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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Behavior Problems in Aspergers Teens

"Our son with Aspergers (high functioning) recently turned 13. We are noticing an escalation in negative attitude and aggression (mostly verbal). We understand that traditional discipline may backfire with a child with this disorder. So, how can we approach these issues without making a growing problem worse?"

When it comes to Aspergers (high functioning autism) behavior and teenager problems, the teen years are the hardest. That is to say that the teen years are the hardest whether your youngster has Aspergers or not! Raging hormones and frustration with social interactions at school can cause a lot of anger and bad behavior during the teen years.

Your youngster may have the need to:
  • Avoid responsibility (e.g, attending school, obeying parents)
  • Fulfill sensory needs (e.g., relief from heat, cold, or to satisfy thirst)
  • Get something (e.g., his way in a decision, your attention, control over a situation)
  • Manage pain (e.g., physical and/or emotional stress that must be alleviated)

Your Aspergers youngster is unlikely to identify with your feelings or comprehend others' objections to his behavior. The only explanation you should use with him is to specifically state that the objectionable behavior is not permitted. Your son needs to follow rules, and following rules can help to focus and modify his rebellious behavior.

Aspergers Behavior Modification—

Behavior modification is a therapeutic approach that can change your son's behavior. You need to determine the need that his rebellion/aggression fulfills and teach him an acceptable replacement behavior. For example, he can be taught to ask for, point to, or show an emotion card to indicate the need that he is trying to fulfill. (Click here for more information on behavior modification.)

Aspergers Self-Stimulating Behaviors—

Sometimes, self-stimulating behaviors (e.g., pacing, squeezing a stress ball, playing a favorite video game) are taught as replacement behaviors, but it will take time for your son to integrate these behaviors into his daily activities. If your son is severely out of control, he needs to be physically removed from the situation. Granted, this may be easier said than done, and you may need someone to help you. But, behavior modification can be helpful, and it must be started as soon as possible.

Maintaining a Daily Routine—

For kids and adolescents with Aspergers, the importance of maintaining a daily routine cannot be stressed enough. A daily routine produces behavioral stability and psychological comfort for Aspergers kids. Also, it lessens their need to make demands.

When you establish a daily routine, you eliminate some of the situations in which your son's behavior becomes demanding. For example, by building in regular times to give him attention, he may have less need to show aggression to try to get that attention.

Learn to recognize and communicate the causes of his aggression with your youngster—

Ideally over time, your youngster will learn to recognize and communicate the causes of his aggression and get his needs met by using communication. Unfortunately, kids who get their needs met due to aggression or violence are very likely to continue and escalate this oppositional behavior.

DISCIPLINE FOR DEFIANT ASPERGERS 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.

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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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