Challenging Behaviors

Remember where your child is coming from and to expect many challenging behaviors.

  • Remember your child’s chronological age versus the developmental age.
  • Discipline: Use positive scripting to verbalize what you want to see out of your child’s behaviors rather than using negative language regarding what you do not want to see. Limit using the word “no” and say “be gentle” or “use nice hands”.  “No” should be used for extreme situations such as safety.
  • Expect Tantrums: Explore underlying causes and be patient and emotionally present while your child is upset/expressing their feelings.
  • Grieving: Remember the loss your child suffered and be patient and understanding through the various ways your child will grieve. (ie: not eating, crying, melt downs, tantrums, and anger episodes) Be sensitive to various triggers and allow your child to experience the grief.
  • Striking out/anger/violent behaviors: Remember the possible environment your child has come from and that it will take time to create positive interactions. Remain calm, use short, scripted phrases, and model appropriate behavior.
  • Withdrawing Behaviors: This can be a sign of a lack of language/ability, lack of trust, grieving and/or anger. Remember to remain inviting but also understand when your child needs a few moments to themselves, and to not take this behavior personally.
  • Sensory Sensitivity: Remember to be the detective for your child’s behavior and the underlying reasons. Remember to integrate different senses gradually and be understanding of your child’s lack of exposure and inability to process various senses.