Tame those tantrums with this expert advice.

Understanding what triggers your child with autism is the first step.

What parent hasn’t been in the difficult and sometimes embarrassing position of dealing with a child’s tantrum? The good news is this: Despite the screaming, stomping, crying, and dropping to the floor, temper tantrums are a normal part of childhood development.

Temper tantrums happen because children haven’t learned how to express strong emotions in more socially acceptable ways. As a result, the task of taming a tantrum can be especially difficult for parents of children with autism. Kids with autism need extra time and attention to learn social skills for relating to others and to their environment.  

For kids with autism, temper tantrums can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as changes in their routine, sensory overload, or difficulty communicating. As a parent, it can be overwhelming to deal with these outbursts, but there are strategies you can use to help decrease the severity and even lower the chance of them happening in the first place. So let’s take a look!

Six Strategies for Managing Temper Tantrums in Kids with Autism

#1 – Identify what triggers your child.

This requires some observation and note-taking, but over time, you may start to notice patterns. Some common triggers for children with autism include changes in their routine, loud noises, being in a crowd, bright lights, hunger, thirst, and difficulty communicating. Once you identify what triggers your child, you can work to avoid or mitigate them.

#2 – Use visual aids to set expectations.

Many children with autism respond well to visual aids, such as picture schedules or social stories. Visual aids can help your child understand what is expected of them and provide a sense of structure and routine. You can use visual aids to prepare your child for changes in routine or to explain why a particular behavior is not appropriate.

#3 – Provide your child with sensory breaks.

Sensory overload can be a common trigger for tantrums in children with autism. Providing sensory breaks can help your child regulate their sensory input and prevent overload. This might include taking a break in a quiet, dark room or using sensory tools, like weighted blankets and fidget toys.

#4 – Use positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool for encouraging positive behavior in children with autism. When your child exhibits positive behavior, such as staying calm during a potentially triggering situation, make sure to praise and reward them. This can help build their confidence and encourage them to continue exhibiting positive behavior.

#5 – Be consistent with your child.

Consistency is key when it comes to managing tantrums in children with autism. Establish clear expectations and consequences for behavior, and make sure to follow through consistently. This can help your child understand what is expected of them and provide a sense of predictability and routine.

#6 – Seek support for your child and for yourself.

Managing tantrums can be a challenging and overwhelming task for parents. It’s important to seek support from professionals, like an ABA therapy provider. ABA therapy is the gold standard treatment for kids with autism. Studies show children who start ABA therapy early, as young as two years old, achieve the best results that can impact their whole life. Expert ABA therapy providers also provide support and guidance for parents, including parent training where you can learn ABA techniques and connect with other parents to share experiences and advice.

Here at The Behavior Exchange, we make getting support easy. We’ve been helping children with autism and their families reach their full potential for more than 20 years. We’re proud to say our ABA therapy centers and programs have earned the prestigious recognition as a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® with the highest accreditation possible.

Our ABA therapy programs can help your child with autism in every area of life, from communication, language, and self-help skills to academics, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, school readiness, and more. All of our fun and caring programs are individualized for each child, but most importantly, they offer your family real hope and meaningful change for a brighter future.

If you live in North Texas or in the Boulder (CO) area, contact us today! Email buddy@behaviorexchange.com or call 972.312.8733 to get started. Be sure to ask us about insurance. We advocate for parents with their insurance company, so you can avoid throwing a tantrum yourself.





Ashvina attended University of Bombay and graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce. She got her Montessori Diploma in 1985 and taught ever since. Ashvina came to TBE in January of 2016 as Admin Assistant. During the years she got the opportunity to learn and work in different departments such as HR, Finance, Office Manager and Executive Assistant. Last summer TBE bought billing in house and her current focus area is Revenue Cycle Management. She is detail oriented and enjoys working with people. Ashvina volunteers to deliver meals to seniors and local shelters on the weekend. She loves to spend time with her family and grandkids. Ashvina loves her job because she enjoys hearing different points of view, and she feels her contributions help fuel the direction of our company.

Working with children comes naturally to Angela. Her mom was a special education teacher for 30 years and often had Angela join her for Take Your Child to Work Day. And in high school, Angela spent every summer as the nanny for a little boy with an autism spectrum disorder. It was this experience where her passion for working with children with autism started to blossom.

From there, she went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. She learned about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a non-normative development class and from that moment knew that ABA would be her life’s work.

Angela moved to the DFW area shortly after and began working at The Behavior Exchange as a therapist. She worked on her Master’s in Behavior Analysis at the same time. A year after graduating, she earned certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Now, as a Clinical Director at The Behavior Exchange, she brings a life-long passion to her work, holding a special place in her heart for children with limited language skills and working closely with families to develop healthy sleep habits.

Danielle’s passion for working with families is deeply personal and from the heart. Her younger brother has an autism spectrum disorder, and through their journey as a family, she found her purpose in life as an advocate for individuals with special needs.

After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Danielle began volunteering at The Behavior Exchange. She saw passionate therapists, meaningful change for clients, and families with hope for the future. After a summer of volunteering, she officially joined the team as Director of Admissions and found her home with The Behavior Exchange family.

With her extensive experience working as a client advocate with insurance providers, Danielle perseveres to help individuals of all ages and abilities receive the services they need to reach their full potential. She feels truly honored by each and every family who entrusts The Behavior Exchange to be part of their journey and is committed to the organization’s core values, mission, and goal of being a beacon of hope for the community.

Adam has always had a passion for helping individuals of all ages thrive and reach their full potential. He’s also an enthusiastic musician, songwriter, leader, and devoted family man, who has been helping children and team members grow with The Behavior Exchange since 2010.

Prior to joining the team at The Behavior Exchange, Adam was a mortgage loan consultant and grad student, pursuing his master’s degree in Education at the University of North Texas. He graduated in 2013 and also earned a graduate academic certificate in Autism Intervention. The following year, after years as a Behavior Therapist and seeing first-hand the power of ABA and the meaningful impact it can have on children and their families, Adam became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He then commenced from the Stagen Leadership Academy after completing the Integral Leadership Program (ILP), a 52-week practice-based program designed to develop executives serious about transforming themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

Adam is truly grateful to be a part of a dynamic, inspiring and compassionate team, and he’s dedicated to bettering the lives of all children and their families through the delivery of the highest quality of ABA services, while supporting the amazing team at The Behavior Exchange.

Soraya is from South Africa and moved to Texas in 1996. She graduated from The University of Texas and pursued a career, at that time, in Education. Soraya taught at a Montessori school for a few years and then took on a leadership role.

During her time in the education system, Soraya realized her passion was to assist children with special needs. So she joined The Behavior Exchange as a therapist, transitioned into a supervisory role in 2017, and a year and a half later, was promoted to Clinical Operations Manager.

She quickly learned the ins and outs of ABA operations and scheduling and successfully collaborates across departments to ensure The Behavior Exchange continues to provide quality services to clients and their families. She’s thankful to be part of such an amazing organization and excited to see what the future holds.

You could say Walter’s career started when he spent hours as a young child drawing superheroes and coloring maps. This passion, along with extraordinary swimming skills, landed him a full swimming scholarship at Texas Christian University, where he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Graphics.

During the next 13 years, his design and art direction skills, conceptual-thinking abilities, and marketing-savvy know-how were honed at a few prestigious advertising and marketing agencies around the Dallas area. In the mid 2000s, he helped his wife Tammy Cline-Soza (founder and CEO of The Behavior Exchange) create a unique and concise brand for her new business. From logos and websites to uniforms, brand voice and visuals, Walter has been the main creative force for all things The Behavior Exchange.

Aside from giving birth to The Behavior Exchange brand, Walter is helping Tammy raise two amazing, beautiful children, River and Sierra. In his spare time (the two minutes he’s got per week), you can find Walter illustrating iconic landmarks of Dallas and Texas or looking around for this next open-water swim. Once he gets back in shape.

After 20 years of building The Behavior Exchange, literally from the ground up,
Tammy couldn’t be more proud of the team, culture, and organization that it has become.

As a family helping families, The Behavior Exchanges looks for opportunities that will make the biggest impact and produce life-changing outcomes – for clients, families, and even for team members. Tammy believes that if a team, a family, a community takes care of each other, the possibilities are endless and the relationships built along the way can make life more enriching and challenges easier to navigate. You could say her goal has been to build a kind of utopia full of support, love, and expertise that brings the best services possible to the community and ensures more families have access to those services.

Tammy and her family have dedicated their lives to the mission of The Behavior Exchange and continue to grow, learn, cultivate, challenge, support, and create better models for success. To that end, she is committed to her own leadership development and actively participates in advanced training, mentoring, and deep self-exploration on how to live out her purpose to love and support her family and help others reach their full potential. She takes her position very seriously and tries to serve as a channel for what the universe wants to come to fruition.

She also loves travel, gardening, being creative, MUSIC!, tennis, yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, being in nature, adventures, and more than anything, spending time with her husband Walter and their two beautiful children, River and Sierra.