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How do children with Asperger’s cope with physical illnesses?

Question

How do children with Asperger’s cope with physical illnesses?

Answer

There is no one specific way that children with Asperger’s react or deal with physical illnesses. Some children with Asperger’s tend not to be very in tune with their bodies or they don’t know how to express what they are feeling. If a boy has a sore throat, he may either not notice this or he may not understand that this is a physical symptom that should be reported to a parent. Some children with Asperger’s respond to illness with anxiety. They become upset if they are sick.

Most children with Asperger’s tend to find illness upsetting not only because they feel bad but also because it can disrupt their daily routine. If they have a stomach flu, not only are they physically uncomfortable, but they can also be kept home from school. These disruptions can be disturbing for a child with Asperger’s who thrives on order and routine.

Dealing with doctors and hospitals can be unsettling for children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Doctor’s offices and hospitals are designed to be efficient places and often nurses or doctors are not aware of a child with Asperger’s special needs. In her book entitled “Prescription for Success: Supporting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Medical Environment,” Jill Hudson, M.S., CCLS, looks at ways to make the medical experience easier for children with Asperger’s and their families. This book contains information that medical staff, parents, and educators can use to better interact with children with Autism spectrum disorders. The book contains a CD with printable forms and worksheets, which can be distributed to the people who work with your child.

It is a good idea to talk through some different medical scenarios with your child, before he or she gets sick. Children might not understand what would happen to them if they broke a bone or if they fell off their bike and needed stitches. Exposing them to these ideas before they become a reality can be very helpful should an emergency situation arise.

It can also be helpful to a child with Asperger’s if you talk to him about his own body and how it feels and how it should or shouldn’t feel. Sometimes, children with Asperger’s don’t know if some body part feels wrong or funny, and they don’t know that they should mention it to a parent. Talking through these options with your child can help raise his awareness.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My son (age 8) tends to behave more neurotypically when he has a fever... He tends to completely bug out and panic when he has a stuffed up nose (the baby comfy nose thing we got from Amazon is a life saver because he can't seem to master blowing his nose just yet).... I've been physically ill/disabled for most of my adult life and I have Asperger's. I think I handle it better than most NT folks. I do struggle with are making my appointments (I find understanding via the phone to be more of a challenge as I get older) but tests and stuff are not a problem. I actually look forward to my annual MRI as it is kind of like a hug machine/squeeze chute and it's the only uninterrupted nap I seem to be able to get!

Alice Scarlett said...

My teenager with Asperger's also has Ulcerative Colitis. He does get very anxious and scared. Few staff understand how this impacts his asperger's and vise versa. Lots od tlc is needed and on my part lots of deep breaths.

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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