Autism: Trauma & Behaviour

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One word that often arises in conjunction with ‘autism’ – particularly when discussing Autistic children – is ‘behaviour.’ We hear terms like ‘autism behaviours’ or ‘challenging behaviour’ or ‘repetitive behaviour’ or ‘dysfunctional behaviours.’ It’s no secret that AUsome Training has issues with the B-Word. It is almost always used to define actions in negative ways, but more than that, it is seeded through books, videos, discussions, training and more as if there’s nothing more to ‘those people’ beyond their ‘behaviours.’

Behaviour – or actions, responses, reactions – does not emerge magically from the ether but is the product of experiences and an expression of personality, of needs, and a direct response to those experiences. This is how we have understood ‘behaviour’ for decades now, yet Autistics continue to be treated as if we are just mechanisms without feelings or intellect.

When ‘autism behaviours’ are examined as human behaviour, it is quickly evident that much aligns with well-established responses to trauma, and to adjacent experiences such as anxiety, distress and exclusion.

During this course we will break down the ‘symptoms of autism’ and identify those we can define as responses to harmful experiences. We will then consider the kinds of remedies appropriate for addressing those experiences, and how they can be applied in practical ways in everyday life at home, and in schools and social settings.

Spoiler: you already know all the answers, what we’ll be doing is reminding you of this and asking you to truly respond to Autistics as humans, not as blobs of ‘autism’.

This course is designed specifically for relatives, educators and those in caring professions living and working with younger Autistic people. However, given the common infantilisation of Autistic adults, all the content is directly applicable to those living and working with adults also.

Course length 1hr 45mins