Sunday, January 15, 2017

Behavior on the spectrum-High Functioning

Parenting is a whole different ballgame when you are raising kids on the spectrum, mild to severe. The typical parenting "rules" don't exist in an autism house which his why autism parents are the most judged people.

For example, behavior problems is one of the areas of autism. Most often people think that a person/child with autism that is misbehaving is doing it just simply because they want to or cause they can get away with it. WRONG!

Maladaptive behavior or misbehavior is done in order to simply survive in our scary world. Our world for any person on the spectrum can be confusing and difficult. Things come at them differently. They hear things, see things much differently than we do. They don't interpret language like we do or it takes them much longer to process it.

High functioning kids often get overlooked which can lead to depression as they get older or other issues.  Life is hard for them so they react to it by misbehaving. It is hard for them to behave properly when all of a sudden their schedule has changed because they depend on the consistency in their schedule. They may display maladaptive behavior because they are stressed from school because they can't make friends.

Often these behaviors are displayed because they don't understand what is being asked from them because they depend a lot on being within inches from a person face in order to be able to understand what is being said to them. When they are sitting in a class the teacher can't always be right there to explain things much slower and much more precise than the other students require.

Kids on the spectrum interpret language different than typical people which plays a huge role in their behavior. Often times they are asked to do something but the person used the word "to" and in their mind they are thinking of the number 2 and they are stuck on trying to figure it out and they never get to what they were told to do because they can't get their mind off of the "to"....and it escalates from there because the person who asked them to do something is now getting mad and reprimanding the child with autism for not doing what they were told but in their mind they are still trying to understand what was being asked while using a word "to" "two".....does that make sense? That is just one scenario but I think you can get what I am trying to say.

Below are a few article to explain a little on high functioning autism.

Andrew is changing all the time. On some days he can handle things a little better than other days. Maladaptive behaviors are coming out more and more all the time and I am confident that it is the stress of school. He tells me often that everyone his age has friends except him....and it breaks my heart to hear him say this. When Andrew is uncomfortable he closes the world around him down and he keeps to himself. He shuts everything else out which is why he will appear to be quieter around others and most of the time he won't talk much. He is simply trying to shut the world around him down. When he gets home in the environment that he is most loved in and is comfortable in, his body releases what he has been overstimulated from earlier. Again, this is VERY common among kids with autism.  We as typical people do this all the time. You may get home from work and release from your day by sitting on the couch and relaxing....or reading...or having a cup of coffee...smoke....whatever you do to release and feel better. Kids with autism do the exact same thing, it is just they do it in a much different way because of their behavior challenges.

  At home we are doing a sticker chart and it helps him to remember to make good choices. Constant praise is crucial for kids on the spectrum. They really do respond to good praises and it helps to prevent maladaptive behaviors! Andrew loves being praised and getting stickers for good choices:) Doing what you need to do to prevent the misbehavior is what we need to do. Once the maladaptive behavior happens, it can be difficult to get the good behavior back in the same day.

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