Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism

Aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism

السلوكيات العدوانية لدى الأطفال المشخصين بالتوحد

Aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Writer: Dr.. Connie Anderson Translated: a. Lujain Bin Jadid

Aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder often cause many difficulties for the individual’s daily life and for the parents as well. Hitting, biting, throwing things, and other behaviors common during a tantrum or meltdown can put a lot of stress on the parent, as the parent’s reactions can exacerbate and make some behavioral problems worse.

The conflict of aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with the goals that work to help the child in the educational process may lead to this, These behaviors may prevent the child from school activities such as, After-school programs and sports clubs.

Also, fear of aggressive behavior from the child may keep parents at home, making them feel isolated and their quality of life reduced, in order to avoid falling into the trouble and anxiety caused by these behaviors outside the home.

Some questions about aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism

Despite the importance of the issue of aggressive behavior among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their families in particular, However, researchers in the field of autism spectrum disorder have researched it only a little. Steven Kahn and Mika Mazurek of the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri explore the following two questions:

What are the risk factors associated with aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism?

A research study on children’s development and behavior was conducted at 13 university-based autism centers across North America.

Many studies have been conducted on risk factors for aggressive behaviors in children who do not have any disabilities.

Some factors have been linked, such as:

  • Males more than females.
  • Low IQ.
  • The economic situation of the family and low family income.
  • Low level of parental education.
  • The way parents deal with children.

We focused on only a few individual cases. Not on risk factors for individuals diagnosed with autism as a group.

Aggressive behaviors were carefully evaluated in (1,380) children diagnosed with autism disorder, between the ages of 4 and 17 years. Therefore, the results of assessments for autism disorder were presented, including the observation schedule for the diagnosis of autism disorder, the diagnostic interview for autism, and a review of the results of intelligence tests and measures of repetitive behaviors. receptive language, Emotional and behavioral performance.

What percentage of children diagnosed with autism have aggressive behaviors?

Among the research group consisting of (1380) children diagnosed with autism disorder, The researchers found that 56% of them had aggressive behaviors towards their caregivers, While 32% of them had aggressive behaviors towards non-caregivers.

Previously, similarly, 68% of children diagnosed with autism had aggressive behaviors toward their caregivers. While 49% of them were towards non-caregivers. These rates are high, especially when we compare them to the rates of individuals diagnosed with intellectual disability. Their aggressive behavior ranged from only 7% to 11%. Therefore, this study provides strong evidence that these aggressive behaviors represent many challenges for families of children diagnosed with autism.

What are the risk factors associated with aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism?

The researchers wondered whether the same factors associated with aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism were the same as in children not diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities.

The children were divided into two groups:

(489) children, They showed some aggressive behavior such as hitting and biting, And (549) children did not display aggressive behaviors or they were rare. also, The researchers removed the children with moderate aggressive behaviors so that the two groups were separate.

Many of the risk factors found to be associated with aggressive behaviors in children without diagnosed autism or other developmental disabilities do not apply at all to children diagnosed with autism.

Example, Males are usually associated with an increased risk of aggressive behavior, But this is not the case among children diagnosed with autism. Girls and boys diagnosed with autism are likely to have the same rates of aggressive behavior.

also, Low parental education, low IQ, and low language or communication ability may be associated with a risk of aggressive behaviors in children not diagnosed with autism or other developmental disorders as opposed to children diagnosed with autism. The only factor that seems to work in the same way for both groups between children diagnosed with and undiagnosed autism is (age). So, In both groups, the younger the child, the The more likely the child will be aggressive.

Children diagnosed with autism and who have aggressive behaviors are those who have high rates of:

  • repetitive behaviors, Especially self-harm or restrictive behaviors and extreme resistance to change.
  • Poor social interaction.
  • Average household income.

Available information has not allowed researchers to explore when and why children diagnosed with autism have some violent tantrums.

Children not diagnosed with autism or other developmental disorders use aggressive behaviors to achieve social goals such as, Draw attention or avoid requests from adults.

As for children diagnosed with autism, especially males, they may exhibit aggressive behaviors when others interfere with their repetitive behaviors. Or when someone takes away some of the things they need to continue the routine or repetitive behavior, Or when they try to escape from uncomfortable sensory input.

So, The study identified a link between repetitive behaviors and aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism.

In this puzzling result, the researchers expected that higher-income families would have greater access to interventions with children diagnosed with autism and therefore would have less aggressive behavior.

The question here is, Why might high family income be associated with an increased risk of aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism?

It is possible that families with higher incomes are more able to access interventions that are frustrating and ineffective for children diagnosed with autism. Therefore, these situations may lead to the emergence of aggressive behaviors.

Another possibility is that families at different income levels may be more or less likely to report aggressive behaviors in their children. Low-income families may be more sensitive to parents’ potential criticism and blame for their children’s aggressive behavior. While high-income families may feel secure about society’s blaming them and therefore, They may report more freely about their children’s aggressive behaviors.

So we need more research to see if these unexpected results hold up over time. If so, How can these results be explained?

Highlighting aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism and helping families overcome these challenges facing them

This study provides confirmation that aggression is a major issue for caregivers of children diagnosed with autism. What confirms the validity of the experience of many of them in laying the foundations for future research, This study also confirms, The urgent need for more effective interventions and how to reduce aggressive behaviors in children diagnosed with autism and support families on how to deal with them.

Reference:

SPARK for Autism | Children With Autism and Aggression