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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Succeeding in College with Asperger's

“My daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome is doing pretty well at college managing her courses and her part-time job. However, she is not managing her finances well. For a while she only had to pay for her car payment and insurance. Now, she has also accumulated some credit cards and short-term loans. While she lives away at school, her mail and bills come here, so I’ve been checking her mail. She has not been paying her bills on time, so I’ve had to make some payments for her. She knows that I am holding her accountable to reimburse me. How can I help her develop an organized budget system, while at the same time not offending her and turning her away from us?”

Student budgeting has specific challenges. Typically, the student receives money in large chunks, either from loans, education savings plans, or summer job savings, and then she needs to make it last for several months. If your daughter is managing her money for the first time, it can be tempting to spend big early on, and then struggle to pay the bills later.

Budgeting for college students is essential to avoid that end-of-semester crunch. However, even mentioning the word “budget” will most likely make your daughter groan. But having a financial plan will save her from realizing that it's January, she’s out of money, and her next loan doesn't arrive until March!

Tips to help your Aspergers daughter create – and stick to – a budget:
  1. Encourage your daughter to start her college student budget in the fall, when she’s saved her summer earnings and received her student loans.  
  2. Help her identify all her sources of income (e.g., scholarships, money from you, savings from jobs, etc), and when she expects to receive the funds. That's her income.  
  3. Next, help her make a list of all fixed costs (e.g., tuition, phone, rent, utilities, etc.) and when they’ll come due (if she banks online, she can ask her bank to send her payment reminders for when things are due). 
  4. Next, help your daughter estimate her regular discretionary expenses (e.g., food, laundry, entertainment, etc.) as well as infrequent expenses (e.g., trips home, books, course materials, etc.). Add a little extra for unexpected or emergency expenses (e.g., a computer crash).
  5. Are her expenses higher than her income? If so, take another look at ways to save. She may want to consider living with roommates, taking public transit, switching to a low-cost cell phone plan with plenty of texting, and so on.
  6. Remind your daughter to write down her expenses for the first few weeks and compare it to her college student budget. Is she eating out more than she planned? Does she have to buy new textbooks instead of used? If so, help her adjust her budget.

==> Here's an example of a budget worksheet for college students...

Another way you can help your daughter from a distance is to find a good computer bookkeeping program. These programs make budgeting and bill paying quick and easy. Use the program yourself and recommend it to her. This will help the encounter seem more like a genuine product review rather than a parent-to-child demand. Encourage her to share this new information with any friends who may be struggling with their finances.

Budgeting is a common problem for college students everywhere. Sometimes the freedom is just overwhelming. Once your daughter has come up with a solution for her financial struggles, make sure she budgets for the money she owes on those late bills you paid.

Going away to college creates feelings of new found independence. It is normal for your daughter to pull away a bit as she finds her own way. Balancing this independence with the need for parental guidance may be difficult for all of you. While you are willing to help in any way for the time being, you should expect her to take full control of her financial situation at some point, just as she has taken control of the other areas of her life. Paying her late bills for her will keep her credit score in good shape, but she will not learn to manage her money this way.

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

How to Respond to a Frustrated Autistic Child

“Any advice for helping my child (high functioning) to manage frustration over seemingly small things? Even something as minor as losing a game of checkers turns into a major riot, which in turn aggravates me to no end.”

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Help for Depressed Aspergers/HFA Children and Teens

“Is it common for children on the autism spectrum to be depressed? Lately, my teenage daughter has been quite sad much of the time for no apparent reason that any of us can identify. She does tend to be a 'loner' - but she says she prefers it that way.”

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Coming To Terms With The Asperger's Diagnosis

"How do I help my 12 year old son to come to terms with his diagnosis and help him understand that it is not the end of the world?"

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is a "spectrum" disorder; those who have it experience various symptoms, exhibiting a range of behaviors. People with Aspergers have a different way of thinking, concentrating on special interests. Many people with Aspergers can speak eloquently and have extraordinary abilities in engineering, computer science, and systematic thinking, yet have serious difficulties with social interaction and functioning in the world. However, Aspergers is not the end of world; it is treatable. It is very normal for your son (and you) to react with sadness, self pity, anger, or depression when you receive the diagnosis. You are mourning the life you thought you were going to have. But that does not mean that you won’t have a good life; it will just be different.

If your son is willing, discuss with him his diagnosis and your plans to help him. Reassure him that he will do fine. If he cannot get over his sadness and anger, get him into counselling. Once properly diagnosed, reassured, and treated, he will feel much happier and more optimistic.

Start now to educate yourself and your son. There are tons of books available for adults, children, and teens that explain Aspergers and provide information and help. Read a book and discuss it together. Then, get online and start researching Aspergers symptoms and treatments. There is a wealth of information on this site!

Become involved in the forum on this site. Also find a support group in your area. Other parents will provide moral support and comfort. Your son may enjoy talking with other children with Aspergers online. Be sure to monitor the sites he visits to make sure they are appropriate for him.

I want your son to know that having Aspergers is not the end of the world. It creates difficulties in the social sphere, yes. But special interests can lead to career skills, and, in some cases, to career success. Good social skills can be learned over time. With reinforcement and guidance from loving people; progress is possible. With knowledge and support from parents, teachers, mentors, medical professionals, and peers, the inner strengths of these special people shine, adding uniqueness to our world.


COMMENTS:

Anonymous said... help him to see himself for his abilities and not his dis-ability! He is himself and not his dx. His dx is just a tool that he can use on his road to success : )

Anonymous said... The diagnosis was the best thing that's ever happened in our family! It flooded us with so much understanding and the ability to identify and work on those areas which are troublesome. It opened up so many doors to a world of resources; books, support groups, online connections - so that we don't feel a bit alone. Help is just a keystroke or a mouse click away. I slapped an "I LOVE AN ASPIE" bumper sticker on my car and we embrace the dx with humor and hope. I know my own son felt a lot better once we met some others his own age who shared his diagnosis, and maybe that would help your boy? If he would like my son to contact him, message me and I'll put you in touch:) Enjoy the journey, you're on the right track, Mom!:)
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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.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

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

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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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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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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to read the full article...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content