As parents of autistic children, we are often confronted with many major crises and other "weird" or destabilizing behaviors of our child.
To do well, many people tend to want to eliminate behaviors whose source they do not understand. By making the behavior "disappear", whether through behavioral therapy or medication, it is believed that the autistic person is pain free and better.
The brains of autistic people are wired differently than non-autistic people. autistic people process information and emotions differently. These different connections lead autistic people to have particular manifestations and gestures. What non-autistic people call "behavioural problems".
Find your balance
What most people don't know is that there is always a reason for autistic behaviors, whether it's seizures, multiple nocturnal awakenings, "self-mutilation", self-stimulation, potty training, aggression, impulsiveness, irritability, restlessness, etc.
As long as these behaviors are not understood or areignored, the autistic person will not be able to progress fully. If the autistic does not learn to manage his internal structure and sooner or later, his autonomy, his potential and his emotional state will be affected. Other problems and “behavioural problems” will possibly be generated.
The gestures and gestures of people with autism are often movements that help the brain process new information. These particular gestures can simply represent the expression of an emotion such as the clapping of the hands, also called “flapping”. They can also help with concentration, with the assimilation of new learning.
This is a way the brain has found to help maintain internal balance.
Autistic people often feel attacked by their environment and those around them: too much noise, too much light, physical contact, nonsense, misunderstandings about autism, social misunderstandings, interventions not adequate, etc.
When these gestures are bullied, ignored or when the brain of the autistic person becomes unable to manage this new incoming information, we can see appearing aggressive, impulsive behaviors, "self-harm", crises (sensory-emotional overload), etc.
For example, when an autistic person hits himself on the head, it is not a behavioral disorder called self-harm. An autistic has no intention of self-harm! It is rather an autistic manifestationdue to the sensory overload he undergoes. It is a destabilization experienced within.
Through these manifestations, the autistic person tries to regain his internal balance. Performing head pressure is the quick way an autistic person has to try to find inner peace.
Call for help
The autistic usually tries to understand complex information that he has received from his environment and which is extremely difficult for him to process. The autistic tries by all means to curb his inner malaise. He calls for help because he lacks the tools to manage his internal discomfort and the tools to communicate it to us.
It is important to intervene adequately, otherwise we will accentuate this internal malaise in the autistic person. An assaulted autistic will become an “aggressive” autistic because he will be in self-defense mode. Aggression is involuntary.
You have to keep in mind that in no case is it a behavioral problem, anger tantrum, caprice or a lack of " parental authority.
Therapies, reward systems, punishments, and drugs are useless if you focus on long-term work; it can even be pernicious for autistic people. The “behavioral disorder” cycle sets in. Behaviors deemed unacceptable are often replaced by others, the autistic fails to master his particular brain and his future autonomy as well as hisself-determination find themselves mortgaged.
Autism is not a behavioral disorder and what we call "behavioral disorders" resulting from the autistic state are not either. There are always rational explanations behind these gestures and manifestations. They are real cries for help and survival mechanisms in a neurotypical world.
Initial publication 1st November 2017