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

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Meltdowns in Children on the Autism Spectrum: Crucial Strategies for Parents and Teachers

High-Functioning Autism (HFA), also referred to as Level 1 Autism, is a neurological condition. The brain is wired differently, making this disorder a lifelong condition. It affects communication, social interaction and sensory issues. HFA is often referred to as the "invisible syndrome" because of the internal struggles these kids have without outwardly demonstrating any real noticeable symptoms. Thus, difficultly assessing someone with HFA is even more impacted.

In this post, we will discuss the following:
  • nine different types of temperaments in HFA children 
  • meltdown prevention
  • meltdown intervention
  • post-tantrum management
 
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    24 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Oh we are having a meltdown this morning, sat down and read this. I love this support group!!!

    Anonymous said...

    I know we have had our share of these meltdowns! They make us feel as if we r breaking down, but in the end, they have made us stronger!!!!

    Anonymous said...

    I really know what it is. I've always been like that, always internalised things and then it became a big problem. I still try do deal with it.

    Anonymous said...

    ‎"Initial withdrawal", "Low sensory threshold", "Negative persistent", "Poor adaptability", all these are "familiar" to me.

    Anonymous said...

    My son falls into the "High intensity level temperament moves the child to yell, scream, or hit hard when feeling threatened."

    Anonymous said...

    My son falls into the "High intensity level temperament moves the child to yell, scream, or hit hard when feeling threatened."

    Anonymous said...

    I enjoyed reading this article!

    Anonymous said...

    Things have improved with time, though. This was a really good article. I appreciate it. Thanks for sharing!

    Anonymous said...

    Great article...thank you!

    Anonymous said...

    I know what it is like to have meltdowns. For now I just keep it inside me. So not very good. Yet it is the only thing I can do since I am not being understood.

    Anonymous said...

    My son has meltdowns when he is having sensory issues. Yesterday was a prime example. All day every sound was too loud, the lights in the classroom were too bright so they turned them off, it was either too hot or too cold, his skin was either tickling or itching. Once they figured out he was having sensory issues, they got the weighted vest that each classroom is equipped with and put it on him. He seemed to be ok, if a bit agitated, for the rest of the day. However, last night it kind of come to a head, and I had to rush home from a meeting because he just blew up. Once I got home, he calmed down a bit, but I discovered he was on sensory overload - the laptop, TV and stereo were all going at the same time. I turned everything off, gave him his nighttime meds, and he was fairly calm by bedtime. It was quite a day.

    Anonymous said...

    I know with my son a meltdown is when he gets frustrated after trying so long, and a temper tantrum which as he has gotten older doesn't happen as often. But those would occur when like with any child he didn't get his way or couldn't understand something. The days his frustration levels are low. Aspergers kids have them cause they are taking in so much information I could see how they could have meltdowns. Parents just need to learn their child watch what sets them off. Be patient, let their child have their own space to do their cool down.

    Anonymous said...

    Yeah, with my son a meltdown happens when he's having sensory issues. Temper tantrums are just angry outburts. He didn't get his way, or is being argumentative. Just bratty stuff.

    Anonymous said...

    not sure if it's a meltdown or a tantrum but my guess is tantrum...this morning, eight year old son screamed over the fact that I wouldn't let him sit on me and bounce up and down. Now, he knows I have back problems, he also knows he can't get his way with me..but still had to scream about it....at school in front of classmates.

    Anonymous said...

    "We just got this "official" diagnosis last week but so much stuff makes sense now with the sensory issues."

    Anonymous said...

    My son is 10 and has just been "officially" diagnosed with Aspergers...he has had meltdowns since about 6 years old and I've learned over the years that the best thing to do is to put him in his room with no sensory input (ie: TV or radio)...eventually he calms down enough for us to discuss...I have also made arrangements with his school for him to get 15 mins of "decompression" time every 2 hrs. We are hoping this helps stem any meltdowns that are building up throughout the day. I believe his meltdowns happen because of sensory overload over time...

    Steve Borgman said...

    I think the biggest challenge as parents is to be able to hold our children responsible while not reacting out of anger. It truly is an exhausting experience. Your suggestions are great! Thank you.

    Anonymous said...

    psychologist actually said it was a sensory issue. For whatever reason my son felt he needed to sit on me and wasn't happy when I said no. So just trying to get used to all of this now that we have a diagnosis.
    10 hours ago · Like

    Anonymous said...

    My 6 year old son has never been formally diagnosed with Aspergers but his class teachers agree with me, that he is definitely on the spectrum. He causes no problems at school - he knows how he should behave and the boundaries. He has meltdowns at home but the last few days have been exceptionally hard for me to cope with. He has been telling us that he is rubbish and ugly and we should kill him as he is no good. The worse thing, he means it, you can see it in his eyes. I want to get help for him, but my husband is reluctant- he thinks social services will be involved and doesn't want this to happen.

    Kristin O'Domes said...

    wow. reading this article really opened my eyes to some things that over the years I have seen in my son, this will really help me to understand and help him.

    Anonymous said...

    What about the child that yells, cusses, hits and screams while having a meltdown. I tend to walk away and give them their space... any suggestions?

    sonia beinroth said...

    Restraining a child who has sensory issues (all autistic/aspergers kids have this) isnt the way forward.There is well documented evidence and alternatives as to why its ineffective and actually creates more problems in adulthood.It teaches the child he is powerless when he is already feeling powerless in a situation where he is feeling out of control.Also teaches im bigger than you so i can do what i like to you.Doesnt teach the child cooperation or to learn to regulate their behaviour over time.Teaching the child this is what will happen when you lose it sends the child the message this is what he can expect as an adult and if youve got a very strong tall 25yr old are you still going to be restraining him? And perhaps the worst thing about it is these children can begin to create ouit of control behaviour so someone restrains them as they begin to adapt to the feeling of being held and being unable to move...they start to crave the sensory aspect of restraining and then behave badly so they can be put in a restraint hold.There are plenty of alternatives to restraining-10 alternatives to restraining a schild with special needs.

    Oltion Korini said...

    Nice blog but I believe there are many misconceptions regarding aspergers people. I know because I am one of them. Let me state them below.
    1. Aspergers condition affects the connection of the person to the outer world. It is not a personality or character problem. They are similar to a person that needs glasses to see better but will never have those glasses. In order to overcome this they need to learn by heart everything that surrounds them.
    2. They are smarter than ordinary people. In order to fully express their abilities they need to fill up their brain with knowledge. Their brain is wired to slowly capture the reality but to quickly process and manipulate what they capture. Its not only my opinion that most of the worlds geniuses are aspergers people. They have extra ordinary ability to link phenomena and facts and produce new findings.
    3. They are hard to cope as children. Aspergers are not doomed to yell and fight with the others forever. This is a problem of their parents. They should direct them to what is right and teach them to love others. The difference to ordinary people is that the teching process is much harder for them but certainly possible. Yes they should be restrained and stopped when they are violent so that they understand that behavior is unacceptable. I do not mean to beat them, or yell at them, NO. The best would be to lock them in a room until they are calm and to explain that their behavior should be better if they do not want to be locked there. Leaving them with no punishment will only make them worse like all spoiled children. All children (aspie or not) should understand that this world has rules and the sooner they learn that, the better is for them. If you leave them do as they wish it will be temporary because when they will face the outer world they will be punished even worse for not respecting ordinary life rules. The parent must show him love and respect and give him responsibilities and self confidence gradually. Aspies respond better when treated like adults not children. Have in mind that!

    Oltion Korini said...

    Part 2
    4. Aspergers can have friends, wife and children. All those who do not, have others issues related to their family. Yes, they make social mistakes but they are smart enough not to repeat them. They are able to love the same and even more than normal people because they are deeply sincere in their feelings. They do not enjoy much social events but can learn to survive and to behave normally. They need a good example and a good teacher to follow. The best for them is to relate them to a good social friend that will help them and explain to them social cues. They need this kind of help until their 20. A very good idea is to give them books to read. Through a book aspies may understand many examples of social behavior. A parent has to choose the appropriate books for each stage of development for his asperger child.
    5. They say restraining is bad for them. Yes but leaving them without it is even worse. They fail to understand the limits of their behavior and may put the whole family in difficulty when grown up. If a child does not change his behavior after restraining him, then he has issues of bonding with his parents. He needs more love by them so he learns to respect and understand their decisions. As I said in the beginning they need extra effort to understand the reality. As they grow up this is also messed up by other feelings like egoism and self esteem. Before taking the children to the psychologist, consider taking their parents too. They need to understand the aspergers are unlike other children and cannot be raised up like a normal child with some anxiety problems. In general you need much patience with them and only restrain them after you have warned them several times and you are sure they heard you. They have to control their feelings in order to survive in the outer world where there are no parents to support them. Yes they have to learn the hard way because many times this is the only that works. I believe they are destined to be anxious until they have learned enough for the outer world and are more prepared. The parents have to work hard until they are adults because afterwards there is not much they can do because the character is built. Although mine did not try so much I still am successful in my career and wife and kids and fully independent.

    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.

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    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 Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

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