If you have a child with autism, then these discipline strategies will help you improve their behavior.
Typically when a child misbehaves or has a tantrum, hits another child, or just doesn’t listen to you when you talk, you are likely to use negative consequences to find the solution to this misbehavior. But when a child has autism, you probably need to have a different approach to the discipline to use in order to have the best results.
Traditional discipline techniques can be more difficult to implement when dealing with a child with autism. Depending on the type of spectrum you have, you might have a hard time understanding the consequences of your actions. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use discipline. There are gentler and more consistent strategies that may be the key to teaching a child with autism how to manage behavior.
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS
First of all, it is necessary to understand your child’s diagnosis well . Symptoms of autism can vary greatly from one child to another. A clear understanding of your child’s needs and abilities will help you have realistic expectations.
A child with autism may not be able to control certain behaviors. Hand flapping, for example, is a self-stimulating behavior that often helps people with autism regulate their emotions. To control this behavior, occupational therapy can be done, but it is not a good idea to use the waiting time, for example, because the flapping interrupts an activity
SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST
Whenever necessary, remove your child from a situation that you do not see as safe, both emotionally and physically, both for himself and for other people. Take note of how your child responds when pulled out of that troubled situation. If you calm down immediately and begin to behave well, you could associate the bad behavior with getting out of a situation that you do not like.
THE NEED FOR POSITIVE DISCIPLINE
Children with autism have a better response when using discipline techniques that focus on the positive. You can use visual tools to help children associate positive behavior with getting something they like. You can use a sticker or dot chart.
You can choose stickers of his favorite characters and give him a sticker for each day that he behaves well. When you have a few stickers, you can win the item you want. When you act positively, it is important to give lots of praise to reinforce good behavior.
If he starts to misbehave, you will need to tell him that it is NOT okay and guide him on what to do.
TECHNIQUES FOR SELF-CALMING
Any child in crisis can be difficult to calm down, but it will be even more difficult in children with autism. You need to teach them self-calming techniques that you can use in different situations. You can teach him to slowly inhale and exhale through his nose, close his eyes and imagine something pleasant, like his kitten or his favorite park, and if you or another trusted adult is around, comfort with a hug if he allows this contact until has calmed down.
It is necessary to be constant in discipline techniques, since it is important for children, all of them, regardless of whether they have special needs or not. Children with learning disabilities (such as boys and girls with autism) will always respond much more positively to structured discipline. When children can predict what the outcome will be, they can better think about how to control their behavior.
The behavior of a child with autism can be managed effectively with positive and gentle techniques. Avoid physical discipline at all costs, as it teaches the child that hitting is an appropriate response to a negative situation. Instead, praise your child, help him calm down, and redirect him to better situations to keep him on the right behavior path.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.