Hi, it’s your girl Dr. Alisha Griffith, affectionately known as “Dr. Ali.” I am your autism parenting strategist and ignite coach. I help autism moms, mompreneurs, and aspiring mompreneurs, to shift through the feelings of overwhelm, frustration, and stress, and move towards making bold, brave power moves so you can ignite the results you want and live that ultimate dream life you desire.
My first tip to dealing with behavioral issues that you should START immediately. You want to develop key systems and structure within your home as soon as possible. In order to create calm within your home, you must come out of pause and press play. To accomplish this, acknowledge this is what you are working on right now, get all interested or physically started by creating a guideline with a simple straightforward follow through.
If you start this when your child is younger or newly diagnosed, then you’ll be able to implement different strategies easier as they get older.
My second tip is to use an authoritative voice within your constraints. A major part of speaking to them with authority is them knowing and respecting the roles in the relationship. You as the adult, them as a child. So, when it comes to responding to authoritative voices, the rules of engagement are now established. It is clear and evident that you are the mom and there is no option or choice with this matter.
Third tip involves creating simple choice making. You also need to know when the times are right to provide choices. However, the major key is “how do they respond.” How do they respond when things aren’t going their way? If their response is to bite, scream or hit, then that’s not the response you should want. This is when you need to remind them you are the authority figure. Reclaim your power by providing simple options to choose from as solutions.
Fourth tip is to create structure, and most importantly, follow through once you can create and reinforce it best. Try to avoid stretching, bending and changing things because you feel bad. This will result in them looking at you and saying, “She’s not serious.” The biggest mistake that you want to avoid is to give in to their needs or constantly change the structure. If you continue to change or give in, chances are you will have more behavioral challenges.
Why? Because you let them have what they wanted, which is often outside of structure and follow through responses. This then breaks down the structure you spent time building. In their minds they may be saying “But you let me do it last time” or they are saying they’re angry and you have not yet claimed authority in that conversation.
The fifth and most critical tip is to learn how to communicate throughout the process. This includes rewards and consequences. You have to let them know that: this is what happened, and as a result of it, this will be this consequence. The consequence could be something great: They listen to what you had to say, now they get a reward. Or the consequence could be nope they are not doing what needs to be done, so hold off the reward and have a conversation with them about their outcomes.
It’s time to take back that reign and give it tough love. Stop feeling the guilt and letting them do what they want. Why? Because if you do continue that way it will lead to bigger problems and challenges in the future. I hope this information helps you find your way and guide you through the process of creating structure so that you can have less behavior breakdowns within your home. For more information feel free to check out my video!
My autism mom membership group, the Au-mazing Ignite Nation, is having a class on Monday April 8th at 7pm EST. We’ll be bringing in a guest expert to discuss even more keys to unlocking behavior breakdowns and “must do” tips to create better relationships. If this is an area your struggling with on your autism journey, please join us!
If there are other areas you’re struggling with in your autism parenting, or if you just want to educate yourself more about autism acceptance and inclusion during Autism Awareness Month, check out some of my other blogs!