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Book recommendations for ASD behavior?


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So after a spin-off of my other thread on reading disabilities, I'm curious if those of you who have kids who are high functioning autistic, could recommended any books on how to manage the behavior? If the behavior my son is demonstrating is indicative of ASD, I'd think that standard "good parenting" techniques aren't going to be as effective. 


After a dozen or more meltdowns just this morning (is he tired? hungry? just got up on the wrong side of the bed today? Who knows, but I need a third cup of coffee...) I'm ready to learn some new strategies for dealing with the behavior. 

I shared on the other thread that my husband is against the whole idea, and he's citing the fact that the pediatrician thinks it's "within the realm of normal" (even as she seemed surprised at the intensity of the behaviors...), so I am going to have to do some researching and hard thinking to get him to agree even to an evaluation. 


Here is a quick summary of the behaviors we see, for those who haven't read the other thread:

He's social, verbal, and has no difficulty making eye contact with us.

BUT - he's newly 3, and has a Jekyll and Hyde personality - one minute he's the nicest, most polite child in the world, the next he's shut down, throwing a fit of one type or another.

Fits in public (when dealing with anyone outside of immediate family) tend to be eyes and head down, no response. He'll also ignore us at home if he just doesn't want to do something he's asked to do.

Fits at home tend to be whenever he wants something that I won't let him have/do. They're a bit on the extreme side, and he's unresponsive and nothing can break the fit until he decides it's over. Things that trigger an end to the fit are random and never the same - sometimes logic works, sometimes distraction works, sometimes nothing works and I have to put him in his room to cry until he's calm (but I do wonder what the neighbors think if they can hear him screaming "let me out!").

He's finicky about physical touch- sometimes craves love and hugs, other times tells me that "I don't have any hugs right now" 

Screen time makes the fits worse.


I guess one other word to describe him would be particular. Just now I was getting him dressed to go outside and play and he refused to wear the pants I brought down because they had pockets. But he wore the pants with pockets yesterday, so I have no idea what the issue is. He has difficulty sleeping in his own bed, so he ends up in our bed a lot. 


The pediatrician says that it's an issue of maturation, but was surprised to hear that he's been throwing fits like this for over a year. (He grew into the fits, starting with breath-holding spells as a baby when I would change his diaper).


He shows none of the "classic stereotipical symptoms" and I was told by early intervention that he was not autistic. (he had a speech issue that a private SLP was able to fix pretty quickly and he's now on par with his peers, verbally).


So - any resources that I could utilize that might help if it is ASD? Even if it is not, having more strategies for dealing with the behavior would be helpful!!

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Fwiw, you're seeing a lot of behaviors similar to what we saw in younger dd. Ultimately we figured out that they often stemmed from anxiety (though she never looked like she was worried, she looked angry and defiant). Sometimes they happened after several things in a row went wrong: multiple small stressors which overtaxed her ability to cope.


Behavior on our part which stressed her more or made her more anxious made things worse. Included in this category was the advice we got to shut her in her room, by force if need be, until her tantrums were over.


Behavior on our part which helped was essentially giving her time to calm down and not feeding the behavior with demands, words, or attention in general. Lying on the living room floor having a fit instead of going to bed? Fine, lie on the floor and have a fit. We're here doing something else. Eventually she'd calm down and go to bed.


It's not easy, and it's not a quick fix, and I couldn't have just ignored that behavior if the other things we'd been told to do hadn't failed so abysmally already. But lo and behold, ABA also relies on ignoring unwanted behaviors.

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I think this is the video thing I looked at, it was helpful to me.



I think there are so many possibilities, and it can be hard to know what to recommend.




This is the link to blog posts about "behavior support" from a blog I find helpful.





This website has a free sign-in (and I have never been e-mailed any spam by them) and it has videos about autism and about a lot of different strategies.






I think this is a good book, it is for your child's age range I think. It talks about some things like encouraging joint attention and encouraging play. I don't know if it is going to fit more for HFA/Aspergers or not.



Separately ----- just fyi, the terms HFA and high-functioning do not mean much sometimes, b/c people in different areas use the terms so differently. Sometimes I have found high-functioning to mean *only* that a child has speech. Other times (and more commonly) it means more than that. But it is something to look out for, especially with materials that are older (b/c in older materials, sometimes PDD-NOS might be used, and in older things HFA might be lower than PDD-NOS ---- where in older things, PDD-NOS might be a great fit for you). PDD-NOS is also very vague! But if you are seeing anything more than 4-5 years old, you might be in more of a PDD-NOS range with what you look for, or Aspergers. So anyways -- there is just a lot of vagueness with this! In the very recent past PDD-NOS and Aspergers both could mean high-functioning or pretty good language, though. But you can never be sure how people are using those terms. Aspergers is better -- but even then, it is not a word that conveys a ton of information in some ways, as far as expecting it to mean "this will be specific to my child in some way."


Really though ----- there is just a lot of information, it is hard to know what will be helpful to you, and at a certain point either you get personal advice and/or you just dip your toe in somewhere and start reading.



Personally I urge you to consider going back to your pediatrician with information (if there turns out to be information) and pushing for a referral, and getting on a waiting list. A waiting list can be pretty long. Would it be okay with your husband to be on a waiting list where you can easily cancel it if it turns out to seem silly? At the same time ---- if you gather info towards possibly sharing info with your pediatrician to get a referral, maybe this makes you start feeling like it is a possibility or like it is less likely.


I do not really see any huge things from the other thread, that make me think "oh, yeah," but just in principle I like kids to get help earlier so they can spend less time having lots and lots of meltdowns. It is kind-of unpleasant for everyone involved!

Edited by Lecka
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