Friday, February 20, 2009

Update to discipline post

In the comments section to the discipline post, I wrote the following and thought it was important enough to publish as a regular post as it clarifies the original one:

There's no question we want/plan to provide structure and discipline for Quinn. The question is HOW. One of Quinn's therapists once wrote in a report that he requires "literally thousands" of repetitions to learn something. This is true. He does not yet say "mama", and only about a month ago indicated that he knew what "mama" meant by looking in my direction when someone said "Where's mama?" So many discipline techniques require a higher level of cognitive ability and understanding of communication than Quinn yet demonstrates. He is about 2.5, but is cognitively around 1 year old. I don't think many 1-year-olds have chores yet! Even having Quinn help pick up his own blocks requires constant supervision and reminding - i.e. sitting right next to him, putting the block in his hand and saying "put in" and offering praise for EACH block. We've been doing this for many months, and we're still at the one-block-at-a-time stage. I know his abilities will increase, and I see the development every day. But regardless, figuring out effective strategies for teaching him anything, including discipline, is very hard.


Anonymous said...

With Matt what would work one day may not work the next. Or it would work for a while and then...nothing. It's like trying to break in a new kid all the time and it is hard and confusing and stressful. So many people just don't get that aspect of having a mentally challenged kiddo.

Sarah said...

Yes, exactly!

the other lion said...

I hear ya, ladies! And sometimes he just does the behavior anyway. For example, he unplugs his DVD player and then cries because he knows I will take it away (he says as much), but he does it EVERY TIME.

A big part of it does depend on language. I guess I would use photo-quality pictures as often as possible in order to show him what to do. With kids that have language problems, it is important to focus on what you want. So rather than saying, "No throw or no hit" (because the last thing they hear is 'hit') you could say "Hands in lap" and physically show him what that means either by hand-over-hand or with a photo. At his developmental age, though, distractions may be the best approach.

Eating out is SO HARD and it's my favorite hobby, so I do understand. It's tough to handle behaviors in public. As Punkin has gotten older, it has gotten a little easier, though. A little. =)

Just remember that you're not alone and we're all rooting for you!

Mrs. Smith said...

I am so happy that I have all of these blogs to read as I begin my journey of the fragile x lifestyle. Sarah, you seem like such a great mom. I look forward to hearing about what works for your little guy.

TheXMom said...

Discipline has been the most challenging part of raising my kids and I still haven't gotten it figured out. Smarty Pants and Renegade Doodle both exhibit a great deal of aggression which has to be stopped. I agree with a The Other Lion, focusing on what you want is the best approach to start with... Think of it this way... if were a typically functioning 1yr old how would you handle it?