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discipline methods needed please for asd child

(22 Posts)
auntyfash Wed 08-Dec-10 09:35:57

Ds (almost 7) is driving me mad. He always gets worse in winter, but his behaviour has become appalling lately. Aside from his sensory issues, which I can just about cope with as I realise he can't help that, he's become more aggressive, kicking and hitting out at his siter (10) and me and his dad. He shouts, swears, refuses to do anything he's told, and it's just such incredibly hard work and very wearing.

Removal of privileges doesn't work, as when he's in the middle of an outburst he really doesn't care about anything. Naughty step just seems to make him lash out more and I've never managed to get him to sit on it for more than a couple of seconds.

I've seen people posting about the yellow/red card system, which I'm thinking of using, but what are suitable red card "punishments"?

I feel so useless as a parent right now, and feel that both me and dh have let our kids down.

Triggles Wed 08-Dec-10 13:09:07

Our DS2 is 4yo, and naughty step has NEVER worked with him. We've tried and it ends up becoming a massive struggle just trying to make him stay there, which drives me insane and ends up seeming more of a punishment for me than him. His room is pretty much child-proofed, so we take him to his room and let him cool off there for a few minutes. It generally removes him from whatever was setting him off and allows him to be by himself to calm himself down in a safe and familiar environment. He gets one warning and then it's up to his room. Sometimes he's only up there for 5 minutes, sometimes longer (with us checking on him quietly). I've debated trying the coloured card system, but not quite ready yet. If you try it, please let us know how it goes. THanks.

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Wed 08-Dec-10 15:07:48

the problem with read and yellow cards would be, if i was angry and someone waved a card at me i think it would make me angier.
I would tempted to find me a quiet safe space to send him to or for him to take himself too. Only once they are calm can you sort out punishments. Maybe sit down with him and make a chart of red, yellow and green punishments, depending on level of behaviour. does that make sense?

Al1son Wed 08-Dec-10 15:44:01

I wouldn't use punishment in the middle of a meltdown or outburst. As said before it's just going to make him more mad. I try to acknowledge that DD2 has lost control when she does it and do what I think I can to help her calm down. This often involves some time out in a different room with the door shut but obviously not one where she can cause a lot of damage. Then once she is calm I ask her to make amends for whatever she did when she was cross.

My other strategy is to talk through ways she could manage her anger in different ways and when I spot her using one of them I heap praise and rewards on her. It doesn't always work but it does seem to have more effect than punishments.

TheArsenicCupCake Wed 08-Dec-10 16:37:29

We use red and yellow cards.. But they are in conjuction with the traffic light system..that ds uses on his own.. We pull the cards when he hasn't recognised that he needs to calm down.. He already know what he is supposed to do ( 10 mins calm down etc)... They aren't really punishments .... Rather reminders.

If he is in the middle of a meltdown and cannot remove himself. We remove ourselves.
( the call.. Everyone red card and we all know what we are doing).

We use the justice system ( tony attwood) which works very well.

Clear rules, clear consequences..clear praise.
We opperate a no tolerance house hold.. And don't really have to use punishments as such.. Just calm down time and repairing the situation ..( I.e taking responsability and working out how to make it better)

maybe sounds a bit happy clappy.. But it works for us..

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 08-Dec-10 17:27:50

Message withdrawn

ihavenewsockson Wed 08-Dec-10 19:16:21

The naughty step works ok for DS1. He is 3.

I only do that if he is violent towards his little brother and he is then asked to come back and give him a kiss. He usually comes back completely unaware of anything being wrong with DS2.

When he has a full-on meltdown at home, I put him in his bed. If I try to restrain him or console him when he is that stressed, it just makes it worse.
So I put him to bed and he stops crying in less than 5 minutes , then plays in his room and comes down 20-30minutes later.

Much harder when we're out and about, I tend to confiscate whatever he has or offer a reward for calming down or behaving- "Stop hitting and we can read the dinosaur book" I don't know if it's 'right' but it's the only thing.

Then of course, you get the dear old biddies, recommending a slap. Cos that will really calm him down hmm

mumslife Wed 08-Dec-10 20:37:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Triggles Wed 08-Dec-10 20:59:40

I agree that discipline when out and about is much more difficult.

If I'm out with DS2, he gets one warning, then I stop whatever we're doing and take him somewhere quiet and talk to him - if nothing else it calms him down.

But yes, there are always those lovely passers-by who feel they need to comment. DH got a bit rude a woman who accused us of abusing our son because he was sprawled out on the floor of mothercare crying and refusing to get up. Apparently, she's never seen a tantrum or meltdown before - so I can only assume she either doesn't have children or is a new mother - or she's daft. Or perhaps a combination of a few hmm grin

And of course, sometimes you just have to ride it out, ignore everyone else, and do what you can to salvage the situation.

Ineedtinsel Wed 08-Dec-10 21:56:02

We use Red and Yellow cards for Dd3 but they are used as visual reminders that her behaviour is unacceptable.

She is shown a yellow for a warning that she is doing something unacceptable, if she doesn't stop she gets a red. A red card means she has to stop whatever activit she is doing and sit at the dining room table, or a seat of some description if we are out.

For Dd3 leaving her chosen activity is enough of a punishment. Especially if its one of her tv programmes or the computer.

Any aggression or violence gets an instant red card.

To be honest it has worked so well with Dd3 that she has got the message and rarely gets a red.

That doesn't mean her behaviour is perfect, just that with a visual reminder she is learning to modify it herself, which is great.

Good luck what ever you decide grin.

ihavenewsockson Wed 08-Dec-10 22:03:14

The red and yellow cards sound good.

Do you take them with you when you go out? How did she learn to pay enough attention to notice?

Sorry for all the questions- I'm still pretty new to this and trying to get onto DS1's wavelength.

auntyfash Wed 08-Dec-10 22:16:02

Thanks for all your replies.

I just wrote out a massive reply but somehow managed to delete it. GRRR! Just about sums up my day today.

I'm going to go and have a fag then I shall come back and attempt to reply again.

Thanks again.

TheArsenicCupCake Wed 08-Dec-10 22:36:36

Newsocks .... We just put our hand on ds's shoulder gently to get his attention or say his name first ..

It does take some time and it's got to be consistant.
We have unacceptables writen down for the colours and strategies .. So it's really concrete!
Although tbh ours basis around emotions because that is where most of the problem behaviour was stemming from.

Ineedtinsel Wed 08-Dec-10 22:37:20

Yes, I carry one at all times, it is laminated with yellow on one side and red on the other. I have one in my mobile phone case and one stuck on the wall in the kitchen.

I make sure she has noticed by putting it right in front of her and saying clearly " I am showing you a yellow/red card because..."

We have found that visual warnings are soooo much better than verbal ones. She tends to shout OK or something similar very loudly if we talk to her about her behaviour, but showing her the card seems to help her to understand that we are not happy.

To be honest I have treid that many different stategies over the years with Dd1 and now Dd3 that the cards were just another thing I thought I would try. But they really work for me [OH is not great at remembering].

They get rid of the nagging and repeating yourself to and also it is a set routine for dealing with behaviour issues.

ihavenewsockson Wed 08-Dec-10 22:44:46

It's definatly something that we are talking about implimenting with DS1.

I can say his name repeatedly but he doesn't 'hear'. the touch on the shoulder and showing the card sounds like it could be more effective.

Does it help with the child expressing emotions?
I'm trying to get him to understand when he feels happy/ sad/ angry and what that looks like so he can see when other people feel that way.

<sorry for hijack auntyfash>

auntyfash Wed 08-Dec-10 22:51:51

No worries ihavenewsockson. I'm too bloody stressed out tonight to write a coherent reply anyhow. I'm just reading all the tactics you all use.
I'm beginning to like the sound of the card system more now, though I cou;dn't do the tapping on the shoulder as that just sets him off again having to have the pat stroked away and then the other shoulder having to be patted and then stroked. And then no doubt I'd pat or stroke in the wrong place or with the wrong amount of pressure and I'd have to do it again and then even it up and repeat the exact same movements on the other side.

I think I shall give up tonight and drink wine.

ihavenewsockson Wed 08-Dec-10 22:53:56

Wine sounds like a very good idea indeed grin

TheArsenicCupCake Wed 08-Dec-10 23:10:36

Wine is a great idea!

Okay.. The traffic lights and the red and yellow cards don't directly effect ds's emotions.. That's a whole other load of work ( but I'll try and explain what we do in a minute).. What they do is give a visual to remember how he is feeling .. So green calm, yellow frustrated/worried etc and red angry. That type of thing.. When he feels his body changing.. He works out what colour he is and puts a marker on the colour of the traffic light... Then reads the strategy and does it... So he's getting annoyed.. Marker goes on yellow.. He needs 5 mins quiet space.. For example.

Next to the traffic lights we have an emotions poster with smiley face things down one column, what his body dies for that emotion in the next column.. And a strategy in the next.
( you have to be patient and work on this bit.. Building up more and more emotions from just the simple ones)

so when he is feeling happy.. You name it.. And go to your poster.. " I can see your feeling happy because your smiling".. Draw smiley face.. " your breathing is slow... And your body is calm" .. So you write that down. ( really simply or draw pictures or symbols)..

You just do the same for the emotions that they go through at a good time..

You can also do an emotions scrapbook.. Magazine pictures of different expressions and photos of dc and family etc.

hth and made sense

TheArsenicCupCake Wed 08-Dec-10 23:14:29

Oh it sounds more complicated than it is when typed btw!
And we now use the emotion poster and the traffic lights to express how we feel as well..
However I miss out the I need wine emotion/strategy

auntyfash Thu 09-Dec-10 01:20:45

Thanks for that arsenic...sorry, should have replied earlier but got side tracked

signandsingcarols Thu 09-Dec-10 08:29:50

we use the naughty step.. but ds doesn't really do full blown meltdown (yet? hmm ) he is now 4 and he gets a count down' " ds, no touch TV!" "ds NO touch TV" " ds NO touch TV one" "ds NO touch TV two" "ds No touch TV three" "ds GO and SIT on the STAIRS", and he does..

sounds really long winded and any hitting or biting is instant sit on stairs. He then has to come back in and sign sorry.

A couple of time when he has had real strop then I move him to quiet corner, and (if I can) hold him and 'shhhhh' him quietly, (which has always calmed him)

Ineedtinsel Thu 09-Dec-10 12:13:22

No is the short answer... for Dd3 it doesn't help with understanding emotions.

She does happy, angry and sad and thats about it.

We have done alot of work with emotion picture cards lately but that is separate to managing challenging behaviour.

Today I had to try to find out what had happened at school yesterday so I tried a new strategy of using a scale of 1 to 10, so I was able to ask her: On a scale of 1 to 10 how did that feel or how upset do you think that person was.

She actually coped quite well with it and was able to share quite a lot of information with me.

It is hard hard work, but when you find something that works it is great because you feel like you are making a difference.

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