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Understanding the Basics of Autism and Discipline | The Essential Guide To Autism

Understanding the Basics of Autism and Discipline


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There are never hard and fast rules about discipline with any child, and most parents struggle with it, at least at first. There is a fine line between wanting to show your children love by letting things slide and by loving them by making sure they grow up to be good people. When it comes to autism and discipline, it can be even harder to navigate.

Parents of autistic children can have a tough road ahead, and they generally have to be even more thoughtful about their discipline. When dealing with autism and having to dole out punishment, parents have to remain positive, be timely, and they absolutely have to be consistent.

There are a few different ways to remain positive about discipline. It is important to reward the positive and good moments as often as possible. Using a reward system for the good moments by giving stickers that add up to get them a treat works well. Though all children will respond to this, those with autism will be helped greatly by this type of system.

Another way to remain positive is to watch for the root reason for why the child might be acting out. Some children may have motor skills problems or trouble communicating how they feel, and they can often act out from frustration. If this is the case, a parent should try to redirect the child with relaxation techniques. It might take a while, but they might be able to learn to soothe themselves in time.

Parents must be consistent with all discipline if they want it to be effective. The child must be able to predict what will happen when the are doing something they should not doing. Consistency will help parents remain in control at all times, and might help sway the child from bad behaviors.

When counting to three to warn a child to stop something or they are going to be punished, it is important to always follow through. A parent cannot count to two and then start over again with the counting or the child will think they can get away with what they are doing.

Timeliness comes when there needs to be swift action. Some parents like to wait until their spouse comes home so they can deal with the child together, however, this rarely works for autistic children. The punishment must be immediate. If they break something on purpose at lunchtime, and then they are punished for it four hours later, the child may not connect the two events and they will be confused and might think they are being punished for a good behavior.

When it comes to discipline, both parents have to be fully involved in the process or the child will not get the most from it. It’s important not to leave the disciplining to just one parent.

It is also important for parents to keep their cool when anything happens. Yelling is never a good idea, but it will be very counterproductive when dealing with autism and discipline. It is okay for one parent to leave the room if they think they are overheating so that they can calm down. It is important to keep a level head. Parenting autistic children can be difficult, but having a consistent and timely plan for dealing with problems is essential.

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