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

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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.

Post your comment below…

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

My pediatrician told me to go ahead and say Autism because people are more understanding and knowledgeable.

Anonymous said...

my daughter was diagonsed with aspergers when she was 14 years old and its been very hard for her to make friends and keep them and she dont want to do anything all she does is go on the computer all day when she gets home from school i wish i could help my daughter out but i dont knnow how to help her but we will get through it

Anonymous said...

Don't tell them anything but encourage them to educate himself.

Anonymous said...

I also have a child with Autism. My advice would be to tell them if something comes up in conversation related to him. It's not a sad or bad thing. It just helps people understand why he may act a certain way. They may be trying to figure out why he's acting a certain way and are too afraid to ask. You will be surprised when you tell people that a lot of people have people close to them or acquaintances that are on the spectrum too. I hope this helps:)
about an hour ago · Like

Anonymous said...

i once read somewhere that a woman had a card printed up with the web address for the autism society for america and handed it out to people who had questions

Anonymous said...

I found it very difficult to explain Asperger's to those not directly affected by it. As we all know, ALL of our children are different and differently affected by their diagnosis. I choose to generally educate. I am open to questions and I make my openness known to those around me. If they have a question, ask me. I will tell you how my son's diagnosis affects him. I also use Facebook as the opportunity to allow those in my life to ask questions. Every April, I post on Facebook an open invitation to my friends and family to ask questions. I have had a lot of people respond to my facebook posts and ask questions or ask if they can give my name to a friend who has a child with the diagnosis. I figure, awareness is our best tool. I am proud of my son and who he is. His diagnosis does not define him, but if awareness can make others understand, I feel I have done a justice to him and others in our community.
about an hour ago · Like · 1

Anonymous said...

It is hard to know who to share with. Usually I have found certain family members the hardest to deal with. My boy 9 is a great kid but it's often hard to see because of the other issues we deal with. I sat down with 2 of my boys school friends and told them about it and they sai"now we get it". The problem is I'm still trying to work out how to deal with it myself. I really don't have any support.

Anonymous said...

I'm very open about my son's AS. Most people don't know what I'm talking about so I take the opportunity to tell them. Mention Sherlock Holmes - socially inept but has his own way of doing things. Very focused. Or you could say Bill Gates. If there are difficulties which you know will cause upset then be open about it, especially at school - I'm always totally honest with them. In possession of the facts the onus is on them to ensure he is protected and if not - then I move up a gear!

Anonymous said...

A good book is "All cats have aspergers", makes it all very easy to understand, explains a lot of their differences simply.

Anonymous said...

my daughter has it also nd she knows. we took decision 2 tel her but at least she has some understanding, and she is different but arent we all, keep explaining no matter how repetitive u sound nd rember all those genius people hav it also. bill gates, temple grandin, hans cristian, mozart, isaac newton, list goes on nd on. they hadnt a label 4 it then, be patient nd repeat ureself as much as u like.x

Anonymous said...

Tell them to pay attention to his behavior and compare it to the available research done on it, and most of all understand that he will not be able to control most of it until he is in his teens.

Anonymous said...

Just remeber at times there are goin to be some people in your sons life that aren't going to understand his behaviour no matter how simple it is explained. I have a very open and honest 6 yr old who tells people exactly what is on his mind, and some of our family, and at our last school some of the teachers there could not accept that this is part of him and that we are just making excuses for him being rude, and others will understand easily. I know longer get embarrased by him, and 1 family member that we do have problems with now has very little to do with our son.

Anonymous said...

I informed my 5 year olds school as soon as he was diagnosed as i wanted him to get the extra learning support at school and also wanted his teachers to understand his behaviour. I do find it very difficult though in trying to explain 'aspergers' to other friends who aren't effected. I often feel very alone with it all as i dont really know any other friends with asperger children.

Anonymous said...

Remember to tell your son too, very important he knows as soon as possible. Also I like to refer my son's Aspergers as he is running on a different operating system. I feel it sums it up for us.

Anonymous said...

Mia's best friend has got Asbergers, what a beautiful girl she is, kind, loving n caring. We are totally aware of her symptoms n their school n staff are fab with her, she stays at our house we love her to bits! X

Anonymous said...

I tell people that my son struggles with social skills, just like some kids struggle with math or music, or English, etc. Him being in special education is like someone going to a math tutor, extra training to help him with his social skills. Then I always say something like, "my son is very good at math, reading and science, but needs some extra help with social skills, and I am really good at social skills, math and music, but need help with English.". I think that it shows people that our children are more than just an Aspie, they have wonderful traits that need to be acknowledged. It also shows that nobody is good at everything and that it's okay to seek help to better yourself. HTH

Unknown said...

Hang in there. My son is 5 and I'm in the process of having him diagnosed. While I wouldn't say I don't have support, a few of my family members seem to be in denial that something is definitely different about my son. When hearing or seeing the word "autistic/autism" immediately we perceive it as "bad". But there is nothing wrong nor bad about it.

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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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