Set a good example for your Aspergers child. Think about what you say and how you act in front of him. Your youngster learns social skills and how to deal with stress by listening to and watching you. Do not take part in illegal, unhealthy, or dangerous practices related to alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs or he may believe that, no matter what you say, these practices are OK.
Someone Is Watching You—
Who is your Aspergers child’s role model? You! A recent online survey revealed that nearly half of the young men respondents looked to their fathers as their role model. In another survey, 42 percent of 750 teens named a relative as their role model. In a third survey, 46 percent of teens said their role model is a family member, not a pop icon or sports star. Whether you know it or not, you are a role model for your youngster. Aspergers adolescents who have positive role models are more likely to do well in school and have higher self-esteem; they also are less likely to abuse substances.
What does this mean for you? As a parent, you have more influence for good than maybe you thought you did. By setting a good example of healthy living, you can help your youngster make healthy choices in his life. You also can talk to your youngster about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse so that she knows where you stand on this issue.
The following tips can help you be a great role model for your Aspergers child:
1. Use medications carefully
2. Share your values with your youngster
3. Share your success and failures with your youngster
4. If you drink alcohol, do so responsibly
5. Discuss the media's portrayal of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
6. Demonstrate your love for each family member
7. Demonstrate self-respect and self-esteem with healthy actions
8. Deal with stress in a healthy way
9. Become interested and involved in your youngster's school and activities
10. Be independent instead of following fads
So, take heart. Your values, opinions, and example carry more weight with your child than you might have thought. You can do battle against the negative messages your youngster sees and hears.
The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook