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Disciplining child with severe learning difficulties

(7 Posts)
MooMummyMoo Wed 09-Jan-13 16:46:40


My daughter has just turned 3 and has a chromosome disorder causing severe learning difficulties. As she gets older she is of course getting more naughty! However I am not sure though how to discipline her.

With her 2 year old sister the naughty step works a treat but my SN daughter I don't think would have a clue what the concept of the naughty step is/means. Shouting she just laughs at. Me being very very cross..she just laughs at.

I just don't know what to do. We have never been given a developmental age for her but she is very similar I would say to my 11 month old ish.

Any suggestions?


inappropriatelyemployed Wed 09-Jan-13 16:57:21

If the 'naughty' step isn't understand, I wonder if she understand the concept of being naughty at all and whether it is helpful to punish her particularly if her developmental age is that of an infant.

There are other forms of discipline. It is such a sensitive topic and everyone has their own views but I personally think that positive reinforcement is much more helpful for everyone than negative sanctions - whether a child is NT or has special needs.

It is draining to nag and tell a child off all the time. It lowers everyone's mood and I don't think sanctions teach children to do things because they are the right things to do. They just teach children to do things because the alternative is being punished.

It can also be incredibly difficult to distinguish between behaviour which is deliberately non-compliant (naughty) and that which is the result of complex difficulties with understanding, communication etc and it would be very unfair to sanction the latter.

Could you praise and reward the behaviour you want to see? Even if it is expected behaviour e.g. sitting well, holding hands, anything else that is a problem.

It sounds like charts and reward systems may be beyond her at the moment and it is hard to comment when you don't know the child but concentrating on rewarding her with something she really likes (biscuits, a game, a sweet, something simple) and providing lots of excited praise for what you see is right may help. Firmly removing her from a difficult situation and saying no to things you don't want her to repeat may also help.

Just a few thoughts but you might completely disagree.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 09-Jan-13 16:57:42

Sorry for typos - blasted ipad.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 17:03:31

I would also go with the positive and ignoring as much as you can of the negative.

A firm "Stop" is what we use at work with the children with SN's we say it and sign it.

Distraction is usually the best way to stop unwanted behaviour but I do understand that it is difficult when you have another child because you feel the need to be seen to be doing something.

Good lucksmile

2old2beamum Wed 09-Jan-13 17:08:06

Our DD aged 7 has a chromosome disorder she also has a severe learning disability and has no speech and I am afraid I am quite strict. If she is naughty like scratching or nipping I put on a very angry face wag my finger at her and say no in a low but loud voice. It has taken 3+ years but she is finally understanding and it is bloody hard work

It is a long hard slog but be consistent.


2old2beamum Wed 09-Jan-13 17:10:51

BTW only got cross if she hurt anyone, didn't want her labelled as the spiteful kid

OwlLady Wed 09-Jan-13 17:29:23

we use distraction too but you have to be ahead of yourself and know what is going to cause problems (which isn't always possible)

for some children positive reinforcement helps

time outs can be done, but for us it's mopre a safe place (if you have one) rather than a naughty step

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