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

6.8.23

Dealing with Difficult ASD-related Behavior: Critical Tips for Parents

"I need some advice on how to handle behavior problems in my child with ASD, such as how to use the right discipline, dealing with his obsessions, sibling issues, sleep problems, school-related problems, and acting-out behavior in public. Thanks!"

Disciplining kids displaying ASD-related behavior will often require an approach which is somewhat unique to that of "typical" kids. Finding the balance between understanding the needs of a youngster with ASD - and discipline which is age appropriate and situationally necessary - is achievable when applying some simple, yet effective strategies. These strategies can be implemented both at home and in more public settings.

General Behavior Problems—

Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with ASD level 1 ("high-functioning autism"), 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 the mom or dad.

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 peers, moms and dads, or teachers. 
 
 
For example, the youngster may come to understand that hurting another classmate 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., maybe the ASD youngster can be made more comfortable in class so that he will not want to leave).

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 might be effective with "typical" kids. If necessary, when giving directions to stop a type of misbehavior, these should be framed 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 with ASD often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics, which can have significant implications for behavior. For example, if an ASD 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 angst which might otherwise arise through such limitations (e.g., tell your youngster that she may watch her favorite cartoon for half an hour after dinner, and make time for that in her 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 nexus 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 he has listened to you talk about an unrelated topic. This serves to help your youngster understand that not everyone shares his enthusiasm for his subject matter.

Bridging the Gap between ASD and Discipline and Other Siblings—

For siblings without autism, the differential - and what at times no doubt appears to be preferential - treatment received by an ASD sibling can give rise to feelings of confusion and frustration. Often, they will fail to understand why their brother or sister apparently seems free to behave as they please without the normal constraints placed on them.

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

Sleep Difficulties—

ASD kids are known for experiencing sleep problems. Kids with the disorder 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 her bedroom a place of safety and comfort. Remove or store items which might be prone to injure your youngster if she decides to wander at night. Include in the behavioral diary a record of your youngster's sleep patterns. It may assist your youngster if you keep a list of her routine (e.g., dinner, bath time, story and bed time) in order to provide structure. Include an image or symbol of her waking in the morning to provide assurance as to what will happen. Social stories have proven to be a particularly successful tactic in decreasing a youngster's anxiety by providing clear instructions on how part of her day is likely to play out.

At School—

Another autistic characteristic is that kids will often experience difficulty during parts of the school day which 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 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, etc.).

In Public—

Kids on the spectrum can become overwhelmed to the point of distress by even a short visit in public. The result is that many moms and dads with ASD kids 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 have the radio on in the car to block out other sounds and stimuli. Prepare a social story or list explaining to the youngster a trip to the shops, doctor, etc. Be sure to include on the list your return home. Consider giving your youngster a task to complete during the trip, or having him assist you. At all times, maintaining consistency is a key concern. 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.

Lastly, don't hesitate to seek support networks for parents with ASD kids, and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge 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.
 

29.3.23

Discipline Problems in Kids and Teens with ASD Level 1

Question

Our son has autism but it would appear to be a mild condition as he has developed very well and does not exhibit extreme symptoms of the syndrome. However my wife and I have become exasperated of late in trying to teach our child about inappropriate or naughty behaviour. He does not respond to sanctions or punishments and even when he does and the reason for a sanction is explained he does not seem to learn from the sanction so that the behaviour is often repeated again and again and the threat of the same or similar sanction has no effect. Can you make any suggestions? Sanctions include being sent to his room, removal of favourite toys or treats and although he responds/accepts the actual punishment he will not learn the lesson which we are trying to teach him. 


Answer

Disciplining kids displaying behavior consistent with ASD level 1 (high-functioning autism) will often require an approach which is somewhat unique compared to that of other kids. Finding the balance between understanding the needs of a youngster with ASD and discipline which is age appropriate and situationally necessary is achievable when applying some simple but effective strategies. These strategies can be implemented both at home and in more public settings.

General Behavior Problems

Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with ASD, 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, whilst 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 peers, parents or teachers.
 
==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

For example, a youngster with ASD 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...for example, can the youngster be made more comfortable in class so that they will not want to leave it?

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 which might be effective on kids who are not displaying some sort of autistic characteristic. If necessary, when giving directions to cease a type of misbehavior, these should also be couched as positives rather than negatives. For example, 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 with ASD often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics, which can have significant implications for behavior.

For example, if an ASD youngster becomes fixated upon reading a particular story each night, they 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 angst which might otherwise arise through such limitations. For example, tell your youngster that they may watch their favorite cartoon for half an hour after dinner, and make clear time for that in their 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 nexus 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 they have listened to you talk about an unrelated topic. This serves to help your youngster understand that not everyone shares their enthusiasm for their subject matter.

Bridging the Gap between ASD and Discipline and Other Siblings

For siblings without autism, the differential and what at times no doubt appears to be preferential treatment received by an ASD sibling can give rise to feelings of confusion and frustration. Often they will fail to understand why their brother or sister apparently seems free to behave as they please without the normal constraints placed upon them.

It is important to explain to siblings or peers of ASD kids and encourage open discussion about the disorder itself. 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 renowned for experiencing 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.
 
==> Parenting System that Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Combat your youngster's anxiety by making their bedrooms a place of safety and comfort. Remove or store items which might be prone to injure your youngster if they decide to wander at night. Include in the behavioral diary a record of your youngster's sleep patterns. It may assist your youngster if you keep a list of their routine, including dinner, bath time, story and bed, in order to provide structure. Include an image or symbol of them waking in the morning to provide assurance as to what will happen. Social stories have proven to be a particularly successful tactic in decreasing a youngster's anxiety by providing clear instructions on how part of their day is likely to play out.

At School

Another autistic characteristic is that kids will often experience difficulty during parts of the school day which 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, such as reading a book, or helping to set up paint and brushes for the afternoon tasks.

In Public

Kids with ASD can become overwhelmed to the point of distress by even a short sourjourn in public. The result is that many parents with ASD simply seek to avoid as much as possible situations where their youngster is exposed to the public. Whilst 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 ipad, or have the radio on in the car to block out other sounds and stimuli. Prepare a social story or list explaining to the youngster a trip to the shops, or doctor. Be sure to include on the list your return home. Consider giving your youngster a task to complete during the trip, or having them assist you. At all times, maintaining consistency when dealing with ASD and discipline is key. It pays to ensure that others involved in your youngster's care are familiar with your strategies and techniques, such as those outlined above, and are able to apply them.
 
==> Crucial Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Most importantly, don't hesitate to seek support networks for parents with ASD, and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge 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 with ASD in a manner most beneficial to your youngster.

Additional Points to Consider

An autistic youngster may throw tantrum or behave aggressively when he is disappointed or frustrated as other kids do. But he is not doing it intentionally, because as an Autistic youngster, he is unable to understand that other people have thoughts and feelings. He doesn't know that other people hurt when he hit them. He may learn this as he gets older, but it may take sometimes. So how do parents of ASD kids tell them to not hit other people? How can they handle their misbehavior?

Discipline is about teaching your youngster good and appropriate behavior. Discipline is about helping them to become independent and responsible people. Regardless of whether your youngster is special need or not, you still need to discipline him with the consideration of his special needs. In particular, you need to keep in mind his unusual perception of pain. Therefore, hitting them or any physical punishment is a big no-no. The hitting will not teach that their behavior is unacceptable. In contrast, it may encourage them that hitting others is an acceptable behavior. It may even encourage self-injurious behavior. In fact many experts strongly agree to not use physical punishment on autistic kids and advised them to find alternative methods of discipline method.

The best method is through positive discipline, where you focus on his acceptable behavior and provide rewards so that your youngster would be encouraged to repeat the behavior. To do that, first you need to establish ground rules. The ground rules must states specifically of what is consider as an acceptable behavior and what is not. You must catch and reward them when they are well-behaved and following the rules. A reward need not necessarily be a physical or expensive reward. It can be genuine praise or 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 Autistic youngsters are not able to generalize information. They are usually not able to apply what they learn in one learning context to another learning context. For example, he may learn that hitting his friend at school is not acceptable, but he may not necessarily understand that he cannot hit his sister at home. That is, once the situation changes, it will be a totally a new learning experience for him. Be consistent and provide many repetitions in disciplining them. 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 Autistic youngster to learn and remember the differences between right and wrong.

Disciplining an Autistic youngster is not easy, but with your loving care and understanding of him will make the task much easier to fulfill. I feel by accommodating his special needs and the loved he feel, he takes discipline a lot better. Be persistent and enjoy every small success. He may not be the captain of a football team, but he is taking small steps to become an independent and responsible person.


Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

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

7.12.21

Educating Students with ASD [Level 1]: Comprehensive Guidelines for Teachers and Parents

Children with ASD (high functioning autism) will respond quite well to specific classroom adaptations. Here are the recommended methods teachers can employ with their "special needs" students: 
  1. Implement Creative Programming - Through the student’s IEP, educators can develop class schedules which will be motivating and challenging to the student while addressing his/her needs.
  2. Intervene Early - The earlier intervention begins, the earlier children can learn the needed skills for adulthood and friendship.
  3. Obtain In-Depth Training - Learn the differences among the kids with ASD in elementary, middle school and high school.
  4. Recognize Children’ Strengths - Many children with ASD will go on to make great contributions to society. However, we must tap into their strengths and offer support so that they do not drop out of school because academic and social demands are too high.
  5. Understand How Social Impairments Impact Learning and Peer Relationships - Some children require weekly sessions with trained staff members who can help them “solve the puzzles” they encounter in everyday activities and help alleviate depression caused by perception of social failure. Provide ongoing social skill instruction to help children form relationships with peers.

Role of Inclusion—

1. Carefully structure seating arrangements and group work. Kids with ASD should not be seated near class bullies or aggressive children. Rather, sit them next to children who can serve as a “peer buddy.” See where the youngster works most effectively; near the teacher or near a quiet open space. Avoid self-selection when children are being assigned to a group. Teach children how to function as a team and accept all members.

2. Connect with Each Other, Parents, Internet, and Other Support Groups. To avoid the feelings of many educators and families who feel isolated in their attempts to support children with ASD, create regular communication through meetings, telephone or e-mail among inclusion and special education educators and parents. Create a Home School Coordination- Improve the behavior of this student by combining school and home effort. Work on goals that the youngster should meet. Then send home a note indicating if the youngster has met that goal. If s/he has done so, reward him/her (in school and at home if the appropriate behavior is being exhibited there as well). 
 

3. Don’t Take it Personally. Don’t be insulted by the student who interrupts, speaks too loudly or misses your jokes. Separate the youngster from the syndrome (be perturbed with the behavior, but support the youngster) and try to imagine the world as viewed through his eyes. Model warmth and acceptance. Refrain from impatience and irritation so peers will too.

4. Help Your Classroom Become a Caring Environment. Create and maintain your classroom as a safe, supportive and accepting community by expecting and ensuring that all children respect, support and take responsibility for each other. Help create a strong sense of belonging among all the diverse children in your classroom.

5. Prepare for Changes in the Routine. Since most children with ASD thrive on clear expectations and routines there are many different methods a teacher can use to help create smooth transitions. Write class schedules and time frames on the blackboard, or use a picture schedule for younger kids. Designate classroom jobs, space and time with certain activities (e.g., computer). Explain changes in the routine well in advance (e.g., “On Thursday, we will have an assembly. That means you go straight from your second period class to the auditorium.”).

6. Promote Positive Peer Interactions. Create ways to connect the student with empathic peers in order to promote social acceptance and friendships. Use role playing and games - Try the program “Magic Circle” where children are seated in a circle and are encouraged to share their feelings and listen to others. This type of activity helps promote active listening skills and recognition of each individual. Help the student engage in successful conversations and reflection by using comic strips, since the pictures, words and symbols identify what the people say and do and emphasize what people may be thinking. Social stories which describe typical social situations and explain the meaning of various comments and identify appropriate responses are also good. Direct the youngster to participate in activities or clubs in which their abilities might neutralize their social deficiencies (e.g., math groups). Make sure they are not involved in groups that are frequented by bullies. Identify the student’s special gifts and teach him/her to share those gifts through tutoring, class presentations, or community service.

7. Provide a Safe Haven. Children with ASD can become overwhelmed by noise, crowds, chaos or trying to engage in social interactions (e.g., an assembly, recess time), which can lead to anxiety and stress. Offer an alternative to attending these events. Try earplugs or headphones to assist in screening out troubling noise. Make sure the youngster has a trusted contact person with whom they feel comfortable with (e.g., special education teacher, school psychologist, guidance counselor or principal, older responsible pupil). Give access to a quiet, private place (e.g., school library, tutoring room, empty classroom or office) where the student can spend lunchtime, study hall or any other free time alone, can rest and refresh themselves to alleviate the stress that accompanies the constant effort to fit in. 
 

8. Use Available Resources/ Make Needed Accommodations. Children with ASD often respond well to visuals, graphic models and technology. They often have impaired gross or fine motor skills. Encourage the use of computers for written assignments and exams. Allow for extra time or quiet space if needed. When significant amounts of notes need to be taken, pair the student with ASD with a buddy in order that the student can photocopy the notes missed. Allow time on the Internet. The effort and anxiety associated with interpersonal connections is greatly reduced because then children only have to deal with the written word. However, limit the amount of time on the computer in order that a potential obsession does not develop and that the computer does not become a substitute for human contact.

Characteristics of ASD—
  • Cognitive abilities which are average or above average (they are often known as “little professors”)
  • Depression, frequent school absences, low school motivation due to being socially vulnerable and easy targets for teasing and bullying
  • Difficulties with subjects that require inferential reasoning, abstract concepts, problem solving, extensive calculations or social judgments
  • Fine motor problems which lead to poor penmanship and low writing motivation
  • Friends and new acquaintances may be acknowledged with tight and enthusiastic hugs instead of formal greetings like “Hi, how are you?”
  • Gross motor clumsiness which leads to poor skills in competitive sports and physical activities
  • Hypersensitivity to noises or smells
  • Lack of emotional reciprocity or empathy
  • May begin to talk about the latest topic of concern which is of interest only to themselves (e.g., train schedules), may be age inappropriate or boring but the person does not pick up on looks of disinterest or snickers from the group
  • May move into the personal space of others, not recognizing body language, facial and verbal cues that he/she has transgressed
  • May not make direct eye contact
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
  • Rigid and inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
  • Speech and language peculiarities such as: stilted and formal language, voice too loud or monotone or hyperverbal.
  • Stereotyped and repetitive motor movements
   
The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with High-Functioning Autism
 
 
Personal Challenges for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder—

Listed below are behaviors that a youngster on the Autistic Spectrum might encounter on a daily basis...

Social Interactions:

• inappropriate use of eye contact, avoidance or extended staring
• little sense of other people’s boundaries
• not accepting hugging, cuddling or touching unless self initiated
• poor use of nonverbal gestures
• trouble with back and forth social interactions
• wanting to be left alone at times

Interest and Activities:

• defensive to touch which isn’t self initiated
• difficulty waiting
• history of eating problems
• lack of fear or real danger
• lining up and or/ ordering objects
• pacing or running back and forth, round and round
• repeatedly watching videos or video segments
• resisting change
• strong attachment to inanimate objects
• very sensitive to sounds

Qualitative Impairments in Communication:

• difficulty understanding abstract concepts
• problem understanding jokes
• problem with getting the order of words in sentences correct
• problems answering questions
• problems using speed, tone and volume appropriately
• problems with reciprocal conversations

Learning Characteristics:

• delayed response time
• good visual skills
• hyperactivity
• needs help to problem solve
• problems organizing
• short attention span to some activities and not others
• well developed long term memory

Observable Problems Behaviors:

• aggression- biting, hitting, kicking, pinching
• low motivation
• temper tantrums
• toileting problems

Motor Problems:

• balance
• clumsiness
• motor planning- can’t make body do what it needs to do
• stiffness
• tired easily

 
Environmental Challenges that Lower Ability to Function Competently—

Personal:

- not being understood
- not understanding
- not having choices
- making a mistake
- being touched

Major Changes:

- alterations in school, work, home, community
- time changes
- staff or teacher absent
- cancellation of event or activity
- having to wait too long

Environmental Confusion:

- crowds
- noise
- not having enough space
- losing things of value
- surrounded by too much movement
- surrounded by too much visual stimuli

Relationships:

- being corrected
- being denied
- being late
- being ignored
- being left out
- being teased
- being scolded

Sensory Challenges—

Sound/ Auditory:

- reacts to unexpected sound
- fears some noises
- making self induced noises
- confused about direction of sound
- distracted by certain sounds

Sight/Vision:

- has been diagnosed as having a visual problem
- is sensitive to light
- has difficulty tracking
- upset by things looking different
- closely examines objects or hands

Smell/Olfactory:

- sensitive to smells
- explores environment by smelling
- reacts strongly to some smells
- ignores strong odors

Touch/Tactile:

- defensive about being touched
- prefers deep touching rather than soft
- dislikes feel of certain clothing
- over or under dresses for temperature
- upset by sticky, gooey hands

Taste:

- has an eating problem
- dislikes certain textures or foods
- tastes non-edibles

Movement/Vestibular:

- seems fearful in space
- arches back when held or moved
- likes rocking, swinging, spinning
- avoids balancing activities

Perceptual/Perceptual Motor:

- has difficulty with time perception
- problems with use of some tools
- difficulty with body in space
- relies on knowing location of furniture

Social Skills which may be Personal Challenges—

Personal Management/Self Control:

- waiting
- finishing work
- taking care of belongings
- turning in assignments on time
- changing activities
- accepting correction

Reciprocal Interactions:

- imitating
- sharing
- taking turns
- offering help, comfort
- inviting others to join
- asking for a favor
- letting someone know you are hurt or sick

Reciprocating Social Interactions Appropriately:

- listening
- commenting on a topic
- answering questions
- accepting help
- responding to teasing
- making a choice
- giving eye contact appropriately

Manner of Interaction:

- being polite
- being kind
- being considerate
- being honest
- not walking away when someone is talking

Abstract Social Concepts:

- being good
- timing
- fairness
- friendship
- caring
- lying
- humor

Group Behaviors:

- come when called to a group
- stay in certain places
- participate with group
- follow group rules
- winning and losing
- pick up, clean up, straighten up

 
Effective Behavior Interventions of Problem Behaviors–

What makes kids on the spectrum do what we do?
  • Biological Influences
  • Instructional/ Reinforcement History
  • Setting /Events
  • Stimulus Events

In order to create an effective intervention for problem behaviors, educators (and parents) need to take into consideration a variety of aspects.

1. Hypothesize the function of the behavior

• Social Attention
• Escape/ avoidance
• Wants tangible item or activity
• Sensory Feedback

2. Gather Information

a. Antecedent : Does the behavior occur……

- When you are attending to other people in the room?
- Following a request to perform a difficult task?
- When a request for an item or activity is denied?
- Repeatedly, in the same way, for long periods of time, even when no on is around?

b. Consequence: When the behavior occurs, do others….

- Attend to the student?
- Leave the student alone?
- Negotiate or give the desired item/activity
- Allow the student to engage in inappropriate behavior? 

3. Plan an Intervention

a. Based on information gathered, are environmental changes needed?

- Move student closer to teacher.
- Limit materials available to student.
- Remove distracters.

b. Based on information gathered, determine how people should react to the challenging behavior each time it occurs.

- Plan to ignore.
- Plan to attend.
- Plan to remove privileges.
- Plan to redirect.

4. Identify a Replacement Behavior

a. What appropriate behavior is “functionally equivalent” to the challenging behavior?

- Manipulating a stress ball or twist pen to replace inappropriate hand movements
- Teaching the student to ask if he can use the computer later to replace tantrum behavior
- Teaching student to raise his hand to replace attention-seeking behaviors
- Teaching the student to communicate his wants appropriately to replace escape/ avoidance behaviors

b. Complete replacement behavior planning guide with team…

- Which behavior is the team going to target for replacement?
- What functionally equivalent behavior is the team going to train in place of the problem behavior?
- In what situations will training occur?
- Who will be responsible for conducting the training sessions?
- What motivation system will be implemented during training?
- Describe how the team will evaluate if and how the student uses the new response.

 
Promoting Positive Classroom Behavior of Children—

The suggestions written below can be used to help kids with ASD but can be used in any classroom to help promote a positive atmosphere.

a) Rules - Establish, teach and enforce classroom rules. Rules should be positively stated and identify the specific behaviors you wish to see displayed

b) Premack Principle - Method of maintaining and increasing compliance with rules through the use of positive reinforcement. A desired activity is available to children on the completion of an undesired activity (e.g., a student who stays in their seat for a period of time can earn an opportunity to work on the computer).

c) Contingency Contracts - Children and educators formalize agreements concerning specific behavior for the exchange of reinforcers by writing an agreement. It outlines the behaviors and consequences of a specific behavior management system. (See the link on this site titled "Contracts")

d) Self-Recording - The student monitors his or her own behaviors by using a data collection system. Children can be taught to increase their on task behavior during a class by placing a + in a box when they are paying attention for several minutes and a -–if they are off task.

e) Self-Evaluation - A self-management system that has been used to promote appropriate behavior in many general education programs. Children are taught to evaluate their in class behavior using a rating scale. For example, a student can rate his on task and disruptive behaviors using a 0-5 point rating scale ("unacceptable" to "excellent"). The student earns points (which can be exchanged for reinforcers) based on both student behavior and the accuracy of his ratings. 
 

Ways to Decrease Inappropriate Classroom Behaviors –

Listed below are various ways to decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate ones for kids with ASD.

- Redirection - Introduce a novel stimulus to recapture the student’s attention by delivering verbal and nonverbal cues to the student to stop misbehavior, offering assistance with a task, engaging him/her in conversation, reminding him/her to focus attention on the task, or modeling calm and controlled behavior.

- Interspersed Requests - Used to motivate children to perform a difficult or unpleasant task by initially asking them to perform several easier tasks, which they can complete successfully in a short amount of time. This helps promote “behavioral momentum”.

- Differential Reinforcement - Techniques used to decrease inappropriate behaviors by reinforcing the occurrence of positive behaviors, which cannot coexist with the appropriate behavior. (See the link on this site titled "Differential Reinforcement")

- Extinction - A strategy in which the positive reinforcers maintaining a behavior are withheld or terminated, resulting in the reduction in the behavior. (See the link on this site titled "What is ABA" ---then read about 'Ignoring')

- Checklists and Schedules - Provide visual structure and motivation needed to complete assignments and remain on task by checking off assignments and activities upon their completion.

Adaptation of Oral Presentations/Lectures for Children—

Some children require modifications to be made in order for them to understand what is being taught. There are various types of adaptations. Listed below are a few which can be used to help any student achieve to their highest potential:

Pausing - to help children retain lecture content pause for 2 minutes every 5-7 consecutive minutes of lecturing. During the pause children can discuss and review content, ask questions or engage in visual imagery.

Visual Aids - Visual supports such as charts, graphs, lists and pictures can be used to highlight main points, maintain attention, promote eye contact and address the needs of visual learners.

Guided Notes - Outlined and guided notes in which the student fills in the blanks provide a foundation for note taking, and promotes on task behavior. Since many kids with ASD have difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing, this is a method that can be implemented to help them throughout lectures.

Active Student Responding (To encourage active participation) choral responding- in which children answer simultaneously on a cue from a teacher during fast paced lessons.

Response Cards - cards are simultaneously held up by all children to display their responses to questions or problems presented by the teacher

Cooperative Learning Groups/ Peer Tutoring - helps with social interaction

Other Strategies—
  • Use repetition by asking children to answer the same questions several times during a class period.
  • Reinforce correct responses and appropriate behavior with descriptive statements that identify what made the answer "right".
  • Group student with peers who participate and attend.
  • Select children randomly to respond and remind them that they may be called on next
  • Change activities frequently
  • Vary the presentation and response modes of instructional activities.
  • Decrease the complexity and syntax of statements.

Affective Education Strategies to Implement in Any Classroom—

Rapport - Maintaining rapport with children can help establish a positive classroom environment. Educators can establish rapport by talking to children about topics in which they are interested, sharing their own interests, providing opportunities for children to perform activities in which they excel, and complimenting children.

Humor - Good-natured joking helps develop a good relationships and a positive classroom atmosphere. Humor helps children see a situation from another perspective and decreases the likelihood of conflicts.

Dialoguing - Dialoging involves meeting with the children to assist them in identifying the problem, discovering their perspective on that problem, phrase it in their words, and discussing solutions for resolving the problem. It helps children understand their behaviors and problem solve alternatives to inappropriate behaviors.

The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with High-Functioning Autism
 

3.5.21

Learning to Parent a Child with a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder [Level 1]

“Our son now 6 went for assessment last Friday after a lot of form filling on his history etc. and doing tests with him, they - like me - have come to conclusion he has all the signs of a child with Autism (high functioning). Now that I finally have medical proof of what I have suspected for years, where do I go from here? How can I make his day easier? Basic tasks are major hurdles.”


When moms and dads seek help for their youngster, they encounter varied opinions – he'll outgrow it, leave him alone, it is no big deal, he just wants attention, and so on. Many professionals try to work with the high-functioning autistic youngster as if his disorder is like other disorders, but it is quite different. In most cases, there is a great misunderstanding by many people of the needs of these special individuals.

Diagnosis can be difficult. For the inexperienced, recognizing the defining characteristics of Autism can be difficult, and misdiagnoses are quite common. This is further complicated by the fact that an Autistic youngster or teen has many of the same characteristics found in other disorders. These various characteristics are often misinterpreted, overlooked, under-emphasized, or overemphasized. As a result, a youngster may receive many different diagnoses over time or from different professionals.

For example, if a youngster with Autism demonstrates a high degree of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - that might be the only diagnosis he receives. However, this is a common characteristic of Autistic kids. The same holds true if obsessive or compulsive behaviors are displayed – the youngster gets labeled with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) instead of Autism.

The following traits are also commonly seen in those with Autism in varying degrees. However, just because these traits are there, it doesn't mean that the youngster should be diagnosed differently; these traits should be noted as significant features of ASD [level 1]:


•    Anxiety
•    Difficulty with pragmatic language skills
•    Hyperlexia (advanced word recognition skills)
•    Motor deficits
•    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
•    Sensory difficulties
•    Social skills deficits

Professionals who do not have much experience with Autism have a hard time identifying the defining characteristics. For example, social skill deficits may be noted by a professional, but then they are often downplayed because the youngster or adolescent appears to be having appropriate conversations with others or seems to be interested in other people. But with an Autistic youngster, the conversations are not generally reciprocal, so the youngster must be carefully observed to see whether or not there is true back-and-forth interaction. Also, many Autistic kids have an interest in others, but you need to clarify if the objects of their interest are age appropriate. Do they interact with peers in an age-appropriate fashion? Can they maintain friendships over a period of time or do they end as the novelty wears off? These are the types of observations and questions that must be asked in order to ensure a proper diagnosis.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Another example of an overlooked area is the narrow routines or rituals that are supposed to be present. This does not always manifest as obsessive-compulsive behavior in the typical sense, such as repeated hand washing or neatness, but rather in the insistence on the need for rules about many issues and situations. These kids may not throw tantrums over their need for rules, but may require them just as much as the person who has a meltdown when a rule is violated. In essence, there is no single profile of the typical Autistic individual. They are not all the same.

Because of these subtleties and nuances, the single most important consideration in diagnosis is that the person making the initial diagnosis be familiar with autistic spectrum disorders. They should have previously diagnosed numerous kids. To make a proper, initial diagnosis requires the following:

1. An evaluation by an occupational therapist familiar with sensory integration difficulties may provide additional and valuable information.

2. It is important to include a speech and language evaluation, as those with Autism will display impairments in the pragmatics and semantics of language, despite having adequate receptive and expressive language. This will also serve to make moms and dads aware of any unusual language patterns the youngster displays that will interfere in later social situations. Again, these oddities may not be recognized if the evaluator is not familiar with Autism.

3. The youngster should see a neurologist or developmental pediatrician (again, someone familiar with autistic spectrum disorders) for a thorough neurological exam to rule out other medical conditions and to assess the need for medication. The physician may suggest additional medical testing (blood, urine, fragile X, hearing).

4. You (both moms and dads) and your youngster should have sessions with a psychologist where your youngster is carefully observed to see how he responds in various situations. This is done through play or talk sessions in the psychologist's office and by discussions with both moms and dads. The psychologist may ask you to complete checklists or questionnaires to gain a better understanding of the youngster's behaviors at home and/or school. If the youngster is in school, the psychologist may call the youngster's teacher or ask her to complete additional checklists. The checklists or questionnaires used should be ones that are appropriate for individuals with Autism. It is important to determine the IQ level of your youngster as well. An average or above-average IQ is necessary for a diagnosis of Autism.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

O.K. My youngster has been diagnosed with ASD – so now what?

Parenting kids displaying Autism characteristic behavior will often require an approach which is somewhat unique to that of other kids. Finding the balance between understanding the needs of a youngster with Autism and discipline which is age appropriate and situationally necessary is achievable when applying some simple but effective strategies. These strategies can be implemented both at home and in more public settings.

General Behavior Problems—

Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with Autism, 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, whilst 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 peers, moms and dads or teachers.

For example, a youngster with Autism 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...for example, can the youngster be made more comfortable in class so that they will not want to leave it?

==> Parenting System that Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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 which might be effective on kids who are not displaying some sort of Autistic characteristic. If necessary, when giving directions to cease a type of misbehavior, these should also be couched as positives rather than negatives. For example, 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 with Autism often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics, which can have significant implications for behavior.

For example, if an Autistic youngster becomes fixated upon reading a particular story each night, theymay 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 angst which might otherwise arise through such limitations. For example, tell your youngster that they may watch their favorite cartoon for half an hour after dinner, and make clear time for that in their 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 nexus 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 they have listened to you talk about an unrelated topic. This serves to help your youngster understand that not everyone shares their enthusiasm for their subject matter.

==> Parenting System that Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Bridging the Gap Between ASD and Discipline and Other Siblings—

For siblings without the disorder, the differential and what at times no doubt appears to be preferential treatment received by an Autistic sibling can give rise to feelings of confusion and frustration. Often, they will fail to understand why their brother or sister apparently seems free to behave as they please without the normal constraints placed upon them.

It is important to explain to siblings or peers of Autistic kids and encourage open discussion about the disorder itself. Encouragement should extend to the things siblings can do to assist the Autism youngster, and this should be positively reinforced through acknowledgement when it occurs.

Sleep Difficulties—

Autistic kids are known to experience sleep problems. Kids on the spectrum 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 their bedrooms a place of safety and comfort. Remove or store items which might be prone to injure your youngster if they decide to wander at night. Include in the behavioral diary a record of your youngster's sleep patterns. It may assist your youngster if you keep a list of their routine, including dinner, bath time, story and bed, in order to provide structure. Include an image or symbol of them waking in the morning to provide assurance as to what will happen. Social stories have proven to be a particularly successful tactic in decreasing a youngster's anxiety by providing clear instructions on how part of their day is likely to play out.

==> Unraveling the Mystery Behind High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

At School—


Another Autistic characteristic is that kids will often experience difficulty during parts of the school day which 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, such as reading a book, or helping to set up paint and brushes for the afternoon tasks.

In Public—

Kids with Autism can become overwhelmed to the point of distress by even a short sojourn in public. The result is that many moms and dads with Autism 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 iPad, or have the radio on in the car to block out other sounds and stimuli. Prepare a social story or list explaining to the youngster a trip to the shops, or doctor. Be sure to include on the list your return home. Consider giving your youngster a task to complete during the trip, or having them assist you. At all times, maintaining consistency when dealing with Autism and discipline is key. It pays to ensure that others involved in your youngster's care are familiar with your strategies and techniques, such as those outlined above, and are able to apply them.

Most importantly, don't hesitate to seek support networks for other moms and dads, and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge those who have dealt with the disorder before you. The assistance you can gain from these and other resources can assist you in developing important strategies to deal with problems with ASD [level 1] in a manner most beneficial to your youngster.

 

More resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

4.4.20

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

Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...