Part of my life.
Part of Our Autisms life….
….a horrible, horrible part.
Challenging behaviour can be physical violence, but it generally covers all behaviour that have a negative impact on the individual or their family.
People don’t talk about it.
Not neccesarily because we are embarassed or ashamed, but because it is not socially acceptable amongst mainstream parents.
In the special needs community we talk about it all the time because we all understand.
We all go through it, in differing degrees.
Commonly it is physical violence, running away ‘bolting’, smearing, or self harm.
It isn’t always because of Autism however, our children can still push boundaries and be naughty like everyone elses!
The thing we need to learn is how to tell the difference.
To do that we need to understand why challenging behaviour happens.
We can’t always tell why it happens.
Sometimes my girl will be sat next to me calm and quiet, then she will suddenly turn and bite me.
I can only guess and analyse things that have happened during the day.
Is she in pain? Is she tired? Is she experiencing sensory overload? Has she remembered something unpleasant?
Sometimes we have no idea.
Othertimes it is clearly obvious, in a supermarket, or in public toilets when the hand dryer comes on, for example due to overload.
Essentially the challenging behaviours are the childs attempt at communication.
They are trying to gain sensory stimulation, trying to avoid or escape from a situation.
They are trying to tell you that the situation they are in is too much for them, or they are frustrated as they cannot communicate their needs to you effectively.
But every child with Autism is different.
There are so many differences in how Autism is portrayed that we can never second guess the reasons for the behaviour.
We can learn from our children. We can start to recognise the patterns and triggers for the behaviour.
We can begin to prevent it happening….
….just when you think you have understood it, something else becomes a trigger and you have to start the analysis all over again.
Caring for a person with Autism requires alot of detective work, alot of digging around, constant observations, a thick skin, and patience.
Alot of patience.