Managing Behaviors for Kids Who Might Be on the Spectrum

by | Last updated Jan 25, 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Does your child get easily frustrated and lose their temper a lot?

Every child will be tough to parent in some moments. For some families, though, it feels like behavior challenges rule your life. Children who are easily frustrated and lose their temper a lot are challenging to parent. 

You might catch yourself saying, “It shouldn’t have to be this hard. Why does everything have to be a battle?” 

Two Strategies to Try Today

1. Be a Basket Case, aka, How to Pick Your Battles

We heartily recommend Ross Greene’s book, The Explosive Child. He teaches you how to be a “basket case,” which means that you put all of your priorities into three baskets.

  • Basket A is a small basket for non-negotiables.
  • Basket B is for issues that are important but for which you would be willing to negotiate with your child. In this case, you would be modeling, for your child, a rational and calm decision-making approach that results in a win-win solution.
  • Basket C is the ‘forget-about-it’ basket.

2. Practice Downshifting

Downshifting is when you show your kid how to calm down and think rationally about what to do next. Kids need to see this process in action! 

For young kids, a great children’s book that demonstrates the power of downshifting is offered in Llama Llama, Mad at Mama. 

The mother in the story shows how a parent can meet a child’s needs while also holding the child accountable for improved behavior.

The little llama is out shopping, quite unwillingly, with his mother at the ‘shoparama.’ The little llama proceeds to throw a fit, hurling all of the groceries around the store and making a huge mess. The mother llama takes the time to understand how her little llama feels. She shows empathy and then expects the child to clean up his mess and to help her finish the shopping. 

This story is an excellent example of using supportive strategies to increase your child’s flexibility and behavioral compliance.

Read more about rigid behavior here.

We’re Here to Help

It is important to consider the degree of symptoms your child has. If rigidity, inflexibility, and tantrums are significant concerns, you may want to have a comprehensive evaluation in order to assess for Autism Spectrum symptoms as well as language, cognition, attention, and emotions. 

Schedule a FREE 20-minute Discovery Session to get help managing your child’s behavior.

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