View Full Version : what would you do?

Kat in Co
03-23-2011, 09:52 AM
Dear Friends,
I don't know what to do. DD is age 9 (10 in april) high functioning autism. A few days ago she spit on my bath towel - just took a whole mouthfull of water and spit it out directly and intentionally onto my towel. I found this very obvious very wet spot, and confronted her, she admited to doing it and said that she did it because she was mad at me but couldnt remember why she was mad. She is not usually like this. She has never done anything like this before. I took away her favorite doll, made her do a little bit of extra chores, too away her screen time for a couple of days.
Last night after she was asleep, I found another similar spot on my towel again! It was very late, I did not wake her. This morning when I spoke to her about it, she denies doing it. There are no other children in the house who could have done this.
So. What do I do? What do I say? Is there a FIAR book for this? (Or, failing that, another book, maybe?) All ideas welcome!

03-23-2011, 10:01 AM
My 13dd has high functioning autism & Asperger syndrome. She acted similarly to your daughter at age 9-10 years of age. Expressing anger, frustrations, disappointment is difficult for children and especially children on the spectrum. For my daughter, I am her everything. When she would get mad she wanted me to know but didn't want me to be mad at her. She was afraid I would go away. She has since figured out that it's ok to be mad at me and that no matter what I am not going away. Around age 9, I would find papers left on my pillow of drawings she made of her being angry at me. At 10, when she was able to find her voice the began writing letters and notes. At age 13 she has found her verbal voice. :hcry:

(note: I have saved every drawing and every letter because it encourages ME on how far she has come.)

I can give you a list of books that you may find encouraging and helpful if you would like.

Hugs to you.

03-23-2011, 10:03 AM
Honestly? I wouldn't even think twice about it, I'd just wash the towel.

03-23-2011, 10:10 AM
So I was thinking more about this and thought I would explain more about what I meant. I have an HFA kid too. And he went through a ROUGH stage at around 8-9. I would usually remind him of how we expected him to act and remind him that he is responsible for his actions...and then go on like nothing happened. Usually bad times come in spurts. A bad week followed by a great month, etc.

03-23-2011, 10:21 AM
I don't understand why she got 3 punishments.

1. doll taken away
2. extra chores
3. loss of screen time for DAYS (not one night)

My kids don't have autism so does she get 3 punishments instead of 1 because she has HFA? My kids would have gotten one.

I would have my child put that towel into laundry and replace it with a new, clean towel. I would have only given one consequence - probably the extra chore and I would try to have it still relate to the towel. Maybe wipe down the bathroom sink, or fold a load of towels.

I would also communicate that it's okay to get mad. I would COMMEND her for not spitting water at a person - that showed wisdom and self-control. The towel, she felt, was a safe outlet. I would ask for an apology and I would encourage her to communicate when she's mad at me. Give her suggestions and examples of what is acceptable and finish with a nice "I will always love you. I may not love your choices, but I will always love you" and a hug.

Carol S
03-23-2011, 10:22 AM
I think I would tell her that it's okay for her to tell me when she's mad at me, and then have her wash a load of towels. I don't think I would do any loss of privileges.

03-23-2011, 10:46 AM
I am asking for your post to be moved out of Family Room and into Special Needs.

The moms in that room can be more helpful and encouraging. They understand what is be asked and can sympathize. There are many moms here on the boards with spectrum kiddos.


Gail in NY
03-23-2011, 11:27 AM
I think I would tell her that it's okay for her to tell me when she's mad at me, and then have her wash a load of towels. I don't think I would do any loss of privileges.


I do not have any special needs dc, but this sounds reasonable to me.

Cindy in CA
03-23-2011, 11:39 AM
Sorry, that punishment is very very harsh, and IMHO doesn't fit the crime. I think the over punishment made her angrier and is the reason she did it again, and now is scared of being punished and may be lying.
If a child admits to a mistake, it is a first time offense and understand her/his wrong doing, I personally would let it go...the first time, I would have her clean up any mess and change out the towel.

Sometimes making a huge deal out of a little thing, makes a little thing into a huge deal.


Kat in Co
03-23-2011, 12:21 PM
Keep em coming, I am learning.

03-23-2011, 01:17 PM
Kat, if she is having difficulty expressing her emotions, perhaps provide her a non threatening way to do this would help her,

How about a weekly calendar with large blocks for each day, make several round faces and make each one a different level of happy to sad. Have you ever seen the one used in doctor's offices for children to express pain. Something like this, only happy to sad, not
pain free to most pain ever.

Then she can put her face on the calendar each day, you can make a time to look at it with her, maybe as part of her bedtime routine, you can talk about it, and get some insight to her feelings.
She is angry with you. OR if she was my ds, I would say she liked the way the spot looked and wanted to see it again! And she simply couldn't resist trying again.

Kat in Co
03-24-2011, 02:56 PM
Thank you all so much. You guys are right, I am over punishing her. I knew I was off track, and thanks to you, I am set right again.
Esther I like that idea of the smiley faces, I am going to be doing that starting tonight.:)
Tracy, Yes! Please send me the book list!
Again, a big thank you for each of your answers.