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Achieving Self Control With Autism
Achieving Self-control with Autism
Self-discipline is a skill that most autistic children have trouble acquiring. This includes not only inappropriate outbursts, but also
habits that can be potentially dangerous, such as being aggressive towards others or causing harm to themselves, such as banging
their heads off walls. To prevent these and other behaviors, one technique parents and educators can use to control autistic
tendencies is self-management. Giving the child power over him- or herself is often the key to keeping control over violent
situations and may be a positive step towards learning other behaviors as well.
Self-management works because the child is no longer fully controlled by others. By teaching self-management during specific
times of day, such as while the child is at school or therapy, the child will be more likely to continue to practicing self-control
during all times of the day. The key is to implement a program in which he or she monitors his or her own behavior and activities.
Begin with short amounts of time, and continue to monitor the child from a more passive standpoint. Every ten to fifteen minutes
remind the child that he or she is in control and needs to monitor and be aware of good and bad behavior.
This monitoring is a form of self-evaluation. When a child is in control, he or she may think more closely about behavior in the past
and present. Set clear goals with the child-for example, an afternoon with no aggression towards others or a day at school with no
self-injury. Every fifteen minutes ask the child how he or she is doing. Is the goal being met? If the answer is no, perhaps the child
is not ready for self-management, or perhaps the goals are too unattainable. You want to make sure that the goals are easy to
reach at first, and then move the chil