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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Aspergers/HFA Kids and Lack of Cooperation

"Any tricks for getting a very stubborn 4 year old high functioning autistic child to do what he is told. He truly has a mind of his own. For example, if our requests don't make sense to him, he refuses to do what we ask, which usually results in a mother-son tug of war."

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Helping Your Aspergers or HFA Child Succeed In School

"My daughter is 10 years old, high functioning and now in middle school. Her teachers are constantly sending me notes saying she isn’t working up to her ability and they can’t get her to stay on task or ask for help. When she’s home, I can get her to do well with homework. I obviously can’t go to school with her everyday. What are some ways the teachers can get her to stay on task without making her stand out to the rest of the class? She is also legally blind and doesn’t want to appear different in any other way."

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Asperger's: Common Questions & Quick Answers

What are some of the traits of Asperger's (AS)?
  • A child with AS wants to fit in and make friends, he just does not know how to do it.
  • AS usually affects a child's social skills, communication skills, and behavior.
  • AS is a problem of child development.
  • The child usually functions well in every day life, but he has problems interacting with others.
  • AS causes a wide range of developmental problems in children.
  • AS is a brain disorder.
  • It is one of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).
  • Other PDD's include Autism, Rett's syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
  • AS is sometimes called High-Functioning Autism.
  • Unlike an autistic child, a child with AS has fewer problems with language, and usually has average to above average intelligence.

What causes AS?
  • The cause is unknown.
  • It may have something to do with genetics, or how the brain works.
  • Parents do not cause AS.

Who can get AS?
  • Anyone can get AS.
  • Parents of a child with AS are more likely to have another child with AS.
  • It is more common in boys than in girls.

What are the signs of AS?

The signs and symptoms of AS are similar to those of other behavioral problems. It is very important that a doctor sees your child if you think he has AS.

Social Skills—
  • Has problems making friends
  • Lacks social skills
  • Seems unaware of others' feelings
  • Unable to carry on conversations

Communication Skills—
  • Cannot start a conversation or keep one going
  • May have problems with nonverbal communication or body language
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Does not use or understand hand gestures
  • Does not change his face when talking with others (e.g., not smiling when telling something funny)
  • Does not understand other people's facial expressions (e.g., not understanding why someone would smile at a joke)
  • May have a short attention span
  • Repeats a word or phrase over and over again
  • Words may be very formal and loud

Behavior—
  • Clumsy
  • Does not like changes in every-day routines
  • Only interested in a few things (e.g., collecting rocks, listening to music)
  • May have obsessive behavior
  • Collects categories of things such as rocks or paper clips
  • Knows categories of information like Latin names of flowers or football statistics
  • May have problems with reading, writing or math skills
  • Lacks organization skills
  • Repeats certain behaviors over and over again

How is it diagnosed?
  • The doctor will watch your child and ask you about his symptoms. How have his social and language skills changed over time? His behavior?
  • It is usually diagnosed between 3 and 9 years old.
  • The child may need to be seen by a developmental pediatrician or psychiatrist (i.e., special doctors who are trained to diagnose AS).
  • He may need tests.
  • AS cannot be diagnosed at birth.
  • AS can be difficult to diagnose because the child can function well in every-day life.
  • A doctor should see the child as soon as any signs or symptoms are noticed.

Is it contagious?
  • No. AS is not contagious.

How is it treated?
  • Treatment depends on the level of functioning of your child. A child with higher intelligence will have a better outcome.
  • Types of treatments include: (a) behavioral modification, (b) education and training, (c) language therapy, (d) medicines for specific behavioral problems, (e) parent education and training, (f) psychotherapy, (g) sensory integration training (i.e., the child is treated to be less sensitive to things that bother him a lot), and (h) social skills training.
  • It is important if all of the child's caregivers are involved in the treatment. This can include family members, close friends, babysitters, teachers, etc.
  • Your child will most likely continue to have some problems throughout his life (e.g., there is an increased risk of developing depression or anxiety), but he will be able to make friends and have long-lasting relationships.
  • With treatment, your child can learn to live with the condition. Many children are able finish high school, and then eventually attend college and get a job.
  • There is no cure for AS.

Can it be prevented?
  • AS cannot be prevented because we do not know what causes it.

When should I call the doctor?
  • Your child has a legal right to receive special services at school. Talk to your doctor or teachers for more information. They can help you decide what school setting and education plan will be best for your child.
  • Call your child's doctor, your child's school, or a support group for help. There are many organizations that can help you cope and teach you how to manage life with a child with AS.
  • Call your doctor if your child shows behaviors of AS from the signs and symptoms list above.
  • Call your doctor if you have any questions about your child's condition.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Aspergers/HFA Children and Split Personality

"Is it common for a child with an autism spectrum disorder to have a split personality (so to speak)? My daughter is a really good kid at school, but then a complete monster at home. Is this normal?"

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Preparing Family Members for Your Aspergers Child's Behavior: Tips for Holiday Gatherings


The following is a letter (or email) that you can send to relatives and hosts of holiday gatherings who might need a crash course in what to expect from your Aspergers (or high functioning autism) child. Feel free to copy, paste and print this letter. You can use it as is, or edit it to make it more applicable to your unique situation:

Dear _____, (e.g., Aunt Sally)

I understand that we will be visiting each other for the holidays this year! Sometimes these visits can be very hard for me, but here is some information that might help our visit to be more successful.

As you probably know, I am challenged by a hidden disorder called Aspergers, or what some people refer to as High-Functioning Autism. Aspergers is a neuro-developmental disorder which sometimes makes it hard for me to understand the environment around me. I have barriers in my brain that you can’t see, but which may make it difficult for me to adapt to my surroundings.

Sometimes I may seem rude and abrupt, but it is only because I have to try to understand people, and at the same time make myself understood. Children with Aspergers have different abilities. For example, some may not speak much, and some write beautiful poetry. Others are whizzes in math (Albert Einstein had a form of autism), or may have difficulty making friends. We are all different and need various degrees of support.

Sometimes when I am touched unexpectedly, it might feel painful and make me want to run away. I get easily frustrated, too. Being around a lot of other people sometimes feels like standing next to a moving freight train – and trying to decide how and when to jump aboard. I may feel frightened and confused some of the time. This is why I like to have things the same as much as possible. Once I learn how things happen, I can stay pretty calm. But if something changes, then I may have to relearn the situation all over again!

When you talk to me, I may not be able to comprehend everything you are saying to me if there is a lot of noise and distraction around. I usually have to concentrate to hear and understand one thing at a time. You might think I am ignoring you, but I am not. Rather, I am hearing everything, but not knowing what is most important to respond to.

Holidays can be hard for me because there are so many different people, places, and things going on that are out of my ordinary environment. This may be fun and adventurous for most kids, but for me, it can be hard work and extremely stressful. I often have to get away from all the commotion to calm down. It would be great if you had a private place set up to where I could retreat.

If I can’t sit at the meal table, please don’t think that I am misbehaving or that my mom and dad have no control over me. Sitting in one place for very long is often very hard for me. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the smells, sounds, and people. When this happens, I just have to get up and move about. But please don’t stop eating on my account. Go on without me, and my mom or dad will handle the situation the best way they know how.

Eating in general can be hard for me. If you understand that Aspergers is a sensory processing disorder, it’s no wonder eating is a problem. Think of all the senses involved with eating (e.g., sight, smell, taste, touch) and all the complicated mechanics that are involved (e.g., chewing and swallowing).  This is something that some kids with Aspergers have trouble with. I am not being picky. I just can’t eat certain foods because my sensory system is overly-sensitive. (Hope you understand.)

Also, please don’t be disappointed if my mother or father doesn’t dress me in fancy clothes. It’s because they know how much stiff and itchy clothes can drive me nuts! I have to feel comfortable in my clothes, or I will just be miserable. When I go to someone else’s house, I may appear bossy and irritable. In a way, I am being controlling, because that is how I try to fit into the world around me. I like things to be done in a way I am familiar with or else I might get confused and frustrated. It doesn’t mean you have to change the way you are doing things. Just please be patient with me and understanding of how I have to cope.

My parents have no control over how my Aspergers makes me feel inside. Kids with this disorder often have little things that they do to help themselves feel more comfortable. The professionals call it “self regulation,” or “stimming.” I might rock, hum, flick my fingers, or any number of different things. I am not trying to be disruptive or weird. Again, I am doing what I have to do for my brain to adapt to the environment. Sometimes I cannot stop myself from talking, singing, or doing an activity I enjoy. The professionals call this “perseverating,” which is similar to self-regulation or stimming. I do this only because I have found something to occupy myself that makes me feel comfortable. Perseverative behaviors are good to a certain degree because they help me calm down.

Holidays are filled with sights, sounds, and smells. The average home is turned into a busy, frantic, festive place. This may be fun for most kids, but it can be hard work for me to conform. If I fall apart or act-out in a way that you consider socially inappropriate, please remember that I don’t possess the neurological system that is required to follow some social rules. In any event, I will try very hard to be on my best behavior when we get together during the holidays.

Thanks for listening. I’m looking forward to seeing you.

________ (Aspergers child’s name)


From: www.MyAspergersChild.com

Transition Services for Aspergers Teens

"I have a 17 year old with Asperger’s. She was a late diagnosis (wasn’t diagnosed until age 15). How do you help a teen with transition services (e.g., getting a job, learning to drive, going to college, etc.) when she doesn’t have any desire to learn or do any of those things?"

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"Job Interview Tips" for Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Marcus and his boss, Mr. Whitfield
The economy is pretty shaky right now, and many businesses are making some changes. For some, that might mean a job interview, which can be especially stressful for those teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism.

The most important thing to do before going into a job interview is to try to relax. We’re going to set up a relaxing “space” now, before the job interview, so you can use it during the interview:

Take a breath. Seriously, right now, as you read this, take a deep breath. Breathing is a way to calm yourself, move your chattering thoughts into the grounding influence of your body, and exist in the present moment. The more you can get into the habit of taking a deep, conscious breath, the more your body will connect it with slowing down and relaxing. Practicing a deep breath in a safe, calm environment will help you access those same calming feelings when you repeat the breath during your job interview. Also, it can be helpful to think of a soothing phrase like, "It’s OK." …"You’re fine." …"You can do this" (keep the phrase short, positive and silent).

As you think about and prepare for your job interview, continue to practice the breathing technique. When you get stressed about what might go wrong, take a breath and say to yourself, "It’s OK." When you remember things that went wrong in past job interviews, take a breath, calm yourself, and then figure out the lesson of that situation.

Your future employer expects you to breathe, so this calming technique is something you can use during the job interview. As you walk into the job interview room, take a breath. If you have a break during the job interview, remember to take a breath. Tell yourself, "You can do this." Of course you can!

Here are some more "job interview" tips by Marcus, a 17-year-old young man with Aspergers:

1. All the same rules apply in the workplace as they do anywhere else. But the one difference is that there is something at stake - your job. This means it is extra important to keep a clean slate, or you might be a target for scapegoating, which is a very nasty threat to your job.

2. You will meet three different kinds of people in the workplace: Meek, Assertive, and Aggressive. Aim to be the assertive type.

3. Remember that first impressions are extremely important.

4. If in doubt -- keep quiet. This is often seen as a good quality in the office.

5. If you are doing your own research, you may find yourself in a situation where you wish to patent copyright or create proof of ownership of a piece of work you have produced. The easiest thing to do is to make a copy, seal it in an envelope, and post it to your home address. It gets the date stamped on it in the post. Don't open the envelope when it arrives, but keep it sealed and stored away in a safe place. Recorded delivery may be more reliable and legally airtight. Also, keep any notes you have written while producing your work. You now have legal proof that it is your work and should not have to worry too much about it falling into the wrong hands.

6. In an interview, body language is extra important, and you want to look confident and relaxed. You are also expected to sit still with your arms by your side or on your lap and a good posture. You are expected to speak clearly and professionally.

7. Know what your skills and talents are. Like it or not, as a person with Aspergers, some jobs will be more suitable for you than others.

8. Prepare as many possible answers for as many possible questions as you can, but don't over-rehearse your answers.

9. The interviewer will often drop you a few hints towards the end of the interview (using mainly body language) to let you know whether you are likely or unlikely to get the job.

10. There are courses and classes around that teach interview techniques. You may want to take a class on this subject.

Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance


BEST COMMENT:
Found the interview advice tips very help full. Our son is waiting to see if he has got an engineering apprenticeship. If he is offered a place, it will involve an interview with the company which may be interested in taking him on. We are keeping our fingers crossed for him. These tips may come in handy. Thanks Marcus!

LEGO Engineering Online Class for Students with Special Needs

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I am writing to you about All About Learning, Inc. and our wonderful enrichment programs being taught throughout Michigan, and over 30 other U.S States. We use creative ways to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Operating since 2002, with classes ranging from LEGO Engineering, Robotics, to Video Game Making, we are proud to teach thousands of students each year.

We are also proud to announce our "LEGO Engineering On-Line Class” for children with special needs such as Aspergers, Autism and ADHD. Please read the following program description:

LEGO Engineering Online for Students with Special Needs

The class consists of engineering theory and instruction plus 6 very complex building exercises. Lessons harness the motivational effects of LEGOs to teach math and science, 3 dimensional shapes, patterning, comparing and contrasting objects, extending patterns, shapes, language arts, listening and following directions and learning mechanical vocabulary. This class is an on-line version of our ever popular Elementary Engineering held in a classroom. Once registered for this course, you will be sent a LEGO kit with over 1,000 very advanced LEGO pieces. When you receive the kit in the mail, then you are ready to take the class. Yes, you keep the kit when the class is over! Intended for K-8 students.

Video Game Making Class

This instructor facilitated On-Line class will teach how to design and modify your own exciting arcade style video games. You'll learn how to control characters, objects and outcomes in your game, then increase the difficulty level and add more features. Learn how to design your own version of PacMan and several other games. Students will participate in this class at home using their own computer, or, in a school computer lab. For ages 10 thru adults. 7 weeks.

We have experience working with grant programs and children with special needs. Please visit our website at: All About Learning

Helping Your Aspergers Child Survive the Holidays

This is an article designed to help parents of children who have Aspergers through the holiday seasons... 

We all have fond memories of our own childhood, when we looked forward to putting up the decorations, eating mouth watering meals and receiving all those longed for presents at Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas.

As parents we naturally want our children to enjoy it all and have as much fun as we did so we talk, anticipate and prepare with mounting excitement as the celebrations draw nearer. However for those families who are raising a child with Aspergers, it may all add up to an almighty headache! Children with Aspergers have a real hard time coping with all of these celebrations, and if they have their birthday on top of that… well you may as well pack up and go away until Spring!

Anticipation for a child with Aspergers leads to increased levels of anxiety which they cannot control. They become overloaded, and then you have a massive meltdown at the time when you are all supposed to be enjoying and celebrating the season of peace and goodwill! The party may be ruined and everybody upset, especially your child who is trying so hard to fit in and be like everybody else. 

So how can you achieve the impossible and enjoy the holiday season while at the same time keeping your Aspergers child calm and behaving appropriately?

The first simple step to take is to simply reduce the time talking about the festive occasion. Remember he can't easily control his emotions, and to chatter constantly about the event will simply lead to stress and anxiety. It is useful to enlist the help of others in your home in this and keep any conversations to a minimum while your Aspergers child is around.

Another great strategy to help is to keep any physical changes to your home to the minimum, so by all means decorate, put up cards and a tree, but just don’t make a big fuss about it all. A good tip is to not put out any presents until the day they are to be opened as your Aspergers child will have a hard time keeping their hands off and will became anxious and potentially oppositional.

Although it’s important not to overload your child, it is equally important to explain any changes to her routines. So prepare your child for any changes by calmly telling her the day before what will be happening. Visual supports always work well, so use photos or simple pictures to explain what will be happening. It is also important to explain to your child what is expected of her (e.g., to say "hello how are you" to guests and sit at the table to share the meal).

Your child will also need to be given permission to leave the festivities, and you can rehearse this together with some simple role-play. This is really important as it gives your child an exit strategy and also allows her to get through the celebrations without going into meltdown. Additionally if you see that he is becoming distressed, you can also activate an exit cue so your child gets out before the situation deteriorates. 

Following these simple steps should lead to a much more positive experience for everyone, and will provide your Aspergers child with the love, support, reassurance - and above all confidence - to participate fully in these wonderful occasions.

So to summarize briefly, it is important to keep preparations and discussions around the holidays to a minimum when the child with Aspergers is around. Preparing her as to what will be expected of her at this time, as well as incorporating an exit strategy, will help further. Good luck!
 
The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed With Aspergers Syndrome


Comment:

I want to thank you for this. Holidays....all holidays...are very hard for my boy and the family, and its good to know im not alone or imagining this.

Aspergers Girls and Relationships

"Please can you tell me about girls with Aspergers and their friends and relationships?"

People who study and treat Aspergers state that the number of girls with Aspergers is equal to that of boys; however, the girls are not diagnosed as often because the syndrome presents itself differently in girls. The common behaviors seen in both girls and boys with Aspergers are as follows:
  • Difficulty reading social cues and body language
  • Problems with social skills
  • Demonstrating impatience
  • Difficulty developing empathy for others

A notable difference between girls and boys with Aspergers is that boys will act out aggressively when they are frustrated. As a result, they get attention from adults while the girls remain silent about their frustrations. The girls appear to be shy or passive and adults overlook their problems; they have average or above-average intelligence that helps to hide their social awkwardness.

There is a book entitled Pretending To Be Normal; it is an autobiography written by Liane Holliday-Willey, who has Aspergers. It discusses the difficulties that girls have with Aspergers. The thesis of the book is that girls do not understand how to process their feelings and express their emotions in socially acceptable ways. As a result, they become people-pleasers. They are seen with smiles on their faces that mask the problems they are having. There are many social scientists who believe that girls are better at camouflaging their disorder because they are socialized to be passive and submissive.

Passivity isn’t the only detectable symptom of Aspergers in females. Young females with Aspergers learn to mimic the behaviors of other children, and this happens when there are role models present. If no role models are available, girls with Aspergers do not learn proper behavior; they will learn behavioral “scripts” that facilitate their interactions with other people. Also, they might use dolls as substitute friends and create their own insulated lives with their dolls.

During the elementary school years, girls with Aspergers will find one good friend who is matronly. This friend becomes the link between the girl and the outside world. This friend can provide support and encouragement to the girl, but if the friend moves away, the girl with Aspergers can experience extremely negative consequences.

The sooner that a young girl is properly diagnosed with Aspergers, the sooner she can obtain professional help. With the support of a doctor and friends, she can learn appropriate, socially acceptable behaviors. Also, she can develop independent living skills.

To begin helping a girl with Aspergers, read the book Girls Under The Umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Practical Solutions for Addressing Everyday Challenges by Lori Ernsperger, Ph.D., and Danielle Wendel. This book was authored by an experienced professional and a mother of a young girl on the autism spectrum. The authors provide insightful, first-hand accounts of girls’ lives along with research-based strategies and practical techniques for addressing the unique needs of girls on the spectrum while nurturing their gifts and talents.

The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed With Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers Teens and Video Game Addiction

"I have a partner and many family members with an autism spectrum disorder, but the worst affected is our 19 year old son. He has very limited social skills, isolates in his bedroom for hours on end, his eating pattern is poor, and so is his sleeping pattern. But he is addicted to a game on his computer. How do we as parents encourage him to spend less time on the computer, be a bit more social with the family, eat better, and sleep more?"

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Educating Your Child's Teachers About Aspergers & High-Functioning Autism

Educators can be great allies in keeping your youngster with Aspergers (AS) or High-Functioning Autism safe and successful in school, but you'll need to make sure they have all the knowledge they need to help. Use the suggestions below to create an information packet to bring educators up to speed...

The Five Main Things Educators Need to Know—

1. If there will be any sort of change in my youngster's classroom or routine, please notify me as far in advance as possible so that we can all work together in preparing her for it.

2. My youngster is an individual, not a diagnosis; please be alert and receptive to the things that make her unique and special.

3. My youngster needs structure and routine in order to function. Please try to keep his world as predictable as possible.

4. My youngster's difficulty with social cues, nonverbal communication, figurative language and eye contact are part of his neurological makeup -- he is not being deliberately rude or disrespectful.

5. Please keep the lines of communication open between our home and the school. My youngster needs all the adults in his life working together.

General Behaviors—

· At times, our youngster may experience "meltdowns" when nothing may help behavior. At times like this, please allow a "safe and quiet spot" where our youngster will be allowed to "cool off" Try to take note of what occurred before the meltdown (was it an unexpected change in routine, for example) and it's best to talk "after" the situation has calmed down.

· Foster a classroom atmosphere that supports the acceptance of differences and diversity.

· Generally speaking an adult speaking in a calm voice will reap many benefits.

· It is important to remember that just because the youngster learns something in one situation this doesn't automatically mean that they remember or are able to generalize the learning to new situations.

· Note strengths often and visually. This will give our youngster the courage to keep on plugging.

· Our youngster may have vocal outbursts or shriek. Be prepared for them, especially when having a difficult time. Also, please let the other kids know that this is a way of dealing with stress or fear.

· Our youngster may need help with problem-solving situations. Please be willing to take the time to help with this.

· Our youngster reacts well to positive and patient styles of teaching.

· This syndrome is characterized by a sort of "swiss cheese" type of development: that is, some things are learned age-appropriately, while other things may lag behind or be absent. Furthermore, kids may have skills years ahead of normal development (for example, a youngster may understand complex mathematics principles, yet not be able to remember to bring their homework home).

· When dividing up assignments, please ASSIGN teams rather than have the other kids "choose members", because this increases the chances that our youngster will be left out or teased.

· When it reaches a point that things in the classroom are going well, it means that we've gotten it RIGHT. It doesn't mean that our youngster is "cured", "never had a problem" or that "it's time to remove support". Increase demands gradually.

· When you see anger or other outbursts, our youngster is not being deliberately difficult. Instead, this is in a "fight/fright/flight" reaction. Think of this as an "electrical circuit overload" (Prevention can sometimes head off situations if you see the warning signs coming).

Perseverations—

· Allowing our youngster to write down the question or thought and providing a response in writing may break the stresses/cycle.

· It is more helpful if you avoid being pulled into this by answering the same thing over and over or raising your voice or pointing out that the question is being repeated. Instead, try to redirect our youngster's attention or find an alternative way so he/she can save face.

· Our youngster may repeat the same thing over and over again, and you may find this increases as stress increases.

Transitions—

· Giving one or two warnings before a change of activity or schedule may be helpful.

· Our youngster may have a great deal of difficulty with transitions. Having a picture or word schedule may be helpful.

· Please try to give as much advance notice as possible if there is going to be a change or disruption in the schedule.

Sensory Motor Skills/Auditory Processing—

· Using picture cures or directions my also help.

· Speaking slower and in smaller phrases can help.

· Our youngster may act in a very clumsy way; she may also react very strongly to certain tastes, textures, smells and sounds.

· Our youngster has difficulty understanding a string of directions or too many words at one time.

· Directions are more easily understood if they are repeated clearly, simply and in a variety of ways.

· Breaking directions down into simple steps is quite helpful.

Stimuli—

· Allow him to "move about" as sitting still for long periods of time can be very difficult (even a 5 minute walk around, with a friend or aide can help a lot).

· He may get overstimulated by loud noises, lights, strong tastes or textures, because of the hightened sensitivity to these things.

· Unstructured times (such as lunch, break and PE) may prove to be the most difficult for him. Please try to help provide some guidance and extra adults help during these more difficult times.

· With lots of other kids, chaos and noise, please try to help him find a quiet spot to which he can go for some "solace".

Visual Cues—

· Hand signals may be helpful, especially to reinforce certain messages, such as "wait your turn", "stop talking" (out of turn), or "speak more slowly or softly".

· Some AS kids learn best with visual aides, such as picture schedules, written directions or drawings (other kids may do better with verbal instruction)

Interruptions—

· At times, it may take more than few seconds for my youngster to respond to questions. He needs to stop what he's thinking, put that somewhere, formulate an answer and then respond. Please wait patiently for the answer and encourage others to do the same. Otherwise, he will will have to start over again.

· When someone tries to help by finishing his sentences or interrupting, he often has to go back and start over to get the train of thought back.

Eye Contact—

· At times, it looks as if my youngster is not listening to you when he really is. Don't assume that because he is not looking at you that he is not hearing you.

· She may actually hear and understand you better if not forced to look directly at your eyes.

· Unlike most of us, sometimes forcing eye contact BREAKS her concentration

Social Skills and Friendships—

· Talking with the other members of the class may help, if done in a positive way and with the permission of the family. For example, talking about the fact that many or most of us have challenges and that the AS youngster’s challenge is that he cannot read social situations well, just as others may need glasses or hearing aides.

· Identifying 1 or 2 empathetic children who can serve as "buddies" will help the youngster feel as though the world is a friendlier place.

· Herein lies one of the biggest challenges for AS kids. They may want to make friends very badly, yet not have a clue as to how to go about it.


· Young people with Aspergers may be at greater risk for becoming "victims" of bullying behavior by other children. This is caused by a couple of factors:
  1. There is a great likelihood that the response or "rise" that the "bully" gets from the Asperger youngster reinforces this kind of behavior.
  2. Asperger kids want to be included and/or liked so badly that they are reluctant to "tell" on the bully, fearing rejection from the perpetrator or other children.

Routine—

· Let him know, if possible, when there will be a substitute teacher or a field trip occurring during regular school hours.

· Please let our youngster know of any anticipated changes as soon as you know them, especially with picture or word schedules.

· This is very important to most AS kids, but can be very difficult to attain on a regular basis in our world.

Language—

· Sarcasm and some forums of humor are often not understood by my youngster. Even explanations of what is meant may not clarify, because the perspectives of AS youngster can be unique and, at times, immovable.

· Although his vocabulary and use of language may seem high, AS kids may not know the meaning of what they are saying even though the words sound correct.

Organizational Skills—

· If necessary allow her to copy the notes of other kids or provide her with a copy. Many AS kids are also dysgraphic and they are unable to listen to you talk, read the board and take notes at the same time.

· It may be helpful to develop schedules (picture or written) for him.

· Our youngster lacks the ability of remember a lot of information or how to retrieve that information for its use.

· Please post schedules and homework assignments on the board and make a copy for him. Please make sure that these assignments get put into his backpack because he can't always be counted on to get everything home with out some help.

At times, some of my youngster's behaviors may be aggravating and annoying to you and to members of his class. Please know that this is normal and expected. Try not to let the difficult days color the fact that YOU are a wonderful teacher with a challenging situation and that nothing works all of the time (and some things don't even work most of the time). You will also be treated to a new and very unique view of the world that will entertain and fascinate you at times. Please feel free to share with us whatever you would like. We have heard it before. It will not shock us or make us think poorly of you.

Communication is the key and by working together as a team we can provide the best for our youngster.


MORE TIPS for EDUCATORS:

Kids diagnosed with Aspergers present a special challenge in the educational milieu. This article provides educators with descriptions of seven defining characteristics of Aspergers, in addition to suggestions and strategies for addressing these symptoms in the classroom. Behavioral and academic interventions based on the author's teaching experiences with kids with Aspergers are offered.

Kids diagnosed with Aspergers present a special challenge in the educational milieu. Typically viewed as eccentric and peculiar by classmates, their inept social skills often cause them to be made victims of scapegoating. Clumsiness and an obsessive interest in obscure subjects add to their "odd" presentation. Kids with AS lack understanding of human relationships and the rules of social convention; they are naive and conspicuously lacking in common sense. Their inflexibility and inability to cope with change causes these individuals to be easily stressed and emotionally vulnerable. At the same time, kids with AS (the majority of whom are boys) are often of average to above-average intelligence and have superior rote memories. Their single-minded pursuit of their interests can lead to great achievements later in life.

Aspergers is considered a disorder at the higher end of the autistic continuum. Comparing individuals within this continuum, Van Krevelen (cited in Wing, l99l) noted that the low-functioning youngster with autism "lives in a world of his own," whereas the higher functioning youngster with autism "lives in our world but in his own way" (p.99).

Naturally, not all kids with AS are alike. Just as each youngster with AS has his or her own unique personality, "typical" AS symptoms are manifested in ways specific to each individual. As a result, there is no exact recipe for classroom approaches that can be provided for every youngster with AS, just as no one educational method fits the needs of all kids not afflicted with AS.

Following are descriptions of seven defining characteristics of Aspergers, followed by suggestions and classroom strategies for addressing these symptoms. (Classroom interventions are illustrated with examples from my own teaching experiences at the University of Michigan Medical Center Youngster and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital School.) These suggestions are offered only in the broadest sense and should be tailored to the unique needs of the individual student with AS.

Insistence on Sameness—

Kids with AS are easily overwhelmed by minimal change, are highly sensitive to environmental stressors, and sometimes engage in rituals. They are anxious and tend to worry obsessively when they do not know what to expect; stress, fatigue and sensory overload easily throw them off balance.

Programming Suggestions—

· Allay fears of the unknown by exposing the youngster to the new activity, teacher, class, school, camp and so forth beforehand, and as soon as possible after he or she is informed of the change, to prevent obsessive worrying. For instance, when the youngster with AS must change schools, he or she should meet the new teacher, tour the new school and be apprised of his or her routine in advance of actual attendance. School assignments from the old school might be provided the first few days so that the routine is familiar to the youngster in the new environment. The receiving teacher might find out the youngster's special areas of interest and have related books or activities available on the youngster's first day.

· Avoid surprises: Prepare the youngster thoroughly and in advance for special activities, altered schedules, or any other change in routine, regardless of how minimal.

· Minimize transitions.

· Offer consistent daily routine: The youngster with AS must understand each day's routine and know what to expect in order to be able to concentrate on the task at hand.

· Provide a predictable and safe environment.

Impairment in Social Interaction—

Kids with AS show an inability to understand complex rules of social interaction; are naive; are extremely egocentric; may not like physical contact; talk at people instead of to them; do not understand jokes, irony or metaphors; use monotone or stilted, unnatural tone of voice; use inappropriate gaze and body language; are insensitive and lack tact; misinterpret social cues; cannot judge "social distance;" exhibit poor ability to initiate and sustain conversation; have well-developed speech but poor communication; are sometimes labeled "little professor" because speaking style is so adult-like and pedantic; are easily taken advantage of (do not perceive that others sometimes lie or trick them); and usually have a desire to be part of the social world.

Programming Suggestions—

· Although they lack personal understanding of the emotions of others, kids with AS can learn the correct way to respond. When they have been unintentionally insulting, tactless or insensitive, it must be explained to them why the response was inappropriate and what response would have been correct. Individuals with AS must learn social skills intellectually: They lack social instinct and intuition.

· Kids with AS tend to be reclusive; thus the teacher must foster involvement with others. Encourage active socialization and limit time spent in isolated pursuit of interests. For instance, a teacher's aide seated at the lunch table could actively encourage the youngster with AS to participate in the conversation of his or her peers not only by soliciting his or her opinions and asking him questions, but also by subtly reinforcing other kids who do the same.

· Emphasize the proficient academic skills of the youngster with AS by creating cooperative learning situations in which his or her reading skills, vocabulary, memory and so forth will be viewed as an asset by peers, thereby engendering acceptance.

· In the higher age groups, attempt to educate peers about the youngster with AS when social ineptness is severe by describing his or her social problems as a true disability. Praise classmates when they treat him or her with compassion. This task may prevent scape-goating, while promoting empathy and tolerance in the other kids.

· Most kids with AS want friends but simply do not know how to interact. They should be taught how to react to social cues and be given repertoires of responses to use in various social situations. Teach the kids what to say and how to say it. Model two-way interactions and let them role-play. These kids's social judgment improves only after they have been taught rules that others pick up intuitively. One adult with AS noted that he had learned to "ape human behavior." A college professor with AS remarked that her quest to understand human interactions made her "feel like an anthropologist from Mars" (Sacks, l993, p.112).

· Older children with AS might benefit from a "buddy system." The teacher can educate a sensitive non-disabled classmate about the situation of the youngster with AS and seat them next to each other. The classmate could look out for the youngster with AS on the bus, during recess, in the hallways and so forth, and attempt to include him or her in school activities.

· Protect the youngster from bullying and teasing.

Restricted Range of Interests—

Kids with AS have eccentric preoccupations or odd, intense fixations (sometimes obsessively collecting unusual things). They tend to relentlessly "lecture" on areas of interest; ask repetitive questions about interests; have trouble letting go of ideas; follow own inclinations regardless of external demands; and sometimes refuse to learn about anything outside their limited field of interest.

Programming Suggestions—

· Use the youngster's fixation as a way to broaden his or her repertoire of interests. For instance, during a unit on rain forests, the student with AS who was obsessed with animals was led to not only study rain forest animals but to also study the forest itself, as this was the animals' home. He was then motivated to learn about the local people who were forced to chop down the animals' forest habitat in order to survive.

· Use of positive reinforcement selectively directed to shape a desired behavior is the critical strategy for helping the youngster with AS (Dewey, 1991). These kids respond to compliments (e.g., in the case of a relentless question-asker, the teacher might consistently praise him as soon as he pauses and congratulate him for allowing others to speak). These kids should also be praised for simple, expected social behavior that is taken for granted in other kids.

· Children can be given assignments that link their interest to the subject being studied. For example, during a social studies unit about a specific country, a youngster obsessed with trains might be assigned to research the modes of transportation used by people in that country.

· Some kids with AS will not want to do assignments outside their area of interest. Firm expectations must be set for completion of classwork. It must be made very clear to the youngster with AS that he is not in control and that he must follow specific rules. At the same time, however, meet the kids halfway by giving them opportunities to pursue their own interests.

· For particularly recalcitrant kids, it may be necessary to initially individualize all assignments around their interest area (e.g., if the interest is dinosaurs, then offer grammar sentences, math word problems and reading and spelling tasks about dinosaurs). Gradually introduce other topics into assignments.

· Do not allow the youngster with AS to perseveratively discuss or ask questions about isolated interests. Limit this behavior by designating a specific time during the day when the youngster can talk about this. For example: A youngster with AS who was fixated on animals and had innumerable questions about a class pet turtle knew that he was allowed to ask these questions only during recesses. This was part of his daily routine and he quickly learned to stop himself when he began asking these kinds of questions at other times of the day.

Poor Concentration—

Kids with AS are often off task, distracted by internal stimuli; are very disorganized; have difficulty sustaining focus on classroom activities (often it is not that the attention is poor but, rather, that the focus is "odd" ; the individual with AS cannot figure out what is relevant [Happe, 1991], so attention is focused on irrelevant stimuli); tend to withdraw into complex inner worlds in a manner much more intense than is typical of daydreaming and have difficulty learning in a group situation.

Programming Suggestions—

· Work out a nonverbal signal with the youngster (e.g., a gentle pat on the shoulder) for times when he or she is not attending.

· The teacher must actively encourage the youngster with AS to leave his or her inner thoughts/ fantasies behind and refocus on the real world. This is a constant battle, as the comfort of that inner world is believed to be much more attractive than anything in real life. For young kids, even free play needs to be structured, because they can become so immersed in solitary, ritualized fantasy play that they lose touch with reality. Encouraging a youngster with AS to play a board game with one or two others under close supervision not only structures play but offers an opportunity to practice social skills.

· Seat the youngster with AS at the front of the class and direct frequent questions to him or her to help him or her attend to the lesson.

· In the case of mainstreamed children with AS, poor concentration, slow clerical speed and severe disorganization may make it necessary to lessen his or her homework/classwork load and/or provide time in a resource room where a special education teacher can provide the additional structure the youngster needs to complete classwork and homework (some kids with AS are so unable to concentrate that it places undue stress on moms & dads to expect that they spend hours each night trying to get through homework with their youngster).

· If a buddy system is used, sit the youngster's buddy next to him or her so the buddy can remind the youngster with AS to return to task or listen to the lesson.

· Kids with severe concentration problems benefit from timed work sessions. This helps them organize themselves. Classwork that is not completed within the time limit (or that is done carelessly) within the time limit must be made up during the youngster's own time (i.e., during recess or during the time used for pursuit of special interests). Kids with AS can sometimes be stubborn; they need firm expectations and a structured program that teaches them that compliance with rules leads to positive reinforcement (this kind of program motivates the youngster with AS to be productive, thus enhancing self-esteem and lowering stress levels, because the youngster sees himself as competent).

· A tremendous amount of regimented external structure must be provided if the youngster with AS is to be productive in the classroom. Assignments should be broken down into small units, and frequent teacher feedback and redirection should be offered.

Poor Motor Coordination—

Kids with AS are physically clumsy and awkward; have stiff, awkward gaits; are unsuccessful in games involving motor skills; and experience fine-motor deficits that can cause penmanship problems, slow clerical speed and affect their ability to draw.


Programming Suggestions—

· Kids with AS may require a highly individualized cursive program that entails tracing and copying on paper, coupled with motor patterning on the blackboard. The teacher guides the youngster's hand repeatedly through the formation of letters and letter connections and also uses a verbal script. Once the youngster commits the script to memory, he or she can talk himself or herself through letter formations independently.

· Do not push the youngster to participate in competitive sports, as his or her poor motor coordination may only invite frustration and the teasing of team members. The youngster with AS lacks the social understanding of coordinating one's own actions with those of others on a team.

· Individuals with AS may need more than their peers to complete exams (taking exams in the resource room not only offer more time but would also provide the added structure and teacher redirection these kids need to focus on the task at hand).

· Involve the youngster with AS in a health/fitness curriculum in physical education, rather than in a competitive sports program.

· Refer the youngster with AS for adaptive physical education program if gross motor problems are severe.

· When assigning timed units of work, make sure the youngster's slower writing speed is taken into account.

· Younger kids with AS benefit from guidelines drawn on paper that help them control the size and uniformity of the letters they write. This also forces them to take the time to write carefully.

Academic Difficulties—

Kids with AS usually have average to above-average intelligence (especially in the verbal sphere) but lack high level thinking and comprehension skills. They tend to be very literal: Their images are concrete, and abstraction is poor. Their pedantic speaking style and impressive vocabularies give the false impression that they understand what they are talking about, when in reality they are merely parroting what they have heard or read. The youngster with AS frequently has an excellent rote memory, but it is mechanical in nature; that is, the youngster may respond like a video that plays in set sequence. Problem-solving skills are poor.

Programming Suggestions—

· Academic work may be of poor quality because the youngster with AS is not motivated to exert effort in areas in which he or she is not interested. Very firm expectations must be set for the quality of work produced. Work executed within timed periods must be not only complete but done carefully. The youngster with AS should be expected to correct poorly executed classwork during recess or during the time he or she usually pursues his or her own interests.

· Capitalize on these individuals' exceptional memory: Retaining factual information is frequently their forte.

· Kids with AS often have excellent reading recognition skills, but language comprehension is weak. Do not assume they understand what they so fluently read.

· Do not assume that kids with AS understand something just because they parrot back what they have heard.

· Emotional nuances, multiple levels of meaning, and relationship issues as presented in novels will often not be understood.

· Offer added explanation and try to simplify when lesson concepts are abstract.

· Provide a highly individualized academic program engineered to offer consistent successes. The youngster with AS needs great motivation to not follow his or her own impulses. Learning must be rewarding and not anxiety-provoking.

· The writing assignments of individuals with AS are often repetitious, flit from one subject to the next, and contain incorrect word connotations. These kids frequently do not know the difference between general knowledge and personal ideas and therefore assume the teacher will understand their sometimes abstruse expressions.

Emotional Vulnerability—

Kids with Aspergers have the intelligence to compete in regular education but they often do not have the emotional resources to cope with the demands of the classroom. These kids are easily stressed due to their inflexibility. Self-esteem is low, and they are often very self-critical and unable to tolerate making mistakes. Individuals with AS, especially adolescents, may be prone to depression (a high percentage of depression in adults with AS has been documented). Rage reactions/temper outbursts are common in response to stress/frustration. Kids with AS rarely seem relaxed and are easily overwhelmed when things are not as their rigid views dictate they should be. Interacting with people and coping with the ordinary demands of everyday life take continual Herculean effort.

Programming Suggestions—

· Affect as reflected in the teacher's voice should be kept to a minimum. Be calm, predictable, and matter-of-fact in interactions with the youngster with AS, while clearly indicating compassion and patience. Hans Asperger (1991), the psychiatrist for whom this syndrome is named, remarked that "the teacher who does not understand that it is necessary to teach kids [with AS] seemingly obvious things will feel impatient and irritated" (p.57); Do not expect the youngster with AS to acknowledge that he or she is sad/ depressed. In the same way that they cannot perceive the feelings of others, these kids can also be unaware of their own feelings. They often cover up their depression and deny its symptoms.

· Prevent outbursts by offering a high level of consistency. Prepare these kids for changes in daily routine, to lower stress (see "Resistance to Change" section). Kids with AS frequently become fearful, angry, and upset in the face of forced or unexpected changes.

· Report symptoms to the youngster's therapist or make a mental health referral so that the youngster can be evaluated for depression and receive treatment if this is needed. Because these kids are often unable to assess their own emotions and cannot seek comfort from others, it is critical that depression be diagnosed quickly.

· Teach the kids how to cope when stress overwhelms him or her, to prevent outbursts. Help the youngster write a list of very concrete steps that can be followed when he or she becomes upset (e.g., 1-Breathe deeply three times; 2-Count the fingers on your right hand slowly three times; 3-Ask to see the special education teacher, etc.). Include a ritualized behavior that the youngster finds comforting on the list. Write these steps on a card that is placed in the youngster's pocket so that they are always readily available.

· Educators must be alert to changes in behavior that may indicate depression, such as even greater levels of disorganization, inattentiveness, and isolation; decreased stress threshold; chronic fatigue; crying; suicidal remarks; and so on. Do not accept the youngster's assessment in these cases that he or she is "OK".

· It is critical that adolescents with AS who are mainstreamed have an identified support staff member with whom they can check in at least once daily. This person can assess how well he or she is coping by meeting with him or her daily and gathering observations from other educators.

· Kids with AS who are very fragile emotionally may need placement in a highly structured special education classroom that can offer individualized academic program. These kids require a learning environment in which they see themselves as competent and productive. Accordingly, keeping them in the mainstream, where they cannot grasp concepts or complete assignments, serves only to lower their self-concept, increase their withdrawal, and set the stage for a depressive disorder. In some situations, a personal aide can be assigned to the youngster with AS rather than special education placement. The aide offers affective support, structure and consistent feedback.

· Kids with AS must receive academic assistance as soon as difficulties in a particular area are noted. These kids are quickly overwhelmed and react much more severely to failure than do other kids.

· Be aware that adolescents with AS are especially prone to depression. Social skills are highly valued in adolescence and the student with AS realizes he or she is different and has difficulty forming normal relationships. Academic work often becomes more abstract, and the adolescent with AS finds assignments more difficult and complex. In one case, educators noted that an adolescent with AS was no longer crying over math assignments and therefore believed that he was coping much better. In reality, his subsequent decreased organization and productivity in math was believed to be function of his escaping further into his inner world to avoid the math, and thus he was not coping well at all.

Kids with Aspergers are so easily overwhelmed by environmental stressors, and have such profound impairment in the ability to form interpersonal relationships, that it is no wonder they give the impression of "fragile vulnerability and a pathetic childishness" (Wing, 1981, p. 117). Everard (1976)wrote that when these youngsters are compared with their non-disabled peers, "one is instantly aware of how different they are and the enormous effort they have to make to live in a world where no concessions are made and where they are expected to conform" (p.2).

Educators can play a vital role in helping kids with AS learn to negotiate the world around them. Because kids with AS are frequently unable to express their fears and anxieties, it is up to significant adults to make it worthwhile for them to leave their safe inner fantasy lives for the uncertainties of the external world. Professionals who work with these youngsters in schools must provide the external structure, organization, and stability that they lack. Using creative teaching strategies with individuals suffering from Aspergers is critical, not only to facilitate academic success, but also to help them feel less alienated from other human beings and less overwhelmed by the ordinary demands of everyday life.

==> The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism


COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
My son had a bad day yesterday. His worst yet at school. His teacher had them play math bingo. I told her the day before that it would be too stressful for him but he played yesterday. He could not hear her and the kids would not be quiet as he was trying to solve the problem. He had a meltdown and begin threatening people and the class and throwing paper. Today we have a 504 meeting for him. What ideas can I give his teacher to help him in these situations. They are very high stress for him. I was thinking ear plugs and her getting eye to eye with him and giving him the problem or her writing it down and giving it to him as she gives it to the class. He enjoys the game so I dont want to take it away all together.

Anonymous said...
My daughter, 15, had to give a speech in class and this counts a lot to final marks. The first time she tried she started to cry (she was sitting in the front of the class and so hardly anyone saw this) and had to leave the class. She tried to explain to her (new) teacher but was given no help. How do I approach the teacher/school - read somewhere that a good idea would be for my daughter to do her speech in front of 2 classmates she doesn't mind. Thanks.

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Gulf Islands Film and Television School
Galiano Island, British Columbia, Canada
Intensive weeklong and monthlong media production programs for young people & adults. Students produce short films in teams of four. Rural island off the west coast of B.C.

Advantage Riding Academy
Merrimac, Massachusetts, USA
Horseback riding from the therapeutic to advanced level…

Spectra Academy
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
This is a new program for kids and adolescents with Asperger’s disorder, high functioning autism and those with related social pragmatic difficulties aged 8-14. Kids in this spectrum need…

Camp CARD NE
Ogunquit, Maine, USA
A SUMMER CAMP FARM EXPERIENCE FOR SOCIAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT CAMP CARD NE is a social enrichment program for kids with an autism spectrum disorder…

Camp Maple Leaf
Wallingford, Vermont, USA
A fun camp experience that focuses on social skills and leisure/relaxation skills development for kids and adolescents diagnosed with: Nonverbal Learning Disabilities Asperger's Syndrome…

SL Start
Boise, Idaho, USA
Day camp providing Developmental Therapy and Intensive Behavioral Intervention to kids 3-12...

Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Institute
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Summer experiences for kids with sensory processing disorder and other sensory and motor problems...

Camp STAR Summer Treatment for ADHD
Highland Park, Illinois, USA
Camp STAR is an evidence-based DAY camp for kids with behavioral, social and emmotional issues run but clinical staff from the University of Illinois Chicago, and NCYS North Shore Day Camp…

Camp New Connections
Belmont, Massachusetts, USA
Camp New Connections is a Summer Pragmatic Language Program for kids and adolescents with Asperger's Disorder, PDD-NOS, and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities...

Camp Excel
Allenwood (Wall Twp), New Jersey, USA
Camp Excel is a specialized summer camp for kids ADHD and others with Social Skills Challenges. We focus on developing social skills and the social awareness necessary for better relationships...

92nd Street Y Camp Bari Tov and Camp Tova
New York, New York, USA
92nd St. Y’s nurturing day camps for developmentally disabled kids ages 5-13. Bari Tov offers 1-to-1 supervision, while Tova provides a small group structure at our beautiful upstate campground…

Achieve Fluency Learning Camp
Stamford, Connecticut, USA
AFLC is a summer camp for kids with and without special learning needs age 4-12. Our unique program offers kids a great opportunity to receive special attention for their language, academic…


Children with Autism Making Progress
South Pasadena, California, USA
C.A.M.P. is based on the fundamental belief that kids with autism experience life with a super sensitivity unlike typically developing kids…
Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders? Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

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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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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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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to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content