We often heard that children with autism spectrum disorder is very difficult to handle and have a lot of behavioral issue, parents who have child with autism will have stressful day when comes to handling their child’s behavior at home or outside. The common behavior in autistic kids are crying loudly, shouting, not listening to instruction, aggressive to others or own self, throwing tantrum, behave inappropriately, self-stimming and throwing things.
What are the reason and function of the behavior? How to deal with it?
There is always a reason why autistic child having challenging behavior, it may looks like they are crying for no reason, hurting other with fun and throwing things as they like, but let’s think again, even normal people will have challenging behavior and there must be a reason why they behave like that, so do people with autism spectrum disorder. The following are some causes and how to reduce the behavior or how to deal with it.
What is ABC chart?
Parents can also learn and use ABC chart to keep track and record your child’s behavior. Through ABC chart, parents can observe and understand the pattern and function of your child’s behavior.
Antecedent refer to the event that happen before the behavior occur
Behavior refer to the action or the observed behavior of the child
Consequence refer to the event or response that happen after the behavior occur
Antecedent : Judy saw chocolate in supermarket, she wants to buy it but her mum don’t allow (tangible reinforcement)
Behavior : She cry and roll on the floor
Consequence : Mum buy for her to stop her crying
Antecedent : Mum is using phone and Eddie is ignored, he wants mum to talk to him (attention)
Behavior : He shout loudly while looking at mum
Consequence : Mum put down phone and scold him
Antecedent : Hannah is asked to do homework but she does not want to (escape/avoidance)
Behavior : She throw away the books
Consequence : She is asked to pick up and continue to do homework
Behavior occur because of few reasons, in Judy case, she wants tangible reinforcement so she try to cry and roll on floor, her mum buy for her because she wants to stop her from crying, but this make Judy learned that she can get something if she cry and roll on floor, hence the behavior will occur again because of the response given.
In Eddie case, he manages to get attention from mum when he shouts, so this behavior will tend to happen again if he wants attention from someone. While in Hannah case, she throw books away to try to escape from doing homework but she failed, hence her behavior of throwing books will decrease of the response given is consistent.
In conclusion, behavior will increase or decrease based on the response given (consequences) but not antecedent, for Judy case, we might be mistaken that chocolate is the one that make her cry and roll on floor, but actually the response that mum given is the one that make her do that again next time. The response that parents give on child’s behavior is very important, because it will increase desired behavior and decrease undesired behavior of a child.