Discipline Help for Parents with Children who Have Autism
Every child with autism is different. The process of disciplining an autistic child will take patience from the parents. You may need to try several different discipline strategies before you find what works best for you and your child.
Parents need to pay attention to the habits of their child. This can help you find out what is triggering the behavior that you are trying to stop your autistic child from doing. Keep a notebook or journal on hand so that you can write down things that you notice before the bad behavior begins. This gives you a way to compare each incident and determine if there is a common trigger.
Discipline Strategies for Autistic Children who have Tantrums
Some children with autism can be violent. They may try to hurt themselves or others during a tantrum. To help stop any injuries, sit in the floor with the child in your lap. Face them away from you and wrap your arms around the autistic child, so that you can secure their arms. Place your legs on top of theirs in order to keep them from kicking. Be sure to only use enough pressure to keep them from hitting or kicking, too much pressure can hurt the child. While you are holding them, it may help to rock gently and sing or talk to them in a soft soothing voice.
If the child has tantrums but doesn't try to injure anyone, it may be best to ignore the tantrum. Recognizing the behavior can prolong it, If they don't get any attention from having a tantrum, they will likely stop more quickly because it isn't achieving the goal as they expected it to.
Verbal Discipline Strategies for Autistic Children
Parents need to be clear and direct when using verbal discipline. Children with autism may not be able to interpret the tone in your voice, or the unhappy look on your face. Be specific about what they are doing wrong and the consequences of continuing to do it. Be exact and try to avoid giving them more than one consequence. Offering more than one consequence could be overwhelming and cause confusion for the autistic child.