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

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The Rage Cycle in Aspergers: Group Discussion

I am reading about the rage cycle with Aspergers or High Functioning Autistic kids. One of my son's problems is his meltdowns and tantrums.

The cycle is supposed to have three parts:

1) Rumbling (like warnings of thunder)
2) Rage (the storm)
3) Recovery (the calm after the storm. Sometimes if handled poorly it can merely be the eye of the storm).

Various suggestions were made regarding interventions during the rumbling stage.

My son's camp therapist has not been successful at preventing blow ups. As a matter of fact, a good day seems to be followed by a seriously bad day.

Does anyone have any experience working with this?

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Oh, I know these tantrums very well. They're very hard to get under control.

I don't know what methods my mother used on me. Or better I don't know what method worked. I know what she tried. She tried to bring me in my room and let me stay there until I calmed down. But too much damage was done that way, because when in rage, I ripped down curtains, kicked furniture and walls, destroyed toys and handicrafts of mine. I was always horrified by what I had done when the fit was over, but at the time of rage I could only hardly help doing it.

She tried to hold me, but it made me only more furious and I tried everything to struggle free. If she had held on, we had both been hurt seriously.

She tried to talk to me and to distract me, but that was next to useless. I wasn't able to listen and the mere sound of the voice added to my rage.

Basically she always secured my little sister from me (because, sad as it is, if she'd come in my way I'd have hurt her) and then waited it out. That is what worked best.

Also she became a real master in watching out for possible triggers. That didn't help the fact that it came to such meltdowns, because the energy and frustration inside me was there and needed to come out sooner or later, but it (sometimes) helped to avoid the tantrums to happen in unpleasant moments.

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My son (he is moderately autistic and not aspergers) would have tremendous tantrums, they made me feel helpless because I never knew what caused them. He would do things like throw his dinner across the room, start screaming and tearing off his clothes while he was getting ready for school. I was told just to wait them out. Then I could get him to redress, or clean his dinner off the floor. Luckily he has fewer of these outbursts.

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Piper, my son will get upset when he feels an injustice has been done or as if he is being blocked from doing something he wants to do in an unreasonable way. Afterwards, he feels sorry that he reacted so strongly.

I have found that it if I try to explain the reasons for my requests before he goes into a rage, then if it is logical to him, he will comply without the rage. For example, I tried to explain the reason one washes one's hands after using the bathroom. He still needs to be reminded but does it.

My son has done some damage from his rages, including kicking a door off its hinges when he was 5! At this point, I simply try to keep the house clean. Our furnishing is very simple. I've delayed my desire to have a beautiful interior lest he (now the dogs!) ruined it.

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Getting upset over injustices sounds very familiar to me. Also being kept away from doing something of my interest was a big trigger for me.

I remember that the worst tantrum I ever had, was over a happy-meal toy my little sister had gotten while I had been at a school camp. I was already much stressed from two days away from home and that toy, and the injustice that my sister had gotten one and I had not (A MAJOR injustice to me), was the trigger to the worst tantrum I and my Mother can remember.
Also if others insisted that I did things different than I wanted to, upset me very much.

It's interesting, because logic reasoning helped preventing tantrums with me, too. It's still the same today. Once I understand something I'm fine with it and can handle it very good.

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Thanks for letting me know that!

I can really sympathize with you about that toy. After being at camp where you had to cope with all of those people, not getting the toy seemed like "the last straw" or the event that caused the tantrum after all of that tension had built up.

It is hard to realize that people are very illogical creatures sometimes and to realize that it doesn't even bother many of them to be so illogical! They accept things that seem to be wrong and don't even give it a second thought. And they think that the person that is trying to correct them is trying to make trouble.

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theses rage cycles sound like seizures. Are they? That kind of anger is not normal. It doesn’t sound like it happens on purpose. Parents should know that it could be a seizure. You might have that checked out. I know the rages you are talking about though medication can help too.

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That's a really good analogy. But I think actual seizures are due to an irregular type of brain wave activity. I'm not so sure that these rages can be tracked on an EEG. My son's EEG was normal, but they do say that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can develop seizures in adolescence.

I think that these can be prevented more so than seizures, but I can be wrong.

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My EEG did never show any irregularities, either.

Another thing that sets them apart from seizures is that the rages are not impossible to control. It's next to impossible to do that as a child (at least it was for me, because I tried very hard to sometimes and it just never worked), but getting older I got more control about them.
At the moment I can control them so much that I can stay pretty calm when I feel overwhelmed with something. I do still get upset, but I have learned to verbalize my anger and my feelings, I don't destroy things anymore, and apart from crying, which I usually can't help, I'm fine. Screaming helps a lot to. Really loud screaming. Instead of kicking things I learned to scream. It has the same effect, only it doesn't cause damage.

Also I've learned that some things aren't worth being upset about. Some really stupid things happen, people do things "wrong" very often, don't understand my point of view and many things are very frustrating still, but my tolerance for them has increased throughout the years. My feelings over those things don't overwhelm me nearly as much as they used to do anymore.

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Rowena's hurt all of us pretty badly at one point or another. Even Keven hasn't come through unscathed. Rowena is exceptionally strong and someone Kevin ended up with a broken wrist in the process.

I had a lot of problems with such things when I was younger. Now, I have it a lot more under control, though sometimes that control is a very fragile thing. Kevin's getting good at recognizing such times and avoiding me. (For me, that's the best way to deal with it, because that's basically what my parents did... tossed me into the bedroom and ignored it) Not the best solution, but now, because of that, it's what I'm used to.

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My natural mother would ridicule me knowing full well that she was making a bad situation worse. I was glad when she outgrew her slapping sprees.

I have no idea why or how anybody could possibly think slapping does any good at all. I think it is cruel, painful and very humiliating.

No child WANTS to vent like this, but slapped, ridiculed and pushed past a certain point with few outlets...you finally outgrow it.

Another thing I found upsetting was when she'd sing the praises of Other People's Children.

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My oldest uncle had an explosive temper his entire life (luckily, I was spared that side of him). When he was a boy, his paternal grandfather used to whip him for it. I seriously doubt that did him a damn bit of good. (This uncle died the summer of 2002).

I don't believe in whipping.

He was always "highly charged" and when I visited him in fairly recent years, he said that when he was upset he "had something wrong with his nervous system." The man was more highly charged than I EVER was! (I don't know if he had synesthesia). He had a myriad of interests, raised a family and successfully ran his own business until age 86 in the summer of 2000. My oldest uncle was deeply involved in whatever he was doing. He, like my youngest and favorite uncle was gifted.

I don't know if he would be considered on the spectrum or not and I never thought about it until now. It's just that now that I know more about it, I wonder in retrospect if he might have had Aspergers tendencies as well.

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I've learned that trying to talk to someone in a rage is pointless. Only infuriates them further. Any type of physical restraint also seems to make it worse. Loud noises or bright lights also seem to exacerbate the situation.

One young autistic boy I knew would run into the class coatroom when he was very upset. He'd throw himself on the floor and sob and kick his feet. There was no window and the closet was dark. After a few minutes, he'd be calmer. At that point, he'd usually ask that I rub the back of his neck. He found that calming.

I later realized that whenever he was anxious or stressed, he'd want me to apply pressure to the back of his neck, below the hairline. I once read something that said the neural bundling at that point of the body was very influenced by physical manipulation. Perhaps this little boy realized something scientists are only starting to study. Pressure on this spot helped him not lose control. However, once he had lost control, touching him did not help - it made things worse.

My Aspergers Child: How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums

Asperger's Teens & Aggression

“My teenage son is very aggressive and lacks any type of impulse control. He cannot be left alone with his siblings. Does you have any recommendations? I know he does not want to do these things, because when we talk about it, he says he loves his sister, etc., but he hurts her all the time. My poor daughter has to put up with his aggressions on a daily basis. I can't watch him every second he's awake. I also can't put either child in a protective bubble or send my son to his room and leave him there all day. I really don't know what to do with him and I'm not a big advocate of drug therapy.

He's starting to internalize his behavior, and now said to me this morning that he's a bad boy even though no one tells him that, not us, or his teacher. I worry about his self-esteem as he grows older. We praise him when he's good, but he gets a ton of negative feedback: “Don't do this… don't do that, etc… you need to go to your room for hitting your sister"… I constantly feel like I have to micromanage him. But he knows he's in time-out or in his room a lot, and I do that so he can calm down or to protect his siblings. Any advice would be helpful.”


Unfortunately, for some teens on the autism spectrum, aggression may become quite common when reaching adolescence, and this may be clearly influenced by the parenting styles of the teen's mother and father. In fact, one of the key factors in determining an AS or HFA youngster's tendency to develop aggression later in life may involve the presence of a maternally sensitive woman who can also balance the discipline and aggression in life.

In many of today's American families, it is not uncommon to find that both the mother and father are relatively absent from the youngster's life (e.g., due to work-related issues). Because a youngster's mental health is often greatly influenced by (a) the presence of maternal nurturing and (b) the balance of a father's discipline, when either of these are absent in the life of an AS or HFA youngster, confusion abounds and aggression usually develops. If you are the parent of a teenager on the autism spectrum, it is important to provide this balance to your child-rearing efforts.

If you are a single mother, and your child's father is not present, you can expect your youngster's aggression will undoubtedly be present as you provide the maternal sensitivity your youngster needs while also attempting to be the disciplinarian. Because Asperger's kids have trouble differentiating social cues, and are confused by discipline when expressed by their mother, the authoritarian type of parenting is often met with aggression. For this reason, having a male role model (e.g., uncle, grandfather) who can provide that discipline while you provide the maternal sensitivity will go a long way in your youngster's long-term development.

Conversely, if you are a father who is raising an AS or HFA child alone, you will want to be sure that you find ways to be sensitive and nurturing to your youngster's needs. Because fathers are more likely to be the authoritarian, a woman's sensitivity will be important in your youngster's mental health. Often, this role can be filled by a woman who is an aunt or grandmother, and does not necessarily mean that a step-mother has to be in the picture.

Asperger’s is a developmental disorder that affects many kids by resulting in abnormal social development. For parents, offsetting the risk for development of aggression is most likely achieved by first identifying your parenting style - as either disciplinarian or nurturing - and then finding someone who can fulfill the role as the opposite parenting style. Trying to manage both the motherly role and the fatherly role often leads to confusion in the Asperger’s youngster, which may exacerbate Asperger’s-related complications in adolescence. Of course, it is not always possible to find a co-parent, but the ideal scenario would involve such an individual.

Discipline for Defiant Aspergers Teens

Aspergers and OCD

Question

My son has Aspergers and OCD and he will have hand tremors that he is not aware of. I am trying a more holistic approach but this is not covered by insurance. I wish I knew which ones were beneficial and which ones are not beneficial.

Answer

Traditional treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder involves a combination of medication and behavioral therapy techniques. The traditional medicines used in this process are SSRI’s, or serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors.

Many parents do not want to treat their children suffering from OCD with these traditional methods, but turn to holistic methods of treatment. Because holistic therapies are designed to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of a disease or disorder, holistic approaches appeal to many people. Holistic therapies can be added to traditional medical approaches, or can be tried by themselves.

Holistic practices often take into consideration lifestyle factors and address physical aspects of treatment, nutritional aspects, environmental, and social and spiritual elements. In seeking alternative treatments, take into consideration your beliefs and practices.

Holistic therapies for OCD are designed to relieve mental anguish. Many people find yoga and meditation to be effective in calming the mind and the body and strengthening the connection between the two. Aromatherapy can help a person reach a more peaceful and harmonious place. Hypnotherapy and acupuncture have also been found to be successful in treating various disorders. Behavioral therapies are often effective in conjunction with some of these alternative treatments.

In her book, “Freeing Your Child from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” Tamar E. Chansky has created a step-by-step program designed to help parents work with children to free them from the cycle of OCD. This program was created with the goal of helping the child take back control of his life using these techniques. The techniques are designed to work with children who are either on or off medication. This method can be very effective in helping a child break free of this debilitating disorder.

It is difficult to say which holistic methods will work best with your child. Speak with your child’s physician and gain his help in creating a treatment plan for you child. Also solicit advice from trusted holistic practitioners who can suggest a holistic course of treatment.

Aspergers Kids Are In A World Of Their Own

"My 10 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Aspergers. It is a constant struggle to get her to pay attention or to even look at me. She seems in a world of her own sometimes. Any suggestions?"

Adults who are diagnosed with Aspergers have suggested that it is easier for them to make eye contact if they don’t have to listen. Some describe situations where having to make eye contact causes breaks in their concentration. So clearly there are some problems for individuals with Aspergers if they have to do more than one task like this at the same time (i.e., eye contact and listening).

It is also difficult for a youngster with Aspergers to understand what a person is communicating through eye contact. Others actually describe the experience of having to make eye contact as frightening.

It is important to recognize that Aspergers is a neurological disorder (caused by a medical problem with the brain) and the youngster is not choosing to behave this way. In fact it may well be a way of the youngster coping with their environment.

You can create a conducive environment by:

1. Frequent breaks - Allow her to take frequent breaks, or break work into small blocks; she will be able to perform better.

2. Minimizing distractions - Minimize the distractions for your daughter, provide direction in simple one-two step directions and provide ample times and cues (verbal and/or visual) for completing the task.

3. Providing structure - Providing structure to her day and routines, where the same activities occur at the same time every day, will let her know what to expect.

Non-Drug Treatments for Aspergers?

"Are there any non-drug treatments for AS?"

Some moms and dads introduce specific diets for their kids with Aspergers in an attempt to improve the condition or relieve uncomfortable physical symptoms. The most widely known diet for kids on the autistic spectrum is the Gluten/Casein free diet (GF/CF diet). In this diet all wheat and dairy products are removed.

Reported effects include the reduction of any existing gut/digestive problems, improved attention, eye-contact and general behavior. The diet has many devoted followers, but all evidence at this time is anecdotal and nothing has been proven.

However, if you decide to try the diet, it is important to do as much research as possible before you start and to consult your physician. You may find your physician is not supportive as this approach is not, as yet, widely accepted by the medical profession, although some physicians may be sympathetic.

Another diet followed is the Feingold Diet which eliminates all artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, etc. and encourages fresh, natural foods.

Vitamin supplements may be used, and fish oil supplements are cited as particularly beneficial, although this is still a matter of debate. It makes sense to feed any youngster a healthy, additive free diet, and thankfully the medical profession is now acknowledging the effects of diet on behavior.

As with any other diet you may introduce to a child with Aspergers, it is wise to consult your primary medical practitioner and to extensively research it via books, the web, and through talking with other children who have used the diet.

Do not remove whole food groups from your youngster’s diet or introduce large doses of vitamins and minerals without specific medical advice.

What is the best treatment option for defiant teens with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism?

Although there is no single treatment that is right for all teens on the autism spectrum, available supports and treatments include:
  • Dietary interventions
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medication
  • Experiential therapy
  • Physical activity and exercises designed to improve motor skills and coordination
  • Physical therapy
  • Special education services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, including an Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  • Role modeling
  • Recreational therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Speech therapy

The frustration of not being able to express themselves, combined with social challenges, leads some Asperger’s teens to develop behavioral problems or become depressed or anxious. Treatment should address these needs as well as help the teenager manage his or her other symptoms.

In some cases, the teen may need more specialized, in-depth services than a public school can provide. Therapeutic boarding schools that specialize in autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities are highly effective alternatives. In a highly structured setting, under the guidance of teachers and staff with specialized training and experience, these young people develop the skills they need to maximize their potential. Therapeutic boarding schools offer:
  • Social skills training
  • Small class sizes and favorable teacher-student ratios
  • Minimal distractions in an environment conducive to learning
  • Education and training on self-advocacy
  • Extracurricular activities tailored to each teen’s interests
  • Family involvement
  • Hands-on learning opportunities
  • High level of personalized attention
  • Consistent routines and predictable schedules
  • Communication and life skills development

Also, summer camps for teenagers with Asperger’s and high functioning autism are a shorter term option that has proven beneficial (and fun).

Discipline for Defiant Aspergers Teens

Aspergers Children and "Low Frustration Tolerance"

"I was just wondering, my daughter who is 9 (diagnosed as asd, as our doctor doesn’t like to put them into one category, but says if she did my child would be Aspergers!) doesn't have aggressive meltdowns, it’s more a crying depressive meltdown. Like I just had to ask her to tidy her room, and was explaining that if she picked up her things she wouldn’t have to tidy it this much. While I was telling her (I never shout or swear, i promise) she was crying, whilst putting things away, getting frustrated with drawers and things. I then came back after doing other things in the house, and found her just lying on the floor of her room with her comfort blanket. She is now watching a film in her room, took off her clothes and is in bed with one of the blinds shut. I asked her what was wrong…But she never seems to know how she is feeling, and just says she is ill. She said I had told her to do too many things. (Plus we had just been to the super market half an hour before) does this sound like a meltdown of some sort? She is never aggressive...just emotionally unbalanced, cries easy, often seems depressed. I hope someone can help. I am worried I might be handling things wrong!"

It may seem like they over-react to the small things that happen, but it is a fact that kids with Aspergers and high functioning autism have little emotional control and get frustrated easily. That's where they need your help and the help of others qualified in the area of emotions.

Ask yourself these questions about your Aspergers child's frustration: 
  • Does she throw things and hurt people?
  • Does she withdraw to someplace she feels safe?
  • Does she yell and cry?
  • How does your youngster show her frustration?
  • What do you do when she gets frustrated?
  • Do you give her time alone to try to deal with it?
  • Do you take it personally, or do you jump in to soothe her when she is on the brink of crying?
  • Is it best to talk about the issue or let it go?

Kids with Aspergers and high functioning autism have a low toleration for frustration. This frustration comes from a lack of understanding of their feelings. They are unable to identify and express what they are feeling, so they lump all the 'bad' feelings together. The parents see the overflow of 'bad' feelings come out at once. It's important that we don't take them personally, even when they seem as though they are directed at us. Aspergers kids want to tell us what is on their mind, but most of the time they don't know how to say it properly, or they misinterpreted their thoughts altogether.

So what can moms and dads do to help their Aspergers youngsters with frustrations?

If the youngster is exhibiting threatening behavior and seems unable to control it, then getting her to work with a professional is the best approach if she doesn't already have one. Many times, a therapist can provide coping techniques for the youngster to deal with her feelings. Also, a therapist can provide the parent with valuable insight and tools for helping the youngster deal with her feelings. There are also medications that a doctor can prescribe to help calm these outbursts and let the youngster think it through.

A child who is obviously frustrated but not particularly threatening or violent still needs help, and parents can provide that through on the fly discussions. An older youngster can be reasoned with on what triggered the outburst and how she can deal with it the next time. It's important that these discussions be held calmly and rationally. If the youngster feels accused or threatened, then she will not be receptive to what the mother or father has to say. It may help to have a therapist facilitate these types of conversations.

The bottom line is if your Aspergers youngster appears to have a low tolerance for frustration and it is happening more frequently, then she needs help understanding what it happening to her. This kind of help can come from a number of places, and the most important players are the parents. Don't take it personally, rather understand that your child is literally brimming over with 'bad' emotions and doesn't fully realize what she is doing.

My Aspergers Child: How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in AS and HFA Children

 
COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said... I'm reminding myself that when Quinlan has a bay day no matter how frustrated or upset I am, he's 100 times more frustrated and upset. Woosah
•    Anonymous said... I had to do that reminder a few times myself today. Calm usually is easy for me, but not always.
•    Anonymous said... I'm normally calm and laid back. I think yesterday was one of those challenging days. Today has been nice and calm. With the occasional texture panic. ;) Thank you for letting me know, I'm not the only parent reminding themselves.
•    Anonymous said... On days when I'm at my whits end and I'm in my room crying, I remind myself that at least I can take a break. He can't. He always has Asperger's...
•    Anonymous said... Very well said. I'm so glad I finally found other moms who understand our daily struggles and joys.
•    Anonymous said... Thank you. I have selfishly held the attitude that even though others can take a break, I can't because I always have a son with Asperger's.... but what about him? stabbed me right in the gut. I mean it - thank you.
•    Anonymous said… Have the same issues with my son who is 8 with Aspergers - he just can't process so much at once, and gets shut down. Finding the balance is hard but I'm ever hopeful - this year is better than last year, new challenges but we know more too. x Good luck and remember it's a learning curve for both of you. x
•    Anonymous said… I found the Speechie and Ot helped with managing such sensory overload and executive function/organizing issues. Breaking down tasks, visual step by step and lists help to build the habit.
•    Anonymous said… it sound like sensory overload at the store. Lucky you for the meltdowns. Once you understand how the sensory funnel works you will figure how to avoid the overloads
•    Anonymous said… My 13 year old is exactly the same
•    Anonymous said… My adoptive teen is not aggressive but he is more of a quite depressive mode. He does have the capability of deceptive explosive behavior, If he is bullied by others. Otherwise, he shuts down!!!
•    Anonymous said… My daughter is like this as well. Even a statement like tidy your toys is to vague for her. She needs specific put your stuffed animals in the basket or whatever it is. She can't break it down into smaller tasks on her own. I have found that putting pictures on drawers help a little so she can see what goes there. To her it isn't messy and she sees no need to clean it so that's why giving specific tasks helps. At least with her maybe it will help you to. I know of we go out I can't ask anything from her for a minimum of thirty minutes because it is to much for her. Being around people is to demanding and exhausting for her. Hope that this helps at all.
•    Anonymous said… My son can become frozen if I ask him to do more than one thing at a time. He will flop onto his bed and bury himself in his blankets and squeal. Someitmes he paces back and forth not knowing what to do with himself and will scream or grab his hair. He is twelve and this is not always his reaction but if he is trying to concentrate on something like building lego or whatever and I ask him to put his shoes on, feed the chickens, and wash his hands, this is enough to put him out of sorts. Sometimes I ask him to brush his hair and he brushes his teeth smile emoticon He does not always have the headspace to hear what I am saying sometimes because he is always thinking of really intricate and detailed things and it takes time for him to find his way back to the world where people are making demands of him.
•    Anonymous said… My son is 8 and would do something similar in the same situation. Try breaking the job down into much smaller jobs. We give him a list to work through so he can cross of what he has done and see that there is an end to it. Does that make sense?
•    Anonymous said… My son is more this way as well.
•    Anonymous said… My son is the exact same way!! Those are his meltdowns. He just shuts down and cries. He never knows why he has them.
•    Anonymous said… My son is the same way. I will admit though, that my son is pretty manipulating when it comes to doing chores. He can be aggressive and have meltdowns, especially if I ask or tell him to do something like clean his room. He has also developed a depressive attitude with low self esteem which hurts so badly as a patent. Anyway, I've found it goes a lot smoother if I tell him instead specifically what he needs to do one thing at a time. So instead of telling him to clean his room, I'll ask him to put his toys in his closet and also offer to help him with something else, say, put his books away. If I want him to run the vacuum, I'll tell him that I'll dust. It also helps if I plan a room for us to do together. This way it doesn't seem to overwhelm him as much. Hope this helps.
•    Anonymous said… My son started school two weeks ago, he has just turned five. I find we get a mixture of absolute emotional helplessness to extreme anger and aggression. The aggression is always followed by emotional turmoil and upset and the need to feel squeezed. I have realised that his meltdowns vary and I also realise that he also cannot process more than one task at hand. One reason I know this is because he is very intelligent and has always been very 'forward' academically in comparison to his peers, yet, now he is at school I he is not really displaying any real high level of intelligence . His teacher explained to me ( when discussing something else) that gabriel often makes mistakes even when she knows he knows the answer , he also seems eager to please and rushes , this is particularly the case when there are seven or so children taking part in an an activity around a table , once there is only he, or one other child left at the table with the teacher he answers accurately all the time . He often needs to be asked a question twice, the first time to process he is being asked something and to get over the feeling of pressure or stress of being asked and then the second or third time to actually answer the question. Please don't misunderstand me, it is not of great importance that he is seen as being highly intelligent at school, I refer to this point because it has helped me understand how he functions and why he acts in certain ways. I think the difference is that he is completely overloaded and can't process what he is doing whilst at the same time watching and listening to the other children. He also doesn't respond under pressure and can actually look completely vacant as though you aren't even there let alone have asked him something . If I give him a small list of say two or three things to do he will despair. He will demonstrate sheer frustration without even attempting anything. This is true of any direction I give him that follows further instructions . He becomes frustrated so easily too, especially if it's something asked of him that is not within his usual routine. I do find that he responds better with one thing given to him at a time with the next introduced after. I also have to put a real enthusiastic positive emphasis on everything . He also cries so easily , is emotionally all over the place a lotOf the time but particularly when tired or feeling exhausted . He often complains of tired legs a lot which seems to distract him from anything else that I need him to concentrate on . He says they are heavy when he lifts them. His anxiety issues can also be at different levels from one day to the next dependant on other factors such as tiredness and how sensitive he is on a particular day.
•    Anonymous said… My son who is 12 now thrives on structure, written out step by step responsibilities for the day he can check off when completed. Helps him keep a routine and doesn't get overwhelmed. My daughter who I also suspect is on the spectrum deals with emotional anxieties. Cries very easily and can not seem to control it. Anxiety medication has helped both my children with their sensory issues that can change on a day to day basis.
•    Anonymous said… Probably over loaded. Sounds like my son. The shopping was probably enough to overload her-all the sensory overload! Maybe a break after shopping b4 any tasks may help in future...X
•    Anonymous said… The phrase "low frustration tolerance" has always described my 9 yr old Aspie. Emotional and intense follow right behind. We are always teaching strategies for recognizing emotions, identifying those big feelings as they're coming (instead of after they overflow), etc. It's a skill we will always be practicing, I think.
•    Anonymous said… Yes, this is what I would see with my daughter - more of a shutdown than a meltdown. I didn't recognize it for what it was for a long time (because her younger brother was having over the top meltdowns) and only got her diagnosed at sixteen. Good for you for being so attuned to your daughter! And if it helps, my daughter was the same with her room and now it's completely organized and when it gets out of hand she can do it herself.
•    Anonymous said… You are not alone. I have a nineteen yr old on the spectrum who has some of the same issues. Lots of love and patience!! Keep your chin up Momma! Find a good network of parents for support!
•    Anonymous said… Your beautiful girl sounds just like my beautiful girl (also aged 9) who can get overwhelmed at the simplest of tasks or become stressed at the most benign of issues. There is no right or wrong way, as some days she copes better than others. We work hard to support her to become more resilient and confident - she has self esteem issues also - and when she has a "wobble" (our name for those wee episodes) we let the dust settle and then talk it through. The task still gets done, but we often have to break it down into more manageable chunks and explain the reasons why the task must be done. It's a toughie.....we acknowledge and appreciate the challenges that she faces, but we must also do our best to teach her lessons and skills that often come more easier to typical kids. Bad behaviour isn't tolerated and she still has to conform to rules and social norms, but our discipline regime (for want of a better phrase) is a little more gentle than the one we applied with her brother. Good things to note is that there are way more upsides with Maia, as she is sweet, creative, kind, funny, smart and sparkly.....I flippin love her!!!
 
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How can I bottle break him without causing him extra stress?

"My son Jacob has aspergers (high functioning). He turned 3 years old several months ago, but still is in diapers and takes a bottle. How can I bottle break him without causing him extra stress?"

In general, Aspergers kids can try a cup at 6 months and be weaned off the bottle around 12 to 18 months. It does vary from child to child, and it is up to the mother to decide when to encourage the change from bottle to cup. The things to look out for are when the baby can sit up for themselves; obviously drinking from a cup is going to be near impossible when baby is still lying on his back. Also, your baby should be taking bottle feeds at regular times. You should also be noticing that your Aspergers child starts to show a real interest in the food of others.

Aspergers kids being bottle fed are more likely to suffer from tooth decay. So, it is important to not allow your him to carry on bottle feeding longer than is necessary, but don't force the issue - remember, weaning your Aspergers child of bottle feeding is a gradual process. As your youngster develops, the nutrients he requires change. He will not get these nutrients from bottle feeding alone whereas he will get more than he needs from solids. Finally, Aspergers kids who delay the transition from formula to solids may have difficulty developing appropriate feeding skills.

How do you wean your Aspergers child off the bottle?
  • At age 8 to 10 months, substitute a 'sippy' cup for a bottle at one feeding during the day. Choose a feeding when the Aspergers child usually drinks just a little, rather than a major mealtime. Use this same feeding time to use the cup every day for a week. Remember, routine is key.
  • Be patient. Help your Aspergers child to hold the cup and tip a small amount of liquid into the child's mouth.
  • Consistency is key to successful weaning. Be sure to give the Aspergers child the cup at the designated feeding time and don't switch back to the bottle at this feeding.
  • Gradually introduce the cup at another feeding, slowly decreasing the number of bottles the Aspergers child receives.
  • Some Aspergers kids may need to suck as a way for them to control their behavior. This sets their mood to accomplish certain tasks such as sleeping, concentrating and running. Some Aspergers kids may continue to suck on a pacifier or bottles of plain water for the first few years.
  • Wean your Aspergers child during a relatively stress-free time. It is not a good idea to start when a new sibling has just arrived or when the family is moving to a new house.

What can you do to make weaning easier?
  • Be a positive role model and drink from a cup with your Aspergers child.
  • Buy cups with handles, spouted lids or baby cups with straws to make drinking easier.
  • Offer other comforts such as a soft blanket or stuffed animal or play soothing music.
  • Spend extra time cuddling with your Aspergers child during the weaning process.

The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed With Aspergers Syndrome

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* From ONLINE PARENT SUPPORT

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content