How do you deal with an Aspergers child who also suffers with anxiety?
For kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism), anxiety can be overwhelming. What causes this anxiety? Just about anything can cause anxiety. The stress of social situations when you have weak social skills, changes in your normal routine or in the order of things, depression due to the loneliness that can come with lacking social abilities, and frustration. Truthfully, frustration is the root of anxiety in kids with Aspergers.
In kids with Aspergers, anxiety builds as frustration builds. Something as simple as being forced to make eye contact and explain your reasons for choosing a certain book to read can cause frustration. Imagine trying to find the words you need and learning that some of those words are missing. Imagine having to look someone in the eye and feeling actual physical discomfort when doing so. Imagine eating in a noisy, crowded cafeteria when the sights, sounds, and smells are painfully overwhelming. Imagine having a deep desire to make and keep friends, but not having the social skills needed to accomplish this desire. Frustration is around every corner, and with that frustration comes anxiety.
Aspergers anxiety must be understood before it can be eliminated or at the very least, managed. Knowing the youngster’s anxiety triggers, or daily frustrations is a good place to start. Once you know the youngster’s frustrations, you can make a plan for these stressful Aspergers anxiety situations.
There are several choices of treatments for parents to choose:
• Moms and dads can choose to teach coping skills at home. Search the Internet for published resources that can make the job easier and more effective.
• In some cases, medication is a necessary treatment. Anti-anxiety medications can make it easier for kids with Aspergers to deal with the depression and anxiety issues. Since medications are not for everyone, a trusted doctor‘s guidance is necessary.
• Counseling is a common treatment option for anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as psychological counseling can help. Social skills training, sensory integration therapy, and language therapy can also help with the underlying causes of a youngster’s anxiety-inducing frustration.
Aspergers anxiety is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. Finding the right combination of stress management and treatments will help your family deal with the frustration that leads to anxiety.
The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook