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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Search This Site

Preventing Punishment-Related Meltdowns in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

“Are there methods to prevent meltdowns associated with receiving a consequence for misbehavior? When our high functioning (autistic) daughter knows she is going to be punished, it quickly escalates into meltdown, which by then is much too late to intervene.”

Yes, there are some prevention methods (emphasis on “prevent”). The first and most important consideration is to think in terms of “prevention” rather than “intervention.” Once a meltdown is underway, it usually has to run its course (i.e., it's too late to intervene at that point). So, the best approach is to educate yourself on how to put the fires out while they are still small.

Here are some ideas for using prevention strategies to curb punishment-related meltdowns before that start:

1. Both home and in school, develop a daily routine so that your daughter knows what she is doing and when. Posting the schedule and reviewing it when your daughter becomes "stuck" can provide the necessary prompt to move on.

Compliance is not a struggle between you and your daughter, but rather simply a matter of following the schedule. She will view the schedule as a guide. The guide will serve to decrease anxiety, which in turn decreases meltdowns and tantrums.

2. Expectations (e.g., rules, rewards, consequences, etc.) should be visually available. These must be clearly described to your daughter. Also, use charts with stickers or stars to keep track of reward systems. Use the letters of your daughter's name placed on a chart to keep track of consequences. Throughout the day, if letters have been received, they can slowly be erased for positive responding.



This provides a wonderful visual response for appropriate behaviors, and you can deliver this feedback (depending on your daughter's needs) every ten minutes, fifteen minutes . . . two hours – you decide what works best.

3. Reinforcers will need to be very individualized, because young people on the autism spectrum often do not respond to “typical” reinforcers. Be well aware of what your daughter views as a reward. Incorporating obsessions into a reinforcement system is an appropriate way of offering a strong reinforcer and of also controlling access to an obsession.

Make sure your daughter is aware of how the reward/consequence system works. Natural consequences can also be highly effective and will remove the "giving" or "denying" of the reward from you. Favored activities should follow less favored or challenging activities.

4. The physical environment must be consistent. In all locations, identify consistent areas where specific activities are completed (e.g., that homework is always completed at the desk in her bedroom or at the kitchen table). These areas/activities should also have consistent behavioral expectations, which are explained to your daughter.

Identify clear physical boundaries (e.g., planned seating arrangement in school, a planned play area at home). Also, use consistent materials that are clearly marked and accessible (e.g., toys that are within easy reach and stored in or right by the area they will be used in).

5. Your relationship with your daughter should be consistent in both word and action. She needs to see you as a predictable person who is calm and in control. Being "easy" or giving your daughter a "break" will thwart your effectiveness. Make rules and stick to them. Make requests and follow through. Don't make second requests, and don't plead. Your interactions must be stable, allowing your daughter to anticipate how she will respond.

She must see you as someone who can help her understand the world around her. Be highly organized and pay attention to details as you create a structured environment for your daughter. However, be sure to remain flexible within this structure. In this way, you will provide the structure your daughter needs to learn to be flexible, thus decreasing the possibility of meltdowns and tantrums.


The 3 Phases of a Meltdown in Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism:




==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Asperger's and HFA Children

No comments:

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders? Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here
to read the full article...

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.

Click here for the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content