Parents of violent and autistic children have the patience of steel. The monstrous behavior of their children – verbal threats, physical aggression, frequent loss of temper, and extreme impulsiveness – desolate their lives and enforce them to experience serious injuries and unpredictable repercussions.
Numerous researches tell us the numerous roots of children's violent behaviors. According to a research by Dr. Rebecca J. Scharf, University of Virginia, “Short nighttime sleep duration can raise monstrous behaviors in children.” In addition, the Journal of Pediatrics uncovers, “Aggressive behaviors of children are related to soft drink ingestion.” Also, a Case Western Reserve University study indicates that children who witness violence between their parents usually embrace violent behaviors.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, tells us, “Planned violence is not the trait of an autistic child.” Something and anything can immediately ignite the feelings of severe outbursts inside him and coerce him to perform pernicious acts. Therefore, it's significant to realize that sometimes autistic children's violent actions are not under their own control. Their eyes stop seeing and ears stop listening, and they just act without thinking anything. Few studies reveal that the limited verbal skill is the cause of violent behaviors too. Because, limited verbal skill forces autistic children to show physical aggression instead of using words.
It's probably not possible to cure autism in the near future. But, right now we have the full capability to identify and treat violent behaviors. Autism itself is not dangerous. However, when violence merges with autism, the situation becomes lethal. All we need to do is to separate violent behaviors from autism and cut the roots of the actual problem. The right support and right treatment can improve the quality of your child's life and invite heavenly happiness in the home. Therefore, I've put together 12 methods that can help you to turn a violent, autistic child into calm and cooperative.
1 – Do not interrogate your kids, because words are like a second language to them. Words ruffle their hearts and puzzle their minds. The more you interrogate them with your leading questions, the more you ignite irritability inside them and intimidate them to convey their feelings through violent behaviors.
2 – Children with ASD make indirect requests, and that lead to all sorts of problems. Parents often perceive the actual desire of the child from the wrong context, and this thing leads to more distressful situation. If your child is asking questions regarding Christmas repeatedly, in the middle of the June, then it does not mean he wants to know about Christmas. He possibly wants you to bring the Christmas tree right now.
3. In the autistic children with antisocial personality, the risk of violence is the highest. Kids with antisocial personality are more apt to violence than those who have anxiety disorders. Furthermore, there is one alarmed fact that indicates that children with antisocial personality are also at the probability of dying from suicide. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be effective in helping kids to alter their violent thought patterns.
4 – Dr. Thomas N. Robinson, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford, tells us, “Exposing kids to less aggression on television will have a positive impact on behaviors.” Also, Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, lead author of the study, and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, said, “The take-home message for parents is, it's not just about turning off the TV; it's about changing the channel.” These situations demonstrate that watching educational television with children can actually improve the behaviors.
5 – Just change the details; do not change the entire picture. Details are the main culprits that either water down or intensify the aggressive mode of the kid. So, concentrate on changing the details rather than changing the entire picture in order to control your child's behavior.
6 – Autistic children learn best through action, and their behavioral nature can be changed by introducing new, positive activities into their lives.
7. Feelings of being valueless can also intensify violent behaviors in children with autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). If children with ASD are not good at social skills, it does not mean that they do not understand what is exactly happening around them. The weird treatment of society and lack of love makes it difficult for these children to subdue the core feelings of low self-esteem. Consequently, their fight with a feeling of being impaired turns them into a hurtful, violent creature.
8. Violence can also be a way of seeking attention. Give him the comprehensive, positive response and have frequent, thorough communication with him as much as you can, in case you constantly ignore the core feelings of your child, or do not understand his indirect messages. This will gradually stop him from seeking negative attention through violence, and he will begin to learn proper ways to convey his feelings.
9 – Autistic children also use violence for having a sense of control over their environment – when they are unable to deal with immediate change and flooding sensory information. We already know that most of these kids are born without filtering system. Their minds digest every bit of information in the paramount detail and do not easily allow them to experience unpredictable change. So, it's better to keep their lives as much predictable as you can, because an unpredictable change can invite a monstrous behavior inside them.
10. Some non-verbal autistic kids comfortably express their emotions through written words and drawings. It's very possible for you too to teach your kid this way for expressing emotions. This will not only ease the environment at home but also help you to understand his exact feelings. In addition, this method will help you to turn violent situations into healthy, playful games.
11 – If your kid is violent, then there is a 90% chance that the presence of negativity in his routines is responsible for his behavior. In order to resolve this problem, all you need to do is to make his routines as happy as you can, because happy routines develop happy children.
12 – Reward his good behavior, because rewards motivate him to act more positively in future. Just catch him doing something good, give him a compliment, hug him, kiss him, and let him do his favorite activity. Rewarding system keeps the child motivated and force him emotionally and psychologically to change his bad behaviors and adopt the good ones.
Remember, every child has a little natural self-control; do not expect your child to take mature steps or understand the situation automatically. Almost every child sometimes acts violently in order to achieve his needs. Just use the above strategies and act with love; you have the ability to teach him how to exhibit feelings through appropriate ways.