Staying Calm during the Back to School Madness!
Recognizing your child’s stress + Tips on How to Manage It
Happy Thursday, CBG’ers! There’s no doubt the past few months have been tough on everyone. For some children with autism, understanding what’s happening in the world may be particularly difficult. Often, routines are extremely important for children diagnosed with ASD, and when one is broken it can result in a major meltdown. Going back to school can only add to the stress! For those of you in your second or third week, you might have already run into hiccups that can cause some behavioral backlash from your kiddos. On the blog today, we’re tackling the issue of stress – how to recognize it, and how to help your kids combat it. Whether you’re at home or in school, we hope these techniques are helpful in kicking stress to the curb!
Recognizing the Signs
Often, children with ASD handle stress differently than their typical counterparts. Here are some tell-tale signs your kiddo is feeling the strain:
Meltdowns or temper tantrums
Avoid or withdraw from social situations
Rely on obsessions or rituals
Rocking, spinning, or flapping their hands
In some cases, harm themselves by biting, scratching, or head-banging.
Of course, every child processes things differently. These are just a few of the signs to watch out for!
Tackling the Stress
Once you’ve decided your kiddo is feeling the COVID, back-to-school panic, here are a few ways you can help them through it!
- Help them realize what they’re feeling – Stress is a part of life, and kids with autism spectrum disorder are not immune to it! Helping them realize what they’re feeling and validating them is an important part of managing it!
- Determine which situations make the stress worse – Are they scared of going out in public? Of staying indoors all day? Make a list of these situations and come up with an action plan.
- Encourage calming techniques – Every child is different, so it might take some workshopping with your village to come up with a game plan. Some ideas to try include physical exercise, breathing exercises, utilizing role play, going to a quiet area, or playing with a favorite toy.
- Use visuals to your advantage – Kids with ASD are often visual learners. You can use little cue cards or flashcards to help them get familiar with new or tough situations. For example, if they’re scared of going to school, you can walk them through the day using a school bus card, a desk card, etc.
There are many techniques available to help your kids manage their stress at home. If it gets too much, feel free to reach out to your CBG RBT or BCBA for extra help or other techniques. Quality CAYER doesn’t wait, and we’re here to help no matter what!
We hope this was helpful and you and your family are safe and well during this time. For more behavioral health tips, suggestions, and resources in your feed weekly, follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @cayerbehavioralgroup!