Asperger's and discipline

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Asperger's and discipline

What I've found with discipline is that I can't discipline my son. There is not a way to discipline in the classic sense of the word disciplining an Asperger child. It's explaining things to him, and I've got to keep myself calm and talk to and explain the reasons why, even if I'm upset and frustrated, I can tell him I'm upset and frustrated. But the most important thing for me to do is explain to him how I got there and what are the things that got me to this point. Because upset doesn't mean much to him, there's a gap there. And he may get frustrated, but that doesn't help him understand the situation. So for whatever the reason he needs to be disciplined, it's more of an explanation and staying calm, and me getting mad at him just escalates the situation. I can't go to him and give him any kinds of threats or those things just make him even that much more excited. He gets excited, you just tell him, "You gotta stop playing your video game right now or you gotta stop reading." He's ready to go to blows. He'll throw his fists together, "I'm not gonna." So I can't go back to him and go, "Well, you're gonna." It could just escalate to we're throwing blows right away if we keep going there. So I gotta bring some calm to the situation and not discipline him. I could say, "You can't put your fists together at me." I can tell him why that hurts my feelings, why I don't like that, and explain it to him very clearly; but me getting mad at him for that and telling him to go to his room and disciplining him in the classic sense just doesn't work with him.

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Ron Howell


Ron is a licensed architect, and has been in private practice for 15 years. He attended Cal Poly SLO for his undergrad, and his graduate study was done at the University of Copenhagen. His is the father of three, two sons and a daughter.

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