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Discipline of a language delayed child?

My 4.5 year old has speech and cognative delays. He recently started a six week therapy course through our school district. He attends this preschool 5 days a weel 8:30 to noon. He thrives on routine and predictability. During times were he knows what to expect, his behavior, and language improve, the slightest deviation, and he regresses. Over the last month there have been many changes in his life. A new baby, the new preschool, both me and dh have been on leave from work, his grandparents stayed for a week, and the most drastic is that our 6 year old has been spending most of his free time with his friends outside instead of with our 4.5 year old. They have been best friends and playmates since Gabe (our 4.5 year old ) was able to crawl. Our 6 yr old, Zeke, still plays with Gabe but there is a large gap in their development and matruity, and Zeke has started to drift from Gabe. Over the past two weeks... cont...

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Asked by daughteroftruth at 11:01 PM on Apr. 23, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 19 (7,602 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • has regressed in most areas, but most concerning is agression. Normally his is very calm, gental, and compastionate. But he has recently become angry and agressive towards siblings and playmates. Today he bit his 2 yr old brother. Non of our children have ever lashed out in agression before so this is new territory for us. I know that he needs time to adjust to all the changes, but the agressive behavior is not acceptable and cannot be overlooked.
    so to the question... I am looking for resourses and advice on discplining a child with developmental delays. Our normal discipline is timeouts and seperation for most infractions but direct disobediance merits a spanking... but I do not view this behavior as direct disobediance, but as an inability to express his emotions and frustration apropreatly... I feel his behavior needs to be guided apropreatly, but unsure how to do that. thank you all for advice.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 11:08 PM on Apr. 23, 2010

  • A bad behavior needs to be addressed. It can be in a form of a time-out, taking a favorite thing away, no TV or losing a privilege. This has to be explained to the child as well. You have to be firm. He has to know that biting is unacceptable behavior.

    Answer by LavenderRose10 at 2:00 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • Does he have an OT, speech therapist, or teacher you could talk with? It's likely he may need a visual behavior chart - depending on how severe the delay is, he may not associate the punishment with his actions. The punishment also needs to be immediate and related to the infraction, before he has time to forget what is was he did in the first place.
    The best "punishment" at this stage is probably "prevention" - here in NC we have a program called CAP where we can get a one on one worker for a child with developmental delays to come into the home and it was a lifesaver when my 12 year old son with autism was younger! Get in contact with your local or state Autism Society (or other disability group - even if it doesn't match your son's diagnosis) - they should have information on what programs are available locally for special needs kiddos.

    Answer by missanc at 9:44 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • I like fillial play therapy. Can be taught to parents to be done at home and I have seen it work wonders with children with delays. You can find a certified play therapist in your area to assist you in learning some techniques of this method at home. And you said it yourself, you know your child thrives on routine. Until a new routine is established some adjusment pains are going to be noticed. My own child had a speech delay and routine was so important. We never did any kind of punishment that was related to his speech delays or other medical issues. That would have been inappropriate. We did seek professional assistance. My friend has her master's in special education and works with children from 13 weeks to 5 years old in a special program. She came over to our house, made suggestions, and did some sessions with us. It worked wonders. Going outside to get help worked for us.

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:44 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

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