Surviving a Behavior Crisis

Member Login

Add new comment

Surviving a Behavior Crisis

RMS Titanic LifebuoyFor your child

  • Help your child to stay safe and out of harm’s way
  • Be sure your child’s physicians, teachers and friends understand something about the situation
  • Inform others of your efforts to make it better
  • If the child’s school or work environment is fueling the crisis, consider keeping them at home or with family and taking a medical leave-of-absence
For yourself and family
  • Stay oriented and try not to dwell on the chaos and uncertainty you are feeling
  • Avoid drowning, don’t let your child or others pull you under water…it’s difficult to breathe
  • Ask others for help, it’s important to let trusted others know when you’re feeling overwhelmed
  • Take care of yourself, and when ready seek help for depression, anxiety, anger, sleeplessness, and relationship problems – all of which are common

Try to simplify your life, this may mean reducing your other commitments. Seek out 1-2 other parents who have experienced something like this before. This is not your fault, it just is


Managing your worry list
  • Other plans may have to wait another day - prioritize!
  • Allow only 2 or 3 worries per day, that's the limit!
  • Seek informed opinion and consultation, experience matters
  • Work collaboratively and communicate effectively with trusted professionals 
  • Follow through with recommended follow-up plans
  • Develop a comprehensive behavior support or crisis management plan


Tips for adapting to your situation
  • Manage (tolerate) uncertainty regarding diagnosis and management.
  • Opinions differ, and everyone has their own opinion (even if well informed) based on their own experience and training
  • Be cautious of overly simplistic explanations and recommendations – your child is not simply “developmentally delayed” and a “behavior problem” s/he is complex and is reacting to something they don’t like

Learn to accept some level of risk (despite trepidation and uncertainty) with a new intervention or placement in order to achieve some level of benefit. Embrace (tolerate) the complexity of your situation – there are multiple and overlapping reasons why your child is as they are

Go to Learn More: Maladaptive Behavior

Resources for Parents & Educators

Autism and Developmental Disability Inpatient Research Collaborative