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

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Aspergers Students and School Anxiety

"Help! My 9 y.o. Aspergers son is suffering real bad anxiety trying to get back into the routine of school after the Christmas holidays. He is crying on and off all day at school and bedtimes, finding it hard to sleep and again crying. I feel so helpless that I can't do anything for him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated."

Aspergers (high functioning autism) children of all ages commonly experience school anxiety (i.e., school-related stress). This is often most apparent at the end of summer when school is about to start again, but it can occur year-round. This post explains school anxiety – and what can be done to help the Aspergers child become more relaxed and confident.

Social Stressors—

Many Aspergers children experience some level anxiety in social situations they encounter in school. While some of these issues provide important opportunities for growth, they must be handled with care:

• Bullies— Many schools now have anti-bullying programs and policies. Though bullying does still happen at many schools, even those with these policies, help is generally more easily accessible than it was years ago. The bad news is that bullying has gone high-tech. Many children use the Internet, cell phones and other media devices to bully other children, and this type of bullying often gets very aggressive. One reason is that bullies can be anonymous and enlist other bullies to make their target miserable. Another reason is that they don't have to face their targets, so it's easier to shed any empathy that they may otherwise feel.

• Peers— While most children would say that friends are one of their favorite aspects of school, they can also be a source of stress. Concerns about not having enough friends, not being in the same class as friends, not being able to keep up with friends in one particular area or another, interpersonal conflicts, and peer pressure are a few of the very common ways children can be stressed by their social lives at school. Dealing with these issues alone can cause anxiety in even the most secure children.

• Educators— A good experience with a caring teacher can cause a lasting impression on a youngster's life -- so can a bad experience. While most educators do their best to provide children with a positive educational experience, some children are better suited for certain teaching styles and classroom types than others. If there's a mismatch between student and teacher, a youngster can form lasting negative feelings about school or his own abilities.

Scheduling Stressors—

Many grown-ups find themselves overwhelmingly busy these days—work hours are getting longer, vacations are shortened or skipped, and people find themselves with little down time. Sadly, our children are facing similar issues. Here are some of the main scheduling stressors they face:

• Lack of Family Time— Due in part to the busyness of children’ lives and the hectic schedules of most moms and dads, the sit-down family dinner has become the exception rather than the rule in many households. While there are other ways to connect as a family, many families find that they’re too busy to spend time together and have both the important discussions and the casual day recaps that can be so helpful for children in dealing with the issues they face. Due to a lack of available family time, many moms and dads aren't as connected to their children, or knowledgeable about the issues they face, as they would like.

• Not Enough Sleep— According to a poll on this site, a large proportion of readers aren't getting enough sleep to function well each day. Unfortunately, this isn't just a problem that grown-ups face. As schedules get busier, even young children are finding themselves habitually sleep-deprived. This can affect health and cognitive functioning, both of which impact school performance.

• Over-scheduling— Much has been said in the media lately about the over-scheduling of our children, but the problem still continues. In an effort to give their children an edge, or to provide the best possible developmental experiences, many moms and dads are enrolling their children in too many extra-curricular activities. As children become teens, school extracurricular activities become much more demanding. College admissions standards are also becoming increasingly competitive, making it difficult for college-bound high school children to avoid over-scheduling themselves.

Academic Stressors—

Not surprisingly, much of the stress of school is related to what children learn and how they learn it. The following are some of the main sources of academic stress for Aspergers children:

• Homework Problems— Children are being assigned a heavier homework load than in past years, and that extra work can add to a busy schedule and take a toll.

• Learning Styles Mismatch— You may already know that there are different styles of learning -- some learn better by listening, others retain information more efficiently if they see the information written out, and still others prefer learning by doing. If there's a mismatch in learning style and classroom, or if your youngster has a learning disability (especially an undiscovered one), this can obviously lead to a stressful academic experience.

• Test Anxiety— Many of us experience test anxiety, regardless of whether or not we're prepared for exams. Unfortunately, some studies show that greater levels of test anxiety can actually hinder performance on exams. Reducing test anxiety can actually improve scores.

• Work That's Too Easy— Just as it can be stressful to handle a heavy and challenging workload, some kids can experience stress from work that isn't difficult enough. They can respond by acting out or tuning out in class, which leads to poor performance, masks the root of the problem, and perpetuates the difficulties.

• Work That's Too Hard— There's a lot of pressure for children to learn more and more and at younger ages than in past generations. For example, while a few decades ago kindergarten was a time for learning letters, numbers, and basics, most kindergarteners today are expected to read. With test scores being heavily weighted and publicly known, schools and educators are under great pressure to produce high test scores; that pressure can be passed on to children.

Environmental Stressors—

Certain aspects of an Aspergers youngster's environment can also cause stress that can spill over and affect school performance. The following are some stressors that moms and dads may not realize are impacting their kids:

• Lack of Preparation— Not having necessary supplies can be a very stressful experience for a youngster, especially one who's very young. If a youngster doesn't have an adequate lunch, didn't bring her signed permission slip, or doesn't have a red shirt to wear on "Red Shirt Day," for example, she may experience significant stress. Younger children may need help with these things.

• Lack of Sleep— As schedules pack up with homework, extracurricular activities, family time and some “down time” each day, children often get less sleep than they need. Operating under a sleep deficit doesn’t just mean sleepiness, it can also lead to poor cognitive functioning, lack of coordination, moodiness, and other negative effects.

• Noise Pollution— Believe it or not, noise pollution from airports, heavy traffic, and other sources have been shown to cause stress that impacts children' performance in school.

• Poor Diet— With the overabundance of convenience food available these days and the time constraints many experience, the average youngster's diet has more sugar and less nutritious content than is recommended. This can lead to mood swings, lack of energy, and other negative effects that impact stress levels.

Signs of school anxiety in Aspergers kids include:
  • Clinging behavior
  • Difficulty going to sleep
  • Exaggerated, unrealistic fears of animals, monster, burglars
  • Excessive worry and fear about parents or about harm to themselves
  • Fear of being alone in the dark
  • Feeling unsafe staying in a room by themselves
  • Headaches
  • Lying
  • Meltdowns
  • Negative attitude
  • Nightmares
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Severe tantrums when forced to go to school
  • Shadow the mother or father around the house
  • Stomachaches
  • Withdrawal, regressive behavior, or excessive shyness

What Can Be Done To Reduce School Anxiety In Aspergers Students? 

Here are 12 important tips:

1. Understand the value of tears. Crying can be a great stress reliever. It flushes out bad feelings and eases tension. It's hard to see your Aspergers youngster crying, and your first instinct may be to help him stop as soon as possible. But after the tears have all come out, your youngster may be in a particularly open and receptive mood for talking and sharing. Provide a soothing and sympathetic presence, but let the crying run its course.

2. Set a regular time and place for talking with your Aspergers youngster, whether in the car, on a walk, during mealtimes, or just before bed. Some Aspies will feel most comfortable in a cozy private space with your undivided attention, but others might welcome some sort of distraction to cut the intensity of sharing their feelings.

3. Routines are good. They help alleviate stress. Establishing a regular bedtime, get-up time, and bath time is important at any age. It also helps children with Aspergers learn to develop routines themselves. Family meetings are important. At the beginning of school, set a weekly time to regroup and to talk about what's going on and how it will work: who gets the shower first, what time to set the alarm clocks for. Give everybody a chance to talk.

4. Resist the urge to fix everything. There are some instances in which moms and dads do have to take action. If your youngster is in a class that's too challenging, or is having trouble because an IEP isn't being followed, there are steps you can take. If a teacher or a classmate is truly harassing your youngster, you will want to follow up with that. But you'll also want to teach her that some things in life just have to be dealt with, even though they stink. Fix only what's really badly broken.

5. Know when to get help. Most kids experience school anxiety to some extent, and some feel it more deeply and disruptively. When does it become a big enough problem to require professional help? Some signs to look for are major changes in friendships, style of clothing, music preferences, sleeping and eating habits, attitude and behavior. If you've established a good rapport with your youngster and he suddenly doesn't want to talk, that's a sign of trouble as well.

6. Keep the lines of communication open. Let your Aspergers youngster know that he can always talk to you, no matter what. It's not always necessary even to have solutions to his problems. Sometimes just talking about things out loud with a trusted adult makes them seem less threatening. And if the situation does become overwhelming for your youngster, you want to be the first to know about it.

7. Do some role-playing. Once you have some concrete examples of anxiety-provoking events, help your youngster figure out an alternate way to deal with them. Discuss possible scenarios and play the part of your youngster in some role-playing exercises, letting him play the part of the demanding teacher or bullying classmate. Model appropriate and realistic responses and coping techniques for your youngster.

8. Be aware that all students feel anxiety about school, even the ones who seem successful and carefree. Knowing this won't lessen your youngster's anxiety, but it may lessen yours.

9. Ask, "What three things are you most worried about?" Making your request specific can help your youngster start to sort through a bewildering array of fears and feelings. If he's unable to name the things that are most worrisome, have him tell you any three things, or the most recent three things.

10. Ask, "What three things are you most excited about?" Most students can think of something good, even if it's just going home at the end of the day. But chances are your youngster does have things she really enjoys about school that just get drowned out by all the scary stuff. Bring those good things out into the light.

11. Acknowledge the problem. Does hearing, "Don't worry!" help when you're anxious about something? It probably doesn't comfort your youngster much, either. The most important thing you can do for a youngster experiencing school anxiety is to acknowledge that her fears are real to her. If nothing else, you'll ensure that she won't be afraid to talk to you about them.

12. When school anxiety persists, parents should consult with a qualified mental health professional who will work with them to develop a plan to immediately return the child to school and other activities. Refusal to go to school in the older Aspergers child or teen is generally a more serious illness, and often requires more intensive treatment.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Home and School

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mark,

I just wanted to thank you for your weekly newsletter. It has helped me so much the last few months and I am more convinced than ever that my 9 year old daughter has Aspergers.

My daughter has never officially been diagnosed with Aspergers, but I have suspected this was going on since she was about 4 years old. We took her in to see a Developmental Pediatrician and she did do some Occupational Therapy, but they seemed to determine she only had some sensory issues. However, all the information I filled out for them pointed to her being on the spectrum. They asked that her teacher at the time fill out the information as well and that information did not put her on the spectrum, but my daughter had only been in her class a short time when she filled it out, and she is able to really pull herself together at school for whatever reason.

We are very fortunate that our daughter is one of 4 girls in our family and she is able to really "model" herself after her older sisters, but we do deal with so many of the issues that you discuss in your newsletters. Meltdowns, sensory issues, poor sportsmanship, poor handwriting, extreme lack of social skills. My daughter is quickly becoming less mature socially than her 7 year old sister.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your newsletters have been a Godsend for me in helping me to deal with her Aspergers. I am always amazed how spot on your details and suggestions are! So thank you for what you do and please know that you are really helping families out there!

Sincerely,
Stephanie

Anonymous said...

If possible for your family, it might be an option to consider home education. There are a lot of Asperger's children doing home ed. It's such a joy to watch them flourish! For further information on home ed, go to www.hea.asn.au

Regards

Marion

Anonymous said...

My first grade daughter who is a perfectly normal child in the home setting is failing in all areas at school and her teachers just can't figure her out. She stares at them blankly and they say there is no reaction or expression on her face. She is too slow in writing, needs to be reminded constantly to keep track and speaks in a low voice when expected to reply or read aloud. At home, although she seems a little unfocused when we do the homework, she understands her studies and knows her spelling, but comes back from school with huge amounts of mistakes and incomplete work. She's a lively kid who plays normally with her siblings and cousin …she is even over-talkative at times.

The problem is we're in a trilingual conventional school and in a country where there is low awareness of aspergers and little support to special needs kids. She is still undiagnosed and so am I (I leaned about aspergers only 2 years ago and suspected immediately that I myself might be an aspie). I've struggled to be able to focus throughout school and have had social anxiety/shyness issues as well.

We're going to get some professional help soon, but just need to know, is the above behavior typical of an aspie child or could the problem be simply a learning disability or ADD?

Her 4 year old brother seems unable to fit in with his peers and follow directions as well and his teachers have expressed concern. They describe him as being in his own world.
I'm worried...

Anonymous said...

I also want to thank you for your weekly newsletter. This particular article has really hit home for me. When my son began first grade this fall he exhibited almost all of the anxiety symptoms you listed. His overall anxiety about school had been gradually increasing as he was getting older and the demands of the classroom became more and more rigid with each passing year.

We finally took the plunge and began homeschool after a particularly unsuccessful and I would say traumatic beginning at a new school for the first grade. Soon after, we learned that our son mostl likely as Aspergers. After 3 months of homeschool, his anxiety symptoms gradually subsided and now have almost all disappeared! He is seven years old now, and I had once believed (for years) that his clinginess and separation anxiety were just a trait of his personality. I was so wrong.

Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Do you have any article's relating to the benefits of children at school
having provision for a 'quite space' away from all the other social
interactions during the lunch time breaks? Our daughter finds it very
difficult to cope with this time at school, I'm in the process of writing a
letter to the school (below) and I think it would assist to attached an
article in order add weight to our concerns, ie not just over anxious
parents.



In conjunction with our personal experience and a recent discussion with
Jenny Rice, I'd like to ask what can be done by JPC to reduce Amber's
anxieties specifically relating to her lunch time at school. As you are no
doubt aware one of the impacts of Amber's diagnosed aspergers is a
significant reduction in her ability to handle social interaction with
others, obviously this manifests itself most during break times.
Where other children are able to use this time to wind down from the
mornings classroom activities in preparation for the second half of their
day, in Amber's case this is a very very uncomfortable time and the
associated anxiety does not only prevent her ability to 'wind down', but in
fact adversely impacts her ability to cope with the rest of her day.
Is it possible for Amber to be provided with alternate options for her main
break, not unlike the existing provision for a separate area within the
class room for Amber to use during times of high anxiety? Our experience
from year one was that the very existence of this option in itself has the
effect of reducing Amber's anxiety as it provides her with the comfort of
knowing that if she is starting to feel anxiety / frustration building up
she can remove herself to a safe / more comfortable environment (self
police).
A couple of suggestions would be:
. a quite room for her (and I assume other children with diagnosed
disabilities) to 'break out' and do quite activities during lunch
. 'assistant' to the teacher on duty
. buddy to prep children and or buddy with upper grade children during
her break time
. assistant to teachers and aides with preparation for class, cutting
up of things, sorting of craft, sharpening of pencils etc
These activities could be undertaken for most of the week initially, and
progressively wound down as Amber learns to cope with her disability.
I assume that this would not have a major financial impact to JPC given that
government funding is provided to assist Amber, and while it could
potentially impact 'time poor' staff it could conversely assist teachers in
that it would reduce the time required to spend with highly anxious
(exhausted) children during the second half of the day.
Could you please let us know what JPC is willing to do to assist in this
area.

Anonymous said...

How do I know if my child is really experiencing some debilitating anxiety over school (has been sent home 3 times so far this school year because he is "sick") -- OR -- if he simply wants to do other things (e.g., come home to play video games)?

Anonymous said...

Re: How do I know if my child is really experiencing some debilitating anxiety over school (has been sent home 3 times so far this school year because he is "sick") -- OR -- if he simply wants to do other things (e.g., come home to play video games)?

There’s a big difference between “school refusal” versus “truancy.” You will need to determine which one it is.

Criteria for Differential Diagnosis of School Refusal and Truancy:

Truancy--

• Lack of excessive anxiety or fear about attending school.

• Child often attempts to conceal absence from parents.

• Frequent antisocial behavior, including delinquent and disruptive acts (e.g., lying, stealing), often in the company of antisocial peers.

• During school hours, child frequently does not stay home.

• Lack of interest in schoolwork and unwillingness to conform to academic and behavior expectations.

School Refusal--

• Severe emotional distress about attending school; may include anxiety, temper tantrums, depression, or somatic symptoms.

• Parents are aware of absence; child often tries to persuade parents to allow him or her to stay home.

• Absence of significant antisocial behaviors such as juvenile delinquency.

• During school hours, child usually stays home because it is considered a safe and secure environment.

Anonymous said...

From my experience with my daughter it has been a case of 50/50. If you let him do video games when he gets sent home I feel that he may do it just to come for that. If he is genuinely poorly when at home do you still let him do vid games? Maybe you should try saying if he sent home for being poorly then he shouldnt be on them and try to find out if anything is bothering him at school, it worked with my daughter as there was no point wanting to come home as she had to stay in bed. Good luck with it all

Anonymous said...

Wow ..I can totally relate I have went through this every year with my son and he is now in sixth grade.It is so draining and stressful on the parents.My son would flee the building ,have daily panic attacks,get sick,live in the nurses office.In the morning i would have to pry him out of bed crying,force him to get dressed,have him cry the whole car ride and then grab onto the school building screaming.I would leave each morning crying and then get the lovely phone call to come and pick him up.We tried to put him in smaller classrooms and then the school said he could come half days(which neither worked in our case).Finally the school offered us a tutor and he has been getting home tutored going on 2 and a half years.He continues to have anxiety but not as severe and at least I know how to somewhat manage it.I wish you luck and can totally relate.

Anonymous said...

Don't let him play the video games at home that day or at least not until all schoolwork or academic activities are completed.

Anonymous said...

Yep my guy did the same thing....and still does sometimes and he is 16. He gets sick everytime things are too stressful at school. I did not believe him at first, especially because he would be fine when he got home. Then I realized it was anxiety ay school. I talked with the school about it and let them know that he is to stressed at school and I needed their help in keeping him in school. While in elementry he had a one on one aide and she could help him escape when he needed it. Middle got alot harder..no aide, so the trips home got worse. Eventually the thing that has worked best as he has gotten older is to have him go to school 1/2 time. He goes to the school part time and works from home part time. He still gets plenty of school interaction but has days home to recoup.

Anonymous said...

My son has also done that a couple of times, but ower. rule is if you are sick and can't be at school. You must stay in bed and rest or read. If you feel better by dinner you can play in your room. But no tv, computor or video games.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping for a little ( Or maybe a lot) of parenting advice. My child has not yet been diagnosed with Asperger's but the "expert's" are leaning that way. He is only 5 years old and thus far Kindergarten has been a disaster. He excells at Reading and Math, and is even sent to 1st grade for those subjects. However, he has little to no tolerance for other children and regularly gets aggressive with them. I am frustrated to no end with the school because the class he is in is total chaos and they are unwilling to move him. They don't do anything else either. Their only solution is to call me and make me come pick him up. I have him in appropriate counseling and we are in the process of going through testing. I also give consequenses at home. Nothing seems to work. Behaviors do not get out of hand at home. The problem is only in school. I need ideas!!! I would sincerely appreciate any input. :0/

Anonymous said...

Hello, I know how frustrating it can be to deal with the public school system when you are a parent of a child with special needs. My son is 7 and was just diagnosed with aspergers and depression last month. It took me a long time to get an appropriate diagnose. Hang in there. I suggest you learn everything you can about aspergers syndrome. I have spent the last 4 years researching it. Knowledge is a powerful tool. It would be wonderful to get your child in a social skills class if it is available. If its not then I recommend a small social group such as cub scouts. If the groups are small then my son doesn't get over stimulated. Counseling is important. Joining a support group like this one is very helpful too.

My son use to get very anxious and upset easily. His behaviors were out of control. My son started taking 10mg of Prozac about a week ago. He transitions easier now and has a higher tolerance level. Although I don't like the idea of medicating my son, he seems happy now. You have to decide what is right for your family but this is how I am managing my sons aspergers.

Juliet said...

I so grateful for this website! My 11 year old daughter does not like school and would like to be home schooled but I was advised to try to keep her in school as long as possible to keep her in the mix with social situations. She is an A/B student who is "bored" all the time and thinks her work is too easy yet she never completes it. I am perplexed! Any advice?

Stephanie Moore said...

I have advocated for years for my 8 year old son in a school system that is unwilling to provide even the most basic services. We have been lied to, promised a service, only to have it stopped with no explanation. The stress of dealing with this battle is exhausting. So my husband and I are going to try something very radical next school year and homeschool my son. We are not giving up, we are taking control.

He is already actively engaged in Cub Scouts and sees a wonderful psychologist and will be starting a social skills group. We are going to partner with a local church homeschool program and set about giving him the very best education we can. We are praying that all of the energy we have spent fighting and worrying about our son in the public school system can be placed in giving him what he needs to flourish and function in the real world.

It's going to be a big change for us, but one I think may change our lives for the best. Love reading the great advice here and seeing that we are not alone in this journey.

Anonymous said...

My son is 12.5 he was diagnosed with Aspergers a year ago by the state of Oregon . His Pediatrition and Sphichiatrist then agreed that this was a proper diagnoses. He was priorly diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD at age 8. I have know that he had difficultys from age 2 and struggled to get him help ever since. Fast forward to today- We are strugelling with his school. Theye made up there own diagnoses and said that he does NOT have Aspergers. They claim he is only Emotionaly Disturbed and will give him limited resorces based on this diagnoses. I'm OUTRAGED, He has to ride the little bus because of all the sencery issues on the big bus, He has a shortend day 2.5 hours because he will have a meltdown if he is there any longer, The room they gave him to take a brake in has florecent lighting and has other people in it so he realy gets no sensery brake, The teachers make a specticle out of him when he can't stop doing something and he ends up rolloing up in a carpet and eventualy running away from school. It is a nightmare for us! I leave work most days of the week to go pick him up because they can't handle him. I don't have these problems with him at home and we rearly have any meltdowns. I have my own learning dissabilitys and can't teach him at home. I moved my Hair Salon to my home so I can be here to take care of any problems he may have.
I despretly need to find a place that can educate him and be sensitive to his Aspergers! Im have no money to pay for a private school or tutor. Please help.

Anonymous said...

My wife has done a miraculous job with our son. He has an IEP for testing and additional time for homework and testing. He also, again thanks to my wife’s efforts, has an aid for most the day, since the first grade ( my son would like to be without the aid but the ESE coordinator at school thinks it is a good idea). Our son is in main stream courses and for his first two years of High School was in the marching Band and Jazz Band. The homework load because of after school practices and competitions was petty stressful for our son so he gave up marching band (I would have liked him to continue because there was a lot of socialization and it made him feel very good about himself performing before large crowds.)

For years he has had numerous meltdowns after school ( fortunately never at school, although he would take lots of unnecessary bathroom breaks and on one occasion ran away from the aid and hide in the bathroom). Our son is on no medications, except for 300mg of Trileptal twice a day( a left over from when he had seizures but now to help with OCD). He has difficulty with concentration and focus but we have not followed advise to put him Ritilan etc. The concentration required for school is hard work for him but he copes well at school. Doing homework is a big effort and we have tutors 4 days a week after school to help with homework. He also has instruction on weekends on bass guitar and trombone, which he enjoys. Our son has perfect pitch and can master any musical instrument, but is not proficient at reading music, which is why he is not in the Jazz band this year which is audition based. He is still in Concert Band and one day a week after school will be in a Jazz Combo at school.

We had thought without the stress of Marching Band that this would be an easy year after school. Again for years he has had meltdowns after school, sometimes starting in the car when my wife picks him up. We know the techniques for dealing with meltdowns and most times get our son though it, but my wife is really burnt out, many times reduced to tears by the time I get home from work. She is a full time advocate for my son in the public school system insisting that he be on tract for a regular diploma. The Tutors come about an hour and half after school and by then or because it is the Tutor the meltdown ends. In a mild meltdown there will just be a lot of perseverating. In a big one there will be door slamming clenched fists but thank g-d never hurting himself or others.

Yesterday was the first day of school and there was no stress accept there was a mix up on the location for one his classes, but his aid said he was fine all day. Just a little homework. Major meltdown when he got home which by the time I got home was over. Again we know the techniques for dealing with the melt down. What we do not know is how to teach our son coping skills so they do not occur.

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.”

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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