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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You Have Just Discovered Your Child Has Aspergers – Now What?!

There is really no other way to begin other than immersing yourself in your youngster's treatment. While it may be painful to say goodbye to the youngster you thought you had (i.e., a “typical” child with “quirks” rather than some “disorder”), you can say hello now to the youngster who needs you just as much - if not more - as you get to know his unique personality and development, and you can fall in love with your newly-diagnosed youngster with Aspergers (high functioning autism) all over again in ways you could have never imagined.

In the beginning, be sure to look at your grief. It doesn't help to pretend to be positive when underneath you may be lonely, afraid or sad. The longing for the typical youngster or a typical existence may endure. You have to learn to live with that yearning.

Take some breaks for yourself. Your child’s treatment is important – but it isn't everything! As you get involved in the Aspergers community, your isolation will lessen. Granted, it is not what you were expecting, but just like your youngster, it can be very rewarding and meaningful.

The initial period of learning about Aspergers and all of the necessary therapies and treatments can be isolating. We, as parents, are also often sad at first, or angry that our life with a youngster who has Aspergers is different than the one we dreamed of and different than the lives of most of those we see around us. Our ideal world is often very different from the world we actually live in. Still, there are many ways to work towards making your life more of how you want it to be.

Depending upon the functioning level of your Aspie, there are many parent groups to join, special sports teams to coach, and class activities that you can be a part of. Sometime the issue reflects difficulty in accepting who your youngster is with his specific challenges and abilities. It may not feel normal or coincide with the dream you had for how your life would turn out.

As you begin to get more involved in the Aspergers community, there will be more activity and company of others. This involvement often helps to make moms and dads feel more normal as it ironically provides more chances for typical activity and interaction with others. Over time, life and ideals change, and you will begin to dream new dreams for your real world.

It seems we always want the ones we love the most to understand us …our feelings, our life choices, our kids. Sometimes this is way more difficult than we would wish. Keep in mind that you are the expert on your youngster, and you know the best ways to deal with him. The truth is, if you are doing the best you can, you really don't have to prove anything to other family members or to anybody else.

In time, other family members will develop their own relationship with your Aspergers child and will hopefully follow your lead on some of the important learning and relationship issues. If you find that other family members and friends are negative around your child, or act in ways that negate his growth or self-esteem, then you may want to limit their interaction while you gently model more helpful ways to deal with your child and continue to share new or interesting articles/information on Aspergers. This heartfelt process often takes longer than we think it should – steady persistence is paramount.

Note: Acceptance-levels vary among parents. When their child is recently diagnosed with Aspergers, some parents come to acceptance almost immediately -- and even feel a sense of relief that there is a name for what has been going on. Other parents need more time to arrive at acceptance, and that's O.K. Then there are a few parents who seem to never accept the fact that their child has special needs and struggle with the diagnosis for a life-time.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said. We were in the first group. Our first son is "neurotypical" and second has Asperger's. It's been a challenge @ times, but often times, they bring out the best in all of us. I wouldn't change it for the world!

Anonymous said...

my son is 6yr and he has aspergers and adhd. his two brother (one older and one younger) dont understand really. but its fine. i wouldnt want it any other way. seeing what he has been thru gives me strength for my goals to go back to school.

Anonymous said...

I actually felt relief when I recently got my 14 yr old daughters diagnosis .... It was my moment of of saying I was right all along
23 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

I also had a "whew!" moment because I was convinced her issues stemmed from lack of parenting ability. I tried so many different things and she just didn't respond normally at all. when we got the diagnosis it all made sense, even if it didn't change her behavior, it changed the way we interpreted it and that has made so much difference.

Anonymous said...

No grief here,well,not much that is.Always knew she was very special even before birth.It is however a very big job.Holidays are not much fun as she is very anxious.

Anonymous said...

It has been just over a year since diagnosis. It took awhile to accept and I am not sure that I have truly accepted it. There are days that are difficult but there are also days where I things run smoothly. D is such an amazing boy with talents and skills that mesmerize me all the time. He sees things differently and he challenges me all the time. But , he is a gift my gift
17 hours ago · Like

Anonymous said...

My 19 year old daughter went undiagnosed her whole life, until a doctor mentioned that there was a high possibility that she had Asperger's. I was really confused and denied that she was handicapped. But surprisingly, my daughter went and researched everything about the disorder, and she seemed to finally be at peace with her past troubles and trauma in public school (she was bullied).

She found some clarity as to why she was so different back then and now. So if she accepts it, I'm learning to accept it too. I love my children no matter what happens and will always support them 100%, even if one of them needs a little more assistance in life.

Anonymous said...

I have just had the diagnosis this week so a bit unsure what happens now. Would appreciate any guidance and also my child is 7 do things get more challenging or stay the same.

Karla Velazquez said...

I have half a year with the knowledge that the school psephologist diagnosed my son with the aspergers syndrome, but now what he is in special needs class but that does not really help at home I dont know how to work with him properly and I am dont have any resources here. What do I do next to get help?

Karla Velazquez said...

I have 6 months now with the diagnoses that my 6 year old has aspergers according to the school physiologist but I dont know what the next step is. He is in a special needs class but that does not change the behavior at home I dont know what the next step is if any one can help

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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