How to deal with hyperactivity and outbursts in children with autism? 1

When raising a child with autism, we often have moments when we feel overwhelmed and helpless because of their sudden outbursts of excitement or extreme behavior. However, once we understand the reasons for the behavior, we can often minimize these moments and deal with them more wisely.

Several factors, most frequently related to sensory processing, communication, and environmental changes, lead to overstimulation or hyperactivity in unexpected situations.

First, autistic people have a high sensitivity to certain sensations. For example, loud noises, certain sounds, bright lights, or unexpected touches can be the main reason. These incidental exposure to sensory input can lead to increased arousal and excitement.

Second, there are transition difficulties. People with autism are anxious about transitions and changes in their routines. They may engage in excessive behavior to cope with the stress caused by their discomfort and anxiety about change.

Third, most have communication difficulties in understanding and expressing themselves. They struggle to understand social signs and express their thoughts and feelings. Therefore, when faced with a situation they do not understand, it may be a way to express their feelings or communicate their needs. Furthermore, if this situation has been repeated, they likely recognize their behaviors are an effective way of expressing themselves. 

Beyond this, we must analyze the child’s profile, bearing in mind that every individual with autism is different, and the reasons for over-excitement or hyperactivity can vary from person to person. Understanding their specific needs and triggers will allow us to provide each individual with appropriate support and interventions. To analyze individual differences, we first must observe when a child is over-excited and hyperactive. The more detailed data we can collect about the child’s sensory characteristics and reactivity, taking note of what moment, at what time, and in what situation, the more we can understand them and the more we can respond appropriately to their behavior.

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