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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Symptoms and Treatments for Aspergers and HFA

There are various symptoms that can be seen in a youngster with Aspergers (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA). Parents can use a checklist to closely observe their kids when they are fairly young. Children on the autism spectrum:
  • often lack motor skills
  • often speak in an odd tone or pitch
  • adhere to routines and have repetitive habits
  • have difficulty interacting at a social level
  • are often unable to make a coordinated plan
  • fail to get the undertone of a speaker
  • have difficulty empathizing because they have a hard time understanding the feelings of others
  • have narrowed interest fields and are often focused on one particular subject or topic

There is no treatment for AS or HFA as such, but there are many ways in which a parent can help his or her youngster to cope with this disorder. Often times, there is an additional disorder found in the child, which worsens the situation. Fortunately, medication is used to help the child deal with these comorbid conditions.

There are several medicines and therapies that have been discovered so far that help to control the symptoms of AS and HFA as well as comorbid conditions (e.g., ADHD, anxiety, depression). Certain medicines are prescribed by the physicians to bring ADHD under control; however, many of them show side effects such as twitches, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, stomach aches, and  headaches. Fortunately, most of these side effects subside within a few weeks.

There are programs conducted in various schools that help the youngster by training him and helping him understand social cues and non-verbal language. In these training sessions, a communication specialist can always be brought in to help the youngster with social communication and social interaction skills. With proper training, these "special needs" kids can easily learn about the social cues, which is often taught in a way that one is taught a foreign language. They can also be taught to speak in a natural pitch and rhythm, and they can be trained to understand the various communication gestures like tone of voice, undertone like sarcasm and irony, eye contact and much more.

There are certain behavioral training procedures and therapies that have been adopted in order to train kids on the spectrum when it comes to behavioral disorders. These therapies help to curb such habits as interrupting, obsessions, anger and other emotional outburst. Cognitive behavior therapy appears to be a very effective method for changing unwanted behavior in AS and HFA children and teens.

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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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