mulberry wallet men Discipline issues for children with Autism
Children with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome have unique behaviour issues. The National Autistic Society has some simple and effective strategies for dealing with behaviour at home and in public.
Despite an estimated one in every 100 people in the UK having an autistic spectrum disorder, misconceptions about the condition are still rife in the general community. Why, with raised awareness in recent years, is it so difficult for us to understand what it means to have autism?
Part of the reason may be that there are many forms of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Also, adults and children with ASD have difficulty understanding the unwritten social rules of society it easy to see how other people might misread their actions and take the wrong impression of the person and their disorder.
Parents of children with an ASD will find their needs differ dramatically from non autistic children, and many find discipline the biggest challenge of all. Even between children with an ASD, one child behaviour issue may require a completely different strategy from another’s. For that reason, don despair if some of these techniques don work with your child be persistent and patient and you eventually find something that works. Children with an ASD are unable to understand the consequences of their actions, so punishment is likely to make behaviour worse and cause more distress for both parent and child.
Safety is the first priority. Take your child out of the situation as soon as possible.
Find out why your child is displaying this behaviour by using a behaviour diary. If the behaviour is recurring, it is possible that your child enjoys the reaction he gets from parents or teachers. Perhaps his yelling always sees him removed from an uncomfortable situation? If so he is likely to continue, as this could be a desired outcome. Concentrate on making the situation more comfortable for him.
Focus on the positive. Instead of punishment, give lots of praise when he does something well and use a Reward Chart to encourage good behaviour. Use positive language in a calm voice, and rather than telling him what you don want him to do, direct him to what he should be doing instead. For example, instead of saying pulling your sister hair say your hand down Behaviour
Most children go through fads, but children with ASD often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics,
which can have major implications for behaviour. If a child is obsessed with a particular cartoon character, for example, they may become very distressed if the DVD stops working or they are interrupted for any reason.
Find out what the child gets out of the obsession by using a behaviour diary. For example, they may enjoy the sensory pleasure or routine of flicking their fingers, or use it as a distraction from distressing social situations.
Set boundaries for the obsession. Tell your child they can speak about their obsession for half an hour after dinner time and schedule that into their routine. Or use a Timer to show when DVD time starts and finishes.
Use the obsession to motivate and reward your child for good behaviour. They could earn points (use a visual Reward Chart) towards a new toy train or collector card. Always ensure reward points are given immediately so your child makes the connection between good behaviour and their reward.
Teach your child about social interaction by showing them that other people do not share their obsession. Play a turn taking game: they can talk about their obsession after you have talked about your own hobby for five minutes.
Discipline of children with ASD and their siblings
For a sibling without ASD, it can be difficult to understand why their brother or sister receives different treatment or appears to away with their bad behaviour.
Explain ASD to siblings and classmates and encourage them to ask you questions about the disorder. See our Mums recommended resources below.
Focus on how they can help their sibling. Children with ASD may need less sleep, become anxious about bedtime, or may wake at night and wander around their room or house.
Make the room safe. If your child wakes at night, ensure they won injure themselves on sharp corners or stairs. See the National Autism Society’s information sheet
Keep a sleep diary for your child and find out why they are having sleep problems. Maybe their room is too hot, cold or dark? Perhaps they would prefer weighted bedclothes?
Use timetables and routines. List bath time, story time and sleep on a visual timetable and include a symbol for waking up. Some children find sleep scary because they don know what happens at the other end show them that they will wake up in the morning.
Write a story Developed by Carol Gray in the US, Social Stories explain what will happen in different situations. They may not understand how to play team sports or interact socially with their classmates. For this reason, it helps to put structure in place for play time.
Create a buddy system. Ask teachers to find other (perhaps older) children who can each play a game or talk to your child for one lunch a week.
Ask teachers to create a timetable for lunch and play time, for your child. Perhaps this can include special jobs for example, they can water the garden, help in the lunch room or stack books in the library?