I also felt the strategies our therapist were giving us were laughable at the beginning. We also were told to ignore the negative behaviors, praise even small positive behaviors and develop a household routine that was so routine my son would know what to expect each and every day. Every experience is different, but in ours, the therapist said my son craved ANY type of attention – negative or positive didn’t matter to him.
I felt downright dingy praising a child for getting through a shopping trip without crying or getting through 30 minutes of class without having an outburst. I got more than a few dirty looks when I would ignore negative behaviors in public. I felt each of those silent judgments and more than a few times would be crying in my car on the way home.
But day by day it did get better. Working with the physicians and therapists to find proper medications and continuing with therapies did yield positive results. Eventually, I was able to start praising bigger and bigger accomplishments and the negative behaviors become less and less frequent. Not to say he’s a perfect child now, but I can see how hard he works to control his outbursts and I am so proud of him.
Hang in there. It’s a long journey, but its so worth it and in the end can be so rewarding!