5 yo diagnosed with autism


My older son is almost 5 and 1/2 and was diagnosed in May as having high-functioning autism. I've read quite a few of John's books but am having trouble figuring out how to apply his parenting advice under this new paradigm. (I suppose it really isn't new since my son has had various developmental delays and such since birth, but having a name makes it feel new.) For example, my son has been going to bed early for the past eight months because of wetting his pants. The issue has actually gotten worse to the point where now he NEVER goes to the bathroom unless commanded to do so and is also now pooping in his pants. How do I tell if we just need a different consequence or if this is related to the autism and he truly can't help it? When he throws one of his many tantrums, how do I know if it's an autistic "meltdown" or a temper tantrum for which he should have consequences? He came to the dinner table a few weeks ago and immediately started crying. He wouldn't make eye contact or talk. It took about 30 minutes to figure out that he wanted a blue straw, and his younger brother had given him a purple one. Was that an autistic "shutdown," or was he acting like a spoiled brat? I am just so confused. Any light you can shed would be much appreciated!

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