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Managing tantrum - Familiarity leads to comfort

I have shared my experience about the reason for tantrum under the topic "How Movement, touch, sound or smell can affect your kids with Autism?".

In this article, I am going to share another reason for tantrum. It is “unfamiliarity”. This unfamiliarity can be anything like new place, new toys, meeting anew person etc. In short for kids with autism, it is anything “NEW” in their world. But this unfamiliarity can be overcome with little effort as I learn from the experience with my son.

Here I would like to share my experience. When my son went to school for the first time, he was not able to sit in a place for “Attendance” and for the “Story time”. This is because he was not familiar to that routine. Our speech therapist suggested having a play mat at those times (to indicate that specific routine has started). But still my son was not getting comfortable. Finally she told us to send his favourite toy to the school. This was supposed to be given during the registration and story session only. This at last helped him to sit in a place for those sessions.

And sometime later, we had to shift to another place. In the new place, he spent lot of his time, with all his usual toys bunched up together. Even when we visited our relative’s places, which my son had never visited before, we helped him carry his toys in a bag. In the relatives house he was absolutely comfortable surrounded by his own toys. It was like he was carrying his own world with him every where he went. But very soon when he became accustomed to the new places, his reliance on toy came down. He soon started interacting with people who were around him rather than just fiddle with toys only.

The lesson I could take is when kids with autism to face an unfamiliar environment, they can be made comfortable by some familiar routine or things.

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