￼Starting a family and having a baby is a beautiful challenge. It provides you a new perspective on life, and reasons why you wake up every day. However, no matter how beautiful, it is also a big undertaking. Without reserve, being a parent is no easy feat.
Can you imagine your life if you have a child? What if you have a special child? Love no less, and give extra care. There’s a pattern of autism in many families. Having an autistic child can be particularly challenging for both parties, but nothing is impossible. You just have to compromise and adjust.
As a parent of a child with autism, you need to deal with it better than the last time, because autism gets harder with age. They often require special assistance and understanding, because they act differently than normal people do. Their actions and feelings are on the extreme, and they often border on mischief.
Here’s a Discipline Guide you might want to use to care better for your child:
Recognize The Act, And Explain
When a child with autism misbehaves all of a sudden for no particular reason, it’s normal. However, you don’t need to fight fire with fire. Before you scream at your child or scold him or her right away, make sure to take time to recognize the action/s done and explain it properly. If there’s a problem that needs fixing, explain it comprehensively.
If a child with autism sees strong reactions as an instinct to his or her actions, there’s a high chance that instead of feeling chastised, he or she will repeat the behavior to see what your next reaction would be.
A child with autism has a desire to follow a set of patterns of behavior or interaction. If you see your child misbehaving repeatedly, then maybe you need to research the whys. It is pretty challenging because this parental concern isn’t something that any ordinary parent could relate to. Seek tips and advice from online forums, or organizations affiliated with caring for children with autism. You need to take the additional mile, to understand your child more. As advised by Marlene Driscoll, MA, LMFT, “Traditionally, intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has focused upon reducing interfering behavior and teaching language, academic and self-help skills.”
Be Consistent With Rewards And Consequences
Jo White, a therapist once said, “From my perspective, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with because, particularly if they’ve got young children — they’re struggling, they’re really struggling with behaviours.” With a clear structure in mind, a child with autism expects the results of doing something to be consistent. For example, if he or she behaved and followed your specific instructions to keep calm during a mass, and you promised treats; you need to give the treats. Moreover, if you set a consequence of not being able to play during playtime, if he or she misbehaved, or threw a tantrum while the mass is ongoing, you need to stick by your word. Consistency is crucial!
Define Your Expectation/s
Your child won’t bother being nice or behave properly if you haven’t established what discipline is, and what you expect from him or her. It is a challenge for any parent, not just for a parent of a child with autism. Have a behavior plan, and work on one problem at a time. Reinforce once again rewards and consequences that will motivate, and hinder him or her to do specific acts. “Just because a child has autism, doesn’t mean their life should be limited — it means they might need extra help or adaptations in order to do the same things that others do.” Janeen Herskovitz, LMHC expresses.
Make Sure You Communicate Properly
How you say it, or how you illustrate it; you need to communicate with your child when talking about discipline properly. Usually, it requires more than just telling your child about discipline. Be prepared to show pictures, videos, or gestures, so your child can lean on what you are both working toward. Be clear, simple, and consistent.