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

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Aspergers Teens and Online Gaming Addiction

For many children and teens, computers offer an escape from difficult social situations along with a partial remedy for the loneliness of Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism).

The PC itself offers a predictable false-companionship, and teens who use computers may also band together in common-interest clubs. Such teens may become involved with PCs to the exclusion of almost every other hobby.

Despite the fact that there's a lot of mayhem on the web, inter-personal contact on the web can provide a "nerdy child" a level of defense against actual face-to-face contact. For example, in chat rooms, body language, facial expression, intonation, pacing, and timing of speech are removed in the interpersonal exchange. In role playing games, the interactions between participants are influenced by guidelines associated with traits the virtual person has accrued throughout play. A young man who's just a geek in class may become a strong and dreaded warrior within an online fantasy game.

Since a number of these children are so hungry for interpersonal connection, most of them invest a massive amount of time at their PCs, ignoring family members, homework, and much of the "real world." Even worse, for sleep patterns, the PC is "usually open." A number of these kids fall asleep later and later, particularly in the summertime, ultimately moving their sleep cycle so that they snooze when the rest of the family is up. This only worsens their lack of social skills, regardless of how successful their virtual character is becoming inside an online fantasy game.

While such cases are rare, mental-health professionals say the fantasy worlds offered by video games can become the stuff of very real addictions that destroy the education of an Aspergers teen. It's a huge and growing problem with older teenage males and young adult males with Aspergers. I've seen a number of cases with 18- to 23-year-old males where they have an Internet connection, and they basically haven't left the house for years. I had one young man who was trying to get on Social Security disability for agoraphobia. He didn't really have agoraphobia …he just didn't want to leave his computer.

My Aspergers Teen: Discipline for Aspergers Teens

1 comment:

Stephenie said...

Interesting concept. I was also reading literature about the positives of online gaming for Aspergers teens. My son loves online gaming. I limit the time he is allowed to spend, but I've noticed he has developed better interpersonal skills. Other online gamers will not play with him if he can't work with them as a team. He has learned to listen to others and to watch what he says and even to apologize when what he has said was perceived to be rude. While I agree that a virtual world is no replacement for the real one, I do see some benefits to allowing him some time to converse, interact, and work toward a common goal with other gamers.

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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