High-Functioning Autism and Behavior Problems at School

“I have a 6 year old boy who has yet to be diagnosed but, it is looking as if he has high functioning autism. He is having major behavior problems at school including hitting other classmates and staff. Although there are some behavior problems at home as well, the main problem is when he is in a group situation at school. I need assistance to resolve this as quickly as possible or they have threatened to expel my son.”

First of all, you should have your son tested by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (ask for a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation) to determine if he, in fact, has high functioning autism, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, some combination thereof – or something else entirely. You're shooting in the dark for a resolution without a confirmed diagnosis.

Since this issue is rather emergent, I strongly suggest requesting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). If the school is sending home complaints about your son's behavior -- and expecting you to do something about it -- put the ball back in their court by requesting an FBA. This will force the school to really think about your son's behavior rather than simply reacting to it. 

An FBA examines what comes before problematic behavior, what the consequences are for it, what possible function the behavior could serve, and what sorts of things could be setting your son off. If a “special needs” boy or girl finds classwork too hard or a classroom too oppressive, for example, getting sent to the hallway or the principal or home could become a reward, not an effect discipline.

Conducting an FBA – and writing a behavior plan based on it – is probably the best way to head off discipline problems, and it can be a precursor to establishing an IEP. If teachers and other staff refuse to go along with it, you may need to do a little behavior analysis on them.

More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

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