Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Behavior Management for Aspergers Kids

"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. 


Anonymous said...

I treat both of our kids the same. If I know he's acting out in a way that he can't control because of the disorder, than I adjust appropriately. It's actually helped us discipline our non-aspergers child better because we try to keep the discipline the same so no one feels singled out.
11 minutes ago · Like · 1

Anonymous said...

Loss of computer time or wii time usually does help. Although not without the added tantrum over losing "said" item. Sometimes I give in which I know doesn't solve the problem. We are just learning of all of this and it makes a lot of sense looking over the last few years. (Our son is now 8).

Anonymous said...

I don't know, both my kids are different ages and therefore get different disciplines anyway. What's fair for one isn't fair for the other just because they are both so different. Both of my kids have different dynamics, but are both on the ASD spectrum... so there are concessions made for each child. I would venture to say that you should always discipline to the child, not in comparison. Example being that you cannot discipline a child who is 8 who has a mental capacity of a 5 yr old at the same way that you discipline a child who is normal functioning. You still have to make concession in order for the discipline to be effective.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the replies but my tuppence worth is that I have the same expectations in terms of behaviour of both of my children but the way in which I reinforce them are different.

Anonymous said...

Each child is different and I think each child should be disciplined in a way that is effective for each child.

anita thomson said...

I would like to learn more about praise falling flat as regards self esteem. I think this is key for teachers.

Easton CROP Hunger Walk said...

I find it is critical that my son (9 yrs) have the chance to earn back his lost computer time. He usually is given the chance to do "make ups" - to help me with a chore I would usually do or give me comfort in or whomever he has wronged. We negotiate these things depending. This week - he freaked out that the shirt likes to wear to church each week was dirty and he yelled at his dad for 20 minutes - he picked up 50 sticks in the yard. He had a meltdown in public with me - he had to play an anger management game with me or empty the dishwasher. Make ups have to be approved by the offended. If we're fighting over homework and he's had a punishment given - it might simply be that he finishes the rest of the work without any more arguing and foregoes a break or agrees to work ahead on something.

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content