"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

6 year old Turmoil

Question

I have four children: girl - 12, girl - 9, boy/girl twins - 6. Our daughters are usually well-behaved, but our son's behavior has caused a lot of tension between my husband and I, and our home is in constant turmoil.

We had our son tested in Pre-K for any social disorders or learning disabilities, which resulted in him having an IEP (Individualized Education Program) for school and a label of "high-functioning autism." He tested well for everything visual, but low for following oral directions, which have to be repeated and I have to make sure he is focusing when I talk to him. He is like this at home, we have to ask him more than once to do everything! Then on top of it, he screams as a reaction to anything that bothers him (he has a hard time getting his first words out, and screaming is easier, especially when his sisters boss him), as well as started hitting and now talking back. We have tried everything from a spanking (which worked immediately with our daughters), to time outs, to taking away privileges, even trying to ignore.

My husband takes it all personally and says our son knows exactly what he's doing, which makes him angry and has caused tension in their relationship. This causes our son to immediately get angry back, even if my husband isn't angry and he just tries to calmly talk to him.

I feel like it's half an half where our son does know what he's doing, but when he gets upset, it doesn't matter what we do or say, he's going to get worse before he gets better, including throwing things in his room, yelling, screaming, etc. Then when we ask him why he's in trouble, he acts like he doesn't know why. But when I ask him the rules, he has them memorized and can tell them to me.

Can you help us get on the same page with our son?

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