Understand why emotional outbursts happen in young children on the autism spectrum

Understand why emotional outbursts happen in young children on the autism spectrum

Understanding why emotional outbursts happen in young children on the autism spectrum disorder will help you help your child overcome them.  In order to do so you need to learn to look at these emotional outbursts indifferently. You need to understand that: “Not all emotional outburst is because the child is being naughty”! 

When a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder screams it does not always mean naughty!  Screaming can in fact mean that the child is tired, they may be bored, hungry or thirsty, the child may need to go the toilet, he/she may be feeling sick, scared or even anxious…  

The list of reasons for autistic children to scream is long!  It is after all in most cases the only form of communication they have when they are in the early learning phase of these lives.  This will again become a problem in the autistic teenage years because a whole set of new emotions comes flooding in.

As people we were all brought up to believe that a crying child is an unhappy child.  We were also brought up to believe a screaming child is naughty and a child that giggles is happy – and whilst this may be true in normal developing children is definitely is not the case with autistic children. 

Autistic children can laugh uncontrollable when they are feeling scared, overwhelmed or anxieties toward work presented to them. 

In the same breath, Autists can cry when they are feeling happy, sad, tired, angry, frustration and/or when they suffer discomfort.

Your child will not always know how to “act” appropriately and it is important for you to help your child understand their emotions from a young age. 

Because if your child knows why they feel the way they do, it can help them understand and accept their emotions better.

Ilse Kilian-Ross
ilse@amazingk.co.za

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, ABA, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.