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Teaching a 2 yr old with asd, right from wrong

(12 Posts)
MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 19:13:14

this may seem like a silly question... Ds is my only child so I'm not very experienced. Just wondering how to approach teaching him, for example, that it hurts when he gives me things in my face i.e hits me with the remote control or cup when he's just trying to give it to me.

At the moment I tend to ignore it as I'm not sure he would understand what he did wrong... Giving things to me is new to him and good in the sense his communication is coming on.

I'm I being too soft? He's quite delayed. I don't ever tell him off a such, just ignore or distract from undesirable behaviours.

oodlesofdoodles Wed 21-Sep-11 19:39:58

I'm a total novice too Mango, but could you say: 'ow! that hurt mummy when you put the cup in my face. Can you put it in my hand please?' (hold out hand). Giving things to you is good I agree, so when he puts the cup in your hand say 'well done! clever boy!' and give him a kiss.

MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 19:44:20

I agree, thanks. Just not sure he would understand so many words. At the moment 2 words is still too much for him to comprehend. Find it so difficult to translate every thing I want to communicate to him into one or two words. Have tried facial expressions, but he seems to think it's funny rather than I'm in pain.

oodlesofdoodles Wed 21-Sep-11 19:59:23

Yeah, they see through the theatricals don't they? When someone is genuinely upset my ds can show empathy - in his own paricular way. When ds was younger he used to pick and discard all the flowers in the garden. It infuriated me, but he just kept on doing it. Nt dd (dc2) understands when she's earned my displeasure. I the end I gave up on flowers!
Anyway back to your ds, gesturing and using non verbal communication is probably really helpful. It's one of the things we try and work on now, but I wish we'd done more of it when ds was younger.

MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 20:15:52

I agree, I know some people will thinking being soft but I really believe he doesn't get the difference, he justs thinks he's being more obvious iyswim. Really want to encourage him to feel like he's communicating at this stage, so maybe I just wait. Just feel like I'm encouraging unacceptable behaviour...

He knows when I say no and seems to understand... But not sure he would understand why and don't want to discourage him as he only gives me a few things at the moment, with the intention of wanting me to do something with them.

MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 20:16:29

I'll probably end up with a broken nose! Lol

MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 20:17:51

But they definitely find the theatricals entertaining!

bialystockandbloom Wed 21-Sep-11 20:29:24

It does depend on whether he knows he is doing it at all or if he has no awareness of space?

Assuming that he does know he's doing it, I'd keep it very very simple, and if he hits you with something, take it from his hand, and say "no" in a very calm, but very firm voice. Or "no hitting".

Give the object back to him and if he does the same thing, repeat the "no".

Don't say or do anything else. Don't touch him in any way, or say anything other than that. Absolutely no punishment is meant - just that he gets no attention for doing this. The more you react, the more he'll continue, as he's thinking "ooh great I get a funny response when I do that, I'll do it again!".

When he does give it to you nicely, go overboard with praise, attention, whatever he would like best (cuddles, tickles, kisses, whatever).

The simple message is that he gets rewarded for giving it nicely, but gets nothing for hitting you with it.

Facial expressions probably a bit complex for him atm if he's only 2yo and asd. I'd stick with very basic verbal/physical instruction.

MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 20:41:11

Thanks bialy, sounds about right I think, just worried he will do it more, for the reaction and then the whole thing will be skewed in his head. When i say no, he tends to repeat the action, but I guess it is just exploring. Need to be consistent in all scenarios... Which isn't second nature to me yet.

bialystockandbloom Wed 21-Sep-11 21:14:47

Ah, well, then you could try just not reacting at all. Don't say anything at all. Just act like nothign happened. Don't even take the cup. If you can stand it, let it bounce off you on to the floor, look away from him, don't react in any way. Then pause, and wait till he's stopped playing around. carry on as if nothing had happened.

It won't skew anything for him (except perhaps might be a bit confusing at first when he wonders why mummy's suddenly stopped reacting to being hit!). It will just teach him that hitting in the face doesn't get him anything as it's no fun.

We do ABA with ds, which is based on positive reinforcement - basically, you reinforce (reward) the behaviour you want to see, and don't reinforce (ie ignore) the inappropriate behaviour. If a kind of behaviour seems to be primarily to get attention (which this sounds like it is), then any attention you give it will reinforce and perpetuate the behaviour. Obviously, this is part of a full ABA programme, but the basic principle is really simple and can be used without doing a formal programme. As long as you're consistent - which will get easier! Not everyone likes this approach, but imho it's a fantastic way of teaching a child appropriate behaviour in the most fun, rewarding way possible.

MangoMonster Wed 21-Sep-11 22:20:49

Thanks bialy, will definitely try that, starting ABA soon, so hopefully that will give me a framework. Thanks for your help smile

bialystockandbloom Wed 21-Sep-11 22:26:30

Oh brilliant, good for you! It was the best thing we could have done for our ds.

In a couple of months' time you will be an expert in positive reinforcement techniques and will be wondering what on earth you did before ABA wink

Good luck for the start of the programme.

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