The Impacts of Not Curbing Behaviors Related to Autism
Autism and Behaviors
With autism, comes behaviors.
In general, when our kids are little, there are more behaviors.
We, as parents, (along with the various facilitators who work with our children), have to deal with these behaviors.
In an ideal world, we are all trained to handle most behaviors with our children, whether at home or out in the world.
And, we want to work with our kids so they can overcome their challenges and be relatively functional and comfortable in society.
As they grow older, we continue to handle their behaviors. We deal with them as best we can, armed with our knowledge, experience, and patience. We get better, and they improve.
Over time, their behaviors disappear. (Yes, new ones can show up, yet we handle those as well).
Our kids learn how to function in society with minimal behavioral issues.
If something becomes a problem, we’re still right there to help them.
Because, for the most part, it is us parents that have the responsibility to be on top of the behaviors of our children, from young child to teenager to, in some cases, young adult and adult.
Dealing with behaviors applies to typical kids, of course.
But, adjusting and teaching our children with autism using learned strategies is simply a part of the life of a parent with a child on the autism spectrum. It’s an everyday thing, and we’re committed.
What does all of this mean?
Sorry it’s a little preachy, but here’s a fictional case to help explain my point:
A young child has behaviors related to a diagnosis of autism.
Said child has ABA and other therapies to help assist with these behaviors.
The parents are also taught how to assist with behaviors. (Remember, it is mostly the responsibility of us parents to curb these behaviors. We want our kids with us in society. We want to take them to the grocery store, to school functions, to family functions, and even on vacation. That’s why we learn how to help with their behaviors.)
Mostly, we do this because they’re our kids. And, it’s our job to teach them how to be functional in society.
It’s especially harder to teach a child with autism—but, this is what we signed up for, a complicated form of parenting.
So, what happens?
The fictional child on the autism spectrum grows up.
He/she hit ten, twelve, fifteen-years-old.
This child goes from elementary school to middle school to high school.
Hey, just like typical kids, right?
Is there a difference?
Yes, because they’re not typical kids. They have behaviors related to autism.
And, again, these behaviors appear at a young age and they may very well continue as the years pass.
What is my point then?
In the example above, imagine if this young child’s behaviors haven’t been dealt with when said young child was young.
Imagine if this young child’s parents simply let things go (most of the time).
Or, if said parents didn’t commit to learning what they should be learning to help curb behaviors.
What happens then?
What happens when that fictional child grows up?
They still have behaviors, they’re just older.
They still don’t know how to act in society, and their parents still don’t put a whole lot of effort into curbing their behaviors.
These families exist out there, folks.
There are parents with children on the spectrum who do not commit to helping their children.
They fumble through all of. They make excuses for their kids, and even, sometimes, expect society to bend to their kids.
“Society—you must bend to my child’s behaviors.”
Is this a mistake?
This way was not our preferred choice. My husband and I committed to strategies that would handle the behaviors of our son.
We wanted him to adjust to society, not the other way around. Not necessarily bend to societies “norms.” But, just be able to somehow function within reason.
I have seen the children of “looser” parents. I have seen kids who are now older still unable to function within reason in social situations. And, I watch their parents still half-ass their responsibilities.
Does it make me angry?
This was wasn’t my choice, that’s all I’m going to say.
Not much I can do about it, either.
The final point I can make, however, is that—sadly—these kids who are now teenagers and then young adults and then adults, etc. will be lacking the skills to get along in the world.
Especially when their parents are no longer around.
For the most part, the world will not bend for our kids, folks
We have to understand that and teach our kids from that viewpoint.
My husband and I feel this is a better approach. Not a perfect approach, far from it. But, this is what we believe.
Unfortunately, to the ones who disagree, I envision their young kids to teenagers to young adults to adults potentially getting into some serious conflicts someday.
These are the kids who have been taught that excuses should be made for them, they have been taught that their behaviors don’t have to be corrected.
They’ve been taught society will bend for them.
And, those are the individuals who will suffer.
Sad and sorry to say it, but I believe it.
Final piece of advice?
Parents, please try to commit to your kids.
They’re your kids. You love them. You don’t want them to suffer.
Teach them and handle their behaviors as early as possible in their lives, and do it every single day.
So, maybe, when they’re all alone in the world, they’ll be okay…when it’s just them verses the world.
It starts with you, parents.
The Impacts of Not Curbing Behaviors Related to Autism
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