Archive | Behavior Issues

12 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Swimming Pools, Part 2

In part 1 of our discussions about swimming pools, we looked at one example of water safety rules a family implements every time their youngster with autism goes swimming. Safety is, of course, the first consideration when it comes to our friends with autism and water. In part 2 of this discussion, we will take […]

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11 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Swimming Pools, part 1

Just as with more typical kids, some youngsters with autism love the water. Let’s take a look at some creative ideas and some serious factors related to autism and water. First and foremost, we must consider water safety. Listen Now:


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09 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Summer Isn’t Over

During the first week of August, it seems that the first day of school is the focal point of conversations and activities for nearly everyone in my corner of the world. But many of my friends with autism live in the present moment, so they are not at all interested in the future. And those […]

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08 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

No Single Strategy

Autism spectrum disorder is a “range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior” (Autism Fact Sheet, 2009).The key words here are “range” and “complex.” Because each person is such a mixed bag of strengths and deficits, no single strategy is effective across the board. […]

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07 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Holding a Grudge

Everyone encounters injustices in life, but sometimes it seems as if autism is a magnet for difficulties and conflict with agencies, teachers, insurance companies, doctors, schools, committees, and, sometimes, even society in general. What is the best response when we encounter criticism? Listen Now:


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05 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Come Join Us

For a variety of reasons, children with autism are often reluctant to participate in group activities, and may resist joining “circle time” in an early childhood classroom, a play group, Sunday School class, or other setting. Short of picking them up and physically moving them to the circle, how can we encourage a youngster to […]

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04 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Constant Nagging

Although we may have the best intentions, we can certainly fall into the trap of constantly nagging our family members or students with autism. It can be helpful to take an inventory of the words we speak every day and to move toward gentle nudging rather than constant nagging. Listen Now:


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03 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Outside Adventures

Families, teachers, and others who care about the well-being of individuals with autism frequently ask for ideas to help prevent isolation. Challenges like loud outbursts, aggressive behaviors, repetitive mannerisms, and meltdowns can make folks hesitate to get out in public. Sometimes it is just easier to just stay at home to keep the peace. The […]

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29 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Pack a Bag

Before heading out for a spring break trip or a weekend at Grandma’s house, take a look at some of these ideas for personalized travel bags. These tried-and-true ideas have helped decrease travel anxiety for individuals with autism and their families, so you might want to give them a try. Listen Now:


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28 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Obsessing About Obsessions

Flapping hands. Rocking. Ehoing phrases or words. Repeating sequences of numbers or letters. Humming. Murmuring. Spinning objects. Playing with threads or strings. Tapping or slapping objects. Chewing on hair or fingernails. Talking about one person or topic repetitively. Insisting on the same food or clothing or daily routine. These are among the long list of […]

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27 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Touching Strangers

For whatever reason, many of my friends with autism impulsively touch other people, including strangers. For example, the dad of a teenager with autism was horrified recently when his son reached out to straighten the bottom of the jacket of a stranger in the grocery store. When the gentleman felt someone’s hand in an inappropriate […]

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21 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Constant Monitoring

“It seems like we are never able to relax,” commented the parents of a fourteen-year-old with autism. “We need to constantly keep watch our son to prevent him from hurting himself or from breaking or tearing up items around the house. He pulls clothes from closets, items from drawers, food from cabinets, and books from […]

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20 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Unwilling or Unable?

“My daughter rarely follow directions,” commented the dad of a pre-teen diagnosed with autism. “She doesn’t have functional speech, but she is able to communicate her needs and seems to understand much of what we say to her. We don’t know if she is unwilling to follow directions or if she is unable to do […]

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13 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Say What you Mean

“Our son seems to always do the opposite of what we ask him to do,” said parents of an 11-year-old diagnosed with autism. “This is becoming quite a problem at home and at school. Last week, both of us told him very clearly not to go out the door, and out he went, right into […]

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12 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments


How do we respond when someone insults a family member or friend with autism? What can we say when an acquaintance or a stranger criticizes our parenting or teaching after observing a behavior outburst? What recourse do we have when we realize the public or the press has spoken about autism in negative or insulting […]

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08 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Behavior Categories

Parents of a pre-teen diagnosed with autism realized the scope of behavior issues they are facing. They stated they wanted to avoid constant nagging, and they didn’t want their lives to be ruled by multiple, complex behavior management plans. The parents were looking for ways to prioritize behaviors and to decide which behaviors to tackle […]

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07 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Positive Progress

“Sometimes it is difficult to see that we are making any progress with some very difficult behaviors,” commented a therapist working with several individuals with autism. “I wonder if I need to approach the situation differently.” Other teachers and family members have expressed similar frustration, especially when working to decrease very disruptive or inappropriate behaviors. […]

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05 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Does It Really Matter?

A teen who said, “A psychiatrist told my parents that I have Asperger’s syndrome,” wrote that he wishes other people would be more tolerant and understanding of some of his “odd” behaviors. He wrote that some of his family members get upset when he rocks or moves his hands. “I wish they could understand that […]

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03 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Noisy Fireworks

Fireworks are a fun part of many summer celebrations – ball games, outdoor concerts, amusement parks, and other big events. But many individuals with autism react to random, loud noises by screaming, scratching, throwing objects, or running away. How can we help our friends enjoy the colorful visual patterns and brilliant bursts of light in […]

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28 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Smooth Transitions

“My daughter has outgrown her favorite childhood toy, and the stuffed puppy is simply worn to shreds,” commented a parent of a 4th grader diagnosed with autism. “I realize that she is dependent upon her puppy to help her stay grounded during the day and to reduce the trauma of transition, but her favorite stuffed […]

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