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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Input For An Autistic Two Year Old
Provider_Manda 06:41 AM 03-09-2016
Any providers have experience with Autistic children? I have a new little one in my care who is 2 and is diagnosed with Autism. He is non verbal and gets upset very easily. Im looking for tips on how to keep him calm, or how to bring him back from his episode quickly. He is loves putting little toys like hot wheels in his mouth, so I will be removing those. But He also bites his sippy, so Im thinking it's providing mouth stimulation. He loses it at the sound of the word "No". Any alternatives to use instead of the word "no"? All input is appreciated. I have experience with developmental delays and non verbal, but not autism. He also will only eat certain things, has to be fed and drinks only juice.
Ariana 08:25 AM 03-09-2016
Is he receiving services? I would suggest talking with an autism specialist or behavioral therapist about this stuff since autism effects every child differently.

I have worked with autistic children and for me I found what worked was treating them as much like typical children as possible. Children with autism can still manipulate and try to get their own way and often times know the difference between right and wrong. For example him losing it at the word "no" most likely means he is being given into at home. All of the typical parental mistakes can still happen with a child with autism and feeling "pity' for the child, by the parent makes everything that much worse. When autistic children are having episodes there is very little you can do to bring them out of it quickly, unless it is a sensory trigger, in which case you can stop the sensory stimulation.

Has he been given the chance to eat on his own at home or have the parents just decided he cannot eat on his own? I find that many parents won't allow their kids to learn important life skills. Of course this is dependent on how severe the autism is. I remember specifically one little boy still drinking from a sippy cup at 2.5 and when he came to my group he was given a regular cup like all of the other kids. He got the hang of it and was drinking from it by the end of the week. Children with autism are capable of much more than we least this has been my experience!
Provider_Manda 08:34 AM 03-09-2016
Texture is the issue with food, he won't touch. If it's on his tray he will touch long enough to throw it off. He is on thearpy. He was a preemie so he is seen by many doctors. He's just the sweetest little it and loves to be cuddled.
Unregistered 08:45 AM 03-09-2016
Learn about using social stories. They can help ease transitions, help with predictability.
If he has a specialist, they may be willing to spend some time at your site to help you strategize, or do email or phone with you. Ask parents about doing this bc they have to give permission.
Sunchimes 02:27 PM 03-09-2016
Talk to his OT about thera-brushing and joint compression. We had great results calming my dcb, and when we added in aromatherapy, it was even better. Also, if he will let you touch him during a meltdown, gently but firmly stroke his arm, leg, foot, whatever is accessible. Every asd child is different, as you know, so these may not work for yours as they did for my two. Thera-brushing should be cleared with OT, but joint compression should be fine. I use it for all the kids now and then. It really helps my typical almost 2 yo male version of a drama queen. It must feel good because they will sit in front of me and say "one two". (It's done to a 10 count.) I also had some luck with baby sign language with him, badic things like eat, no, diaper.
Unregistered 05:00 PM 03-09-2016
My son just turned 2 and is ASD. Often you say "NO"so much, it loses its meaning or becomes a challenge -- especially if you can't drop everything you're doing to stop the behavior at the time.

We have started saying "We don't climb on the couch." " You can climb on the slide" in a sing-song tone -- -- and redirecting to the slide. I still say a stern "NO" if it's dangerous. It sounds ridiculous, and it takes a bit of getting used to, but it then it works. It's pretty much how I talk to all of the kids now.
Unregistered 05:05 PM 03-09-2016
Also, my same son still has mouthing issues. He has a Chewigem bracelet, and he responds to being allowed some time to use a battery toothbrush. It also helps if you slowly brush his gums for him with the brush, as they say it helps to regulate the nerves in that area. This should be done before a meltdown.

During a meltdown, I usually start counting and he can now join me. Before he was able to verbalize, I would hug and rock him. And deep breathing helps too. Kids can practice blowing a cotton ball with a straw to learn how.
MKdaycare 05:07 PM 03-09-2016
I hadn't realized I wasn't logged in ^^ those are my responses if you have any questions!
spedmommy4 04:24 AM 03-10-2016
The little one probably puts things in his mouth because he likes the texture. Kids on the spectrum will also stay in the stage of exploring things with there mouths longer than a typical child. If you take the hot wheels out of the environment, he will find a replacement. You can't stop the behavior but, you can offer an acceptable alternative. I have purchased a few chew tubes for my program. (I attached a photo) They work wonders as an alternative for kids who still put everything in their mouth.

Regarding "no" as a trigger to meltdowns. That's a common trigger for ALL two year olds. You said no to me? My life is over. For the little one in your program, it's 10 times worse because his social/emotional skills are delayed and if he has sensory issues, he may feel things with great intensity.

My advice would be to learn a lot of positive alternatives to no. For example, instead of don't run, say walk. Instead of, no you can't have that toy, say your choices are this and this. Avoiding the "no" avoids the meltdown.

The bad news is that once your in a meltdown, their is no fast way out. A child has to run the "de escalation" cycle. Just give the child some space until he feels better. The best thing you can do is ignore is as long as he isn't hurting himself, others, or property.
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Sunchimes 12:11 PM 03-11-2016
I got an email from DFPS this morning on an instructor led course on inclusion. For those of us who can't make the course, there is a free online version through Texas A & M, open to anyone. You might get some tips that way. You can get a certificate, but I'm not sure if they apply outside of Texas. I've heard that some can and some can't, so it might be worth a search.

These are the courses for infant/toddler.

I believe these are more preschool, but it wouldn't hurt to take the course because there is a lot of good basic info in there.
Tags:autism, joint compression, special needs children, thera-brushing
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