Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Autism Behavior: Scheduling

I was talking with a friend the other day. She has a child with Autism too, a younger child. She was frustrated because the child was having so many tantrums. He was losing it for what seemed like every day things.

After a few minutes I remembered things from when my daughters were much younger. With the magical power of hindsight I understand so much more now. At least on some days.

Anyway what I remember looking back it that my child tantrumed when there seemed to be no real reason to be upset. At some point I came to realize that those typical life events, like brushing your teeth, felt dangerous to the girls.

It was like they were being physically slammed by life events. For what ever reason, probably effects of the Autism, they could not anticipate brushing their teeth or hair every morning.

In a nutshell, my daughters with Autism could not feel the rythym of life. So having to eat breakfast or put on shoes stimulated their fear response. The solution on alot of days was simple.

We had a visual schedule. One that the girls could physically interact with. That way in addition to being able to see what was supposed to happen next. They could feel finishing that small section of the schedule in their muscles and bones.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Does your child with Autism have unreasonable tantrums? The angry, protecting myself tantrums? Let me know what you think.

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