Autism Related Behaviours

Behavior

This section deals with all blog posts and articles related to behaviour issues in those with autism, ASD ( formerly known as Aspergers). From which medical conditions may be causing specific behaviours, to how animals might be used to stop them, to how certain behaviours in infants can predict autism.

What does it mean to debrief after an incident occurs?

Most schools and organizations engage in reflective practice. After an incident occurs, we try to answer some questions about about an incident: What happened? Where did it happen? When did it happen? Who was involved? Why did it happen? How did it happen? How are we going to deal with it if it happens again?  While these are important questions…

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Insistence on Sameness and Routine – Understanding a Hallmark Autism Trait

The DSM-V lists restricted and repetitive behaviors as one of its diagnostic criteria for autism. These behaviors can look like repetitive movements, restricted interests, insistence on sameness, and atypical responses to sensory stimuli. Mirko Uljarević, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University in California, says these four types of repetitive behavior described in the DSM-V may…

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How can we develop a better understanding of behaviors of concern?

All behavior is viewed through a judgmental lens. The observer brings their beliefs, past experiences, expectations, emotions, understanding and knowledge into every situation. We react when we see and experience behavior from the person we support. We have to understand that the behavior we observe is just like the tip of an iceberg; below the surface of the waterline lies…

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The Role of Exercise in Stress Reduction

The following extract is from a recent practitioner article on the role of exercise in reducing stress, written by Assistant Psychologist Matt Cotterill at WALK, UK. The full article can be accessed here. Providing care and support to people in the caring professions is often fraught with stressful interactions. The stress-induced cascade of hormonal and molecular responses can, if left…

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Bullying and Autism – How We Can Help

The Anti-Bullying Alliance defines bullying as the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological. It can happen face-to-face or online. This definition encompasses four key elements of bullying – hurtful, repetition, a power imbalance, and intentional. Bullying tends to…

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What is monotropism?

Monotropism is a theory of autism which was first developed by autistics Dinah Murray and Wenn Lawson. Dinah and Wenn independently formulated the key ideas of monotropism, then later worked together for years developing, explaining and applying the theory. Their work has helped people to make sense of autism and how it manifests in themselves and others. There is an…

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What is low demand parenting or a low demand approach?

Low demand parenting or the low demand approach is often spoken about in the context of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA); however, this can be helpful for a person who experiences high levels of stress and anxiety. This is a low arousal approach because it prioritizes the reduction of stress and anxiety and is based on trust, flexibility, collaboration, and a…

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Teaching Flexibility – An Important Skill

Not everything in life goes according to plan – when change happens, we need to be able to adapt. While autistic people need predictable and consistent routines, it’s still important to be able to cope with changes both planned and unplanned. Having flexibility will build resilience, problem solving skills, and help a person to overcome changes and challenges. In order…

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Autism, Atypical Eating Behaviors and Eating Disorders

Atypical eating behaviors are common in autistic people. According to a study by Mayes & Zickgraf, 2019, 70.4% of autistic children have atypical eating behaviors as compared to 13.1% for other disorders and 4.8% for typical children. They found that only autistic children had pica or pocketed food. For 92% of autistic children, the most common preferred foods were grains…

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What is autistic masking?

Autistic masking, camouflaging, or compensating is a conscious or unconscious suppression of natural autistic responses. It is hiding or controlling behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that may be viewed as inappropriate in situations. Autistic people may feel the need to present or perform social behaviors that are considered neurotypical or may hide neurodiverse behaviors in order to be…

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How Compliance-Based Approaches Damage Interoceptive Awareness & Self-Regulation

Kelly Mahler, regular speaker/presenter at Autism Awareness Centre Inc., is our guest writer for this post. In this post, Kelly talks about interoception, self-regulation and the detrimental impact that compliance-based approaches can have on the development of these critical areas. Compliance often teaches someone to ignore their own body signals/needs in order to comply with a demand and receive a…

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The Increase of Child and Youth Mental Health Issues Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has touched every aspect of our lives – the workplace, home, leisure activities, health, social life, and the family unit. For children and youth, their childhood experience has been anything but typical with online schooling, lockdowns, school closures, loss of extracurricular activities and separation from friends and extended family members. School opportunities disappeared that can really make a difference…

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What is Trauma? A Simple Guide

This article was written by Aylish McFarlane, Studio 3 Assistant Psychologist. It was reprinted with permission from Studio 3 UK. ‘Trauma-informed practice’ is a phrase we hear more and more in our work, but what really is trauma, and how can we learn to recognize it? This simple guide illustrates how trauma can affect the body, and how to support…

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Introduction to the Low Arousal Approach Online Training

Low Arousal Approach training, developed over 30 years ago in the UK, has been offered in Canada through Autism Awareness Centre Inc./Studio 3 Canada for 6 years. This training is for professionals, support workers and EAs, carers and family members. The Low Arousal Approach emphasizes a range of behaviour management strategies that focus on the reduction of stress, fear and…

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