Dicipline in the Lost and Tired household is extremely important. Many kids on the autism spectrum benefit from strict routine, predictably, structure, boundaries and dicipline.
Gavin is our oldest and most complex child. There are so many pieces to him that it’s extremely difficult to know what to do or how to dicipline him.
The problem is that nothing works more than a few times.
We have tried so many different things and while many of them worked, once or twice, they failed the test of time. The only thing that we have ever had success with is oatmeal. Basically, we swap out oatmeal for whatever meal he’s supposed to have.
This was suggested by MST. And at home behavioral modification professional.
We aren’t withholding food from him. We are simply eliminating his abity to choose what he has at that meal. This is the only thing to ever really affect him.
However, I believe that oatmeal is losing its effectiveness, at least in its current form.
As of right now, if Gavin is given oatmeal for a substitution on his dinner menu, he still gets everything else. For example, if we had pizza, root beer and chips for dinner, Gavin would have oatmeal, root beer and chips instead.
We took this approach because it used to be enough and we were never withholding food from him.
However, anymore, Gavin makes it a point to dance around, telling us how much it doesn’t bother him to have to establish oatmeal because he still gets everything else. When I heard this tonight, you don’t know how badly I wanted to just beat my head into the wall.
It’s like he’s flaunting it in our face that ot doesn’t bother him anymore. I used look at it as a positive thing, like he’s learning to accept responsibility for his actions but I think that was wishful thinking.
Now we are having to reexamine our approach in order to tweak it or even scrap it all together.
The problem is that Gavin simple doesn’t care when more traditional dicipline approaches are used. We have to be creative without being cruel and that can be a very fine line. However, whether it’s oatmeal, or some other consequence, it’s nothing compared to what will happen to him when he’s older and presenting with the same behaviors. I don’t want him to go to jail or get arrested.
That’s why we try so hard to teach him right from wrong and that actions have consequences.
At times, in fact, most of the time, it feels like a losing battle because Gavin just doesn’t get it. Perhaps, he just doesn’t care. I want to believe that if we just continue to work with him that one day it will just click.
While I remain cautiously optimistic, the reality is that if we haven’t made any progress by now, we may never make any progress. Gavin is hardwired very differently than most other people, and while that’s not always a bad thing, in this case, I fear it is.
**Thanks for reading**
-Lost and Tired
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This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.