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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Search MyAspergersChild.com

Aspergers Kids and Lack of Cooperation

"Any tricks for getting a very stubborn 4 year old Asperger's child to do what he is told. He truly has a mind of his own. For example, if our requests don't make sense to him, he refuses to do what we ask, which usually results in a mother-son tug of war."

A "token economy" seems to work best for kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism. This is a system where the child earns tokens as a reward for desired behaviors. A predetermined number of tokens are then "cashed-in" for a privilege the child desires (e.g., a favorite snack, time for playing video games, etc.). A token economy is flexible and can be easily tailored to suit the individual needs - and desires - of the youngster.

Token economies that use money tokens seem to be the most successful with Aspergers kids in increasing their ability to delay gratification, and lessening the risk of satiation (i.e., overuse of a reward that results in the child no longer viewing it as a reward). Using money in a token economy negates the need for the child to decode an abstract concept, because in the "real world," people are paid money for completing tasks in their place of employment.

Aspergers kids take a long time establishing trust, and for this reason, a token economy should initially focus on rewarding desired behaviors and actions. Once the program has been established for a number of years, you may then be able to introduce "response costs" where the child is fined for inappropriate behavior. This correlates the token economy with real world experiences (e.g., if I drive too fast, I get a speeding ticket; if I park where I shouldn’t, I get a parking ticket). However, the focus of the program in the early stages must be on the positives, because Aspergers kids are prone to quickly losing their motivation and trust.

Be creative with the reinforcers offered as motivation. Offering a "menu of rewards" to choose from seems most successful. Initially, "cashed-in" rewards need to be fairly instant (e.g., at the end of each day). Over time, this can be stretched to the end of each week. As the child matures, this delayed gratification may be able to be stretched to a month; however, small rewards and motivators should be offered consistently along the way.

As with all strategies used with Aspergers children, patience and perseverance are the keys to success when using a token economy, but the rewards for both the parent and child are awesome!

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


COMMENTS:

•    After many meltdowns over laundry, he screamed "why do I have to do all of the laundry?!?." Later I explained that there are 2 of us and we each must contribute to keeping this house running, and this is something he is good at. Just like I am better at driving him around and keeping the bills paid.
•    Anonymous said... 4 can be a hard age w/out the spectrum issues. A visual chart of your expectations (show pictures of cleaning up, brushing teeth, eating dinner, and any other chores you want him to help with), you might include an area where he can make a check mark after the does it. Also, I find the more explaining you do, the worse it gets.
•    Anonymous said... Find a way for what you say, to make sense to him. They have exact balance of rationale, a type of logic not easily defeated by simple requests.
•    Anonymous said... Google Pathological Demand Avoidance - traditional ASD parenting doesn't work for it, you have to let go of EVERYTHING! The difference between being a doormat and creating a non-threatening environment full of aspirations not expectations and most importantly NOT taking it personally.
•    Anonymous said... I always like these just because they sound so much like my son (who has not gotten a diagnosis, btw).
•    Anonymous said... I always try to visually "paint" the picture of the outcome or reward vs consequences of doing what is told regardless of if it is what the child wants to do. In other words... once the homework is done we can have play time. Knowing they are working toward a goal tends to help.
•    Anonymous said... I picked up a little trick recently that worked quite well with getting my 7 to wash his hair "show me how you wash your hair" works for cleaning, teeth brushing eating etc my 3 year old works under "big girls can do that" but my boy never cared about any of those statements, good luck
•    Anonymous said... Keep it simple and stick with it. Practice what you preach, you want your child to be patient, you must also show patience (point out the times where your practicing patience). You want your child to tidy his room, tidy your room too, make it a house rule, do it at the same time, see who can finish first, make it fun. If your son is arguing at times when it's important to follow the rules, be like a teacher and say it's not up for debate, it's a rule everyone must follow etc. Keeping consistent is key so don't switch up the rules, keep them simple, make a list, put some pictures by them, make it fun.
•    Anonymous said... My guy is much more compliant if he knows the logical reason behind the request. Though I'm not as good at recognizing the need.
•    Anonymous said... My son is now 11, so I'm trying to think back to when he was 4. We didn't know then that he had ADHD & Aspergers... we just knew things were very different with him. Anyway... he's been seeing a behavior therapist over the last year. We learned that our behavior also had to change if we wanted his to improve. For example, we must be consistent with our "demands" and with his schedule. Routine is important to teach expectations of everyday life -- and to teach compliance without a huge struggle. Also we learned that if we want him to do something, it works best if we plan it so the less rewarding or unfavorable things are done first; use the rewarding/more favorable activities as a motivator. The token system might work okay... but if you try to get them to give up their favorite activity in order to do something they don't want to do... a token at that point probably won't motivate them enough to try and earn it. Routines, limits, set expectations, motivators... I've learned they are all important if you want to lessen daily struggles.
•    Anonymous said... Part of it is because he's 4. Mix a new independent 4 year old and Aspergers and we have quite a mix! One thing I learned was that I needed to stop trying to explain everything (that goes against what "new" parenting advice says, doesn't it? Ha! But I won't get into that or my opinion of it). With Aspergers, they really have to learn "good habits" whether they understand them or not. They think alot differently than us. I fell back on "Who asked you to do that? (mom), So, you need to do it." End of topic. A visual of "because mom said so" made a BIG difference. (Just a picture of yourself and the repeated phrase until he knows when you hand him that picture you are NOT backing down and you don't have to say a word. If you need to remove him from the room because of a meltdown, etc...AS SOON as he is able to join you again give him the same instruction and don't back down with your requirement. They WILL learn it over it time. Teaching of the "why" we do certain things needs to be done through social stories and etc outside of the situation...not during the situation.
•    Anonymous said... Sounds just like my youngest. Unless he is given instant reward for something he isn't interested. Even then it doesn't always work. Very difficult to find rewards he likes as this changes frequently. As for explaining consequences (eg no playtime if task not done) he simply doesn't care. Hard to get them to do what you want when neither reward or consequence seem to bother Them!
•    Anonymous said... this sort of gimmick has never worked with my 7yo aspie because no reward is worth it for her once she is in meltdown mode. What Amber is suggesting is the only way for us.
•    Anonymous said... Try changing the subject so you divert him from that emotion, then as the motion subsides you may be able to come back to it from another angle where he will see your logic of the situation. At least when not emotional they see logic very well. Doesn't always work with my boy and I often forget to try it when I should as I also get a little emotional, but it often does work well.
•    Anonymous said... we went through PCIT (parent child interactive therapy), it is the ONLY thing that worked for us!! Now, my son listens, has follow-through, and he knows that discipline is time-out & Mommy is not afraid to use it!! ask your son's therapist about PCIT & if it's available through their facility. if not, get a referral to a facility that offers it.
•    Anonymous said... Wish I did! I have one of those in my house. Ugh. Its like a steel wall to get through to her!

Post your comment below…

Helping Your Aspergers Child Succeed In School

"My daughter is 10 years old, high functioning and now in middle school. Her teachers are constantly sending me notes saying she isn’t working up to her ability and they can’t get her to stay on task or ask for help. When she’s home, I can get her to do well with homework. I obviously can’t go to school with her everyday. What are some ways the teachers can get her to stay on task without making her stand out to the rest of the class? She is also legally blind and doesn’t want to appear different in any other way."

If your daughter’s teachers expect her to respond to the predominantly visual learning methods that are used in most schools, obviously, they will not work for her. If this situation exists, no wonder your daughter can’t stay on task or ask for help. In addition, her Aspergers symptoms affect her attention span and motivation.

First of all, your daughter should be evaluated by an educational child psychologist (either privately or through the school). A full diagnosis and specialized treatment is very important, including a complete assessment of her strengths and weaknesses (including her vision problem).

Often times, children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism are expected to be able to function successfully in mainstream education, but they struggle through no fault of their own. Aspergers students are very smart, but their problems with social interaction and repetitive behaviors make mainstream education difficult. In addition, your daughter has a serious vision problem, an added cause of difficulties. Once evaluated, she can be appropriately placed in a mainstream educational program with instructional aide support or in special education.

Based on your description, it sounds as though the school’s program (whether it’s mainstream or special education) is not meeting her needs, and the teachers do not have the knowledge they need to help her. Special training and classes for them is vital, as they must address issues with Aspergers as well as her vision problem.

The school has a responsibility to re-evaluate your daughter if she is not progressing well. This is a legal, federally mandated responsibility. You should formally request the school to address your daughter’s difficulties and, with your input and that of her doctors, teachers, and psychologist, prepare a specific, educational plan to address all of her challenges. You may need an advocacy group’s help if the school is reluctant to do this.

Often times, a child with Aspergers and other diagnoses is more successful when placed in a special education classroom (or even a special school) with trained teachers and aides who provide a consistent, individualized educational program in a smaller group of students. Counseling and occupational therapy can be easily scheduled, monitored, and supported by special education teachers. The child may have the same teachers and aides for several years, increasing their understanding of her needs and maximizing her progress.

While your daughter may not want this type of placement at first (because she will appear to be “different”), once she experiences the improvement in her ability to participate in the curriculum, she will understand why a special placement may be the best option for her. Counseling may help her come to terms with the fact that she is different in some ways from other students, but that she is also very gifted, as well. 

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook 


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... Her desire to appear like the other kids may be the motivator to do her best "like the other kids" to do her homework so the teacher wont single her out and get mad at her (blending) and so when the teacher calls on her she knows the answer and the teacher won't chastise her. Maybe. Does she wear any type of eyewear to help? I'm legally blind too but fortunate to be corrected with lenses - I was bribed with contacts back when I wasn't performing to my abilities and not getting my homework done
•    Anonymous said... i hear that! with my b we use positive reinforcements..home and at school.visuals, since the child is blind, obviously would have to cooperate this somehow, she has a few breaks throughout the day. small quick breaks earned has helped to keep her anxiety down, stress down and attention and academics up, she will pick a desirable thing, like computer, clay, paining whatever...then she starts her work, has a small chart/token collector on her desk, and as she completes her work she earns them. when she gets all, she gets to take a break and do what she worked for. somedays may need more breaks then others, but overall this has been a wonderful way and has worked for us at school for quite a few years now.
•    Anonymous said... IEP is the solution. Kids don't need to know and she will get all the accommodations she needs.
•    Anonymous said... My son is 15 and a sophmore in high school. He was diagnosed finally at the end of his 7th grade year with High functioning Aspergers. He is in AP courses an Athletic Student Trainer for the second year and wants to study sports medicine. He excels in his classes and things come naturally to him but can not for the life of him remember or care to do his homework. His average will drop to a 37% and the next week it will be a78% because he averages in his head how many homework assignments he can miss and still pass the class. How can I teach him how important this is for his future. He wants to enroll in a dual enrollment program next year to graduate with an associates degree but his Counselor says probably won't be able to due to he doesn't complete his assignments. ... what can do any suggestions. He has a504 plan already.
•    Anonymous said... story of my life! Does she have a 504 plan? Last year when my daughter now 11 entered Middle School we had a heck of a time. Then we received the official diagnosis and created a 504 plan with the school. It doesn't fix everything and there is still daily communication with almost every teacher, but it has helped a lot. Every afternoon she goes to skill block where an IA checks her agenda and makes sure she has all her assignments and brings home all her required homework. Then when my husband picks her up from school, he checks her agenda and makes sure the required homework books made it into her bag before they even leave the parking lot of the school. I also email regularly with her teachers to make sure she stays on task with her assignments. We work very closely with them to ensure each of us is doing everything we can to help her. For example math, at home she would do fine with math work. At school, she has a D in math and is bombing all her quizzes. We found that providing her graphing paper helps her stay organized as she is working through the math problems, and providing her a quiet place to take the quiz alleviates most of the distractions she experiences. She goes from getting a 40 to getting a 90 by those two simple changes.
•    Anonymous said... u need to call school get a IEP. My son is 12 has aspergers. He just started JR high. he was having similar problems. If the homework becomes too overwhelming u can get it reduced.
•    Anonymous said... 504 plan has to do with allergies, an IEP is for individualized education program....aka...special ed
•    Anonymous said... Getting an IEP is easier said than done. Think I'm gearing up for that fight soon... We are their best advocates.

Post your comment below…

Asperger's: Common Questions & Quick Answers

What are some of the traits of Asperger's (AS)?
  • A child with AS wants to fit in and make friends, he just does not know how to do it.
  • AS usually affects a child's social skills, communication skills, and behavior.
  • AS is a problem of child development.
  • The child usually functions well in every day life, but he has problems interacting with others.
  • AS causes a wide range of developmental problems in children.
  • AS is a brain disorder.
  • It is one of the pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).
  • Other PDD's include Autism, Rett's syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
  • AS is sometimes called High-Functioning Autism.
  • Unlike an autistic child, a child with AS has fewer problems with language, and usually has average to above average intelligence.

What causes AS?
  • The cause is unknown.
  • It may have something to do with genetics, or how the brain works.
  • Parents do not cause AS.

Who can get AS?
  • Anyone can get AS.
  • Parents of a child with AS are more likely to have another child with AS.
  • It is more common in boys than in girls.

What are the signs of AS?

The signs and symptoms of AS are similar to those of other behavioral problems. It is very important that a doctor sees your child if you think he has AS.

Social Skills—
  • Has problems making friends
  • Lacks social skills
  • Seems unaware of others' feelings
  • Unable to carry on conversations

Communication Skills—
  • Cannot start a conversation or keep one going
  • May have problems with nonverbal communication or body language
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Does not use or understand hand gestures
  • Does not change his face when talking with others (e.g., not smiling when telling something funny)
  • Does not understand other people's facial expressions (e.g., not understanding why someone would smile at a joke)
  • May have a short attention span
  • Repeats a word or phrase over and over again
  • Words may be very formal and loud

Behavior—
  • Clumsy
  • Does not like changes in every-day routines
  • Only interested in a few things (e.g., collecting rocks, listening to music)
  • May have obsessive behavior
  • Collects categories of things such as rocks or paper clips
  • Knows categories of information like Latin names of flowers or football statistics
  • May have problems with reading, writing or math skills
  • Lacks organization skills
  • Repeats certain behaviors over and over again

How is it diagnosed?
  • The doctor will watch your child and ask you about his symptoms. How have his social and language skills changed over time? His behavior?
  • It is usually diagnosed between 3 and 9 years old.
  • The child may need to be seen by a developmental pediatrician or psychiatrist (i.e., special doctors who are trained to diagnose AS).
  • He may need tests.
  • AS cannot be diagnosed at birth.
  • AS can be difficult to diagnose because the child can function well in every-day life.
  • A doctor should see the child as soon as any signs or symptoms are noticed.

Is it contagious?
  • No. AS is not contagious.

How is it treated?
  • Treatment depends on the level of functioning of your child. A child with higher intelligence will have a better outcome.
  • Types of treatments include: (a) behavioral modification, (b) education and training, (c) language therapy, (d) medicines for specific behavioral problems, (e) parent education and training, (f) psychotherapy, (g) sensory integration training (i.e., the child is treated to be less sensitive to things that bother him a lot), and (h) social skills training.
  • It is important if all of the child's caregivers are involved in the treatment. This can include family members, close friends, babysitters, teachers, etc.
  • Your child will most likely continue to have some problems throughout his life (e.g., there is an increased risk of developing depression or anxiety), but he will be able to make friends and have long-lasting relationships.
  • With treatment, your child can learn to live with the condition. Many children are able finish high school, and then eventually attend college and get a job.
  • There is no cure for AS.

Can it be prevented?
  • AS cannot be prevented because we do not know what causes it.

When should I call the doctor?
  • Your child has a legal right to receive special services at school. Talk to your doctor or teachers for more information. They can help you decide what school setting and education plan will be best for your child.
  • Call your child's doctor, your child's school, or a support group for help. There are many organizations that can help you cope and teach you how to manage life with a child with AS.
  • Call your doctor if your child shows behaviors of AS from the signs and symptoms list above.
  • Call your doctor if you have any questions about your child's condition.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Top 100 Asperger's Websites - 2009

1. * Aspie.com : Celebrating Individuality!



2. A Directory for Asperger Syndrome



3. A support group that is aimed at the families of those affected with Asperger's Asperger Syndrome and the Elementary School Experience: Practical ... - Google Books Result



4. AAMFT - Aspergers Syndrome Consumer Update



5. ABC News: Asperger's Syndrome: Separating Myth From Reality



6. ABC News: More Students With Asperger Syndrome Going to College



7. About Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Related Disorders by Maap ...



8. AHA/Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association



9. Amazon.com: Asperger Syndrome: Ami Klin, Fred R. Volkmar, Sara S ...



10. Amazon.com: Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Uta Frith: Books



11. Asperger and Autism Information by MAAP Services, Inc. - The ...



12. Asperger Syndrome



13. Asperger Syndrome - Google Books Result



14. Asperger syndrome - Overview



15. Asperger Syndrome - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Asperger ...



16. Asperger syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



17. Asperger Syndrome / Family Village



18. Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School ... - Google Books Result



19. Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety | AboutOurKids.org



20. Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Issues: Practical Solutions for ... - Google Books Result



21. Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the United States



22. Asperger Syndrome Education Network (ASPEN)



23. Asperger Syndrome in Children - Keep Kids Healthy



24. Asperger Syndrome Information Page: National Institute of ...



25. Asperger Syndrome OASIS



26. Asperger Syndrome Support & Awareness of Central Illinois



27. Asperger Syndrome: The OASIS Guide To Asperger Syndrome



28. Asperger Syndrome: What Is It?



29. Asperger’s Syndrome: A Developmental Puzzle



30. AspergerDVDSeries



31. Aspergers and Behavior



32. Asperger's Association of New England - AANE



33. Asperger's Disorder



34. ASPERGER'S DISORDER HOMEPAGE



35. Asperger's Forum



36. Asperger's Syndrome



37. Asperger's Syndrome - America's Next Top Model - Autism - New York ...



38. Asperger's syndrome - MayoClinic.com



39. Asperger's Syndrome - neurologychannel



40. Asperger's Syndrome - Revolution Health



41. Asperger's Syndrome - Symptoms - Yahoo! Health



42. Asperger's syndrome (www.whonamedit.com)



43. Asperger's Syndrome and Your Child - FamilyEducation.com



44. Asperger's Syndrome Fact Sheet



45. Asperger's Syndrome in the Yahoo! Directory



46. Asperger's Syndrome Info



47. Aspergers Syndrome Information, Characteristics, Definitions ...



48. Asperger's Syndrome Support



49. Asperger's Syndrome, Autism/PDD: Yale Child Study Center



50. Asperger's Syndrome: Description, Criteria, Causes, Symptoms ...



51. Asperger's syndrome: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com



52. Asperger's Syndrome-Symptoms



53. Asperger's/Autism



54. Asperger's: My life as an Earthbound alien - CNN.com



55. Autism / Asperger's Syndrome / PDD Publications and conferences ...



56. Autism and Asperger Syndrome - Google Books Result



57. Autism and Juice Plus



58. Autism Resources - Asperger's Syndrome



59. Autism Society of America: What's Unique about Asperger's Disorder?



60. Autism Speaks, What is Autism, What is Asperger's Syndrome



61. Autism, ASD, PDD, Asperger's Syndrome - Articles, Cases, Resources ...



62. Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and the Autism Spectrum



63. Autism, Asperger's syndrome, PDD-NOS and related disorders: fact ...



64. Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Sorting Out Autism, Asperger's ...



65. CEC | Autism/Asperger's Syndrome



66. Children, Youth and Adults with Asperger Syndrome: Integrating ... - Google Books Result



67. Coulter Video - Autism & Asperger Syndrome Videos



68. eMedicine - Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome ...



69. FAAAS - Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome



70. Find Asperger's Stories



71. Franklin Academy



72. Google Directory - Health > Mental Health > Disorders ...



73. GRASP - The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership



74. Hardin MD : Aspergers Syndrome



75. Help for Aspergers



76. Hoagies' Gifted: Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism



77. Intentional action and Asperger Syndrome - Boing Boing



78. Intentional Action and Asperger Syndrome | Psychology Today Blogs



79. Is Asperger’s syndrome/High-Functioning Autism necessarily a ...



80. Jack Knight



81. KJP's Asperger's Syndrome Site



82. Living with Asperger's Syndrome || kuro5hin.org



83. MedlinePlus: Asperger's Syndrome



84. Need Aspergers Answers?



85. Neuroscience for Kids - Asperger's Syndrome



86. OkCupid.com: Take The Asperger's Syndrome Test



87. Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Asperger Syndrome: Overview ...



88. Sacramento Asperger Syndrome Information & Support



89. Selected List of Videos, Videos on Asperger’s Syndrome, IRCA



90. Signs of Asperger's Syndrome - Natural Remedy for Asperger's Disease



91. Summer Camps and Academic Programs for Kids with Asperger's Syndrome



92. Targeting Autism: What We Know, Don't Know, and Can Do to Help ... - Google Books Result



93. The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome - Google Books Result



94. The DRM WebWatcher: Asperger's Syndrome



95. The Infinite Mind: Asperger's Syndrome: A Special Report (Part One ...



96. treat aspergers syndrome social skills deficits.



97. Understanding Asperger's Syndrome : NPR



98. Virtual Pediatric Hospital: CQQA: Asperger's Syndrome



99. Welcome To: A.S.P.I.E.



100. What Is Asperger Syndrome or Asperger's Disorder?



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

Aspergers Children and Split Personality

"Is it common for a child with Asperger’s to have a split personality? My daughter is a really good kid at school, but then a complete monster at home. Is this normal?"

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is known to manifest itself differently with different children. Also, children with Aspergers  may react differently to various situations depending on their individual personalities. Your child may feel more comfortable with the familiar surroundings at home, and feel freer to act out more at home than in public, where she is surrounded by strangers and in a less familiar environment.

The stress of school may be relieved by a “meltdown” or other difficult behavior at home. This is a common occurrence. Quite a few kids with Aspergers are saints at school, but they soak up the anguish and then squeeze it out on their family members when they get home.

Aspergers is treated in two ways, and both of them help manage the anxiety that accompanies this disorder. The first is cognitive psychology, and the second is prescription medication. The first thing you need to do in order to help your daughter is to find a psychiatrist or psychologist who specializes in Aspergers. This specialist will be able to help you and your daughter discover the reasons behind her behavioral changes.

In addition, a specialist will help you do two things:
  1. Modify the situation or the environment in which your daughter lives in order to reduce difficult behavior.
  2. Create interventions for handling her anxiety.

Please don’t be intimidated. Changes don’t have to be complex or unmanageable. The changes you need to make might just involve changing lighting to a lower level, adjusting sound levels in your home, or creating a new schedule.

If initial interventions do not help, a psychiatrist can prescribe medications which will provide your daughter with the help she needs. It’s important to note that psychotropic (mood-altering) drugs like Zoloft or Prozac can help children, but they can also cause serious problems for children. If the psychiatrist prescribes medication, ask about dosage levels and, more importantly, side effects.

Just about all drugs have side effects, and it’s important for you to know about them so you know what to expect. You know your child better than anyone else; ask yourself if she can handle side effects like nausea, hypersensitivity, or prolonged sleepiness. These are all possible, depending on the medication prescribed.

More information about Aspergers children doing well at school - but poorly at home - can be found here: Behavior Problems At Home - But Not At School 

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook 


COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
My oldest son is like this. I say he assimulates (sp) at school then when he hits the door at home all bets are off and he's able to breathe. Which sadly for us means it's on and it's ugly somedays!

Anonymous said...
School is structured... maybe he can cut loose at home..

Anonymous said...
Maybe he is intimidated by bigger kids at school and he is reacting at home where everything is safe and friendly. Try and get to the bottom of his school troubles as a means to calm him down.

Anonymous said...
my daughter was like that, she had to be "normal" while at school which caused her to stress out & once she was home she was able to be herself & release the stress. In her words " Mommy, you love me no matter what even if I break something"

Anonymous said...
He's also probably over-stimulated and all the tension from being so good all day is really stressing him out so he's acting out in his safe place. My son was the same way, so we send him to school in the mornings and homeschool him in the afternoons to give him more down time. It's a good balance for us but doesn't work for everyone of course.

Anonymous said...
My son has always been this way. They work so hard to hold it all together at school by the time they get home in their 'safe haven' they melt down. I'd rather it be at home than at school or elsewhere though. However, it does wear you down after awhile. I dread 3:30pm in the afternoon on school days! Hang in there.

Anonymous said...
Im havin the same trouble as soon as he leaves school it starts but they wont diagones him cus he ok in school 4 2hrs even thow his behaviour so extreme at ome we got a surport worker health vistor social worker but im gettin no were

Anonymous said...
We have similar. Oldest has diagnosis already. Middle child we are almost certain is an aspie too. But school not interested as he is a high achiever so not having detramental effect on his school work. Has recent family suituation which ment change in routine he "kicked off " worse than the oldest. Going again to gp as want referal for him. Hope they listen this time.

Anonymous said...
Its drivin me mad my son is a very high achiever 4 a 3 year old so im not gettin much luck i havnt been to gp iv gone threw health visitor do u think i sud go to gp wud i get any further?

Anonymous said...
My son as passive aspergers he's really good in school when he gets home meltdown the problem when they r good at school aspergers never picked up by the teachers my sons wasn't it was a very good freind who noticed my sons traits

Anonymous said...
ask ur gp for a common assessment framework also a ref to camhs

Anonymous said...
have u read tony attwood aspergers my consultant told me to read it

Anonymous said...
i really feel 4 u. my son is now 8 but was only diagnosed a yr ago. took me yrs of fighting, lots of exclusions from school, evn on a half day programme. they blamed my parenting!! we had all the services wiv no help 2. he used 2 c an...See More

Anonymous said...
ask the school to ref ur son to autisum team they need to know how he is at home he may be passive like my son the school never picked it up now he's 11 he's showing all the signs the signs in adam can't mix has to have rotine noise has an imaginary freind

Anonymous said...
they can't be bothered go to ur dr ask to be ref to aut consultant keep a diary over the next few months

Anonymous said...
Thank u so much 4 ur help im in a hole an cant seem to get out il get to gp monday thank u its so frustratin 4 me i need help

Anonymous said...
Iv kept a diary over 2 months they sent me on parentin courses which did not help at all they tell things to do wid him but makin is behaviour worse an he cant cope wid it bless

Anonymous said...
Thats exactly wot i had 2 do, i was fightin the system 4 4yrs, evn believd it was my 'parenting' at 1 point but my son is now in yr 3 at school n this has been his 1st full yr being full time in mainstream wivout a single exclusion!! its not jus about the diagnosis n puttin a label on your child but gettin them and u the help an support that u so need an deserve!! shudnt hav 2 b a fight :-( xx

Anonymous said...
No it sudnt b a fight im fed up of tryin to prove it as if i wantd this 4 my son i just want him to b happy an settled

Anonymous said...
Thats wot any good parent wants 4 their child n u wil get their in the end, i did and it was worth it. just dont giv in and keep going. if u need sum1 2 talk 2 then feel free 2 add me as a friend on fb, know how tough it is n 2 hav a friendly ear who knows wot u r goin thru makes al the diffrnce :-) xx

Anonymous said...
Maybe at school there's a routine, predictability & structure and maybe there's less of that at home? It was like that for us, but once we established routines for at home and stuck to them, he was better. Stay positive and good luck!

Anonymous said...
My son is 7, and for the whole of his short life I have had a huge gut feeling telling me my son is not like his siblings or other kids. I've known in my heart he has something different. He is great at school but look out at the end of the day, worst is if there was a issue. I'm now on the road to getting answers for him as he knows he is different too :-( it is hard work and I will keep fighting for him as I'm his voice. Just hard when he is not tricking all the boxes when he has assessments and is ok at school.

Anonymous said...
My grandson who is 9 is the opposite. He acts up at school and isn't to bad at home. Structure is the key, I have found. It's a never ending battle. Now that school is out, he is acting up at home again.

Anonymous said...
My son is 11 and i have only just found out that he has Aspergers, i have always known he was a bit different and have been struggling with his bad moods and difficultness at home. I also hate it how some family members think it is your parenting that causes it! It breaks my heart, as all you want is for them to be happy and settled. I am glad i found this site.

Anonymous said...
I think a lot of times our kids work so hard to hold it all together when they are out and about, and then let loose at home where they feel more safe. All the anxiety and frustration tends to get bottled up and then let out again at home.

Anonymous said...
yes. very normal. 



Most recent comments:

•    Anonymous said… article is good but this is not split personality which is a completely different diagnosis. this describes the results/effects of their situational environment
•    Anonymous said… Aspies can hold it together the whole day but then we're exhausted and need to let loose when we get home.
•    Anonymous said… Deal with this everyday , I truly think bc she tries to hold it together at school then when she comes home she relaxes in her comfort zone .
•    Anonymous said… Does anyone have a child like this who still get services in school? I really believe in OT break during the day would alleviate alot of the meltdowns we are having immediately after school and all night - but since she is doing well there they don't really want to do anything.
•    Anonymous said… Google Pathological Demand Avoidance.
•    Anonymous said… Hell ye i relate an i cant get a diagnosise cus of this so frustrating
•    Anonymous said… I am so glad I am not the only one with this problem. My son is the perfect angel at school apparently and he comes home and completely melts down over the smallest things. I too have a hard time getting his teacher to take me seriously when he acts so well behavior wise in school and academically he's ahead of his class. Only thing we get is a little bit of OT and even thats not much.
•    Anonymous said… I have the same issue with my daughter. It is not split personality. It is the fact that she comes home to decompress. She has to release the pent up frustrations of the day. We, her family, are the lucky ones that get to deal with her decompression. I am so glad that my friend Alex pointed this out to me. It made such huge sense when he did.
•    Anonymous said… I know my son does not have a split personality but this is exactly what we go through.
•    Anonymous said… I think most of us Aspie mothers go through the same thing
•    Anonymous said… I'm grateful to have her behave at school, actually. I've also tried to think of her after school meltdowns as a compliment that she's comfortable. Sounds crazy, but it's kept me from coming unhinged on several occasions. I also try to have some sort of snack or drink ready for when she gets in the car. We go home and decompress for a little while, may watch a few of HER shows. Seems to work MOST of the time.
•    Anonymous said… It's actually normal, my son has learnt that school is important and he puts so much energy and focus into school that as soon as he walks out of the classroom its on like donkey kong, I accept most of the behaviour and dont put too much pressure on him to behave at home after school he's exhausted, but I find he is better on weekends. He will eventually find a happy medium
•    Anonymous said… It's not a split personality. They just use up every speck of self-control, self-soothing, and focus at school so have none left once they get home. We dealt with this for 2 years when my aspie was in public school - since homeschooling it is no longer an issue.
•    Anonymous said… I've been dealing with the exact things Ginger and Amy described. It's hard to get services for a child who behaves well and doesn't have academic problems, even when it's obvious that her social skills make interacting with peers difficult. Just yesterday, we attended a meeting at which I was told her day services will probably be cut because she's not currently an academic or disapline problem, but oh, come back if things get worse. It's a catch-22 for parents b/c if the child does well in some areas, the problem areas won't be taken seriously!
•    Anonymous said… Keep in mind how hard it is for an Aspie to keep their behaviour "normal" in school. They are exhausted when they come home. My daughter has the same, and I always keep in mind how hard the poor thing is working on behaving like the others at school. Everyone has to be able to behave without filters or so much effort somewhere.
•    Anonymous said… Make the teachers aware that the anxiety spills over at home in the form of outbursts or meltdowns, chewing minty gum helps me daughter to keep it together at school. This is in her IEP ... Ask the doctor who diagnosed to write something to school about how your child is affected by her anxiety. Also try teaching deep breathing and when they get home just let them check out and decompress for an hour or two. They need and deserve this time to just do whatever they need to do in order to calm down... Read watch tv, play computer games, play with pets, maybe go outside and swing or spin. My daughter used to spin on swing while singing and sometimes yelling or shreiking. We all know water is often very calming for these kids, so maybe painting with watercolors or playing in the bath tub will help. And my daughter likes hugs so that pressure of a big hug can be calming as well. I know how you feel because my daughter used to come home everyday and just lose it. It's a long learning process. Stay strong. Special children are given to special parents.��
•    Anonymous said… My now adult daughter, never formally diagnosed with Aspergers,  has all these –“split personality, fussy eater”. I was always facing the good student, and well-behaved child to my being the overbearing personality and neurotic mother diagnosis.
•    Anonymous said… My son behaves so well at school that the teachers and staff have a hard time understanding what we deal with at home. I'm glad he is well behaved at school, though. That does help... It's always comforting to hear that we are not alone
•    Anonymous said… No, its not a 'split personality.' It is merely a function of how hard she works at school, academically and socially, and has to 'release' in a safe place. She only has so much energy to deal...
•    Anonymous said… SO much so that the school thinks I'm NUTS for asking for an IEP!!!!
•    Anonymous said… This is exactly how my daughter is. Ugh... Sometimes I think the teachers at school think we are crazy!
•    Anonymous said… we experience this too and am grateful most of the time it's not the other way around
•    Anonymous said… We have sensory breaks in our Iep. But our schools just don't do them. The classroom can also do the sensory break. It's benefits everyone. I'm thinking of homeschooling. I'm tired of fighting for the simplest requests for my child. Makes me sad.
•    Mark Hutten said… Think of it as split "comfort levels" rather than "split personality" ...make sense?

Post your comment below…

Preparing Family Members for Your Aspergers Child's Behavior: Tips for Holiday Gatherings


The following is a letter (or email) that you can send to relatives and hosts of holiday gatherings who might need a crash course in what to expect from your Aspergers (or high functioning autism) child. Feel free to copy, paste and print this letter. You can use it as is, or edit it to make it more applicable to your unique situation:

Dear _____, (e.g., Aunt Sally)

I understand that we will be visiting each other for the holidays this year! Sometimes these visits can be very hard for me, but here is some information that might help our visit to be more successful.

As you probably know, I am challenged by a hidden disorder called Aspergers, or what some people refer to as High-Functioning Autism. Aspergers is a neuro-developmental disorder which sometimes makes it hard for me to understand the environment around me. I have barriers in my brain that you can’t see, but which may make it difficult for me to adapt to my surroundings.

Sometimes I may seem rude and abrupt, but it is only because I have to try to understand people, and at the same time make myself understood. Children with Aspergers have different abilities. For example, some may not speak much, and some write beautiful poetry. Others are whizzes in math (Albert Einstein had a form of autism), or may have difficulty making friends. We are all different and need various degrees of support.

Sometimes when I am touched unexpectedly, it might feel painful and make me want to run away. I get easily frustrated, too. Being around a lot of other people sometimes feels like standing next to a moving freight train – and trying to decide how and when to jump aboard. I may feel frightened and confused some of the time. This is why I like to have things the same as much as possible. Once I learn how things happen, I can stay pretty calm. But if something changes, then I may have to relearn the situation all over again!

When you talk to me, I may not be able to comprehend everything you are saying to me if there is a lot of noise and distraction around. I usually have to concentrate to hear and understand one thing at a time. You might think I am ignoring you, but I am not. Rather, I am hearing everything, but not knowing what is most important to respond to.

Holidays can be hard for me because there are so many different people, places, and things going on that are out of my ordinary environment. This may be fun and adventurous for most kids, but for me, it can be hard work and extremely stressful. I often have to get away from all the commotion to calm down. It would be great if you had a private place set up to where I could retreat.

If I can’t sit at the meal table, please don’t think that I am misbehaving or that my mom and dad have no control over me. Sitting in one place for very long is often very hard for me. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the smells, sounds, and people. When this happens, I just have to get up and move about. But please don’t stop eating on my account. Go on without me, and my mom or dad will handle the situation the best way they know how.

Eating in general can be hard for me. If you understand that Aspergers is a sensory processing disorder, it’s no wonder eating is a problem. Think of all the senses involved with eating (e.g., sight, smell, taste, touch) and all the complicated mechanics that are involved (e.g., chewing and swallowing).  This is something that some kids with Aspergers have trouble with. I am not being picky. I just can’t eat certain foods because my sensory system is overly-sensitive. (Hope you understand.)

Also, please don’t be disappointed if my mother or father doesn’t dress me in fancy clothes. It’s because they know how much stiff and itchy clothes can drive me nuts! I have to feel comfortable in my clothes, or I will just be miserable. When I go to someone else’s house, I may appear bossy and irritable. In a way, I am being controlling, because that is how I try to fit into the world around me. I like things to be done in a way I am familiar with or else I might get confused and frustrated. It doesn’t mean you have to change the way you are doing things. Just please be patient with me and understanding of how I have to cope.

My parents have no control over how my Aspergers makes me feel inside. Kids with this disorder often have little things that they do to help themselves feel more comfortable. The professionals call it “self regulation,” or “stimming.” I might rock, hum, flick my fingers, or any number of different things. I am not trying to be disruptive or weird. Again, I am doing what I have to do for my brain to adapt to the environment. Sometimes I cannot stop myself from talking, singing, or doing an activity I enjoy. The professionals call this “perseverating,” which is similar to self-regulation or stimming. I do this only because I have found something to occupy myself that makes me feel comfortable. Perseverative behaviors are good to a certain degree because they help me calm down.

Holidays are filled with sights, sounds, and smells. The average home is turned into a busy, frantic, festive place. This may be fun for most kids, but it can be hard work for me to conform. If I fall apart or act-out in a way that you consider socially inappropriate, please remember that I don’t possess the neurological system that is required to follow some social rules. In any event, I will try very hard to be on my best behavior when we get together during the holidays.

Thanks for listening. I’m looking forward to seeing you.

________ (Aspergers child’s name)


From: www.MyAspergersChild.com

Transition Services for Aspergers Teens

"I have a 17 year old with Asperger’s. She was a late diagnosis (wasn’t diagnosed until age 15). How do you help a teen with transition services (e.g., getting a job, learning to drive, going to college, etc.) when she doesn’t have any desire to learn or do any of those things?"

Unfortunately, the diagnoses of Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism do not receive the same government support as do other more well-known disabilities. When financial assistance is not available for therapy or medication, disorders go untreated, and the teenager with Aspergers experiences emotional and social difficulties. 

If you can afford medical services, obtain them as soon as you can. If you cannot afford such services, check with your daughter’s school. They can design an individualized treatment plan (IEP) for her. The ideal treatment plan involves your daughter, a therapist, her teachers, and her parents. While you may not be able to afford therapy for your daughter, you will learn a lot of coping principles at the treatment plan meetings.

A quick, easy way for you to start helping your daughter is to begin reading books and e-books about Aspergers. There are many titles on the subject. Start by going on the internet and typing the words “Aspergers girls” or “Aspergers teens.” These resources can be purchased on the Internet, or you can make note of the titles and take them to your local bookstore. They will order them for you. 

In addition to the Internet, keep up with the information provided on this website. Make it a habit to read the questions and answers on this website to get the information you need. 

Another source of information is your nearest Autism or Asperger’s Association and support group. They will refer you to free or low cost services available in your area.

All parents of Aspergers children worry about their child’s diagnosis as well as their future. There is an excellent video available titled “Asperger’s Syndrome: Transition to College and Work” by Dan and Julie Coulter.

At the age of 17, your daughter is coping with adolescence in addition to her Aspergers diagnosis. Talk with her about the future, and discuss the benefits of driving, going to work, and attending college. Don’t expect her to make conclusive decisions about these subjects - especially college.

Prioritize her issues. First, make sure she gets treatment for her Aspergers. See if there is a teen support group in your area, and take the rest slowly. Her first goal should be learning about - and getting treatment for - her Aspergers symptoms.

One educational option for your daughter is a junior college as opposed to a university. Colleges are now accommodating their growing populations of disabled students who begin their studies with a variety of diagnoses. Community college can be an excellent choice for an Aspergers student, because students at community colleges get more counseling support, and since most community college students are still living at home, they have fewer new adjustments to make. 

Whether she chooses a community or four year college, it is best to find one that offers special programs for students with disabilities. Before enrolling, students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism need help planning a manageable course load.

One way to help prepare your daughter for adulthood is a part-time job while in high school. See if you can determine your daughter’s vocational strengths and interests that will help her be successful with part-time employment.

Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance

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.”

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.

If your child suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, expect him to experience both minor and major meltdowns over incidents that are part of daily life. He may have a major meltdown over a very small incident, or may experience a minor meltdown over something that is major. There is no way of telling how he is going to react about certain situations. However, there are many ways to help your child learn to control his emotions.

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.

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing a child with a neurological disorder. Violent rages, self-injury, isolation-seeking tendencies and communication problems that arise due to auditory and sensory issues are just some of the behaviors that parents of teens with Aspergers will have to learn to control.

Parents need to come up with a consistent disciplinary plan ahead of time, and then present a united front and continually review their strategies for potential changes and improvements as the Aspergers teen develops and matures.

Click here to read the full article…

Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers 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.

Although they may vary slightly from person to person, children with Aspergers tend to have similar symptoms, the main ones being:

=> A need to know when everything is happening in order not to feel completely overwhelmed
=> A rigid insistence on routine (where any change can cause an emotional and physiological meltdown)
=> Difficulties with social functioning, particularly in the rough and tumble of a school environment
=> Obsessive interests, with a focus on one subject to the exclusion of all others
=> Sensory issues, where they are oversensitive to bright light, loud sounds and unpleasant smells
=> Social isolation and struggles to make friends due to a lack of empathy, and an inability to pick up on or understand social graces and cues (such as stopping talking and allowing others to speak)

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."

Parents face issues such as college preparation, vocational training, teaching independent living, and providing lifetime financial support for their child, if necessary. Meanwhile, their immature Aspergers teenager is often indifferent – and even hostile – to these concerns.

As you were raising your child, you imagined how he would be when he grew up. Maybe you envisioned him going to college, learning a skilled traded, getting a good job, or beginning his own family. But now that (once clear) vision may be dashed. You may be grieving the loss of the child you wish you had.

If you have an older teenager with Aspergers who has no clue where he is going in life, or if you have an “adult-child” with Aspergers still living at home (in his early 20s or beyond), here are the steps you will need to take in order to foster the development of self-reliance in this child.

Click here to read the full article…

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content