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Punishing An Autistic Adult

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Old 12-20-2006, 06:36 AM   #1
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mammajody HB User
Question Punishing An Autistic Adult

I am the grandmother of a 22year old high functioning autistic adult. He has been living in group home for the past 18 months and is making progress. He comes home every weekend but still has many struggles with simple situations, sometimes leading to violent behavior, breaking things and even hitting people who care for him. When this happens, his parents discipline him by not allowing him to visit home for a period of time. In your experience, does this this kind of punishment work?

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Old 12-20-2006, 07:21 AM   #2
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candice12 HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

I don't know much about autistic children/adults but I know that they have the mind of a child and punishing them for not being able to see their family because of something that happened the week before doesn't seem fair. After a child has done something bad they normally forget it 5 min later so to wait a week to punish him by not letting him come home is not right to me. I strongly disagree with that. How do you feel about it? You must have question about it for questioning it. I know it has to be hard having an autistic grandchild/child but I believe from what I know they have very short attention/memory spans especally when they have done something wrong. My cousin actually used to babysit an autistic child and one minute he was so sweet and the next minute he would beat the crap out of her and then the next minute he was sweet again and it seems he had no idea as to what he did before. I hope this helps...

Last edited by candice12; 12-20-2006 at 07:23 AM.

Old 12-21-2006, 06:57 AM   #3
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Laenini HB UserLaenini HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

You know, autistic or not, a 22 year old man can do a lot of serious and dangerous damage if he becomes violent. I think restricting his visits home should be viewed as a necessary safety measure, not as a punishment per say. Being able to come out into the community and come "home" for a visit should carry certain expectations and really the most basic of those expectations should be safe behavior. If his behavior is not safe for him to come home, then I agree that he should not come home until his behavior is more controlled.

That having been said, I do not feel that his access to his family relationships should be withheld even if visits home are being withheld. If he can't come home, then family members should come for a visit at the group home at some point during the weekend or whatever he missed out on by not being allowed to come home.

The focus should be on shaping behavior by withhold access to less restrictive environments when his behavior is dangerous, but it should never be on withholding love.

Good luck!

Old 12-21-2006, 05:39 PM   #4
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cas526 HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

I am the parent of a Autistic Adult. My son is not high functioning,but is MR.
I would suggest you write a social story for him. It's the change in his routine that he is having problems with. I would have the social story read twice a day for a week before he makes a home visit. In the story I would include that he and others always need to be safe. Then state what consquece would be used if he in not safe. Also, I would try to have the schedule at home as close as possible to his schedule in the group home.
You might also want to post a schedule so he knows what to expect.
Good luck.

Old 12-26-2006, 08:08 PM   #5
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iyami HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

I think punishing anyone autistic by keeping them away is just a bad idea
i mean, if i did something innaprpriate (im not too much younger than your grandson) and i was not allowed to see myf mailly ebcuaseof it, id find it to be the totally worng raction

i have enough self controle not to hurt people unless they hurt me (or try to) first, but smetiem si do throw things at the floor or a wall behind a bed or couch.

if my brotehr john (who cna get violent) has a "fit" hes just left alone untill he calms down, which works fine sense when hes behaving hes not still having a time out.

the difference is its "bigger" once your older, it makes you feel rejected, and you know what you did is why, but you dont always know better. you should tell them or show them, not ignore them for it.

sorry, if i didnt say that understandably.
Please excuse any gramatical/spelling errors, I have a verbal disability.

Old 01-05-2007, 08:31 AM   #6
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Ange HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

one answer NO it doesnt help it will probably make the situation worse
they need constant routine and stucture and dont accept changes like we do and came become stressed out when things arent the same

Old 01-05-2007, 02:36 PM   #7
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iyami HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

Originally Posted by Ange
one answer NO it doesnt help it will probably make the situation worse
they need constant routine and stucture and dont accept changes like we do and came become stressed out when things arent the same
yes that is Exatclyw hati wanted to say, thank you

if suddenly my schedual is changed becuase i am in trouble like grounded for something i didnt even know i shouldnt have done, and my parents say "but its common sense!" andi say " idont have any!" and they say "well get it."

anyway i STRESS out majorly if it happens. i also get mad at my parents becuase its not really fair of them.
Please excuse any gramatical/spelling errors, I have a verbal disability.

Old 01-07-2007, 08:39 PM   #8
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smw73 HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

I'm 33 and have high functioning Autism. I used to have problems with anger when I was younger - I didn't get physically violent but sometimes I would yell. We were also going through a very stressful family situation and while it may not have caused everything, I don't believe it would have helped, either. I later outgrew most of these problems. For a few years, I took a type of anti-depressant - an MAOI - and after two weeks on it, I would find that a lot of the excess 'chatter' in my head would disappear and I would feel a lot calmer. I didn't actually hear voices in my head, I would just get 'overstimulated' and overreact to very small situations very easily. Very small things would get on my nerves - like someone else being in the kitchen when I wanted to make breakfast. Most of the time, I bottled up my feelings, but it was very difficult and draining.

A high functioning adult with Autism can and should know the difference between right and wrong - what behaviour is and isn't acceptable. However, I don't believe that withdrawing family love and support is the answer - as someone else said above, I believe that if the son can't come home for safety's sake, then the family should continue going to see him in a more controlled environment. Maybe, with the help of a professional, they may be able to look at some of the things which might be triggering the behaviour. This is not excusing the behaviour or blaming the family, but people with Autism often favour a very calm, controlled, very regulated environment. It's a matter of compromising to find the best situation for everybody. Good luck and hang in there.

Old 01-16-2007, 09:25 PM   #9
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smw73 HB User
Re: Punishing An Autistic Adult

p.s. After posting the above, I started thinking again about the problems I used to have with anger. A lot of people with Autism have difficulty managing their anger - it's less of a problem for me these days but can still affect me sometimes. My doctor recommended doing something physical to work off the anger - e.g. vigorous housework or exercise. There are other methods. Some people punch a pillow/cushion. Ot they may go to an isolated place or get in their car to scream and let off steam (so long as it doesn't turn into road rage). Anyway, I've tried to point out from my own experience what is really behind this sort of behaviour. When your son gets angry, however, there probably isn't much point in trying to reason with him - that can make things worse. Probably the best thing to do is to just pull out until he calms down and can discuss things more rationally. (Some people with Autism can have great difficulty though expressing themselves and their inner thoughts and that is another reason why they can sometimes get frustrated.) Anyway, all the best - smw

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