You’ve probably heard that no two individuals with autism are the same, and while this certainly contributes to the uniqueness of autism spectrum disorder, it can make things extremely tricky. The internet is filled with all kinds of tips and strategies for improving speech, encouraging age-appropriate socialization, teaching proper self-regulation, managing aggressive behaviors, and coping with anxiety, but the things that work for one child may not work for another, leaving parents and caregivers stuck in a never-ending cycle of trial and error. And since behavioral issues with autism can be pretty extreme at times, figuring out how to discipline an autistic child appropriately is a challenge that leaves many parents feeling overwhelmed and desperate.
Of course, there is never a shortage in opinions on how to parent an autistic child, but unless you live in the trenches of your specific situation each and every day, it’s difficult to understand that traditional forms of discipline and punishment may not be effective. Your child may not be able to make a connection between her behavior and the consequences you are trying to enforce, making any and all forms of punishment frustrating and, quite frankly, useless!