself, flapping, walking on tiptoe, making sounds repeatedly during the day, the reason may be a desire to get away from others and the environment in which he lives… Here immediately, you must intervene and communicate with the child, and it may be due to sensory problems, and here we have to intervene with Occupational therapist to learn how to deal with sensory problems 

We also have to increase communication with the child. Communication is not by forcing him to do many tasks during the day, or scolding him, or yelling at him and preventing him from doing this and that.

Because the child originally has a problem with communication and he does not know how to attract the attention of others, and he will seek to attract attention, even if negatively, through these behaviors.

For example, when he flaps and the mother says, “Stop, this is wrong.” The child becomes aware that whenever his mother and father want him, he must flail in order to catch their attention. Behavioral treatment is never in this way, but it is by communicating with the child more and occupying his day more.

Communicating with the child is by providing him with things he likes. Logically, the child should be helped by sharing the things he likes and playing with him through them in order to communicate. If the child loves fruits, we play with him through them, he likes animals or water games, we bring them and play with him in them and communicate with him through them.

This communication will help the child and start building visual communication skills and feeling comfortable with this environment around him. The child may also love sensory games. It is possible that there are things that are distinguished by texture, things that make sounds. It is also possible to take him to learn about certain games from toy stores, and his interests can be seen in public parks.

Some children love movement, so we communicate with them through kinetic games, through games that are popular with the child, for example, jumping with him. You must discover what the child likes to develop communication skills.

Second: How to guide the child during his day:

There is no such thing as giving a child a hundred commands or giving him paper and pen what he will do during the day. We are not dealing with a robot, but rather we want to help this child to adapt to the place in which he lives so that he can communicate with all of us.

This child has a problem and we want to help him. For example, if we have a toothache, we will go to the doctor to help us, and he will not reprimand us for this pain. Likewise, for the child, we help him to understand his environment. The child does not know how to organize his affairs, he does not have the ability to anticipate what will happen during the day, he does not have the ability to imagine the events and tasks that he must do, and so on, and he also has a problem in learning on his own, like other children, because he has a problem with the skill of imitation.

Other children are able to imitate, communicate visually, recognize and name objects and learn on their own. This child has difficulty with all these skills, which are basic skills, and it is our duty to train him in them so that he can learn them, do them on his own, and learn them from the environment.

It is my role here to help this child, not to punish him. I have to help him, organize his day for him, support him with pictures and visual schedules, for example, for the morning routine, the evening routine, the sleeping routine, or the supermarket. To understand what is expected of him as well as verbal directions 

But what are we going to do to teach the child how to deal with tantrums or avoid the occurrence of these tantrums repeatedly??

Children on the autism spectrum have a very high level of anxiety and fear, and in order for the child to relax and reduce his stress level, we must help him know what he should do.

For example, I went to the hospital and sat and did not know what the doctor would tell me, I do not know which doctor to go to, I do not know what procedures I would have anxiety, while if I had prior knowledge and knew which hospital I would go to, and which doctor I would go to, it would reduce I have a level of anxiety and I will try to handle the situation properly.

The same thing happens with this child. It must be supported by pictures during the day. Simple strategies, for example, pictures of a sequence of certain events. I wake up in the morning, morning routine, going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, breakfast, school. Pictures can be put in order and shown to the child to expect what he should do. These images will be at the beginning of the intervention only to ease the outbursts of anger and help the child and the mother, and with time they will be dispensed with and the child will adapt on his own during the day.

Third, the child’s response:

The child in the first stage may not respond, for example, the mother talks to him and he does not answer, she approaches him, he does not communicate with her, he obeys instructions, he does not process the information.

So we talked about communication through play so that the child begins to respond. With regard to the subject of instructions, the child does not respond in the first stage, it is not a refusal, rather the child does not know how to respond, he may not distinguish the things around him, this is a door, this is a car, open, bring, take.

Most children on the autism spectrum have a delay in perception and acquisition of skills, so the child is unable to absorb these matters and does not know how to respond to them.

Our duty is to help them understand this environment around them; Therefore, when giving orders to a child, we must give them to him in a beautiful way with a calm, not loud voice. I give them to him while I hold his hand and help him, for example, I ask him to open the door, I hold his hand and help him open the door. Gradually reduce assistance.

Scientific logic says that to build these skills in the child, we must support him, and in order for the child’s positive behavior to continue in his daily life, we are not at war with the child, but rather we are here to help him.

Fourth, social integration:

Important note: We do not integrate the child with a group of children and force him to sit and play with them. We do not force him to do things he does not know why we are doing. We let him gradually integrate with the children. We bring the children of his relatives or if he has brothers, we integrate him with them through lovely activities or at the dining table and teach them.

In the first stage, we let the child integrate through games such as cubes if he loves them, for example. Let him integrate with the children with things he prefers until he begins to accept the children with him. Autism needs a very high level of education, and this is a speech addressed to mothers. Educate yourselves and know the reasons for the behaviors that appear during the day.

There is a second part of the article that I advise you to read 

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