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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Applied Behavioral Analysis for Asperger's Children

"I've heard that ABA therapy is very effective for children with Asperger's. Is this true, and how does it work?"

It is often difficult to understand why the child with Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism behaves the way he does. However, there is a reason for his behavior, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) helps us understand the behavior and determine a method of support for the child so that he no longer needs the behavior to meet his needs.

Using ABA, you can determine the antecedents to behavior, identify the behavior, and identify the consequence for the behavior, or what is currently maintaining the behavior. Using this process, you can determine alternative behaviors that are more appropriate, yet will meet your child's needs, without displaying the inappropriate behavior. This aids moms and dads in understanding their child better and helps outline a method to change their behavior.

ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders. It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health. Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help Asperger's children and teens live happy and productive lives. In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills (e.g., looking, listening and imitating) as well as complex skills (e.g., reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective).

ABA treatment can include any of several established teaching tools:
  • verbal behavior
  • pivotal response training
  • incidental teaching
  • fluency building
  • discrete trial training

1. An ABA-related approach for teaching language and communication is called "verbal behavior" or VB for short. In VB, the therapist analyzes the youngster’s language skills, then teaches and reinforces more useful and complex language skills.

2. Pivotal response training uses ABA techniques to target crucial skills that are important (or pivotal) for many other skills. Thus, if the youngster improves on one of these pivotal skills, improvements are seen in a wide variety of behaviors that were not specifically trained. The idea is that this approach can help the youngster generalize behaviors from a therapy setting to everyday settings.

3. Incidental teaching uses the same ideas as discrete trial training, except the goal is to teach behaviors and concepts throughout a youngster’s day-to-day experience, rather than focusing on a specific behavior.

4. In fluency building, the therapist helps the youngster build up a complex behavior by teaching each element of that behavior until it is automatic or "fluent," using the ABA approach of behavioral observation, reinforcement, and prompting. Then, the more complex behavior can be built from each of these fluent elements.

5. In discrete trial training, an ABA therapist gives a clear instruction about a desired behavior (e.g., “Pick up the paper.”); if the youngster responds correctly, the behavior is reinforced (e.g., “Great job! Have a sticker.”). If the youngster doesn’t respond correctly, the therapist gives a gentle prompt (e.g., places youngster’s hand over the paper). The hope is that the youngster will eventually learn to generalize the correct response.

Through ABA, moms and dads can learn to see the natural triggers and reinforcers in their youngster’s environment. For example, by keeping a chart of the times and events both before and after Michael’s temper tantrums, his mom might discover that Michael always throws a temper tantrum right after the lights go on at night without warning. Looking deeper at the behavior, Michael’s mom might also notice that her most natural response is to hug Michael in order to get him to calm down. In effect, even though she is doing something completely natural, the hugging is reinforcing Michael’s temper tantrum.

According to the ABA method, both the trigger (lights going on at night without a warning) and the reinforcer (hugging) must be stopped. Then a more appropriate set of behaviors (e.g., leaving the room or dimming the lights) can be taught to Michael, each one being reinforced or prompted as needed. Eventually, this kind of approach will lead to a time when the lights can go on without warning and Michael still does not throw a temper tantrum.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

How To Teach Social Skills to Your Aspergers Child

"I would like to know how to advise my Aspergers son on social skills, such as making friends at school without being insulting to others." 

One of the behavioral traits seen in kids with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism is a lack of "demonstrated" empathy (i.e., they can empathize, but may not show it). They don’t realize that other people have thoughts and interests that are different from theirs. They’ll interrupt a conversation and start churning out facts about their pet interest (e.g., medieval history, Star Wars’ trivia, Math, etc.) even if it has nothing to do with what the other kids are talking about. This and their lack of other social skills (e.g., looking others in the eyes when conversing, responding appropriately to greetings and questions, understanding fads and the interests of peers, etc.) makes making friends very difficult for Aspergers kids.

With some Aspergers kids, social abilities remain intact or aren’t really noticed until around age eight. It is around this time that their peers begin perceiving them as “different.” The "Aspie" is singled out for teasing. In addition, he may be seen as oppositional because kids with Aspergers take words and gestures very literally. Communication with Aspergers kids must be “concrete” (i.e., brief and easily understood).

Your son can be taught most of the same social skills that youngsters without Aspergers learn on their own. You can work with your son’s school to produce cards or posters with facial expressions that define feelings. Also, full-length mirrors can be used to make these kids aware of their facial expressions and overall body language. You and his teachers can role play social situations with him to help him learn appropriate responses and actions.

On a related note, it is critical that schools become fully equipped to help children with Aspergers. The number of schools with diagnostically appropriate services will increase when parents, doctors, and social service practitioners lobby educational institutions for assistance in teaching these students. 

Until the school provides more assistance with your son, there are a number of things that you can do at home. For example, surround your son with friends and family so he will have familiar people around on a consistent basis. If your son is intimidated by a large number of people, just have one friend over at a time.

In addition to friends, you can train your son in appropriate social and perceptual skills. He can learn to perceive and interpret nonverbal behaviors, process visual and auditory information, and become aware of social/behavioral conventions.

To help you help your son, go on the internet and look for Aspergers support groups. Also, look for a group in your area. If there is none available, there are people who stay in touch via the internet. Whether in person or over the internet, they can give you advice and support which will help you help your son.

When attempting to share information with schools about Aspergers, help teachers and other staff to understand the following:
  1. Aspergers is not mental retardation. Some autistic people may be very intelligent — there is a lot of evidence that Albert Einstein may have been autistic.
  2. Aspergers is not "savant" syndrome. Some autistic people are "savants," (e.g., instant calculator, etc.) but most are not. Other autistic people are "gifted," however, and have high "general" intelligence. Many autistic people have normal intelligence, and some may be retarded.
  3. Aspergers is not an emotional problem. Aspergers is a neurological condition which people are usually born with. Psychological trauma doesn't cause it.
  4. Aspergers is not a psychosis or lack of reality contact.
  5. People do not choose to be autistic.
  6. Aspergers is not "a fate worse than death." Autistic people have some disadvantages, but some live very happy and rewarding lives. Many autistic people wouldn't want to be "cured," as this would be like erasing them and replacing them with different people.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... Hmmmmm,there is no answer.We show them the proper ways and the kids of today are so far off that they cannot handle our kids with very graceful manners.I feel like it is a lost cause.I have seen too many people look at my daughter as if she were from Mars.
•    Anonymous said... My 5 yr old grandchild is already getting bullied in our neighborhood. She just started kindergraden and Im afraid of how they will treat her in school. She doesnt react the same way as other children
•    Anonymous said... Not sure if this helps but early on ...I put my child in a GirlScout group and helped the group (using role play) to identify different ways they could demonstrate with their body exclusion or how to ostracize someone from a group. For example: Crossing their arms and turning away from their friend, rolling their eyes, not answering their friend when they spoke to them. We then talked about how this affected the person and if they ever felt this way or saw this happen to someone else. Group behavior changed immediately when we talked about ways to include with body language and words. Most children are learners and don't even realize what they are doing when they are younger. This group of girls (from what I'm told because we moved) have continued to be "helpers." If you can get your child in a group with other children and teach them social skills that is your answer. If all schools incorporated this into their program at the elementary school level it would cut down on a lot of bullying behavior.

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Hospitalization statistics for Aspergers [in England]:

The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Aspergers (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03):

  • 0% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers occurred in people over 75 in England 2002-03 0% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers were single day episodes in England 2002-03
  • 0.002% (259) of hospital consultant episodes were for Aspergers in England 2002-03
  • 0.021% (11,053) of hospital bed days were for Aspergers in England 2002-03
  • 19% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03
  • 21 was the mean age of patients hospitalized for Aspergers in England 2002-03
  • 26 days was the median length of stay in hospitals for Aspergers in England 2002-03
  • 32% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers occurred in 15-59 year olds in England 2002-03
  • 32% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers were for women in England 2002-03
  • 68% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers were for men in England 2002-03
  • 74.7 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for Aspergers in England 2002-03
  • 97% of hospital consultant episodes for Aspergers required hospital admission in England 2002-03
The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed With Aspergers Syndrome.

The Importance of Support for Parents with Autistic Children

Support groups can be very helpful when dealing with any developmental disability.

We need professionals too, but professionals often don't understand the challenges of dealing with something like autism on a day-to-day basis.

You become the expert on your child as do other parents.

Support groups can provide the opportunity to learnfrom other parents, but also provide the opportunity to vent when you need to vent.

Support groups also provide the opportunity to learn about community events such as training for families, and provide some helpful information about the autism diagnosis, among others.

This provides an opportunity to talk about the challenges that you face daily and network with others who may have faced the same challenge and had success.

Further, online support groups give parents that 24/7 option that they frequently need.

The following are a list of support groups available to parents of autistic children.

Just copy and paste the link into your internet browser:

http://www.bbbautism.com

http://web.singnet.com.sg/~autism/activities.htm

http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/support.html

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AreaAutismAwareness/

http://momofautistic.proboards30.com/

http://www.healing-arts.org/children/autism-links.htm

http://www.support4hope.com/autism/aspergers_characteristics.htm

http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/ajk/supp.html

These are just a few of the possibilities open to you.

It is important to visit some sites and see which one/s you feel comfortable with. This is just one of the many tricks, tips and techniques that you can use to cope with your Autistic child’s behaviors that feature in my new book “The Parenting Autism Resource Guide”.

The Parenting Autism Resource Guide:

Aspergers & Obsessions

"How can I get my Aspie son to focus less on his favorite video game (Call of Duty) and spend more time doing other things? He is truly obsessed with war games. It's all he ever talks about."

One of the hallmarks of Aspergers and High Functioning Autism is the child's tendency to be obsessed with particular topics. He might want to constantly talk about video games, race cars, cartoon characters, movies, or even bugs. It can be very frustrating for parents and teachers to deal with an obviously bright, articulate Aspergers youngster who is somehow "stuck" in one particular frame of reference.

How can you get an Aspergers child to have less obsessive thoughts and ideas? The honest answer is... you will not be able to entirely eliminate them. Some Aspergers kids will gradually leave one special interest behind, only to quickly fixate on a new one.

There are two ways to classify these thought-consuming interests. Some are considered "primary obsessions," and others are "secondary interests." Often it's difficult to tell which of the two you're dealing with.

Primary obsessions are intense enough that it is very difficult to get the Aspergers youngster to think of anything else. The obsession monopolizes conversation and daily activities. It may also interfere with schoolwork. The Aspergers youngster is consumed by the thoughts.

Secondary interests are a challenge and are somewhat obsessive for the Asperger youngster, but ultimately can be managed. Not only that, but secondary interests can be used as motivators to help the boy or girl succeed in school or improve behavior. 

Here are some suggestions:

1. Working with your Aspergers youngster's teacher, use the "favorite" topic to promote learning. If your youngster likes war video games, apply them to math problems (e.g., "If there are 5 tanks on the battlefield, and then 7 more line up, how many tanks in all?"). Art projects that teach different techniques could involve the topic. Science experiments could address the topic in some way. Reading can be promoted by providing the Aspie with books on the topic. Use the interest as a starting point, and then build upon it, slowly expanding the youngster's areas of interest.

2. Use the topic to motivate good behaviors. Buy a book associated with the topic. Your child can read it when homework is finished, or after sitting quietly. Perhaps allow him to watch a movie on WWII when he's completed a job around the house.

3. Reward the Aspergers youngster for making conversation that is correctly related to what's going on at the moment (something other than his special interest). For example, if your son looks at the sky and says, "I see an airplane," and that's a comment which is appropriate and in the moment, then immediately respond with attention and praise (e.g., "You're right! I see it too! Look, it's very far away. You've got good eyes. Do you think you'd like to fly in a plane someday?").

4. Give less of a response to random, meaningless comments about the obsession. If your Asperger youngster mentions the obsessive topic when it has nothing to do with what's currently going on, either don't respond, or act confused. For example, gently reply, "We're not on the topic of video games right now," or "why are you talking about that?" If the youngster becomes agitated, give a simple "ummm hmmm" with little eye contact. Then ask your Aspie a question, which requires him to engage in the present activity or conversation.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook 

  
COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... A nine year old that plays video games and surfs the net for hours does not become a computer programmer or video game maker. They become 25 year olds that play video games and surfs the net all day. The electronics allow them to be non-verbal, non-social, and obsessive, all the things that are comfortable for my 16 year old. He can control his environment and is confident and competent within the world of the game. I found that he is more social and plays well with other kids at his level, especially other aspies. I took the video games away completely and internet time is at the end of the day as a reward for good behavior. Some days this really sucks and he turns from aspie to a-hole. But he has friends, he plays some sports, and can be social. You have to make them uncomfortable so they will be comfortable in the long run.
•    Anonymous said... By the way, words written out of grief of mama heart, not to frustrate anyone who posted on the set limits topic. And I meant "advice".
•    Anonymous said... Explain how video games can be addicting. Compare and contrast to something else that is addicting. Then ask how will they know when playing their game becomes a problem for them. What are the signs they see? How can they monitor themselves? Do they need a timer set for instance...All children on the spectrum unwind with video games but they must be taught to self monitor themselves and balance that with outdoor activities.
•    Anonymous said... I appreciate the "set limits" thoughts BUT, my 9 year old Aspie is ONLY interested in video games, computers and electronic devices. I get frustrated with the onslaught of advise to replace the activity because in the case of autism, sometimes you simply cannot. We had him in play therapy since he was a tiny toddler and he has NEVER EVER played. So yes...I homeschool...then he has chores...but by afternoon when all is done there is literally nothing else that can occupy his time. Outside stuff? No. Legos, puzzles, coloring, cars, board games, books...absolutely no interest. If you take away the electronics (which of course I have done a million times), he simply doesn't replace it and he does nothing (and that hurts a mama's heart). I had to rant a bit here because I am up to my eyeballs in advise that doesn't work and it is very frustrating. I wish my son could learn to love other activities (and it is not that we don't try - he starts archery class tomorrow) but it is what it is sometimes.
•    Anonymous said... I think Erik has hit the nail right on the head. You can't help your children by doing things that make them comfortable, especially when they have Aspergers. Most day-to-day things make a kid with Asperger's uncomfortable and the only way to help them grow is to push them out of their comfort level and do the things that don't come naturally.
•    Anonymous said... My boy is more violent and less caring for others especially his siblings when he has been playing fast action video games. We completely banned him from them over a year ago and his behaviour has much improved. He was a little upset, but he knows they affect him and get him into trouble, so those times when he is logical it's easy enough to get over the reasons why which he's accepted. thereare plenty of other games he can play, even some educational ones, he loves maths games.
•    Anonymous said... my boy loves anything to do with games and the internet! too... think I let him play on them too long myself... But then he says you like Facebook and being online too Mom!... He's right it is very addictive.... kids can't just go play outside like I did as a kid, that's why I let both my kids be online and on games more then I should.... Wish my kids could have the freedom that I had..... Say la vie... Goodluck will def be reading the comments
•    Anonymous said... there are a lot of jobs in video games, computers and electronic devices. is he interested in taking them apart and putting them back together? enroll him in computer class or take him to video game conventions for socialization. buy him books or check out books at the library about the video game. get the call of duty lego sets. embrace the obsession. he may outgrow it and appreciate that you accepted it or he may turn the obsession into a career.
•    Anonymous said... try introducing him to sports games, like NBA 2013 or FIFA which is a fun soccer game- my son switched from Halo and Call of Duty to the sports xbox games and loves them.
•    Anonymous said... We also have limits on time for video games. It's my sons down time after school. He gets 30-45 mins depending on what events we have for the evening (homework, etc). I don't let him earn the time but we have a printed schedule that he helped create that I refer to if I have a problem.
•    Anonymous said... We set a daily time limit on video games. He has to do chores to earn the time.
•    Anonymous said... When you take the video games away and he doesn't replace them, how much time are you giving him to choose something else? Maybe he hasn't gotten bored enough. He's old enough, in spite of his condition, to make the choice to be bored. Though it may be upsetting to you to see him "doing nothing" its not hurting him a bit. Adults go to meditation retreats and do nothing for days on end, and its considered a good thing. My son likes to do two things - legos and TV. Due to discipline issues, I took both away for a week. The first day was HELL, I can't believe we made it a day, gradually we did things he didn't normally do and it turned out to be not so bad.
•    Anonymous said... Wow this is my son to a tee, he to is addicted to "call of duty" on his xbox. i hate it he will play al day and have the night if i let him. he is 14yrs old, and was into legos for awhile but he's starting to outgrow them. i just worry in the future that it will be more important then the things he needs to do like school or work. im finding it very hard to set limits.

*   Anonymous said... I didnt see this thread and just posted about this same issue. Its sooo hard. My daughter is getting 'lost' in the world of Pokemon and i do get her interested in other things but Pokemon are everything to her. They are real to her and she relates to them. Its excluding other things. I know its a result of her trying to organize her world and feel safe but i want to help her feel safe somehow without always needing them. i hired her a babysitter over the summer i knew was aware of pokemon but little did i know the 21 year old girl was still obsessed with them herself and it put my daughter over the edge! i feel like she gets angry that i'm not a big pokefan myself. its almost like her and the pokemon vs the world. sad. i wish there were a better way to help her with her anxiety. i get her outside a lot and spend time with her and have done everything i can to get her socialized/friends. i advocate for her at school (but still believe its her big stressor) and i know that there are changes in our life that are hard. i got her a counselor but all she talked about there was pokemon and she didnt connect with her... thanks for letting me vent

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Aspergers Summer Camps for Teens

"I am interested in summer camps or programs for teenagers with Asperger’s. Can you tell me where I can find out about them and what things I should consider before sending my son there? (He’s 15.)"

Summer camps for children with Asperger’s Syndrome and/or other developmental disorders have been designed to provide enjoyable, educational experiences. You will want to consider many of the benefits that the camps offer. The camps provide help, safety, and education for children who also benefit from therapeutic recreation. At a summer camp, your child can build feelings of competency, success, confidence, and self-esteem. An ideal camp will have both indoor and outdoor activities for children, ideally in small groups.

Most camps now employ behavioral specialists to supervise and counsel the children about any issues that might arise during their tenure at the camp. They help with teaching children life skills in an environment that reduces stress and encourages learning and self sufficiency. Their goal is to offer a learning experience while maintaining health and safety standards. These individuals are knowledgeable in adaptive therapeutic programs, and they assist the children with relational or motor activities. Noted courses include Adaptive Physical Education, Art Therapy, Group Therapy, Movement and Dance, and Literacy Development.

Academics are an important part of many camps. Children who have individual educational plans (IEPs) can work through the assignments and goals while enjoying themselves at the camp. The child can follow a curriculum that has been designed in conjunction with his teachers and parents. In a sense, the camp can act as a ‘summer school’ for the children, and they can get a head start studying subjects that they will focus on during the academic year. The child with Asperger’s will acquire new skills and advance in cognitive abilities.

If your son has never experienced an extended vacation or camp experience, he will have many questions. He will want to know how long he will be gone, what will be expected of him, whom he will be meeting, how he will be expected to behave, and when he will be returning home.

When he is at camp, he might want to stay in contact with you. He can be given a cell phone to take with him, and most camps now have computers with internet access available to the children. He will want to know what days and times he can contact you and how long, if applicable, he can speak with you. Maintaining contact with you during his stay at camp will help minimize feelings of homesickness and dependency on you. This experience will be a significant step toward maturity and self sufficiency that all children must take.

CLICK HERE for a list of camps in the U.S.

Famous Autistic People

Autism has no boundaries and is not prejudiced. It can occur in any family. Many people have become very successful, despite a diagnosis of autism.

Dr. Temple Grandin is well known for her writings on autism, "seeing in pictures," and for her inventions in the area of animal science.  She understands the challenges of autism, but for herself, understands it more as a gift. She believes it has given her the ability to visualize things that others could not.

Along the autism spectrum, there are many creative geniuses who are speculated to have had autistic tendencies or Asperger's syndrome. Here are just a few:

Bill Gates, creator of the Microsoft corporation, is speculated to have personality characteristics similar to Asperger's syndrome.

Dylan Scott Pierce is an American born wildlife artist with autism.

Donna Williams is a best selling author from Australia. Her works include 'Nobody Nowhere' and 'Somebody Somewhere'.

Michelle Dawson is an autistic individual who actively works as an autism researcher and autism rights activist.

Lucy Blackman, Australian born, is a University educated author.

Jonathan Lerman is an American born artist.











Some people, such as Temple Grandin, suggest that autism and genius are closely related. Dr. Grandin believes that autistic individuals have an ability to see things beyond what the average person sees. Because of this, they have the ability to excel in areas that are commonly reserved for individuals who have proven to be geniuses.

Certainly there are challenges in both communication and social skills for autistic individuals, but they have the ability to succeed in ways that many neurotypicals do not.

Telling Others About My Aspergers Child

"My 6 year old son has just been diagnosed with Asperger’s, and I’d like to know what to tell friends, neighbours, teachers, and extended family to help them understand his behaviour."

Asperger’s was first noticed in 1944, and it was first seen in children that had been diagnosed with autistic personality disorder. A researcher by the name of Asperger worked with children and saw that they exhibited delays in social maturity, social reasoning, and social abilities. He found verbal- and non-verbal impairments in communication, especially when the children attempted to converse. Asperger also observed that the children had difficulties controlling emotions, but they could intellectualize their feelings.

Further research by Asperger found that the children became preoccupied with various interests and these would dominate their thought processes. Asperger also found that some of the children were having learning problems, difficulty with coordination, and that they exhibited a marked sensitivity to certain smells, sounds, and textures.

You can start sharing information by giving friends and relatives an introduction to Asperger’s using the above paragraphs. This will provide them with some history and context. Sharing information on any illness or diagnosis requires tact and discretion. You might want to tell the people in your life on a “need-to-know” basis.

It is very important to stress that a diagnosis of Asperger’s does not make your child “weird” or inferior. Make sure you stress the positive elements that can be found in people with Asperger’s. There are actors, authors, researchers, and scientists who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s, and they have achieved seemingly insurmountable life goals. When your friends and relatives are aware of these facts, it will help dispel the mystery and confusion that surrounds Asperger’s.

When you discuss Asperger’s with children, you can use classroom materials that have been developed to assist children in understanding this diagnosis. Look for a local group that helps people and their relatives cope with Asperger’s.

After you have shared some of the above information, ask the people you are talking with if they have any questions or concerns about anything that you have discussed. Let them know that any question or concern they may have is valid, and you are not going to be offended by their inquiries. Not only will this ease communications, it will prove you to be a mature, open-minded individual who loves your child and cares about friends and family.

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


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... I'm having the same issue but with Boy Scouts.
•    Anonymous said... in school give the diagnosis to the head diagnostician and fight for everything you can get. Get involved in Apsie mom support groups and maybe even take an advocate with you to help walk you through the process. I typically don't say anything until I get a look or mostly they ask. I figure why introduce him with a label. and when they do I just tell them right out, he has aspergers so he has issues with social skills. Mostly that is all you have to say if they want to know more tell them. and yes, look me in the eye when I am talking to you is a GREAT book to read and pass along to friends and family members.
•    Anonymous said... Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robinson is a great book to buy and loan out to friends and family. It is an autobiography by an "Aspie". Be sure to meet with the school and get an IEP. Good luck,
•    Anonymous said... Once my son was diagnosed I was able to understand him better which then made me handle situations better. If I think anything is going to upset him I remove him from the situation or we just don't do it. I've learned to "read" him and his actions in a way. I don't feel the need to explain his behavior. Close family, friends and the school know. His teacher, resource teacher and school counselor discussed him and his behaviors prior to school starting. We also met with his teacher the day before school started and discussed ours and his concerns. His teacher and I are in close email contact. I also have a autism tattoo on my fore arm that seems to strike up a lot of conversation in public. I don't want him to be "labeled" he struggles enough without a label.
•    Anonymous said... Professor Tony Attwood is a clinical psychologist known world wide for his knowledge of Aspergers Syndrome.
•    Anonymous said... The first instinct is a preventative strike to prep people for the "not average" social challenges presented by our children. But at the same time labeling before someone gets to know your son could be used improperly by well meaning but uninformed people. The fine line when to notify and when not to should be crossed when an adult will have behavior judgments over your child. Teachers, club leaders etc. They need to know that Aspergers is not a behavior problem but a problem interpreting external stimuli. Their intervention for young children living with Aspergers to help them cope with change and discomforts is what we need for our kids. If someone accidentally began assigning punitive measures for responses that are not the child's choice would be harmful.

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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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content