You’ve looked at our blogs and are excited to get started working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders in a community-based program. But your first outing falls short of your dreams when the behaviors start. The behaviors that come with neurodevelopmental disorders have always been the main barrier to inclusive programming for this population. In order to avoid quickly becoming discouraged and giving up, behavior must be managed not hidden in segregated settings.
How do you do that? The saying, “If you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism.” applies to managing behavior. Autism is such a diverse and subjective diagnosis that you need a full arsenal of management strategies in order to find the strategies that will work for the person you are serving. Behavior management is not “one size fits all”. Luckily, there are many resources online that can help us learn about autism and the strategies that need to be mastered to work with this population. Here are a few good, reliable places to start:
OCALI Introduction to ASD https://www.ocali.org/project/asd_intro
A collection of resources that provides parents and professionals with foundational information for understanding autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Resources address what is ASD, early Indicators of ASD, characteristics of ASD, and simple tips to support individuals with ASD.
OCALI ASD Strategies in Action https://autismcertificationcenter.org/
ASD Strategies in Action gives families and service providers tools to ensure they are equipped to effectively care for, support, educate, employ, or work with individuals on the autism spectrum from early childhood to young adulthood.
Autism Speaks Challenging Behaviors Toolkit https://www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/challenging-behaviors-tool-kit
The Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit will provide you with strategies and resources to address these behaviors and help support you during difficult situations.
• Why is Autism Associated with Aggressive and Challenging Behaviors?
• Why is it Important to Do Something about Challenging Behaviors?
• Who Can Help? What is this Idea of a Team?
• What are the Things to Consider?
• What are the Positive Strategies for Supporting Behavior Implementation?
• What Might I Need to Know about Managing a Crisis Situation?
• What are Long Term Solutions and Where Can We Learn More?
• Challenging Behaviors Glossary