Behavioral and emotional disturbances in high-functioning and low-functioning autism are par for the course. Many children with autism have a set level of tolerance for tasks, sensory input and pain, and outside each child’s norm it becomes all-consuming such that the children are unable to withstand it. They act out physically and verbally, no matter where they happen to be.
There are many ways parents can choose to address the behavioral and emotional disturbances their children create. It has to be assessed as thoroughly as possible, since there are always underlying factors for which children with autism might act up and act out. Parents who really want to help their children must look at the precipitating factors prior to assuming the worst in their children.
Of course, there are times when a child with autism will have no reason for their behavior. A recent article revealed that a parent chose to have an unusual surgery performed on their child because he screamed at the top of his lungs all day, every day. Not once did someone stop to ask if the reason why he did it was that he enjoyed the sound of his own voice. Rather the parents elected to have the surgery to silence him because it was getting on their nerves and the nerves of everyone within a hundred feet of their son. Although that certainly is a very rough behavior to withstand as a parent or onlooker, now the boy will never actually speak because no one gave him the chance to.
It’s the same with antipsychotic medications prescribed to children with autism; it is a chemical restraint for their behavioral and emotional disturbances in the classroom, and their potential for aggression. No one wants to effectively deal with the causes of the behavior or emotional outburst; rather it’s just easier on everyone to drug the child and walk away. How does that really help him or her learn?
There are thousands of therapeutic toys and items on the market parents can try. They can also change a child’s diet, the child’s activity schedule and maybe even consider psychotherapy to help give their children with autism some tools to help themselves cope. Yes, it’s harder than surgery or shoving a pill down the kids’ throats, but parenting isn’t meant to be easy, and neither is teaching. Parents and teachers should work together to do everything and try everything possible before more extreme measures are taken to help with behavioral and emotional disturbances.