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10 Proven Behavior Techniques for Helping Children with Autism

Updated: Mar 16

Positive reinforcement

This involves rewarding a child for positive behavior.  This can include verbal compliment, a special treat, or additional screen time. Children with autism are more likely to repeat positive behavior if it is rewarded. Social stories

Social stories are short stories that can assist children with autism in understanding social situations and appropriate behavior. The stories can be customized for specific situations, such as attending a birthday party or a trip to the mall. Visual aids

Visual aids such as picture schedules, behavior charts, and social stories benefit many children with autism. These tools can help children understand what is expected of them while also providing predictability and structure. Structured routines

Children with autism often thrive on routine and structure. Establishing a consistent routine can help reduce anxiety and stress and promote positive behavior.

Sensory breaks

Sensory breaks can be effective in helping children with autism regulate their sensory needs. This can include activities such as deep breathing, jumping on a trampoline, or playing with a fidget toy. Safety Spot

Safety spots can be an effective way to help children with autism calm down when they are exhibiting challenging behavior. A safety spot is a place that a child feels safe and can self-regulate. A safety spot should be a place where a child has his favorites toys or books. A tent is a good idea for a safety spot. Task analysis

Task analysis involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help children with autism understand what is expected of them and can reduce frustration and anxiety. Social skills training:

Social skills training can help children with autism develop better communication and social skills. This can include teaching them how to initiate and maintain a conversation, how to read body language, and how to interpret social cues. Functional communication training

Functional communication training involves teaching children with autism alternative ways to communicate their needs and wants. This can include using gestures, pictures, or a communication device. Modeling

Modeling involves demonstrating appropriate behavior for children with autism. This can include showing them how to interact with others, how to play with toys, or how to complete a task. Managing behavior in children with autism can be challenging, but there are several effective techniques that can help. These techniques include positive reinforcement, social stories, visual aids, structured routines, sensory breaks, safety spots, task analysis, social skills training, functional communication training, and modeling. By using these techniques, parents and caregivers can help children with autism improve their behavior and develop better social skills.

Dr. Kawthar Hameed Abdullah is an experienced educational psychologist and special education specialist with over 25 years of dedicated work supporting children with disabilities in both the United States and Oman.


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