HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Coping with Obsessions and Rituals in Aspergers Kids

"My daughter has to have everything in her room just so. If anything gets moved (for example, when I dust the furniture or change her bed sheets), she has a fit. She always knows if something is missing or has been moved to a different spot. Is this part of her Aspergers, or is it OCD, or both?"

One of the hallmarks of Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism is the development of obsessive thinking and the performing of ritual behaviors done to reduce stress and anxiety. This type of behavior can later meet the criteria in adulthood for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Aspergers children often have an obsessive interest in a particular subject -- and very little interest in much else. They may obsessively seek information about maps or clocks or some other topic. They may also be very inflexible in their habits and may rigidly adhere to certain routines or rituals. These obsessions and compulsions are believed to be biological in origin. This means that it is very difficult to go to therapy or just talk the individual out of the rituals.

Even so, there is some evidence to suggest that cognitive-behavioral therapy may help control some of the behaviors and makes the child aware of ways to recognize when the behavior is occurring so as to stop it before it occurs. This kind of therapy, in general, can be helpful for children, teens and adults with Aspergers because it focuses on concrete behavioral and “thought” changes necessary to function on a day-to-day basis.

Parents may need to simply be supportive of the child who so rigidly hangs onto rituals she doesn’t understand. Unless the child has done a lot of therapy, it takes a great deal of effort to fight the rituals, nor does it help to punish the child for them.

There are medications, often used in obsessive compulsive disorder, that can take the edge off of the ritual behavior and obsessions, especially when used along with cognitive behavioral therapy. No medication is without side effects, and the improvement may not be complete; however, it is worth the effort to try the medication as recommended by your child’s doctor.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook 


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... OCD is definitely part of the Aspergers. Our Aspie is obsessive about her pencil sketches. She always has her sketchbook with her and no one is allowed to touch it. She will show them to us but SHE has to turn the pages. I shudder to think of what would happen if that book got damaged!
•    Anonymous said... OCD isn't always part of ASD but our toddler (2.5 yrs) is HFA and must have things in a certain way. Must wear certain clothes or have certain sheets on his bed. It's not OCD just a different aspect of the spectrum
•    Anonymous said... Our daughter had OCD, sensory issues. Drove me crazy. Not until she was nine did all these issues get diagnosed into a aspergers diagnosis So, it's part of the aspergers. We also have social issues, tics, and a few more things.

Please post your comment below…

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's part of aspergers for sure. They don't handle any change well

Anonymous said...

I have 4 daughters and 2 of them are on the spectrum .. The older of the two is just the same in fact she's numbered her pillows so she knows exactly which pillow goes where ... I was told by Camhs it is partly her autisum but partly as her room is her sanctuary it's where she goes to get away from everything. So it's her way of having some control.. Nothing to be worried about after all it is her room and if you think about it you probably wouldn't like someone in your bedroom moving things about .. Don't worry honestly x

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old will lune her toys upand refuses to do anything else until theyre perfect. And if a toy is missing she gets mad and wont let it go until its been found and put in line
23 hours ago via mobile · Like

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's down to OCD my 6 year old is the same. He doesn't get upset with other changes in the house just his room. Like Lisa said its their sanctuary where they can feel safe and need that control.

Anonymous said...

My 11yr old with Aspergers is the total opposite, his room is generally a tip unless I tidy it up! He doesn't seem to see the mess, and our ideas of "clearing up the bedroom" differ greatly!

Anonymous said...

My 11 uswest old Aspie is the same as Sues. He doesn't seem to see the mess. Ocd can run with Aspergers, I'd get it checked. My family has ocd running in it and they act like that, with out Aspergers.
22 hours ago · Like · 1

Anonymous said...

Its for sure aspergers. My son is very compulsive about certain things too.

Anonymous said...

every person with aspergers is uniqe in everyone but could be a bit of both the bedroom is definaly a sanctuary maybe try routine days and have her help pick sheets or dust to feel a part of in her comfort zone

Anonymous said...

My eldest has amazing attention to detail, it's often really useful though it does mean that he notices everything even things you'd rather he hadn't. Ha Ha Sue, my son sees the mess but doesn't see the point in tidying. He'll do stuff if you ask and encourage him to do it then and there and he'll get satisfaction from doing it but the connections aren't there to do much without encouragement. He's not able to organise himself much and he's easily distracted if his hearts not in it. He'll get totally absorbed in the things that float his boat though.

Anonymous said...

this sounds very like my a/s husband,even if a yogurt is missing from the fridge,he notices,grrr,every thing in its place,so yes its all part of it,and can you imagin it being your husband?

Anonymous said...

My 11 year old is like Sue and Jennifer's. I don't go in his room often because it's always such a mess and helping him clean it is such a process because of the way he wants things done that unless I'm committed to basically spending my entire weekend working with him on his room then it stays a pig sty.

Anonymous said...

We just threw out an old sofa from the playroom; stuffing was coming out-so nasty-and my son had such a meltdown. Finally I let him keep one cushion. I guess he was attached to it from playing his video games on it.

Anonymous said...

My son id 13 today, and jis room is a total pig sty.. some how during the night his sheets come off the bed, i really dont know how he sleeps there. he also likes his ceiling fan on at night. ive had to hide the remote controls, snd hes fine (its almost winter here)....

Anonymous said...

Roo is 7 and he likes his room neat and orderly,but he shares are room with his NT brother who lives in what can only be described as organized chaos!!! Drives Roo crazy!! I have to keep on the older one constantly to clean so Roo doesn't meltdown! I also have Roo help change sheets, dust and vaccume so that its done the way he likes it and he doesn't panic cause someone touched his stuff :)
10 hours ago · Like

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

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Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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