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

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Aspergers and Genetics


If you have recently received a diagnosis of Aspergers (or high-functioning autism) for one of your children, you may be asking yourself, “How could this be?” You are probably experiencing a lot of emotions right now, but your brain has also kicked into high gear as you search for an explanation. You want to know “Why?” Where did it come from? Isn’t Aspergers an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Is it genetic? Is it due to a poor diet or childhood immunizations? Could our toxic environment be a contributor?

While there are many contributing factors (e.g., environmental toxins, dietary sensitivities, etc.) and scientists are still uncovering the mystery of ASDs, one often overlooked factor is that one or both parents probably have an Autism Spectrum Disorder - or at least some of the traits. Since we did not start diagnosing Aspergers until 1994 here in the United States, there are many parents with the disorder who were not diagnosed as children. Now when one of their own children is diagnosed, and as the parents start learning more about the traits of autism, the dawning light of recognition begins. Many of the Asperger traits that they see in their children are very similar to the traits of the parents, grandparents and other family members. Undeniably there is a strong genetic component to Aspergers.

A diagnosis of Aspergers for your child is the beginning of a major transformation for a family. Now at least you have a direction to start exploring for some answers. Hopefully you will find a team of professionals to help you reconstruct a medical, psychological and educational plan for your child. But all of your hard work will go up in smoke if you do not come to terms with the fact that most likely one or both parents are on the Autism Spectrum too. How can you parent effectively if you have not resolved the confusion and misdirection from your own undiagnosed childhood? It’s true for all parents, not just Aspergers parents, that to be an effective and loving parent, you have to clean up your own bad habits and insecurities. If our goal as parents is to raise children with strong self-esteem, which leads to a “can-do” attitude in adult life, then we need to take stock of our own behaviors first.

Some research shows that there are strikingly similar features in first or second degree relatives on either side of the family, or the family history includes "eccentric" individuals who have a mild expression of Aspergers. There are also some families with a history of children with Aspergers and classic Autism. Should a relative have had similar characteristics when younger, they have a unique advantage in helping the child -- they know what the child is going through.

There is no formal identification of the precise means of transmission if the cause is genetic, but we do have some suggestions as to which chromosomes may be involved. As our knowledge of genetics improves, we may soon be able to predict the recurrence rate for individual families.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have explored it, don't think anyone would appreciate me saying it though. It is a tough pill for some people to swallow...

Anonymous said...

It is a very hard situation.. but at the end, with love& care it will be plain of satistactions.. belive we can do it is the secret!

Anonymous said...

The opposite happened for us two weeks ago we received a Diagnosis of Mental retardation, which for us was hard to swallow and after many years of research and reading i will always think Aspergers. Had we gotten the aspergers instead I think we would have felt like some one finally sees what we see and we would have been relieved

Anonymous said...

Looking at traits and behaviors that my husband, myself and a few extended family members have I can agree that Aspergers is more than likely genetic but I do not agree with the acrticle stating that one must fix themselves in order to help their child. Aspergers is not something that needs to be fixed but more understood. I've had other people say that because my family of four is quiet and shy that maybe we all should learn to be more outgoing, take classes, learn to be more social. Frankly I think there are enough loud and boisterous people in the world and being quiet, reserved and rule following citizens is nothing to be ashamed of.

Anonymous said...

We are still in the early months of diagnosis for my son and though in my research I have read a couple of articles about what may cause Aspergers. This has led me to the opinion that there is too many assumption to choose from .. we are not worried about what caused it just want to understand how it effects my son and how we can help him grow and enjoy life.. help him smile and love himself .. support him to accept himself as the most amazing person that he is :) .. sending too much time on "why" will lead you to missing out of valuable time and energy for your aspire child.

Anonymous said...

struggled for over 10yrs of one misdiagbosis after another until 11/2010 finally at 14 I now understand my son completely!

Anonymous said...

There is frustration amongst parents of children with Autism that once they have a diagnosis, there is no clear direction or support on what to do next. This is the most important and worrying time for the parents, and we need a plan in place by schools, Local Authorities, Local Council and Autism organisations to help everyone concerned. I will be bringing this issue up as an ambassador at my meeting with the Autistic Society tomorrow.

PridefulWiccan said...

I got diagnosed with AS when I was a kid but only truly knew what it was for the last 3-4 years. Before that I had no idea what AS really was. Now I've been identifying my habits and kinks and finding ways to fix them and adjust them. Weirdly enough though, I've always been hyper as well and very talkative. So that helped me as a kid and does now as an adult (I'm almost 22). For one reason or another today it hit me out of no where.... what if it's genetic? What if I give this to my children when I have them? It scares me. I had a hard childhood, I only ever had a few true friends. And because I was so weird and off I got bullied alot. I've looked at several sites and they all say that is believed it probably is genetic. Now I'm terrified because how am I going to protect my future children from everything I went through? How will I help them when all I know is how to help an AS adult not a child?

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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