How to Discipline a Child with Special needs

Most children are easy enough to discipline when parents know what their children’s weaknesses are and those children are old enough to know differences between right and wrong. However, when disciplining a child with special needs, it’s important to know your child well and understand his specific needs in life for the discipline to work. Each child with special needs may be different, but it is still important to teach them right from wrong. Also, as a parent or caregiver, showing them the way the world around them work is important as it will allow them live a fulfilling life.

The most important thing that a parent needs to know when it comes to disciplining a child with special needs is what makes their child tick. Knowing what will motivate good behavior is important when it is time to show your child the results of what they have done. Taking away something that they do not play with or that they do not like will only show them there are not any results. Ensure that you and your child have established a clear set of rules together, so that there are no questions about what he should not be doing.

Once clear rules are established, rewards and punishments can be given on how your child behaves. A rewards chart may help in disciplining a child with special needs when they are good because it offers a visual aid for them to look to. Praise will also go a long way in showing them when they have done something good. When rules are broken, however, a child with special needs may be given a reminder of the rules because, sometimes, they may not remember as well as other children. If he or she continues to misbehave, time-out should be used away from the toys or television time that they enjoy the most.

Disciplining a child with special needs means being firm and consistent, however. Some parents do not take this into consideration and makes discipline a chore for the parents instead of a learning experience for their child. Making sure the same rules apply all the time and not backing down when your child needs to be in time-out assures there are no mixed signals being given. A child with special needs must learn the importance of right and wrong, and the lessons must begin at home for your child to be able to interact in a manner similar to his peers.

Sources:

PARENTING Special Needs – Discipline and the Special Needs Child: An Act of Love