#Autism Parenting: Trying to break bad habits is very difficult

I’ve been talking lately about how has reverted back to pointing with his middle finger. This is something he used to do when he was younger but we finally moved past it and it’s been many years since he’s done this. 

Since this started up again, I’ve been trying to snag a picture of him doing this so I can show him what it looks like and why it’s a problem. 

I finally was fast enough today and while it’s a bit blurry, I think you’ll see what it is I’m trying to break him of doing. The only reason I even caught this image today is because he was doing this constantly throughout the day. 

He doesn’t realize he’s doing this but the world around him takes notice and I just don’t want him to find himself in trouble someday because people won’t understand. 


Gavin was pointing at the Xbox and asking to play it when I grabbed this picture.
I’m open to suggestions that don’t revolve around removing his middle finger. I’ve already thought of that and figured it wasn’t the best idea.. lol

Seriously though, I’ve thought about putting a bandage on his pointer finger or even painting his nail, as a means of physically reminding him which finger he should be using. 

I’m totally open to ideas here.. 😕

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  • Darcyd

    No help from me because my kids flip each other off all the time & know they shouldn’t be doing it! 🙂 For my kids it’s not un unconscious thing.

  • Tina Banks

    My son does this also I thought it was unusual hmm

  • Joy Brieske

    My lil Girl does this tooU0001f338

  • Carin L. Roylance

    My son does is do. He is 8 now and has started doing it a little less. Is this a motor development thing?

  • The Autism Dad

    Ya know, I sorta feel like it might be but with me son, he stopped like 10 years ago and just recently started up again.

  • Leigh Ann Reid

    What about having him use his whole hand or two fingers (like a flight attendant)? At least that way you don’t have to worry about someone taking the gesture the wrong way.

  • The Autism Dad

    That’s not a bad idea. It’s a matter of him remembering to do so

  • Carin L. Roylance

    Interesting. So many little things it might be nice to know the “why” behind.

  • Leigh Ann Reid

    I totally get it. Maybe when he points using his middle finger, ignore him, but when he uses his index finger, two or more fingers, you answer him? Just a thought, my son is a whiner (at 13) and we have to remember to ignore him when he whines cuz it just reinforces it.

  • Beth n

    Good answer Leigh Ann. And maybe reward him with an m&m or a little snack when he is doing it right. Good luck my daughter went through a phase like that when she was six. It was hard not to giggle. But I know it will get better. I think it’s a phase

  • Avia Batya

    ::hugs:: I had a presumably NT Principal do that throughout at least one lecture in middle . Good luck

  • Avia Batya

    My mother flatout told me what that meant in plain and direct English…I guess might forget though.