Managing anxiety levels in kids with Autism

Todays article is a guest post by Ryan Rivera. Ryan writes primarily about anxiety and anxiety cures at Calm Clinic Children with autism are generally more susceptible to stress and anxiety. These two directly affect the lives of a lot of Americans where one percent of children between the ages 3 to 17 are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parents of a child with autism are forced to deal with far greater challenges in managing their kid while experiencing anger or anxiety. In order to control or stop anxiety in autistic children, parents should be able to identify the factors that trigger apprehension.

Change in the Child’s Routine

Parents need to be able to anticipate forthcoming variations in their child’s customary activities. Whenever an already set routine needs to be adjusted, it would be best for the child to get accustomed to the changes days before they happen. Using pictures and stories will prove to be very useful in acquainting the child to the anticipated norm modifications. It is best that parents go a bit slow with the pictures to help their kids understand what is supposed to happen and measure their receptiveness.

Movement or Change of Location

Trips, vacations, home transfer, eating out, picnics – going away from an area that an autistic child has grown accustomed with can be a cause for tantrums. Begin introducing the plan to travel to the child as early as a month before the trip. The more the travel plan is introduced to the child, the calmer and more comfortable he becomes. If the trip requires long road travel, make sure that you bring along items that the child is very familiar with. It is best that parents find out all they can on the facilities and amenities of the place they have chosen to go. Making their child a part of the travel plans can help stop anxiety attacks.

Sleeping Issues

Children, even those without any disorders, experience nightmares. However, autistic children have more frequent sleeping issues. It is more difficult to pacify them and normalize their emotional condition. Studies show that introducing autistic child to music that relaxes at the earliest stage possible can have a positive effect on their overall attitude. Even autistic children can be taught simple breathing activities to help them calm down during stressful events. Children respond better if the parents make the breathing exercises fun. Some of the manifest symptoms of stress on autistic children include headaches, dizziness, pounding heart, too much thirst, and pounding of the heart. If these indications occur frequently, it is essential to seek medical advice in order to rule out other potential medical conditions. At the onset, to be able to identify the underlying reasons of your child’s stress, you may want to keep a diary and record all the situations prior to your child’s sudden anger and tantrum episodes. Once you have singled out the culprits, you can start creating an anxiety control plan. You can make a three column chart. On the first column, you can list down all the situations that lead to your child’s anxiety attacks. On the second, you can put down your child’s reaction on each specific situation, and on the third, write down the activities that have helped them feel less stressed. In the end, hone in on the activity or interest that your child likes to do and the ones that make him feel relaxed. Try creating other activities connected to that routine that may also potentially lessen stress.


Mark Blakey

Mark Blakey is the founder of the Aspergers Test Site, after a successful career working in IT Mark wanted to share what he learned from his own diagnosis. He is the author of "Emotional Mastery for Adults with Aspergers" and "An Introduction to Aspergers Syndrome". Having received lots of questions from parents with autistic children, Mark went on to found Autism Parenting Magazine. The magazine has become an essential resource aimed at improving the quality of life for families effected by Autism. Its a monthly publication containing lots of helpful articles to help develop social skills, manage challenging behavior and improve communication.