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HELP! Autistic meltdowns every reward time!!!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by izzynicole, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. biscuitmonster1

    biscuitmonster1 New commenter

    My daughter is a very violent child with autism and there are times when interacting with her is incredibly dangerous.
    She becomes so angry and wound up she cannot bear to have anybody around her. She says it makes her brain race and peoples voices sound screechy and she feels her ears will bleed, her skin hurt and she literally runs awy if you go near and to restrain her causes horrific injuries to staff. The school wont accept that its safer to walk away. She will not run away unless you go towards her. So I don't fully agree that you should be in their space all the time. Just as when adults become angry time away is needed. An asd child needs time to process their feelings more
  2. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    And support in learning how to do that...at some other time when they are calmer.
  3. Mattz1993

    Mattz1993 New commenter

    Hi @izzynicole

    Firstly, I hope you managed to find some good tips somewhere in this thread. I'd just like to say that you definitely cannot ignore any child's tantrums and in particular a meltdown from a child with Autism. Children with Autism have meltdowns for a reason and this particular child, in my opinion, has trouble with coping and understanding reward times.

    You mentioned that you have struggled a number of different strategies to support the child with coping in these situations, but they don't seem to help. I just wondered if you spoke to the child to gain an insight into why they behave the way they do? I've often found that simply talking to the child can be very beneficial in helping me to understand their behaviour. One question that works well for my Autistic learners is: "Can you tell me why you get upset at rewards times?" - this question seems to allow my learners to open up.

    I know that school has ended now, so you may not be teaching this child next year, but some ideas for their teacher next year, or anyone who stumbles across this topic:

    Bespoke Reward Chart
    I agree that the child needs to understand that they can't win a reward every week; that's not how the world of work operates - which they will eventually enter. I created a bespoke 'reward' chart for my learner. Before the reward time, the Teaching Assistant would sit down with him and reinforce 'not everyone can win' theme. She would explain to him, that in order for him to get a sticker on his chart, we would need to display appropriate behaviours throughout reward time. If he did, he would get a sticker. At the end of the month, if he got a full set of stickers, he would be recongised in the reward time.

    Reward time is valuable for everyone - just think about it; we all thrive off of praise. We may not get often, but when we do, it really effects us in a positive way. I try to recongise at least one thing at the end of every week for every child in my class. Sure, they may have hit 'Jonny' on Thursday, but their creative story on Tuesday was awesome. It is important to recognise positive behaviours to reinforce that good feeling.

    Just some strategies I have used. I hope they are helpful for some people out there!
  4. ClearAutism

    ClearAutism New commenter

    I know this is old but if he's telling you it's unfair, maybe you should listen.

    The communication difficulties inherent to autism, as well as sensory issues which can be a strong feature, mean that a classroom with 25 other kids can be a difficult and overwhelming place to be.

    On a Friday afternoon, at the end of what has most likely been a long and stressful week for him, he sees other kids, many of whom are not (I'm assuming) facing the same difficulties as he is, getting rewarded for doing something which comes relatively easily to them, whereas his daily efforts to fit in at school with people who have little or no understanding of him or his condition, go unrecognised.

    I have to agree with him, it's not fair at all.

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