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Altering Environment

Making changes to a child’s environment can avoid many triggers for meltdowns; rather than trying to change the behaviour it can be more helpful to change the environment, e.g. if sensory issues are the cause of the unwanted behaviour.

“Making sure my son is not hungry stopped his challenging behaviour. It took a friend to notice and point it out to me. That was a few years ago. I did not feel bad, I just did not know, regular meals solved the problem.” — [Parent]

The table below shows some possible environmental triggers and some changes you could consider.

 Issue  Proactive measure

Behaviour triggered by sensory stimuli such as noise, temperature changes

Reduce sensory stimuli, make a quiet space, avoid supermarkets at busy times etc.

Behaviour occurs around other people

Educate key people as to the needs of the individual with ASD, how to communicate, note sensitivities they may have

The response to behaviour varies from one to another

Have a clear plan around how to respond to the behaviour and ensure all key people follow the same plan

The environment is chaotic with lots of unpredictable changes

Try to develop a routine that is consistent and predictable

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