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

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Aspergers Syndrome: A Comprehensive Summary

Aspergers Behavior—

Aspergers behavior has many faces and especially its variability makes it impossible to describe a stereotype Aspergers youngster or grown-up. This stereotype does not exist. Individuals with Aspergers are all different and all individuals so their behavior may differ too.

Society today judges someone mostly on how they look, behave and communicate. An individual with Aspergers does not look different from others but does show different behavior and communication. The Aspergers behavior might strike us as odd.

They appear to be insensitive towards other people’s feelings and unable to read between the lines. They don’t seem to be willing in sharing experiences or interests with individuals close to them. This is even present in young kids.

They don’t pick up on non verbal communication and they lack a sense of what is socially appropriate to do. They avoid eye contact and mostly don’t like to be touched.

This may all seem like the unwillingness in responding to others however their behavior is characterized by an inability to understand how to interact socially. I emphasize the word inability because they sometimes want to socialize but just don’t know how to do it.

Their Aspergers behavior appears to lack empathy and may seem selfish to the untrained eye. One-sided conversations are common as well as long speeches about their own favorite subjects. They are unable to pick up on any signs of the other person losing interest or wanting to change the subject. Internal thoughts are often verbalized out loud without warning. Their honesty may result in remarks that offend others because the rule never to lie is taken too strict. Also their inflexibility and fear of change can cause anxiety which can lead to behavioral problems.

All these typical behaviors will affect the way they relate to the individuals around them.

Relationships—

Starting and maintaining a relationship is a difficult thing to do for those with Aspergers. It requires good communication, the ability to interact socially and be interested in others. In order to have a relationship it is necessary to be able to understand the emotions and feelings of the other person and handle those feelings well. Most of the time, these qualities do not come natural to individuals with Aspergers, since they exhibit typical characteristics that affect their ability to relate to others in a meaningful way. It can be hard for them to even relate to their own family members.

Skills—

There are different roles in relationships individuals are engaged in. All those different roles for the relationship require different skills.

Individuals with Aspergers have trouble recognizing their own emotions and especially expressing them in a proper way. This can cause anger tantrums; they have an inability to be emphatic towards others. In order to be emphatic they have to be able to understand the impact their own behavior has on other people's feelings. Most of the time, those with Aspergers are not aware of the impact their behavior is causing. This makes relationships challenging for them.

Spouses—

Especially in an intimate relationship, feelings must be expressed. This can be very hard for those with Aspergers. In a relationship, self-disclosure is key… it’s part of creating that special bond between individuals. To get in touch with their own feelings and be able to express them on the right moment and in the right way can be extremely difficult for Aspergers spouses.

Siblings—

Some kids without Aspergers learn a lot from the relationship they have with their Aspergers Siblings It can take siblings with Aspergers a lot longer to learn how to share or take turns in their joint play. Many older brothers or sisters with Aspergers will try to control their younger siblings by dominating the play or laying down the rules. The lack of imaginative play and flexible thinking as well as their love for rituals and sameness will produce typical behavior which can be hard to deal with.

Friends—

In order to be able to interact with others, it is necessary for everybody to be able to make friends Young kids do this from an early age and get a lot of practice in school. Kids with Aspergers are sometimes unable to play the subtle game of becoming friends with their peers. It will take more time for them in order to understand what being friends means.

The Aspergers behavior is affecting the ability to form long lasting relationships such as having friends. However if they find someone they connect to, it can last forever!

Aspergers Diagnosis—

Aspergers is an autistic disorder named after Hans Asperger a child psychiatrist from Austria.

According to Tony Attwood, a specialist in the field of Aspergers, the average age in which kids are diagnosed with Aspergers, is eight years old. This average number means that some individuals get a diagnosis later on in life, as grown-ups and others might get it in early childhood. The Aspergers diagnosis appears to be given later in life than diagnosis of other autistic disorders.

For moms and dads, finding out your youngster has Aspergers can be a shock. Read my personal story on what happened to me after I got the diagnosis off my oldest son.

Signs and Symptoms—

Aspergers is a mild form of autism that can be easily overlooked in young kids. The signs and symptoms are not always that clear to parents and educators and may become more obvious when the youngster gets older.

A lot of research has been done into the typical criteria for Aspergers. Which signs or what typical behavior do you need to see in order to get a diagnosis for Aspergers? The list of criteria according to Szatmari and his colleagues is worth looking at because it gives a complete picture of the behavior kids with Aspergers can display.

Up until now there is no consensus or agreement on which diagnostic criteria will define the Aspergers in total. There are several lists of criteria researchers can choose from. Apart from the list made by Szatmari as mentioned above, there is another list circulating which also gives a clear picture of what to look for in a youngster’s behavior.

Importance—

The importance of getting a diagnosis cannot be emphasized enough. If it's unknown what causes the youngster or grown-up to behave so strangely you can never get them the help they need and are entitled to. And they do need help!

Their behavior can be so off tune and be offensive towards individuals without them even realizing it. They don’t mean to hurt anybody with their remarks but simply cannot grasp the fact that their remarks might be painful or rude. This is caused by their lack of imagination which makes it hard for them to show empathy towards others.

The most important book used to diagnose autism is: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-IV. This book sees Aspergers as a separate category.

The following list shows there is a specific combination of behavioral indicators which are used by professionals to diagnose autistic disorders such as Aspergers:

1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction
2. The presence of restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors and interests
3. Significant impairment in important areas of functioning
4. No significant delay in language
5. No significant delay in cognitive development, self-help skills, or adaptive behavior (other than social interaction)
6. The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another specific pervasive developmental disorder or schizophrenia.

The DSM IV handbook has his own list of diagnostic criteria and so does the World Health Organization (WHO).

What is considered normal?

Individuals with Aspergers see the world from a different point of view. They think “normal” people speak in riddles. Why don’t they say what they mean? How come they are not interested in details like me? Why are relationships so complicated? Why use non verbal signs like body language instead of just telling something like it is!

Individuals with Aspergers think their world is more logical then ours. The majority of individuals however think differently so that majority is considered normal. Individuals with autism have to adjust to our “strange” way of relating to each other and our ways of communication. It’s very hard for them to adjust to something so far off from logic. Most of the time, they are truly unable to do so.

The individuals around them need to understand and relate to their different way of thinking. In order to be able to do that, a diagnosis is important. If you don’t know what is wrong how can you help or reach out?

Aspergers Symptoms—

Aspergers symptoms are not the same for every youngster or grown-up with this diagnosis. Aspergers individuals are all different individuals with their own unique set of characteristics. However they do have some of them in common.

Some Aspergers symptoms are:

1. Clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements
2. Fear of changes; sameness in daily routines
3. Inflexibility or rigid thinking
4. Lack of empathy
5. Limited interests or preoccupation with a subject
6. Peculiarities in speech and language
7. Problems with nonverbal communication
8. Repetitive behaviors or rituals
9. Socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior

Triad of impairments—

A researcher named Lorna Wing has established a breakthrough in the search for typical Aspergers characteristics. Together with her colleagues, she found out all the kids in her research group had each of the following three typical Aspergers symptoms:

1. Impairment in communication; both verbal as well as non-verbal
2. Impairment in social imagination; combined with inflexible thinking and repetitive behavior
3. Impairment in social interaction; such as being unable to make friends in your peer group

So in other words, individuals with Aspergers have a lack in social interaction, they have poor communication and lack of imagination. These are the most obvious Aspergers symptoms. Not one of them or two out of three: they always come together. There is no random combination possible… one cannot be there without the others.

This is why it is called the triad of impairments. This triad has a huge impact on every aspect of life when you are diagnosed with Aspergers.

Limited interests or preoccupation—

One of the Aspergers signs can be the limitation or preoccupation with subjects or interest can be obsessive as well as intense. Of course being all individuals there are different subjects of interest but some common interests are trains, planes, space craft, dinosaurs, astronomy, science fiction, math or computers. Normal kids may have these interests too but kids with Aspergers have a very unusual intensity that goes with it. They seem to be focused on memorizing facts rather than understanding the real issue they love so much. Their outstanding memory and focus on details and their inability to see the bigger picture helps them to be seen as “little professors” in their field of interest.

Delayed Motor movements—

Kids with Aspergers may have a delay in their development of motor skills. Tying shoelaces, learning how to swim, catching a ball or ride a bike without the training wheels can be very hard for them to do. Sometimes they show a strange way of walking or display compulsive movements of their hands, fingers or legs such as tics.

Aspergers and Kids--

Aspergers is an autistic disorder. However unlike other forms of autism Aspergers is not marked by severe delay in language acquisition before the age of three. The cognitive development of Aspergers kids before that same age is not delayed either. In fact most of them have advanced language and intellectual development. This is why most kids can attend mainstream schools. They might need some preparations prior to their school entry.

Due to their relatively good behavior kids with Aspergers are not easily qualified for supportive services. However they are too impaired to go without support and I strongly believe they are entitled to it. Teaching kids with Aspergers has to be taken seriously by parents, educators and schools. Most moms and dads wonder how to tell their youngster it has been diagnosed with Aspergers. This can be a hard thing to do but it's very important to be as open as possible on this to the youngster involved. The sooner the better! His or her self esteem will benefit from knowing it has Aspergers instead of wondering what is wrong with them all the time or blaming himself for not being able to make friends in school.

Symptoms of Aspergers in Kids—

Even though this disorder may be hard to diagnose, in many cases there are very clear Aspergers symptoms in kids. Kids as young as toddlers can show signs of autism. A strong indication can be when they arrange their toys in lines (or other patterns) instead of really playing with it.

The following characteristics are considered symptoms of Aspergers:

Social interaction—

• A dislike to any change in their routine
• Lack of initiating joint attention
• Lack of interest in other individuals
• Preoccupations for one particular subject or interest
• Social withdrawal
• They lack empathy so feelings of other individuals go unnoticed
• Try to avoid eye contact

Communication—

• Advanced formal style of speaking
• At young age: echolalia (the repetition of phrases and words)
• No pick up on non verbal signs such as body language
• One-sided conversations
• Social clues go unnoticed
• Subtle differences in speech tone go unnoticed
• Their own speech can be flat because it lacks accents, pitch and tone
• Trouble in maintaining a conversation or starting one
• Unable to take turns talking
• Verbalization of their internal thoughts

Motor skills—

• Clumsiness
• Repetitive movements of body parts such as arms, hands or fingers.
• Their facial expressions and posture may be unusual
• Their motor development is delayed
• Uncoordinated motor movements

When their motor development is delayed this means kids with Aspergers have trouble learning how to swim or ride a bike without training wheels. Some of them have trouble tying their shoelaces, catching a ball or using a fork and spoon during dinner.

Apart from all this kids with disorders in the autistic spectrum can be very sensitive. Their senses are developed so well and they seem unable to filter sounds and other stimuli. They can become over stimulated by loud noises such as singing on a birthday party, strong lights, sudden movements, strong taste and textures. Go to sensory overload for more information.

The good news is: from all the individuals with autism disorders, kids with Aspergers typically take more action into making friends and make more effort in engaging themselves in activities with others.

Aspergers in School—

Teaching kids with Aspergers is a difficult task to handle specially when there are so many other kids in the same class who are also entitled to the undivided attention of the teacher.

The best way to understand how kids with Aspergers feel in school is by reading the book: Martian in the playground. It's written by a woman who has Aspergers herself and who describes how this challenged her during her time in school. It gave me a much better understanding of both my sons and their behavior in school. I can really recommend this book to all parents and educators out there who are dealing with those who have Aspergers on a daily basis.

Some kids benefit from preparations at home or in school.

Most kids with Aspergers are smart and sometimes even gifted, however in order to perform in regular schools it will take a teacher who understands the unique Aspergers traits that come along with this disorder.

Those symptoms or characteristics can be hard to deal with, especially within the school setting but understanding the complexity of Aspergers and finding it interesting and challenging to work with these pupils is a must for everyone who is teaching kids with Aspergers.

Teaching Kids with Aspergers—

When teaching kids with Aspergers one must be aware of the educators and classroom influences and the way those influences affect the students.

Research of Stipek (1996) has shown that virtually everything a teacher does has a potential motivational impact on students. There is increasing recognition of the reciprocal influence between educators and students. Not only do educators influence students by their planning and instructional activities, but students influence teacher’s thoughts and behavior by their reaction to classroom activities. A controversial but classic study conducted in 1968 concluded that teacher expectations can become self-fulfilling prophecies because the achievements students have reflect the expectations of their educators.

All kids with Aspergers are different and will have unique characteristics and behavior. The Aspergers will be displayed differently in every one diagnosed with the disorder. This can make it hard for schools to adjust their program or restructure the environment in the classroom. Read more on how to cope with Aspergers in class. Sometimes it can be as simple as to add a few clocks, create a special workplace, buy earplugs, make schedules and visualize everything. Breaking up the task they need to learn into small steps can be a great help. Repeat those steps over and over again and they will get it eventually. Copy worksheets and give those Aspergers students more space to write, give them longer and wider lines! Use of a lap-top in school or headsets can turn out to be great ways of helping kids with Aspergers. The best help however may come from a different angle.

Moms and dads are a reliable source of good information about the youngster. It is my belief most parents of kids with autism disorders such as Aspergers are very much in tune with their youngster. Some moms and dads even say it comes natural to them and they know exactly how to respond in the right way. It may take others months to figure out how to deal with some of the Aspergers traits and characteristics since every youngster has its own unique personality.

If only moms and dads were take seriously and turned to for advice more. It is vital for all educators to co-operate with parents. Let’s try to get as much information out of those information resources as you can, it will benefit the youngster and maybe even your classroom atmosphere. Do whatever it takes to make your own job easier and reach out to create that safe space for every student!

Aspergers Teenagers—

Unlike a lot of other teenagers with autism spectrum disorders, most Aspergers teenagers want to interact socially and have friends. The lack of social skills can be learned by these teenagers but their inability to pick up nonverbal signs, “read “ others behavior and poor communication skills makes it hard for them to be successful.

They may feel different and can experience anxiety when approaching other teenagers, always wondering why they have such a hard time fitting in. Trying to fit in can be a frustrating process and teenagers with Aspergers can be drained emotionally from this. It can cause anxiety or depression and may lead to social withdrawal. They may also be immature for their age, too naive and too trusting, which makes them an easy target for teasing and bullying.

Some teenagers may be shy or intimidated, talk too little and are extremely sensitive to criticism and need continual reassurance. They may think that the things that others do accidentally (such as bumping into them) are done deliberately to upset them.

Other Aspergers individuals can be blunt, interrupt their peers and take over a conversation to talk about their area of personal interest.

If they have been diagnosed earlier it is possible for them to learn social skills if they feel accepted within their peer group. Most Aspergers teenagers are able to develop friendships.

Challenges in school—

Aspergers Teenagers develop their thinking and learning skills at an unusual age or in an unusual way because their brain processes information differently. This means they can excel in some abilities like language, vocabulary, math or music but are delayed in other areas. They may have problems with authority figures such as educators. The ins and outs of Aspergers from an authentic point of view are described in the book by Luke Jackson. I can highly recommend this book for every teenager with Aspergers of parents with Aspergers teenagers. It is fun to read and to find out how the mind of an Aspergers teenager works in a different way. It will make you understand your teenager better!

Teenagers with Aspergers need an intellectual challenge and show low tolerance for ordinary homework or mediocre tasks. It can be frustrated for them to be regarded by educators as poor performers or arrogant only because they do not feel challenged in school. Sometimes their delay in motor skills will affect their handwriting so much they resent written assignments.

Most teenagers are able to overcome their lack in social skills and learn these skills intellectually rather than intuitively. I believe many Aspergers Teenagers have much going for them:

Strengths—

Aspergers teenagers are typically uninterested in following social norms, fads, or conventional thinking. They are original and creative thinkers and are in pursuit for original interests and goals. Their preference for rules and honesty may lead them to excel in the classroom since many of their advanced abilities are in the gifted range. Their narrow area of interest can make them experts in their field. They can be talented and enjoy academic success. Their dedication and commitment makes them driven to perform well in school.

Many great scientists, writers and artists are thought to have had Aspergers, including many Nobel Prize winners.

Aspergers Symptoms in Adults—

Classified as one of the pervasive development disorders Aspergers is also seen in many grown-ups. The brain of individuals with Adult Aspergers works in a different way, especially when it comes down to processing information. Their focus is on details and mostly these grown-ups have specialized in one field of interest. Aspergers symptoms in adults can stabilize over time and this provides them with opportunities to improve their social skills and behavior.

Aspergers symptoms in grown-ups are impairments in social interaction like maintaining friendships or feeling the need to engage in activities with others. There are also impairments in communication such as taken whatever is said literally and being unable to read between the lines. A good way to communicate with Aspergers Adults is to use Socratic Communication.

There could be an inability to listen to others and pick up on non verbal signs such as body language or facial expressions.

Lifelong Condition—

It’s a lifelong condition without cure or treatment but because grown-ups have a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses they can develop coping skills. There are programs which offer social trainings to improve social skills and learn how to read social cues. Many grown-ups lead a fulfilling life professionally as well as personally. Most adults with adult Aspergers marry and have kids. Read more on what it means to have Aspergers yourself: got to the site of Kate Goldfield for a crash course on how to accept your Aspergers!

Aspergers in adults has some common characteristics such as:

• Anger management problems
• Controlling feelings such as depression, fear or anxiety
• High intelligence
• Inability to listen to others
• Inability to think in abstract ways
• Inflexible thinking
• Lack of empathy
• Lack of managing appropriate social conduct
• Repetitive routines provides feelings of security
• Specialized fields of interest
• Stress when their routine suddenly changes
• Visual thinking

Unfair labeling—

Due to misunderstanding their behavior, grown-ups with Aspergers can be seen as selfish by their peer group members. Other unfair labels can be: egoistic, cold, ridged or uncaring. Their behavior might appear to be unkind or callous. This kind of labeling is unfair and has nothing to do with behaving inappropriately on purpose. Adults with Aspergers are neurologically unable to see things from the other person’s point of view. They are frequently told by their peers or partners that their actions or remarks are considered painful or rude which comes as a shock to them since they were never aware of this in the first place. It’s therefore important to get a diagnosis so individuals around them understand their behavior better.

Careers—

Many adults with Aspergers are able to work in mainstream jobs successfully. Their focus and knowledge on specific topics as well as their good eye for detail can help them succeed in their field of science. In pursuit of their preoccupations grown-ups with Asperger can develop sophisticated reasoning and an almost obsessive focus on their subject of interest, turning them into specialists in their line of work.

However there are some work related issues that will not benefit the Aspergers employee.

A common career option in grown-ups with Aspergers is engineering since they can be fascinated with technology. Adult Aspergers is more common in males than females which could be another explanation for the relatively high percentage of Adult Aspergers within the engineering profession.

Personally I would recommend all grown-ups with Aspergers to focus their energy on their strengths rather than on their weaknesses. Do what you are good at and organize the rest!

Aspergers Complications—

Due to Aspergers complications there is no sharp image of the stereotype behavior of an Aspergers youngster or adult. They will all face problems in social interaction, communication and imagination but these problems will vary from person to person. Of course, each individual also has his or her own personality and intelligence and may come from a totally different environment or background. All these factors play their own part in how this person is affected by Aspergers. But there are more Aspergers complications.

Aspergers hardly ever comes alone. Most of the time, it is just one of the problems a youngster or adult has. This is what we mean by Aspergers complications. Factors that make it more difficult to see and recognize the Aspergers symptoms or traits. There are several other conditions or disorders known to appear together with Aspergers such as:

• Anger tantrums
• Anxiety
• Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Delayed Motor Skills
• Depression
• Dyscalculia
• Dyslexia
• Epilepsy
• Fear of failure
• Giftedness
• Nonverbal learning disorder (NLD)
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• Perfectionism
• Sensory overload
• Tics
• Tourette’s Syndrome

The signs and symptoms of these Aspergers complications can get in the way of recognizing the symptoms of Aspergers and dealing with those symptoms. The presence of co-occurring conditions may delay the Aspergers diagnosis or get parents, spouses and educators sidetracked. For moms and dads it means more issues to deal with and more problems to solve. To guide a youngster with Aspergers towards adulthood is not an easy task at all and the last thing you need as a parent is more complications.

The scientific term for other disorders to appear together with Aspergers is comorbidity. It's a definition that pops up on a regular basis in books and literature on Aspergers or any of the other autistic disorders. The list above may not be complete but will give you a good impression of what you can expect on top of the Aspergers diagnosis.

Theory of Mind—

The solitary lack of engagement with others may develop to some degree into what can be described as a lifelong egocentrism or apparent selfishness. Your youngster may seem narcissistically concerned only with his or her own needs. What it reflects is a delay in the development of the idea that the self is equal in importance to that of others. This connects to an idea referred to in the research literature as theory of mind, or the ability to understand that others have minds, a point of view, feelings, and priorities. Theory of mind involves the ability to attribute mental states to others or to be able to describe what others might be feeling in a given situation.

Some researchers believe that the ability to guess others’ states of mind is related to one’s ability to effectively practice introspection on one’s own. Some of these things can be acquired late in life and learned. The inability to guess others’ mental states can result not only in faux pas but also in paranoia, by attributing negative intentions in others that aren’t there. Blackshaw, Kinderman, Hare, and Hatton (2001) found that the lack of developed private self-consciousness was a predictor of paranoia. This suggests, again, that the ability to know one’s self in some way may relate to our skill in attributing feelings and motivations to others. More severely autistic individuals may lack these facilities.

Because of these deficits, persons with Aspergers generally will take statements by others in a more concrete and literal fashion (Kaland et al., 2002). Williams (2004) suggests that, at the very least, people with Aspergers must work harder at theorizing what others are experiencing than most persons. Educationally, this means that children with Aspergers need more prompt questions and more time than others to understand social subtleties in language, such as irony, sarcasm, and some forms of humor.

Theory of mind is the capacity we have to understand mental states such as: believes feelings, desires, hope and intentions. It’s the way we imagine other people’s feelings or thoughts. We can create a mental picture of our own emotions or other people’s feelings. This theory of mind enables us to understand the behavior individuals display is caused by their inner feelings, believes or intensions. We can predict some of those behaviors and anticipate on them. Whatever goes on in the mind of other individuals is not visible so it will remain a “theory” we create for ourselves.

But what if you are not able to link behavior of individuals to their inner feelings? This way you can’t understand or predict some-ones behavior due to a lack in theory of mind. How can you make sense of the behavior of others around you if you don’t understand somebody is sad and angry with you because you tore up her favorite dress? For individuals with Aspergers that type of behavior might come out of the blue. They also can’t link their own behavior to the feelings of others so they can be unable to anticipate or predict such a response.

The absence of the ability to understand what individuals know, think or feel might be the root of most difficulties individuals with Aspergers have in communication and social interaction. To test Theory of Mind in kids, researchers can use a simple test made in (1996) by Uta Frith.

Communication—

In the ability of Theory of Mind is a lot of unconscious knowledge of how others might think or feel. Recognizing emotions of others by correctly interpreting nonverbal cues can make communication much more effective. If you don’t have the ability to sense the level of interest of your listener you cannot see from his body language or facial expression he wants to change the subject of conversation. This means kids and grown-ups with Aspergers are not aware their long monologue can be boring to others. The painful or rude remarks they are known to make come from the inability to anticipate how their comments will affect other individuals. There is reason to believe the absence of Theory of Mind might be causing this as well.

Another theory that is used to explain some of the Aspergers symptoms is Executive Function.

Those with Aspergers have a very good eye for details but are most of the time are unable to see the "big picture". The Central Coherence Theory explains why.

Social Interaction—

Theory of mind is based on empathy, the ability to feel for others and put yourself in their situation. Being able to do so will make interacting socially much easier. Understanding the emotions individuals go through will give you the ability to predict their behavior which will effect social interaction. Knowing what to expect will help you know how to respond to the situation. To kids who are unable to take into consideration how others might feel, think, or respond – the world can be a terrifying place to be.

Nutrition and Aspergers—

We all know there are good and bad foods in this world and most individuals have a pretty good idea what nutrition can do for your health. But are those with Aspergers more at risk? If you eat too much sugar you are at risk for diabetes, when you eat too much fat we get problems with our weight or cholesterol and too much salt can make your blood pressure go up. Most of us have a pretty good idea what foods are good and what foods are bad for us. But are we always aware of allergies or food intolerance? Probably not…

What you can do to help right now—

We all know some individuals have allergic reaction towards nutrition or can be lactose intolerant. There has been a connection made between food intolerance and autism spectrum disorders such as Aspergers. The theory is that some individuals with autism and PDD disorders such as Aspergers cannot properly digest gluten and casein. It seems there are many moms and dads worldwide who reported results between mild and dramatic after putting their kids with autism on a diet.

Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diet—

It’s also known as the GF/CF diet meaning gluten-free and casein-free. Casein is a protein found in milk and all sorts of dairy products and gluten is a wheat protein which can be found in wheat, oats rye and barley. Some moms and dads report some astonishing results in their kids’s behavior and skills such as: improvement in verbal skills, communication and eye contact as well as fewer tantrums, more interaction and less mood swings or aggressiveness. It seems so easy and can be done in no time by every parent. For more information on the GF/CF diet

Anti-yeast diet—

Another theory out there has to do with yeast. What on earth is that you wonder? Let me explain in plain language. Candida albicans is a normal resident inside of our intestinal tract and is known as yeast. This yeast can sometimes be found in the mouth or in the vagina. When this yeast overgrows you end up going to the doctor who will tell you it’s a yeast infection known as thrush. Even though yeast is a part of our body it’s makes some chemical compounds which have a bad effect on the nervous system of your body and are known to slow down the functioning of the brain. This can cause behavioral problems, difficulty to concentrate or focus and inattention.

Food supplements—

Apart from adjusting the food intake and eliminating specific foods one can also think about food supplements. Research has shown a positive effect on language development and learning skills in kids with autism or Aspergers after being given fish oil supplements. Fish oil is also known as omega3 and together with omega 6 are the most essential fats individuals need in order to function normally. Fish oil provides essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are critical for brain health. Kids with attention deficit, autistic, and related disorders have been shown to have significantly lower levels of EFAs in their red blood cells. Moms and dads can start their kids on this food supplement, known as Omega 3 fish oil and are likely to see major results in concentration, less anger tantrums and mood swings.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. Ados results and diagnosis on Tue for my 12 year old and already researching and adapting my behaviour to him. He is so angry now its so hard to manage but is helpful to read this.

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.

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.

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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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content