Behavior is a form of communication. All behavior is communicating. Individuals with classic autism can have aggressive behavior? But, what exactly causes the behavior?
Sometimes behavioral responses are simply a reflex. Sometimes it is likely from a underlying biological process that results in behaviors that are out of the persons control.
Many behaviors are a response to a previous experience. They remember how they felt in a certain situation, therefore, they continue in that behavior. For example, if they were in a situation that left them with high anxiety, something that is not "normal" to their routine, they develop anxiety and maladaptive behaviors. The behavior is a result of their inner anxiety. Once that has taken over the individual with autism, it is hard to revert back to how there were without that anxiety and behavior. The individual learns to walk on eggshells and they are a bomb waiting to explode because they remember all too well the disruption in their routine or that situation that makes them feel that way so they live their life on edge, resulting in maladaptive behavior that is beyond their control.
If the individual is unable to communicate, it makes the possibility of the behavior being aggressive a likely possibility.
Research proves that an individual with autism shows aggressive behavior to their caregiver twenty percent more than to individuals they are not as comfortable with. Research also proves that if the child displayed aggressive behavior at a young age, it is likely to come back as the individual gets older.
This picture is from 2.5 years ago during one of Trenton's aggressive behavior moments. He intentionally ran through glass. I took a picture after the episode was over of the huge glass pieces. He has done this three times. I have no doubt that he was not in control of his body and this was done out of his control. Trenton has lots of moments of aggressive behavior from his past which makes sense that he is regressing back to aggressive behavior.
Trenton acts fine one second and the next second when you least expect it, he is engaging in aggressive, dangerous behavior. He can't be trusted. Sadly, for the past two years I was able to get to where I could trust him in a few situations. However, he has regressed and I can't now.
In a study of 1584 child with autism ages 2 to 17, shows some interesting information in this area.
This particular study shows that children who have had sleep challenges and severe sensory issues are much more likely to display aggressive behavior than children with autism without those challenges.
All of those studies makes perfect sense when it comes to Trenton.
So what is a parent to do?
Do the best you can to keep life strict and to a routine!!
Do your best to prevent over stimulation and anxiety.
People with autism often report that they find the world confusing and anxiety producing. Many of the successful supports for increasing appropriate behavior involve creating more predictability and safety.
From all the information I have read, studied, and the numerous parents I have spoke to, a lot of this information makes perfect sense.
There are key ages in an individual with autism where their bodies and brain waves are changing. Most of the time, it causes regression and aggressive behavior. Of course, puberty age is a huge one. However, another age where a lot of things happen in the autistic person body is around the age of 8-9. I often wonder if Trenton isn't starting his period early......