Is spanking a special needs child ok?

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Sharaya - posted on 04/15/2010

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My older sister has Down Syndrome. Both her and I got spanked growing up and it was fine. They're not too different from regular kids when it comes to knowing whats right and wrong. With special needs kids, you just need to tell them over and over and over why you're having to spank them. They need to know its because you love them and want the best for them, not because you want to hurt them. My sister always knew when she was doing something wrong and understood why she was getting spanked. I can say with confidence that if she had NOT gotten spanked, she would have grown up thinking she could get away with anything. Spanking an autistic kid is NOT abuse. Not if they know what they did wrong and why they're being spanked. Yes, you probably need to explain it to them 100x more than to a kid w/o special needs, but I don't think its wrong AT ALL. I think its necessary.

Kylie - posted on 04/14/2010

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spanking an autistic child is abusive. Tell his father to keep his hands to himself and get educated on autism and positive discipline. It's unacceptable. Give him this to read too http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100412/hl...

I've had it will all these spanking threads on COM..its upsetting >:(

Katie - posted on 04/15/2010

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Spanking ANY child is never okay!! The analogy I use to explain this to adults is, "If you screwed up at work, would you allow your boss to smack your butt as a form of punishment?" NO! So why do it to a child that can't understand 1/10 of concept of action/consequence?
There are so many other ways to discipline a child (spanking is a lazy parents way of disciplining because it gets immediate results but ultimately hurts a child) that take more time and effort but are so much better for a child overall.

Jamie - posted on 04/15/2010

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Spanking is almost never effective in the long run... It can be detrimental, especially with special needs children.



Autistic children in particular have a difficult time reading emotions of other people and their senses are often overloaded so they behave "difficultly" a lot of the time. It's important for your ex husband to realize that his son doesn't process information in the same way a non-autistic child does, so he may understand spanking even less, or it may hurt him even more than it does a typical child.



What autistic children need are safe, predictable environments that they can feel like they have some measure of control in... this can help a lot of times with difficult behaviors. It's also helpful to remember that many autistic children know what is going on but cannot control their bodies or their sensory perceptions, many autistic people are trapped inside bodies with broken senses. Sometimes it physically hurts them to be touched, or looking at a person's face causes so much confusion visually they simply prefer to avoid it if at all possible. A lot of people with autism like to focus on one activity in which they can control, focus on, and feel normal (video games, technical drawings, a particular tv show, etc.).



The best course of action would be to explain to him what he's done wrong (if anything) and try to help him focus his energies in other areas. Sometimes the best a parent can do is to just cope with tantrums and fits. I hope his dad and his family are able to come to the realization that it is difficult at best to raise an autistic child, but they will not help him, nor will they get any joy from watching him grow if they continue to use corporal punishment. Many parents who spank their child with special needs are unable to cope with certain behaviors because they don't know why the child does what he does... often times those children end up in homes as adults.

Danielle - posted on 04/15/2010

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As a mother of a child within the autism spectrum I am honestly appalled that anyone would even think of spanking their child that is effected by that kind of a situation. I sure hope there is karma in this world.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

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Nicole - posted on 04/15/2010

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Sorry ladies, but this is a hot topic and obviously some of you are stepping on each others' toes here because several of the posts have been flagged. I truly hope the original poster got some good advice from what was commented, but until we can all get along, this thread will be closed to further comments.

Kryss - posted on 04/15/2010

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I read some of these ppl post and they seem to put children and adults in the same mind. comparing a child to an adult situation, is impossble bc when we are children we respond as CHILDREN when we are adults with good raising we usually respond as an adult...and besides this mother is searching for information...i think some of it is going off subject as in the other threads. Yea i agree with spanking when my child was smaller and he was never abused and if you are going that route i better contact dfacs and let them know my mom abused me something i didnt know..anyhow i think this mom just wants some advice and we should help her:)

Candice - posted on 04/15/2010

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I would say no spanks for your child. For eveyone else it's really about what defines spanking. In my house it's just a soft pat and a stern no. But hitting/smacking is wrong for everyone.

Trina - posted on 04/15/2010

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It is not ok to spank a developmentally disabled child. They do not process nor understand things the same way. How much do you know about Autism? Her comfort levels have been breached. She is concerned her child is being abused. I would actually encourage her to contact CPS , to ask these questions and verify.





I'm still kind of in shock that anyone would even suggest it is fine. Also, I am not here suggesting that she should use physical force on a handicapped child. What I am telling her is not something negative and potentially harmful to this child.

Cindy - posted on 04/15/2010

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Trina Baggett I am genuinely curious about something, not being mean so don't think that, just really curious, How do you know this autistic child, His issues, his life situation, and his tempermant good enough to be able to make that call on whether or not the autistic child could be spanked or not? If none of us know that stuff to be able to make that call then how do you know?



Clarification: By asking this I am not saying this child should be spanked if you read my first post I had said that he shouldn't be spanked. So by asking this I am not implying or referring anything. Just simply asking a question. So please nobody jump to conclusions about me.

Rosa - posted on 04/15/2010

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You stated he is autistic and depending on his level of autism his ability to understand varies. But I don't believe in spanking as a first resort it should be the last if needed. But like most of the post I agree you shouldn't spank a special needs child.

Nikki - posted on 04/15/2010

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Kelly,

I have done lots of research on spanking as a discipline tool and everything I've read shows that spanking young children can lead to more aggressive and social problems when they are older. It causes mental and emotional problems in children so definitely don't recommend it. I know kids are frustrating, but time outs and other non-physical forms of punishment can be just as effective and less traumatic. If your son already has special needs I don't think is a good idea to let his dad's family spank him. Talk to your pediatrician and see if they have literature to show the family on why they should stop spanking him. Good luck!

Sierra - posted on 04/15/2010

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i have mentally disable people in my family, and yes they are special and unique like every other child, but they are just like every other child. if you begin to punish them less than anyone else, they may expect to always have that "special" treatment. that's not going to be good later. and i'm from an old country family, i got my butt whooped, but i'm against abuse, and for spanking bottoms. as well as that: you have to be aware that you're not punishing them for something they can't control. if it's against their abilities, punishing them will be immensely harsh. so take into consideration that aspect. hope this helps a little. =]

Michelle - posted on 04/15/2010

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I agree with speaking with your doctor together. He needs to explain to him why it is or isn't ok. Then if training classes would help that would be a great experience for him. If all else fails, maybe visits should be supervised.

Trina - posted on 04/15/2010

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I didn't say all parenting who spank are lazy. I said *some* parents who spank are lazy. Don't take offense, it was not directed at you or anyone here. Nor was it meant to be funny. Unless you have raised special needs children of your own, and you are educated in Autism and other issues it is not appropriate for anyone here to tell others to spank. You do not have the experience to make that call for another person, nor do you know their issues, their life situations, their child, or their temperament. It is abusive to spank a child who has limited understanding, limited ability to control themselves and who already has issues communicating. Autism is a communication disorder, and in the case of Autism, you want your child to open up to you. Spanking is not effective, and it may shut down any chances of positive communication. Anyone here of course can give their opinion freely but in this case the mother feels it is not right. She has every right to feel that way.

[deleted account]

Special needs or not, child or adult......doesn't matter! " Spanking " is a form of abuse. PERIOD!

Tammera - posted on 04/15/2010

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Honestly, Spanking is not needed. The child more than likely will not understand, Being a child with special needs. You want your child to feel safe in secure in this confusing world that he/her has. Try re-direction. Try to get your childs attention on to something else. If you are spanking a special needs child the child may associate anger with hitting and then begin to hit you.

Joanita - posted on 04/15/2010

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If your child understands that you are spanking him but not because you don't love him i believe it is right. When he cries, hold him and explain to him why you did it. If he won't understand or you have no good reason ( i understand you might get frustated with him, i looked after my nephew who is brain damaged and felt it) stop doing it.
You don't have to take my advice as i am not a parent of a special needs child but i am very involved with my nephew due to some circumstances and that is what i experienced.

Anneke - posted on 04/15/2010

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I see nothing to achieve but more agressive children from spanking.



how can you teach a child hitting poeple is wrong bu hitting it yourself. Yet another short term answer to a problem that will be long term.

Kylie - posted on 04/15/2010

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Thanks for the clarification in your second post :) I never said spanking was abusive i said spanking an autistic child is. Marking peoples posts as funny when they are clearly not is pretty childish.

Cindy - posted on 04/15/2010

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Very well said Christi. You're right, there was no need for anybody to question your 2 cents that you put into the conversation. Women here need to stop JUDGING other women for CHOOSING to do what they feel is best for THEIR child. Whether you don't spank your children or whether you do spank your children I am VERY sure NIETHER side LIKE to be judged. So stop it. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

Christi - posted on 04/15/2010

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what's funny kylie is that you are yet another person that thinks spanking is abusive, and if you read the second part of my post, you would understand what i was trying to say.

Christi - posted on 04/15/2010

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wow katie. another im not going to teach my child to be a productive part of society parent. i am so happy that not spanking your children obviously works for you. you have your opinion. we have ours. no need to attack anyone, and no need to call parents who choose to spank lazy.

Kylie - posted on 04/15/2010

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how exactly does one "make sure" an autistic child understands his wrong doings and understands the hitting? There are so many better ways to discipline...and what was funny about my other post Christi?

Christi - posted on 04/15/2010

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let me be clearer, my sister is now 15 and she no longer gets spanked. i think she was spanked twice in her life, once was because she repeatedly ran into the street and the second was because she would not stay out of the knife drawer. and at that point in her life, no one could really tell us what was wrong with her. all we knew is that she was slower than most children and horribly behaved. she was placed into a long term care facility for a year and while there, they were finally able to diagnose her. once she was diagnosed, we were able to medicate her correctly so she could focus. if you met her today you wouldn't guess that she is autistic. i would tell your ex not to touch your child, unless he wants to go to prison. especially if it is for something as simple as not listening or so on. if he continues to do it, i would have all visitations suspended until he goes to a class and educates himself on the special needs of children with autism, and the patience it takes.

Christi - posted on 04/15/2010

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my sister is autistic, but you just need to make sure he understands what he is doing is wrong. my sister did get spanked, but only after it was clear that she knew what she was doing was wrong and did it still.

Felecia - posted on 04/15/2010

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I will spank my kids if it comes to some thing DANGEROUS... For instance my daughter always tried to reach up on the stove while cooking time out didnt help so I spanked her, I would have rathered just to put a gate up but could not find one big enough to fit... I am soooo very sorry to hear your son has autism and I would not suggest spanking at all for him though I am not so sure depending on what his growth is at if he would even understand why he would be spanked... I wish you and your family the very best.. God bless xoxo

Trina - posted on 04/14/2010

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..and with that I am off to join Nikki's community because Heaven knows I get stressed myself and need new ideas all of the time.

Cindy - posted on 04/14/2010

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Lol It's funny how all you say in the description is "Spanking!" This convo definitely wont go very well. But my opinion is that you probably shouldn't spank a special needs child. I mean I'm all for giving a pat on the butt if the child did something bad enough to deserve it, but if it's somebody with special needs then thats a whole entire different case. My opinion is you probably shouldn't do it.



Some would say it depends on what type of special needs the child has, and that might be true in some cases, but in this case it may be different.

Nikki - posted on 04/14/2010

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No it is not ok, Autism requires very different forms of behaviour management, I would encourage you and your husband to attend some training sessions on how to deal with these behaviours. If your interested we have a community - Positive behaviour strategies - solutions without smacking, feel free to join.



http://www.circleofmoms.com/e_Y_13391



At this stage we haven't covered dealing with special needs but it would be great to have you join, there may be some mums within our group who have been in your situation before. Thanks

Kryss - posted on 04/14/2010

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spanking doesnt = child abuse eithier, i think it is how you use the discipline.

Kryss - posted on 04/14/2010

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KELLY i am for discipline... but very few ppl i know with autism children get spanked and there is a reason, bc sometimes they cant understand on average. Personally me in my parenting i spanked/disciplined my child...when he was smaller hes 10 now and he doesnt disrespect me , i talk to him and take things from him bc hes old enough to understand ...although i dont have a autism child..but in my family there is two ...id seriously cntact his pediatrician...no harm in asking then take the info to your ex.

Trina - posted on 04/14/2010

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That is called lazy parenting. Some *not all* parents spank because they just don't want to learn or try any other methods. I have been in the "special needs" community with my own two children for 8 years. They have given me a wealth of information. I can tell you it is highly frowned upon. If you think it is not ok, it is not ok. There are other methods out there, but it takes the willingness to learn.

[deleted account]

when my son is at my house he does time outs, and it works but his dad doesn't have the patients for time outs so he just spanks him.

Trina - posted on 04/14/2010

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If your gut is saying to you it is not ok it is not. Personally, I feel it is abusive. Under no circumstance should a developmentally delayed child be spanked. Not unless you want to delay them further or have CPS called on you.

Kryss - posted on 04/14/2010

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Kelly you need to talk to your childs doctor, bc i am unsure. I know ppl thathave autism children but some correct the in different ways...

[deleted account]

well his father (my ex husband) spanks him when my son is with him. I do not agree with it. My family and my ex say it's ok but don't. My son has autism.

Kryss - posted on 04/14/2010

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Okay there was sooooo many threads on the spanking issue but, although i believe in spanking to a certain age...i have a aunt who has a special needs child and she was told to not spank her child bc sometimes "depending" on how much they understand some dont understand removing their hands and making them look at you is more beneficial..i would ask my childs doctor bc it does depend on their conditiion.

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