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(13 Posts)
fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Sep-09 10:21:21

Just wondered how to discipline a toddler (2.10) with probable ASD and at least a language/comprehension delay.

She is getting quite stroppy and testing me, as toddlers do, but completely ignores shouting, wouldn't understand time out, and I cant explain anything to her really.

I feel a bit powerless!!

Any tips?

BethNoire Wed 09-Sep-09 10:27:50

It's a very difficult topic and extremely hit and miss; I sat with a Psych discussing this last week and really she didn't have that many ideas herself.

I think there are several aspects to this: firslt you have to do discipline for yourslef and / or anyone else affected by the beahviour regardless of how it works. Dh struggles with this- if my child hurts someone I always say I will do X or Y, and that helps them, but Dh just says 'why bother if it won't work'- <<shakes head>>- he doesn't do PR very well.

But there are ways; with ds3 it's about rationing TV time, or earning very specific rewards- a stciker won't do it but a trip to a cafe will very rarely. It ahs to be immediate though; delayed gratification is a no go.Punishments themselves are rarely productive- he doesn't have the processing to see the reasons, just the effcts if he notices those at all.

DS1 is higher functioning and a bit different. Again rewards mean little unless they are in cash, as he doesn't attach to objects per se. The only difference is whatever his current obsession might be if it is manageable (eg it was beastquest books for a while).

Punishments have no effect whatsoever, though I willgo through the routine if I feel iyt helps another party feel better.

HeartOfCrystal Wed 09-Sep-09 11:15:44

I have found that having a naughty mat has worked very well with my son. Especially after he hits/scratches someone (mostly me hmm ) i sit him on it and tell him that was naughty. He understands the concept of it after a minute or 2 i say "Do you want to say sorry?" He comes over gives me a hug and a kiss and its over and done with he transforms back into a lil angel. hope this helps xx

othermother Wed 09-Sep-09 11:19:38

I had terrible trouble disciplining mine when he was that age, but now he's older (5) he's more likely to respond to monetary rewards. He's collects money like some children collect stickers. He doesn't want to spend it, he'd rather have it in his piggy bank where he can count it - he's saving up for a car for when he's 18.
I hope someone comes up with some helpful advice for you soon, cos it's hard work isn't it?

lingle Wed 09-Sep-09 11:27:54


The "Teach me to Listen and Obey" DVD ( has a good final section on discipline.

I've given my copy to someone else (Silverfrog?) but I'm sure she'd lend it to you.

Essentially the therapist says (quite specifically) forget time out, forget explanations, just discipline at the language level not the age level which means "no", removing them from the item, lots of distraction, lots of reinforcement of good behaviour etc, etc. A child may not understand language but from what I know of you your little one is capable of learning from experience I think?

Laura Maize (sp?) (the teach me to talk lady) has her own forum so you can ask her this directly too if you want.

I have never attempted time out on either child and think it would be pointless on them (aged 6 and 4) even now. Just not for me I guess.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Sep-09 11:28:15

Thanks, these are all great ideas. I don't think she'd understand rewards/naughty mat YET, well I know she wouldn't but hopefully will in the future.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Sep-09 11:29:16

Fortunately she does have quite a bond with me and doesn't like to upset me, although she forgets and does the same thing again straightaway, so I hope there is some chance of her growing up with nice behaviour, if I persevere.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Sep-09 11:30:47

Thanks, lingle, I x-posted with you.

That is exactly what I have been doing, treating her like the age she is mentally and not her chronological age and it is working a bit so far. She does have some capacity for learning, thankfully.

That DVD and forum sound really helpful, might even buy my own copy of the DVD!!

BethNoire Wed 09-Sep-09 13:29:46

Having a strong bond with you and not wanting to upset you is a massive boon really. I have that bond but my boys don't care myuch about how I feel (well i think ds3 would if he had any way of readng it). therefore, sad faces, anything like that is a complete waste of effort.

I understand that females on the spectrum are more likely to display (no guarantees) a higher level of such skills.Use those to your advantage! Keep a little slate close and draw a sad face (yours, amke that clear) if she does something that justifies it. A slate is useful as whilst many an ASD child cannot look well at a fce (ahgain, a wide generalisation),many more could observe a slate and be taught to interpret that. Far less issues on being looked at, emotions etc.

When she gets to naughty step age give it a go; I seem to remember our CM using it wonderfully with DS3 over some specific behaviours. It's not something we find easy here for various reasons (mainly, lots of small children and general space issues) but can work. Pasta jar worked well for mine at a later stage, you might manage a more immediate version of that with sweeties to be eaten after dinner in a year or so, depends on the child.

The otehr big trick of course is the comprehension skills: if the behaviours include things that can be helped by pasting great big NO ( eg red circlewith a line through) signs on then give t a go; sometimes it takes a visual to get the message home. If and when she likes stories you can use those as well, but the age that can be suitable varies massively.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Sep-09 17:38:45

Thanks. I might try the faces, although I think she still might not understand them.

She just looks rather uncomfortable if I tell her off and wont look at me, and looks a bit concerned if I get angry, so it is a start I suppose.


lingle Wed 09-Sep-09 19:20:35

I think the NO sign would have worked for DS2 at that age..... why not give it a go?

lingle Wed 09-Sep-09 19:21:28

actually fanjo this has reminded me that we stopped DS2 demanding television all the time at the nearly-three age by placing a red cloth over the tv. It was so much more powerful than words.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Sep-09 19:47:28

Might have to drape a cloth over the bookcase, she just demands books during mealtimes ALL the time and it is very wearing!!!

Will try the NO but am not sure at all that she would understand/care yet.

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