So, I asked a couple of the parents of the OT kids I have on my caseload who have the most well behaved kids with autism I have ever seen. I want to share with you some of the things that they have conveyed to me.
1. Discipline is different for every child.
2. Be consistent, keep discipline going. It's not always easy!
3. Keep trying for what works.
4. Yes, you will be frustrated and yes you will cry.
5. An example of what was done in a certain situation: My son kept wanting to throw cake at a birthday party at the skating rink. He was being such a handful and it was clear he was overstimulated. Finally, in frustration, I let him throw it on the ground. Then I made him pick it up and throw it away. When he wanted to get another piece, I told him no, that he threw away the only piece that he would get.
6. We did not spank any of our children.
7. I messed up a lot but learned from it, for example, I had read something about when a child misbehaves, taking away toys and then sending him to his room, where there were more toys (not much of a punishment). So, when my son misbehaved, I made him sit in the bathtub. This didn't work out so well so I never did it again.
8. It is absolutely ok to say NO! If after my son was told NO two times and didn't listen, I got off my butt and moved him away from whatever he was doing. Yelling at at kid across the room to stop doing something does little unless you get up and make them do it or stop what you don't want them to do.
9. One time we stopped at a McDonald's on a trip and my son didn't want to leave the playground. He started to pitch a fit so my husband put him under his arm and carried him out kicking and screaming. We did NOT beg, we did NOT plead, we just removed him.
10. Pay attention to your child. NO phones at the dinner table for anyone, for example. We talk to each other, ask questions, etc.
11. You are your child's PARENT, not his/her best friend.
I know that it is hard and frustrating to discipline a child with special needs, heck, disciplining any child is hard, but it can be done. I hope these tips and examples are helpful.