I recently had an experience that's very similar to the question asked here How should I inform parents if their children are bothering me? but this time from the other side.

My kids are very noisy. I have 3 of them (1,3,5) and they are awsome. They have a diagnosis of 'signs of autistic behaviour', because they are too young to receive the official autistic diagnosis here but everyone (daycare teachers etc) seems to think they are.

Our 'problems' falls into 2 categories.

  • they need constant supervision. They are all 3 very different but each in their own way have a way to 'demand' 24/7 attention. This means that if they are playing nice but a bit loud, or are singing or doing many things that fall in the 'loud but not dangerous nor totally obnoxious' category, it means i leave them at it to give the others attention.
  • it is very hard to get through to them. They have to put their cloths on the exactly the right order. If we go for a walk and take a wrong turn i have to carry 1 or 2 kids back to the house screaming all the way. and many more examples like this

This results in that we are often 'behind the facts' and are just extinguising fires (figuratively) rather than having much time to teach them how to read their own books or anything i can do to teach them to act more quietly.

Now my neighbour complains that my kids are making noise all the time. And they are. If one of them is not crying they are literally squeaking and jumping of joy. And i honestly feed bad that when he took a few days off to study he can't concentrate because of my kids. Makes me wish they were only singing when on the bus.

Does anyone have some tips how i can teach my kids to calm down, especially in a house where most likely 1 or 2 others are not calm. It frustrates us probably just as much as our neighbour but I have no clue how to get ahead of our problems.

  • 1
    Been there and done that, particularly with the 'make a wrong turn' ... Thanks for the good question, good luck, and hope you get some good answers!
    – Joe
    Jun 16, 2015 at 18:31
  • 2
    I am not a professional but I had a friend with an autistic son. She often got stares whenever they went out because of the child's behavior. Many people just assumed she had a bad kid and she didn't know how to parent. She said it would be easier if her child had a physical disability people could see and they would be more understanding. I wish you the best. Jun 16, 2015 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


I hate to break it to you, but you're probably going to have to figure it out on your own, or with the help of an occupational therapist. My daughter has cerebral palsy and often gets loud and bothersome as you describe, but the things we have learned that calm her don't work at all for my nephews with down syndrome or autism, or even other children with cerebral palsy. They can be as different from each other as they are different from neurotypical children. Doctors with a lot of experience working with kids like my daughter still defer to us in that area.

Some things to try as you find what works for you:

Try different responses, even things that seem extreme or out of your nature: scream, stay silent, look away, stare, hold him tightly, don't touch at all, whisper, act silly. It feels weird to scream at my daughter, but sometimes that's exactly what she needs to snap out of screaming herself.

Try different kinds of sensory stimulation. My daughter loves these spinning light toys that vibrate. Kids may be over or under-sensitive. There are a lot of good ideas to try here.

Learn the triggers. This can take a while to cover every situation, but they don't tend to change very often. Try to find principles that will let you generalize to unknown situations. That sensory page can help. For example, taking a wrong turn may be upsetting because it's a deviation from the routine, but it might also be the sun in his eyes, or the dog that lives on that street, or the sidewalk being too bumpy, or a weird smell, or simply not having been given enough advance warning of the turn.

We originally thought my daughter's problem with crowds was just the over-stimulation, which is part of it, but a much larger part was the stress of navigating her wheelchair without hitting someone. If we drive her wheelchair through crowds, she does much better. Challenge your assumptions where triggers are concerned.

Don't make it all or nothing. I can keep my daughter from screaming at the grocery store, but it's impossible to keep her quiet, and if I try, it makes it worse. We do this banter thing where every 10-15 seconds I ask her a question or she asks me one. Mostly the same two questions: "Are you coming?" or "Where are we going?" It's probably super-annoying for outsiders to hear, but it's way better than the alternative.

Best of luck, and remember, you're probably doing better than you think.

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