This post is part of a special series on challenging behaviours Persons with Autism (PWAs) and their caregivers may experience. These behaviours can interfere with their daily living and impact their quality of life.
What are some challenging behaviours in PWAs?
– Danger to self/others: Includes pinching, scratching, hitting and biting.
– Property destruction: For example breaking furniture or banging doors or windows.
– Socially-inappropriate: Shouting or screaming, severe meltdowns or taking clothes off.
These challenging behaviours are usually high in intensity, frequency and duration and can be frustrating for family members and caregivers.
What causes these behaviours?
PWAs experience the world differently to others. Some aren’t able to communicate their needs as easily as neurotypical children which can result in anxiety and frustration, and can lead to challenging behaviours. Other factors could be sensory overload, exhaustion or lack of sleep, pain or illness, or changes to routine or new environments.
Trying to understand the cause can help us put in place strategies that will help the person overcome challenging behaviours that could be impacting negatively on themselves and the people or environment around them.
Exercise: Write down one or more challenging behaviours you see in your child.
In our next two posts, we will delve into understanding the functions of behaviour and strategies to prevent and manage challenging behaviours at home. Stay tuned.