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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

Search MyAspergersChild.com

Aspergers Critical Issues: What Every Parent and Teacher Should Know

The following is "must have" information for parents and teachers who are dealing with an Aspergers (high functioning autism) child:

Characteristics of Aspergers—

1. Youngster with Aspergers have a neurological condition, which means that they are learning how to socialize and understand the thoughts and feelings of other people, have difficulty with a natural conversation, and can develop an intense fascination in a particular area of interest and be a little clumsy. These problems are best described as a combination of developmental delay and an unusual profile of abilities. Over time the youngster improves.

2. Another feature of Aspergers is delayed emotional maturity.

3. Aspergers is considered as part of the autistic continuum or spectrum and there is one language disorder that borders or overlaps this continuum.

4. Aspergers is not caused by emotional trauma, neglect or failing to love a youngster. The research studies have clearly established that Aspergers is a developmental disorder due to a dysfunction of specific structures and systems in the brain. These structures may not have fully developed due to chromosomal abnormalities.

5. Both educators and moms and dads agree that this youngster who looks normal and has normal intellectual ability, for some inexplicable reason does not seem able to understand and relate to their people at the level one would expect for their age.

6. They do not seem able to read people’s body language.

7. In contrast there can be a lack of motivation and attention for activities that would enthrall the others in a class, assessments that indicate specific learning difficulties, and motor clumsiness.

8. Intense fascination with special interests such as transportation, animals or science.

9. It is also important to recognize that the youngster with Aspergers does not simply have a mild form of autism, but a different expression of the condition.

10. It is important to exercise discretion with such confidential information!

11. One of the features of Aspergers is a difficulty understanding the thoughts of others. A consequence can be to falsely attribute malicious intent. The incident may have been an accident but interpreted as personal and intentional.

12. Other qualities of personality in a youngster with Aspergers include being honest, loyal, reliable, and forthright and having a strong moral code and sense of justice. Their cognitive qualities include an exceptional memory, enthusiasm and knowledge about their special interest, an original way of thinking, good imagination and remarkable ability to think using pictures.

13. The youngster may have a remarkable long-term memory, exceptional concentration when engaged in their special interest and have an original method of problem solving.

14. The major source of stress in life for the person with Aspergers is social contact, and increased stress generally leads to anxiety disorders and depression.

15. There may also be some concern that the youngster is socially withdrawn in the classroom, playground, and prone to teasing by other kids.

16. They often seem to lack what could be called social common sense.

Main Clinical Features—

1. Poor non-verbal communication
2. Pedantic, repetitive speech
3. Naïve, inappropriate, one-sided interaction
4. Little or no ability to form friendships
5. Lack of empathy
6. Intense absorption in certain subjects
7. Clumsy and ill-coordinated movements and odd postures

Social Behavior—

1. A common feature of Aspergers is a difficulty with self-disclosure (i.e., talking about one’s inner feelings). The youngster may clearly be upset but does not have the ability or the words to explain their feelings. A parent is left frustrated that they do not know why the youngster the youngster has such obvious anguish, and is therefore unable to provide appropriate sympathy and guidance.

2. Being detached from or having difficulty sensing the feelings of others; not looking at others; the inability to ‘give messages with their eyes’; and coming too close to others. Young kids are less aware of the concept of personal space, and when this is encroached, the degree of discomfort.

3. Eye contact breaks their concentration. There is also a failure to comprehend that the eyes convey information on a person’s mental state or feelings. Clearly, the youngster with Aspergers needs to learn the importance of looking at the face and eyes of the other person, not just locate them but to recognize and respond to the subtle cues given in facial expressions. The person may eventually learn when and how to use eye contact, but some only learn to make the attribute less obvious.

4. Older kids become aware of their isolation and, in time, are genuinely motivated to socialize with other kids of their age. However, it becomes apparent that their social play skills are immature and rigid and other kids often rebuff them.

5. Their manner can be misconceived as aggressive, aloof or indifferent and this can be a source of anxiety, especially for adults with Aspergers.

6. There is a strong preference to interact with adults who are far more interesting, knowledgeable and more tolerant and accommodating of their lack of social awareness.

7. They often prefer to be left alone to continue their activity uninterrupted.

8. To include other kids is to risk an alternative script, interpretation or conclusion – that is, you have to share and cope with different ideas. The youngster is not interested in doing the activities other kids want to do and is not inclined to explain what they are doing.

9. When involved in joint play, there can be a tendency to impose or dictate the activity. Social contact is tolerated as long as the other kids play their game according to their rules. Sometimes social interaction is avoided not simply because of lack of social play skills, but because of a desire to have complete control over the activity.

Codes of Conduct—

1. It is essential that other people understand that the youngster is not being rude, but did not know a more tactful alternative or appreciate the effect on other people.

2. Other kids are determined to bend or break the rules, but the youngster with Aspergers is intent on enforcing them.

3. The youngster may appear ill-mannered; for example a youngster trying to get his mother’s attention said, ‘Hey you!’ Apparently unaware of more appropriate means of addressing his mother in public. The youngster, being impulsive and not aware of the consequences, says the first thing that came into their mind.

4. The youngster of Aspergers does not seem to be aware of the unwritten rules of social conduct and will inadvertently say or do things that may offend or annoy other people.

What Educators Can Do--

1. A common dilemma faced by moms and dads and educators is the youngster’s lack of motivation for any activity they suggest. However, the youngster has enormous motivation and attention when engaged in their special interest. The strategy here is to incorporate the interest in the activity that is non-motivating or perceived as boring. Also, the youngster can gain access to the special interest by complying.

2. Ask the youngster to repeat aloud your instruction if you suspect your speech was perceived as unintelligible.

3. Be aware of two characters. The youngster may be very conscious of the necessity to follow the codes of conduct in the classroom and try to be inconspicuous and behave like other kids. This pressure to conform and retain self-control can lead to enormous emotions tension, which, like a compressed spring, is release when the youngster reaches home. There the youngster is a different character, almost a Jekyll and Hyde. This is a feature of some kids with Aspergers and not necessarily an indication of the moms and dads being unable to manage their youngster. It will help for the classroom teacher to have a range of relaxing or solitary activities for the youngster just before they return home. Moms and dads may also consider a period of relaxation or energetic activities when the youngster some home to dissolve ether tension from a long day at school.

4. Kids with Aspergers seem to evoke the maternal or predatory instinct in others. Kids with this syndrome often lack subtlety in retaliating. Other kids would wait for an appropriate moment to respond without being caught. The youngster with Aspergers can also lack sufficient empathy and self-control to moderate the degree of injury. They are in blind fury that gets them into trouble. The teacher sees the youngster being aggressive and may not be aware of the taunt that precipitated the anger.

5. Encourage cooperative games. There is a range of classroom activities that involve small groups of kids working as a team. The youngster may need supervision and guidance on turn taking, allowing others a fir opportunity and incorporating their suggestions.

6. Encourage prospective friendships. Kids in the classroom have their own personality and it may take considerable time for the youngster with Aspergers to learn how to interact with each one. It may help initially to identify and encourage interaction with a restricted number of kids who are keen to help the youngster learn how to play with them. They may become their guardians when teased or bullied by other kids. They are likely to include them in their games, act as their advocate in the classroom, and remind or instruct the person on what to-do or say when the teacher is not available. It is remarkable how supportive and tolerant some young kids can be.

7. Explain alternative means of seeking help. The young youngster can consider the teacher as the only source of knowledge and assistance. It is important to explain that when a problem arises, help can be requested and obtained from other kids rather than always referring to the teacher.

8. It is important that educators are aware of auditory sensitivity and try to minimize the level of sudden noises, reduce the background conversation of others and avoid specific sounds known to be perceived as unbearably intense. This will reduce the person’s level of anxiety and enable them to concentrate and socialize.

9. Model how to relate to the youngster. Other kids in the class are often unsure how to react to the youngster’s unusual social behavior. They will look to the teacher as their first model. Therefore it is essential that the teacher demonstrate tolerance, tuition in social skills and encouragement, as their approach will be amplified within the classroom. IT is also important to recognize and acclaim occasions when classmates are particularly supportive.

10. Provide supervision at break times and in the playground. For most ordinary kids, the best time in the school day is free play in the playground. However, a lack of structure and supervision and an atmosphere of intense socializing and noise are often not enjoyable for the youngster with Aspergers. At this time they area they’re least skilled and most vulnerable. They playground supervisors will need to know the difficulties faced by the youngster and encourage their inclusion or respect their need for solitude. The person may also be vulnerable while traveling on transport to and from school and need supervision during these times.

11. Self-control can be strengthened by the traditional approaches of stopping and courting to ten, talking a deep breath and reminding oneself to be calm. Words not actions are appropriate to express anger, etc.

12. Several months before the end of the last term, the new teacher should observe the youngster in the class and the strategies used by their current teacher.

13. Some kids will not try a new activity if they have the slightest suspicion they will fail or there is the slightest hint of disappointment. The teacher needs to adopt an encouraging attitude, avoiding any suggestions of criticism. When an error occurs it is also best not to avoid the emotion of compassion but quietly and assertively provide guidance, explaining it is not the youngster’s fault, the task really is difficult.

14. Teacher aid time. As many of the skills outlined in this book are rarely taught as specific component so the school curriculum, it is essential that the young youngster with Aspergers has access to a teacher aid to facilitate individual and small group tuition to improve social behavior. The amount of hours necessary depends on the youngster, but the aide will require guidance on the nature of Aspergers and remedial programs.

15. There is also the problem of other kids taking advantage of their naivety. It is important that educators are aware that there may be no mischievous intent and ask the youngster, “Did anyone tell you to do this?’ before considering punishment.

16. Use other kids as cues to indicate what to do. The youngster may be disruptive or intrusive as they are not aware of the codes of conduct for the classroom. When errors occur, remember to ask the youngster to first look at what the other kids are doing – for example, sitting still, working silently or waiting in an orderly line. Inform the youngster that what they must do is observe the other kids and copy what they are doing; assuming what they are doing is appropriate.

17. A teacher aid may be required for a youngster. Their role is crucial and complex but their main responsibilities are to:

• Enable the youngster to cope with their auditory sensitivity
• Encourage conversation skills
• Encourage the youngster to be sociable, flexible, and cooperative when playing or working with other kids
• Encourage the understanding of the perspectives and thoughts of others
• Help the youngster to develop and apply special interests as a means of improving motivation, talent and knowledge
• Help the youngster to recognize the codes of conduct
• Implement a program to improve gross and fine motor skills
• Provide remedial tuition for specific learning problems
• Provide tuition on feelings and friendships

What Parents Should Look For In a School and Teacher—

1. A keen sense of humor will help. At time the youngster is likely to enchant them, and a moment later totally confuse them.

2. An interesting feature of Aspergers is the variability in expression of the signs from day to day. On a good day the youngster concentrates, conforms, and socializes and learns reasonable well. But on other days they seem to be self-absorbed, and lack confidence and ability. On such days its best to concentrate on revision of well-practiced and successful activities, and be patient until the ‘tide recedes’ and the youngster can progress once more.

3. If the teacher and youngster are compatible, then this will reflect in the attitude of other kids in the class. If the teacher is supportive then the other kids will amplify this approach. If they are critical and would prefer the youngster were excluded, other kids will adopt and express this attitude.

4. Educators need to have a calm disposition, be predictable in their emotional reactions, flexible with their curriculum, and see the positive side of the youngster.

5. The most important attributes are the personality and ability of the class teacher, and their access to support and resources. The youngster with Aspergers is quite a challenge.

6. What is important is the size of the classroom. Open plan and noisy classrooms are best avoided. The kids respond well to a quiet, well-ordered class with an atmosphere of encouragement rather than criticism.

Friendship—

1. It is important that the young youngster with Aspergers be encouraged to share, invite someone to join their activity, and make positive initiatives of what to do.

2. The next natural state occurs between the ages of five and eight years. Kids start to understand that there is an element of reciprocity needed to maintain a friendship. Kids with Aspergers who are at this stage of development of the concept of friendship need to learn to make compliments about their prospective friend, to show caring and concern and to help others in both practical matters and activities at school such as peer tutoring.

3. The third stage is in the pre-adolescent period from nine to thirteen years. Around this stage there is a clear gender split and friendships is based on similarity, shared exploration, emotional support and increasing awareness of how they might be viewed by others.

4. The fourth stage occurs during adolescents where friendship is based on trust, higher levels of self-disclosure and greater emphasis on mutual or admired aspects of personality.

5. They usually need advice on the changing needs and demands of friendships and need to identify with their own heroes and small circle of potential friends.

6. They can become withdrawn and solitary when in a group.

7. It is not impossible for adolescents with Aspergers to find and maintain friendships that can last a lifetime. That they require is opportunity and support.

8. The person may have to memorize or write down key facts about each friend, such that when they see them or talk to them on the telephone they have a ready script of topics of conversation, with questions as “how is…?”

9. One way of making friends is to join clubs or association based on the person’s special interest.

10. Guidelines for relating to an adolescent Aspergers youngster: “never to assume without asking that I thought, felt, or understood anything merely because she would have such thoughts, feelings, or understanding in connection with my circumstances or behavior; and never to assume without asking that I didn’t think, feel or understand merely because I was not acting the way she would act in connection with such thoughts, feelings, or understanding. In other words, she learned to ask instead of trying to guess.”

11. They do not realize that there are different behavioral codes for various levels of relationships. The person my not comprehend why we behave differently according to the company.

What Parents Can Do—

1. Play with the youngster, practicing social games. The idea is not only to improve competence with the activity, but also to model what is supposed to be said and done, and how to include the other person. Sometimes even the most basic rules have to be explained.

2. Social Skills Groups are helpful for adolescents.

3. There is a large variety of school projects, books, and activities that encourage kids to explore the concept of what makes a good friend, and these are an essential part of the curriculum for kids with Aspergers. It is also important to identify natural instances of friendship, with the comment, ‘that was a friendly thing to do’ – or ask the youngster, ‘what should a friend do in such a circumstance’.

4. Regularly model self-disclosure, that is, tell the person of their emotional reactions and thoughts during the day, and then use leading questions such as ‘Did you feel angry at school today?’ or ‘Did you feel disappointed?’ This will provide an appropriate context and vocabulary to prompt self-disclosure.

5. Given the opportunity to listen to music several times a day can significantly reduce abnormal responses to sound.

6. It’s important to increase the person’s work experience from an early age, perhaps with a newspaper or leaflet delivery, and voluntary work.

7. Employers also need to understand the difficulties faced by the person with Aspergers so that their workload and workspace accommodates their characteristics.

8. Observe the youngster when playing with other kids and make a note of specific skills that will have to be taught. Some common ones are:

• Enroll the youngster in clubs
• Explain what you should have done
• Flexibility, cooperation and sharing
• How to avoid social play
• How to start, maintain and end the play
• Invite a friend to the house

9. For those who have a successful outcome, the following have been some important factors:

• A mentor, that is, a teacher, relative, or professional who understands the persona and provides guidance and inspiration.
• A natural recovery. As much as there are late walkers or talkers, there can be late socializes, although late can be by several decades.
• A partner who provides support, affection, and commitment to the person. They compensate for their peculiarities and camouflage their difficulties.
• Eventually coming to terms with their strengths and deficits and no longer wanting to become someone they cannot be, and realizing they have qualities others admire.
• Success at work or in their special interest, thus offsetting the challenges in the person’s social life. Social success eventually becomes less important in one’s life. Success is not measure by companionship but by achievement.

Emotions—

1. A confusing feature of Aspergers is that sometimes a mild distress is expressed as giggling, as in saying ‘you either laugh or you cry’. Here the youngster does not have a perverted sense of humor, just an expressive system that lacks subtlety and precision. Occasionally the inappropriate laughter appears quite bazaar, perhaps upon hearing a certain word or phrase that produces almost hysterical laugher.

2. Kids with Aspergers are often very stoic, enduring pain with little evidence in their body language and speech that they may actually be experience agony.

3. Lack of sympathy: An Aspergers does not completely lack the ability to care for others. It is more that they can be confused by the emotions of others or has difficulty expressing their own feelings.

Language—

1. Abstractions and a lack of precision are rarely tolerated, and one learns to avoid comments or replies using words such as maybe, perhaps, sometimes or later. (“Uncertainty causes a lot of inner distress.”)

2. Being lost for words may be due to a high level of anxiety. There the problem is not strictly impairment in language skills, but the effect of emotion on the ability to speak.

3. For adolescents, the curriculum for speech and drama classes can be modified to isolate, illustrate and practice the key elements of good conversation skills.

4. Here the youngster needs to learn how to explain their confusion and seek clarification.

5. One of the potentially infuriating aspects of Aspergers is a tendency to interrupt. The person has difficulty identifying the cues for when to start talking.

6. Pragmatics or Art of Conversation: The young youngster requires tuition in the art of conversation. This includes conventional opening statements or comments and questions appropriate to the context.

7. Role-plays and speech and drama exercises can be used to explain how and why the emphasis changes.

8. Some kids talk to themselves or “vocalize their thoughts”. First the youngster may be less influenced by peers to be quiet, or less concerned at appearing different. The vocalizations may also be a constructive purpose or be reassuring. It’s important to find out why the person talks to himself or herself.

9. The youngster may talk too much or too little, lack cohesion to the conversation and have an idiosyncratic use of words and patterns of speech.

10. The youngster’s curriculum also needs to include guidance using stories that illustrate the cues for comments of sympathy or a change of the script.

11. The differences are primarily in specific areas of pragmatics (i.e., how language is used in a social context); semantics (i.e., not recognizing there may be several meanings); and prosody (i.e., an unusual pitch, stress, or rhythm).

12. The person with Aspergers also has a strong desire not to appear stupid.

13. Other areas where the youngster may have difficulty:

• Coping with uncertainty or mistakes
• Knowing when not to interrupt
• Overcoming a tendency to make irrelevant comments
• Repairing a conversation

Motor Clumsiness—

1. Balance may affect the youngster’s ability to use some adventure playground equipment, and actives in the gymnasium. The youngster may need practice and encouragement with activities that require balancing.

2. One of the consequences of not being good at ball games is the exclusion of the youngster from some of the most popular social games in the playground. They may avoid such activities because they know they lack competence, or are deliberately excluded because they are a liability to the team. From an early age, moms and dads need to provide tuition and practice in ball skills, not to be an exceptional sportsperson, but to ensure the youngster has basic competence to the included in the games.

3. The youngster is also aware of the poor quality of their handwriting and may be reluctant to engage in activities that involve extensive writing.

4. There is increasing evidence that some kids and adults with autism and Aspergers develop signs of Tourette syndrome. The signs fall into three major categories: motor, vocal and behavioral. Should any of these characteristics become apparent then it is essential that the person be referred to a psychiatrist or neurologist for diagnosis of this syndrome.

5. They youngster may well require assessment by an occupational therapist and remedial exercises, but modern technology can help minimize this problem. Kids with Aspergers are often very skilled at suing the computers and keyboard and the youngster could have special dispensation to type rather than write homework and examination.

6. They have lax joint and rhythm problems.

7. Ungainly or ‘puppet’ like walking or running can be quite conspicuous and other kids may tease the youngster, leading to reluctance to participate in running sports and physical education at school.

8. When the youngster attends school, the teacher may be concerned about their poor handwriting and lack of aptitude in school sports. In adolescence a small minority develop facial tics, that is, involuntary spasm of muscles of the face, or rapid blinking and occasional grimaces.

Interests and Routines—

1. “Set routines, times, particular routes and rituals all help to get order into an unbearably chaotic life.”

2. A common aspiration for people with Aspergers is not to appear stupid. One way to indicate intelligence is to deliver a monologue that includes technical terms unfamiliar to the listener.

3. Greater success has been achieved by limiting the time spent engaged in the activity using a clock or timer. When the timer goes off, the activity must cease. However, it is essential that the person is then encouraged to so some other activity.

4. One of the reasons computers are so appealing is not only that you do not have to talk to or socialize with them, but that they are logical, consistent, and not prone to moods. Thus, they are an ideal interest for the person with Aspergers.

5. People with Aspergers often have difficulty establishing and coping with the changing patterns and expectations in daily life.

6. Routine appears to be imposed to make life predictable and to impose order, as novelty, chaos or uncertainty are intolerable. It also acts as a means of reducing anxiety. Thus, the establishment of a routine ensures there is no opportunity for change.

7. The youngster may also benefit from having a personal tutor in their area of interest.

8. There appears to be a developmental sequence in the nature of the interests, and the next stage is a fascination with a topic rather than an object. Common topics are transport (especially trains and trucks), dinosaurs, electronics, and science.

Cognition—

1. Aspies prefer factual, nonfiction reading.

2. Kids with Aspergers are primarily individuals rather than natural team members. Team situations can be particularly stressful.

3. Cognition is the process of knowing and includes thinking, learning, memory, and imagination.

4. Once the person’s mind is on a particular ‘track’, they appear unable to change, even if the track is clearly wrong or going nowhere. On these occasions it is best to just agree to have a different opinion.

5. One of the unfortunate characteristics associate with this inflexibility is being less able to learn from mistakes. Moms and dads and educators may report that the youngster continues to preserver with the activity, have a ‘mental block’ and not changing their strategies if they are not working. An often hear phrase is ‘he doesn’t learn from his consequences’. The youngster must be encouraged to stop and think of another way or ask for assistance from the teacher or another youngster.

6. People with Aspergers appear to have a predominantly visual style of thinking. The disadvantage of this way of thinking is that so much of schoolwork is presented for a verbal way of thinking.

7. People with Aspergers appear to have some difficulty conceptualizing and appreciating the thoughts and feelings of another person.

8. Solitary imaginative play can appear remarkably creative, but there are occasions when careful observation identifies that the action and dialogue can be a perfect duplication of the original source.

9. They have the lack of ‘central drive for coherence’ that is, an inability to see the relevance of different types of knowledge to a particular problem. For example, having taken the favorite toy of another youngster without permission and then asked how they think the youngster will feel, the youngster can give an appropriate answer, yet this thought appeared not to be in their mind when they took the toy. Thus, the knowledge was available, but was not recognized as relevant.

10. They may have only one approach to a problem and need tuition in thinking of alternatives. Game: ‘What else could it be?’ or ‘Is there another way you could do that?’

11. When the youngster undertakes a formal intellectual assessment their overall IQ can be disappointingly lower than expected. This is due to their relative weakness on other test items, especially comprehension, picture arrangement and absurdities. The youngster can be remarkably competent with recalling information and defining words, but relatively less able at problem solving. As the youngster ages, tests, of intelligence and schoolwork increasingly rely on problem solving abilities.

Sensory Sensitivity—

1. For some time we have known that kids with autism can be very sensitive to particular sounds and forms of touch yet lack sensitivity to low levels of pain.

2. One or several sensory systems are affected such that ordinary sensations are perceived as unbearably intense. The mere anticipation of an experience can lead to intense anxiety or panic.

3. Three types of noise that are perceived as extremely intense:

• Confusing, complex or multiple sounds such as occur in shopping centers or noisy social gatherings
• High-pitched, continuous noise from small electronic motors used in kitchen, bathroom, garden equipment
• Sudden, unexpected noises such as dog barking, telephone ringing, coughing

Games to Teach Emotions—

1. A game of feeling hats can be used as a group activity. An emotion is written on a chard that is pinned to a hat. Each youngster chooses and puts on a hat with its associated emotions and shares times when they have had those feelings.

2. Another game uses feeling masks with each participant acting the motion portrayed on a mask, or the game Simon Says, adapted to include feelings.

3. How would you know when someone is sad? What could you do or say to help them feel better? Here the youngster learns to read cues and what to do when you recognize them. The ‘sad’ scrapbook can also be used to determine why the youngster may be sad, when there is a lack of verbal fluency to use speech to describe feelings.

4. List all the words that describe the different levels of happiness.

5. Mr. Face Game, which comprises a blank face and selection of different eyes, eyebrows and mouths that are attached to the face with Velcro. (Elmo Computer Game) The youngster has to choose the components to portray a designated emotion.

6. Older kids can ask their classmates and adults what makes them happy, demonstrating individual preferences and differences.

7. Other emotional states can be introduced, particularly anger, anxiety and frustration as well as more positive emotions such as pride, jealousy or embarrassment. A workbook can be designed to explore the events and thoughts that elicit a particular emotion in the youngster, and alternative responses. “What makes you feel…? What can you do when you feel? I am angry because…?

8. The concept can also extend to drawings, choice of colors, music etc.

9. The teacher or parent models a particular level of happiness in their body language, tone of voice, face, etc. And ask the youngster, “How do I feel?” …“Do I feel a little bit happy or very happy”? This activity explores the different levels of expression.

10. Worksheets can be constructed (e.g., a drawing or photograph of someone opening their Christmas presents where the youngster has to complete a question and answer exercise).

11. You can find pictures for a scrapbook or collage that illustrate happy faces as well as events that make people or the youngster happy.

12. Make a workbook to explore the appropriate emotional and linguistic responses to specific situations. How would you feel and what can you say or do if:

• A friend says you know so much about computers
• Someone criticizes your handwriting
• Someone makes fun of your clothes
• You forget your lunch but a friend offers to share his lunch with you
• You smile and say hello, but the other person ignores you
• You study hard for a test and get low marks

==> NOTE: Parents are advised to copy and print the above information and give it to their Aspergers child's teacher(s).

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much. Printed this out and gave to son's teacher.

Marie

Alex said...

This was really very informative post, thanks so much, will share with all my teacher friends.
Alex

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Hutten for your web site and support. I have ordered your ebooks and hope to obtain great success with my Aspergers/bipolar/Odd teen. Alot of the information appears useful and I can not wait for his return home from the IRT placement to begin all the steps that your book has provided us with. Again thank you for your site and newsletters they give a struggling mom like myself hope which I was lacking before.
Mia

Anonymous said...

Really great article with very interesting information. You might want to follow up to this topic!?! 2011

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.

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here
to read the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content