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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Technology and Asperger's Children


"What specific technology is available to help the Aspergers student in school, especially one with gross/fine motor issues?"

Like most children, those with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism have a strong interest in computers and video technology. As a result, both computers and video recording should be integrated into the academic curriculum for a child with Asperger’s. The technology of computers and video recording will provide the student with a consistent form of learning, as well as being entertaining.

Computers- Computers now have hardware that can be adapted to the needs of a child with Asperger’s. These devices will help the child focus on computer-generated tasks, and they increase a child’s motor skills.

Computers with touch windows give the child the ability to navigate through a program with ease. In addition, the child can interact with a program without having to rely on a computer mouse. A touch screen decreases the hardware required to operate the computer, and the child can directly relate his or her actions to the action shown on the computer screen.

The standard computer keyboard can be replaced by an alternative keyboard known as Big Keys. This is a keyboard that has been designed for younger children, and each key is one-inch square. In addition, the letters are color coded to assist the child in finding a specific letter. For example, vowels and consonants are color coded separately. The Big Keys keyboard is produced by Greystone Digital, and their website can be accessed at www.bigkeys.com

Video Technology- A child with Asperger’s will enjoy video technology due to the repetitive nature and predictability of video recording. Repeated viewing of a video results in learning a variety of skills and knowledge.

Video technology can teach writing skills (e.g., letters, words, sentences) as well as language comprehension skills (e.g., syntax, object names, shapes, sizes). Also, task-oriented behavior, such as closing a door or making a bed, can be taught with a step-by-step video demonstration.

It is important to note that the technology found in computers and video recording need to be tailored to an Asperger's child. Some of the basic concepts of the computer, such as typing and disc storage, might need to be slowly and patiently explained and demonstrated. In addition, a video camera needs to be focused and adjusted before use. A child with Asperger's will want to push buttons or turn lenses at random. Video recording needs to be taught very slowly so that the child acquires knowledge and mastery over the tasks and doesn’t experience frustration.

An Asperger's child is an individual and any learning experience must be individualized to meet the child’s needs. Using computer and video technology will contribute to independent functioning and decrease the child’s reliance on other people to complete a learning task. Above all, when teaching any child a step-by-step process, the adult must be patient with the child’s learning process and also be willing to explain the mistakes that a child might make while mastering a learning task.

Crisis Intervention Tips for Asperger's Children

"I know you talk about how 'prevention' is key when trying to deal with meltdowns in children with AS, but what about when the child is already full-swing into a meltdown? Is it just too late at that point to make any difference?"

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Dual-Diagnosis in Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"We have been to many professionals over the years to get help for our son. It seems as though each therapist or psychiatrist we see comes up with a different diagnosis. First, our son had ADHD ...then he had OCD ...then it was ODD ...now it's Aspergers. Who are we to trust? Can he really have all of these disorders? Help!"

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How to Change Stubborn Thinking

"Once my son has an idea in his head, he won't budge. For example, somewhere he heard that looking into the sun will blind you (which is true). But he has taken this to a whole new level by refusing to go anywhere without his sunglasses. If he doesn't have them before we walk out the door -- it's meltdown city! I've told him countless times that as long as he isn't staring directly into the sun, he's not going to lose his eyesight. This discussion goes in one ear and out the other, and this is just one of dozens of examples. My question is: how do you change the mindset of a stubborn child who refuses to listen to reason?"


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Characteristics of Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"How can you tell if a child has Asperger's Syndrome? And should we take him to a specialist to have him formally diagnosed?"

I'll answer the second question first: Yes, if you suspect Aspergers, then by all means seek a diagnosis so you will know for sure. It's better to know than not to know. If your child has Aspergers and doesn’t know, it affects him anyway. If he does know, he can minimize the negative impact -- and leverage the positive. Without the knowledge that you have Aspergers, you will often fill that void with other, more damaging explanations (e.g., "I'm a failure, weird, a disappointment, not living up to my potential, etc.").

Here are the core symptoms of Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism). If these symptoms characterize your son, then strongly consider consulting a professional:

1. Cognitive Issues-- Mindblindness, or the inability to make inferences about what another person is thinking, is a core issue for kids with Aspergers. Because of this, they have difficulty empathizing with others, and will often say what they think without considering another's feelings. The Aspergers youngster will often assume that everyone is thinking the same thing he is. For him, the world exists not in shades of gray, but only in black and white. This rigidity in thought (i.e., lack of cognitive flexibility) interferes with problem solving, mental planning, impulse control, flexibility in thoughts and actions, and the ability to stay focused on a task until completion. The rigidity also makes it difficult for an Asperger youngster to engage in imaginative play. His interest in play materials, themes, and choices will be narrow, and he will attempt to control the play situation.

2. Difficulty with Reciprocal Social Interactions-- Children and teens with Aspergers display varying difficulties when interacting with others. Some have no desire to interact, while others simply do not know how. More specifically, they do not comprehend the "give-and-take" nature of social interactions. They may want to lecture you about the Titanic, or they may leave the room in the midst of playing with a friend. They have difficulty comprehending the verbal and nonverbal cues used in typical social interactions. These include eye contact, facial expressions, body language, conversational turn-taking, perspective taking, and matching conversational and nonverbal responses to the interaction.

3. Impairments in Language Skills-- Kids with Aspergers have very specific problems with language, especially with pragmatic use of language, which is the social aspect. That is, they see language as a way to share facts and information (especially about special interests), not as a way to share thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The youngster will display difficulty in many areas of a conversation processing verbal information, initiation, maintenance, ending, topic appropriateness, sustaining attention, and turn taking. The youngster's prosody (i.e., pitch, stress, rhythm, or melody of speech) can also be impaired. Conversations may often appear scripted or ritualistic (i.e., it may be dialogue from a TV show or a movie). They may also have difficulty problem solving, analyzing or synthesizing information, and understanding language beyond the literal level.

4. Motor Clumsiness-- Many kids with Aspergers have difficulty with both gross and fine motor skills. The difficulty is often not just the task itself, but the motor planning involved in completing the task. Typical difficulties include handwriting, riding a bike, and ball skills.

5. Narrow Range of Interests and Insistence on Set Routines-- Due to the an Asperger kid's anxiety, his interactions will be ruled by rigidity, obsessions, and perseverations (i.e., repetitious behaviors or language) transitions and changes can cause. Generally, he will have few interests, but those interests will often dominate. The need for structure and routine will be most important. He may develop his own rules to live by that barely coincide with the rest of society.

6. Sensory Sensitivities-- Many Asperger kids have sensory issues. These can occur in one or all of the senses (e.g., sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste). The degree of difficulty varies from one child to another. Most frequently, the child will perceive ordinary sensations as quite intense or may even be under-reactive to a sensation. Often, the challenge in this area will be to determine if his/her response to a sensation is actually a sensory reaction or if it is a learned behavior, driven mainly by rigidity and anxiety.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Aspergers Checklist: Sensory Sensitivities

"Is it common for a child with Aspergers to be very picky about things, for example, will only eat certain foods ...will only wear certain clothes ...etc.?"

The short answer is 'yes'. What you're referring to here is called "sensory sensitivities," which refers to any abnormalities of the senses (i.e., sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste) a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism may have. The Aspergers child generally has difficulty in at least one of these areas, though the degree will vary from person to person. Some children may have difficulty in multiple - or even all - areas. 

For example, the child may perceive ordinary sensations as unbearably intense, in which case he will begin to anticipate these experiences, feeling anxious well before the experience occurs. It will be very important to determine if the response is due to sensory or behavioral (learned) difficulties. Often a behavior may initially stem from sensory difficulties, but then becomes a learned behavior (habit). How you address the behavior will depend on which it is.

Here is a sensory sensitivity checklist (the Aspergers child will not usually have all of these traits):

1. Has difficulty in visual areas:
  • Engages in intense staring.
  • Avoids eye contact.
  • Stands too close to objects or people.
  • Displays discomfort/anxiety when looking at certain pictures (e.g., the child feels as if the visual experience is closing in on him).

2. Has difficulty in auditory areas:
  • Covers ears when certain sounds are made.
  • Displays extreme fear when unexpected noises occur.
  • Displays an inability to focus when surrounded by multiple sounds (e.g., shopping mall, airport, party).
  • Purposely withdraws to avoid noises.
  • Is fearful of the sounds particular objects make (e.g., vacuum, blender, DustBuster).

3. Has difficulty in olfactory areas:
  • Finds some smells so overpowering or unpleasant that he becomes nauseated.
  • Displays a strong olfactory memory.
  • Can recognize smells before others.
  • Needs to smell foods before eating them.
  • Needs to smell materials before using them.

4. Has difficulty in tactile areas:
  • Has difficulty when touched by others, even lightly (especially shoulders and head).
  • Displays anxiety when touched unexpectedly.
  • Complains of clothing feeling like sandpaper.
  • Has difficulty accepting new clothing (including for change of seasons).
  • Has difficulty with clothing seams or tags.
  • Does not respond to temperature appropriately.
  • Underreacts to pain.
  • Overreacts to pain.
  • Has difficulty using particular materials (e.g., glue, paint, clay).
  • Complains of a small amount of wetness (e.g., from the water fountain, a small spill).

5. Has difficulty in gustatory areas:
  • Makes limited food choices.
  • Will only tolerate foods of a particular texture or color.
  • Needs to touch foods before eating them.
  • Displays unusual chewing and swallowing behaviors.
  • Has rigidity issues tied in with limited food preferences (e.g., this is the food he always has, it is always this brand, and it is always prepared and presented in this way).
  • Cannot allow foods to touch each other on the plate.
  • Must eat each individual food in its entirety before the next.
  • Has an easily activated gag/vomit reflex.

6. Engages in self-stimulatory behaviors (e.g., rocking, hand movements, facial grimaces).

7. Is oversensitive to environmental stimulation (e.g., changes in light, sound, smell, location of objects).

8. Is undersensitive to environmental stimulation (e.g., changes in light, sound, smell, location of objects).



COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... Absolutely. It may not be for everything, but for certain things in particular. My son, will not wear jeans EVER and only wants to wear basketball-type shorts, but will eat almost anything. It just depends on the child.
•    Anonymous said... Being a parent of an Aspergers child, you need to always think outside the box when your child seems to react differently to things you wouldn't think would be a big deal.
•    Anonymous said... Describes my daughter's sensory issues perfectly
•    Anonymous said... Funny everyone says about the jeans.... Mine won't wear shorts! Even on a really hot day, he still wears jeans and he's super obsessed with minecraft and other electronic games but he's pretty good with eating almost any food.
•    Anonymous said... Mine will wear jeans but they absolutely must be of a certain weight and texture. Thankfully, her diet is varied enough to cover the bases and is relatively healthy. She definitely sticks to the same foods & brands!
•    Anonymous said... My son 9, always makes strange sounds when he eats! He doesn't like food touching & will only eat food prepared the same way eg: raw carrots. He is also obsessed with minecraft & is so precise with everything.
•    Anonymous said... my son absolutely refuses to use public washrooms
•    Anonymous said... My son can't wear any shirts w/ a tag. Has a hard time eating cold items foods.
•    Anonymous said... My son doesn't like jeans either, prefers to wear soft jogging bottoms, otherwise has to have his belt as tight as possible. He thinks they will fall down otherwise, even if the adjustable buttons inside are done up as tight as possible! Breakfast is worst time of day for us. He will only eat one thing for months on end until he hates it and then we have to find something else
•    Anonymous said... My son hates jeans..and has a very limited diet of "white foods" x
•    Anonymous said... My son would only wear soft shirts, no collars, hates buttons, no tags and must use only mechanical pencils. He likes baggy jeans but must have his belt pulled as tight as possible. When he was younger, he hated being dirty, hated loud sounds, hated things out of order, everything had a place...I thought in the beginning he was OCD. And food was always a big issues but that is getting better with age.
•    Anonymous said... Our sons are very similar in their texture sensitivities.
•    Anonymous said... So funny everyone seems to b mentioning jeans. Mine won't wear it either. He wears his school uniform everywhere. Since it is Dickies pants, I'm fine w that. I see the similarity in Dickies and jeans. But it's a huge difference to him. Food is a big issue w us. More comes off his list every year, but doesn't seem to replace it w anything healthy. He's 16 and still eats like a toddler. No casseroles, cause that mixes food, yet he loves pizza/hamburgers/tacos big time! We only fast food once a week. But he asks for it every day!
•    Anonymous said... That's too funny... My boy is 16 and that is all he will wear, i.e. jeans, but they can only be from a particular place and a particular brand. Let me tell you, only being able to shop at one place to buy him jeans has not been easy over the years. Just like Lori, mine is into all that "junk food" stuff, pizza, tacos, macaroni and cheese, pasta roni, etc., but, from what I hear, I have gotten lucky because he will at least try different things.
•    Anonymous said... Wow, I always thought we were the only anti-jeans home.
•    Anonymous said... Yes and then some. It's a challenge, but you must plan for it and/or around it; use everything you can to plan and to make the environment comfortable to your child. Prepare others in his world with the info they need to know as they meet and/or interact with your child.
•    Anonymous said... Yes and you will also find they can get obsessed about certain things and talk on that subject all day, my youngest is Thomas and Ninjago, 2 topics that have had to be band from the dinner table.
•    Anonymous said... Yes definitely, they are all different. My son won't wear jeans at all, completely refuses. They are "too tight" even if they are super light and big with a wide cotton waistband. One example of many. But he will eat anything- he's less orally sensitive though. There can be a hundred different sensitivities - an occupational therapist can test for those.
•    Anonymous said... Yes my 8 year old will never wear jeans either
•    Anonymous said... Yes strict routines, only wears certain clothes so make sure you buy lots of sizes in their choice, have a buffet style dinner so no foods touch each other etc
•    Anonymous said... yes, my son, 9, is bothered even by tagless underwear sometimes, and would not wear anything that would make a sound when he moves since he is hypersensitive to sounds. He is also hypersensitive to smells and would rarely eat while at school
•    Anonymous said... Yes. As they get older it changes a bit.
•    Anonymous said... Yes. Ritual and routine are very important. My son would melt down if he couldn't use a certain bathroom at home. He had to do things in a certain order before school with no variation. He is getting better now at calming if some break in routine is necessary.

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Aspergers and HFA Checklist: Cognitive Issues

"Can you help me understand how my child thinks? His rationale is quite confusing at times, and I find we are rarely on the same page with simple day-to-day issues." 

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Aspies in the Teenage Years: What the Future Holds

"I would like to know what to expect from a high functioning autistic child in the teenage years. My son was diagnosed 2 years ago. I know they say that they can suffer from this and that, but what is the long-term goal, what can we expect, what not to expect?"

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Aspergers Checklist: Motor Clumsiness

Motor Clumsiness: This refers to difficulties with motor functioning and planning. The Asperger individual can have difficulty with both gross and fine motor skills.

A. Difficulties with gross motor skills:
  1. An awkward gait when walking or running.
  2. Poor balance.
  3. Difficulty when throwing or catching a ball (appears afraid of the ball).
  4. Difficulty coordinating different extremities, motor planning (shoe tying, bike riding).
  5. Difficulty with motor imitation skills.
  6. Difficulty with rhythm copying.
  7. Difficulty with skipping.

B. Difficulties with fine motor skills:
  1. Difficulty with handwriting/cutting/coloring skills.
  2. An unusual pencil/pen grasp.
  3. Rushes through fine motor tasks.
  4. Difficulty applying sufficient pressure when writing, drawing, or coloring.
  5. Difficulty with independently seeing sequential steps to complete finished product.
  6. Frustration if writing samples are not perfectly identical to the presented model.



Aspergers Checklist: Narrow Range of Interests and Insistence on Set Routines

Narrow Range of Interests and Insistence on Set Routines

This refers to the Aspergers child’s rigidity, obsessions, perseverations, and need for structure/routine/order.

A. Rules are very important as the world is seen as black or white:
  1. Takes perfectionism to an extreme — one wrong answer is not tolerable, and the child must do things perfectly
  2. Has difficulty with any changes in the established routine
  3. Has a set routine for how activities are to be done
  4. Has rules for most activities, which must be followed (this can be extended to all involved)

B. The child has few interests, but those present are unusual and treated as obsessions:
  1. Patterns, routines, and rituals are evident and interfere with daily functioning (note: this is driven by the child’s anxiety; the world is confusing for her; she is unsure what to do and how to do it; if she can impose structure, she begins to have a feeling of control)
  2. Has developed narrow and specific interests; the interests tend to be atypical (note: this gives a feeling of competence and order; involvement with the area of special interest becomes all-consuming)
  3. Displays rigid behavior:
  • Has unusual fears
  • Has narrow food preferences
  • Carries a specific object
  • Plays games or completes activities in a repetitive manner or makes own rules for them
  • Insists on driving a specific route
  • Arranges toys/objects/furniture in a specific way
  • Is unable to accept environmental changes (e.g., must always go to the same restaurant, same vacation spot)
  • Is unable to change the way she has been taught to complete a task
  • Needs to be first in line, first selected, etc.
  • Erases over and over to make the letters just right
  • Colors with so much pressure the crayons break (e.g., in order to cover all the white)
  • Only sits in one specific chair or one specific location
  • Cannot extend the allotted time for an activity; activities must start and end at the times specified
  • Selects play choices/interests not commonly shared by others (e.g., electricity, weather, advanced computer skills, scores of various sporting events) but not interested in the actual play (note: this could also be true for music, movies, and books)
  • Has narrow clothing preferences
  • Feels need to complete projects in one sitting, has difficulty with projects completed over time

C. Failure to follow rules and routines results in behavioral difficulties. These can include:
  1. Anxiety
  2. Tantrums/meltdowns (e.g., crying, aggression, property destruction, screaming)
  3. Non-compliant behaviors
  4. Increase in perseverative/obsessive/rigid/ritualistic behaviors or preoccupation with area of special interest, engaging in nonsense talk
  5. Inability to prevent or lessen extreme behavioral reactions, inability to use coping or calming techniques
  6. Emotional responses out of proportion to the situation, emotional responses that are more intense and tend to be negative (e.g., glass half-empty)

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have very few things that really interest them, but those interests are very important and may help them alleviate anxiety. They also cope better when there are set routines in their lives. Because change causes anxiety, Aspergers children will want to live by rigid rules that they construct for themselves. They want their own rules so that they can be the “king” or “ruler” -- and they have a difficult time understanding why society has a different set of rules.

Autism & Asperger's Resources


Actors for Autism - Actors for Autism is a non-profit organization comprised of individuals in the entertainment industry who are dedicated to the advancement, education and exposure of people on the autistic spectrum.
                          
Aspies.co.uk - This site details natural interventions taken to help a child with Aspergers Syndrome.
              
Autism Conferences - Your online source for autism-related speakers, conferences, books, videos, CD-ROMS and other resources. 
              
Camp Huntington - Camp Huntington is a co-ed, overnight, seven-week program for children with hidden abilities. Our program offers a unique approach that we call adaptive therapeutic recreation. Our campus is located in the beautiful hamlet of High Falls, New York within the Catskill Mountain region.
              
Dr. Tony Attwood - Current information on Asperger's Syndrome from the world's leading expert.
 
FAAAS - Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome.
 
Family Studies Research Program - The Family Studies Research Program in Mount Sinai's Department of Psychiatry conducts studies directed toward better understanding and characterizing familial/genetic factors in psychiatric disorders through molecular genetic and genetic epidemiological techniques. We are currently conducting a genetics study that involves families that have more than one child diagnosed with autism or Asperger's Syndrome.
              
Flint Academy - Welcoming and educating all children, in an inclusive-model school, providing a classical education within a Christian environment, and utilizing research-based, specialized education techniques for students who are advanced, typically developing, or have special education needs.
              
ICDRC - We hope to unfold what we know about the biology of autism, and we hope to share our experiences in diagnosing and treating the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms which manifest the neurobehavioral patterns we refer to as autism.
 
Innovative Concepts for the Autistic Network - This web site is the creation of Laura Elliott, a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist, who has worked with high functioning autistic students from preschool to high-school age.
              
Liane Holiday Willey's ASPIE page - Liane's safe and enjoyable virtual hang out for those interested in learning and sharing about Asperger's Syndrome.
 
Living with, Understanding, and Overcoming Autism - Living with, Understanding, and Overcoming Autisms provides facts and animations documenting a fifteen year research project using Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung’s concepts to understand, then overcome autism, Asperger Syndrome and a Savant Brain.
              
MAAP Services - Maap Services, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and advice to families of More advanced individuals with Autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).
              
Personal Coaching Systems - In Los Angeles, PCS #1 serves non-public school students, specializing in autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger's Syndrome. We also serve students diagnosed with mental retardation, emotional disturbance, and severely handicapped.
 
Sacarin Listening, Movement and Development Center - Sacarin Listening Movement and Development Center integrates the Tomatis - Auditory Training Method, Sensory-Motor Integration, and neuro-cognitive consulting. Interactive Metronome and qEEG are complementary tools we offer to help our young clients to reach excellence. Our parent consulting and coaching is a central piece in providing an effective and brief intervention solution to children and their families.

Stone Mountain School - Summer programs for children with high-functioning autism and Aspergers, as well as those with ADHD and Learning Disabilities. Outdoor adventure camp in western North Carolina, with three 2-week sessions.
              
TEACCH Home Page - The page Features information about TEACCH and articles about autism by TEACCH professionals.
 
The Autism Tissue Program - This is a joint effort of the Autism Society of America (ASA), the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and the M.I.N.D. (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute at the University of California, Davis to help understand the developmental disorder of autism.
 
The BHARE foundation - The purpose of this web page is to provide you, the parent, with information about the different options that are used in the treatment of autism.
 
The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding - The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting social understanding between individuals with autism spectrum disorders and those who interact with them in the home, school, workplace, and community. We hold an annual international conference, and provide support groups and workshops in the Grand Rapids, MI area. We sell and develop resources relevant to ASD. We are the official web site for Carol Gray and Social Stories™.
 
The Harris School - The mission of the Child Development Center of the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute is to further the emotional health and educational development of young children.
 
The Monarch School - A therapeutic school in Houston Texas serving Children with PDD, autisim, asperger's syndrome and executive functioning disorder.
 
The New England Center for Children - An organization dedicated to providing comprehensive educational services to children with autism and related disabilities from the initial diagnosis to adulthood.
              
Unlocking Autism - Opening the doors to autism awareness.
 
Wisconsin Early Autism Project - The clinical staff of the Wisconsin Early Autism Project have many years of experience specializing in the treatment of autistic children, and the effectiveness of our program is backed by solid research. We are directly affiliated with Dr. Lovaas, who pioneered this successful treatment of autism at UCLA.
              

Toilet Training Your Aspergers Child: Part I

"Any tips for toilet training my Aspergers son? It's not been going very well so far. Help!"

Even for the normal child, toilet training is often a difficult skill to master. But for the child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, there are additional factors that may inhibit toilet training. The things that would encourage the average child may not be effective with the "Aspie."

Social motivation is a critical factor in determining "readiness" for toilet training. An Aspergers child may not be motivated by the opportunity to wear “big boy pants.” He may not understand what is expected of him. Following all the steps necessary for toilet training may be difficult for this child. Changes in his routine may also be a challenge.

An Aspergers child may not be aware of the need to use the toilet. The first step in toilet training will be to determine his level of readiness.

Assessment--

1. Establish a positive and meaningful routine around toileting, and collect data about your child's readiness for schedule training or for independent toileting.

2. Use a simple chart to collect the data needed about your child's readiness. On a routine basis, the child is taken to the bathroom for a "quick check" every 30 minutes, and data is recorded on each occasion.

3. Over a period of 1 or 2 weeks, patterns of data begin to emerge:
  • Is the child dry for significant periods of time?
  • Is there some regularity in his wetting/soiling?
  • Does the child show any indication that he/she is aware of being wet/soiled?
  • Does the child pause while wetting/soiling?

4. If the answer to all of these questions is no, then it may not be time to toilet train the child.

5. During this trial period, assess other aspects of the process of toilet training:
  • Is the child beginning to pick up on the routine involved?
  • Does the child have dressing skills?
  • Are there any fears associated with the process of toileting?
  • What is the child’s attention span?

It may be beneficial to develop a task analysis of the steps of toileting. This can provide a picture of all the skills needed and will also let you see where specific trouble areas may be. The task analysis can be very general or very specific, including everything from entering the bathroom, to flushing the toilet and leaving the bathroom.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Toilet Training Your Aspergers Child: Part II


Physical Environment--

When beginning the toilet training of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you want to help the child learn that this set of behaviors (i.e., elimination) is associated with a particular place (i.e., the toilet). Moving all changing, cleaning, and toileting-related dressing to this setting helps the child realize the purpose of this room.

A second goal for creating clear physical structure to assist in toilet training is to create an environment that is secure and not over-stimulating. The child will be calmer and more responsive with good physical support for his body. Think about adding foot support, side rails, or other physical supports.Think also about the plumbing noises and echoes of many bathrooms. Many Aspergers children appreciate soft music playing or the addition of sound-absorbent materials.

Using Visual Supports--

For the Aspergers child, it may be helpful to provide pictures to demonstrate the sequence of events that occur surrounding toilet training. At the most basic level, a transition object may be used to let the child know that the toilet routine is beginning. An object that is associated with toileting may be given to the child to serve as the transition object that takes the child to the correct location.

Once the transition to the toilet area has been made, it is important to continue to visually support each step of the toileting routine. You will need to let the child know each step he is to accomplish, when the sequence will be finished, and what will happen when the sequence is finished. Again, using an object sequence, a picture sequence, or a written list are all ways to communicate this information to the child.

Trouble Shooting--


Once you have begun the process, you may notice areas that are more challenging. Below are some common problems and their solutions.

If you child resists sitting on the toilet:
  • allow him to sit on the toilet without removing clothes 
  • allow him to sit with the toilet covered (e.g., cardboard under the seat, gradually cutting larger hole, or towel under the seat, gradually removed)
  • use a potty seat on the floor rather than up high and take turns sitting
  • use a doll to model sitting on the toilet seat 
  • as he gradually begins to tolerate sitting, provide him with some entertainment (e.g., a sing-along)

If your child is afraid of flushing:
  • don't flush until there is something to flush
  • start flush with child away from toilet
  • give advance warning of flush
  • allow him to flush

If your child only wants to flush:
  • physically cover toilet handle to remove from sight 
  • give something else to hold and keep him busy
  • use visual sequence to show when to flush (e.g., after replacing clothing)
  • when time to flush, give child a sticker that matches a sticker on toilet handle

If your child plays in the water:
  • give him a toy as distraction 
  • use a padded lap desk while seated
  • cover the seat until ready to use
  • put a visual cue of where to stand

If your child plays with the toilet paper:
  • remove it 
  • roll out amount ahead of time
  • give visual cue for how much

If your child resists being cleaned:
  • try different materials (e.g., wet wipes, cloth, sponge) 
  • consider temperature of above material
  • take turns with doll

If your child has bad aim:
  • supply a "target" in the water, such as a Cheerio
  • supply larger target as toilet insert (e.g., contact papered or laminated cardboard with target drawn on it), gradually moved down
  • add food coloring in the water to draw attention

Aspergers Kids: Coping with Transitions at School

"According to the teacher, my child with Asperger's Syndrome tends to have a difficult time moving from one activity to the next (for example, from writing skills to Math problems to recreation time). Do you have any suggestions as to how his teacher can make these transitions less stressful for him?"

Transitions are very difficult for children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism. It is an interruption to their day and a change in their schedule. In order to minimize difficulty in transition, try to keep their schedule as routine as possible (e.g., doing 'writing' exercises first, solving 'Math' problems second, and 'reading' third ...in this order every time). And always let you son know ahead of time that a transition in routine is coming.

Using sensory integration techniques can be very helpful for some Aspergers children. It is best to have an occupational therapist work with you to first determine if your child is hyper-sensitive or hypo-sensitive. For example, does he crave movement and the feeling of different textures and stimulation, or does he avoid movement and textures.

Here is a summary of a case study:

A young student with Aspergers had a great deal of difficulty with the transition from home to school, and with transitions that occurred in his school day. The school created a sensory room that was just his. He craved movement, running and jumping on furniture, loved to feel smooth surfaces, and loved strong odors (in other words, he was hypo-sensitive). In his sensory room, there was a large hammock for him to lie in that would hold him tight and swing. The ceiling was lined with colored lights. There were boxes with potpourri for him to smell.

He would spend 10 minutes in this room at the beginning of his school day, 10 minutes before lunch, and 10 minutes before returning home. While he was in the room, he was encouraged to take in as much sensory information as he could. Once he left the room, he was calm and ready to learn. Prior to the intervention of the sensory room, the school was ready to expel him. With the sensory room in place, he became much more compliant, calm, and willing to work with teachers and peers.

This won’t work for every child, but demonstrates how some creative thinking can benefit even the most challenging behaviors. The important thing is to remember what works for your child, and incorporate that into his daily routine. The scenario above is just one of dozens of examples of accommodations that schools can make if they are willing to put forth a little extra effort.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


COMMENTS:

Anonymous said... a first then card on his desk with Velcro pictures, first is the current task and then is the task they are switching to - not just subjects but include snack, lunch, packing up back pack, etc on pictures, as the current one is finished more the then to first and put the new then on. Does not have to think about the whole day, just what is happening now and what will happen next - then reminders from teacher about how long until next task is great, so something along the lines of 5 more min of math then we will be doing literacy, then again at 2 minutes if 2 reminders not enough, then maybe 3
Anonymous said... A part of my daughters IEP is to give warning to finish her thought or assignment to them move to the next and it works most of the time.
Anonymous said... A visual timetable and an egg-timer or app with a timer can help.
Anonymous said... Could she set a timer for him? These kinds of guidelines for how much longer he has on one activity, before moving to the next has helped my son.
Anonymous said... Could they not give him a pictorial timetable so he knows what is happening and what comes next? It's something we used as a matter of course working with children with ASD and something I've used at home with my own son who has Aspies. 
If not then can they not just give him a warning? So "in 5 minutes we are going to stop doing x and we will start y" ?
Anonymous said... Does he have an IEP? Maybe a Para to help him???
Anonymous said... Does she give him transistion cues? Does she say "in 5 minutes we will be doing _____" or something to that effect? That would probably go a long way. I know with my daughter (who remains undiagnosed since they changed testing, at least where we live) does much better when given cues
Anonymous said... Following. My son also struggles with this.
Anonymous said... How about a schedule of Today's Events on the board...depending on his age, he'll be able to look at it during the day and know what's coming next...Lord help the teacher though, if she gets spontaneous and changes things up! Also, a reminder from the teacher that, 'in 5 minutes is recess' could help to give a warning that another activity is coming soon... Hope this helps...it did for us! xxx
Anonymous said... I had a visual schedule when they were younger with transition cues. I still have to give my kiddos plenty of transition cues. I start around 10 min, 5 min, 1 min, and then transition.
Anonymous said... I Home School my son and it took care of all the problems with school.
Anonymous said... In addition to what everyone else said, I got a copy of the daily and weekly schedule and made cards for my son. We sat down the night before and went through what he would have and in what order the next day. After a few weeks, he was comfortable and confident in the schedule and didn't need the cards, though we did pull them out for things like field trips. Now he doesn't use them at all - hasn't all year.
Anonymous said... Mine relies on the visual timetable (do NOT forget to have it right!), timers and his amazingly fab teacher has given him his own clipboard that has pictures plus "tick boxes" that he carries around. He loves being given "jobs" to do as well so if the activity is coming to an end they say 5 minutes AND p could you do the checks to see if everyone's ready for ________.
Anonymous said... Most teachers are pre deciding that aspergers isn't something that needs special treatment. They are being allowed to shun our kids, they do it with ADHD too. Now the DSM-V is making it worse. They think because aspergers is a social delay and kids can talk, they are typical. If they only knew. Makes me angry.
Anonymous said... My oldest has ADHD and Aspergers ... for him over the years (going into 4th grade next school year) he likes to be told ahead a very detailed schedule of his school day or class... what is going to done first, middle, last. He also gets one on one pull out for writing and reading though he has an IEP for ADHD. You could get a 504 plan since Asperger's is back in the DSM Autism spectrum definition again....
Anonymous said... My son had his schedule taped to his desk. The teacher would also announce the upcoming change in 3-5 minutes "class we're going to start on xyz in 3". He also had a timer on his desk for the rough days so he could see how much time he had. We even use the timer method for homework.
Anonymous said... My son has 5min down time between subjects. This seems to be effective and he transitions better. The problem we have is focusing long enough to do the work.
Anonymous said... my son has an aide, and is starting psychological visits this weekend for behavior issues, and focus/changing routine.
Anonymous said... My son is at an autism specific school, they have visual schedules and get reminders about when these changes will occur. Much like everyone has mentioned, I have no new suggestions but I can say that this is exactly how the specialist teachers deal with it.
Anonymous said... My son school has a set routine for each sessions ie 1st session is English 2nd is writing then break then maths and history then break the afternoon session does change but our teacher ensures my son knows what is happening after break so he is aware. It is the same every day this has helped my son good luck.
Anonymous said... My son struggles with this at school everyday. He has a visual timetable broken down for the whole school day. He also has a 5 minute reminder before an activity is about to end. Then a 2 minute one. His favourite subject is maths and hates writing. So getting him to stop maths is tricky but his 1-1 deals with it very well. Lots of reminders and visual aids are great.
Anonymous said... My son's teacher tapes a graphic organizer on his desk every day. It allows him to see what's going on for the day and helps with the transition from one activity to the next.
Anonymous said... Preparation is definitely key - use a timetable and give warnings or count down to changes, my son is 14 and I still do this now x
Anonymous said... Schools, summer camps... they all give my son a notice that they will be moving to another activity or room in a few minutes. Very accommodating to do this for us and him.
Anonymous said... She needs to get education on Aspergers first of all. Is she aware of his dx? She needs to do her homework on his needs. Does he have a 504 or iep. They need to be followed. It's up to the school to tweek their style to accommodate him and his needs. Schools are lacking badly in this area. He needs prompting, a written schedule with time coordinates reflecting when each subject starts. She can have a time timer to indicate how long between subjects, and the five minute warning, that's helpful for all kids, not just aspies. Shame on her for being uneducated, assuming she knows his dx. They put this on us to do their work, its better to homeschool, why bother with them. Smh. Sorry, this is a sore subject with me obviously. I'm not asking them to build their day around him, just be aware and make him feel like he's a part of the class, by simple, subtle accommodations.
Anonymous said... Sounds like if the parents don't do the leg work, our kids are all struggling. Something is wrong here. And Michelle, yes, that does solve all the school issues, but, why doesn't your son deserve to be with the other children in the school setting because they are too lazy to help him. Schools need to step up and make the necessary accommodations to support our children's learning. They wouldn't get away with it for any other dx in the world. Not one! Our kids are being, " left behind!" Unacceptable!
Anonymous said... Teacher needs to start giving advanced warnings about changes. Maybe at 10 , 5, 2, and 1 minute before hand. This way it's less of a shocker at change time.
Anonymous said... Teachers need to be better educated in this disability and how to accommodate your child. As parents we have to be diligent and observant on what is hapenning with them and clue teachers on what works. This school year is about over, but I recommend that when the new year begins you speak and email each teacher about your child's disability. I found a great resource online. The PDF package its called " A teacher's guide to Asperger's syndrome". It helps me tremendously to communicate and educate the teachers. You will have to be in constant contact to ensure your child us getting the accommodations he needs as school. Lots of good advice here. Good luck and hope for a better school year.
Anonymous said... There is a timer available with three programable lights on it. Makes a nice visual heads up.
Anonymous said... These are all great suggestions Visual reminders are great for our son who also has aspergers. So are the count down to switching actitivies 
Anonymous said... Use a visual timetable, he can see what is coming next and tick off what has already been done, it breaks the day up into manageable 'bite size' chunks
Anonymous said... Visual schedules at school and great for home too!
Anonymous said... Warnings a must - Visual if at all possible. Substitutions should be announced at the start of the day, not sprung on the kids at the start of the lesson. Visual progression of the day helps too on the door or desk. Pictures to demonstrate the sequence of event are far more useful to the ASS child than times
Anonymous said... you are so right, because you can't see the disability, it's not there. With regard to transition, a 5 minute warning, either verbally or visually has helped my son.


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Aspergers Kids and Temper Tantrums in Public

All parents have experienced the temper tantrum in the grocery store or the restaurant. While children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism may have tantrums that seem larger than life at times, they are still tantrums.




Supplementation for ASD Children

"Do you think supplements actually help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders?"

The short answer is 'yes'. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are especially prone to nutritional difficulties, and it is important that they take supplements to achieve a balanced nutritional state. But supplementation  takes some investigation to find the right vitamins and minerals for your child. Every child on the autism spectrum is different, and what works for one may not work for another.

The first step toward addressing supplementation for ASD children is to adopt a gluten and casein free diet. These proteins have been found to potentially worsen the symptoms of ASD. In fact, gluten and casein have been found to help the brain produce natural opiates, making foods that contain them practically addictive!

Another important step is the implementation of a balanced and healthy diet. Remember, ASD children are influenced by routines, so if a healthy diet is instituted early and followed, these children will likely adhere to it.

It is also important to have the input of a doctor to determine if your child is absorbing the proper amount of nutrients. Simple blood tests can determine nutrient levels, and from this data a diet can be successfully adjusted to address any shortfalls. "Defeat Autism Now" medical professionals are a good place to start because they have been especially trained to understand the challenges facing ASD children.

Here is a partial list of common supplements that ASD children are often lacking or simply do not have at optimum levels:
  • selenium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • folinic aci
  • vitamins C and E
  • essential fatty acid
  • taurine
  • various amino acids

When beginning a regiment of supplements, it is important to work them in slowly. It is equally important to document changes in behavior. Pay close attention to the effects of supplements on your child. Note any differences and prepare to discuss them with your doctor or nutritionist. In terms of positive and negative effects that can result from the use of supplements, and a change in diet – they will not be easy to miss.

Positive changes can include a reduction in the severity of behaviors. Many ASD children can show improvement in managing behaviors and social interaction. It is equally important to note regressions in behavior. If negative behaviors are observed, the supplement added should be reduced or eliminated.

For the most part, negotiating the diet and supplementation of an ASD child is a trial and error process -- but well worth the effort. It is recommended that when first purchasing supplements, you start with small packages. Buying in bulk can save you money in the long run, but if you buy a ton of supplements that produce undesired results, you are stuck with useless products.

Should you chose to add supplements to your child’s diet, you will need to do so in a controlled manner. Don’t just dole out supplements on an experimental basis. Work with a doctor or a nutritionist to come up with a specific plan that is geared toward your child’s success. This regiment should include frequent tests for metal toxicity, stool analysis, and tests for various amino acids and peptides.

There is a lot to consider when choosing supplements for your child. This process is very important and can improve the overall quality of his/her life. However, don't rush into the process, and make sure you cover all the bases before proceeding. Also, give supplements time to work. Oftentimes, it takes at least two weeks for the body to accurately process nutrients and for you to see any changes in your child's behavior.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Speech Therapy for Aspergers Children

"My Aspie son often gets his words mixed up, and doesn't pronounce certain words properly. Do you think he would benefit from speech therapy?"

Communication depends on three factors: hearing, speaking, and understanding. Problems may occur if there's an abnormality in any of the areas. Usually, however, articulation issues account for 80 percent of speech delays in Aspergers kids. If your son has difficulty forming words and exhibits lazy tongue, lisp, baby talk, thick speech, or mumbled speech, then he may benefit from speech therapy.

Speech therapy can be an important part of a treatment plan for children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism who are having difficulty with speech, who are minimally verbal, or in rare cases non-verbal. Speech therapy is more than just working out how to say the right words, though. It focuses on what the child wants or needs rather than simply on verbal communication.

Components of speech therapy include:
  • understanding body language
  • understanding tone of voice
  • using facial or manual gestures
  • understanding body orientation

Speech therapy can help parents, too. Moms and dads can learn to read their Aspergers child's body language and facial expressions and will learn to connect those expressions to specific needs (some of this is picked up by the parent by chance and by exposure to the child).

If you suspect that your son may have a speech issue, ask your doctor for a referral to a speech pathologist. They will do an official evaluation and test him.  Areas of testing range from physical skills to vocabulary and grammar knowledge. Parents are usually told the results quite quickly, and a written report typically follows within a week. 

A good speech therapist can help your son make large gains. But you can help, too. Your son will probably be given a bit of “homework” (i.e., articulation exercises to practice with the parent each day).

Speech therapy can be taught at school or through an outpatient department of a hospital. Most children’s hospitals have good speech therapy departments that can work with both parents and children to maximize communication using the skills the child can work with.

Aspergers and Sibling Relationships

Parenting in general can be overwhelming. Add Aspergers to the equation, and the job just got tougher! Taking care of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism can take up the vast majority of the parent's time and energy. From learning everything you can about the condition and what it entails ...to various doctor and specialist appointments ...to seeing about special accommodations both at home and at school, the list of things that must be done can seem endless.

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Social Stories for Aspergers Children

"Why the emphasis on 'social stories' for Aspergers children ...and do they actually work?"

A social story that directly addresses the issue in question (e.g., getting along with friends) and is age appropriate can be a wonderful tool for teaching social skills and helping the child to comprehend the hidden social rules that most of us take for granted. For example, common sense manners like:
  • Be patient when waiting in line or when waiting to get in elevators, subways, cabs, etc.
  • Engage people with genuinely good eye contact. 
  • If you are meeting someone for the first time and just coming off a cold, mention it and don’t shake their hand. 
  • If you get to the door first, hold it open. 
  • Wait for people to finish their sentences and listen to what they are saying instead of waiting for your turn to speak. 
  • When someone compliments you, take it. 
  • and so on...

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism struggle with social skills. The long held notion that these kids lack an interest in social interactions is often inaccurate. They do indeed desire social involvement, but lack the necessary skills to interact effectively. This lack of “know-how” can also lead to feelings of social anxiety in many Aspergers children, which often results in the avoidance of social situations, and subsequently, the development of social skill deficits.

Children with Aspergers need to be taught social skills, and they need to understand what may happen in social situations so that they are prepared, and do not become overwhelmed or withdraw from social settings. Social stories provide these children a manner of improving their social skills and understanding what is expected of them in social situations. Social stories also provide some perspective on the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of others. And because social stories occur in a discrete teaching situation without the stresses of the actual social situation, they give the child a chance to practice the skills often -- and in a safe environment.

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

Sleep Problems in Aspergers Children

Many children with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism have problems sleeping through the night, or getting to sleep. This is due in large part to sensory issues. Sensory dysfunction is typically an issue for Aspergers children. Many parents are forced to try medications, or natural supplements (e.g., melatonin) to try to regulate sleep patterns. These may be beneficial. Using sensory integration therapy can also be helpful so that the child can learn to regulate his or her activity level.

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Shopping Trips with Your Aspergers Child

Shopping with any child can be extremely hectic and more than just a little bit difficult at times. Shopping places are filled with attention-grabbing advertisements that stimulate children even without the challenge of Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism. The last thing you want is to need to overpower a screaming child while trying to shop. 

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Sexual Behaviors in Aspergers Children

Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism are sexual beings just as everyone else is. However, because of their inability to control all of their impulses, they may display behaviors that are inappropriate in public. This can be particularly difficult to deal with -- and of course it is embarrassing for parents.
 
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Sensory Stimulation for Hyper Aspergers Kids

Many children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism who are also hyperactive benefit from sensory stimulation. Providing a sensory room or area can be very effective. Be as creative as you can when providing sensory stimulation for your child.

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Sensory Integration Therapy for Aspergers Children

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism often have a secondary diagnosis of sensory dysfunction. This may be found in the child who can't get enough sensory input, and needs to touch everything, jump on things, and simply craves input. Or it may be the child that can't stand touch, doesn't like certain clothing because it irritates them, and can't handle sounds.

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Visual Schedules for Aspergers Kids

Kids with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism thrive on routine and structure. As your child begins to recognize structure in his life, this may be the time to make a visual schedule to help him recognize when certain events are happening in his day. A visual schedule works better than a written schedule for obvious reasons, as your child may not be able to read and thus may not get the benefit of the visual cue.

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Rewards and Discipline for Children with HFA and AS

One of the most difficult challenges in dealing with Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism) children is determining how to reward them when they’ve done a good job and how to discipline them when they exhibit an undesirable behavior. Parents of Aspergers children are often reluctant to use any form of discipline, and the usual reward systems don’t often work for these kids.

Many Aspergers children don’t respond as well to praise or hugs as other children do. Instead, they might respond to things like a favorite treat, a favorite toy or preferred music as a way of showing them they’ve done something good.

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Aspergers Children and Puberty

"What's the best way to approach the topic of "the birds and the bees" with my Aspergers child? He will be 12 next week."

Puberty is a difficult time for all preteens and teens, but especially for those who are developmentally challenged, such as children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism. As a parent, you need to prepare yourself - and your child - for this event.

Talking about sexuality with Aspergers children needs to be straight forward. These kids do not pick up on social cues, therefore when talking about sexuality, it is important to use concrete terms. Use real terms to describe what you are talking about. Expect that your child will be a sexual being, and understand that with a diagnosis of Aspergers often comes an inability to control impulse behaviors.

It is important to be proactive when preparing yourself and your child for puberty. Teach him/her that it is okay to be a sexual being, but this is also a private time. Teach them about good touch versus bad touch so that they are not vulnerable. Let them know that you are comfortable (and work at it if you are not) with this type of conversation so that they can be comfortable too.

It is often difficult to accept this reality in our special needs children, especially when they have a developmental disorder. It is difficult to accept the reality of the expression of sexual needs in our preteens and teens, especially when it seems like it was only yesterday that they were learning to tie their shoes.

They need to understand their right to express their sexuality through masturbation, but also need to understand the important of privacy. They also need to understand that sexuality, while a social behavior, is constrained by social rules. And they need skills to enable them to behave acceptably in open society.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

Play Therapy for Younger Children with Aspergers

"What would be the best therapeutic approach to assist preschool children with Asperger Syndrome?"

All things considered, I would have to say "play therapy." Through play therapy, younger children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism are able to learn and practice new skills in safe environments:
  • Sensory motor play teaches children how to interact with their environment.
  • Through the use of physical play, including rough and tumble play, children are able to learn gross motor skills.
  • Social play provides the opportunity to learn about social relationships.

Play therapy provides a learning opportunity that cannot be matched in other circumstances. Young children with Aspergers need play therapy, because they do not normally interact with their environment - or others - the way they need to in order to learn. Improving play skills increases their pleasure and their motivation to play, increasing their sociability and interaction with others.

Play therapy can provide the child with an opportunity to express himself with words and actions, which can be difficult for some Aspergers kids age 5 and below. Sensory motor play allows the child to learn more than his verbal capacity allows, and it provides an opportunity to work through social roles, fears, and relationships.

Play therapy is used to help children manipulate the world on a smaller scale, which cannot normally be done in their environment. It can be used as a form of behavior modification, and can be used to improve emotional development, improving social skills and learning.

Social stories can also be used as part of play therapy to help improve social skills. Stories should be designed to help Aspergers children understand the feelings, ideas, and points of view of others, or to suggest an alternate response to a particular situation.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

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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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