Sorry to disappoint you but you can’t ‘spank the autism’ out of a child anymore than I can slap the ignorance out of you.
Whenever I go on social media nowadays I am still shocked about the ignorance that I see. One of these moments is when I see someone post about the need to spank a child with autism. Countless parents I see say that if you spank a child, it will help that child perform a ‘desirable behavior.’
It really grinds my gears.
For many children, spankings have been debated by countless experts for years however with so many children with autism that are prone to sensory issues, I’m not sure why this would ever be the way of doing things.
Last year while doing research about the impact of spanking a child who bullies into helping stop that child from bullying completely I found this great article from the Chicago Tribune where the lead-author writes,
“Spanking makes children’s behavior worse. It has the opposite effect than what parents want: It doesn’t make children better behaved, and it doesn’t teach children right from wrong. It’s not related to immediate compliance, and it doesn’t make children behave better in the future.”
When a parent reaches out to me and says that they received an unsolicited comment while their child with autism is having a meltdown that they should ‘spank the child to make them stop’ it makes me even more infuriated.
I was never spanked as a child and today have been able to excel as an adult on the autism spectrum. Instead of spanking let’s help our communities understand the importance of reward systems especially when desirable behavior is occurring. It can pay huge dividends in the long run. I know that it did for me.