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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Married to an Aspie: Advice for the Neurotypical Spouse

Many “neurotypical” spouses (i.e., the spouse without Aspergers) often feel overly responsible for their Aspergers partner; however, it is important to acknowledge that there is choice connected to that responsibility.

If you choose to take on responsibility for others, decide on how much - and when - you feel it is appropriate.

Tips for the non-Aspergers partner:

1. Acknowledging that your Aspergers spouse will “not get better” or be “transformed” into the person you thought he was can sometimes help with your tolerance level. Certain behavior can be modified or changed, which can make daily life less stressful for both you and your Aspie. For example, routines and agreed timetables can help, as can looking at how you talk and what language is used. With acceptance of the condition come a range of other issues, such as grief and the realization of what is not going to be. For some, there will be a feeling of disappointment, loss and unfulfilled potential. Talking to a counselor can really help. They can listen and empower you to explore the issues, emotions and choices.

2. Do not leave ambiguity in your statements, and do not assume your wishes or emotions are acknowledged and understood. For example, it may not be enough to remind your Aspie that you have family over for a meal. You may need to go through the evening in detail, explaining what you want him to do, and not do (e.g., greet everyone once, and don’t go to bed before the guests leave, etc.).

3. Know that you are not alone (although it may often feel as though this is the case). Professionals are getting better at recognizing the condition and developing appropriate service – although this will often seem too slow for many needing help now. Use what help is available through a partner support group and/or counseling.

4. Often times, neurotypical partners spend so much time looking after others that their own needs are not acknowledged by themselves or others. Decide what you want and how you can get it (e.g., where can you go for conversation, support, etc.). Take time out to pamper yourself – whatever helps to relieve your stress.

5. Try and see what structures may help and what may hinder. For example, it might be important to agree how meal times will be conducted (e.g., sitting down together at the table). To be rigid on all times (e.g., we will eat at 6pm) may be more difficult if you cannot always meet the schedule (e.g., dinner at 6.15pm may cause stress to both of you).

6. Aspergers is a complex condition, and it is important that your source of moral support is informed and understanding of these complexities. The benefit in talking to someone who understands many facets of Aspergers should not be under-estimated.

7. Ending the relationship is certainly an option. It is important to get legal advice so that you understand the financial and practical implications of separation. Advice from a legal professional is exactly that – it does not mean you have to leave; it can just help eliminate the unknown. Counseling can be helpful in making the right decision about whether or not to file for divorce.

Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would love to find a support group that addresses the needs of us NT's that are both married to an aspie and parenting an aspie. Some days aren't too bad/hard. Other days are enormously crushing and exhausting for all of us. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

"Parenting Aspergers Children Support Group" is a support group for NT parents !

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.”

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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. 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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