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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Disciplinary Techniques for Kids on the Spectrum: Special Considerations for Parents

“I have an 8 year old son with high functioning autism whose behavior is getting worse and discipline is getting harder. He is refusing to do school work (he is in a special class geared for children like him) so they send it home along with homework resulting in 4 hours of work a night and many, many tantrums. Their corrective approach is to have him write 20 sentences on ‘I will not yell in class’ or an essay on how he can control his anger. I'm not certain this is the best way to correct misbehaving. My husband and I take away his after school TV time or any "fun" time we had planned. We also have a reward chart for him every week with a fun family activity that we do on the weekends if he gets a certain amount of stars for doing what was asked. Nothing seems to be working, his behavior is worse than ever. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated!”

Disciplining kids displaying behavior associated with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger’s (AS) will often require an approach that is somewhat different as compared to “typical” kids. Finding the balance between (a) understanding the needs of a youngster on the autism spectrum and (b) discipline that is age appropriate and situationally necessary is achievable when a few effective strategies are applied. These strategies can be implemented both at home and school.

Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with HFA and AS, primarily because these children are often unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions. Consequently, punitive measures may worsen the type of behavior that they are intended to reduce, while at the same time, creating anxiety in both the youngster and parent.

Behavioral Diary—

Parents and teachers should consider maintaining a diary of the youngster's behavior with the goal of discovering patterns or triggers. Recurring behavior may be indicative of the youngster taking some satisfaction in receiving a desired response from parents, teachers, and even classmates. For instance, the HFA or AS youngster may come to understand that hurting one of his peers will result in his being removed from class. In this case, punishing the youngster for the behavior, or attempting to explain the situation from the perspective of the injured peer, may not provide a solution. Instead, it would be best to address the root cause behind the motivation for the misbehavior. A good question to find the answer to may be, “How can my student be made more comfortable in class so that he will not want to leave it?”

Positive versus Negative Discipline—

One of the ways to address problematic behaviors in autistic kids is to focus on the positive. Praise for good behavior, along with positive reinforcement (e.g., a Reward Book), often helps. Given the autistic youngster’s tendency toward low-frustration tolerance, a verbal cue delivered in a calm manner will elicit a more favorable response than a harsher one. Also, when giving instruction to stop a particular form of misbehavior, it should be expressed as a positive rather than a negative (e.g., rather than telling the youngster to stop hitting his sister with the ruler, the youngster should be directed to put the ruler down – in this way, he is being instructed to DO something positive rather than STOP something negative).

Obsessive or Fixated Behavior—

Almost all kids go through periods of development where they become engrossed in one subject matter or another. But, kids with HFA and AS often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics, which can have significant implications for behavior. For instance, if the youngster becomes fixated on reading a particular story each night, she may become distraught if this routine is disrupted, or if the story is interrupted.

As mentioned earlier, the use of a behavioral diary can help in identifying fixations. Once a fixation is identified, it is important to set appropriate boundaries. Providing a structure within which the child can explore the obsession can help keep the obsession within reasonable limits, without the associated anxiety that may otherwise arise through such restrictions (e.g., telling the youngster she can watch her favorite cartoon for 30 minutes after dinner, and making time for that in her daily routine).

It’s acceptable to use the obsession to motivate and reward the youngster for good behavior. However, make sure that any reward associated with positive behavior is granted immediately in order to help her recognize the connection between the two.

A particularly helpful technique to develop social reciprocity is to have the youngster talk for 5 minutes about her favorite subject – but after she has listened to the parent talk about an unrelated topic. This helps the youngster to understand that not everyone shares her enthusiasm for her “special interest.”

Sibling Issues—

For brothers and sisters who are not on the spectrum, the preferential treatment received by an HFA or AS sibling can give rise to feelings of confusion, frustration, and resentment. Oftentimes, siblings will fail to understand why the “special needs” child apparently seems free to behave as he pleases without much in the way of punishment.


Parents set the tone for sibling interactions and attitudes by example and by direct communications. In any family, kids should be treated fairly and valued as individuals, praised as well as disciplined, and each youngster should have special times with parents. Thus, moms and dads should periodically assess the home situation. Although important goals for a youngster with “special needs” are to develop feelings of self-worth and self-trust, to become as independent as possible, to develop trust in others, and to develop to the fullest of his or her abilities, these goals are also important to the “neurotypical” (i.e., non-autistic) siblings.

To every extent possible, parents should require their HFA or AS child to do as much as possible for himself. Moms and dads should provide every opportunity for a normal family life by doing things together (e.g., cleaning the house or yard, going on family outings, etc.). Also, the youngster with the disorder should be allowed to participate as much as possible in family chores, and should have specific chores assigned (as do the other kids).

Sleep Difficulties—

HFA and AS kids are well-known for experiencing sleep problems. They may be more likely to become anxious about sleeping, or may find they become anxious when waking during the night or early in the morning.

Parents can reduce the youngster's anxiety by making her bedroom a place of safety and comfort (e.g., remove or store items that may be prone to injure the youngster if she decides to wander at night). Also, include in a behavioral diary a record of the youngster's sleep patterns. Keep a list of the child’s routine (e.g., dinner, bath, story, bed, etc.) in order to provide structure. Include an image or symbol of her waking in the morning to help her understand exactly what will happen. In addition, social stories have proven to be a particularly successful method in decreasing a youngster's anxiety by providing clear instructions on how part of her day is likely to unfold.

At School—

Another autistic trait is that the affected youngster will often experience difficulty during parts of the school day that lack structure. Difficulties with social interaction and self-management during “free time” can result in anxiety. The use of a “buddy system” and the creation of a timetable for recess and lunch times can help provide some structure.

Teachers should explain the concept of free time to the HFA or AS youngster, or consider providing a separate purpose or goal for the youngster during such time (e.g., reading a book, helping to set up paint and brushes for the afternoon tasks, etc.).

In Public—

Kids with HFA and AS can become overwhelmed to the point of meltdown by even a short exposure to certain public places (e.g., a noisy crowded store). Some parents simply avoid taking their youngster out to such places.

Consider providing the youngster with an iPod, or have the radio on in the car to block out stress-inducing sounds and stimuli. Prepare a social story or list describing the details of a trip (e.g., to the store or doctor). Be sure to include on the list your return home. Also, consider giving the youngster a task to complete during the trip, or having him assist you in some chore (e.g., carrying groceries).

Overprotective Parenting—

Some moms and dads of “special needs” children can become overprotective. They may make frequent excuses for their youngster’s behavior, or they may not discipline where most others agree it to be warranted. When this occurs – regardless of the youngster’s disorder – the balance of authority shifts. The youngster gains more and more control while being protected in a sheltered environment with little or no discipline.

Parents who are overprotective, who do very little in the way of discipline, and who micromanage every aspect of their child’s life are teaching some very artificial life lessons that will significantly hinder their youngster in the real world. Knowing when, how, and how much to discipline the HFA or AS youngster can be very challenging. Parents may be filled with worry for their youngster and her future. But, they still need to find balance in their role as a parent and disciplinarian. There is a fine line between being an effective parent and being perceived as coddling of the “special needs” youngster.

The youngster’s diagnosis is a label that describes just a small fraction of who that person is. He is many other things. His diagnosis does not exclusively define him. In valuing the youngster’s gifts and talents – along with understanding his diagnosis – parents must be cautious about going to extremes. Of course, they have every reason to be a strong advocate on behalf of their youngster and in protection of his rights. But, this does not exempt the child from being disciplined.

Even children with a “disorder” should be permitted to make long- and short-term mistakes (with support and guidance, however). This is a real challenge for parents who are naturally protective of their youngster. But, it is the only way she will be able to learn and prepare for greater independence in the future. Where possible, parents should look for small opportunities to deliberately allow their youngster to make mistakes for which they can set aside discipline-teaching time. It will be a learning process for both the child and parent. Disciplining the youngster should be a teaching and learning opportunity about making choices and decisions. But, when she makes mistakes, assure her that she is still loved and valued.

Praise and Rewards—

One of the best methods for correcting “bad” behavior is to focus on the child’s acceptable behavior and provide rewards so that he is encouraged to repeat the “good” behavior. To do that, parents must first establish some ground rules. The ground rules must state specifically what is considered acceptable behavior – and what is not. Parents should catch and reward their child when he is well-behaved and following the rules. A reward doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical or expensive reward. It can be genuine praise or a word of encouragement. Most importantly, the reward must be clear and specific. The youngster should be able to know exactly the behavior that earned the reward for (e.g., rather than saying "good job," say "thank you for cleaning up your room").

Inability to Generalize—

Most HFA and AS kids are not able to generalize information. They are usually not able to apply what they learn in one learning context to another. For instance, the child may learn that hitting his friend at school is not acceptable, but he may not necessarily understand that he can’t hit his sister at home. Once the situation changes, it will be a totally a new learning experience for the child. Thus, parents must be consistent and provide many repetitions in disciplining him. A consistent environment and many repetitions will help the youngster to learn and remember the differences between right and wrong.

The Difference Between Discipline and Punishment—

Discipline is: 
  • "Time-outs" that are open-ended and governed by the child's readiness to gain self-control
  • Acknowledging or rewarding efforts and good behavior
  • Consistent, firm guidance
  • Directed at the child's behavior, never the child’s personality
  • Giving children positive alternatives
  • Listening and modeling
  • Logical consequences that are directly related to the misbehavior
  • Physically and verbally non-violent
  • Positive, respectful
  • Re-directing and selectively "ignoring" minor misbehavior
  • Reflection and verbal give-and-take communication
  • Teaching children to internalize self-discipline
  • Teaching empathy and healthy remorse by showing it
  • Understanding individual abilities, needs, circumstances and developmental stages
  • Using mistakes as learning opportunities
  • When children follow rules because they are discussed and agreed upon
  • When children must make restitution when their behavior negatively affects someone else

Punishment is: 
  • "Time-outs" that banish a child for a set amount of time governed by the parent
  • Being told only what NOT to do
  • Children are punished for hurting others, rather than shown how to make restitution
  • Consequences that are unrelated and illogical to the misbehavior
  • Constantly reprimanding children for minor infractions causing them to tune-out
  • Controlling, shaming
  • Criticizing the child, rather than the child's behavior
  • Forcing children to comply with illogical rules "just because you said so"
  • Inappropriate to the child’s developmental stage of life
  • Individual circumstances, abilities and needs not taken into consideration
  • Negative and disrespectful of the child
  • Physically and verbally violent or aggressive
  • Reacting to - rather than responding to - misbehavior
  • Sarcastic
  • Teaching children to be controlled by a source outside of themselves
  • Teaching children to behave only when they will get caught doing otherwise
  • When children follow rules because they are threatened or bribed

Discipline is guidance. When we guide children toward positive behavior and learning, we are promoting a healthy attitude. Positive guidance encourages a child to think before he acts. It also promotes self-control. Punishment, on the other hand, is a type of parental-control behavior. Basically there are 3 kinds of punishment: (1) penalizing the child with consequences that do not fit the crime (e.g., "Because you told a lie, you can't have your allowance"); (2) physical (e.g., slapping, spanking, switching, paddling, using a belt or hair brush, etc.); and (3) with words (e.g., shaming, ridiculing, cussing, etc.).

Punishment is usually used because it vents the parent’s frustration, it's quick and easy, parents don't know other methods, and it asserts adult power. Punishment does not promote self-discipline. It only stops misbehavior for that moment. Punishment may fulfill a short-term goal, but it actually interferes with the accomplishment of the long-term goals of self-control. The outcomes for children who are punished include ideas such as: 
  • “It is okay to hit people who are smaller than you are.”
  • “It is right to hit those you are closest to.”
  • “Those who love you the most are also those who hit you.”
  • “Violence is okay when other things don't work.”

Conclusion—

From the moment parents hear the diagnosis, they know life will be more challenging for their “special needs” youngster than for her siblings. So, when they ask her to do something and it's not done, they may let it go. Or they may fear that what they like her to do, or not do, is impossible for her to achieve. But, if parents feel that their child doesn't deserve discipline, it's like telling her, "I don't believe you have what t takes." And if parents don't believe it, neither will the child.

Behavior management is not about punishing or demoralizing the youngster. Instead, it's a way to lovingly set boundaries and communicate expectations. Discipline is one of the most important ways that moms and dads can show their HFA or AS child that they love and care about him.

How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said…  It obviously isn't working. Maybe try positive instead of negative. Be encouraging. Meet him where he is. Use what currency he enjoys to do first/then.
•    Anonymous said… Feel your pain. My daughter acts the same way
•    Anonymous said… Flip all that negative punishment into positive reinforcements. afterschool have a snack, then some sort of big muscle activity to get grounded in his body. Set a goal of working thru one problem, of his choice, with a max time of 20 minutes, then quietly transition to a favored activity. Slowly increase the goal to one problem from each section. School needs to be on board with some positive reinforcement by 'catching him being good.' With the help of a one on one para, start with a very small goal, like no yelling in class for one minute and he gets a smiley face. At home make a big deal out of every goal met.
•    Anonymous said… From reading the initial question, I would infer the school isn't setting four hours of homework each night, rather the behavior is resulting in the small amount of homework TAKING four hours.
•    Anonymous said… get rid of the homework, let him come home and feel he has returned to his safe haven away from all the social anxiety and feeling punished and blamed all the time, that will only serve to fuel his defiance, he needs actual down time, let him do what he wants for a bit after school, warn him 15 mins 10 mins AND 5 mins before he has to switch tasks so he learns that he needs to wind down. But mostly, and please do this one whatever else, remember that is your little boy who needs love and acceptance not discipline and regimentation. Let him be who he is and learn to accept and love him for all his quirks, by taking the pressure of society off his tiny shoulders you'll find your beautiful boy is still there and he might open up and start to trust again.
•    Anonymous said… Go to the school and re-negotiate his work schedule. He cannot be asked to do 4 hours of homework any night, let alone every school night. This is a harmful practice and does not encourage learning. Ask for a review of his classroom environment with a new approach to education for him that accommodates his needs, so he is getting learning done during the day. Make sure that at home he has time for special interests and feels safe and supported. This will help to reduce his anger / stress so that you can reason with him and put him on a reward-based schedule for accomplishing things.
•    Anonymous said… Have you thought of asking for a more mainstream class for him? My son had similar issues (he is almost 8). Being in a regular class has actually been really good for him. He is trying to fit in... which means he is more motivated to do the work and act more appropriately. This is not to say he is without issues... he often refuses to do work(writing is such a challenge). But we have seen a big improvement.
•    Anonymous said… Having a one on one therapeutic support person in a regular classroom may help. They can help him stay on task during regular class time.
•    Anonymous said… He is frustrated and angry - you are right it isn't working. Keep trying to find his currency. I paid my son for every lesson $1 then he also learned about money because he would save this up for what he wanted and then HE had some control over HIS life and things got better. Never say "no" say let me show you how to do that again - I'm not a very good teacher. So they don't feel bad about themselves and you have two choices, you could go to your room OR you can do the right thing and get a good outcome. What do you choose? It takes a bit of practise but it works
•    Anonymous said… I could never get my son to do homework till I hired a high school girl. He does it n 30 minutes when we would fight for two hours for one problem.
•    Anonymous said… I was where you were...way better now! Some recommendations that worked for me but mostly for my son...First...get rid of the homework. Homework is for applying what they learned at school. If it takes too long , it means the teacher needs to do a better job teaching them or they get it and don't need to do the homework . Send it back and tell the teacher to help him understand. Teaching your son is the teacher's job. Not yours. You are only there to support him with homework. Give him his free time and his fun time. He's had a rough day - 8 hours of sensory overload, not being understood, possibly being bullied and made fun of (by students and/or teachers). The kid needs to come home and be himself and be loved and relax. Second, how is making him write 'I will not yell in class' helping him control his anger???? It just keeps him occupied for hours so the teacher can go on with his/her day. Ask why is he yelling? What is the trigger? What can they do to be preventative? For my son reward charts didn't work. A big hug (pressure) and kiss telling him how proud i am of him does wonders!!! All i know is that my son would come home beaten! So i was there to hug and kiss him. Tell him how proud i was of him for getting through another day and then we would sit and watch tv together instead of hours of fighting over homework. I also found a better school for him. The teacher in the regular class is awesome! He is in a regular class with the option to go to the community class if he's having a bad day. It worked for us. Best of luck to you and your son.
•    Anonymous said… I would advise homeschooling too. I took my children of the school after trying a lot of things and different schools and am homeschooling for years now. I have four children in the autism spectrum and school was really hard for them. The homework for sure cause the school itself already costed a lot of energy and having to deal with angry not understanding and not openminded teachers because of not doing the homework or not well enough was really too much. I think homeschool can be a great solution for both your son and you. School should be more fun, a place to feel safe and to grow and learn. To me it seems that your son is so angry at school because it is really too much for him there .. the noise, the things he has to do, the reaction of others etc.
•    Anonymous said… I would start by getting rid of the homework. Tell the school not to send it home because you aren't doing it anymore. Getting through a school day is so hard for these kids that when they get home they should just be able to be kids. If you think about how many hours they are at school everyday plus their bus ride it is just like an adult's work day and then they are expected to do more, NOPE unreasonable for these kids or really for any kd.
•    Anonymous said… I would try a different type of school. Are there any charter schools? My kid couldn't handle regular school. We found a charter school that is project-based, allows him to roam the classroom, no homework, lots of hands on work. You may need to research other educational options.
•    Anonymous said… I would've thought a special ed class would know better than to do that. Are these people properly trained? All encounters I've had with special ed departments, they are so lenient and understanding of the kids. The poor kid's just been at school for what...6 hrs? And then forced to do an additional 4 hrs...that's torture. A lot teachers don't believe in homework and if it weren't for the curriculum put in place by MOE they wouldn't give it. My boy hasn't done homework for approx 3 years now. I used to make him do it but the boy struggled and it was painful for the both of us so I stopped it. Now, after a long day at school, he's able to come home and chill out rather than be forced to do yet more school work. My suggestion is chuck the homework in and spend some fun time with him, give him nice memories to think back on.
•    Anonymous said… If he has four hours of homework he is not being accommodated thru some kind of I EP If he has one then you need to fight to get accommodations so he can even handle this and his behavior would probably change for the better Need to contact Special needs department officials f your school district
•    Anonymous said… If he's done something wrong at school then don't give further punishment at home. He's probably been disciplined at school and he'll get there eventually. Is he in mainstream with support or special education school? It seems like they don't understand his needs..
•    Anonymous said… If you are in Surrey, there is a great group of parents homeschooling their children through a range of amazing activities with very positive results. might be worth considering. T x
•    Anonymous said… If you try and see it differently......Should we punish kids with Down syndrome when they refuse to write 20 sentences in class? Autism is a disability aswell.. The very last thing he needs is punishment.... He needs help. Help to stop all the ting X making him upset and frustrated before he reaches a point of yelling... You can't punish someone for their disability... We have to work at helping them ( autistic kids) ...and finding the reasons they explode with anger... Is the class to loud... Is he eating and drinking enough... Does he understand the work and is able to get help from a teacher.. Could be so many reasons.... The class should be adjusted to his needs and turned into a place he likes to go to.
•    Anonymous said… Ignorant approach on their part! Many ASD kids do not learn from consequences; sounds like you have got one of those. Put it back on them. If the teachers are all ABA oriented, they will want to work out ever more dire sticks and attractive carrots. Challenge them to create ways to interest and inspire him in the work. He won't do it unless it makes sense to him. You have a right to set a limit on his homework time: 30 minutes a day is plenty for an 8 year old. Put it in his IEP and also put that they are to modify the length of his assignments so it does not take so long. Then look at other mainstream classrooms with structured and flexible teachers where he might not be so bored. From a mom and a teacher.
•    Anonymous said… I'm not sure getting rid of the homework is the best idea if they are HFA. More perhaps making it into bite sized easy chunks. If you look at those people in top level scientific and academic careers, the major portion are HFA. Whilst our kids have some issues we see as weakness, they have some massive strengths in their ability to focus on one study area and become the best at that. Means they are Dr, Professor material and it would be better for our education system to realise and focus on that ability, by tailoring work and homework to gradually find and refocus them. Stopping their homework is giving up because it makes your life easier, just like many schools 30 years ago gave up on many plonking them in the dunse class. Don't give up try to work with them and the school to find their natural skills set, and fire them in that direction. And I say that as a parent struggling where you all are, but also as someone with HFA whose parents managed to steer me in the academic direction where I have a PhD and earn well above most others I was schooled with. Thats what I wish for my kids.
•    Anonymous said… NEVER ok to discipline kids like him by making him write. Great book: The Kasdin (or Kasden) method. Worked wonders for us w/ our boys. School should back you on this one. Get it in his IEP paperwork too./
•    Anonymous said… No No No they clearly do not understand these children need to go home and be part of the family! My now 15 year old Aspie once said to me when I asked him why we used to battle over homework - "Because school is for school work & home is to relax and play games and be with you!" When it is interfering with your relationship with the child then it has to stop! I told the school if it gets done great if not so be it!
As for writing lines and reasons I should be good this will confuse him and cause no learning just stress! Find another school!
•    Anonymous said… Our doctor (for autism) recommended he be taken off gluten and all dairy. It has made a huge difference in anger, depression and lashing out. Just a small amount can make things miserable again. Not saying that is IT because he still has small episodes but nothing like what it used to be.
•    Anonymous said… Poor guy. We switched schools and it didn't help, bumped up his therapy and the day he had therapy he was fine..so his therapist wrote a two week note for him to miss school I started home schooling him with the work school sent and two starwars spelling and cursive work book he picked out and in those two weeks he finished ALL his work in 4days and no problems..NONE! That was it for me, we pulled him and he's now doing Easy Peasy all in one on line along with book work we chose together and ABeka..it was his Teacher, the noise, lights and to much moving around of other people he now tells us. 3yrs and still doing great! I would say talk to his therapist and have the school call you after one hour of him not working an go up there if you can if not talk to him and see if that doesn't help, look into getting him a service animal, or he may need a "helper" in class to give him one on one with a reward of like "work :30 and get :05 break or walk outside!" I'll be praying for both of you!! OOo and...YOUR a DARN good mom!!!!
•    Anonymous said… Schools often do nothing but babysit. It is not uncommon for children in regular class to have all their work sent home. Have you thought about home schooling? We have already decided my grandchild will be homeschooled just to avoid these issues.
•    Anonymous said… Sorry I don't believe in homework fullstop let alone using it to correct behaviour. I'm a behavioural therapist. Maybe trying to find out the reason behind the behaviours would be a good start. Hugs.
•    Anonymous said… Stop depriving of what keeps him happy. We would all be miserable if lived in a world with nothing to look forward too
•    Anonymous said… That school needs to be educated about Asperger kids... some schools are not the right fit for your kid & always remember you are the parent, if you don't agree with how they are handling it, speak up... the only person who can fight your battles for your kids is you, something I've learnt from having 2 aspie kids with different needs.. good luck  🙂
•    Anonymous said… The homework is just wrong! No adult wants to go to work for a full day and bring home work that will take up the rest of their day. Doing this to a child is simply cruel. This little guy has to feel like he's in a no-win situation...that's because he is. What is the special class comprised of? If he's refusing to do his work at school, what do they have him doing all day? I have serious doubts about the competency and knowledge of spectrum disorder at your son's school. My HFA son just turned 9, and discipline can be a total nightmare. However, he sees a therapist once a week, which helps a lot. It's slow progress, but it is progress. He actually looks forward to going, especially if he can give her good news about how he handled something that is normally difficult for him. As for rewards, etc., long term goals don't work for us at all. Daily goals seem to help keep his anxiety level down and he feels the reward of accomplishment sooner and more often.
•    Anonymous said… The school has it WRONG! 1) Writing should never be a punishment. 2) Even if he was skilled at controlling his anger, an Aspie boy that age is very unlikely to be able to articulate it, especially in writing, and 3) if the school is aware of this it sounds like they are just shoving pain onto you. Home should offer restorative time, at least part of the evening. He needs a new IEP first of all. I will say that we resisted the notion of medication for my son, but finally after outbursts teetered on danger to others (me, teachers) he started a very low dose of prozac, which simply took the edge off his anxiety What emerges as hostility is often fear, near panic, frustration. My kid is in college now and managing quite well. There's hope-- but get him a better IEP!
•    Anonymous said… There is no singular approach that is globally effective. When a child's parents and teachers share a sense of defeat his behaviors will surely reflect that. A child's world often becomes increasingly extreme as we experience more and more defeat. Of course, extremes typically don't resonate well with kids. Behavioral interventions like those you describe can be helpful- though not in isolation. I might start by exploring those parts of his world that have tended toward the extreme (e.g., homework, fun family time, etc.) and make changes wherever practical. Often at this point our attention is concentrated squarely on the behaviors we don't want to have happen. Unfortunately, we get more of what we pay attention to. To invite new, more preferable ways of being, it is helpful to focus more on nurturing those behaviors we want to have happen rather than punishing unwanted behaviors.
•    Anonymous said… To me it sounds very negative. He could already be feeling like he gets everything wrong then he has to write about it. With the right supports he can be taught how to behave appropriately and when he does he needs to be rewarded and feel good about himself. Self esteem is the number one important thing to nurture in my opinion. Nobody likes to feel bad about themselves especially if he is getting into trouble over behaviours he can't control or even understand why they are inappropriate.
•    Anonymous said… We give our 7 yr old girl with Aspergers and poss adhd (awaiting assessment) a supplement of high omega 3, which really helps take the edge off. She is a lot calmer, and concentration is improved too. X
•    Anonymous said… What's the point of him going to school if he's doing 4 hrs 1-1 at home. And they need their free time to unwind . Poor bugger . It's so hard getting parenting right never mind the added pressure of homework. Big hugsxx
•    Anonymous said… WRONG they are doing it completely wrong and not helping him or themselves. I'd change his school or get in there and nail some butts to the wall. My kid had problems BUT he's at 11/12 grade level now bc teachers got involved and I don't play.

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1 comment:

Roanna Parker said...

We still have some issues but after the doctor told us to remove gluten and all dairy he is way easier. Even a small amount can set him off, especially dairy. It's not been easy , we have mourned the loss of a lot of favorite foods but worth it.

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content