Autism Triggers: know what they are and make a plan

Triggers are events, situations or something in their environment that can make someone upset.

They often lead to unwanted behaviors and lots of stress.

These are some common triggers for kids with autism:

  • Bright or fluorescent lights

  • Loud or sudden noises

  • Clothing that doesn't feel good on their skin

  • Being in social groups or crowded areas

  • Having a change in their usual routine

  • Waiting....

Autism triggers can be very different for every child. Learn what they are for your child, and help prepare for them. Learn what they are, and help your child prepare for them.

Here's what you can do:

  • Understand that your child's reactions to these triggers are because of autism and how their brain reacts to emotional experiences and things around them (stimuli). It is not their fault that they react differently than others. Their behavior is a way that they self-regulate, or cope with the stresses they experience.

  • Be curious. Observe and notice what’s going on for your child so you can start to identify when these triggers might happen.

  • Help your child prepare ahead of time if a possible trigger situation is coming up.  Sometimes drawing a simple plan can help your child know what to expect.

  • Create a comfortable environment to minimize these triggers and decrease stress (adjust the lights, get socks without seams, noise cancelling headphones, etc.)

  • Identify a calm place they can go when they feel upset. This may be sitting with a heavy blanket, in a fort, on your lap, or in a quiet corner in their school.

  • Tell your child's therapists about all these things! Ask about strategies that can help.


See our blog: Keeping Calm: Mastering the Art of Self-Regulation in 3 Simple Steps(It will open in a new tab on your screen.)


Source: The Mehrit Center, Profectum