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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How to Reduce School Anxiety in Aspergers Children

For some Aspergers children, school can be a tense and fearsome place. Kids with special needs in particular may have problems understanding what is expected of them. They may (a) face painful social exclusion, and (b) find the work confusing and stressful.

As a mother or father, your instinct is to charge in on a white horse and slay those dragons. But often, a listening ear, a sympathetic word and a reassuring pat on the back will be a bigger help.

10 Tips for Reducing School Anxiety—

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 youngster, whether in the car, on a walk, during mealtimes, or just before bed. Some children 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. Resist the urge to fix everything. There are some instances in which moms and dads do have to take action. If your Aspergers 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 an educator or peer is truly harassing your youngster, you will want to follow up with that. But you'll also want to teach him that some things in life just have to be dealt with, even though they stink. Fix only what's really badly broken.

4. Know when to get help. Most Aspergers 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.

5. 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 grown-up 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.

6. 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.

7. Be aware that nearly all Aspergers children 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.

8. 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.

9. Ask, "What three things are you most excited about?" Most children 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 he really enjoys about school that simply get drowned-out by all the scary stuff. Bring those good things out into the light.

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

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns at Home and School

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice, i suggest webmaster can set up a forum, so that we can talk and communicate.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that their is a group like this.I live in a very enclosed community of ignorant southerners n very anxious about getting my son into the public school system next year.Although, it is a ways a way I am very nervous about it.Their may be alot of awareness as to Autism itself,but there is still ALOT of ignorance about it...Aspergers specifically has alot of challenges I believe.My son has ADHD and Aspergers,and is currently on medicine to regulate his ADHD tendencies.He is one of those kids who will most likely to keep his on the focused path or he'd be a monkey mess.I am still new to this,and at times I feel like I am ready to put every hair shaft out of my head! It's very frustrating at the sam time rewarding.PLEASE keep posting more informational posts for parents like me in need how to get through this.Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark ,
Thank you for all your great information.
I was wondering if you have any advice on flying with a aspergers child. Lilly is 6yrs and is
already worrying about the noise of the plane. we looking into getting sound clearance earmuffs. We flying from Cape Town to Dubai direct. We depart late afternoon and land at 12:50am. I was thinking of asking our Dr for something to get them to sleep.
Thanks
Tish

Anonymous said...

Rather than earmuffs, you may want to consider headphones (not earbuds) with some calming music (or whatever your daughter enjoys listening to)... anything that is distracting and can keep her occupied. One small dose of a diazepam (smallest dose possible - one tablet) works wonders as well.

Mark

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.

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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. The hardest part is you feel like you’ll never actually get to know your child and how he/she views the world.

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