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Creating Effective Behavior Plans for Kids on the Spectrum: Pointers for Parents

Inappropriate behavior is common among many children with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism, especially when comorbid conditions exist as well (e.g., ADHD, OCD, anxiety). Knowing how to create and utilize behavior plans improves the home environment on multiple levels. The behavior plan is a great management tool for kids engaging in unwanted behavior. It serves to teach and reinforce positive behaviors in the “special needs” youngster, and is a helpful way of documenting the success of the plan.

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Sarah said...

Awesome!! I will be bringing this to the IEP meeting in a few weeks to talk again about James Behavior Plan. Thanks for organizing it for me!!

Josephine said...

Hi, can anyone shed any light? We've always wondered if our 3 yr old is slightly on the spectrum. Went to gp recently but he thinks the stuff we're seeing is an anxious response to his asthma/allergies and because he's 3. He has severe separation anxiety for preschool. He's never coped well with being away from me, for a while even getting upset when I took a shower. I can't see how he's going to cope with all the change and noise at preschool. He's always been very routined, lining up toys, getting upset when people move them, has rules for games you have to follow. He used to get distressed if we took a certain route in the car, not angry, but distressed and same if we walked him in the sling, it had to be the exact route. This started at 9 months. There's loads of other stuff which would take too much time to outline but life has always been very intense and tough with him. He is very bright and seems to have a good sense of humour and imagination. Are we completely barking up the wrong tree? Help!

Proud parent said...

Well we are in the U.K. And I spent many years helping in various classes across the primary school (4-11) yrs, my son attends.I noticed my son was different when the teacher said wow you must have read lots with him ( at 4 yrs) old! As he can read so well! Yes indeed we did read to him every night since he was a year old ish, but neither of us were aware he could read himself ! In his very early stages, he walked early talked early and followed commands i.e. Please get your shoes, or coat etc... he knew all his shapes at 24 months, and at 3 could comfortably count up to 30+ and backward from 20, he wasn't obsessed with anything really but had a fantastic memory being able to know every figure he owned, for instance from Thomas the tank engine over 50 of them, he is an only child and I had no comparison so to speak, although I did start to notice he had this fab memory and spoke very well for his age, easily able to articulate himself and what he needed or wanted. To be honest I attributed his cleverness to us, his parents, as we always answered his questions no matter what as he had this thirst to know everything he could!
Nothing was repetitive as such,the same as any other child he likes his favourite books etc,, When he started school however I noticed the vast difference between his peers, he was overly eager to please and wanted more than anything to please the adults. He himself would help the other children with their work and took on a superiority believing he was better than his peers. Although this was the truth the academic sense, he likes to take charge of games changing rules of games to
Make them more exiting ( his words ) he had lots of friends and was popular being invited to parties regularly etc,, the end of yr 3 of primary (age 7) things had started to change he started to get bullied and struggled to understand why his friends attitude had changed towards him, socially he suffered awfully and the school only noticed it was becoming a problem at the end of yr 3 (8yrs) and then no bullying was admitted it was that my son was different exhibiting odd behaviour like opening doors for adults etc.. no joke, I have a letter stating this!!! I had been asking in the meanwhile since he was 5 for some kind of assessment as he was clearly clever, the school just didn't seem to be bothered that he was bored or that he didn't want to go to school. After a meltdown by myself at yet another meeting instigated by me again !! He was assessed by means
Of a WRIT- WRAT test ( wide range intelligence and wide range of Achievement test) and this came back on the 98th percentile making his intelligence in the top 2% in the country ! A huge deal meaning I wasn't a lunatic neurotic parent as I had been made to feel but one who knew what I knew and eventually was proven right. A big two fingered salute to the schoool! He also became a member of Mensa at 8yrs old, since then he had been diagnosed with high functioning autism, the school now have to step up and educate him with an educational plan just for him, And the bullying has mostly stopped he still prefers adult or older children's company but that's just him, We fought like mad for him to be understood, with or without a diagnosis, as parents it's what we do, keep fighting you know your child better than anyone, im pleased that he is now getting the support he is entitled too. He is now 9 let's see where this adventure takes us
Thanks for reading

Kelly said...

This sounds very much like my son. He was verbal around age 1 1/2 and then stopped. We started speech therapy at age 2 1/2 and quickly got back to verbalizing. He would do all those things...lining up his toys, obsession over certain ones and resistance to things out of routine. I love how you say life has always been intense or tough with him. This is exactly how we feel. Our son is now 8. The only diagnosis we've ever heard is sensory processing disorder and anxiety. All I can offer you is while life will always be more intense, it has become easier as it gets older. He has learned how to copy better and we have learned how to be very patient. I feel once I accepted that he is more intense and requires more time, I learned how to help him and provide support. Emotional support and emphasizing his God given gifts. He loves to draw and make books. We focus on the positive and that we'll always be there to support him.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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