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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 (21-30):
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 9:40 PM
1 mom liked this

That's the problem we have with our angel. She is 8, but her PDD-NOS (the bottom end of the spectrum) and developmentally about 3. It's like her brain resets ev ery 5 minutes,a nd she has no clue what happened before. That makes it extremely difficult discipline-wise, because sometimes she can inspire so much anger in us (like biting and kicking us in public while screaming her head off that we're hurting her while we're trying desperately to hold onto her so she doesn't run away) that by the time we calm down enough to deal with her reasonably, she's forgotten. It's hell some days. When told to do something, she argues with us incessantly. Stomps her feet and screams no. She's super impulsive, and has run away 4 times in the last week. We've caught up to her within a block, but once not before she managed to strip buck naked and jump in someones swimming pool.

Quoting spiritfruits:

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.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 11:19 PM
1 mom liked this

I have a 6 yr old son who has adhd and an 8 yr old with the same. not only do I deal with 2 kids who are adhd, but now my 6 year old is showing signs of HF asbergers. I always new he was different. The school psychologist and I just had a meeting and his "asberger's" is so mild he is only showing some traits so it is hard to diagnose. I know it is more than adhd, its just hard finding out for sure that your child isn't "normal". Imagine my house, it is in complete kaos everyday.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM
1 mom liked this

 Thank you so much for this. I have been dealing with some behavioral issues lately and have never been good with discipline. I have contacted CARD to hopefully get someone out here to help me implement some good strategies for my son, but I am going to print out this as well.

It could not have popped up at a better time. Today was a nightmare!

by on May. 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

My daughter is 6 and she has ASD. She is still working on her verbal communication and at times it's frustrating for her to get out the words she needs to makes her needs known. Because of this I believe my ex-husband and I have been "had". She understands EVERYTHING you say to her and is VERY bright. Lately though she has really begun to test her boundaries. When she doesn't get her way she screams at us. Has begun to dump her drinks on the floor if she doesn't get the liquid she asked for, and has pretty much started to throw fits.  This is new. She has never really acted out like this before. Usually she is very calm, mellow and uses her words very clear and well. We have tried having her sit on her bed until she calms down but she will not stay and soesn't yet grasp the concept of time.  I am looking for any help anyone may be able to provide. We are taking a trip to California in a few weeks and her and I are flying. This will be her first plane ride and I want her to enjoy it and the other passengers to not hate me.  Also, we move there in August. again, any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks :) 

by on May. 19, 2012 at 6:16 PM

My 6 year old autistic son wont stop eating

by on May. 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM
1 mom liked this

Mine eats so much she was tested for Prader-Willi. The test was negative. Her nutritionist told me to keep large amounts of healthy foods and allow her to eat when she's hungry. She eats on averalge 6 yogurt's, 6 applesauces, 4 to 6 apples, 6 to 8 bananas, and half a jar of peanut butter every day, in addition to meals. And she's still skinny and underweight.

by on Aug. 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

That is good advice.  I need all the help I can get. I moved into a home where my best friend had passed away from cancer.  Her child is 12 yrs old ( girl ) and has autism.  She has had her own way pretty much all of her life.  Shye so needs redirecting..or retraining.  She does go to a private tutor 6 hours a day.

I don't know that much about autistic children...and have been here 2 months and I feel I have already lost her respect because I have been too nice.  I thought I should overlook things because she is grieving...but she doesn't show it.  I am sure she is in her own way.  She alway says to me loudly..."you're not my mom....I want you to go home!"  This is hurtful to me....and I understand she is hurting.  She is very very controlling and I feel it may be because she feels out of control. She has been allowed to eat ONLY peppridge farm gold fish and cinnamon crunch cereal...That is it!!  She eats nothing else, and won't touch any other food even if it looks delicious.  They took her for 3 years to see specialists and no one could help her,  Her hair is falling out some...and I feel she can't live with eatting such empty calories.


HELP?!  Good advice is welcome...thank you.  I am new on here.

by Silver Member on Aug. 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM
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by on Aug. 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this

Would you (or anyone else) have an example of what and IF/Then Chart would look like? Where would be the ideal place to put the chart up?

by Silver Member on Aug. 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM
1 mom liked this
I hope that this isn't insensitive, but be good or don't do this are too general for directions. Be more specific or concrete. I.e. throwing a chair can hurt someone, alternative: when upset, say I need a break. Consequence: no tv or video games.

In school suspension gives him time alone, which gives him what he wants

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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