Does your autistic child receive special treatment when he misbehaves?

We already know that our son is special. Not because of his disability, but because of his abilities.

Our other children have accepted that he gets a little extra attention when he has a public meltdown. We offer him more extracurricular activities than our girls between soccer, Boy Scouts and music lessons. We justify this to ourselves because we know he doesn’t have the same advantages as typical children in everyday life.

But where do you draw the line between giving extra attention and spoiling them?

We particularly struggle with this when he misbehaves. He is a little bit manipulative and will try almost anything to get out of a punishment.

Today I picked him up after school and his teacher told me that his bit not one boy, but two. Of course I was mortified. My sweet boy isn’t usually violent. She said “We try to give him special treatment, but…” I stopped her there. I told her that I don’t want him to be treated any differently than other children when he misbehaves.


Moment of truth here, sometimes we let our son get away with things our other children could never do.  It is certainly not intentional and definitely not fair.

Our parenting philosophy is that none of our children should get special treatment, but different treatment. They are all different and their disciplines should be individualized as well. What works best for him is taking away his favorite toys for a day, or restricting TV.

How do you handle disciplining your autistic child? Do you agree that they should get special treatment? Or just different treatment?