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: Speech and Language

"Do children with Asperger’s have speech or language problems, or is this purely an issue in Autism?"

Although kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism acquire language skills without significant general delay, and their speech typically lacks significant abnormalities, language acquisition and use is often atypical. Abnormalities include:
  • abrupt transitions
  • auditory perception deficits
  • literal interpretations
  • miscomprehension of nuance
  • oddities in loudness, pitch, intonation, prosody, and rhythm 
  • unusually pedantic, formal or idiosyncratic speech
  • use of metaphor meaningful only to the speaker
  • verbosity

Three aspects of communication patterns are of clinical interest:
  • marked verbosity
  • poor prosody
  • tangential and circumstantial speech

Although inflection and intonation may be less rigid or monotonic than in Autism, young people with Aspergers often have a limited range of intonation (e.g., speech may be unusually fast, jerky or loud). Speech may convey a sense of incoherence, and the conversational style often includes monologues about topics that bore the listener, fails to provide context for comments, or fails to suppress internal thoughts.

Young people with Aspergers may fail to monitor whether the listener is interested or engaged in the conversation. The Aspergers child’s conclusion or point may never be made, and attempts by the listener to elaborate on the speech's content or logic, or to shift to related topics, are often unsuccessful.

Kids with Aspergers may have an unusually sophisticated vocabulary at a very young age and have been colloquially called "little professors," but have difficulty understanding figurative language and tend to use language literally. These kids also appear to have particular weaknesses in areas of non-literal language that include humor, irony, and teasing.

Although young people with Aspergers usually understand the cognitive basis of humor, they seem to lack understanding of the intent of humor to share enjoyment with others. Despite strong evidence of impaired humor appreciation, anecdotal reports of humor in kids with Aspergers seem to challenge some psychological theories of both Aspergers and Autism.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Article is very accurate.
•    Anonymous said… I might have helpful info. My 7 yr old has Aspergers and my 3 yr old is deaf. Signing has really helped my family. My Aspie can sign to me anytime, anything and not interrupt anybody or say something that might be rude. I can do the same if I need a behavior to stop but don't want to publicly point it out.
•    Anonymous said… my son has aspergers but didn't talk till he was 3 and a half. his speech is still behind his age group.
•    Anonymous said… My son is 7 and has Aspergers. Hes never had trouble with talking, but having a conversation and understanding and following instructions, he really gets lost. We have to slow everything down and do everything in little steps for him.
•    Anonymous said… The only problems with speech my son (hfa) had was due to tongue tie. His language skills are way above average, he has always had a wide vocabulary.
•    Anonymous said… usually just the idioms and pragmatic stuff... my kids vocab are awesome...

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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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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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