Saturday, November 22, 2014

Techniques for negotiation with people on the autism spectrum

Negotiation is a big part of parenting any child, but the toolkit varies.

We’ve used “Three Steps to Yes” (persuasion for geeks), Kazdin’s extinction/reinforcement, Greenes Explosive Child (above all) and more for working with #1. It’s made him a skilled negotiator, which isn’t a bad skill to have. For #3, so far, standard parenting tools suffice.

#2 is different — he’s classic Asperger [1]. He needs a different set of negotiating techniques — such as the set outlined in a recent NYT essay on Hostage Hoiidays. Another addition to the toolkit - I particularly liked the obviously-fake-but-genuinely-effortful apology, the focus on vocal inflection, the techniques of partitioning/minimizing and “Track II” / 3rd party interventions.

Special needs parenting is very educational.

[1] We have no useful terms for taking about these complex neurological disorders, but he resembles the original stories. Remarkably he was classically autistic as a young child, once upon a time we weren’t supposed to revise that early label. Lots of nonsense in our dying classifications…

See also