As a parent or guardian of a child with autism, you understand the many triumphs and challenges that can happen on a daily basis. Many parents struggle to bridge the communication gap between themselves and their children.
Giving your child the best support they need may take time, but that’s OK! With the help of their ABA therapists, teachers, and community, we can turn those challenges into wins.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA), also called behavioral engineering, is a psychological intervention that applies empirical approaches based upon the principles of respondent and operant conditioning to change behavior of social significance.
Keep reading to discover different ways to improve behavior in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This way, you can strengthen the communication and trust between you and your child.
Set Realistic Expectations
All children are different, and what may work for one may not work for others. With the help of your child’s teachers and therapists, you can understand your child’s strengths and areas of opportunity.
Setting realistic expectations for your child will allow you to communicate more clearly with them and give them the support they need.
When creating these expectations, you should remember to:
- Stay positive
- Consider their sensory needs
- Plan a reinforcement system
Instill New Self Calming Methods
Some children with autism have trouble communicating their emotions, anxiety, or needs, resulting in frustration. This can also happen if they’re feeling sensory overloaded.
You can help them feel better by introducing self-calming methods and activities. This can range from using a weighted blanket to introducing the benefits of art therapy.
You should also teach them different breathing and stretching techniques that they can use at school or in a public setting. However, you can also purchase fidget toys, noise-canceling headphones, and other devices that may calm them down.
Include Your Child in Decision-Making
Another great way to improve the behavior of your child with ASD is by including them in decision-making and offering them choices. This way, they can have something to look forward to and know what’s coming.
Some children with autism thrive off of consistent daily routines and would appreciate knowing when and why the schedule changes. Allowing them to communicate with you in your decision-making process will make them more comfortable voicing their needs and wants.
Reinforce Positive Behavior
It’s awesome to see your child use the skills or coping mechanisms they learned from their ABA therapy or at home. Acknowledge their positive behavior and reward them for doing a good job.
Ensure that you communicate your expectations and the rewards, such as more play time, a trip to the park, or a new toy. You can also include them in the decision-making for the award to motivate them to keep working hard on their skills.
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