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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Helping Aspergers Children with Homework

Question

How much assistance should moms and dads offer when it comes to helping their Aspergers child with his/her homework?

Answer

School can be a complex situation for kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism). Homework can be a real struggle, especially after spending an entire day forced to sit in the classroom. Truthfully, moms and dads of kids without Aspergers also struggle with how to handle the homework problem. Should you push, hover, beg, and plead – or should you gently remind your youngster about his assignments and then let her face the consequences? The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

There are several reasons why homework can be such an issue for Aspergers kids. Homework interferes with free time, which is better spent on that special interest. Homework is hard because of the distractions of home.

The main problems that interfere with homework are:
  • Anxiety caused by frustration. Teach your youngster relaxation techniques he can use during class (e.g., deep breathing) and homework times to reduce frustration. Anti-anxiety medications can help in moderate to severe cases.
  • Cognitive reasoning. Cognitive therapy is very helpful in this area.
  • Communication difficulties (pragmatics or comprehension). Speech/language therapy can help your youngster with communication skills. These therapies can be performed in the home with the help of published resources.
  • Lack of organizational skills. Use written list, daily schedules, and a visual timer to help your youngster gain organizational skills. Time management is often an area of concern and should be developed, as well.

Here are some thoughts that may help you deal with homework-related issues:
  • Have you established a homework routine? Kids with Aspergers work much better with a set routine.
  • Is she easily distracted by noise or activity? Set up a homework zone that suits her sensory needs.
  • What frustrates or upsets her? Avoid these triggers before and during homework time.
  • What is her best time of day? Does she work better right after school or after a play break and snack?

You can have success with your Aspergers youngster. Homework does not have to be a problem. Remember, work with your youngster’s strengths – and be consistent.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns

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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.

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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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