Jump to content

autistic child caught stealing
punishment?


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Bob-the-skull

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

Ds1 is 8 and has high functioning autism, he is in a mainstream class currently without support ( recent diagnosis so still getting paper work and red tape completed)

This morning I gave both the boys canteen money but when we got to ds1's class we discovered ds1 had lost some. I as checking his bag to see if it fell in there and he got funny when i started to unzip a side pocket. In the side pocket was some Lego bits that I know we don't have. When i questioned him he went in to a meltdown and I made him take the pieces to his teacher who made him put them away. When I left he was hiding being some desks.

He lost his canteen money today but I don't know if I should do anything else. Lego is his main asd obsession and we have a small truck load at home but he has never taken others before.

#2 frizzle

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:57 AM

That's enough I would think. I wouldn't go further. Are you using some social stories with him? I would be concentrating on routines, what's acceptable etc and if he did it again have a consequence worked out in advance so you aren't doing it on the fly like today. I definitely wouldn't drag it out so to speak with the change in going back to school etc already going on.

#3 FeralZombieMum

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:36 AM

He has already been punished and by punishing him further, you'll just confuse him, or it won't click with why you're punishing him.

Punishment should be more about natural consequence - he'll learn better this way.
In his mind, he might not have thought it was 'stealing', but he might have thought of it as 'borrowing'.

I don't think taking his canteen money off him was the right thing to do - you've mucked up part of his routine for the day, and it wasn't related to the lego. (ie wasn't a natural consequence.) I know what it's like in the heat of the moment though, and probably would have done the same thing myself, then realised later on that it was the wrong thing for me to do. wink.gif

I would be focusing on why he took it. Was it lego from school or from another child?
Does he like to have things in his pockets to fiddle with? Does he need a small toy to have when he has no one to play with in the school playground? Find the reason for why he had it, and replace it with something that's acceptable for him to have.

It could be that he placed them in his shorts pocket during playtime and he didn't intend to bring it home, but forgot about them and accidentally brought them home and was then going to bring them back. (ie maybe they were making stuff and he wanted to use these bits, but didn't need them yet, so placed them in his pocket, then forgot about them and realised at home he still had them - so he put them in his bag with the intention of returning them.)

Social stories are also a good idea.

#4 baddmammajamma

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

Damn computer ate my edit! mad.gif

I echo what frizzle has suggested. I wouldn't push any further with the punishment under the circumstances you've described. I think Zombie Mum raises some great points as well -- undesirable behavior should be met with natural consequences, rather than something totally unrelated (taking canteen money to "punish" for taking Lego -- that's confusing!)

Social stories can be very valuable in setting expectations (for use in new situations) or reminding childen of what should be done as a matter of routine (spelling out what things need to happen when arriving/unpacking at school). If you pop over to the SNs board, I'm sure several of us there could go into greater detail about things that have worked well with school aged kids.

In terms of classroom behavior management, what has worked very well for our daughter (this is under the direction of our psychologist, who is also a board certified behavioral analyst) is developing a simple sheet of performance expectations at school (3 or 4 core things). She has had a hand in the drafting to enforce the notion of ownership.

If she demonstrates good behavior (asking my teacher for help when I have a question or am upset / using my brain to try new things / listening to my teacher / etc.), then she gets a small token for that period. If she collects X tokers/stickers, then she earns 10 minutes toward the end of the day to do creative writing, which is her passion.

A key success factor is that the rewards for good behavior at school be tied to school and that they be somewhat immediate (rather than "If you are good all week, I'll take you to the Lego museum.")

When kids have obsessions, it actually gives you an opportunity to leverage their "currency." I imagine with a little thoughtful consideration, you & your son's teacher could come up with something that helps reinforce general "good citizen" rules and also helps motivate your son.

Are you working with a psychologist or behavioral specialist at present? If not, I would strongly suggest that you get a pro on your side who can help you anticipate challenging episodes and give you some guidance on how to address them.

Edited by baddmammajamma, 05 February 2013 - 09:55 AM.


#5 Bob-the-skull

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

I can't be sure, and I know ds1 won't talk about it, but he most likely took the pieces because we don't have those ones. It wasn't a mistake as ds1 wouldn't think to put it in his bag to take back and we have had mistakes like that over the years and he knows that he doesn't get in trouble for that, he just has to apologise to the teacher (eg sorry Ms x I accidently left this in my pocket).

the canteen money was a random treat and not routine, but he knows that bad behaviour doesn't get treats so I didn't feel I could give it to him without saying what he did was ok.

This is a very new diagnosis for us so I don't really know much about the social stories in truth, we have never had a problem like this as ds1 can be obsessive about rules, although thinking about it his meltdown and extreme reaction may have something to do with that as he knows people that steal get in trouble from the police (his favorite Lego sets are the city ones and in particular the police/robbers ones)

#6 Bob-the-skull

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

oh I should add I didn't go overboard with the money thing, I was already holding what he hadn't dropped so I just said he could have it another day

#7 frizzle

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:23 AM

It sounds like you did your best and it was all ok so I wouldn't worry. Are you able to access some psych services? You can use Medicare mental health plan and you are also entitled to 20 specialist appointments until he is a teenager, I can't remember the exact number or age sorry. I really think its vital to have a good psych on your team. Our old one left the clinic we used and we have had a terrible time finding a good one, but have just found one right near where we live and close to school, it's such a relief, they work on these exact issues with you and his teachers. I couldn't do it without ours.

#8 i-candi

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:29 PM

A child with Autism needs social stories, constancy and understanding.

If it happens again do exactly as you have done, again and again and again.

#9 unicycle

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

Hi! I really struggle with being creative enough to figure a natural consequence in advance, let alone on the spot. Can people suggest a range of natural consequences for the OP's particular situation as related to us  so I can get an idea how it would work?
Thanks




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Why we tend to hold our babies on our left side

On which side of your body do you carry or cradle your baby? If you answered "left" then you're not alone.

Taking fish oil in pregnancy may prevent childhood asthma

Women who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements (fish oil supplements) in pregnancy reduced the risk of their children developing asthma by almost one third.

Mum, dad and son all share a birthday

Luke and Hillary Gardner never have a problem remembering each other's birthday.

Mum shares the bittersweet truth about pregnancy after miscarriage

A mother's candid and heartfelt reflections about pregnancy after miscarriage are providing comfort to other women.

16 simple ways to make your baby smarter

What's the best way to mentally stimulate your baby? It doesn't take a genius - just a loving, involved parent.

Your blood pressure could predict baby's sex even before conception

The average blood pressure of mother could suggest a baby's sex before it even exists, a study has found.

The breastfeeding photo that says it all

Ashley Rockill was lucky enough to have her birth photographer on hand to capture a precious moment.

13 pregnancy superstitions from across the globe

In honour of Black Friday, let's explore 13 of the strangest pregnancy superstitions from across the globe.

I'm a stay-at-home mum, and I'm sending my son to daycare

When you become a mum you give birth to a beautiful baby, but you also give birth to guilt.

Mum gives birth to 'Incredible Hulk' 6.4kg baby

An American mother was shocked when she gave to a 6.4kg (14lb 1oz) baby last month.

Mum demands $530 for daughter's shoes after playdate

A mum has made a pretty bold move by demanding $532 for a pair of her daughter's shoes that were damaged at another family's house. 

A toddler's guide to helping around the house

If a toddler was to write a guide to 'help' you with the household chores, it would go something like this.

The breast pump you can use on the go

The game-changing breast pump promises to make life easier all round.

'Mum, don't be mad but I've just had a baby'

A teen mum has shared her birth story – and her shock at not knowing she was pregnant until her baby's head emerged.

No, Senator, childcare workers don't just wipe noses and stop fights

The only thing childcare workers spend their time doing is "wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other"? Not quite.

'I wanted to be the birth mum so much'

When people say "aren't you lucky that there are two of you, that you can switch?" I give them a tight smile.

6 myths about breastfeeding toddlers

Although breastfeeding a toddler isn't for everybody, if you choose to nurse beyond babyhood you can expect some strong reactions.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

From our network

Your child's fine motor skills: what you should know

There is less of a focus on fine motor skills, but they're just as important as others. (SPONSORED)

5 ways music helps your toddler's development

There are at least five other compelling reasons to get musical around your toddler. (SPONSORED)

 

Baby Names

Unusual Celeb Baby Names

Click through the gallery to read the details and see some of the most memorable monikers in show biz families.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.