Do Make The Effort To Talk To Them
Because talking to kids with autism can be difficult, many adults take the easy way out and just avoid including them in conversations in the first place. But thats a mistake both you and those children can benefit from attempts at conversation, even if they are not always successful.
Theres also a tendency to assume that if an autistic child doesnt respond or shuts you down that they dont like you or dont want to talk. But thats not always the case that signal would be clear from a neurotypical individual but for someone with ASD, its just a part of the syndrome. Dont take it personally, and dont stop trying to gently involve autistic kids in your conversations. They probably want to engage, they just have more difficulty figuring out how.
Other Considerations When Planning For Transitions
Along with developing predictable and consistent transition routines, team members may also need to consider adjusting the activities that individuals are transitioning to and from if transition difficulty continues. Factors such as the length of an activity, the difficulty level, and the interest level of an individual all may contribute to transition issues. Similarly, if an area is too crowded, loud, over stimulating or averse for some reason, individuals may resist transitioning to that location. A review of environmental factors that could contribute to transition difficulties is also recommended. In addition, the sequence of activities may need to be reviewed. Team members may benefit from reviewing the activities required of the individual throughout the day and categorizing them as preferred, non-preferred, or neutral. If the individual has difficulty transitioning it may be wise, when possible, to strategically sequence certain activities so individuals are moving from non-preferred activities to preferred activities and from preferred activities to neutral activities. Though this certainly may not be possible for all of an individuals transitions, it may alleviate some transition challenges.
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Strategies For How To Discipline A Child With Autism
Discipline is defined as a means of training people to observe certain rules or behaviour codes using punishment to correct disobedience. This implies that discipline can only be achieved through punishment, a notion that most behavioural analysts disagree with, especially when dealing with children.
Instead of using traditional discipline techniques such as spanking , time outs, threats, yelling, or other verbal reprimands, adopt a more positive approach. Correct your children by showing them what is acceptable, whats not acceptable, and why. For many parents, how to discipline a child correctly still remains a difficult task.
For those with autistic children, it is an even bigger issue. Your child care strategy becomes a balancing act between discipline and respect. Here are seven of the best strategies for how to discipline a child with autism:
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What To Do During A Very Loud Very Public Meltdown
When our child has a meltdown, parents often want to stop the tears because it hurts our hearts that our kids are struggling. Or were running low on patience and just want peace and quiet.
Many times, were coping with the fifth or sixth meltdown that morning over seemingly simple things like the tag in their shirt being too itchy, their sister talking too loudly, or a change in plans.
Autistic children arent crying, wailing, or flailing to get at us somehow.
Theyre crying because its what their bodies need to do in that moment to release tension and emotion from feeling overwhelmed with emotions or sensory stimulations.
Their brains are wired differently and so its how they interact with the world. Thats something we have to come to terms with as parents so we can support them in the best way.
So how can we effectively support our children through these often loud and thrashing meltdowns?
Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder In Kindergarten
When the teacher asks all the children to come to a playground or sit in a circle, does she have to call him more often? Is he slow to come, or does he come right away? Does he seem to be listening to the instructions and following them, or does he watch what the other children do, and then follow the children? If, for example, you find he is slow to follow instructions, then I would spend time in the program at home playing games and doing exercises to help him with this skill, so he can practice In this way, making it fun, but also really working on this as a skill for him to have for school.
Verbally how is he? Does he talk more or less than when at home? Is he louder than the other children, or is he using a natural voice? If they have unstructured, or free-play how does he do? Does he answer children when they talk to him? How is his attention span? Does he leave group activities, or can he stay and be a part of it until it is finished? Does he rush activities? Taking a turn when he is called on, does he respond or ignore the request? Does he seem to have trouble with this in any way? If so, how? Physically: is he okay being touched by other children? Touching them? Is he too rough?
Choosing a kindergarten can be tricky when your child has an autism spectrum disorder . Whether you decide on mainstream or special one, your child has the right to the same educational opportunities as all other normally developed children.
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How To Stop An Autistic Child From Hitting Themself
Its important to determine why a child with special needs is engaging in hitting before you can remedy it. First, you need to make sure your child does not have any other medical issues that would lead to him/her inflicting harm. Ear infections, stomach ailments, and other pains in the body might also be the culprit.
Its also possible that the child uses this behavior as a way to communicate. Anxiety and hyperactivity are two other factors to consider.
You can work with a doctor or applied behaviour analysis specialist for the right response once the reason is clear. You can then work on sensory strategies for headbanging that makes sense for your child.
Understanding Common Autistic Behaviors
We usually discipline children because they consciously act in inappropriate ways, whether it’s swiping treats off a sibling’s plate or intentionally tripping a child on the soccer field. However, a child with autism may not be able to control certain behaviors, and it’s important that they are not harshly punished for them. Some behaviors that children with autism may struggle to control include:
- Biting their hands and fingers
- Hand flapping or rocking
- Screaming or yelling
- Hurting themselves by banging or hitting their heads
- Not looking at people or making eye contact
- Physical aggression toward peers and grown-ups, like biting or kicking
Many of these behaviors stem from children’s struggles to express their needs or desires or understand social norms and cues. You shouldnt place your child in time-out, shame them, or spank them because of these behaviors. Rather, it’s important you work to better understand why they are acting out in this way and, if necessary, try to avoid those triggers in the future.
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We Need To Hear We Are Doing A Good Job
This is, of course, true of every parent, but it is especially true of parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Raising a child with autism is a lifelong learning curve. As more and more is learned about the biology of autism, parents must keep up with new therapies and decide if they would be right for their child. For instance, there are new supplements, dietary concerns, and feelings about a new friend or teacher. The list of things to keep parents up at night is a long one.
Remember They Are Just Kids
Autistic kids may not act a lot like neurotypical children, but remember youre still talking to someone whose thoughts and attitudes are being formed in an immature brain.
With a little practice, you may find that you can talk to autistic kids just as easily as any kid. The results, for both you and the child, can be both positive in terms of their development of communication skills and enjoyable as you make an interpersonal connection.
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Clear Rules About Behaviour
Rules are positive statements that let children know how theyre expected to behave and what your family limits are.
The rule might be that your child cant play in the morning until theyre ready for school for example, First get ready, then have playtime. You could use a visual support like a timer to show your child how long there is until you need to leave for school. When your child has finished getting ready, they can play for the time left on the timer. If the timer has finished, theres no time to play.
Educate Yourself About Your Childs Condition
Youll need to do some research before fully understanding how to discipline a child on the autism spectrum.
Read up on the condition to make sure youre setting realistic expectations for your child. Some behaviors cannot be disciplined away by a parent, and should instead be evaluated by a professional.
For example, self-stimulation is very common in children with autism. These behaviors help them regulate their emotions, and you could do more harm than good by punishing them for doing it.
Remember that autism exists on a spectrum, meaning every child will experience different symptoms in different ways. Its a good idea to speak with other parents whose children have autism. Youll get a better idea of how to set expectations, especially if you speak with a parent whose child has symptoms similar to yours.
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Discipline Strategies For Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Just like all other children, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder need to mature and learn discipline in order to function appropriately in social situations. There are, however, additional challenges disciplining children with Autism because of the sensory perception issues they deal with. Punishment for a child with Autism may seem like you mean them harm if you are not careful to explain what is happening. Sometimes behavioral issues in children with Autism manifest as symptoms, but they also have similar impulses as other boys and girls, which can get them into trouble too. Whether it is a behavioral issue or something your child does not realize they are doing, the behavior can be corrected.
Make Directions Clear Short And Concrete
For example, if your child is throwing food at the table say, eat your food rather than Be good at the table, Dont throw your food or Would you stop with that! You are always throwing your food. For children with difficulty understanding language, showing them a picture or a visual demonstration of the behavior you want to see, can be helpful.
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How To Discipline A Child With Autism
Children on the autism spectrum struggle with unique behavioral issues and knowing how to discipline them isnt always easy. It may take a lot of time and patience, but with consistency and the right techniques, youll be able to successfully correct your childs undesired behaviors.
Here are our best tips on how to discipline children with autism and guide them toward appropriate behavior.
Im Not An Autism Expert
If you want to learn more about autism and what its like to be autistic, there is one reliable source: a person on the Autism Spectrum. Parents of autistic children can tell you what it is like to live with a person on the Spectrum. They are experts on their own child. But the only person who can tell you what its like to live with autism is an autistic person himself.
Disciplining Your Autistic Child: The Ultimate Guide
One way children can learn what types of behavior are appropriate is through disciplineit is part of educating your child to learn right from wrong and to understand socially acceptable and respectful behavior. Disciplining your autistic child is no easy task though, and requires a lot of patience.
Implementing discipline strategies can be challenging and often requires the parents to enforce consequences to a negative behavior. When you discipline a child with autism, this challenge is somewhat heightened. This is because many children with autism find it difficult to understand non-verbal social communication cues such as facial expression. Nonetheless, it is possible!
Developing Plans For Discipline
Learning how to discipline a child with autism takes discipline. One of the best things you can do is to develop a plan for dealing with negative behaviors, and follow through consistently. In order to be consistent, it is helpful to follow your parenting style.
Parenting an autistic child is challenging, and dealing with difficult behaviors can be exhausting. If you work with your child consistently, behavior will improve.
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Some Children Thrive When Given Structured Hands
Many children I have worked with or have observed, did very well when given a hands-on/visual activity. Examples include playing a computer game, sorting objects by color or object type completing a puzzle, constructing a model car, tracing or coloring in a picture, etc. As another example, some teachers of children with autism teach academic skills through sorting tasks. For instance, an activity about learning colors would require the child to put all the yellow chips in a yellow cup, all the blue chips in a blue cup, etc. Keeping a child focused with an activity they do well at is a great way to encourage calm behavior. However, if the child is feeling overwhelmed or frustrated from the activity, allow a break or a change in the task.
Children With Autism Don’t Understand The Consequences
It is critical to design consequences so that they fit the child and the situation. It may be tough for a child with autism to understand or comply with a “timeout,” but that same child may be quite capable of understanding and complying with time away from video games.
Consequences often differ for children with autism. For instance, grounding may not be a meaningful consequence for a child who prefers time alone, whereas a short break from television may get the point across quickly.
Bottom line, every child deserves the respect and support represented by clear structure, consistent rules, and discipline. These tools, along with some flexibility, patience, and imagination, can help a child with autism to understand his world and feel safe and confident as he grows up.
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What To Avoid When Disciplining Your Autistic Child
Avoid using harsh tones
- When your child with autism is already aroused, speaking with an aggressive tone may worsen the situation. This is especially likely to occur if he/she has difficulties understanding social cues. It could also make your child even more aggressive
Avoid physically spanking your child
- Your child may be acting out in distress or pain and not know how to communicate it or he/she may be seeking your attention. For this reason, and a number of others, physical punishment such as spanking should be the last resort
Avoid harmful objects when disciplining your child
- If your child is susceptible to self-harm, he/she may likely grab any form of item that they could use to do so. Be vigilant when disciplining your child and ensure there are no objects in your environment that could be a potential source of danger
Helping Your Child With Autism Thrive Tip : Provide Structure And Safety
Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:
Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what theyve learned in one setting to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your childs environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your childs therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. Its also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.
Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.
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Tip : Create A Personalized Autism Treatment Plan
With so many different treatments available, it can be tough to figure out which approach is right for your child. Making things more complicated, you may hear different or even conflicting recommendations from parents, teachers, and doctors.
When putting together a treatment plan for your child, keep in mind that there is no single treatment that works for everyone. Each person on the autism spectrum is unique, with different strengths and weaknesses.
Your childs treatment should be tailored according to their individual needs. You know your child best, so its up to you to make sure those needs are being met. You can do that by asking yourself the following questions:
What are my childs strengths and their weaknesses?
What behaviors are causing the most problems? What important skills is my child lacking?
How does my child learn best through seeing, listening, or doing?
What does my child enjoy and how can those activities be used in treatment and to bolster learning?
Finally, keep in mind that no matter what treatment plan is chosen, your involvement is vital to success. You can help your child get the most out of treatment by working hand-in-hand with the treatment team and following through with the therapy at home.