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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Helping Your Aspie's Teacher To Understand Your Child

"Are there certain things that I should tell my Aspergers son's new teacher before he starts summer school next month in order to help the teacher make any necessary adjustments or accommodations?"

By the time your Aspergers child reaches the age where he is going to school, you’ll have several years of experience figuring-out what works and what doesn’t work in managing him. While your child’s teacher understands the fundamentals of teaching, he/she will be lacking in crucial information about Aspergers and what works best in certain circumstances. This means that you have information to share with the teacher -- and the time to do that is before (or very near) the time your son enters the classroom.

You’ll want to share information on your child’s diagnosis and his  normal level of functioning. If your son has a normal or above normal IQ, tell the teacher that your child has the cognitive ability to succeed under the right circumstances. Talk about visual learning and the fact that children with Aspergers learn through pictures and are less likely to learn through auditory awareness or through letters and words.

You’ll also want to talk to the teacher about those things that set your son off, including any obsessions or compulsive behavior he exhibits. If your child still has temper tantrums, talk about how to manage them and how to avoid them, if possible. If he has meltdowns, be sure to talk about that too.

Tell the teacher that you can be available as a resource if needed. Try to have a phone number at which you can be reached for any impromptu issues that arise during the course of the day. Make a deal with the teacher that allows you to attend class on the first few days of summer school or when things get difficult. Not only will that help your son adjust to school, it will aid the teacher in the process of getting to know him.

Maintain that teacher-parent alliance throughout summer school in order to have the best chance of your child learning and thriving within the structure of the mainstream classroom. 

Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums at Home and School

2 comments:

CP said...

Please please please. It's the end of the first week of school with my first Asperger's student. I feel like I'm working so blind here. I know, I know, the phone goes both ways...It just seems such a naive act of trust, to put a child like this into the care of a stranger without any attempt to ensure the child will be understood.

Bonalyn said...

There are also resources online that help you explain that certain behaviors are coping mechanisms and the teacher can learn to recognize these. For instance, my daughter puts her head down on the desk when she has to much input. This gives her a moment to process all that she is hearing. Now that her teacher knows this, she is no longer getting in trouble for not paying attention. Sharing these cues with teachers will greatly help your child AND the teacher!

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

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

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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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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