5. Use sticker charts. Sticker charts are a simple, yet effective, form of positive reinforcement that can be extremely helpful in curbing behavioral issues with autism, and I love this Magnetic Reward and Responsibility Chart as you can easily customize it for your individual child and make it as simple or complicated as you want. To maximize the effectiveness of this tool when disciplining an autistic child, make sure you:
…reward your child soon after the desired behavior is completed to establish a connection between the 2 and keep her motivated.
…choose a reward that will motivate your child but that you can sustain over time. Additional time watching TV or playing on the iPad, an extra book at bedtime, a trip to the park after school, etc. all work well, but I encourage you against using sweets and monetary rewards as you probably won’t be able to keep those up long-term.
…never take stickers away! If a sticker was earned, it is something to be proud of. Do not punish a child by discounting something he or she worked hard to achieve.
…never reprimand if a sticker isn’t earned. Instead, spend some time reviewing the goal of the good behavior chart again and be sure to give reminders throughout the day to encourage success.