Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How To Discipline A High Functioning Autistic Child

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My Autistic Child Is Not Trying To Be Difficult

How Parents Can Help the Oppositional Child with High-Functioning Autism

As one parent stated about her autistic son on the popular website Baby Gaga, He isnt giving us a hard time. Hes having a hard time. No child on the Autism Spectrum is trying to behave badly when they experience a meltdown. The biology of autism is complicated and extensive, and much of it cannot even be tested for medically. Children on the Autism Spectrum have trouble with their methylation pathways. Their intestinal tracts do not absorb nutrients well. This impairs their immune system and guts, which then leads to issues in the brain. Because the brain and body of an autistic child do not always work as one, they have to express their pain and frustration in the form of things like meltdowns.

Focus On Meeting Your Autistic Childs Needs

Now we know discipline needs to start before a negative behavior, but what exactly do we do before the negative behaviors?

Well first, you focus on meeting your autistic childs needs.

So often behaviors are caused by a basic need thats going unmet.

I mean, how many times has your child had a meltdown and afterward, you realized that they hadnt eaten in hours?

And meeting needs gets more difficult with autistic children who cant always communicate their needs clearly.

So if you find yourself dealing with aggression or a meltdown, first try to think about what basic needs may be the root cause.

Think, has your child eaten lately? Are they thirsty? Have they gotten the sensory input they need? Did they have enough sleep last night?

Tailor The Discipline To Your Child

No case of Autism Spectrum Disorder manifests the same way, so neither will behavioral challenges and resolutions. The best thing to do is to be open with your child about discipline and see which types of interventions work best. There has to be a lot of trial and error because of all the diverse cases of ASD, but different combinations of the strategies listed could be right for your child.

Documenting behavior and guidelines preserves a record for your child and can make explaining things easier. No matter what strategies are used to correct behavioral issues, it is vital that parents practice open communication and help their children understand why things are wrong and not just which things are wrong.

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Disciplining An Autistic Child Starts Before A Negative Behavior

See, when you say discipline, most people think about harsh punishments for misbehaviors.

But the fact is, discipline starts long before a negative behavior.

Discipline is more about the way that you parent than the way that you punish.

So the very first step to discipline an autistic child is realizing that the discipline has to start before the negative behaviors.

Things Parents Of Children On The Autism Spectrum Want You To Know

My Aspergers Child: Modified Disciplinary Techniques for ...

It is estimated that one in 68 children are now diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum disorder, and yet, this diagnosis remains as misunderstood as ever. We simply do not live in a society that is accommodating or even accepting of those who are not neurotypical. Fortunately, parents of autistic children are wonderful at communicating who their children are and why. Below are 30 things those parents of children on the Autism Spectrum want you to know.

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Our Home Is Safety Proofed

Youre probably familiar with baby proofing a house. But while most families can take down the safety gates and doorknob locks once the child ages, families with children on the Autism Spectrum often have these items and more protecting their child from their homes inherent dangers. This is because many children on the Autism Spectrum are prone to behaviors that can bring about self injury.

Aba Therapy For Controlling Anger

Anger treatment is a crucial part of helping your child with high-functioning autism. Children who havent learned how to manage their anger can have a hard time processing their emotions and dealing with built-up stress. The earlier you start with the treatment, the quicker your child will learn and be able to put in use coping and anger management skills.

Applied Behavioral Analysis is considered being one of the most successful interventions for helping children with autism learn desired behaviors through positive reinforcement. By improving communication and social skills and regulating potentially harmful behaviors, ABA therapy can help to reduce aggressive actions and help children with high-functioning autism better regulate their emotions, including anger. This type of therapy has been proven to be effective in both reducing and eliminating aggressive behaviors.

When it comes to anger management skills, ABA can help high-functioning autistic children to:

  • Learn how to avoid negative responses or behaviors.
  • Reduce the frequency of unwanted behavior.
  • Learn acceptable alternative behaviors.
  • Identify and appropriately communicate emotions, including anger.
  • Learn the coping skills for emotional regulation.
  • Have appropriate social interactions and communication that dont result in aggression.;

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Tip 2: Find Nonverbal Ways To Connect

Connecting with a child with ASD can be challenging, but you dont need to talkor even touchin order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.

Look for nonverbal cues. If you are observant and aware, you can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that children with ASD use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when theyre tired, hungry, or want something.

Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. Its only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and its no different for children with ASD. When children with ASD act out, its often because youre not picking up on their nonverbal cues. Throwing a tantrum is their way of communicating their frustration and getting your attention.

We Are Incredibly Lonely

High Functioning Autism: Can the Verbal Behavior Approach Help?

For all of the reasons already listed, its easy to see why being the parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum is a lonely experience. Parents are with their children all the time.;Many will be with them for the rest of their life. That makes joining a community of friends incredibly difficult. Divorce rates amongst parents of children on the Autism Spectrum is especially high. If youre a friend of a parent of an autistic child, ask that parent if theyre okay. Ask if they need something, or if you can help with anything. Showing them theyre not as alone as they may feel will go a long way in brightening their day.

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How Discipline Helps Children With Autism

There are many children who misbehave at some point in their life. There perform many abnormal activities like hitting another child, grabbing a toy that is not meant for them.

In such situations, most parents and teachers respond with consequences like time outs or TV privileges loss, etc.

As a result, children learn that their behaviors are abnormal and unacceptable. They also learn that if they control their impulses, then it can have positive outcomes.

However, when a normal child would receive a timeout for something done by an autistic child.; Instead of a consequence, the later gets a pass, and that too with a comment such as thats ok, I understand.

When the same thing happens to a child who can understand the rules of behavior, he learns that the rules are not at all applicable to him.

When it comes to the next time, he repeats the behavior expecting the same outcome and this continues.

Part 1 Of 6: General Tips

  • 1Expect hyperactivity. Because their sensory needs are greater, they will need to move more in order to meet those needs. This is natural, and it will always be part of their lives. You can help them manage it, but don’t expect it to go away.
  • 2Expect stimming, and don’t remark on it if it isn’t actively causing harm. Stimming is an easy way to fulfill their sensory needs, and it is an important coping mechanism. Don’t assume that just because it doesn’t look useful to you doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful to them.
  • Help them find a variety of stims to use.
  • Talk to them if their stimming is destructive or broaching others’ personal space . Help them find an alternative stim.
  • 3Realize that symptoms vary, both from day to day and from person to person. Stress can make sensory processing more difficult, and their needs might be different from one day to the next.
  • Expect them to be hyposensitive to some things and hypersensitive to others. For example, maybe they need lots of touch and activity, butÂ;bright lights bother them.XTrustworthy SourceUnderstoodNonprofit organization dedicated to resources and support to people with thinking differences, such as ADHD or dyslexiaGo to source
  • Even within sections, some steps may not apply to them. Autistic people are very diverse!
  • 6Be patient and accommodating.Â;Sensory seeking requires a lot of time, and understimulation can be difficult to handle. Allow them to be themselves and meet their needs.Advertisement
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    Practical Tips To Raising A Child With Autism

    Finding out our son had autism was a major blow to the idealistic picture we;held of what parenting might be like. Parenting, in general, is far from easy, but parenting a child with autism can be particularly demanding. In my last blog, I shared our journey about what extreme parenting sometimes feels like, and if youre also a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder , I want you to know youre not alone. Even as an equipped mental health therapist, receiving that diagnosis was life-changing. Here are a few strategies that are helping our family to cope:

    Tips For Teaching High

    My Aspergers Child: Therapy for Aspergers and High ...

    ;Susan Moreno and Carol O’Neal

  • People with autism have;trouble with organizational skills,;regardless of their intelligence and/or age. Even a “straight A” student with autism who has a photographic memory can be incapable of remembering to bring a pencil to class or of remembering a deadline for an assignment. In such cases, aid should be provided in the least restrictive way possible. Strategies could include having the student put a picture of a pencil on the cover of his notebook or maintaining a list of assignments to be completed at home. Always praise the student when he remembers something he has previously forgotten. Never denigrate or “harp” at him when he fails. A lecture on the subject will not only NOT help, it will often make the problem worse. He may begin to believe he;can not;remember to do or bring these things.These students seem to have either the neatest or the messiest desks or lockers in the school. The one with the messiest desk will need your help in frequent cleanups of the desk or locker so that he can find things. Simply remember that he is probably not making a conscious choice to be messy. He is most likely incapable of this organizational task without specific training. Attempt to train him in organizational skills using small, specific steps.
  • Most high-functioning people with autism;use and interpret speech literally. Until you know the capabilities of the individual, you should avoid:
  • idioms ;
  • double meanings ;
  • sarcasm ;
  • nicknames; and
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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.

    Take Advantage Of Resources

    A diagnosis of ASD, and its associated physical and mental health symptoms, can take a toll on family functioning and harmony. Forming connections with other parents who are raising children with ASD is critical for optimizing your own sense of well-being. An occasional encouraging text from an ASD mom helped me to feel less alone during high stress points. There are exciting new developments in behavioral therapies and social supports for ASD. Many non-profits are partnering with ASD advocacy groups to provide weekend and weeklong camps for the entire family as well as respite for parents. Myles-A-Part is a non-profit that sponsors a free weekend couples retreat that was a Godsend for my husband and I a few years ago. Additionally, books such as Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Dr. Robert Brooks and Dr. Sam Goldstein are full of unique parenting tools and became a fixture on my nightstand.

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    If Possible Use A Schedule To Let The Child Know How His Day Will Go

    For children who have trouble reading or understanding language, a visual schedule would be best. A schedule for after school could include eating a snack, doing homework, watching TV, playing a game with the family, reading a book, taking a bath and going to bed. A visual schedule at school could include math, reading, gym, lunch, recess, art, science, packing up, and getting on the bus. Below is an example of a visual schedule:

    See How to Use Schedules to Improve Childrens Behavior for more on getting the materials for and utilizing first/then boards and visual schedules.

    Change A Childs Behavior By Changing Yours

    “Thinking Errors” in Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autistic Children

    I am strong-willed as well, so it has been a battle of the wills. But;instead of trying to change my daughter, I changed myself. It wasnt easy, but when she became defiant, I said to myself, I will not buy a ticket to this show. I ignored her, no matter how she tried to pull me in. She stopped almost immediately.;-Ramona, Florida

    The treatment of choice for ODD is parent management training. Parents are taught to change their reactions to a childs behavior good and bad. Training involves using carrots and sticks giving well-defined rewards and praise when your child cooperates, and consequences for misbehavior. Therapists will also work with a parent and child together to solve specific challenges.

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    How To Discipline A Child With Autism Using Positive Parenting

    Okay, now Ive told you what not to do. Dont treat a child based on actual age without considering his language and cognitive abilities, dont use punishment willy nilly, or on a regular basis, and to really think about the use of time out. Now youre probably wondering how to discipline a child with autism. I could go on and on for hours and hours, so these are going to just be a few tips.

  • Each child with autism deserves an assessment of his or her strengths and needs. You can start with my one-page assessment as part of my three-step guide at .
  • If a child has the language ability of a much younger child, dont expect them to follow the rules. They may need one-on-one support at school, and a lot of attention and teaching at home too, as just one example.
  • You need to learn all you can about the science of Applied Behavior Analysis using a positive approach instead of punishment or threats with all the people in your life, especially children with autism.
  • I hope you enjoyed this video blog about how to discipline a child with autism. If you did, I would love it if youd leave me a comment. Tell me what your idea of discipline is. Give me a thumbs up, share this video with others who might benefit, and to learn more about how to help children with autism I would like it if youd download my free 3-step guide to turn autism around for your child or client.

    Ready to learn more and turn things around for your child or client with autism? Sign up for my free 3-step guide!

    Difficulty With Verbal Communication

    A child with HFA will typically have no problems understanding language. Learning individual words, grammar rules, and vocabulary may not be an issue for them.

    The use of language to communicate, however, can be problematic. Someone with HFA may have difficulty understanding sarcasm, metaphors, or idioms. This is known as “pragmatic” language.

    In addition, some people with HFA may struggle to speak when under stress or overwhelmed.

    Recommended Reading: How To Discipline An Autistic Boy

    You Cant Always See Autism

    There is still a shocking amount of ignorance among the general population when it comes to the Autism Spectrum. Many people assume that children with autism have certain identifiable facial features or particular habits. But as it has already has been mentioned, every single person with autism is different and mild cases of autism are common. These stereotypes and lack of understanding often make things difficult for parents. Its especially hard in the case of schools, coaches, or other organizations who deny a diagnosis because it is not easily seen.

    How To Treat A Child With Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    High Functioning Autism: 9 Early Signs That You Might Miss ...

    Treatment strategies for co-existing ODD and ADHD start with controlling ADHD symptoms. When a childs hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention are reduced, there is usually an improvement in ODD symptoms. Stimulant medications have been shown to decrease ADHD symptoms, as well as those of ODD, by up to 50 percent.

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