If you have noticed anything about your little Aspie up to this point, you realize that they are highly intelligent. They also do not forget much, if anything.
Because of this, discipline for an Aspie might be slightly different than it is for other children. They do, however, need discipline. They need to know that negative behaviors will have consequences. Like other children, if there are no consequences to their negative behavior, they are quick to pick up on it.
I will now tell you what the Psychologist told me about how to discipline Cameron. He said that if Cameron does something that he knows ahead of time is wrong, we should not warn him that he is about to be punished if he doesn’t stop the behavior. We need to tell him the offense (such as throwing toys in anger), and say, “Time out.” We then need to put him on time out until he has met the time out requirements. In our house, the requirements are that he will sit quietly, without whining, and he will stay like that for a few minutes. If he begins to talk, cry, or whine, the time starts over.
During this time, we must not talk to him or explain what he has done wrong, no matter how tempted we are. He is intelligent and knows what he has done.
When the requirements for time out have been met, we say, “You may get up now.” We are not to offer him any hugs or sweet talk. This only tells him that negative behavior will eventually lead to positive input.
We have to leave him alone and let him move on to another activity. We should let him engage in that activity for a while, without going to him, before we have interaction with him again.
Even then, we do not explain why we had to punish him. Again, he is intelligent. If it is something that he knew ahead of time that he was not supposed to do, and he chose to do it, it was a willful action.
If he chooses to perform the action again, as with throwing the toys in anger, we put both him and the toy on time out. When he gets up, he is not allowed to have the toy back for a while. The worse the action, the longer the toy stays on time out.
We do, of course, sometimes choose a different punishment. Turning off the television may sometimes be enough to turn his behavior around. In that case, we leave it off for at least ten minutes. If he acts angry during that time, it will stay off longer.
He rarely gets a swat on the bottom. It has little affect on him and is reserved for the worst of behaviors, such as if he has intentionally hurt himself or someone else. Even then, it is a light swat to the bottom, which hurts his feelings more than anything. Many times, just the threat of a spanking can get him back in line.
I believe that there is a difference between disciplining in anger and disciplining to teach. If I am angry, I will not go near the offending child. Because I love all of my children, it is my job to teach them. If I hold back a necessary discipline, I am not doing them any favors.