Are you getting frustrated trying to get your child or teen on the autistic spectrum out the door in the mornings? Here are some tips and tricks for helping children with autism reach morning goals by using a reward system:

  1. The daily reward should be gradual, as opposed to “all or nothing”. Students with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) aren’t motivated by weekly rewards because they are too far away. Keep track of the rewards they earn daily and use those points as tokens for the movies or an arcade!
  2. It’s also really important for children and teens to have a daily reward for their morning, afternoon, and nighttime routines. For example, according to neurological research on six year olds, they are allowed 30 minutes of electronics per 150 minutes of social interaction. This means they could earn 10 minutes of electronics for each morning routine; after school routine, and nighttime routine for a total of 30 minutes.
  3. Set a schedule for your child so they know what is expected of them!
  4. Having something such as a dry eraser board with a checklist of items for their daily routines.
  5. Let them earn two to five minutes of electronics time for each item they complete.
    1. An alternative option for middle and high school students would be to let them bring their iTouch or smart phone device to school that day if they complete all of the items on their morning checklist.
    2. Have them check in their electronics to you when they get home to do their homework.
    3. They can use their earned electronics time once their evening and after-dinner tasks are checked off their list.
    4. To allow the brain time to calm down and get set for their REM cycles, they need to turn off electronics one hour before going to bed.

*Additional Resources For Parents:

Sesame Street Autism Resources for Parents

Help Loved Ones with Sensory Overload Enjoy Shopping

Educational Resources for Special Needs

Estate Planning for Parents of Special Needs Kids

Note: You can freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, as long as you leave the author’s contact information intact.

Author Jim West, LMHC, NCC is a National Certified Counselor and is the president of Total Life Counseling Center.  His center helps with vitamins and diet before medication for ASD, Depression, ADHD, Anxiety and Bipolar. Additionally, people travel internationally for his Social Skills Overnight Camps, Groups and Day Camps and has had kids no longer meet the criteria for ASD with the social skills training, diet, vitamins and behavioral coaching! If you would like to get help for children with autism give us a call for a free 15 Phone Consultation (407) 248-0030