Last updateMon, 28 Jan 2013 9pm

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DISCIPLINE and the Autism Spectrum

Ouch, this is a bit of a hot potato for me to write about. What is discipline? Is it punishing someone by telling them off and shouting at them when they have messed up? Or maybe it is a quick smack on the bottom? An extended amount of time spent on the ‘naughty chair’? Or maybe it is sitting still at the dinner table (no elbows!) until everyone has finished and saying please and thank you in the right places? Or is that ‘manners’?

Discipline is the instant willingness and obedience to all orders, respect for authority, self reliance and teamwork.

‘Self’ discipline is a hard lesson for those of us on the autism spectrum. Many of us don’t have the knowledge or ability to be able to self regulate. We need help understanding that discipline actually is not a nasty word – it will help us ultimately if we understand its meaning. Some children on the autism spectrum will also exhibit signs for Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This diagnosis will further complicate the ability to follow rules and leads to many confrontational incidents mainly involving professionals and parents.



Avoiding Landmines

Jelibeans are really good at blaming other people if they're in trouble, and have problems taking responsibility for their actions, but TIP will help.

My eldest son is a great big red jelibean, with a heart of gold. He's training to be a Chef. I was horrified when he told me what he wanted to do, the thought that he was going to be in a hot kitchen surrounded by knives sent a cold chill down me.


When it all comes tumbling down

Many kids and adults on the spectrum don’t realise that every day they leave the comfort of their houses armed with dangerous weapons. Not weapons in the true sense of guns or knives but words. These too can be lethal and dangerous even life- threatening.

Go back to TIPs for a minute and imagine you are on the motorway, would you allow your child to drive an unsafe car with the risk of killing themselves? Of course not, yet thousands of us allow our kids to take risks because we’ve simply not taught them DYNAMIC DOMINOES.

Words are like bullets, they harm, injure and destroy people, families and onlookers. Words are powerful but with some jelibeans they just slip off the tongue soooooo easily!

There is a way of HALTING those bullets though. Guns/mouths and bullets/words are best kept safe by someone trained! Oh yeah right, so how is that possible?



We call meltdowns TSUNAMI'S, the anxiety and state of mind is similar to the slow steady emotional wave that overwhelms us and can leave devastation in it's wake. Some children live their lives going from one tsunami to another to another. Others experience them daily or weekly, for each jelibean the pattern is different. Let's explore further.