HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Rewards and Discipline for Aspergers Children

"I need help coming up with some effective ways to punish a 5 year old with Aspergers Syndrome. What we are currently doing is obviously not working."

One of the most difficult challenges in dealing with Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism) children is determining how to reward them when they’ve done a good job and how to discipline them when they exhibit an undesirable behavior. Parents of Aspergers children are often reluctant to use any form of discipline, and the usual reward systems don’t often work for these kids.

Many Aspergers children don’t respond as well to praise or hugs as other children do. Instead, they might respond to things like a favorite treat, a favorite toy or preferred music as a way of showing them they’ve done something good.

While the natural parental response is to lavish a child with praise, it may be over-stimulating to an Aspergers child, and as a result, may not alter his behavior. It’s up to the parent to determine which things are preferred by the child so that those can be used in a sort of reward system.

The usual punishments also tend to be those that don’t work for Aspergers children. Things like “time out” work well with children who thrive on contact with others, but don’t work on Aspergers children who don’t have the same drive to be with other children.

Taking away a preferred toy or preferred item may be the best way to show your dissatisfaction with something the Aspergers child is doing. Because this may lead to further unwanted behavior, the parent needs to explain to the child what the preferred behavior is so that he can begin to shape his behavior toward what is expected of him.

It probably goes without saying that corporal punishment (e.g., spanking) tends not to be very effective with these children. They operate on a skewed perception of sensation and may have an exaggerated response to corporal punishment -- or they may not respond at all, which only serves to upset the child without giving her an idea of what behavior is expected.

Discipline and reward systems are a part of raising children, autistic or not. With Aspergers children, the discipline and rewards have to be geared toward the developmental stage the child is in, and to which things are preferred or not preferred. While this takes some trial and error, finding the right way to show appreciation or dissatisfaction are worth the effort and will go a long way toward getting your child to behave in a positive way.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... With my son, it is about explaining things in a very straightforward way.
•    Anonymous said... We tried 123 magic when my son was 5 he laughed at me lol so I think it depends on the child.
•    Anonymous said... We remove to our son 7 year old his favorite Toys ( legos ) ,,he has a Tamtrun with hinself because he Know that his Behavior not was okey .After we explain to hin cause and consecuence and then we put a Tag with number 10 on the lego box and that is the points that he have to win during the week to get the legos back just with good choice and behave we give 2 point per each day with happy face ! He really work hard to control hinself and this reward point token work better then spank or time out Also he Know how depp breathe ,blow air in Yoga class very recomend ,when he see how Many points he colect he is so happy that soon he Will get his favorite Toy back and Also learn a lesson that not everything have to be in his way !!!
•    Anonymous said... We need to explain things to our son but at the same time if we need to we take Lego away from him for a certain time.
•    Anonymous said... We have accountable kids, it's a chart with a ticket reward system and cards with daily routine stuff like get up, brush your teeth, get dressed, etc. when the child finishes each grouping of chores (morning, mid day and evening) he gets a ticket used for a privilege of their choice (watching tv or playing video games etc). If the child misbehaves or breaks a house rule a ticket is taken and they don't have the tickets to pay for their privilege. Yes we had some meltdowns before the system became routine but now he lives for it because it has turned his daily routine into a visual. They have a website accountable kids.com
•    Anonymous said... Punishments and rewards do not work with my aspie teen. Never have. I've had to really consider my parenting so that I am very clear and simple (black and white in fact) about expectations and the "fall out" should we deviate. And I've had to be consistent. If I attempt to impose a punishment/non related consequence or attempt to bribe him with rewards, he becomes very confused as that doesn't jive with his logical understanding of the world. If he deviates from the plan (won't put his jeans in the dryer as previously planned, for example) and they r not dry by the time I would need to drive him to make it to his class on time, then the fallout is he wears wet jeans or misses class. When he was younger we used to chart these things and he'd follow the "choices" to their logical endings. Now he can think it through on his own. Of course not without ur teen mouthing off and such. So I've introduced the fall out for how we treat each other. If u mouth someone off, they become angry or scared of u and do not feel willing or safe to drive u to class. He is really struggling with this and I wish I'd done it from the get go. As he points out, people and their emotions r not logical. it's labour intensive and is pretty much a full time job, which is crazy because I'm a single lady running daycare for 12 hours a day out of my home as well as sole mothering and homeschooling my aspie teen. But I've noticed mothering my aspie teen is very much what works for toddlers. Simple, clear, black and white expectations, and loving, supportive comfort when the result of their actions is not their preferred one, along with a "I know it will b better next time" pep talk. And, just like toddlers, my aspie teen forgets the next time and I need to remind him what happened last time. And, like toddlers, he becomes hurt, confused, and our relationship requires repair if I impose punishments or bribe with rewards. It's tough. And every family works differently. I've had to alter me and my thinking and behaving, not his. But I can tell u our relationship requires repair far less often because we have conflict far less often. He is trusting me more. And we r enjoying each other's company more. And I think he has a better chance at independence this way.
•    Anonymous said... Maybe instead of operating on a system of punishment, love and understanding would be better.
•    Anonymous said... Just be patient and stick with your rules. If takes time for any kid to get it but they will. My 8 yo aspire girl is doing much better at taking her time outs and punishments than at 5 best of luck!
•    Anonymous said... Definitely a struggle....and we have a master at acting like "nothing matters" so it's hard to know what is actually working. However, though I really don't think "time outs" really work because one can't "reason" even after the fact...going to his bedroom to sit on his bed does give us all a break from the "funk" he is in at that moment. Something from my special education training that has stuck with me over the years here at home is consistency....choose one way to discipline for a specific behavior and stick with it until something better comes along. Sometimes it doesn't seem to be working but consistency in itself benefit.
•    Anonymous said... Disciplining my 16 year old son is so tiring and taking his privileges away is not working anymore .
•    Anonymous said... Give him a hug.
•    Anonymous said... I prefer the word 'discipline' (correct with love) than 'punish' but that's just semantics. Each child is different and it's hard. Some days you succeed and some you don't. Biggest lesson I've learnt is your not perfect, no one is. Don't be too hard on yourself and try to think and speak 'logically'. My son understands the logic not the emotion. I have to wait for the emotions (both his and mine) to pass to have any success.
•    Anonymous said... I tell my son of he continues his negative behavior I'll have to take a privilege away. Something that's important to him like computer time. We set boundaries and it works. It took awhile but he is very well behaved at home, probably because it's a quite environment. He still has moments at school but he's learning to recognize his anxiety triggers and ask his teachers for a break in the calming room at school before he "loses it".
•    Anonymous said... in hindsight I would say you should never 'punish' a child with aspergers, they will not be controlled, you need to explain repeatedly and find another way to deal with your own frustrations and everybody elses expectations of your unique child
•    Anonymous said... My son is 9 now. At 5 I made a gift box full of dollar store toys wrapped up and rewarded him for good behavior. At 5 discipline didn't work and when we figured that out life got easier. They can't control the emotions that young it takes time. When I let go of that notion it was freeing. Don't listen to people with children who don't have aspergers it's a totally different ball game. Patients and give him words to express what he's feeling., talk in small direct sentences
•    Anonymous said... Taking away Tv time or device time.. Using those as a punishment / reward. If you send them to their room you are just punishing yourself for later when they have so much energy!
•    Anonymous said... Temple Grandin herself said that what was really effective for her was taking away something that she really really loved. In her case it was horseback riding. With my HFAs its really tough for us because their objection is pretty dramatic. I want to give in at once to relieve the stress on everybody. But we do what we have to do and explain/talk about it over and over. And it does make a difference. But i think it needs to be a case by case decision.
•    Anonymous said... Try natural consequences. It is more effective than enforced punishment. Punishment only teaches children not to get caught.
•    Anonymous said... Very hard, we usually take away electronics & he earns time on them when he shows appropriate behavior. But not always effective when electronics are needed for school or homework.


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We had a rule of 5 minutes of silence in time out, and time doesn't start until you're quiet. If you make noise during the 5 minutes, time restarts. As soon as you can be quiet in time out for 5 minutes it's over, and you can go back to whatever you want. Tyler hated time outs (whether being spent in a corner or in his room didn't matter, he hated them both equally) and being quiet was hard for him. Since he did not enjoy the time outs we found them to be quite effective. He'd not want to end up in a time out twice in one day, and he never did. In fact, he rarely would mess up enough to get in time out twice in one week.

Anonymous said...

My child never takes time outs. We have tried. He simply argues with us and then finds something else to do. Sending him to his room...doesn't work, too many toys in there. If we take something away..he screams at us until we are mentally worn down. We've tried taken a dollar out of his allowance to which it doesn't matter to him. He is eight.

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