Aggression in Autistic children is common, but it can be an embarrassing thing to deal with – even for the child. Aggression interferes with so much; from school, to play dates and sadly sibling relationships.
There are many reasons a child with Autism might act out by pinching, biting, shoving or hitting.
- They may feel stressed; if their routine is off, or they are in a place that triggers sensory issues
- Aggression could be the only way they have to communicate right now
- They could be trying to get out of a situation with an adult or child, or avoiding something they don’t want to do
- They could even be looking for you to react
None of these things mean that your child is ‘bad’. But Applied Behavioral Analyses (ABA) helps to put a stop to these behaviors once a for all. ABA looks at why the child is reacting in this way. Getting to the root of the issue gives us the tools to fix it. Once the therapist gets to the root of the issue, they can transform the violence into positive acts.
Your ABA therapist might do this using redirection. Such as showing the child a positive alternative. If your child is shoving a child away, they will teach the child to verbalize their feelings instead. If a child is told they can’t touch something, they will be given something they can touch instead. Using negative reactions, such as scolding, and scowling, only teaches the child they can distract you from the situation, avoid situations with ease or get attention with this negative behavior. It doesn’t teach them what they should do instead.
The goal of ABA is to teach your child positive behaviors, through positive rewards. So ultimately your child can grow to be confident, happy and ready to face the world without the use of aggression.