We bit the bullet.
Obviously, nothing we’re doing is getting through to the Monster vis-a-vis discipline – there’s a lot of times that he’s either listening or not, and we’ve been blowing our collective stacks. (Or I’ve been coming home to find a very stressed out wife due to the Monster choosing not to behave and giving her additional grief while dealing with both kids at once.) And yes, we’ve seen the suggestions that have been made on other posts regarding 1-2-3 Magic.
So. She found a copy of it through Freecycle (because the wait for a copy at the library is huge), and she started implementing it without me. I managed, last night, to read through the first half or so of the book, covering at least the parts that are most important to me at the moment – namely, how to stop behaviors we don’t want him continuing.
I will admit that I’m skeptical of whether or not the system is going to work as quickly as everyone says it will. My major concern is his ability to actually internalize what we’re trying to do and what it is that’s sending him to time-out when he misbehaves. It’s not too much unlike the cats, who need to get disciplined immediately and where you’re still not quite sure if they grasp why you’re annoyed at them. (That’s probably also due to my being too lax with them for too long when I got them, coupled with their being a bit cooped up for a few years here.)
On the other hand, I have to admit that I think the no-talking, no-emotions portion of it is very attractive. I do have a tendency towards letting my temper get away from me, especially after a long frustrating day at the office, so this immediately puts a constraint on me that I can follow. And I think – as other parents with autistic children have mentioned – that the repeatability and predictability of the process is a good structure for him that he can learn to expect.
We obviously haven’t met yet with the teacher at his school to find out if they’re doing something similar there, but we can always find out, and at the very least, he can grow to expect these things when he’s with us.