How to Help Bright Kids with Autism Cope During Challenging Times

Week 2: How to Develop Self-Regulation & Flexibility

In Part Two of the 2e Autism series with Dr. Barry Prizant we discuss how to help kids when they get dysregulated or meltdown. Also learn how to prevent escalating behaviors by decoding signals and catching things upstream. We dive into understanding the 'why' behind the behavior that leads to better problem solving. We also demystify diagnoses such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).


If you want to find an answer in the video to a specific question posed below, simply click on the play button next to each question.


1Dr. Prizant's opening remarks and teaching points.
2My daughter, who is nine and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, is often very aggressive towards her brother who is two. They have never hugged and he will often try to touch her and she pushes him away. How can I help her become more tolerant of her brother?
3When a child is stimming a lot at home, in particular pacing, and he is doing it more because of the COVID quarantine right now, should you try to stop the stimming or lessen it somehow? Also, how can you respond to a child whose first response is always no?
4How do you help your kids identify emotions and worries before shutdown or meltdown? Are there any clues one can use to remind, without shaming him or her? How do you detach emotionally while being empathic if your kid is in meltdown mode?
5How can I best help my nine-year-old, when panic sets? He has always had very big feelings and has a lot of anxiety. We are looking for help in the moment of melting down, screaming, believing whatever it is is too big, too hard and forever.
6My seven-year-old with ASD and ADHD continuously exhibits challenging, disruptive attention-seeking behaviors, banging on the table or walls, screaming, banging on closed doors and repeatedly closing doors, silly laughter, especially if she gets a reaction, inappropriate language. What are your suggestions to improve?
7What is the best way to increase your child’s flexible mindset and/or review a situation that didn’t go well, when the child isn’t open to discussing negative associations or things they feel they did wrong?
8I have an eight-year-old boy who is not okay when people make grammatical errors, math errors, factual errors. He wants to correct and teach everyone. He gets upset very quickly.
9I have a four-year-old boy who is super bright, on the spectrum. Tantrums occur with very little warning and can be over anything, a moved toy, tidied up room, wrong colored pencil given, joining in with a song, drawing a train wrongly.
10My child is having a really difficult time with the fact that shelter in place has already been extended twice and is likely to be extended again. How do I help her cope with moving goal posts?
11What about kids who have strategies and tools that they use at school and then choose not to at home? Especially our teens who know they need sleep, and they know they need to eat good food, and they just choose not to?
12My 16-year-old girl has refused to take a bath or shower since school is closed. It has always been a small struggle, but now it’s big. She says she feels too antsy in the bath and can’t move. I see her not moving for hours, watching her YouTube videos.
13When I try to re-frame things for my 12-year-old by telling a story with a different perspective, he will immediately get angrier and say, “Oh, there you go, proving me wrong again.” How can we back out of this dynamic to help him be more willing to consider other perspectives?
14Can you tell us a little more about PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)?
15My 2e daughter who has been diagnosed as being on the spectrum had a seventh-grade teacher who was very inflexible. With her fresh diagnosis, I went overboard looking for ways to help her, likely overwhelming her and giving her the impression I wanted to fix her. We’re in a very different place now, but her self-esteem is extremely low. How can we work to rebuild this?
16How should I explain to my son that he has autism?


Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after listening to Part 1 of the workshop? Please let us know in the comments section below.

1 Comment

  1. Chidumga on May 31, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Thank you so much for the emphasis on creating positive emotional memories with activities and the steps to take for diagnosis disclosure

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