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Just found out DS is "on the spectrum"...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

We don't have an official diagnosis but our son's pedi says she is "extremely concerned" about him. We usually skip WBV but after making a list of "quirks" my son has and behavior that is concerning..we realized the list was long. Really long. The pedi says that most of them plus what she saw in her office she thinks he may have autism. She said that at the least he has enough symptoms that he's on the spectrum. I know she's not the expert but to be honest we've suspected autism or PDD-NOS for a while now (months in fact).

So my question now is, how should I handle discipline between now and when we get our diagnosis?

 

Also how do you handle people saying things like, "Oh he's just a normal toddler." "He can't be autistic, he's so smart!" "I don't see anything wrong with him." Etc.

I mean we've lived with him for 2 years I think we know better than anyone else exactly how he acts, ya know?

post #2 of 16

People who say he's "just a normal toddler" may just be trying to reassure you.  You could say "X, I'm sure you are just trying to reassure us, but we know and the doctor agrees, that he is on the spectrum. With very young children, it can be difficult for people outside the home to notice the symptoms. Being Autistic doesn't mean he is not smart."

 

Also, you don't have to wait for a formal diagnosis to try discipline techniques that you would try after a diagnosis.

post #3 of 16

I wouldn't discuss it with those people essentially. If they want to say he's just a normal smile and go on. That's how I handled it anyway.

 

I'm not sure what issues you're dealing with but I would handle them as if he's on the spectrum at this point. That said, similar techniques don't work for all spectrum kids! So do what works for him. I would not discipline for things out of his control (sensory issues, melt downs, etc.) of course. I found that until my son reached a developmental age of around 3-4 (he is close to seven and we're "just" there) the "discipline" issues needed to be handled much as I would for a young toddler. We used lots of redirection for example. He really wasn't directly defiant for a very long time and only dishonest very recently. He just hadn't hit those developmental stages.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I guess I just don't really know what's part of the autism (for lack of a definite dx) and what's him acting out. I don't want to screw him up any worse than I may already have.

Is there a good link with discipline ideas/methods for kids on the spectrum?

post #5 of 16

My stepson is on the spectrum.  He was diagnosed 3 years ago at 8...be really glad you are getting it addressed sooner.

 

I am on an AS list for parents of AS kids and adults with AS.  Many people there strongly recommend the Collaborative Problem Solving Method that is outlined in the Explosive Child and other works by Ross Greene.

 

http://www.livesinthebalance.org/

 

Best wishes.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you, I'm checking it out now!

post #7 of 16

I was also going to recommend The Explosive Child. It is not dependent on a particular diagnosis, or any diagnosis at all for that matter. With a younger child, the Collaborative Problem Solving methods may need to be simplified, but basically it is a great attitude and way of looking at behavior.

post #8 of 16

Who cares what people say?  Why do they need to know he is autistic?

 

I don't feel the need to explain my children's behavior to people.  People who judge will judge regardless of diagnosis.

 

It takes a while to get to this place. 

 

What are your discipline concerns?  How does his being autistic change things?

 

All behavior is communication.  Knowing that he is unusually sensitive is helpful.  But even when a child is presumed NT, why should be punish communication?

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

I know I shouldn't care, but I do. I don't know why. These people are family and friends, people I have no need to hide things from usually.

 

I know people will judge either way..

 

Our main issues are just with him getting into things he can't get in to. The entertainment center (that we can no longer lock), the dvd player, banging on glass doors, etc.

I don't know how autism might change things, that's why I asked. I don't know anything about this...

 

What does NT mean?

post #10 of 16

NT is neuro typical.  I don't think there need to be major changes in how you deal with the "uh uh uh" stuff, but someone who knows better might chime in.  In terms of telling/dealing with otehr people, FWIW, I wished I'd kept quieter. Esp in beginning.  Feedback isn't always helpful when you're still learning what's up and making plans for addressing the issues.  Even completely well meaning people say incredibly hurtful or just ignorant things.  I found that the value of talking was often erased by things people said in response.  There's a difference between privacy and secrecy.  You're not hiding anything. You, your fam, are entitled to privacy.  GL mama!

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you, you're totally right. :)

post #12 of 16

What autsim changes is our awareness.  It notifies us that the child isn't "being bad."  (I think this is true for all kids -- autism raises our awareness of it.)Maybe the child has a need to climb or touch things.  Maybe this is how he is learning about the world.Maybe the banging is an expression of anger, a communication.  I think that the best thing to do for our children is to watch them and try to understand.  This is why I wonder what you seek to discipline and what you mean by that word.  Discipline actually comes from words that mean to teach.  When we witness behavior that is not appropriate, we need to determine what our child means by that behavior and how they can express that in a way that is safe for them.  Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

post #13 of 16

You are not alone although it may feel like it many times along your journey. 

 

What I found helpful is getting as much information as you can, which includes all different sources, from Developmental Pedis, Psychologists, Teachers, Therapists, yahoo groups and parents who have been there done that.  There are many schools of thoughts regarding AS and it can make your head swim!  Decide what works for you and your family.

 

Some website I found helpful (I mostly use the bottom 2):

 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/01/ep.autism.resources/index.html?hpt=Sbin

http://www.generationrescue.org/

http://www.tacanow.org/index.htm

 

My friend told me that the first year is the hardest, which I hope she is right as we are nearing the end of our first year as my son received his diagnosis at the age of 4 last Jan.

 

I can relate to the family and friends thing as my mother's response when she heard of his diagnosis from my brother was "is she still on that?"  They all thought I was nuts...which I very well may be, but not about this.  I will also have to agree with the prior person's post, wishing I would have kept it more to myself, but I am one who tends to let things out there...so, it is what it is....what I am doing though is keeping it close to our vest with his preschool peers and the parents as I don't want him treated any differently.  But that is what we chose as a family, you need to do what is best for you.

 

Please feel free to PM me at anytime if you need to talk.

 

hugs

 

oh, and sorry to answer your real question, discipline....i found it to be a learning experience on both our parts.  I try redirection, natural consequences, time in the thinking chair (which I was opposed to at first but sometimes he just needs to be left alone), during tantrums it ranges from hugs to saying let me know when you have gotten it all out, to helping him identify his anger and offering appropriate suggestions on how to handle it.  He is my one and only so I'm learning just as much as he is....but I have faith we will figure it out together.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NataliaI View Post

What autsim changes is our awareness.  It notifies us that the child isn't "being bad."  (I think this is true for all kids -- autism raises our awareness of it.)Maybe the child has a need to climb or touch things.  Maybe this is how he is learning about the world.Maybe the banging is an expression of anger, a communication.  I think that the best thing to do for our children is to watch them and try to understand.  This is why I wonder what you seek to discipline and what you mean by that word.  Discipline actually comes from words that mean to teach.  When we witness behavior that is not appropriate, we need to determine what our child means by that behavior and how they can express that in a way that is safe for them.  Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 



Thank you, that does help. :) I have noticed my hubby being more understanding and aware too which says a lot.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan's Mom View Post

You are not alone although it may feel like it many times along your journey. 

 

What I found helpful is getting as much information as you can, which includes all different sources, from Developmental Pedis, Psychologists, Teachers, Therapists, yahoo groups and parents who have been there done that.  There are many schools of thoughts regarding AS and it can make your head swim!  Decide what works for you and your family.

 

Some website I found helpful (I mostly use the bottom 2):

 

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/01/ep.autism.resources/index.html?hpt=Sbin

http://www.generationrescue.org/

http://www.tacanow.org/index.htm

 

My friend told me that the first year is the hardest, which I hope she is right as we are nearing the end of our first year as my son received his diagnosis at the age of 4 last Jan.

 

I can relate to the family and friends thing as my mother's response when she heard of his diagnosis from my brother was "is she still on that?"  They all thought I was nuts...which I very well may be, but not about this.  I will also have to agree with the prior person's post, wishing I would have kept it more to myself, but I am one who tends to let things out there...so, it is what it is....what I am doing though is keeping it close to our vest with his preschool peers and the parents as I don't want him treated any differently.  But that is what we chose as a family, you need to do what is best for you.

 

Please feel free to PM me at anytime if you need to talk.

 

hugs

 

oh, and sorry to answer your real question, discipline....i found it to be a learning experience on both our parts.  I try redirection, natural consequences, time in the thinking chair (which I was opposed to at first but sometimes he just needs to be left alone), during tantrums it ranges from hugs to saying let me know when you have gotten it all out, to helping him identify his anger and offering appropriate suggestions on how to handle it.  He is my one and only so I'm learning just as much as he is....but I have faith we will figure it out together.


Thank you, thank you. This is very helpful. :) I have no idea what to even do next..we have an appt with the developmental pedi on Dec 6, EI home eval on Dec 10 and EI office eval on Jan 4.

post #16 of 16

My dd is 7 and I've found that a lot of "discipline" needs to be handled as if she were MUCH younger. Redirection for example. Most people probably wouldn't redirect a 7 year old, but its something we have to use because for my dd it really does work. Sensory issues happen, and we have to ride those out. As she's gotten older she has become more aggressive because her anxiety is a lot worse than it used to be. So removing her from the other kids is necessary so that no one gets hurt, and so they don't see her acting out like that. (she hits and has started biting)

Natural consequences work the best, as do immediate intervention. You can't wait even a minute to intervene because it might just simply be lost.

I found that getting a diagnosis helped me to understand why more traditional methods were useless. (time out etc) Because we really had tried everything at that point.

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