It depends on the childs level of functioning.
If you have very clear rules at the outset and therefore the child knows that if they do something the rule is that they don't watch TV that evening, then that is the rule they have learnt and that is what has to happen.
But it has to be in place and understood before the behaviour. You could not necessarily expect an autistic child to understand that when they do something naughty they will lose a privilege. But they can learn that. In the same way they can learn to earn rewards.
Sometimes they have impulsive behaviour or obsessive behaviour that can get them into trouble more easily or more often. If that starts to be the case then you need to address the issue that is causing the bad behaviour rather than just punish the bad behaviour.
But once you are doing that and they are still doing something they shouldn't then you do have to put in place some kind of punishment and for them to know that that will happen.
It is a hard call sometimes. I generally try to do things the same for both kids unless it becomes very obvious that there is a difficulty due to autism that needs to be addressed first.
If you have a child with Aspergers/Autism that has an obsession then you might need outside help on that. Or if they have OCD behaviour etc. But I think just general common sense will make it more obvious to you if it is not just naughty behaviour.
Hello. My 3 year old son is Autistic, and it certainly has been hard getting him to understand punishments but he does understand timeouts. If he's really acting up we try to talk him through it but if we can't, we put him in his booster seat with no toys, tv or snacks for 3 minutes (his case manager says a minute for each year of their age) and he has learned that it is not fun and he responds well to it. It took a while for him to figure out that his actions have consequences and that time out stinks but repetition is so important. You have to pick one thing to try and stick with it for a while even if the child doesn't seem to understand it or respond to it for some time. The kids on the spectrum need consistency and repetition to get familiar and comfortable with the way things work.