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

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Employment Support for Aspergers Employees

Question

We would be most interested in employment support for Aspergers employees, such as best practices for placement, behavior management on the job, workplace accommodations, coping skills on the job, how to develop a mentoring relationship with co-workers ...basically how to place and maintain employment.

Answer

For an individual with Aspergers (high-functioning autism), finding (and keeping) employment can be a very difficult endeavor. It all depends on how well an individual is prepared for his field of interest. Choosing a career that focuses on an individual's special, or limited, interest will raise the chances of successful employment. Jobs that have a set daily routine are also good options.

Career planning should start early, preferably during the high school years. The high schools years are a time of self-discovery. The young person with Aspergers can begin to prepare for a job in his field of interest by planning to investigate the following options:
  • Apprenticeship- Specialized careers can be learned this way. Although, not as common as other options, finding a position as an apprentice will get you intense training in all aspects of a trade or career.
  • College- More individuals with Aspergers are attending college than ever before. Some stay home and attend a community college, while others go away to four-year institutions.
  • Job training- Some companies will train an individual who is knowledgeable, yet inexperienced.
  • Technical school- These local schools offer short courses that yield a certificate, and sometimes a diploma, in certain technical skills. Examples are computer fields and auto mechanics.

Since individuals with Aspergers are usually extremely intelligent, most of the problems lie within the social aspects of employment. Social communication, understanding body language and other unspoken social cues are necessary in the workplace. Time management and organizational skills are also essential.

Several important therapies can help prepare an individual with Aspergers for employment. These therapies should actually be incorporated in the daily schedule while an individual is still young and in school. As skills are learned and practiced, they become more natural. Before seeking employment, the following skills should be practiced:
  • Behavioral therapy- This therapy is performed under the guidance of a trained behavioral therapist, and includes anger management and general coping skills.
  • Organizational skills- Learning to use visual schedules and lists, calendars, as well as learning time management skills comes about when organizational skills are practiced.
  • Social skills- All areas including, personal space, gestures and cues, facial expressions, and social communication, should be practiced. Social skills classes provide directed practice under the watchful eye of a trained therapist.

Once an individual with Aspergers finds employment, he must continue to practice these therapies in order to ensure continued success in his field of interest. Developing a daily routine that incorporates a daily schedule, social skills reminders, and rules to work by will provide the basics for continued employment.

Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance

1 comment:

Grammie Hoffman in WA said...

This is important information for people starting out in the workplace. Otherwise ASD folk tend to drift around for years, searching for a place to fit in. I have noticed an overwhelming amount of us in the homeless population.

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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