“You can’t punish a child who is acting out because of sensory overload.”
by Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin is a great model of what a fully autistic person can achieve and this statement is totally correct. However this statement is also totally wrong.
That dilemma is caused by a multitude of factors and primary amongst those factors is are there other non autistic children in the family and how should that affect how you approach a given situation.
The issue that arises is that if you have a second (or third etc.) child that is not affected by autism or another behavioural disorder you then have to also deal with the fact that you have got to tread a fine line between treating two children differently for the exact same situation and you have to do it in such a way as to not breed resentment with the other children.
This results in having to occasionally discipline an autistic child for behaviours that you would prefer not to discipline them for simply to maintain a level of cohesion between the children. It also means that there are times when you have to step back from disciplining a non autistic child for the same reason. If you add into the mix an infant that gets laughs for behaviours that would be disciplined in an older child then the balancing act becomes even more restrictive.
Deflection is the best tool when dealing with our autistic child, however this is something that is difficult to teach a second young child to utilize effectively regardless how helpful they endeavour to be sometimes this is not easily understood and sometimes it is extremely difficult under a given circumstance.
Parents of autistic children who have other non developmentally challenged children have a very fine line to walk in the effort to bring out the best that ALL their children have to offer. It is a fine line and one that takes lots of practice and lots of patience but the joy of watching your children move beyond their limitations (and yours) makes the effort well worth the time and effort spent.