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how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

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Old 09-30-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: England
Posts: 57
sonj186 HB User
how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

hello all, ive not been on for a while but have always recieved fantastic advice and support so thank you it has really helped. but i now need a wee bity more advice, my son has a diagnosis of hf autism/asbergers (they cant decide which it is!) he is now in his second year at primary school the problem i have is the way they discipline him, if he wont do as they ask they make him sit in the class for part off his break, cam gets easily frustrated when he cant let off steam so keeping him indoors where he has to sit at a desk just makes matters worse and the behaviour just gets worse as the day goes on! i have spoken to the school they said it was how they delt with difficult behaviour with all the children however we have arranged a meeting for next tue to try and sort this matter out what i was hopping for was for some suggestions to put to the school for some alternative ways to discipline him. if you have any ideas it would be great to hear from you.
thank you for your help xx

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Old 09-30-2008, 12:25 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 98
DannysMum HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

How would you discpline him at home? I know it's different, not being inthe classroom...but in a way it sounds like you are having to educate the school team as they haven't dealt with autism / apsergers before. If you could try and explain a little how it works at home they might START to perhaps understand just a fraction of a day in the life of a family living with ASD..maybe.

I'm a teacher and wouldn't have had a clue before my son was I know!

The way we tried to focus a little autistic boy in my school was by giving him 'choosing' time at the end of every activity as encouragement for completing set tasks. If he was 'misbehaving ' and off task we would warn him that he would lose his'choosing'. Usually we would warn him several times and if he complied by the end of the task we allowed him his choosing, but if he over stepped the mark by a long way, had a very poor attitude or just didn't get the task done then he lost the whole of that choosing. However after break (choosing usually comes before break) it would be a fresh start: new task with choosing at the end of it.

Choosing activites lasted about 5 or 10 minutes depending on what they were. Reading the dictionary was always a favourite! Normally he would be given a choice of 4 or 5 things.

Good luck, let us know how the meeting goes. Hope you are all reading of the same hymn sheet and that they are open to your thoughts.

Old 09-30-2008, 12:37 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 536
datgrlstef HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

My son is also 5, in his last year of special needs preschool. I can tell you that for him, sticker charts are a very good motivator. Either he gets a sticker at the end of a job well done, or he gets one taken away when he does something he's been warned not to do. I don't know why, but not getting a sticker is HUGE to him.

His speech therapist has a board made up to look like a traffic light- red, yellow and green lights on it. Each has velcro on it, as well as on the back of a school bus. If the child is doing well, he or she stays on green. When the child gets a warning for bad behaviors, the bus goes to yellow. If necessary, the bus goes to red- and if that happens, the child does not receive a sticker on his or her sticker chart.

My son's school is finally getting with the program and doing some kind of sticker thing with him as well (I'm not sure if they're doing this for all kids, or just him). If something happened at school, he is actually telling me that he lost his sticker.

I dont know if anything like this would motivate your child, but I do know that a lot of schools (such as my daughter's elementary school) use a card system (green, yellow, red, blue) for behaviors as well. And there are parents starting to do this in the home for consistency's sake. It might be something to try out anyway.

Old 10-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 99
Cathy01 HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

What type of behaviors is he being disipline him for? Is he reacting to too much noise in the classroom, too much activity. My son sometimes needed a quiet place to go, usually got a pass to the library. He would sometimes hum and it was disruptive to class and he was put in hallway...thought he was being punished, which he was really. I think it made things worse when. I told school I did not want him to be "Punished" in hallway any longer. If teacher needs help then they need to get someone to help. We had a bit of a disagreement on that. You do have the power on how your child is treated. Request a IEP meeting/update if you are not getting anywhere with childs teacher. Have written in IEP what can or can't happen. If he needs recess to help him get through the day then put in IEP that he can't be kept in from recess. There needs to be other forms of discipline for your child. If he is acting out in class try to find out why. Sometimes hard to find out. I ended up driving and picking my son up from school everyday because the noise and closeness on bus was just too much and he would get to school totally stressed from the bus. (Coming home on bus too) He was much better at school and at home when he didn't have to deal w/bus. He eventually "out grew" his need to be driven and handles bus better (he is in 12th grade now). Although has been using a mp3 player for about 5 years, maybe thats why.

Old 10-01-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: England
Posts: 57
sonj186 HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

thank you all very much for your replies they really help, the main issue cameron is punished for is not listening in class now im not sure how to make a child listen! usually we just have to threaten time out for him and it works, however the school has said any punishment has to be in his own time and that is why he is being kept in at break! also i spoke to his teacher about his iep and she said they have drawn up a new one, should i have been asked about my issues before this was done?

Old 10-01-2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: wy
Posts: 247
andiesq70 HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

They can do a new IEP up but you don't have to sign it until there is a meeting with the parents, teachers, etc. and everybody agrees on plan. Read it carefully and ask questions if you don't understand, make sure they are specific where you think it may be important and not vague because it leaves to much open for interpretation. If the teacher is not willing to cooperate then tell them you will need to go up the chain and talk to administrator. You have rights and you might need to get a copy of your rights as a parent and your child's rights, plus they should have discussed all policies and procedures of how the classroom runs before school started. But also most teachers run their classrooms the way that works best for students as far as classroom management. Good luck!

Old 10-01-2008, 09:58 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern USA
Posts: 380
roses4lace HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

I would question why the teacher doesn't think your son is "listening". Several years ago I was told the same thing about my son (who was then in the 7th grade). He was a "troublemaker and wasn't listening". So I tried to get to the bottom of it, what was he actually doing. We had a parent/ teacher conference. I asked if he was able to answer all her questions. Yes. Did he make good on his tests? Yes (I already knew he was making 95's and 100's). Did he participate in class discussion? Yes, he often had interesting insights to the material, and was always prepared. So, just how was he not listening? She said he was staring at the ceiling, not looking at her, and had a vacant look in his eyes. Turns out he was bored stiff. Had no problem listening, just wasn't doing it "her way".

And the troublemaking part? He was twiddling with his pencil. I had her demonstrate it. Hold your pencil in the middle, wiggle it back and forth. What else. Nothing else. So, wiggling his pencil is disrupting the entire class. Yes.

The county Department of Education official who had been brought in for this "very difficult child" of mine, and to get his unfit mother to "make her child behave" just rolled her eyes and asked if that was all. I got the drift that they better not ever call her in for something so stupid again.

This was just one of many instances that made me finally withdraw my son from public school in disgust and home school him. Of course, this was before anyone had even heard of Aspergers Syndrome.

Old 10-20-2008, 05:36 AM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 99
Cathy01 HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

I re-read my response and forgot to mention. I kept a written log of problems and dis-agreements w/school/teacher to bring to IEP's. Also, send your questions and requests in writting and keep a copy. The schools seem to respond more to written requests than can do both. I sometimes did a verbal request and sent a written follow up confirmation of what was discussed. It seems to make more of an impact.

Old 10-21-2008, 04:28 AM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: usa
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Monkey7935 HB User
Re: how should school discipline my 5 year old autistic son?

When I was in school, I had a hard time focusing and understanding. So it would appear as "not listening." Find out the behavioiurs, and work with that. I am an adult high functioning autistic. I found if I was told a lot to do, I would forget. Lists were very helpful for me, I was able to check off what I did and go to next thing. Heck, I still do lists. And if the teacher takes the time to be a "teacher" you wouldnt have the problem. A disguised blessing of autistics--we have "obsessions". Use it to your advantage. Like clothes, omg I love clothes but I cant stand stains. I had a hard time with fractions. Mom cleverly used clothes, and made it into fractions. I learned, because it interested me because it was to do with clothes. If the school and you can come up with a new teaching tactics, to help focus your child the "listening" will probably be better.

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