How to Help Your Autistic Child Overcome Rigidity

How to Help Your Autistic Child Overcome Rigidity

Some children with autism have been found to have cognitive rigidity.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often face significant difficulties in the area of flexibility.

Despite the fact that this is a lesson we all need to master to adjust to our constantly shifting environment, their interests exhibit inflexible processing and behavior.

Cognitive flexibility allows us to consider other points of view and handle change with greater ease than those who are less open to new knowledge or experiences.

Although it can be difficult to manage a child with such inflexible difficulties, the right support for autism can prove to be beneficial in overcoming this difficulty.

There are numerous ways to help your autistic child overcome rigidity, one of which is to first explain what is happening.

Autistic children understand the world differently, and this affects how they view things.

Helping them understand what rigidity is and why it is important to overcome it.

Also, children will generally find it much easier to imitate their parents or guardians.

When you model flexible thinking, your autistic child learns more about it through you.

You also try completing routine tasks in new ways.

This method will gradually help your autistic child overcome rigidity with each change you make.

Read on to learn how to help your autistic child overcome rigidity.

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Barbra Styles, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

(720) 449-4121
Sarah Tapia, LPCC

Sarah Tapia, LPCC

(719) 602-1342
Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

(719) 696-3439
Jasleen Karir, SWC

Jasleen Karir, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Sierra Brown, SWC

Sierra Brown, SWC

(719) 345-2424
Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Katie (Kate) Castillo, MS, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

(719) 345-2424
Jackie Erwin, LPC

Jackie Erwin, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Marta Schmuki, LPC

Marta Schmuki, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021

Explain What's Happening 

One of the essential things you can do for your child whose conduct is rigid is to help them develop a knowledge of the world, including social norms and views of others.

Help your child understand by providing detailed descriptions of events, expectations, or the acts of others.

Avoid ambiguity and uncertainty by providing as much specificity as possible.

For instance, you might be instructing your kid in the art of shape drawing.

You manage to sketch the shapes, but your kid is upset since you did it differently than what he or she learned in school that day.

Your child's instructor probably taught them one way to draw out the forms, so if you use a different one, they may be confused or even angry with you.

The concept that there are multiple approaches to sketching a given shape would need to be introduced to your child with some clarity.

Let them understand that the choice of whether to begin at the left or right side of the shape is purely personal.

Practice Flexible Thinking 

The role of a parent is to provide an example for their children.

Parents are thus responsible for modeling certain qualities and beliefs on their children.

To help your autistic child overcome rigidity, you can achieve this by modeling flexible thinking to them.

As understanding the world can prove difficult for autistic children, it is up to parents to help them navigate it.

This involves model applications of the rules in question.

The more you demonstrate and talk about them, the less scary it will seem for them to handle unexpected situations on their own.

Consider adopting a "What if" method.

This allows you to demonstrate and discuss alternative responses to hypothetical situations.

Complete Tasks in New Ways

If your child prefers to carry out daily tasks in the same sequence and manner, encourage tiny adjustments to assist them in becoming accustomed to new possibilities.

You can let your kid "choose" a different approach to their regular morning routine.

Consider turning it into a contest or challenge.

This will provide your child with a sense of continuing control.

If required, offer rewards to motivate your child to try out the new behaviors.

Allowing your child to make decisions and gradually introducing changes will help them feel more in control and less anxious.

For instance, if your child typically brushes their teeth first before having their bath to go to school, instruct them to have their bath first.

You can also ask them to help you choose a new way to take to the store if they are old enough to navigate and you are going to the store with them.

These gradual changes will make an impact in overcoming rigidity.

Prepare Them for Various Situations 

You can help your autistic child overcome rigidity by preparing them ahead through frontloading.

Frontloading is a technique for educating your child about what to anticipate as well as potential outcomes and what they can do.

Before you go out with them, you can go over what to expect, what can happen, and what they can do while they're there if they're struggling before trips and events.

Although you can't account for every event and outcome, however, you can get your child ready for possible scenarios.

Then you can discuss options for handling those various circumstances.

Instead of possibly being fixated on one expected consequence, frontloading aids children in preparing for a variety of potential outcomes.

Discuss Ideas Together 

More often than not, to solve a problem, you must be able to come up with at least two potential options.

This may be challenging for your child if they have inflexible thinking.

As a parent, you can help in this area by working on creating brainstorms with them to help your autistic child overcome rigidity.

Start with simple circumstances and go to more difficult issues or even present issues that your child is facing.

For example, you can ask them questions like, "What should we have for breakfast?"

This gives them the opportunity to explore several breakfast options, such as waffles, cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.

Then, for a more difficult scenario, ask your child, "What can you do if someone frustrates you," and assist them in coming up with alternatives to handle such situations.

They can learn a lot from this activity, which is extremely beneficial to them.


A greater sense of freedom in daily life can be attained by thinking outside the strict confines of the metaphorical box.

ASD is characterized by rigidity, which can hinder social, academic, and community inclusion.

For an autistic child to overcome rigidity, it takes all the support for autism they can get from their loved ones, among others.

You can help your autistic child overcome rigidity by explaining what is happening, leading by example by modeling flexible thinking, try completing routine tasks in new ways, preparing your child, and discussing ideas together.


Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
May 25th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed