Should I Keep My Child With Autism Home To Avoid The Chance That He/She Will Have Tantrums In Public?

Question: Should I keep my child with autism home as much as possible to avoid the chance that he/she will have tantrums in public?

Answer: I can understand why it would be quite tempting to want to keep your child at home to avoid the embarrassment and the distress associated with a tantrum in public.

However, it is critical that children with autism be exposed to community settings, and just as critical that they learn to adapt to them and cope with them.

I don't think many people have had a two-year old or have seen a two-year old who has not had a tantrum in public -- it's something that happens with children. And as parents, we need to learn to manage that behavior, and children also need to learn how to self-regulate that behavior.

There are lots of ways that we can plan for outings that will facilitate a child's ability to be out in public -- first for short periods of time and then for longer periods of time -- and show the desired behaviors rather than the undesired behaviors.