Monday, May 30, 2016

Behaviors and Making Better Choices

MK writes:

I have a question for you Phillip. Do/did you ever have challenging behaviors? Especially when you were overstimulated and nervous? Some friends hit or scream out. I think people would want to know what to do when someone with autism is reacting in an inappropriate way. I think people try to help but only make it worse. What is your opinion? I have many friends with autism so I have lots of questions for you.

To MK,

I have had some harmful behaviors. The most common behavior I have used is grabbing. I have grabbed people’s clothes and arms. I did this when I was overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. I mean to day to day be able to control my frustrations but I can’t always succeed. I am learning to last longer at meeting challenging situations by not resorting to my behaviors.

It was bad when I grabbed at my teachers at school. At one time I would grab a teacher’s collar if I got nervous about anticipating doing something difficult at school. I would continue to grab if I was made to do what was making me nervous. I could not stop. I hated my grabbing impulses because they would bury me in a fit of rage I could not come out of. I had to carry out the impulse until I had no energy left. I am ashamed of my behaviors. It was mean of me and I hated my actions. I knew they hurt people and made things worse. I would make people afraid of me.

Meaningful ways to better deal with stress and frustration should be talked about. I think some learning of coping skills should be understood. Learning Bible verses and daily devotions has helped me make better choices about my actions. I now try to learn self-control by meditating Bible teachings and praying to God to help me. I feel more calm and at peace. I am teaching myself to hear meaningful advice and follow it. I am now able to tell myself that I can do it. My autism may make things difficult to accomplish but accepting help from God and others makes me able to make each challenge easier to meet.



  1. Philip, You have learned so much. I love watching you grow as I read your blog. Kas Winters

  2. Thank you for sharing this. You are helping parents of young autistic children better understand their child. I believe my son also struggles with impulses during difficult times. He is only four and cannot explain himself as you do. What you are doing with this blog is awesome.

  3. You do not need to be ashamed Philip. You are working hard teaching yourself to have self control. You are teaching others so the struggle won't be as difficult. The people in your life you have struggled against love you and they understand this is just the beginning of the incredible story of what God will do in your life.