The Spanking Debate and Those Who Interfere
Posted January 7, 2011on:
I was going to write this last night, but my dear friends dragged my head through the gutter and this would have been a blog about bondage and S&M rather than about autism, and then, I would be blushing should the wrong people read it. Oh no, I don’t want that.
Spanking is a big debate when it comes to many parents who have children with autism. I for one, have grown tired of it.
“I was spanked all the time when I was a kid, and I turned out just fine.” Oh blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard that B.S. so many times that I want to pull the speaker’s hair out. First of all, if you were spanked many times, it wasn’t working. Second, I was spanked, too, and I wasn’t well-adjusted over it (I will elaborate more in a bit), nor were my brothers, one of whom is diagnosed with autism, the other, I suspect has it, too. Both are brilliant, the elder very high functioning, the younger struggling with a lot, Third, yep, a third (so this isn’t flowing perfectly) I grew up with kids who were spanked and/or whacked with belts, they weren’t better behaved, they were just sneakier and better liars. Those kids would do things that I wouldn’t dream of doing!
I’m not kidding. Kids who are flogged on a regular basis, they aren’t better behaved, they are just better at hiding stuff from their parents. I’ve always been open with my mom. I told her everything, even when I messed up royally because I didn’t live in terror of her. I didn’t have to fear that she’d knock me one. I respect my mom. I’ve got no lost love for my father. His hitting caused my brothers to act out violently.
Violence begets violence.
A child with autism isn’t going to see even a swat as a corrective tool, they are going to see it as a threat to their own personal space. They will be intimidated, and trust me, they will act out. I’ve seen it time and time again. Even normal kids don’t always deal well with it, I didn’t. Like I said, I never respected it, I feared it, and fear turned into hatred. I behaved for my mother because I loved and respected her, I didn’t want to disappoint.
The problem with spanking is that it is more often than not, done out of anger. It’s not to correct, it’s because a parent gets annoyed with their kid for acting up. I knew a mother who went so far as to spank her daughter when she wouldn’t hold still when she was doing her hair. The little girl was three, and her mother was yanking on her hair, but oh man, if she moved, she was swatted on the bare bottom, hard… And damn, I was livid over it. I would have been flinching if someone was yanking on my hair that way!
I’m not saying bad behavior shouldn’t be corrected. It should, but there are other ways of doing it. For Nicky, I used a chart with a clothes pin. When he did wrong, his clothes pin would be moved to a frown. He never wanted that. With Autism, it’s all about the visual aspect. The clothes pin on the smiley face when you are behaving well, the pin on the frown when you aren’t. If you don’t correct it, a consequence.
You have to break things down. And the threat of the clothes pin worked in the grocery store, too. If you don’t stop, I’ll move it to a frown. I only had to move it twice, I think.
People who don’t have special needs kids, don’t realize how hard it is to struggle to keep calm and stay in control it is when your child is in full scale meltdown in the middle of the store. We don’t need to hear how our children should have their “butts spanked” because they are sobbing hysterically. Shush. We don’t want to hear it. The moment a parent loses control is the moment the child has it… I’m sorry people get annoyed, but being calm is far better than what would happen if we parents lost it. And heaven forbid if we bellow at them.
If you aren’t the parent of a child with autism, you need to keep your lips closed, you need to quit being so ignorant, and try to understand that there are other methods in this world and that your brats aren’t perfect either.