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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Understanding Your Aspergers Child

If you’re situation is like most parents’ situation, your Aspergers (high functioning autistic) child’s behavior seems a bit odd at times. Here are a few tips to help you understand what’s going on with him or her:

1. Despite what has been widely written, kids with Aspergers do have emotions. In fact, more often than not, they are rich with emotion – not devoid of it. More modern literature is starting to reflect this more accurate position. The difference is that the response is different in them. Kids with Aspergers are often very lonely and can become depressed as a result of feeling out of place in the world. Reaching out to a youngster who has Aspergers may open more questions for you than provide answers, but a greater effort is likely to yield a greater reward in the long run.

2. If your Aspergers youngster says ''I need help with ___'', that is what he needs help with, even if it doesn't seem possible. The other side of the coin is if the youngster says ''I am capable of ___'', it is a good idea to trust that.

3. Many Aspergers kids are very intelligent and may have extraordinary skills that you may or may not understand, but at the same time, your youngster may lack what will seem to you to be common sense.

4. You and your Aspergers youngster do not experience life the same way, so their obstacles, interests, complaints, frustrations are likely to seem illogical to you and to those around you. There are many issues that contribute to the way they view the world around them. There are communication issues, stigma, sensory, 'stereotypical interests', unique responses to social issues, stressors, and additional things than you may be able to imagine. If you look at it as if they are dodging paintballs all day long every day, paintballs which are invisible to you, it may make a little more sense that they move the way they do, talk the way they do, and make the decisions the way they do.

5. You and your Aspergers youngster do not think alike. This means that you are likely to misunderstand each other. Knowing this will enable you to do three things:
  • When family members, co-workers, friends seem to be having a ''group opinion'' in the negative, you have the insight to be able to say, ''It may appear to be that way, but I think it's a big misunderstanding''.
  • When he says or does something that seems hurtful, you can trust that it may not have been intended the way you thought, even if it seems very clear to you.
  • When you say or do something that your youngster takes offense to, you can trust that he is misunderstanding you honestly and not trying to be critical.

For moms and dads with Aspergers children, consider this: Maybe it's not only about your youngster's understanding of the world, maybe it's the world's understanding of your youngster.

Aspergers is a neurological disorder, and is one of five diagnoses that comprise what's called “the autism spectrum.” The “autism” label has carried some serious baggage. So much so that in the 1960s there was born a movement of “anti-labelism” where kids were no longer stamped with a diagnosis, and instead their condition was referred to only as “special.” This trend swung too far in the other direction though. Now it's time to embrace terms like “Aspergers” and “Autism,” so that those with the disorder can begin dealing with exactly what it is that makes them different—both the negatives and the positives.

What can moms and dads with Aspergers children do to handle stress? Here are some ideas:

1. Joining a support group can be a great way for families to relieve stress. When someone tells you “I understand …I've been there” – nothing feels better at that moment.

2. Make sure you're taken care of. There's a good reason that the airline stewardess instructs passengers to put the oxygen mask on themselves first before assisting their kids. If you can't be there in a healthy, operating way, you're not much good to your youngster.

3. One of the biggest challenges for children with Aspergers is an ability to shrug off life's failures. But, moms and dads can help their kids to process failure better. Praise, and praise, and praise for trying. Very often moms and dads say, “This is a special youngster, and I want to shield him from failure.” It's a good thought, but it's not the final resting ground. The final resting ground is independence and bravery.

4. Read up on the history of Aspergers to find out how the view of "the Aspergers condition" has developed over the years. Depending on the challenges of their particular youngster, moms and dads will feel some sense of pressure to change that youngster—maybe due to an outburst in the supermarket or an awkward conversation with the neighbors. We can all forgive ourselves when want to secede to societal pressure. What's important is this: loving your youngster for who he is.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our daughter has been diagnosed for 9 years now and it still helps to read these post! Thanks.Love the support.

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.

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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.

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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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