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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query discipline. Sort by date Show all posts

Special Considerations When Disciplining Your Child on the Autism Spectrum

"I hate Hate HATE that I run low on patience with my child (high functioning autistic)! I'm trying to be more patient every moment of every day. In my heart I wouldn't change a single thing about him. He didn't do anything to deserve having an autism spectrum disorder. Sometimes it just seems so unfair. In any event, how can I discipline him in a way that's effective such that (a) we don't have to keep trying to solve the same problem over and over again, and (b) I don't lose my patience with his slow progress? ~ Signed, bad dad :( "

Most of us as parents of kids with high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger's have been so annoyed and frustrated by certain events that we lost our temper - and our sanity (for a moment).

Teaching and correcting a youngster on the autism spectrum requires balancing a number of considerations. As a father, you have the right to set the same rules as you would for any of your other kids. But you also have the responsibility to ensure you are being fair in communicating your boundaries so you can expect your HFA youngster's compliance. To discipline fairly, you will need to first know that you have communicated fully your rules in ways your youngster understands best.
 

Disciplining Kids on the Autism Spectrum:

1. A list of rules should become your youngster's property and, depending upon the situation, should be kept in his pocket for ready reference.

2. Be cautious about going to extremes. You have every reason to be a strong advocate on behalf of your youngster and in protection of his rights, but this does not exempt him from being disciplined by you, the parent.

3. Because your youngster is inherently gentle and sensitive, he may be particularly prone to being vulnerable (i.e., he may be more susceptible than neurotypical children to experiencing problems in communication and social interaction).

4. Before you discipline, be mindful that your youngster's logic will not necessarily reflect your idea of common sense.

5. Disciplining your youngster should be a teaching and learning opportunity about making choices and decisions. When your youngster makes mistakes, assure him that he is still loved and valued.

6. Don’t assume your son will understand appropriate social behavior under a wide variety of specific circumstances and, when that doesn't occur, discipline in the moment.

7. Look for small opportunities to deliberately allow your youngster to make mistakes for which you can set aside “discipline-teaching” time. It will be a learning process for you and your youngster.
 

8. Never assume your youngster will automatically transfer and apply information previously learned in one environment to a new situation that, in your mind, is remarkably similar. For the child on the spectrum, a new situation is a new situation.

9. Some moms and dads can become over-protective of their HFA child (i.e., the youngster gains more and more control while being protected in a sheltered environment with little to no discipline). They may make frequent excuses for their youngster's words or actions, and they may not discipline where most others agree it to be warranted. Don’t make this mistake!

10. Understand that your son (a) needs to feel safe, comfortable and in control, (b) will become unhinged by anything significantly unpredictable, (c) is doing the very best he knows how to in the moment with what he's got available to him, and (d) has good reasons for doing what he's doing.

11. You have the responsibility to be fair in how you communicate rules and expectations. Because your youngster will be most open to receiving this information in ways that are literal and concrete, this means making it tangible (e.g., put it in writing as a simple, bullet-point list).

12. Your approach to discipline should mostly be one of prevention – not intervention.

13. Your youngster may take personally criticisms you think mild or trivial. If you are a parent short on patience and prone to critical or sarcastic comments, be prepared for your youngster to withdraw from you more and more until you are shut out completely.

14. Your son's diagnosis is a label that describes a small piece of who he is as a human being. Your youngster is many other things. His diagnosis does not exclusively define him.

15. Your youngster's need to feel in control should not be taken to extremes. Moms and dads must set limits and expectations for all kids. Having HFA does not give one free rein to be out of control, and that should not be endorsed or indulged by you, the parent.

In order to effectively discipline the child on the spectrum, you will need to comprehend each of the factors above and fully place them in the proper context of any given situation. This knowledge will aid you in laying a foundation for “prevention” (rather than having to switch to “intervention”).

 

Effective Behavior-Management Techniques for Kids on the Spectrum

"What do you do differently when disciplining a child with ASD relative to how you handle a 'typical' child?"

From the moment you heard about your child’s diagnosis of Asperger’s (AS) or High-Functioning Autism (HFA), you knew life would be more challenging for him or her than for “typical” children. So when you ask your “special needs” child to do something and it's not done, you let it go. Maybe you fear that what you would like your child to do, or not do, is impossible for him or her to achieve?

But the truth is this: If you feel that your child doesn't deserve discipline, it's like telling him or her, "I don't believe you can learn." And if YOU don't believe it, how will your youngster come to believe it?

What professionals call "behavior management" is not about punishing or demoralizing an AS or HFA youngster. Rather, it's a way to set boundaries and communicate expectations in a nurturing, loving way. Correcting your child’s actions, showing him or her what's right and wrong, what's acceptable and what's not, are the most important ways you can show your “special needs” child that you love and care.

Here are some special techniques to help moms and dads discipline a “special needs” youngster with Asperger’s or High-Functioning Autism:

1. Active ignoring is a good consequence for misbehavior meant to get your attention. This means not rewarding “bad behavior” with your attention – even if it's negative attention (e.g., scolding or yelling).

2. Due to developmental delays, kids with AS and HFA may require more exposure to discipline before they begin to understand expectations. You must follow through and apply discipline each time there is an incident in order to effectively send your message. The benefits of discipline are the same whether children have a developmental disorder like AS and HFA or not. In fact, children who have trouble learning respond very well to discipline and structure. But for this to work, moms and dads have to make discipline a priority and be consistent. Disciplining children is about establishing standards — whether that's setting a morning routine or dinnertime manners — and then teaching them how to meet those expectations.

3. Have faith in your youngster. If, after taking her first few steps, your toddler kept falling down, would you get her some crutches or a wheelchair? Of course not. So don't do the same with an AS or HFA youngster. Maybe your youngster can't put on his shoes the first time, or 20th time, but keeps trying. Encourage that! When you believe your youngster can do something, you empower him to reach that goal. The same is true for behavior.

4. Beware of the “over-protective parenting-style.” It’s easy for your whole life to revolve around parenting your “special needs” child. This is a lose-lose situation. You lose the joy of parenting, and your overly-protected child loses the ability to grow and learn.

5. Change (not “lower”) your standards. With an AS or HFA youngster, parents need to learn to live in the present. The milestones of your youngster’s life are less defined, and the future less predictable (though your youngster may surprise you). In the meantime, set the standards for your youngster at an appropriate level.

6. Choose a method of discipline appropriate to the level of the tantrum. Planned ignoring, giving a time-out, and removing privileges or activities important to the youngster are all potential options. AS and HFA kids often require a shorter time-out period and consequences given in smaller doses, especially where their attention spans are affected by their disorder.

7. Before you enter a store, transition from one activity to another, or approach a situation where behavior may deteriorate, discuss with your AS or HFA youngster what will happen, review the family rules, and remind your youngster of the consequences (both good and bad) of misbehavior. For young people on the autism spectrum, this information may need to be broken down into a few very simple instructions and repeated often.

8. Keep your behavior plan simple, and work on one challenge at a time. As your youngster meets one behavioral goal, she can strive for the next one.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Aspergers and HFA Children

9. Develop a plan of action before a behavioral incident occurs. Consider possible settings where you may face a tantrum or meltdown, your reaction, your youngster's needs and response, and the consequences you may use to stop or alter the behavior. AS and HFA kids may have unusual behavioral triggers, so it is important to really know your youngster when developing a plan.

10. Different doesn’t mean delicate. While it is true you have to change your expectations of your AS or HFA youngster, you don’t have to lower your standards of discipline. It’s tempting to get lax and let a “special needs” boy or girl get by with behaviors you wouldn’t tolerate in your other kids. He or she needs to know, early on, what behavior you expect. Many moms and dads wait too long to start behavior training. It’s much harder to redirect a 120 pound youngster than a 45 pounder. Like all kids, your AS or HFA youngster must be taught to adjust to family routines, to obey, and to manage himself or herself.

11. Different doesn’t mean substandard. In a “typical” kid’s logic, being different equates with being second-rate. This feeling may be more of a problem for siblings than for their developmentally-delayed brother or sister. Most kids measure their self-worth by how they believe others perceive them. Be sure your AS or HFA youngster’s siblings don’t fall into this “different equals bad” trap.

12. Don’t compare. Your AS or HFA youngster is special. Comparing him to “typical” children of the same age is not fair.

13. Stick to the same routine every day. For instance, if your youngster tends to have a meltdown in the afternoon after school, set a schedule for free time. Maybe he needs a snack first, and then do homework before playtime.

14. Give as much attention to positive, expected outcomes as you give to negative behaviors. This will help your youngster recognize what to do – as well as what not to do. For AS and HFA kids, it is even more important that the consequence or reward immediately follow the behavior to have the greatest effect and opportunity to teach.

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15. Give your AS or HFA youngster choices, and be sure you like all the alternatives. Initially, you may have to guide her into making a choice, but just the ability to make a choice helps any child feel important. Also, be sure to present the choices in your youngster’s language (e.g., using pictures, pointing, reinforcing verbal instructions, etc.). The more you use this approach, the more you will learn about your youngster’s abilities, preferences, and receptive language skills at each stage of development.

16. Be confident about your parenting skills. Discipline is an exhausting responsibility. There will be great days when you're amazed by your youngster's progress, terrible days when it seems like all your hard work was wasted, and plateaus where it seems like further progress is unlikely. But always remember, behavior management is a challenge for all moms and dads, even those of children who are typically developing. So don't allow yourself to get discouraged! If you set an expectation in line with your youngster's abilities, and you believe she can accomplish it, odds are it will happen.

17. Be sure to praise and reward your youngster for EFFORT as well as “success” (e.g., if he refuses to poop in the toilet, he could be rewarded for using a potty chair near the toilet).

18. Help your youngster build a sense of responsibility. There is a natural tendency to want to rush in and do things for a developmentally-delayed youngster. For these kids, the principle of “teach them how to fish rather than give them a fish” applies doubly. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies being given responsibility raises the youngster’s self-esteem.

19. To understand your AS or HFA youngster's behavior, it helps to become an expert in autism spectrum disorders. So try to learn as much about the unique medical, behavioral, and psychological factors that affect your child’s development. Read up on the disorder and ask the doctor about anything you don't understand. Also talk to members of your youngster's care team and other moms and dads (especially those with children who have similar issues) to help determine if your youngster's challenging behavior is typical or related to his individual challenges.

20. Encourage accomplishment by reminding your youngster about what she can earn for meeting the goals you've set (e.g., getting stickers, screen time, etc.).

==> Discipline for Defiant Aspergers and HFA Teens

21. When you catch your youngster doing something right, praise her for it. All children naturally want to please their moms and dads. So, by getting credit for doing something right, they will likely want to do it again.

22. After correcting your youngster for doing something wrong, offer a “substitute behavior.” For example, if he is hitting you to get your attention, work on replacing that with an appropriate behavior such as getting your attention by tapping your shoulder.

23. Provide lots and lots of structure. AS and HFA kids need developmentally- appropriate structure, but it requires sensitivity on your part to figure out what is needed when. Watch your youngster, not the calendar. Try to get inside her head.

24. Always communicate your expectations in a concrete, simple way. For children with AS and HFA, this may require more than just telling them. You may need to use pictures, role playing, or gestures to be sure your youngster knows what he is working toward. Explain as simply as possible what behaviors you want to see. Since consistency is key, make sure babysitters, siblings, other family members, and educators are all on board with your messages.

25. Not every AS or HFA kid responds to natural consequences, so you might have to match the consequence to your youngster's values (e.g., a youngster who may like to be alone might consider a traditional "time-out" rewarding; instead, take away a favorite toy or video game for a period of time).

26. Value your youngster rather than focusing on the disorder. Practice attachment parenting to the highest degree that you can without shortchanging other members of the family. Feeling loved and valued from attachment parenting helps an AS or HFA youngster cope with the lack of a particular ability.

27. View all problematic behaviors as “signals of needs.” Everything an AS or HFA youngster does tells you something about what he or she needs.

28. If your youngster is too aggressive when playing with other children, don't stop the play altogether. Instead, work with your youngster to limit the physicality of the play. Use discipline where necessary (e.g., time-outs, enforced turn-taking, rules like "no touching"), and provide rewards when your expectations are met.

29. Reset your anger buttons. Your AS or HFA youngster will inevitably do some things that will frustrate the hell out of you, but getting angry with him or her will only throw gas on the fire. So, when you catch yourself starting to get angry – YOU take a tie-out. If you’re still angry after the time-out – don’t show it! Put on a “poker face.”

30. Can another mom or dad relate to the trouble you are having with your AS or HFA child? Sharing experiences will give you a yardstick by which to measure your expectations and determine which behaviors are related to your youngster's diagnosis, and which are purely developmental. If you're having trouble finding moms and dads of children with similar difficulties, consider joining an online support or advocacy group. Once you know what behaviors are representative of your youngster's age and disorder, you can set realistic behavioral expectations.


How to Figure-out Why Your Aspergers or HFA Child Behaves the Way She Does 




AS and HFA children need discipline, limits and structure. When they can predict what will happen next in their day, they feel confident and safe. Sure, they will test these boundaries, but it's up to parents to affirm that these standards are important and let their “special needs” youngster know that they believe he or she can meet them.

Young people on the autism spectrum require the same firm structure and guidance as their siblings and peers. While the form and degree of the discipline may differ, the basic rules still apply. Behavior must be addressed as it happens. Consequences must be meaningful and effective. And parents must follow through each time. This requires planning and communication between both parents and kids before an incident occurs. Consistent application of methods over time will produce improved behavior with less effort.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 
 
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD 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…

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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 or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your 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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Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the 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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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 ASD 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…

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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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to read the full article...

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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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A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

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Disciplinary Tips for Difficult Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Disciplining kids displaying difficult behavior associated with ASD or High-Functioning Autism (HFA) 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, 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 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?”

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

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 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 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 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 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 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.).

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

In Public—

Kids with HFA 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 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 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.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

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.).

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

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 child that they love and care about him.



==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD

Basic Disciplinary Strategies for Children with ASD

"In what ways do you guide/discipline/treat a child with an autism spectrum disorder that would be a different approach than you would use with a non-autistic child?"

Disciplining kids displaying behavior associated with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) will often require an approach that is somewhat unique to that of "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 applying some simple but effective strategies.

The following strategies can be implemented both at home and school:

General Behavior Problems—

Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with HFA, primarily because they are unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions. Consequently, punitive measures are apt to exacerbate the type of behavior the punishment is intended to reduce, while at the same time giving rise to distress in both the youngster and parent.



At all times, the emotional and physical well-being of your youngster should take priority. Often this will necessitate removing your youngster from a potentially distressing situation as soon as possible. Consider maintaining a diary of your youngster's behavior with a view to ascertaining patterns or triggers. Recurring behavior may be indicative of a youngster taking some satisfaction in receiving a desired response from parents, teachers or peers.

For example, a youngster with HFA may come to understand that hurting another youngster in class will result in his being removed from class, notwithstanding the associated consequence to his peer. The solution may not be most effectively rooted in punishing the youngster for the behavior, or even attempting to explain the situation from the perspective of their injured peer, but by treating the root cause behind the motivation for the misbehavior (e.g., can the youngster be made more comfortable in class so that he will not want to leave it?).

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

One of the means to achieve this may be to focus on the positive. Praise for good behavior, and reinforcement by way of something like a Reward Book, can assist. The use of encouraging verbal cues delivered in a calm tone are likely to elicit more beneficial responses than the harsher verbal warnings that may be effective with "typical" kids. If necessary, when giving directions to cease a type of misbehavior, these should also be couched as positives rather than negatives (e.g., rather than telling a youngster to stop hitting his brother with the ruler, the youngster should be directed to put the ruler down).

Obsessive or Fixated Behavior—

Almost all kids go through periods of development where they become engrossed in one subject matter or another, but kids on the autism spectrum often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics, which can have significant implications for behavior.

For example, if the youngster becomes fixated on reading a particular story each night, she may become distressed if this regime is not adhered to, or if the story is interrupted. Again, the use of a behavior diary can assist in identifying fixations for your youngster. Once a fixation is identified, it is important to set appropriate boundaries for your youngster. Providing a structure within which your youngster can explore the obsession can assist in then keeping the obsession within reasonable limits, without the associated problems that may otherwise arise through such limitations (e.g., tell your youngster that he may watch his favorite cartoon for half an hour after dinner, and make clear time for that in his routine).

It is appropriate to utilize the obsession to motivate and reward your youngster for good behavior. Always ensure any reward associated with positive behavior is granted immediately to assist the youngster recognizing the connection between the two.

A particularly useful technique to try to develop social reciprocity is to have your youngster talk for five minutes about a particularly favored topic after she has listened to you talk about an unrelated topic. This serves to help your youngster understand that not everyone shares her enthusiasm for her subject matter.

Sibling Issues—

For siblings without the disorder, the differential - and what at times no doubt appears to be preferential treatment given to the HFA sibling - can give rise to feelings of confusion and frustration. Often, the non-autistic siblings will fail to understand why their brother or sister apparently seems free to behave as he or she pleases without the normal constraints placed on them.

It's important to explain the disorder to siblings of HFA kids and encourage open discussion about it. Encouragement should extend to the things siblings can do to assist the autistic youngster, and this should be positively reinforced through acknowledgement when it occurs.

Sleep Difficulties—

Kids on the spectrum are known to experience sleep problems. They may have lesser sleep requirements, and as such are more likely to become anxious about sleeping, or may find they become anxious when waking during the night or early in the morning.

Combat your youngster's anxiety by making his bedroom a place of safety and comfort. Remove or store items that may be prone to injure your youngster if he decides to wander at night. Include in the behavioral diary a record of your youngster's sleep patterns. It may assist him if you keep a list of his routine (e.g., dinner, bath time, story and bed) in order to provide structure. Include an image or symbol of him waking in the morning to provide assurance as to what will happen. Social stories have proven to be a particularly successful technique in decreasing a youngster's anxiety by providing clear instructions on how part of his day is likely to play out.

At School—

Kids with HFA will often experience difficulty during parts of the school day that  lack structure. If left to their own devices, their difficulties with social interaction and self-management can result in anxiety. The use of a "buddy system" can assist in providing direction, as can the creation of a timetable for recess and lunch times. These should be raised with class teachers and implemented with their assistance.

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

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

In Public—

Kids on the spectrum can become overwhelmed to the point of distress by even a short outing in public. The result is that many parents simply seek to avoid as much as possible situations where their youngster is exposed to the public. While expedient, it may not offer the best long-term solution to your youngster, and there are strategies to assist with outings.

Consider providing your youngster with an iPod or iPad in the car to block out other sounds and stimuli. Prepare a social story or list explaining to your youngster a trip to the stores or doctor. Be sure to include on the list your return home. Consider giving her a task to complete during the trip, or having her assist you. At all times, maintaining consistency when dealing with the disorder and discipline is key. It pays to ensure that others involved in your youngster's care are familiar with your strategies and techniques and are able to apply them.

Most importantly, don't hesitate to seek support networks for parents of "special needs" kids, and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that those who have dealt with the disorder before you have developed. The assistance you can gain from these and other resources can assist you in developing important strategies to deal with problems in a manner most beneficial to your youngster.

Knowing when, how, and how much to discipline your youngster can be quite challenging. You may be filled with worry for your youngster and her future. You may be learning more about becoming her strongest advocate. In so doing, you will need to find balance in your role as a parent and disciplinarian. There may be a fine line between being an effective parent and being perceived as zealous or coddling of your youngster.

Your youngster’s diagnosis is a label that describes a small part of who he is as a human being. He is many other things. His diagnosis does not exclusively define him (remember the self-fulfilling prophecy). In valuing your youngster’s gifts and talents concurrent with understanding his diagnosis, be cautious about going to extremes. You have every reason to be a strong advocate on behalf of your youngster and in protection of his rights. But this does not exempt him from being disciplined by you or, where appropriate, by teachers.
Over-protectiveness—

Some moms and dads can become overprotective. They may make frequent excuses for their youngster’s words or actions. And they may not discipline where most others agree it to be warranted. When this occurs - regardless of the youngster’s way of being - the balance of authority shifts. The youngster gains more and more control while being protected in a sheltered environment with little to no discipline.

The Latin root of the word discipline means “to teach.” Moms and dads who are overprotective and do nothing to discipline their youngster are teaching some very artificial life lessons that will significantly hinder their youngster in the real world. One mother openly despaired that she envisions caring for her son with Aspergers for the rest of her life. This may indeed be the case if she micromanages every aspect of his life.

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

The Dignity of Risk—

There is what is known as the “dignity of risk.” It speaks to the luxury we must allow persons with different ways of being to make long- and short-term mistakes, but not without support and guidance. This will be a great challenge to you as a parent who is naturally protective of your youngster. But it is the only way she will be able to learn and prepare for greater independence in the future. Disciplining your youngster should be a teaching and learning opportunity about making choices and decisions. When your youngster makes mistakes, assure her that she is still loved and valued. In other words, focus on the issue at hand, not the person.

For example, the parents of the adolescent who drove the uninsured car should demonstrate their discipline by first discussing his great error in judgment in addition to entering into a dialogue about good, better, and best choices in the future. It will be especially helpful - and will maximize the learning opportunity - if, in partnership with the child, they write it all down to make it as concrete as possible. They may also decide that another form of discipline (e.g., withholding allowance or grounding) is an entirely appropriate way to reinforce the seriousness of his actions.

This is not to suggest that they should not have intervened if they had had prior knowledge of his intentions - they certainly should have! But, where possible, look for small opportunities to deliberately allow your youngster to make mistakes for which you can set aside discipline-teaching time. It will be a learning process for you and your youngster.

An HFA youngster may behave aggressively when he is disappointed or frustrated (as other kids do). But he may not be doing it intentionally, because as a youngster on the spectrum, he is unable to understand that other people have thoughts and feelings. He doesn't fully understand that other people hurt when he hits them. He may learn this as he gets older, but it may take some time. So how do parents of autistic kids tell them to not hit other people? How can they handle their misbehavior?

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Here are a few short but helpful pointers to help parents in disciplining a young person on the autism spectrum:

Discipline is about teaching your youngster good and appropriate behavior. Discipline is about helping her to become an independent and responsible people. Regardless of the disorder, you still need to discipline your child with the consideration of her special needs. In particular, you need to keep in mind her unusual perception of pain. Therefore, spanking is a "no go." It will not teach that her behavior is unacceptable. In contrast, it may encourage her that hitting others is an acceptable behavior. It may even encourage self-injurious behavior. In fact, many experts strongly agree to not use any form of physical punishment on autistic kids.

The best method is through positive discipline, where you focus on your child's acceptable behavior and provide rewards so that he will be encouraged to repeat the behavior. To do that, first you need to establish ground rules. The ground rules state specifically what is considered acceptable behavior - and what is not. You must catch and reward your child when he is  well-behaved and following the rules. A reward need not necessarily be a physical or expensive one. 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. Rather than saying "Good job," say "Thank you for cleaning up your room."

Some HFA kids are not able to generalize information. They are usually not able to apply what they learn in one learning context to another learning context (e.g., he 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). In other words, once the situation changes, it will be a totally a new learning experience for the child. Be consistent and provide many repetitions in disciplining him. If there is punishment, make sure that the punishment is always the same for the bad behavior. A consistent environment and many repetitions will help your youngster to learn and remember the differences between right and wrong.

Disciplining an HFA youngster is not easy, but your loving care and understanding of him will make the task much easier to fulfill. By accommodating her special needs, she will accept discipline with less push-back. Be persistent and enjoy every small success. Your child may not be the captain of a cheer-leading squad, but she is taking small steps to become an independent and responsible adult.

==> More crucial disciplinary strategies can be found here...


Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD 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…

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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 or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your 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...

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Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the 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…

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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 ASD 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…

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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...

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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...
 
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A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

Click here for the full article...


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… a good read...
•    Anonymous said… Do you take it away for the rest of the day or a set time that he loses it? My son is hf and loves his computer games but he doesn't seem to understand when he loses them as the unwanted behaviour continues x
•    Anonymous said… Figuring out an effective discipline strategy has been one of the most challenging issues I’ve faced as the parent of an ASD teen.
•    Anonymous said… Good info. I am glad you share this stuff. It helps me help Ryan and Mason as well as you guys. Consistency in his family environment is crucial.
•    Anonymous said… it depends on situation. He is 13 and when he was younger, yes it would be for the rest of that day onto next. Id give him opportunities to earn it bk but it depended on why it was taken away. Now hes 13 i will remove it till i see fit to return it. He was in big trouble a few wks bk as he hacked into the school computer to see if he could. He couldnt see the seriousness of this so all tecnology was removed for nearly 3 weeks. During that time, we researched serious acts of hacking and i showed him the consequences... Jail sentence etc. Also during that time he had chores around the house which he did earn money for as i wanted him to see, there are other things to do with ur time. Unfortunately when he gained the tec bk, the chores fell away to the way side. However i did show him that during that 3 weeks he also learned to play ukelele. Frustrating.... But sometimes tough love and consistencey does pay off from time to time. His behaviour has improved and the very thought of him loosing it again makes him think twice. Hope this helps x
•    Anonymous said… My son is hf and as a punishment I take away the thing he loves most.... technology. While he doesn’t have it he can reflect on his actions. Dnt get me wrong, it can be hard going but I’ve tried various strategies and this seems to work x
•    Anonymous said… We find we had to find different strategies to discipline our son with asd and spd it's not easy we can tell u he is 9 years old still keep on trying. 😢 😢.

Post your comment below…

Special Disciplinary Techniques for Aspergers and HFA Children

“Should you discipline a child with Aspergers (high functioning) in the same way you would a child without the disorder? If not, what would you do differently?”

In many instances, a disciplinary technique would be the same for both the Aspergers/HFA and neurotypical child. But in a significant number of select areas, you will need to take a different approach due to the "special needs" child’s ASD-related symptoms (e.g., sensory sensitivities, mind-blindness, obsessions, etc.).

Here are most of the main points to consider when disciplining a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism:

1. Attend local parent support group meetings, and join online support groups.

2. Avoid being over-protective. While your youngster does need you, he also needs his own sense of self and to be able to experience life as much as he can on his own.

3. Be patient and consistent. Due to developmental delays, kids on the autism spectrum may require more exposure to discipline before they begin to understand expectations. You must follow through and apply discipline each time there is an incident in order to effectively send your message.



4. Choose a method of discipline appropriate to the level of the outburst and to the youngster in question. Planned ignoring, giving a time-out, and removing privileges or activities important to the youngster are all potential options. Aspergers and HFA kids may require a shorter time-out period and consequences given in smaller doses, especially where their attention spans are affected by their disorder.

5. Communicate your expectations. Before you enter a store, transition from one activity to another, or approach a situation where behavior may deteriorate, discuss with the youngster what will happen, review your family rules, and remind the youngster of the consequences of misbehavior. For Aspergers and HFA kids, this information may need to be broken down into a few very simple instructions and repeated often.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

6. Create an environment that encourages your youngster to make the right choices, whether it be by providing a picture schedule, using verbal reminders, or retelling the stories about appropriate behaviors.

7. Decide on one or two motivators, or positive rewards, and one or two consequences, or negative actions. Motivators might include earning story time, candy, dessert or a new toy. Consequences might include a stern warning, timeout, removal of toys, or an extra chore. Your goal is to encourage your youngster to follow the rules, but at the same time, prepare yourself to provide discipline if she does not.

8. Develop a list of positive behaviors you want to encourage and negative behaviors you want to discourage. Your list should reflect your youngster's abilities and limitations, rather than focusing on age-appropriate activities. Consider self-care tasks, manners and chores. For some kids, the behaviors might be simple and include things like eye contact when spoken to, pointing instead of yelling and not throwing things. For other kids, the list might include several daily chores, a respectful tone of voice, and following a bedtime routine.

9. Develop a plan of action before a behavioral incident occurs. Consider possible settings where you may face an outburst, your reaction, the youngster's needs and response, and the consequences you may use to stop or alter the behavior. Kids on the spectrum may have unusual behavioral triggers, so it is important to know the youngster in question when developing your plan and to be flexible in your approach.

10. Difficult behavior usually serves a purpose for your youngster. Once you identify the desire, you may learn how to prevent the behavior and replace it with something more appropriate. For example, the desire may be to gain attention or obtain something, or avoid or escape from an unpleasant situation. Traditional forms of discipline are not effective with an Aspergers or HFA youngster who is displaying difficult behavior. The youngster may not simply seek approval or understand anger from another person, so your reaction to the behavior may have little impact. It is always important to look at what motivates and interests each youngster and to assist the youngster to communicate her needs, anxieties and frustration in acceptable ways. Assistance through behavioral services, role play and modeling may be necessary.

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

11. Don’t be afraid to discipline while out in the community.

12. Don’t feel guilty if you are not 100% consistent.

13. Educate yourself about all the aspects of Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism.

14. Establish a safety net of support around yourself.

15. Explain the disorder to siblings and encourage them to ask you questions about the disorder.




16. For kids on the spectrum, it is important that the consequence or reward immediately follow the behavior to have the greatest effect and opportunity to teach.

17. Give equal attention to positive behaviors as you give to negative behaviors. This will help the youngster recognize what to do – as well as what not to do.

18. Give your youngster choices appropriate to her age and development. Having the opportunity to make choices will help her feel important while learning to feel responsible for areas in her life.

19. Have a set community outing each week that occurs just for “teaching” and practicing good behavior.

20. Have a set plan for car misbehavior.

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

21. If the day’s routine is not typical, plan to surround the youngster with as many familiar items (e.g., favorite songs, books, toys, etc.) to help him feel as comfortable as possible in unusual circumstances.

22. Implement negative consequences for poor choices and noncompliance with a calm, yet assertive voice. Do not feel anxious or guilty about implementing a consequence. You are helping to teach your youngster how to function successfully within society. To deny kids with an autism spectrum disorder these consequences would deny their development into responsible grown-ups.

23. Increase supervision and structure.

24. Increase your efforts to “catch your child being good.”

25. It’s okay to “bribe.”

26. It’s okay to say, “No.”

27. Moms and dads can help to reduce their kid’s misbehavior by anticipating difficult moments in the day. Transitions are often difficult for kids on the spectrum. The unpredictability of change can make a youngster feel uneasy, even fearful. Knowing what to expect can help eliminate unnecessary stress. All kids crave structure, and knowing what comes next provides comfort. Simply being aware of a daily schedule can help a youngster adjust between two activities.

28. Provide opportunities for your youngster to do things the right way. Clearly explain what you expect. Role-play the correct behaviors or make up a social story about the correct choices you expect your youngster to make.

29. Realize that kids with Aspergers and HFA come with all sorts of personalities, temperaments, abilities, likes, and dislikes. While they come with their own set of challenges, they are also armed with some tremendous qualities.

30. Recruit some help from your other children. Ask the neurotypical siblings for help with their Aspergers sibling. Give them a role (e.g., helping the autistic youngster with homework).

31. Solve any medical or sleep problems.

32. Teach the youngster the importance of responsibility, self-control, and positive behaviors. As a parent of a youngster with Aspergers or HFA, your job is to arm your youngster with these tools so he can live a productive life where he can discipline himself as much as possible.

33. Teach your youngster responsibility by giving certain chores he is responsible for. By doing this, you’ll give him a sense of accomplishment, value, and self-worth.

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

34. When considering how to discipline kids on the spectrum, it is important to provide structure appropriate to your youngster’s age and developmental stage. This is critically important as you want to discipline your youngster depending on their ability and understanding, and not strictly on their chronological age.

35. When disciplining your youngster, show her value by not focusing on the disorder, but on her “self.”

36. When your youngster is displaying an undesirable behavior, consider the fact that the behavior could indicate a need. Evaluate each behavior to see if there is anything you can do to help the youngster in this area.

37. Work on simple directions and following them every day.

38. Kids with Aspergers and HFA are concrete, literal thinkers and have difficulty communicating both verbally and non-verbally. Being unable to express or receive messages can lead to frustration and anger. Here are some points to consider:
  • Give and receive messages using a variety of communication methods (e.g., written, verbal, gesture, or visual cues).
  • Use clear, simple and precise language when giving instructions; start with one word and gradually move on to more complex sentences.
  • Try to phrase requests in a positive way, stating what you want rather than what you don’t want.
  • Use activity schedules to assist the youngster in following daily routines.
  • Provide a structure and routine this assists the youngster in knowing what to expect.

39. Kids with Aspergers and HFA have difficulty understanding social rules and interpreting the feelings and emotions of others. Physical space and/or contact with others may cause anxiety. Here are some points to consider:
  • Reinforce the use of appropriate verbal or facial expressions of feelings and emotions.
  • Rehearse social rules in different settings.
  • Have clear consequences for inappropriate social behavior.
  • Actively teach social behaviors through role play and presentation.

40. These young people can become very confused when routines change. They may also know what is expected in one situation, but may not be able to transition this knowledge to another, related situation. Here are some points to consider:
  • Identify danger, being prepared, and transition between activities.
  • Provide clear signals to specify the start and finish of an activity.
  • Teach the same skill in different settings.
  • Use effective communication to warn of unexpected changes to routine.
  • Using a variety of communication methods, explain rules that apply to each situation encountered.

More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


COMMENTS: 

Unknown said...
Thank you. I love reading your blog. No 25 its ok to bribe, thank god, my son isn't keen to do things sometimes unless there is something in it for him! Reading this makes me feel so much better. I have never had any help, the only thing that made me feel like I have been dealing with it ll in the right way was my sons doctor, he told me that it sounds like we cope well! Nice to hear but it never feels like that.

Unknown said...
My brother is 24 with this syndrome. I have a 1&2 year old who live in the home with us. He seems to hate them even though I know that in not the case. He doesn't want them to touch him or be around him at times. He destroys their toys and can never really give a clear answer to why he was mad other than he just did not want the object in his room. He does not like being around the kids but I know he wants to spend time with everyone else in the home. Is there a particular reason why he is like this with the toddlers?



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