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LauraBelle
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13 May 2010, 9:27 pm

I'm a homeschool mom of and autistic teen and an autism advocate. I got a call about a mom who has her 9 year old son in a Christian school (my home church) who is getting spanked alot at school. The mom has tried to talk to them about more effective ways of dealing with her son, but they refuse to listen or go to classes, conferences, etc. to learn more about autism.

I would like to get some feedback on your thoughts on spanking an autistic child.

Blessings,

Laura



liloleme
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13 May 2010, 9:39 pm

Ill try to be nice....If they (the school) had any sense they would realize that if they have to do it A LOT than its not working! I dont believe in spanking any child, autistic or not....there are better ways of dealing with kids. Becoming physical comes from frustration and ignorance. She should put her child in public school and teach him about God or whatever at home! ARRRGGGG



CanadianRose
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13 May 2010, 9:47 pm

I will share my own experience with spanking (yep, I am not a perfect parent and have resorted to giving my own child a spanking.... :oops: )

It doesn't do a damn bit of good!

If anything - it makes his behaviour worse!! When resorting to spanking - my child does not stop doing the offending behaviour - he keeps at it - however, he then becomes more aggressive to me, his ABI Therapist and his little sister.

Spanking does not work.

If the school continues to do this - they will probably find that the child's behaviour also does not change and that the child becomes more aggressive.

The mum might be better off in the public school system. If they live in an area where the public schools are severely underfunded, they might want to choose a private school with administration and staff trained in special needs and autism.

Even though they are likely adherents or even members of this church (which runs the school), they might be better off getting their spiritual and religious guidance during Sunday service (assuming worship is on Sunday) and mid-week bible studies, camps, etc. I am not trying to denegrate your home church - but sometimes who need to get some needs fulfilled in one place (in this case, spiritual needs at their home church) and other needs filled elsewhere (in this case, appropriate education and behaviour management in the classroom).

If I were this parent - I would have zero tolerance for corporal punishment in the church or at school.

There are better behavioural plans of care which would be more effective.



LauraBelle
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14 May 2010, 1:44 am

Thanks for your perspectives... I will go into a little more detail since I probably should've done that in the first place. :) Since I'm on the autism spectrum myself, I sometimes leave out the important parts! lol

The mom just pulled her child out of the public school because of other issues. The schools around here have little training in working with autistic students (which is why I decided to homeschool 7 years ago). I don't know if she is a church-goer or not but this church school has a really good reputation, for neurotypical's anyway. I didn't respond to spanking as a child (or beating either) and neither did my daughter. We only spanked her once and it didn't work for us either. This is a single mom and she works full-time as a nurse and has no way to homeschool her child. I'm guessing he requires constant supervision. She is just at a loss for what to do. Just as I was years ago. I was very blessed that I was able to bring my daughter home to learn. Needless to say, I'm very upset about this and am trying to gather information to go to the director of the school and show them that spanking is not the solution in this situation. I've seen research on this and now I can't find it. UGH.

Laura :)



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14 May 2010, 8:22 am

I agree with CanadianRose - when I have spanked my aspie daughter, it has made her behavior worse and she has gotten more aggressive. Spanking, no matter how hard, tends to just enrage her. I stopped spanking her a long time ago when I realized it NEVER helps in her case. And in my NT son's case, threats work and I never seem to have to reach the spanking stage. So there you go.

I think a parent's choice for education is a very personal and individual one, and I believe there are pros and cons to public school, private/Christian school, and homeschool. My children both attend a Christian school but the school does not believe they should be the ones to administer corporal punishment; there is never any spanking in the school. Even the Christian school I went to as a child, while they did believe in corporal punishment, always called the parents first to see if they would rather come and administer it, or if they did not want their child spanked. I would be much more comfortable with that than a school that just spanks, regardless of the parents' opinion regarding spanking.

I am very sorry for this mother and her poor child to be caught in this situation. I hope you/she will be able to find the research to present to the school, and I hope they will listen and modify their discipline!



annotated_alice
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14 May 2010, 8:33 am

8O I am completely shocked. I had no idea this kind of thing still goes on at schools.

If anyone at my children's school ever laid a hand on them for any reason, I would have the police involved so fast it would make their heads spin. To me this is completely unacceptable! :evil:



Tequila
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14 May 2010, 9:54 am

I wouldn't mind being spanked.

This is the Adult Autism Issues forum, right? ;)



pat2rome
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14 May 2010, 9:55 am

Wow... I did not know schools still did that. I think it's perfectly fine for the parent (in other words, NOT the school employees) to spank their kid, just as long as they make sure he knows why he was spanked.


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14 May 2010, 11:06 am

I agree whole-heartedly with the other posters - spanking does not work, only makes things worse and should not be tolerated.

A question I would ask is if the spanking is being done by just the child's main teacher or does it come from more than one staff member? Possibly it is that particular teacher who has little or no tolerance for the child's needs and behaviors. Maybe there is another teacher at that school that would be a better fit. I understand how desparate it feels to think that you have no option for a place for your child to go. Maybe exploring the possibility of being with another teacher could help this family so the child could remain at that school and give the poor mother a little peace in her heart.



mu_girl05
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14 May 2010, 11:19 am

I think spanking works for some children but definitely not for all. I have spanked my son before if other methods (rewards, taking away privileges, etc) have not been effective for a certain behavior. I never do it when I am angry, and I make sure I sit down with him after he is calm and talk about it with him. However, I very rarely have to spank him. He is (usually) very well-behaved and loving. The school doing the spanking, and doing it often, however is another story.



Kiley
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14 May 2010, 12:00 pm

I've spanked my children and it did help their behavior, but I have very specific rules for myself about how and when to do it. I do not approve of a school or stranger doing it. I certainly would not pay money to a school that was doing that to any child.

My rules for spanking are:

It should be gentle, a swat to startle and get a child's attention.

It should only be done when the situation is very serious and life threatening and only after other methods have been tried and failed.

Never do it when angry.


I didn't spank a lot, but let me give some examples of when I did it and found it helpful. My eldest was a runner. He'd make a break for it any chance he got. We lived on a busy road and moving wasn't an option. We had special locks on the doors and the windows nailed shut to keep him in, but getting from the house to the car was very dangerous especially while trying to keep all three children safe without another adult to help. Time outs did not work at all as my son had no concept of them and would just wander off. (in many situations toy time outs worked well). He was verbal so we talked about how dangerous it was to run into the busy road, but it just didn't matter to him. We tried those leash things but he'd just scream and get out of them.

So, as a last resort, to save his life, I began to swat his bottom when he tried to run off. I did it in a kind way explaining that I loved him too much to let him get run over by the cars.

There were a few other dangerous behaviors that the children engaged in that resulted in a few swats. I can't remember the last time one of them had a swat, other than just joking around. They are old enough to understand things better so there is no need.



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14 May 2010, 12:16 pm

I was spanked out of anger, as a child. It didn't work. I took it out, on my peers. If they weren't treating me right, I'd get into fights, with them. That's what I was taught. If somebody makes me angry, I must hurt them. I'm glad that I'm not like that, today.


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DW_a_mom
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14 May 2010, 12:26 pm

I would say that this is not the right school for that particular child. I would not expect a private school to alter their practices, so the only choice is to find a different school.

I would never send any of my children to a school like that. It sounds like they go against much that I believe in.

A school's reputation has little to do with how it will work for any one child. If this child is finding himself subject to frequent discipline, then the school isn't working for him. Strikes me as pretty obvious.

I realize the parent has limited options, but she needs to pull her son out. Now.


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liloleme
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14 May 2010, 1:24 pm

Tequila wrote:
I wouldn't mind being spanked.

This is the Adult Autism Issues forum, right? ;)


:lol: :P



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14 May 2010, 1:25 pm

Okay, good - glad I'm not the only one that laughed at that. :D