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

How to discipline 2.5 yr old autistic son when hitting/pushing his brother

Posted by on Jul. 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM
  • 9 Replies

Hey every one!

we have two beautiful little boys, ages 2 1/2 & 1 years old. My older son has been diagnosed with classic autism and is very limited verbally. He is beginning to really catch up with comprehension though which is great!

we are having a lot of issues with him pushing down his one year old brother and hitting in general. Time out for a minute use to work when he would throw stuff so we started that again and he just laughs and doesn't seem to understand it punishment. Sometimes he'll make it a game where he'll turn around and when I redirect him to the wall he get really giddy and laughs. He'll do that over and over again. 

Our speech therapist said it seems like that's not working lol which I agree! She recommended putting my hands over his and coming down to his level and say no hitting or gentle hands, ect. That worked for 2 days. Now he just immediately starts laughing and says no no no no.

i honestly doesn't know what to do. I can't keep him and his brother separated at all times which I feel would be a disservice for both of him. But nothing I'm doing is teaching him that that hurts other people and if anything I think he thinks he is getting a game out of it.

i do spend as much quality one on one time with each as possible. They nap at different times so he gets me 100% then and for story/bed time. I wish I could give him more one on one but I can't.

has anyone gone through this? What do I do?!?

by on Jul. 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM
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Replies (1-9):
Macphee
by Silver Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 4:28 PM
1 mom liked this
First: they are siblings, fighting will happen. It sounds as if he is trying to initiate play inappropriately. Try to coach him on how to play with his brother, toys, etc or a game.

Also, he may seek sensory stimulation. Get a blow up punching bag. You can redirect him to that. Catch him playing nicely and enforce enforce enforce.
_ethansmommy
by Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM
1 mom liked this
I went through this with my son as well. He is now 8 lol. I held him in time out when he wouldn't stay there, he didn't like that to much. Then after that ended up being too much I used his room as a time out. His toys got out away and taken away and he got a 3 minute time out in there. If he tried to come out I hkeld the door shut. I told him why he was getting the time out. Best thing that worked for me though was a good swat on the butt where he got grabbed, put over my knee with a good swat. One that hurt his feeling more than anything and that's what got him to stop at such a young age. But that's me, not everyone is down with giving spankings so to each their own. Telling him nice hands is good, also showing him nice hands is good as well. Where you take his hand over yours and rub nicely on another person so they have the visual of nice hands. Good luck, I know it's hard!!
NatashaEvesmom
by Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I've been there too. What seems to work with us was taking away a toy or show that my daughter enjoyed.  Time-out doesn't seem to work for her.  She didn't care that she was in time out.  We also showed good behavior and used positive reinforcement when she was nice to her sister.  It may take a while, but just be persistant and don't give up.  Hugs 

emarin77
by Silver Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM

I suggest using time outs but also teaching him sign language or pictures to communicate I'm angry.  You teach him at the beginning and end of a time out every time he hits.  I did this with my son at age 3 when he used to hit me and his father.  My son laughed at first but we continued with time outs and teaching him to use his words and within 2 months he started using his words.  At 4 years he was using his words 95% of the time.  Now 6 years he uses his words 99% of the time. 

Never give up!

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jul. 22, 2014 at 7:02 PM

This is awesome advice!

Quoting _ethansmommy: I went through this with my son as well. He is now 8 lol. I held him in time out when he wouldn't stay there, he didn't like that to much. Then after that ended up being too much I used his room as a time out. His toys got out away and taken away and he got a 3 minute time out in there. If he tried to come out I hkeld the door shut. I told him why he was getting the time out. Best thing that worked for me though was a good swat on the butt where he got grabbed, put over my knee with a good swat. One that hurt his feeling more than anything and that's what got him to stop at such a young age. But that's me, not everyone is down with giving spankings so to each their own. Telling him nice hands is good, also showing him nice hands is good as well. Where you take his hand over yours and rub nicely on another person so they have the visual of nice hands. Good luck, I know it's hard!!



darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jul. 22, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Welcome!  These ladies have some good advice.  I only have one child:)  Hugs!

Allyp12
by New Member on Jul. 22, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Thanks for all the advice ladies! Yes we use sign language, it's our saving grace. I will try using angry for him. Write now I sign that he is hurting his brother and he just signs baby back to me (his brother) giving him words to use instead of hitting is a great idea


Quoting emarin77:

I suggest using time outs but also teaching him sign language or pictures to communicate I'm angry.  You teach him at the beginning and end of a time out every time he hits.  I did this with my son at age 3 when he used to hit me and his father.  My son laughed at first but we continued with time outs and teaching him to use his words and within 2 months he started using his words.  At 4 years he was using his words 95% of the time.  Now 6 years he uses his words 99% of the time. 

Never give up!


DyeingSwan
by Member on Jul. 23, 2014 at 12:56 PM
We have an almost-2-year old diagnosed with moderate classic Autism. When he starts getting mad and pushing and smacking us, we say "absolutely not -unacceptable- out!" And lead him promptly out of the room we are in and shut the door, leaving him in the unoccupied room for a few minutes to contemplate his behavior. He dislikes being removed from the center of the action so this works very well for him... However if your son prefers being alone I guess it might not work as well...
Hottubgodess
by Jackie on Jul. 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM

My son was highly verbal at that age, but when it comes to "overload" he becomes nonverbal (or now it is aggressive verbal).  We use sign language.  It keeps me from yelling, and he understands better.  I make sure he is looking at my hands tho.  :)  It takes work, but it can help.  

The other key is to figure out WHY he is pushing.  If we dont fix the cause (or give him an appropriate response) his frustration will continue to escalate.  So look at it like this - every thing he does behaviourwise is communication.  WHAT is he trying to say?  Once you figure it out (baby is messing up my line of cars, I need space, it's too loud in here..etc) you can change the behaviour.  Does that make sense?

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