Stop Making Your Child Suffer

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This is for allistic parents of autistic kids who are trying to follow the Neurodiversity paradigm.

We’ve said it over and over.. Behavior is communication. Behavior is communication. Behavior is communication. You’ve gotten the message. Except, you’ve missed what we’re saying. Don’t extinguish behavior because it’s communicating an autistic kid’s needs, yes….but….

Over and over, I see you. I see you saying that behavior is communication and allowing your kid to continue communicating with meltdowns. Meltdowns are the rawest form of communication. It is the communication we use when we have nothing else to communicate with. Stop doing this to your child.

Communicating through meltdowns is traumatic for your autistic child. It is exhausting to your autistic child. It is what happens after they try and try and try to find a way to communicate and then out of pure desperation, meltdown.

Instead, you should be doing more. You have to give them a way to communicate that works for them. Watch and listen to the other ways they communicate. You must give them a way to not get to the point that the only thing that gets their point across is a meltdown. No autistic child or person likes having a meltdown. No autistic person likes having their needs not listened to.

It’s true, behavior is communication. You don’t need to extinguish behavior. But please recognize, just because your child is autistic, it doesn’t mean that meltdowns are an autistic way of communicating. It is a measure of last resort communication only after our autistic ways of communicating have failed. So stop delaying giving your child a way to communicate. Please. I beg of you. Stop making your child suffer.

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1 Response

  1. Rachel Causey says:

    So as an allistic parent, can I just say: I’m not TRYING to make my kid suffer. If I had this whole parenting thing figured out (let alone parenting someone who fundamentally, biologically thinks differently than I do) A. I’d make a billion dollars writing books and teaching and B. I’d be so much happier and less stressed. It’s as you said, a matter of communication. But it isn’t something I’m TRYING to create. In face, if I could easily understand my daughter who has autism and anxiety (which runs in the family, her father is autistic with anxiety, I’ve major depression and anxiety) then I would HAPPILY… I can’t stress that enough in caps…. H A P P I L Y!!!!! speak her language with her. But we think differently, we communicate differently, and neither of us have found an easy way to bridge that communication gap quite yet. I will spend every moment of every bit of my time with her trying to understand her needs, her triggers, her wants, and just what she sees and what she WANTS me to understand. I have worked on that for her whole life all 7 yrs before her diagnosis and then for the recent 4 months after it. And just saying I did such a happy dance when we got her diagnosis because yay! more information and terms I can google and maybe better understand the why behind the behavior. I go to bed literally sobbing in frustration about not knowing what to do next to better reach her world and help her see mine. She isn’t the only one upset to the point of last resort, frustration, and suffering. I hate HATE seeing my baby suffer. Why would I? Why would you think I try to perpetuate the suffering of someone I love more than life. She is amazingly smart and caring and so freaking frustrated with all the energy and effort it takes for her to communicate and then there are still misunderstandings and meltdowns all the time. I see what you’re saying: be aware of the steps before a meltdown, try to communicate before the loved one is stressed or upset. I totally agree. She should never have to come 100% to my world/perspective/thought approach. That’s totally unreasonable to expect of anyone let alone a 7yr old. But I just as much can’t go 100% into her’s because I’m not autistic!! I damn well try though and your article put 100% of the blame on the parent for not fixing everything but let me tell you. WE CANT. I will spend my life trying to make her and her allistic little brother as happy, healthy, and independent, and loved, and supported as possible because I’m their mom. If you see something else I can be doing… if you see a “way to communicate that works for them. … other ways they communicate”. Help me out and let me know! Help me understand! I want to! But don’t think I don’t care just because I’m allistic. I was incredibly offended by the blame game you presented in this article. I doubt there are many parents out there that are TRYING to hurt their kid or don’t care about the affects meltdowns and other negative things have on their kids. I know I love mine waaaaaay too much for that. Sorry to rant… your article just made me feel more guilt, worse about my attempts, and just strait up made me cry instead of providing any insight or help

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