Behavior is basically everything a person does, says, thinks, and feels. A behavior issue simply means kids do or say things that they should not be doing or saying. On the other hand, it also means that kids are unable to do and say things that should be doing and saying at their age. Children with autism exhibit several behavior problems. Behavior is probably one of the most affected areas in Autism.
Having a behavior problem makes it difficult for kids with Autism to function in society, school, work, home, and community settings. Children with Autism may experience mild to severe difficulties in different aspects of behavioral functioning. Below are several different areas of behavior in which children with Autism may experience difficulties. Not all children will have trouble in each of the listed area. The level of difficulty will also differ from child to child. To deal with behavior problems, you as parents, teachers or caregivers should first make a list of all the behavior problems that the child is facing.
One of first signs that you might notice when kids are very young is lack of eye contact or responding to name. They do not engage or respond to interactive play such as “peek-a-boo”. As a child grows older, you might observe that your child is not exhibiting many of the skills or milestones that he or she should according to his or her age. For example, your kid does not start babbling on time or does not start showing interest in other children playing. He or she prefers to remain aloof and seems lost in their own world.
The major behavior issues in autism are related to social communication and social interaction. Children do not develop the necessary language skills to interact with other children or people. They do not engage in conversations with others even if they have the necessary speech. Children do not mix with other children. They do not play with others. They cannot engage in social greeting such as saying or waving “hi”. They cannot form friendships or any meaning relationships. They do not understand non-verbal communication such as gestures, body language. Also, they do not engage in non-verbal communication such as maintaining eye-contact, keeping their body oriented towards the person they are interacting with.
Another defining behavioral issue observed in children with Autism is rigid or repetitive behavior patterns. They engage in stereotypical behaviors such as repeating the same action or routine over and over again. For example, they may flap their hands, line up objects obsessively, run around the room, etc. They may constantly repeat songs or dialogues. Sometimes you may notice they keep engage in non-sense talk. These behaviors interfere with appropriate functioning and learning.
Children may also exhibit harmful behaviors such as aggression, self-injurious behavior, elopement, pica, or tantrums. They may hurt themselves or others when they engage in these behaviors. Also, these behaviors are hindrances to good or appropriate behaviors that enhance their social functioning.
Other areas that may be affected in Autism are academic performance and self-help skills. Children may find it extremely difficult to engage in school related behaviors such as writing, reading, sitting in a classroom, attending to the teacher. Additionally, they have trouble taking care of themselves. They may have difficulties bathing, tooth-brushing, eating, dressing, etc.
Kids with Autism exhibit these and other similar behavior difficulties. These behavior problems may harm children or may interfere in their learning. These behavior issues can impair their overall functioning and hinder progress in all aspects of life.