When it comes to symptoms of high functioning autism, defiant behavior isn’t surprising. Individuals on the spectrum can find the world confusing and isolating–oftentimes they react with problem behaviors (ex. tantrums).
Sometimes it’s tricky to tell the difference between symptoms of high functioning autism and true problematic defiance. Every teen is different, but much frustration in teens with autism develops from the same place. Understanding where it comes from is important so you can help your child better handle situations.
Connecting symptoms of high functioning autism with defiant behavior
Coping with change can be difficult.
Teens with autism often find change to be very unsettling. They like things to be predictable and don’t handle it well when stuff goes off schedule. These can be temporary changes, like a difference in the timetable at school, to more permanent ones, like moving to a new house.
Breaks in a school schedule can be uncomfortable and disorienting to an individual with autism. It’s a time with a lot of noise and chaos–they aren’t sure what will happen or how to behave. That creates a large dose of stress.
Social situations can be very demanding and stressful.
For many adolescents on the spectrum, it’s hard to understand that other people have different thoughts than them. This makes socializing and getting a grasp of social cues harder.
Our unwritten rules in society–such as how close you stand to someone when speaking–that we all generally understand aren’t always clear to an individual with autism. This can produce an enormous amount of anxiety.
Problems with communication.
Overall, many teens on the spectrum struggle with all parts of communication. This includes:
- Receptive Language – understanding what’s being said to them
- Non-verbal Language – facial expressions, body language
- Expressive Language – communicating with others
Because of these struggles, it can be excessively difficult for an individual experiencing symptoms of high functioning autism to convey their needs. This can lead to the frustration with not knowing how to communicate coming out as defiant behavior. All because they don’t know or aren’t equipped to cope with this struggle yet.
If you believe your son or daughter is struggling with symptoms of high functioning autism, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for guidance.
Seven Stars is here for your family
Seven Stars is a program that treats teens with neurodevelopmental disorders. We combine residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social skills, academic skills, self-efficacy, and prosocial behaviors. At Seven Stars, we strive to help our students develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.
For more information about how we help with symptoms of high functioning autism at Seven Stars, contact us today at 844-601-1167
Since 2003, Dr. Gordon Day has passionately helped young people with a wide range of family, emotional, social, neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. Gordon’s mission has been to help people find their strengths and their own passion for living a full and rewarding life. He is particularly sensitive to the pressures, frustrations and disappointments that adolescents face that can sometimes cause them and their loved ones to want to withdraw and throw their hands up in despair.
Dr. Day knows that you really have to understand where a student is coming from and understand their patterns of strengths and needs. When we truly know an individual and their struggles, only then can we truly help.
Dr. Day has pioneered the use of outdoor therapy activities and outdoor living as a dynamic and effective therapeutic tool for learning, confidence building and skill building. His programs provide effective, supportive and encouraging environments that help students find their strengths and power.