Dear parents of autistic children,
No, your child doesn’t do weird things “for no reason”. They do it for a reason, you just don’t know it yet. You have different brains, different perspectives, so sometimes things that are obvious to them are a mystery to you. But you don’t have to ignore it and blame it on them. You can make an effort, reach out to them and figure out the reason.
Do they scream in public when it looks like everything is okay? Well, there’s probably a reason for that. Maybe the situation is overwhelming to their senses, it’s too loud, to bright, to crowded, and they need some space and time to recover. Maybe they can’t stim because other people keep telling them it looks weird, so they end up exhausted much faster. Maybe you are breaking their routine by being outside at this time. Or maybe you are going through the supermarket “the wrong way”, not how you usually do it. Maybe they forgot their comfort object at home, and just realized that. Maybe they are in pain and can’t communicate that. Maybe they are very hungry and don’t realize that yet because it’s hard for them to recognize their needs and emotions. Maybe it’s a combination of those, or something different altogether.
Either way, they probably don’t do it “for no reason”. You just don’t see the reason. Make an effort to communicate. If they are verbal, ask them. If they can’t speak with their mouth at the moment or ever, use alternative methods of communication. If they can’t explain it, consult other autistic people, including autistic adults who probably have a bunch of ideas as to why your child does that weird thing. Don’t dismiss it, don’t complain about it, don’t blame your child for doing it. Try to see the world from their perspective. Respect their needs and feelings. Learn more about autism from other autistic people.
And life will be much better and easier for both you and your child.