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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Advocating For Your Aspergers Child


Question

My child is 15 and I feel there are times when I will be advocating for him when he should be doing it for himself. Any advise where to draw the line?

Answer

As moms and dads, we sometimes struggle when our kids reach the age of emerging independence. We must begin to let go a little and allow them to be self sufficient in their early teens in order to grow and develop into self-supporting adults. In addition, teenagers with Aspergers (high-functioning autism) can often feel intimidated, automatically stepping aside and allowing a parent or trusted adult to make important decisions, even when they are completely capable.

Helping your youngster with Aspergers begin to accept some responsibility does not have to be difficult. If your child is to become an effective self-advocate, he will need to be aware of the following points:

1. Your son should participate in counseling and group therapy to help keep himself focused. Counseling sessions are useful for people with Aspergers. This is a place where your child can talk about how his strengths and weaknesses make him feel. In group therapy, your son can learn new strategies for coping with social situations.

2. Your son should become active in his IEP process and know his written goals. Your child should be encouraged to take part in his IEP meetings. Once your son acknowledges his own strengths and weaknesses, his input can help the team set reachable goals.

3. Your son must recognize his weaknesses. Just as with his strengths, your child must also be mindful of his weaknesses. People with Aspergers sometimes struggle with language based academics, for example. Social skills and sensory problems may be weak areas for your child.

4. Your son must know his strengths. People with Aspergers are often gifted with an above average I.Q. It is possible that your child excels in one or more academic subjects. People with Aspergers also usually have an intense interest outside of academics, such as music or computers. Knowing his own strengths will help your child gain much needed self-confidence.

Aspergers is nothing of which to be ashamed. Aspergers is a part of who your child is but it does not define him. Once your son realizes this, and that he is capable and intelligent, he should be able to step up and take on some of the responsibility of self-advocacy. In the meantime, remember, your child is still a youngster. Make the switch slowly by pushing gently. And foremost, your son still needs you.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

my son is going to be 15 with Aspergers, I feel like I will always have to take care of him..but I pray he will be able to succeed one day

Anonymous said...

Excellent question, I have been struggling with the same thing
Yesterday at 11:07am · Like

Anonymous said...

Your child is always your child no matter the age but yes, u will know when the time is right. In the meantime we just have to keep showing them the right way :-) some learn fast and some take longer. Best wishes!
22 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

They will let you know when they want more responsibility. My son is 24 and he does not want me taking him everywhere anymore, he still has problems remembering things from doctor visits and sometimes ends up needing a ride home, but he wants to try it for himself first.
about an hour ago · Like

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering about this too. My husband says I'm fighting all of our son's battles and I need to let up, but I can't. Am I wrong for that?

Anonymous said...

If you're fighting ALL - then perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Maybe my wording is poor. I'm fighting all of the battles with the school, family, other adults, and Drs. When I see issues with other kids and he's not able to handle it himself, THEN I step in. But I don't consider the minor things with the other kids to be battles.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too am guilty of fighting my 14 year old son's battles. I sometimes think he "expects" it of me. He is my only child and I'm having a very difficult time of letting go of things that he should be doing solo. I want him succeed in life, but not because I help him with everything. This includes schoolwork as well as social situations.

Anonymous said...

There is a fine line between "advocating" and "over-protective parenting".

Anonymous said...

Tricky job being a parent. All you can do is your best. Maybe try standing back a bit and jumping in when it is obvious he can't handle it. (easier said than done, I'm guilty of being too protective).

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with advocating for your child, as long as you are also teaching him to advocate for himself when you aren't or can't be there. I think the key to this question is "I feel there are times when I will be advocating for him when he should be doing it for himself." I have never needed to rely on my instincts more in my life than I do when parenting my boys (who are all at different points on the spectrum). If YOU feel he should be advocating for himself, then take a step back and figure out why he isn't. If it's because he doesn't have the skills, then how can you help him get them? If it's because you're doing it for him, then stop it :P If it's because he's not capable of advocating for himself and never will be, then figure out who can advocate for him when you can't and get it set up. But clearly, the parent in this particular instance thinks it's time to do something different, which to me says it's time to do something different :D

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.”

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.

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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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