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My son is 6 and has been diagnosed with high functioning autism

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  • stacey782stacey782 Member Posts: 3
    My son is 6 and has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. His behaviour and attitude can switch at the flick of a switch. If we tell him off or say he needs time out when he is naughty (especially whilst out) he runs and then it turns into a game of hide and seek. The problem is he is too quick and then he gets bored and wanders off on his own the last time this happened we were at the local zoo and I had to get staff members to look for him as I also have a 4 year old who is showing no symptoms. He has also started to become physically and verbally aggressive especially towards me (mum) and his younger brother. At school he is well behaved the majority of the time. He is slowly making friends (in year 2) but is socially awkward. School are very good at supporting him whilst he is there however we have no support at home as we had a diagnosis but have seen no other professionals since and J is not statemented. Any help would be gratefully received as not sure what else to do with him.
  • ParentingAdvisorParentingAdvisor Member Posts: 16
    Dear Stacey, The fact that your son behaves well at school is very good news because it proves that he knows the right way to behave and has the impulse-control to behave properly for hours at a time. If he can do it at school, he can learn to do it at home and when he is out in public with the family.
    From what you wrote, it sounds as if telling your son off is not effective at improving his behaviour. So instead, focus on noticing and mentioning what he is doing right or almost right. Make sure to praise him many times a day, whenever he does what he’s told, whenever he is not aggressive, whenever he stays by your side in public, whenever he’s sharing with his brother, etc. This strategy of Descriptive Praise will help him to start seeing himself as more cooperative, more self-reliant and more considerate. The more Descriptive Praise you give him, the sooner his behaviour will improve.
    In order for your son to get into the habit of behaving well outside the home, you need to focus on getting him into the habit of behaving at home. Here is another effective strategy. Whenever he wants something, if you would ordinarily say yes, don’t just say yes, but first have him do something to earn whatever he is asking for. For example, if he says “Will you read me a story?”, you could say “Yes, after you put your clothes in the laundry basket”. Because children ask for things all day long, soon your house will be immaculate! And your son will be learning cooperation.
    For his safety, if he is likely to run away or wander off in public, you will need to either hold his hand very firmly or use the type of “reins” that are used for much younger children. I’m sure he won’t like this, but his safety is the most important thing.
    After you have been using these strategies for a few weeks and are seeing some improvements, please write back and I can give you a few more strategies to focus on.

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