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A is for Apple Blog

Tantrums: The Escalation Trap

by Heather Logan | Jul 13, 2017
Written By: Randi B., Clinical Director, A is for Apple, Inc.
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Tantrums: The Escalation Trap
If you are a parent or caregiver and you are concerned because your child is engaging in frequent tantrums, then this article is for you. Parents actually may be reinforcing tantrum behaviors without even knowing it. If for instance, you are at a store and your child ask you for a toy and you say "No," after you say no, your child keeps asking for the toy, followed by loud screaming and or crying. What do you do? Some parents continue to say no and then just when the child screams louder, the parent gives in. It can be difficult to follow through with a firm no when you're feeling tired, want to end the tantrum in that moment and/or are feeling embarrassed by those around you who might be watching. When you give in to a child when they escalate by screaming and/or crying, after you have already told them no, this reinforces the tantrum behavior. The child learns that if they escalate loud enough the parent will give in so they learn that next time they want something and the parent says no, all they need to do is scream louder. If a child is engaging in a tantrum because they want something after you already told them no, it is best to ignore the behavior and in some cases, redirect the child to another activity. ​

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Has your child recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Are you concerned about your child because he or she is experiencing developmental delays, including: difficulty with social and communication skills? Are you feeling stressed at home and in the community because your child is experiencing behavioral challenges, such as engaging in tantrums, and not following your directions? Applied Behavioral Analysis are evidence based practices that have been proven to help children decrease behavioral problems and teach children the skills they need to help increase developmental skills (e.g. being able to attend to a task, learning imitation skills, and communicating what they want or need). Our team of experts teach children social skills to help them increase their socio-emotional and communication skills. We at A for Apple Inc. provide you a team of service providers who provide parent coaching and support to help you tackle difficult behaviors in the home and in the community. Services are highly effective to help reduce behavioral problems and increase developmental skills. You are not alone! We have the finest array of services and Contact Us.