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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Aspergers Girls and Relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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. Thus, the best treatment for Aspergers children and teens is, without a doubt, “social skills training.”

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Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting 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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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. The hardest part is you feel like you’ll never actually get to know your child and how he/she views the world.

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