Without an understanding of the root causes behind your child’s behavior, you can’t hope to set them up for success. It is best to take time to create a plan of action to help your child manage challenging behaviors, reactions, and emotions.
Step One — Identify the behavior problems and the situations that spark those behaviors.
Step Two — Ask questions and make observations to try to determine the underlying reasons for the behavior.
Step Three — Identify one desired behavior and discuss it with your child. It is easier for them to act in an appropriate way when they know what action you find acceptable.
Step Four — If possible, make changes or adjustments to the underlying cause to see if the undesired behavior continues; this is sometimes a matter of trial and error.
Choose a solution that makes sense and try it out. If it works, keep it in mind for future use, if it doesn’t, go back to Step Two to find out why. Then choose a different solution and try that.
Remember, kids can be inconsistent, hard to understand, and unpredictable, especially children with special needs. They might manage something one day and have a meltdown about the same situation another day. You might also notice that a strategy works one day and not another. These situations are frustrating, overwhelming, and familiar to other parents of children with ADHD and ASD. Keep in mind, it is also frustrating and overwhelming for your child. Keep a log of the behaviors and the strategies that were helpful, even for a short time, so you can continue to build on your child’s successes.