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My friend’s daughter is diagnosed with autism and I think that she really have a harsh time with that kid. It’s more likely to me that her daughter is bad behaving sometimes, apart her illness. So what do you say about punishing autistic children.

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Well, what to say. You’re probably just a person who misunderstood something about autism. You probably experience just some of the aspects that make you think that this child is misbehaving. Actually, that kid suffers from a disorder that is unaware of and that can not control. And your friend cannot control it; she just may try to improve the condition of her daughter by being patient and active in her daughter’s skills improvement. By punishing her she’d just worsen her condition. Why punish a child that has already being punished with having autism at all?
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I say you can't punish someone who has no idea about what they have done, or are doing.
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I have a two year old in the process of getting diagnosed-a very hard thing to get accomplished-and I've read some of the posts of people saying you cannot punish them because they don't know what they are doing. Truth is, autistic children ARE NOT STUPID my son just got told not to dump the kitty water, so he turned around and dumped my coffee! It is very hard to see the first posts point of view, that her friends kid is just bad, because I am starting to feel that way. But, this is an obsession with my son, and just because they are autistic, they should not be directed to do something else
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My cousin is autistic and over the time that I've spent with him I have taught him to realize most things that are good and bad. I'm not a doctor, I'm not his mother, but I'm his family, and I'm one of the only people he'll listen to when told to stop something he's doing. Once he hears his name being yelled he'll stop whatever he's doing and give me a toy he has handy as an apology. I agree, autistic children are by no means dumb. They know exactly what they are doing or at least my cousin does. He repeats the bad thing whenever he knows I'm out of his sight for a certain amount of time. I've also caught him sneaking literally behind my back in order to dump a drink on the floor, and when caught in the act of sneaking he runs away laughing sometimes even. Although I am not an expert on autism, I can say with certainty that my cousin can distinguish between what is right and what is wrong no questions asked.
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I have 10 year old twin boys and one of them is autistic. He knows when he is doing something wrong, but in a lot of situations I think it is an obsession. He feels that he has to do it regardless. His new thing (which I hate) he loves to break eggs in the floor and that is a mess. If i see the eggs busted in the floor all I have to do is go to him and say what did u do and he holds his head down. As far as discipline an autistic child is no different than any other child they need that stability in their life as well. I can't ground him for instance, but I will make him sit down and talk to him about what he did or turn off his movie or game (which he loves) for a short time to show him what he did was wrong. As a parent of an autistic child I know that no 2 children are the same and what works on one child may not work on another whether they are autistic or not they still need that guidance to show them right from wrong.
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I think what people fail to realize about autism is that there is a wide spectrum under which the child can fall under this diagnosis. I am a sped teacher currently working with a student that has aspergers (a form of autism). His parents do not believe in punishing him, and I have noticed that now when he wants something from them they say no, his tantrums become more and more volatile. When I asked him why he behaves this way, he responded, "I have to make my parents give me what I want."

At school we have chosen a different route. If he breaks rules, he will see consequences. He had an issue with running through the hallways without permission (or an adult.. and even left the building on one occasion), and hitting other students (and me). We created a clear plan of rewards and consequences. When he sits through a subject and completes his work on time (which he is fully capable of doing) he earns a "fun break" time. During this time I allow him to play or do things he enjoys within reason. It works as a fantastic incentive.
As for breaking rules, you have to be VERY clear and consistent. We created a social book with pictures and brief sentences in large font. It explains how he must not put has hands on people. If he does put his hands on people there will be consequences. On the back we wrote a contract that he agreed to sign in order to participate in recess (when most of this problem occurs). There is a clear chart where we can write the dates of when he hits (or pushes, hits, shoves etc) another person and how many days of recess he will miss.
IT is VERY VERY important for us to stick to our word. If we say he will miss recess for a specific act, then we have to stick to that or else he knows he can do it again without consequence.

At first he fought this because he is not used to this at home. Eventually we reminded him that everytime he fought his punishment (he refused to sit on the bench and ran off to play for example) the more we would simply tag on another day. Eventually he stopped and it is very helpful. Keep in mind that it is important to use what the child values most in his/her day. We also made certain to give him his other usual breaks throughout the day since it is important for them to have this.

I think there is a difference between only punishing a child, and also giving him/her the proper cognitive therapy to help with negative behavior. If we punish them and show them, "this behavior is not okay," then we must also show them how to alter that behavior. My student has meltdowns that cause him to hurt other students. He misses out on recess, and as a result has more meltdown. We set him up with behavioral therapy to help him cool down and raise better awareness of his actions.

Punishment should be part of an clear and consistent incentive plan (good behavior results in this exact reward, bad behavior results in this specific punishment) . Not used to take your anger out on the child.

I agree that many autistic children do know what they are doing. It is a long and difficult process but it is better than ending up the poster family for nanny 911.
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My son is 14 and Autistic I still explain in great detail why certain things should not be done, try explaining to him next time that eggs are expensive and the more money you spend buying new eggs the less money you have to spend buying new toys or any other goody he enjoys.
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:-( Its makes me sad to read some of the Comments here .Kids with autism (aspergers ) being a Grandmother of such a child .I too always thought he knows what he is doing .Fact is he doesn't .
Sadly Teachers and many people think that they don't want to mind .
I wished it was just that ,then he would be a healthy Child and not have to take all the meds he does.
Everyone here that thinks they do it on purpose should get more educated about autism .
It is then that you see you were wrong .
Punishing a autistic Child can be done but only with patience and trying to explain to them what they did wrong .
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I think it depends on the severity of the condition. Autism is measured on a spectrum. mild to severe aspergers at one end, and severe autism at the other. My 10 year old brother is at the very severe end of the autism spectrum. I do think he knows when he's being bad, and sometimes you can tell he does it deliberatly, but it's a way of expressing emotions like anger and sadness, which he does not know how to express, so he lashes out. There is very little we can do in way of punishment as he simply does not understand. lashing out is just his way of expressing how he is feeling. all we can really do is impose a strict routine. autistic children often enjoy a routine, as it gives them structure and is calming to know what's happening in their lives at any given moment, as change upsets and confuses them. minimising the amount of confusion in their life can help to reduce how much they get scared and insecure, because when they do, they can become upset and subsequently misbehave. Hope this makes sense. Please don't think that your friend's daughter misbehaves for the sake of it, it's much more complicated than that.
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I am a step mother to an autistic boy. You have to teach them what they do wrong and there has to be consiquences for the things that they do wrong. If you treat them like a glass balloon they will never fly. You have to treat them like a normal child. I'm not saying that every time they dont do what you want them to you have to ground them but they have to understand that there are rights and wrongs in life and if we just dance around the fact that they do do some wrong then they will never learn and never be able to stive in life!

 

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I have to absolutely agree with this comment!

My 3 yr old son was diagnosed with mild autism, and he is highly intelligent, perhaps even gifted. He definitely knows what is right and what is wrong. When he does something that he isn't supposed to do, he gets punished by being put into the booster chair with the seat belt on until he calms down. Then I get down to his eye level and ask him why I put him there (most of the time he can't communicate it b/c he is echolalic) so I make him repeat after me (why he is in the time out chair, make him say he is sorry and won't do it again). At the end I tell him if he does it again he goes in the time out chair. This really works for my child b/c he settles down after... when he starts up again I remind him about the chair and he will understand and calm down again most of the time. However, there are times when nothing will work and you just have to let the temper tantrum die out on its own.

Mild autism does not mean the child is stupid and doesn't understand. It just means that the child learns differently and sees the world differently. They need to be disciplined like any child, but you have to do what gets through to that particular child.
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I am a grandmother of an autistic 11 year old boy. He still does not know how to lie, but He has said once that he did not want to hurt my feelings. So I know he wants to please people who love him. He sometimes does things that are not appropriate, but when that happens an adult must take the time to tell him what he needs to do so that wont happen again. But that has to be done over and over and over . You are correct that punishment must be done with love and he does understand what he did wrong. These children are very sweet and must be treated as our worlds most special people. And Yes, teachers aren't educated enough to understand these children. Not to many people really do. Who ever your child is, LOVE HIM! and don't pay attention to others. They don't love the child like you and I do.

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this breaks my heart. I'm a Psychologist as well as a parent of a child with autism. When he has a tantrum we give him the "bear hug" (which any OT or PT for autism will teach you about). It is a way to hold your child so they cannot hurt you, but at the same time they receive a hug, Withholding physical touch or comfort during a tantrum is not healthy at all, at least for my child and every other one I've seen. Children with autism "learn" behavior. That means that they don't necessarily understand what they've done wrong, but like with your child, he may say what he knows he's supposed to say to get him out of that chair. It's just like ABA therapy (which I do not agree with). It is teaching them to repeat the behavior or answers you want them to so they get a reward. The lessons are not actually being internalized.
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I'm still reeling at the comment that she thinks 11 year old boys don't lie! :-/

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