Discipline is a hot-button issue that meets with many strongly held and divergent opinions. I’ll take a direct approach and speak as a clinician as that will be the best way for me to start a discussion.
In behavioral terminology discipline is more typically called “punishment.” Clinically, punishment is defined as, “a consequence that decreases the probability of subsequence occurrence of the behavior it follows,” (Cooper et al, 1987). This is desirable in the case of disruptive behavior. However, note that punishment is defined by its effect on behavior and not by its intention. That is, I might remove a privilege due to disruptive behavior but that alone does not make it punishment; only if the likelihood of that disruptive behavior occurring again decreases is it actually punishment. An example will be helpful: Read full post »
With patients and families whose needs are 24/7, it seems a nurse’s work in never done. We had the chance to sit down with our nurses here at Seattle Children’s Autism Center to find out what a “day in the life” is like for them. First, let’s introduce you to them. Read full post »
Words Used to Describe Behavior: Autism’s Own Language
If you live with autism, you know that it almost has its own culture, its own language. Think of the many terms we – and others – use to describe our kids and their behavior. For example, if your child has a school-to-home communication notebook, you may find that sometimes it comes home with a report using descriptors that you feel don’t match those you use for your child. Even for children who are verbal, it’s important for parents to communicate effectively with the numerous people who interact with our kids on a daily basis. Read full post »
Toilet training a child requires great amounts of effort and patience. Toilet training a child on the autism spectrum presents additional difficulties that can stretch your efforts and patience even further. Fortunately, there are several well-researched training regimens that can facilitate this task. This doesn’t mean that the training will be easy or will be completed over a single weekend; however, following the guidelines presented by these programs will let you know that you’re on the right track. Read full post »
Feeding a young child can be a very exciting and highly gratifying time in a caregiver’s life. As a mother of two, some of my favorite memories are the quiet moments of breastfeeding my babies and later watching them grow into little adult eaters! I’m sure we can all recall the first time we offered a bite of solid food to our little ones. What excitement and thrill we experienced watching them succeed at this important milestone. My time helping families and children with feeding difficulties tells a much different story. When the process goes awry and children begin to refuse to eat or drink, it can create some of the most stressful experiences at home. Eating is such a basic biologic need for all of us, and when this need presents differently in our little ones, it can be quite scary.
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