Autistic children behavior is affected by different kinds of problems since their early childhood. There are four major behavior problems: excessive tantrum, self-stimulation, attention deficiency, and motivational problem. These are the root causes of all behavioral developmental disorders of the autistic children. Most of these problems become prominent in a child in the age between 3-6 years.
Some of those problems may also exist in the non-autistic children, but the degree of these problems is higher in the children with autism. Early detection of the autistic children behavioral problems and timely intervention can bring speedy development in the children.
The parents need to identify those behavior problems of their children and take appropriate measures accordingly to eliminate those for better learning of their children.
Since my autism angel is now 21 years of old, I have observed all these kinds of behavioral problems in him since his early childhood.
In this article, I would like to discuss those major behavioral problems in light of my experience of long living with autism.
Excessive tantrum is the major autistic children behavior problem. Tantrum is an uncontrollable outburst of anger and frustration associated with the behavior of a child. A tantrum may be minor in nature when the features are mild such as stubbornness, crying, defiance, anger ranting etc. The tantrum is considered major when it has got following features:
Hitting or injuring himself/herself or other children or the adults
Scratching himself/herself or other children or the adults
Biting himself/herself or other children or the adults
Throwing himself/herself on the floor
Banging head against the wall
Breaking glass etc.
It is very difficult to control the major tantrums of the autistic children when they are at the pick of their excitement. Sometimes it is seen that if somebody is going to stop or resist them, they become more violent.
Self-stimulation is another kind of major autistic children behavior problem. It is a repetitive or stereotyped movement of his body or any other objects. Self-stimulation may have the features like movement, rocking, spinning, twirling, arms flapping, tapping, gazing, eye rolling, squinting etc. This is another kind of learning impediment of the autistic children.
Researchers suggested that the malfunction of the brain of the autistic children bring such types of stimulation in their nervous system and the children feel pleasure by showing stimulation.
For example, we are trying to teach something to an autistic child and he is showing his stimulation like rocking. In that case, the baby will be concentrated on the rocking leaving the learning as he is getting more pleasure there.
My son had a habit of spinning and eye rolling in his early childhood. Even he used to spin over the dining table without falling down. However, those habits have gone automatically in course of time. Now, other types of self-stimulation have been developed during his adolescence.
Generally, exercises, games, and swimming can reduce self-stimulation.
The third autistic children behavior problem is attention deficiency problem. Due to attention deficiency, a person faces problems of paying attention, difficulty in controlling odd behavior and performing an excessive activity which is not appropriate for the person of that age. The autistic children generally make their own world and most of the times they roam around that world. So it is very difficult to draw their attention.
Sometimes, the attention deficiency occurs along with hyperactivity and is termed as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Attention deficiency causes inattentiveness and when it is added with hyperactivity it becomes inappropriately restless, impulsive and over-reactive.
Generally, the autistic children, associated with ADHD become disorganize, forgetful, and procrastinate. My autism angel was diagnosed as ASD child along with ADHD. He has following behavioral problems in his childhood:
He was unable to sit in a place for more than few seconds.
He used to run frequently to and fro being attention distracted.
He was always restless and overactive.
He would not listen to anything when talking to him.
The motivational problem of the autistic children behavior problem prevails in such a manner that he does not like to be motivated to learn anything or performing any task. Generally, a child is driven by his own will and he does whatever he feels like to do. The schooling of the autistic children become very difficult task unless they are motivated by the teachers.
The autistic children do not understand or do not like to understand anything beyond their world. So, most of the times, it becomes very difficult to motivate them for any types of learning. The motivation of the autistic children is essential for their smooth learning but it is a difficult task.
An effort may be taken to motivate the autistic children for any learning initially through some kinds of rewards. But proper care to be taken so that they do not become dependent on the rewards for every learning.
All these autistic children behavior problems are inter-related and those have a serious impact on their learning. If these disorders persist it can create an adverse effect on their learning throughout their life. So elimination of these behavior problems is essential.
The parents of the children aged 3-4 years need to understand these major behavioral problems and should try to match with their children. Then they should seek a professional diagnosis if they feel strongly that their child has grown autism.
They should understand the mentality of their autistic children and act according to the guidelines of the professionals. This will help them to teach their children and bring some significant development in their behavior and pave the way to the normal stream of life.
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