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Autism temper tantrums: behavioral strategies

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10/03/14

Usually when children with autism lose their temper it has nothing to do with a tantrum. It almost always (but not every time) has to do with being overwhelmed. Because they have such a difficult time with verbalizing their feelings they may show their feelings in inappropriate ways. Some examples of that could be hitting themselves, screaming, stimming or laying their head down and trying to shut the world around them out.

The best way to deal with this is to help them voice their frustrations. Instead of melting down and getting upset because their shoes feel too tight, for example, explain that they will get more help if they ask for it. Walk them through the whole situation and role play.
1. My feet hurt
2. This makes it hard to walk and annoys me.
3. I want to rip my shoe off and yell.
4. I don't do that though, I tell someone that I need help with my shoe.
5. I get help with my situation.

The better they get at recognizing that they shouldn't react, instead that they should address the situation then the less anger bursts you should see from them.

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