AUTISM TREATMENT CENTER OF AMERICA®

Tantrums, Take Two

Tantrums, Take Two

Last week I wrote:

“My role is not to stop my child from tantruming, it is to show them that it is not an effective way of communicating

Were you able to really think this way when your children cried and tantrumed last week? I would love to hear about your experiences, as would all the other parents who read these blogs.

Today I would like to write about one action to take while you hold this attitude deep in your heart.

It is to:

Ask your child to use their sounds, words, or gestures to let you know what they want.

While working with autistic children I have found it very effective to literally ask them to communicate with me in a different way when they are crying , screaming or tantruming. I know that it sounds simple- but often times the most effective thing you can do IS the simplest thing.

Some of you may be saying to yourself- I’ve tried that – it does not work- but ask yourself this – have you really asked coming from a deep attitude of not trying to stop them from tantruming, from the loving calm focus of helping them find another way to communicate?

You might say something like this to your child:

“Honey – I don’t understand what you want when you cry, take a deep breath( pause for them to do this) – then after a long pause – ask them to take another breath – then if your child is verbal ask them to use their words. Really encourage them to do this – ask them a few times. If your child has yet to form words – ask them to use their sounds – any sound. Or ask them to take your hand and show you want they want physically. Talk to them in full sentences really believing that no matter what level of language they have, they will understand you.

If they do as you are asking the next step is to move really quickly to respond to their language or gesture, showing them that this is the most effective way to communicate.

Much love to you

Kate

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