"Should I discipline my Aspergers son the same way I do my other children, or do I need to make adjustments based on his disorder?"
Children with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism have no greater permission to run amok and misbehave than your other children. However, the way you gain control over your kids' behavior will likely differ with an Aspergers child as opposed to other children, mostly because of differences in how he thinks and how he perceives rewards and sanctions.
Aspergers children, similar to other children, do not respond well to negative reinforcement (e.g., spanking, yelling, etc.). Aspergers children really don’t respond negatively to isolation, so the command, “Go to your room!” may be seen as a positive thing instead of a negative thing. This means that parents need to be more creative in defining which things will be seen as rewards and which things will be seen as sanctions by the child.
Positive rewards may include being able to play with a preferred toy, being allowed watch a preferred television program or listen to preferred music. Rewarding a child with computer game time may be enough to alter his or her behavior accordingly.
These particular rewards are often offered because Aspergers children respond more to the presence or absence of “things” and less to human contact or even human praise. The rewards can be offered along with human praise, but praise alone often falls flat and doesn’t affect self-esteem in the same way it might another child.
Sanctions involve removing preferred items, including television, toys, computer games or movies—anything the child prefers. All sanctions and rewards must come with clear reasons explained to the child as to why the sanction or reward is being given. Only then can the child match the reward or sanction with the behavior he has done -- and only then can change take place
Spanking should NOT be used as a last resort with Aspergers kids. The child could easily be traumatized and often won’t be able to tie the “behavior” with the “punishment,” leaving you back at square one.