Is all behaviour acceptable because the child is autistic? In one of her interviews
, Temple Grandin had to say autism is used too much as an excuse for bad behaviour.This is true in many a situations atleast for me.What is permissible behaviour and what is not is to be defined to the child by us. I remember at NIMHANS, Dr. Yamini Hari told us that she had been observing Ramam and that he was all over the place. It is our job to explain that her office or anybody else is off limits to him. I did this when Ramam started going to Chandrasekhar Institute. Initially he would rush in to the other rooms, and pull out the objects placed by therpaists for their sessions. Now he knows he has to wait in the waiting area for his turn. Similarly when I had moved to Bangalore and was looking for a day care for my daughter, I approached one of the centres and again Ramam began pulling out stuff, throwing them ….. So I told the lady in charge by way of justification that he was autistic, but then she insisted that I tell him to put the toys back. I was put off and though how was I to talk to her if I were to keep handling him. Subsequently, much later I came to know that she had 2 autistic children in her day care, and she was very much aware of the problem. The easiest way to palm off bad behaviour is to label it sensory, he is pinching, and it is probably a sensory issue. I find therapist also doing it sometimes, giving him a soft ball to sueeze, all in good faith. I don’t deny sensory issues, some childen do have serious problems, but some of it requires firm handling. Ramam loves to pour and wanted to do only that for a session. We refused, and he threw a tantrum, but finally settled down to work. He was allowed to pour at the end of the session. Hope I have made my point.
Also long drawn explanation as to pinching is a bad habit, questions why are you pinching Ramam, it is painful don’t seem to serve the purpose. A simpe NO and pulling off his hands mybe a better way to handle it is my personal viewpoint. Some therapists tried out other techniques as drawing a cross every time he pinched as a way of admonishing or tearing a piece of paper. Soon it turned out to be a game and he loved the crosses and tearing. It has now become an attention seeking behaviour with him. It is best to curb a bad behvior right at the beginning rather than endure it. Please take my pearls of wisdom seriously , coming as they are straight from the horses mouth.
Two posts in a day , looks like I am having a lot of free time !!!!!!!!!