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How to Discipline a Special Needs Child (When He Doesn’t Understand)

Disciplining a child with special needs is more challenging than disciplining a typically developing child. That said, it is just as important,how to discipline a special needs child if not more so, to encourage appropriate behavior for your child. It is essential to hold special needs children to the same expectations as their typically developing peers as often as possible.
Discipline is not a punishment. It is a tool to be used to promote positive behaviors and decrease negative behaviors. It should be used as a means to encourage progress of the child across all aspects of their development. And while all children are different and demonstrate different behaviors as they grow, there are a few discipline techniques that are applicable for all special needs children.

Discipline Strategies for Special Needs Children:

1. Praise good behaviors, ignore bad behaviors (if possible). Cause and effect is one of the earliest concepts a child learns. If he learns that you give attention (even if it is to reprimand or physically stop him) when he reacts inappropriately, he will continue the poor behavior seeking the negative attention. Rather, it is beneficial to teach him that the good behaviors will result in the attention and praise he seeks. Read more

Talk to Me! 6 Ways to Promote Communication and Language

Having trouble getting your child to communicate?  The following 6 strategies will help facilitate communication and language in your baby or toddler. The main premise for these is two fold – first tempt, then wait. These strategies take some patience, both from you and your child, but most always stimulate communication, whether it be gestures, signs, words, or simple phrases. Try some of these “communication temptations” at home – and feel free to be creative!

Communication Temptations:

  1. Food: Grab one of your child’s favorite snacks and offer him a few pieces, then wait for your child to indicate he wants more. At the most basic level of communication, you can model a simple gesture, such as a point, to indicate “more.” If your child is already pointing, model a sign, word, or even simple phrase for your child to imitate. If he still grunts or points, do a hand-over-hand sign for “more.” Be sure to give him his reward right away so he makes a communication connection! Read more