Find sensory tools that can comfort a child at times of stress. These may include squeezy toys, weighted blankets, a calming video or book, a swing set, or even a pet. If a meltdown occurs, allow your child the time and space to calm themselves down and learn to self-regulate.
At times, that helps them manage their symptoms. And sometimes children seem to age out of some autism signs. Interestingly, researchers say that around 30% of children with autism have less-severe symptoms at the age of 6 years than they did at the age of 3 years.
Reward good behavior.
Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children with ASD, so make an effort to “catch them doing something good.” Praise them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill, being very specific about what behavior they're being praised for.
Science fiction and fantasy are often of great interest to autistic people. Depending on their interest levels and abilities, people on the spectrum may learn every detail of a particular "universe," write their own stories, watch and rewatch movies, read comics, attend conventions, or even make their own costumes.
Yelling at children with autism can cause depression and negatively impact the emotional wellbeing of the child. Depression is associated with several negative outcomes, including functional impairments beyond those associated with autism itself and significant burden on the family system (Pezzimenti & et al., 2019).
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, are at increased risk for engaging in problem behavior such as self-injury, aggression, and property destruction. When these behaviors are intense and frequent, they can significantly impair a child's functioning.
In children and teenagers with high-functioning autism, this can present as a limited social circle, difficulty completing group work, or problems sharing toys and materials. Many people with ASD have sensory difficulties. Certain tastes, noises, smells, or feelings can be intolerable.
Autism characteristics can change significantly from ages 3 to 11.
While autism does not necessarily get worse with age, it is important to note that symptoms can vary over the course of a person's life. In fact, research has shown that autism symptoms tend to peak around the ages of 2-3 years old.
In severe cases, an autistic child may never learn to speak or make eye contact. But many children with autism and other autism spectrum disorders are able to live relatively normal lives.
Although your son's reaction sounds more severe than most, many people with autism struggle with a range of fears, phobias and worries. These can range from a debilitating fear of, say, spiders or the dark to chronic anxiety about making mistakes or being late.
Among those with autism, common triggers include disturbing breaks in routine, lack of sleep, jarring “sensory stimuli” (noises, lights, or smells) or even undiagnosed mental health problems. Clearly, it's important to look beyond the behavior itself to identify the underlying cause.
Children on the severe autism spectrum usually face significant challenges with communication and social skills. They are also the most likely to remain non-verbal or unable to communicate effectively and may therefore require augmentative and alternative means of communication.
Level 3 is the most severe level of autism. People with level 3 autism have limited ability to speak clearly. Difficulty with both verbal and nonverbal communication makes it challenging to interact with others. This level of autism requires a higher level of support throughout life.
People with autism may be prone to unusual behaviors. Some children are inattentive, distracted, or even throw loud long-lasting tantrums or meltdowns.
Autistic children love their parents
You may have to learn to see how your child expresses affection and not take it personally if your child doesn't show affection in the way that typical children do.
Many autistic people experience hypersensitivity to bright lights or certain light wavelengths (e.g., LED or fluorescent lights). Certain sounds, smells, textures and tastes can also be overwhelming. This can result in sensory avoidance – trying to get away from stimuli that most people can easily tune out.
Communication challenges. Verbal communication is a challenge for some children with ASD. For parents of such children, communication is a problem that compounds the stress & anxiety of parents. Parents face the challenge that their child is unable to communicate their needs and wants.
Emotional development: autistic children and teenagers
For example, your autistic child might feel all negative or unpleasant emotions as anger. Or they might not recognise when they're excited. Or they might label all emotions that are hard to describe as 'being bored'.