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

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Explaining Abstract Concepts to Asperger's Children

"How can a parent explain abstract concepts of friendship and love to an 8 year old Asperger's daughter?"

Talking about abstract concepts with a youngster who has Aspergers (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA) can be challenging. Typically, kids with AS and HFA have a very difficult time understanding abstract concepts, especially those that have to do with social interactions. When you talk to your daughter about friendship and love, understand that this will not be something she can grasp overnight.

A great deal of the conversation depends on the age of your daughter. Younger kids, especially elementary school age, will likely be talked to about friendship many times. Keep the conversations as concrete as you can, using specific examples. If your child has a good friend, talk to her about what sorts of things she can do to nurture that friendship. She can invite her friend over for play dates. She can share her toys. She can talk to her friend, especially when her friend wants to talk. She can be a good listener. Using specific examples, you can explain to your daughter, over time, what friends do for each other, and what friendship means. Helping her understand this will enable her to better create and nurture friendships when she gets older.

While your daughter is young, you will want to introduce the concept of love to her. Explain that love is a feeling, and talk to her about times when she might feel that feeling. She loves her mom and dad. She loves her siblings. She loves her pets. Helping her to identify that feeling will help her understand the emotion. You can also talk to her about how she treats people she loves. Give her concrete examples of ways she can act and things she can do to nurture a loving relationship. This might include holding hands or hugging, or a kiss good night.

As your daughter gets older, you will need to continue to talk with her about the changing nature of her feelings and the nature of her relationships. She may have feelings for boys that she has trouble identifying. Talk to her about those feelings and help her give them names. You will need to talk about the varying degrees of love, such as the love she might feel for a good friend and the crush she might have on a boy in her class. Discuss appropriate ways to act on those feelings. It’s important to help your daughter identify her own feelings and give them names. She will then need to talk about the appropriate ways to act when she has those feelings.

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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