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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How do I help my son with Aspergers to gain the appropriate life skills...?

Question

How do I help my son with Aspergers to gain the appropriate life skills so that he will someday be able to support himself as independently as possible?

Answer

There is nothing quite like the joy felt as you watch your baby grow from a tiny, helpless infant to a big, strapping, independent man. Ah, success-you’ve accomplished the job set before you. Sometimes, however, the journey is difficult, filled with obstacles of all kinds. Asperger’s Syndrome can be an obstacle, but not one that is too big to manage.

You’ve been with him through the struggles of making friends, keeping friends, sensory issues, obsessions, and his reluctance to change. You’ve taught him ways to overcome the weaknesses on some level and enhance the positives as much as possible; there are positives to Asperger’s, as you well know. Over the years you’ve read and wrote social stories and scripts to help him work through situations like dating and sports. And when you couldn’t figure out a way to help him, you fought for support or therapy from the school system or the medical community.

The most important change you’ll have to make now is switching control over to him. It is time to allow him to become more involved in the process. Let him know that you will be available for him, but help him see that he will be capable of taking care of himself without your constant supervision. It’s time to form a plan.

Contact your local Autism support organization and ask for suggestions for life skills classes, social skills classes, and financial planning assistance. Some groups may call these services transitional skills. Your son can learn skills like managing housework, finding a job, learning to develop relationships with other adults in his situation, making and sticking to a budget, and paying his bills.

Many communities provide support for all citizens with disabilities. They offer career counseling and job placement services, among other advocacy assistance. They may also offer assisted living in your community. Sit down with your son and decide which services he needs, and then make plans to contact the appropriate offices.

You can do this! More importantly, your son can do this. He is well on his way to making this transition because of the support you’ve given him all along.

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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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