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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 (51-60):
cutiesexy66
by on Apr. 7, 2013 at 1:47 PM
1 mom liked this
Help my 15 year old with high functioning autism he uses foul language when he has melt Downs,but my husband says he should know better and wants to spank him. But does kids with autism know better Or don't they. It's hard to say punishment Cause of his autism he don't really watch TV Or play video games.that's what made me knew something was wrong.
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Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Apr. 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM

You know, my son (12) has a hard time understanding consequences.  I'm not sure how to build an understanding other than talking about it before something happens.  Example: When a trip to Walmart is planned, explain what you expect, explain what will happen if he takes something, etc.  That way, it's fresh and clear in his mind before he sets foot in the store.

Quoting tonyvee:

Hello,  My son is 9 yrs old with a dx of PDD-NOS.  He is now developing a habit of taking things he wants when he knows he is going to be told iti is not available  or it is not his.  It started with little things from school and his afterschool program, which we would talk to him about and send back.  Now he has moved on to bigger things, like video games in Walmart.  What advice can anyonw give on how to stop this?


Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Apr. 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Yes, I believe a high functioning teenager has an understanding of when he shouldn't be doing something (doesn't mean he won't do it though).  I don't think spanking or punishment is the key though and it may make him want to use the language even more when he's in melt down mode because he knows he's getting a reaction.

Quoting cutiesexy66:

Help my 15 year old with high functioning autism he uses foul language when he has melt Downs,but my husband says he should know better and wants to spank him. But does kids with autism know better Or don't they. It's hard to say punishment Cause of his autism he don't really watch TV Or play video games.that's what made me knew something was wrong.


cutiesexy66
by on Apr. 13, 2013 at 1:52 AM
1 mom liked this

 omg i thoought i was the only mom with this issue my son is 15 and he is high function aspergers and he thinks hes never wrong and he has all the answers. my husband discplines him casue i think he dont know the difference between right and wrong. i feel like i play warden in my house casue my husband dont agree with doctors he said my son just needs to behave. if my husband is fussing at him he will argue head up with my husband even if he hits my son he will still continue to argue and then i get mad and he and i end up in a shouting match. thank god u understand the issue ill send u a friend request would love to share horror stories lol.........i dont know about u son but mine u could take everything from him, he dont care casue he stopped watching tv for the most part and dont take a interest in his vidoe games.


Quoting 3mx2mom:

My 10 yr old with Asperger's doesn't know when to shut his mouth. He doesn't make the connection that when being disciplined, you should just shut up instead of continuously running your mouth about the situation. I'll give you an example. Last night, we were leaving to meet my ex-husband for their weekend visit. We left right after dinner so I allowed them to pick a dessert to take in the car. My 8 yr old (non-Asp) decided on carmel popcorn. Because the bag was almost empty, I just dumped what was left into his plastic baggie. My 10 yr old decided he wanted Oreos. He wanted the whole bag of Oreos because his brother got the rest of the carmel popcorn bag. I told him he could have 6 because their were like 20 Oreos in the bag. He started going on and on about how unfair it was that his brother got so much more than he was getting so it wasn't fair. He also kept going on about how it was unfair that his brother got 2 cupcakes the night before. Where he couldn't make the connection was 1. all week he kept touching what he perceived to be the biggest cupcakes so he actually got more cake than his brother did. 2. his brother's carmel popcorn was the same amount of dessert as his 6 Oreos. Finally, I told him I was taking his Oreos away if he couldn't be quiet and grateful for what he was getting instead of mouthing off about what he wasn't getting (being ungrateful for everything is another issue. nothing is ever good enough for him. his sense of entitlement drives me insane). I took his Oreos away from him, and then the meltdown started. It lasted for about 30 minutes. It started all over again because he convinced himself that I was going to allow him to use the Visa gift card he got for his birthday at the gas station to buy himself a dessert. When I said no, we had another 30 minute meltdown in the car. He absolutely cannot make connections between his behavior and consequences. He still feels he was justified to act that way because he was wronged. How do you make your child understand those connections? If anyone has advice on that, I'd really appreciate it. I could give you 1,000 more examples of this type of behavior.


 

Traquility
by on Apr. 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM
First time on here! You don't know how much it has helped me just reading your struggles. Sometimes u think u are the only one going through this. My son is 12 and HF Aspergers! I also have a husband that has had 3 heart transplants and my brother died and I have helped raise his children! I am tired! But always looking for bright side of things! I have worked with special needs for the last 12 years. I have helped a lot of children , but I feel like I could do more for my own son. Every day a challenge and as he get older not understanding boundaries scares me! He is on medication now and it helps with the impulses . He still needs constant supervision on not eating himself to death . He has no switch to tell him when he's full. He sneaks my personal makeup and curling iron and uses it on the younger neighbor kids.he socially has problems every day at school, which breaks my heart. They do have a great team of professional that our finally working with him now! He is so smart but has no common sense! He wants to cheerleader or do color guard that would just set him up for more bulling . I love him so much but feel like I spend all my time correcting him. My heart just really hurts today. I am thankful for a place to share!
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Cafe AmyS
by Head Admin on Apr. 18, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Welcome!  It sounds like you have your hands really full between taking care of your hubby and your son and your brother's children too!

Quoting Traquility:

First time on here! You don't know how much it has helped me just reading your struggles. Sometimes u think u are the only one going through this. My son is 12 and HF Aspergers! I also have a husband that has had 3 heart transplants and my brother died and I have helped raise his children! I am tired! But always looking for bright side of things! I have worked with special needs for the last 12 years. I have helped a lot of children , but I feel like I could do more for my own son. Every day a challenge and as he get older not understanding boundaries scares me! He is on medication now and it helps with the impulses . He still needs constant supervision on not eating himself to death . He has no switch to tell him when he's full. He sneaks my personal makeup and curling iron and uses it on the younger neighbor kids.he socially has problems every day at school, which breaks my heart. They do have a great team of professional that our finally working with him now! He is so smart but has no common sense! He wants to cheerleader or do color guard that would just set him up for more bulling . I love him so much but feel like I spend all my time correcting him. My heart just really hurts today. I am thankful for a place to share!


onlyone78
by on May. 16, 2013 at 6:32 PM

My year son who I found out is HFA was dignose as ODD at 3. We started a chart at school. We started at first every 15 min. After a couple of months that he was geting stars we changed it to everytime the class changed subjects.    

My advise has come from a behavioral Therapist who had over 40 years.

         He had to do so many a day to get things(tv,computer,wii, toy at Dollar tree). This has worked for him for a couple of years. He has 15 min to clean his room. Anything left on the floor was tooken a way for a day. If you have to pack anything up the next day take it a way for two day. If you take it a way for a month think about giving it a way. 

alannamarie123
by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 12:26 AM
1 mom liked this

I have a 4 year old with severe autism, disipline is hard and nothing seems to work, when you try and intervene he freaks out worse (I live on a 3rd floor apartment) its very dificult, he is one to throw himself on the floor, kick and scream, bite himself or others, hates the word "no"  its hard to make it apparent exactly what hes in trouble for, because he does not understand, Not to mention he is non-verbal super low functioning. I need help, ideas, advice, a miracle.

SAMI_JO
by on Jul. 4, 2013 at 12:46 AM

 NOTHING!!!!!!

tonysmommy-08
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 3:34 AM

My 5year old just got a diagnosis of autism moderate and ADHD...his aggressive tendinces are up the roof..he does not empathize with pain he cause to his brothers n sister or others. He thinks its funny. He's gotten dangerous in which we had to look up all sharp objects. He tells me he can't control when he is angry that all he knows is he wants to hit. He distroys the house..his bed and that of his brothers n sister. I have tried timeouts,talking to him, taking things away etc n nothing works. He laughs about everything even when he gets hurt or he hurts someone. It doesn't bother him. No empathy. What other things can I do. I am desperate....
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