Coping Strategies For Autism

Coping is getting adapted to stressful situations that happen around us based on conscious or unconscious ways which can reduce unpleasant feelings.

Coping skill is how a person can approach unpleasant situations which are stressful in life. Some ways to cope with stress are doing exercise, listening to music, playing with clay, getting a hug, reading, writing, Going somewhere very public, making a list of blessings in life, focusing on something else, creating or building something, taking a break, planting some seeds, doing puzzle, painting, cleaning the room, rearrange furniture, sort through photographs, dancing, etc.

Coping mechanisms are helpful to adapt to surroundings that may be unpleasant situations for an individual. Coping Mechanisms will be used by the people who have depression, anxiety, feel loneliness, need to cope with anger and needs stress management.

Coping strategies will help people with Autism to overcome the anxiety they are experiencing in daily life situations. There are so many different ways of strategies that can be manifested by themselves and can be unique to each and every one.

Some of the coping strategies dealt with by individuals with autistic children include,

  • Routine
  • Physical
  • Attachment to objects
  • Repetitive speech/questioning

Types of coping strategies

  • Appraisal focused or adaptive cognitive
  • Problem-focused or adaptive behavioral
  • Emotion-focused

Appraisal-focused or adaptive cognitive strategies are coping mechanisms where thoughts will be revised or the mindset will be changed. The most common coping mechanism is denial under these strategies.

Problem-focused strategies are mechanisms that can alter the behavior of the person.

Emotion-focused strategies are mechanisms were to eliminate or tolerate stress, one’s emotions can be altered through some other ways. Some of the examples include doing meditation, relaxation techniques, and distraction.

Children with high functioning autism can overcome anxiety by talking through fears and struggles they are facing in their daily life. An approach like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Social Skill Training can be very useful for high functioning autistic children. For autistic children, it is quite challenging to handle their emotions. To guide autistic children to deal with the emotions, practice them to identify others’ emotions, use interesting stories to make them identify their own expressions and feelings, coping skills can be taught, ask to debrief after an emotional event.