The days are getting longer, the sun is setting later, the weather is finally warming, the school year is coming to an end, and the festive season is approaching. This also means many changes are upon us, as more family and friends surround us and different outings, gatherings and commitments arise.
It is important to consider that changes to routine and environments can add different components or stressors to little ones. A seemingly simple gathering of family and friends invokes a whole host of new environments including different smells, sounds, tastes, unfamiliar faces, scenery and location, including type and length of travel. It is to be expected that different or new behaviours may arise. As parents and caregivers it is necessary to be mindful about what behaviours are telling us.
The common reasons for behaviours are as follows:
A simplified way to remember this is through the acronym of EATS:
When we keep this in mind, we can tune into what the behaviour is telling us, and we can begin to understand, rather than simply labelling the child as misbehaving or naughty.
Some strategies that we can use around this busy time are:
Once we know the purpose of the behaviour it is much easier to understand what little ones can tolerate and we are able to make the necessary changes to support them over the festive season.
Wishing everyone a Merry Everything and a Happy Always!
Information obtained from Amaze: Behaviour Support strategies for people on the autism spectrum 2017