Be Flexible

Be Flexible

Although much of our time in behavior management is centered on the child, it’s worth a reminder that behavior is most often a response to experiences that come from outside the child. Sometimes we need to evaluate whether our expectations are reasonable and whether the person feels interested and fulfilled in their daily activities.

We might need to be willing to “bend the rules” or social expectations, to allow a child to accommodate in the way they need. Perhaps they need to be given gum to prevent chewing clothing – what if that normally isn’t allowed? Do we bend the rule or leave the child in the less desirable behavior?

Do Something Else

What if you’re stuck? If the strategy you are attempting isn’t working – try to step back and approach it from another angle!

You might:

  • Confide in your child, telling him or her how you feel about the situation.
  • Change the question. Is there any other way to understand this behavior? Is it necessarily negative?
  • Talk with people who care. Discuss the behavior from different perspectives. Try to ask different questions.
  • Consult with someone new. Maybe a fresh perspective will help.
  • Capture the student on video. Perhaps you can observe a detail that sheds light on the situation.
  • Quietly observe for a few days instead of intervening.
  • Journal or write about the concern to see if an answer emerges – or ask the child to write about it.

Helpful Tips

  • Approaching intervention from a positive place helps you to build on the strengths of the person with ASD.
  • Throughout your child’s life you will have to re-evaluate, modify and change strategies. This is common among many parents!
  • Your child will improve relatively quickly on some behaviors, and may change other behaviors much more gradually. There will likely be surprises!