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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Asperger's: Daily Stresses and Others' Reactions

There is yet another aspect to the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that further complicates the task most families face. This aspect is that the day to day, hour by hour, moment by moment experience of life with a youngster on the spectrum may be profoundly affected in very difficult and disconcerting ways.

Unquestionably, there is tremendous variance here. Some ASD kids are relatively quiet and docile and in this respect, easier to live with. Others are quite unpredictable, even volatile, and extremely hard to manage. The most simple, mundane things most people take for granted – the natural, unquestioning way people get through the day - moms & dads of ASD kids may be unable to do. For example, some kids perseverate in ways that turn family life upside down and some become profoundly upset by the way they think things are supposed to be. Some are terrible sleepers and some may be difficult to bring out in public because of behavioral outbursts.

While the moms & dads of ASD kids desperately need time away from them, this issue, too, tends to be more complicated than in families with typical kids. Babysitters for such kids tend to be quite difficult to find. Many teenaged babysitters are unable and unwilling to deal with the challenges such kids provide and many moms & dads feel uneasy leaving their youngster in this situation. Similarly, it is often impossible to impose on one’s neighbors, friends, or even family the way many moms & dads do; one cannot simply ask to drop the youngster by while one goes to the store.

Others' Reactions—

The reaction of others often complicates the difficulties moms & dads face. One of the most painful aspects of raising a youngster on the autism spectrum can be the stares, disapproving looks, and critical remarks from passersby. This issue is often particularly problematic in families in which the kids look outwardly normal (and most of them do).

Because they look normal and are usually quite bright, kids (and adults for that matter) with Aspergers are are especially likely to be misperceived as willfully defiant. Many times their “defiant” behavior is due to misreading a situation or being incapable of effectively dealing with frustration. Sometimes moms & dads themselves do not realize their kids are not intentionally thwarting authority. Unfortunate confrontations in schools are often due to teachers and school administrators misunderstanding the disorder.

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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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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. 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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