I feel like I spend half my life explaining this.
Tough love does not work on Autism.
Autistic meltdowns are not naughty behavior. Rewards and punishments to not affect Autistic behavior, because it is NOT willful behavior. Any educated person can tell the difference between a naughty child, and an Autistic meltdown. So please consider getting educated.
Hint: There is no gain to an autistic meltdown. It’s not about the coke, or the cookie, or the meal, or the computer game. And giving them a coke or a cookie or the meal they want or a computer game DOESN’T STOP THE RAGE. Whereas a spoilt brat will calm immediately, given what they want. Pretty simple.
When a person with Autism has a meltdown, it’s usually because they are suffering some form of sensory overload. They are not happy. They are not comfortable. They are not manipulating. They are not capable of rational thought. They are in pain. Emotional pain. And sometimes they will resort to self-harm for relief from that pain.
Try watching your child do that.
They do not need punishment. They need understanding and support. So do the people who care for them.
Sometimes they just need to be left in an empty room, with no sensory stimulation, to calm down. Depending on which person I talk to, I am either a horrible mother for shutting my child in a room and leaving him alone, OR I’m not a tough enough parent, else I wouldn’t have this problem.
When a child with diabetes blood sugar levels are all messed up, they can behave badly. Because blood sugar levels affect their mood. Because they are ill. I don’t see parents punishing them for their blood sugar levels. Nor do I hear well-meaning advice that if they were just tougher parents, then their child wouldn’t be diabetic.
It’s the same thing.
Try living with a time bomb that you can’t diffuse, because you never know when it’s going to go off. And then being constantly advised to just be a tougher parent. Learn about Autism Spectrum disorders before you give me advice. Oh, and just because your Autistic child likes paddle pops and it always makes them feel better, doesn’t mean mine will. For the record.
Your judgement is not required. Your support is greatly appreciated.