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Old 02-26-2011, 09:08 PM
GPC
 
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Originally Posted by craftmasterk View Post
Well, I have a son with Asperger's syndrome. He is 11 years old and was just dx this past summer. He has always had behavior problems and was originally dx with ADHD in 4th grade. He tends to "hold it together" all day long in school, and totally unravels at home. This is where he feels safe and comfortable and is able to let it all out. OT has helped a lot with some self regulation skills. A lot of times our kids are mistakenly seen as attention seeking, or rude by others, and I have gotten a lot of well meaning but useless advice from other parents who think my son just needs more discipline. It is very difficult for anyone to understand if they do not also have a child on the spectrum. It was recently explained to me by a therapist that my son is in an 11 year old body, hanging around other 11 year old kids, and trying to navigate the social world of other 11 year olds, but has the coping and social skills of a 5 year old. The parent of that child needs help and support, not criticism by others who are not experts in this area.

Karen
So very true. Parents of typical children have no idea what raising children with special needs is like. As a result, they often make ignorant assumptions. To be honest, I don't even expect people to know what it's like (after all it's not their thing if they don't have kids with special needs) but I do expect people not to be rude. Thankfully more and more people are learning about special needs but there are still alot of people that refuse to educate themselves. That's fine - if they don't want to learn that's their right - but... if that's the case, they should keep their mouths shut when confronted with a situation they know nothing about.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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Parents who have children with autism can often spot the patterns when they see children in the store or in the park when others cannot see them. We have been dealing with our own children and with others for a long time. Also, I have taught high school and preschool and have come into contact with lots of children with various disabilities.

We don't need the labels, but we do need help. Unless you deal with this 24/7 as my dil and I do, you cannot understand what is going on or why. Autism is a neurological disorder. There will eventually be a way to tell using MRI scans, but because this is dxed behaviorally by psychologists now, people disbelieve.

All children behave differently for different people and in different environments. Children with autism *can* be manipulative, but often they really do not understand and cannot read the other person's emotions.

Should parents learn to discipline their children even if they have special needs? Of course. However, discipline must be different for autistic children, just as it must be different for children who are deaf. To teach a child who is deaf, you may have to teach sign language or other forms of language that do not involve *telling* him what to do verbally. For an autistic child, you may need to use pictures and schedules. Autism has a large component of anxiety, so the more consistent you can be, the better for the child. That can be quite difficult because life just happens.

To autistic children, the world may feel disorganized and overwhelming. Due to their lack of communication children with autism tend to retreat into themselves. They can also display unwillingness or anger if forced to have contact with the world when they do not want to. Children with autism can become frustrated and angry because they find it difficult to express their feelings in a way that other people can understand. They have the same feelings as other children, but their faces may not show the emotions in the same way that NT people do.

Often, the best strategies for discipline with autistic children involves actively teaching social behaviors. This can be very difficult for NTs to do because NTs pick up these things naturally and trying to break the behaviors into small pieces is not easy. Role playing can help. So can using a mirror to show facial expressions that are appropriate to the occasion.

Rules need to be explained in concrete terms. You need to teach the same skill in different settings because skills may not generalize for autistic children.
Difficult behavior always serves a purpose. You have to figure out the purpose and then find a behavior that can replace the undesirable one that still gets the child's needs met. It really helps to *catch the child being good* and to use concrete rewards. Children with autism may need down time after being in stressful situations more than children who are neurotypical.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 03-30-2011 at 02:15 PM.. Reason: Edited out reference to deleted post
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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First off my son has aspergers.

I have read all the posts on this thread and felt i needed to chime in. Theres so much difference between children on the spectrum. My son has no light issues, can handle crowded rooms. Other kids have problems with those things. He has learned to look people in the eyes but his biggest issue is his problem making friends and difficulties with usual discipline methods. No use arguing with him. You cant win, you have to outsmart him or compemise. Physical punishment makes him lose control.

If you dont live with a asperger kid you really dont know. Any of us who have one can spot another autism kid out of a bunch of kids. Aspergers is the mildest form of autism. Most of our kids can blend in a crowd.

Tell tale signs.. Is the kid the one who always gets caught while other kids who did same thing dont?

Is child very good at a certain thing they love to do? But care less about everything else?

Does it take hours to get them to do something they dont want to do but once they start doing that they finish in minutes? Like a wall you have to break thru? Usually have to deal with them to get them to do it. Usually homework.

Does the child keep getting in trouble for same thing over and over again?

These are signs of autism that are mistaken for a stubborn child or a child missing discipline.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Need to add my sons attitude is written all over his face. You know where you stand with him. He also has no filter he says what he thinks.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
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Folks, if you want to debate whether various disorders exist, please take it to Health and Wellness. This forum addresses the issues surrounding being the parent of a special needs child. Thanks.
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