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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Discipline 101: Find Help and Share What Works for Your Family!

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Are you looking for help disciplining your ASD child?  You've come to the right place!  Our moms have "been there, done that" and have shared some great advice.  
 

               Here are just a few helpful tips shared by moms just like you:
 

1. Base your discipline style on their level of understanding 

~ Higher functioning children can understand rewards and punishments while low functioning children may respond better to redirection rather than consequences.
 

2. Make sure they know why they're being disciplined

~ Put an "If/Then" chart on the fridge so they know what's expected and what will happen if they don't obey.

~ Get down on their level and make sure you have their attention before you speak.

~ Discuss with your child what they did wrong then make them repeat it back to you.

~ For lower functioning children, repeat short sentences they might understand.  Example: If he turns the TV up too loud -  say "Too loud, too loud, too loud" while turning down the TV. 
 

3. Use rewards along with consequences

~ Take away a privilege for bad behavior (TV, video games, computer) but be sure to reward GOOD behavior as well.  
 

4. Redirect

~ Replace "bad" behavior (throwing a ball in the house) with "good" behavior (take your child outside to throw instead).

~ Engage them in a calming activity.

~ Remove them from the situation and offer an alternate, positive activity.
 

5. Be consistent and firm

~ Don't threaten a consequence without following through.

~ Be sure you discipline for the same behavior (good and bad) with consistency.

~ Don't back down from a consequence.

~ ASD children can be very literal.  Make sure you are telling them to stop a behavior rather than asking.
 

6. Allow room for change

~ Be prepared to adjust your discipline style as your child ages and develops.


For more details on how moms implement these ideas visit one of these helpful discussions or share questions and ideas in the replies below!



by on Jan. 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Replies (11-20):
AmberM80
by on Mar. 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM

BUMP!

J-MAspieMom
by on Mar. 16, 2012 at 2:36 AM
The school my son goes to has helped us to see similar situations more clearly. In your son's case, his one day suspension is his consequence. Instead of concentrating on a punishment, you have the opportunity to teach him how to better understand what happened and ways he can react more appropriately next time, which is far more effective. Throwing the chair may have been the only way in the heat of the moment he knew how to express the intensity of what he was feeling.

During an appropriate time when you and your son are talking at home and he is receptive, you can ask him what happened. It's sometimes surprising to see the situation from their point of view and can help tremendously in understanding their challenges and triggers. (If he has difficulty talking about it and he likes to draw, ask him to draw what happened; then talk about the drawings together.) You can engage him in figuring out other things he could have chosen to do instead of throwing the chair at the teacher and help him figure out which choice would have been most appropriate. The key is to help them see why their choice was inappropriate (i.e. , it hurt someone, damaged something) and what they can do instead. Let him know that because he threw the chair at the teacher and because someone could have gotten hurt, he won't be allowed to go to school until (fill in with the specific day of the week).

Their emotions can feel larger than life and they don't always know what it is they are feeling (angry, frustrated, happy, sad, etc). Especially when younger, they may need help labelling what it is they are feeling. Talking about appropriate things they can do when they feel angry is a next step. When he gets angry at home, helping redirect him to a response or activity that allows him to express his feelings appropriately will help him learn how to better control his own behavior.



Quoting Hotmomma887:

My husband and I are at odds on how to punish our 5 1/2 year old son with HF Asperger's. He threw a chair at school and hit a teacher and received a 1 day suspension. What type of punishment is appropriate for him?


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J-MAspieMom
by on Mar. 16, 2012 at 2:56 AM
One of the hardest things for us to try to decide when our son was younger was whether he was purposely misbehaving or whether the disorders were driving the misbehavior. As we found out later, the vast majority of the time, the disorders were driving the misbehavior. Our son wanted to behave, but largely lacked the knowledge and coping skills necessary to be able to do so. Emotional dysregulation played a significant role in this. When he feels frustrated or angry, the shear magnitude of emotion he feels can be far greater than the situation warrants. So instead of it being an overreaction to the situation, the action might accurately reflect the magnitude of the anger he's actually feeling inside.
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J-MAspieMom
by on Mar. 16, 2012 at 3:00 AM
Of course, every child is different. I hope this helped.
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marisab
by Gold Member on Mar. 26, 2012 at 8:21 AM

 thans this may be helpful with johny!!!;-)

praying717
by on Mar. 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM
3 moms liked this

Wow, ok, now I don't feel so alone!! My son will be 14 in a few weeks, and I have known for at least the last 10 years that something was strange. We had him in speech therapy and OT from 3 - 4, then we moved. It took him years to become accustomed to our new home. We put him in preschool. When the year ended, we were told it would be best to hold him back, but we decided to move him on to K. Over the next several years his teachers kept telling us something was off. He went back into speech therapy because he couldn't finish a sentence. In third grade, his teacher tells us that she wont' give him any more pencils unless we start paying for them because he is wasting away for no reason.  When we ask him about it, he says that he can't stand the sound of an unsharp pencil on paper, that it freaks him out. He said he told the teacher but she just told him to stop lying. He would go through 2 or more pencils from brand new down to stubs every day!! His handwriting is abominable. He does not know how to interact with others and is often bullied, but when he pushes back, he is considered the bully because he's bigger than most of the other kids. His teachers (at a private Catholic school) give him no leeway, and appear to dislike him (he was sick for a week with a high fever, but when he returned to school, he had to sit for 4 exams that made up most of his quarter grade, without being able to find out what the material had been taught and what would be on the exam!! When we try to meet with them for parent/teacher conferences, they tell us there's no need. When we email to find out what is going on in the classroom or why his grades are dropping, we get no response. I'm really sorry for the length of this post, but I am just so frustrated!! My husband is fighting me, telling me there's nothing wrong with him, but he can't socialilze appropriately, he bosses people around, he doesn't understand social cues and does not recognize the difference between him being a child speaking with adults .. he reprimands everybody because no one is following the rules .. to him, life is black and white, no gray and no color. He even draws in pencil, not liking the colors because there are too  many options. So now I finally find someone who tells me I'm not crazy and that there's a name and it's treatable with the right therapies. I just feel like I've been doing this alone for 10 years, while my son has been screaming "help me" and rather than listen to my son, I listened to everyone else. Even my husband, who is in the medical field, keeps telling me he's fine, there's nothing wrong with him, he's just a teenager. That would be fine if he had been a teenager for the last 10 years!!

spiritfruits
by on Apr. 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

How do you a discipline a child with ASD and they don't care about the consequece given.  They start to agruee you are wrong and they are right.

MomsIrishBoys
by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM
1 mom liked this

My son is 2 1/2, will be 3 in Sept. He is speech delayed. He is very smart and understands what you are saying to him, but it is hard for him to comunicate to us what it is that he wants or needs. He hasn't been diagnosed yet, but his Pedi says PDD. So while we wait the 6 mos for him to be seen and evaluated for it, I need to know if I should even be implimenting timeouts with him. As I'm not certain that he even really understands it. Opinions?

one.love133076
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 8:42 PM

hi my name is Jessica and my son is 13 n is about to b 14 he has ADS n the disciplines I used to use on him dose not seem to b working anymore I have taken the t.v. ,xbox , computer and cell phone away but its much more than that he will not listen to anything myself or finance have to say I feel like I'm at the end of my rope and I don't know what to do or say we reward him on his good behavior as we always have but things are getting harder as he gets older and we need help please he's a great kid we just want him to feel n know that he is very loved no matter what but when he miss behaves we need him to know that its not ok to act like that 

one.love133076
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM
1 mom liked this

this is to momsirishboys just joined this site n saw your post n I just wanted to say it can be very difficult to deal with a child who is unresponsive but the one thing I have learned is you have to stay consisting with discipline now it will be hard at first but stay with it when he dose something that renders discipline put him in a chair for 2 min now he will get up n you are goin to have to keep putting him back but the one thing you must not do is talk to him as you are putting him back now before you put him in T.O. Let him know why you are putting him there to start with then when he finely dose his T.O. Ask him if he knows why he was put there if he says no and he will at first that's when you explain it to him but not in big words but in words he will understand ask him to apologize and give you a hug keep faith it will get better as long as you stick with it well my name is Jessica and I have a 14 year old who has ADS and this is among other things the stuff I had to try and it worked now it may not work for you or it may but stay with it don't give up I just hope this helps good luck and if your interested I have more up my lane feel free to hit me up And if you want to talk I can give you my number well good luck 

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