Your Approach to Discipline

All parents are faced with the task of childrearing to the best of their ability. Loving your child as you do, you want to know you're doing the right thing. Because each child is a unique individual, there is no single method for raising your specific child, only sound generalizations for you to test and apply. Your approach to disciplining your child will likely draw from several things, including your memories of how you were disciplined as a child; strategies, philosophies, and ideas you've read and with which you concur; and personal observations of how your family, friends, and neighbors discipline their own children.

The key to disciplining your child with Asperger's Syndrome is to — first and foremost — recall the positive philosophies discussed in Chapter 2:

  • Your child has good reasons for doing what he's doing.

  • He's doing the very best he knows how to in the moment (and with what he's got available to him).

  • He needs to feel safe and comfortable and in control.

  • He will become unhinged by anything significantly unpredictable.

Fact

Some parents of kids with Asperger's are accused of being too “soft” with their children. You know your child best. He may be a very sensitive individual, but you have the right as a parent to set realistic expectations of obligations and responsibilities the same as you would for any other child.

Your child's need to feel in control should not be taken to extremes. Parents must set limits and expectations for all children. Having Asperger's Syndrome does not give one free rein to be out of control, and that should not be endorsed or indulged by you; you wouldn't allow your other children to do everything they want, whenever they please. Before you scold, however, you will also need to be mindful that your child's logic will not necessarily reflect your idea of common sense. For example, imagine a teenager who is driving down the highway and sees a box in the middle of the road. He decides the box must be empty and drives over it, rather than around it. The box isn't empty and damages his car. Even though his logic is questionable, he did not deliberately attempt to damage the car.

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  4. Your Approach to Discipline
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