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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Aspergers Children and Aggressive Behavior

Question

Is there a way to stop aggressive behavior when my son with Aspergers is in the middle of a meltdown?

Answer

It is not uncommon for kids with Aspergers to become aggressive. Aspergers causes a youngster to struggle to understand how his behavior affects other children. The many symptoms and characteristics of Aspergers can cause extreme frustration. This frustration can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and aggressive behavior.

Here are a few specific reasons for aggressive meltdowns:
  • Change of routine— Inability to handle unexpected changes in the daily schedule, such as a substitute teacher or a cancelled class period.
  • Communication problems— Inability to recognize humor, sarcasm, or slang during conversations with peers.
  • Sensory issues— Inability to handle the discomfort in his environment due to sights, sounds, smells, or other sensory dysfunction.
  • Social struggles— Inability to understand social cues and gestures or to make and keep friends.

How can you stop your Aspergers child from becoming aggressive? Aspergers calls for a direct approach. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills training, and occupational therapy will help with levels of frustration and also touch on self-control – a necessary skill for all of us. However, there are several things moms and dads can do at home to lessen the impact of aggressive meltdowns:

• Teach children to recognize red light/green light behaviors, red being a poor choice and green being a good choice.

• Social stories are excellent for teaching Aspergers children about problem behaviors. These should be used during quiet moments and not during any stage of aggressiveness or frustration.

• Role-play appropriate responses to tricky situations with your youngster. Role-playing is an excellent option for teaching all types of social skills to kids with Aspergers.

• Removal from the situation is necessary once a meltdown has developed.

• Redirection can sometimes be used during the beginning stages of a meltdown to reduce the escalation.

Individual counseling may be beneficial if you are still struggling with aggressive Aspergers behaviors. Sometimes a caring professional specially trained to deal with the issues brought on by ASD can make a difference. Some schools are able to offer this counseling, but you can also find help through your doctor and your local Aspergers support groups.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

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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.”

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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. 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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