ASD: how to stop uncontrollable fits of laughter

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Special-t, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Feb 25, 2014

    One of my high school seniors goes into laughing fits that he cannot stop. I've been his teacher for 4 years and know him very well. This is not drugs or goofing off. If he finds something funny (internal or external stimuli) he often cannot stop laughing to the point of tears.

    I'm concerned about how this behavior will be perceived in college and the workplace. He is high functioning on the Autism spectrum, by the way. He is getting his diploma and functions on the level of a moderate learning disability.

    He and I have discussed this. He knows he has trouble controlling the laughter. I am looking for suggestions.
     
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  3. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Feb 26, 2014

    I had a wonderful young lady in my elementary art class that would, at times, laugh so much that she ended up on the floor crying and gasping. I thought she might hurt herself. Nothing I tried lessened the laughter. Rather, everything I did made her laugh more. The only thing that worked was to ignore her and carry on as if nothing was happening and even then there was no guarantee she wouldn't escalate. Once she began an episode while I had techs in the room repairing my smart cart computer. All I could do was shrug and carry on.

    As far as his college career and professional life, he's going to have to learn to self moderate and that may take months to years of practice. Have you tried private cues alerting him when his behavior might be making others uncomfortable and allowing him to take personal space to collect himself?
     
  4. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Mar 8, 2014

    I have a senior that does this as well. It is because she is thinking of something different than what is going on in the classroom so she will just burst out with laughter, and it usually seems to be at the most inappropriate times.

    I'm not sure what to do about it. She's not really high functioning and I don't think she can see it from any perspective but hers.

    If he's really high functioning, perhaps you can think of a strategy and consistently use it until he can use it himself.

    Also, you might want to make sure it's not seizures. One of my coworkers has seizures that appear like she's just laughing inappropriately.
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Mar 8, 2014

    Interesting note about seizures.
     
  6. teachsph2008

    teachsph2008 Companion

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    Mar 10, 2014

    Hmmm, sounds like emotional lability. Do you know if the student has some kind of brain injury, perhaps a stroke?
     
  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Mar 10, 2014

    Nothing is listed on his health notes. Just ASD.
     

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