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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The Best Therapy for High-Functioning Autism

“What would be the best therapeutic approach for a 6-year-old boy with High-Functioning Autism?”

The ideal treatment for High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Aspergers coordinates therapies that address core symptoms of the disorder (e.g., poor social skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, etc.). While most therapists agree that the earlier the intervention, the better, there is no single best treatment package.

HFA and Aspergers treatment takes into account the linguistic capabilities, verbal strengths, and social vulnerabilities of kids with HFA and Aspergers. A typical program generally includes: 

  • training of social skills for more effective interpersonal interactions 
  • training and support of mothers and fathers, particularly in behavioral techniques to use in the home 
  • social communication intervention, which is specialized speech therapy to help with the pragmatics of the give-and-take of normal conversation 
  • occupational or physical therapy to assist with poor sensory integration and motor coordination 
  • medication for coexisting conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety) 
  • cognitive behavioral therapy to improve stress management relating to anxiety or explosive emotions, and to cut back on obsessive interests and repetitive routines 
  • combinations of talk therapy, play therapy, and neurofeedback

Of the many studies on behavior-based early intervention programs, most are case studies of up to five participants, and typically examine a few problem behaviors (e.g., self-injury, aggression, noncompliance, spontaneous language). Unintended side effects are largely ignored.

In my opinion, the effectiveness of social skills training has been firmly established. A randomized controlled study of a model for training moms and dads in “problem behaviors” in their kids with HFA and Aspergers showed that parents attending a one-day workshop or six individual lessons reported fewer - and less intense - behavioral problems in their kids.

Vocational training is important to teach job interview etiquette and workplace behavior to older teens with HFA and Aspergers. Organization software and personal data assistants to improve the work and life-management of these teens are useful.

TEACHING SOCIAL SKILLS AND EMOTION MANAGEMENT

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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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Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

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.

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

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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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