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

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Coping With Difficult Child-Behavior: Tips for Parents of Aspergers Children

"My Aspergers child’s behavior is often very difficult to understand. And since I don’t really understand a lot of his behavior, it makes it difficult to think of an intervention to change it. Why does he over-react to certain things (e.g., flipping into an intense temper tantrum when asked to put his Legos away -- even when I ask him nicely), and what can I do to help?"

There is a range of reasons why kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have difficulties with behavior. The world can be a confusing, isolating and daunting place for your youngster, and it is his fundamental difficulties with communication and social interaction that are often the root cause of difficult behavior. There are some other possible reasons, too.

It's important to say that your youngster's behavior is not caused by bad parenting – and is not your fault. It may seem as though your youngster's difficult behavior is only directed at you - especially if it tends to happen at home, not at school. You are not the only parent in this situation, although sometimes it can feel that way.

Reasons for behavior:

1. Bullying— Unfortunately, kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can be at more risk of being bullied than their peers. If you notice a sudden change in your youngster’s behavior, see if there has been any reported bullying or teasing in school. Your youngster may find it difficult to tell you if they have been bullied (not all kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism even recognize what bullying is) so you might need to play detective.

2. Change— Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can find it difficult to cope with change, whether a temporary change to their timetable at school, or a more permanent change such as moving house. You may find that your youngster's behavior alters at times of change, but settles as he/she becomes used to a new environment or routine.

3. Communication— Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can experience a number of difficulties with communication: (a) understanding what's being said to them (i.e., receptive language), (b) understanding non-verbal communication (e.g., facial expressions, body language), and (c) communicating with others (i.e., expressive language). Because of these difficulties, Aspergers kids can find it hard to communicate their needs or to understand what other people are saying to them, or asking them to do. This can cause considerable frustration and anxiety which, if it can't be expressed any other way, may result in challenging behavior.

4. Medical reasons— If your youngster's behavior suddenly changes for the worse, check that there isn't a medical reason for the distress. Kids can find it difficult to tell parents how they're feeling or where something hurts, even if their verbal communication is generally good. Some kids have seizures that can cause irritability and confusion, or gastrointestinal problems which may be painful. Parents can try using a pain chart to help the youngster indicate where he/she is feeling discomfort. Alternatively, some moms and dads use symbols to help their youngster indicate where the pain is.

5. Sensory processing difficulties— Many kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have difficulties processing sensory information. For example, kids may not be able to manage some tastes or food textures, or find that someone touching them - even lightly - is painful. Certain smells, lights or sounds can be distressing. Some kids may find it difficult to block-out background noise and what they experience as excessive visual information. Instead, sounds, lights and other sights are all processed at the same level of intensity and lead to sensory overload. You may find that your youngster starts a repetitive behavior in stressful environments (e.g., hand-flapping, spinning) to try and block-out external sensory information. Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can be very sensitive to subtle changes in their environment. If there's a sudden change in behavior, think about whether there has been a recent change in the environment.

6. Social situations— Communication difficulties can impact on how Aspergers kids deal with social situations. They may find social situations very demanding or stressful because they have to work hard to communicate with other people. Not all kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism will understand that other people hold different views from theirs. This may also make social situations difficult. Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism may not understand 'social rules' (i.e., unwritten rules that govern social situations), such as how close to stand to other people or how to take a turn in conversation. This is especially true if kids find themselves in a new, unfamiliar situation. Therefore, social situations can be daunting and unpredictable. Some kids may engage in a particular behavior to try and avoid social contact.

7. Unstructured time— Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can find 'sequencing' difficult (i.e., putting what is going to happen in a day in a logical order in their mind). Many kids have timetables so they can see what is going to happen, when, and plan for it. However, unstructured time (e.g., break times at school), which can be noisy and chaotic, may be difficult to deal with. This is because it's difficult for kids to predict what will happen and how they are expected to behave. You may find that behavioral difficulties occur more in transition times between lessons or activities. Abstract concepts such as time aren't easy to understand, and kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism may find it hard to wait. It helps if you can be clear about why and for how long you are waiting (e.g., “We have to wait for five minutes, until 10.30. This is because the doctor can see us at 10.30.”).

Your child behaves the way he does for a particular reason...

In other words, he is trying to accomplish something (or avoid something). Here are two questions to ask yourself when looking at a particular aspect of your youngster's behavior:
  • What is the function of this behavior?
  • What is my youngster trying to tell me by his behavior?

Think of your child’s behavior as an iceberg. The behavior you are actually seeing is the tip of the iceberg, but there's a lot more going on under the surface. Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can't always express their feelings through facial expressions, body language or speech. Instead, they may be expressed through other behaviors. Your youngster might be trying to tell you she is tired, stressed, annoyed by something that happened earlier, or in need of some time alone.

It can be useful to use a behavior diary to try and find out what triggers a particular behavior. This helps you to monitor the behavior over time and see what the possible causes are (e.g., if always happens at the end of the day when your youngster is tired after school). One way of recording behavior is an ABC chart. On this, you record the Antecedent (i.e., what happened beforehand, who was there, where your youngster was), the Behavior itself, and the Consequence (i.e., what happened following the behavior). By identifying potential triggers for the behavior, it can be easier to come up with ways of preventing it from happening in the future. Interventions are more likely to be successful if they address either the cause or the function of the behavior.

When trying to tackle behavioral difficulties, select at the most two behaviors to focus on at a time. Using too many new strategies with your youngster at once may result in none of them working. You could write down all the behaviors you're concerned about then prioritize them, choosing the two most important ones to concentrate on first. Don't worry if things get worse before they get better. Your youngster might at first resist change. This is a normal reaction when kids want things to stay the same and try hard to see that they do. It's important to continue with the strategies you are using and be consistent.

Ways to deal with behavior problems:

1. Be patient. Your youngster's behavior generally won't change overnight. You may find it useful to track your youngster's behavior in a diary; then it may be easier to notice small, positive changes.

2. Check that skills have not been forgotten. If you have used strategies successfully in the past, it might help to revisit them from time to time so that your youngster remembers how to use them. You may also need to use them at periods of stress, illness or change when old behaviors can return. Visual supports can help with this.

3. Consistency is of the utmost importance. Whatever strategies you decide to use to help your youngster should be used by everyone involved with him, including other family members, teachers, babysitters, etc. Inconsistent reactions to behavior by different adults can cause confusion, stress and frustration for a child with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism, and can make the behavior more difficult to tackle.

4. Exercise can help to relieve stress and frustration. Some studies have shown that regular exercise throughout the day can have a positive effect on general behavior. Many kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism enjoy exercise like jumping on a trampoline.

5. Give praise where praise is due. As your youngster learns a new skill or coping strategy, give him/her as much praise as possible. Some kids like verbal praise. Others might prefer to get another kind of reward, like sticker on a star chart, or five minutes with their favorite activity or DVD. Try to give your youngster praise in a way that is meaningful. Try also to offer praise immediately after your youngster has demonstrated a skill. Your youngster will hopefully learn to make an association between the skill and the reward and start to use the skill more often.

6. Learn to identify emotions. Many children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism find it difficult not only to understand how others are feeling, but also how they feel themselves. Emotions are abstract concepts, and we need a degree of imagination to understand them (we can't simply 'see' anger, for example). There are ways to turn emotions into more 'concrete' concepts, though. For example, stress scales are a good way of helping kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism to identify how they're feeling. You can use a traffic light system, visual thermometer, or a scale of 1-5 to present emotions as colors or numbers. For example, a green traffic light or a number 1 can mean 'I am calm' …a red traffic light or a number 5 can mean 'I am angry'. You need to help your youngster understand what 'angry' means. One way to do this is to refer to physical changes in the body (e.g., “When I'm angry, my tummy hurts/my face gets red/I want to cry”). When your youngster has begun to understand the extremes of angry and calm, you can start helping him/her to understand the feelings in between. If your youngster sees that he is getting angry, he can try to do something to calm himself down, or he can remove himself from the situation. Alternatively, other adults can see what is happening and take action.

7. Learn to relax. It can be very difficult for kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism to relax. Some have a particular interest or activity they like to do because it helps them to relax. It is, of course, worth being aware of these. Can time doing their favorite activity be built into their daily routine? However, special interests or activities can sometimes be the cause of behavioral difficulties if a youngster can't do them when he wants to. Other ways to relax include having time alone for short periods of the day to unwind, playing soothing music, or using homeopathic remedies. Some children may find lights soothing, especially things like spinning lights or bubble tubes which are repetitive.

8. Modify the environment. Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can have difficulties processing sensory information. Some things in their environment can act as severe irritants. If this is the case, it can be easier to remove the thing that might be irritating your youngster rather than trying to change a behavior pattern. Flickering fluorescent lights, humming noises, certain smells, etc., may be causing distress. It may be something you have hardly noticed at all, while your youngster experiences it much more intensely.

9. Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism can find it difficult to transfer or generalize new skills they've learned from one situation to another. Encourage your youngster to use new skills or coping strategies in different situations (e.g., at school as well as at home).

10. Punishment for Aspergers-related symptoms (versus true misbehavior) rarely works, because many kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism don't understand the connection between their behavior and a punishment they have received. Also, punishment won't explain what you want from your youngster or help to teach him any new skills.

11. Speak clearly and precisely. Some behavioral difficulties arise from kids’ frustration at not being able to communicate what they want. Some kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have a good grasp of language and speak quite fluently. However, they may struggle to tell you something when they are anxious or upset, or find it difficult to understand what you are saying to them. As a general rule, use short sentences, with your youngster's name at the beginning so that they know you're speaking to them. If you use short, clear sentences, your youngster won’t have to try to filter-out the less important information. If your youngster finds spoken communication difficult, consider using alternative ways of communicating (e.g., visual supports).

12. 'Time-outs' are a way for your youngster to calm down, especially if environmental factors are causing distress. Whatever location your youngster goes to should be a calm, safe environment where she can be observed. This should only last a few minutes, and your youngster should then be directed to an activity she finds relaxing. Some kids have time-out at home, perhaps time alone in their bedroom, or the chance to do a favorite activity.

13. Use visual supports. Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism often find it easier to process visual information. Some kids use picture symbols or photos to communicate what they want, while others use sign language. Using a visual timetable can make it easier for a youngster to understand what's going to happen throughout the day. It also gives a sense of routine, which kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism usually like, and removes feelings of uncertainty.

14. When tackling any behavior, be realistic and set achievable goals. You don't want to cause yourself more frustration by feeling you've failed to meet unachievable goals.

15. Write a social story. Social stories are short descriptions of situations, events or activities, often with pictures, which include information about what to expect in that situation and why. They can give a youngster with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism some idea of how others might behave, and therefore be a guide for appropriate behavior.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

having two myself some days nothing works and others its minute by minute and other days just go with the flow

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Number 7 is most helpful, especially during spring break and other "breaks" from normal school routine! You guys are the best!

Ella said...

I used to have the same problem (still do sometimes). In addition to some of the great tips in this article, I do my best not to ask my son to do things 'out of the blue' but give him a notice when possible. So when it's almost time to stop playing and have dinner I would give him a few minutes notice. This usually help prevent difficult behavior. The more predictable things are, the better.

Anonymous said...

I find that I always need to give my son a warning "five more minutes and then you need to stop playing legos" works better than giving him an abrupt stop. He is eleven, and sometimes says "I wasn't expecting to do this right now" so I realized that if he knows what to expect he transissions easier from one activity to another.

Anonymous said...

we have been moving house and now trying to clean the old place and that is not really sitting well with dan at the moment who is 11 jake who is 17 has not coped with any moves until this one he has gotten a little older and we even had his mate help who was so helpful. dan is staying with dad tomorrow so i can at least start cleaning one room as dan is having his moments this week. but when he has done something positive he is rewarded for it

Anonymous said...

warnings, timers ect dont help our son.. he will still flip out but understanding that if it gets to bad and he wont calm down restriction will happen.. we have worked with his therapist to get some calming steps in place that help him deal with those emotions. he knows that if he breaks something, hits , or wont calm down (not meltdown just screaming profanity n hurting others) that restriction is going to happen... hes actually gotten better on somethings... its not perfect but its working

Anonymous said...

Hi-
I just recently stumbled onto your website. I am a regular ed. teacher with a high-functioning autistic son. He didn't speak until 3, and has been in an SDC since beginning school. I got lots of early intervention for him, so now he is very verbal, and able to express himself quite well. He is now 12. The problem I have is his oppositional behavior. He is not mean towards others, and has pretty good social skills. He has a male teacher who is able to get him to comply at school, because he doesn't want to miss recess with his friends. He was put on Concerta in the third grade because of this oppositional behavior and troubles. My problem is when the meds have worn off or have not kicked in yet. He is oppositional to any request made of him - like getting ready for school, and argues with every word said or asked of him. I can't take it. Every a.m. is WWIII trying to get him to follow his routine to get ready. I have used charts awarding points for each step, I have used threats for loss of electronics (that's what he lives for), I have done all I can until my bag of tricks is exhausted. I am now losing my temper, he smirks at me, which angers me more, and I have said unspeakable things to him in anger. I have also smacked him. That is the only time he will comply- if I threaten to smack him. Now, I am an educated person and teacher of inner city kids- I know smacking any kid is wrong, wrong, wrong! I say and do things in desperation that make me feel ashamed and hate myself. Sometimes I dislike him , and want to be far, far away from all of this and him.
Please help. I am awaiting authorization for counseling for us, but until then, he must get ready for school in the a.m. so my husband, my son (who's 20, an EMT, a perfect child, and college student), and I can all get off to work on time. The whole family is struggling with this and it is creating a tense, unhappy environment for us all.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 15 and has Aspergers. To the teacher whose son has Aspergers and with whom she is do frustrated, I find myself in the same predicament and what is suggested for the frustration and depression and hopelessness and grief of the parent? I have tried EVERYTHING and some days are better than others but it is awful anyway. I find lots of sites for the child/teen, but what about help for the parent?!?

Anonymous said...

And I might add: what about the feeling of failure, that if only I had done more, somehow thingsight be different? Or the shame at the lack of manners? And now the screaming at anything I say, to which other people say why din't you stop bickering

Anonymous said...

Or the failure of my daughter to meet her brilliant potential because she won't subscribe to any social rules or talk to anyone? Every day is more than a struggle, so my resources after all of these years are completely depleted. Help?

882fbac0-dcea-11e0-aadf-000f20980440 said...

In response to the parents who are having problems coping with their AS child, may I suggest something? I found that I was having problems dealing with my Aspie son because I would get almost as upset as he would during his meltdowns, and end up crying myself! I finally started seeing his psychiatrist myself, for me personally, and she suggested I try an anti-anxiety medication. I take 10 mg Lexapro each day now, and it truly has allowed me to just step back, look at his actions, and then decide how to handle him. I don't "fly off the handle" with him anymore, but can remain calm. It has helped me so much, and therefore has helped him since I'm not freaking out when he has a meltdown. It's not the answer for everyone, but honestly, dealing with an AS kid can be too much to handle sometimes, so I chose to get a little help for myself.

882fbac0-dcea-11e0-aadf-000f20980440 said...

Like the article states, letting your child know in advance what is expected and what is going to happen is one of the best ways to avoid a meltdown. We also had problems getting ready in the mornings, and I've finally just realized that most mornings we are going to be late, and I pick and choose my battles. He has slowly learned to dress himself & brush his teeth, still working on combing the hair (he's 13 now), and we used ABA methods for that (he immediately gets Pokemon coins for doing it himself each morning, which he turns in for cash when ever he wants to buy a new game). But I can only get two showers a week out of him, and so I just tell myself that two is better than the previous ONE shower per week, and we just take each day at a time. The school is aware that mornings are rough, and so my son doesn't even have to stop by the office to get a late slip anymore, he just goes straight to class if it's after the first bell. Choosing your battles is first and foremost -- deciding what is worth a meltdown or not. We just went on a 6-day vacation, and there were a lot of times that could have led to a meltdown (ie, ordering a grilled cheese at the museum only to find out that they used THREE kinds of cheese instead of just American -- so, no big, I just went and ordered a PB&J for him. I would rather waste $5.50 and throw it away, than have him melt down because of a sandwich. Pick and choose your battles -- it will make your life MUCH easier.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are desperate to find help for our daughter. Our daughter is 9 years old and has been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD. I'm a little skeptical about the Aspergers diagnosis since she doesn't have all the classic symptoms. She is very affectionate and has feelings for others. She doesn't always have eye contact. She has some facial gestures that are unusual. She does lack in developing friendships. She has trouble maintaining the friendships she has. She misses social cues that hinder friendships. She has also had a language/speech delay which doesn't fit the criteria for Aspergers. She is focused predominately on Apple products. Constantly on the Apple website and watching YouTube Apple videos. We have been able to divert her attention with other things but it always goes back to Apple. Steve Jobs would have loved her!! She is currently taking the Daytrana patch and that seems to help her ADHD symptoms. However,
this school year she has developed some new anxieties. Recently at school she is bothered by noise from the cafeteria and wants to eat with her teacher instead. She is also afraid of bees even though she's never been stung. Just yesterday I made her eat lunch with me in the cafeteria. A friend asked to eat with her and my daughter totally ignored her. I whispered to her to talk to her friend and she just couldn't. She sometimes looks dazed or has a blankness about her. She tends to feel more comfortable talking to adults than kids. She's improving some but it's not enough. We live in Atlanta and are looking for some help with social training and parental guidance.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just realized(after a story on the news) that my son's severe shyness/social issues are more then likely Aspbergers. He is 16 and has been diagnosed with ADD since he was in third grade. His quietness has been an issue since I can remember, the lack of eye contact, he still has a really hard time ordering in a restraunt, tries to get us to do it, no eye contact, mumbles his order, obsession with trains/railroads since he was two, won't share feelings about anything that went on in school, I get nothing...Since he is getting older and not growing out of things or maturing normally, I have had a pit in my stomach that it could be more of a problem. I am so afraid he will never mature enough. He is very stubborn and in a lot of ways a normal teenager. If I even suggest therapy, because I have, to ease his uneasiness/awkwardness in social situations, he gets all bent out of shape, does not think there is anything wrong with him. All of his teachers notice how quiet and reserved he is. Although they never complain because he is very well behaved because of it. He does not like any attention. And again, he has not had a formal diagnosis, but from all of the signs I have read, he fits the bill perfectly. Being that he is a stubborn sixteen year old, I don't know if any therapy will help him if he refuses it. It would have been easier to get him into treatment if he was still in grade school I think. I feel guilt for not seeing the light sooner.

Anonymous said...

I am desperate for advice concerning my eight year old daughter, whom I believe exhibits signs of mild autism. She has always been different than other children- more sensitive and overwhelmed by the world around her (even as a baby she wouldn't let anyone else hold her), less sensitive to the feelings of others (when her little sister shared the picture she'd drawn she responded, "I don't care.")

She doesn't like being touched- She'll tolerate me hugging her (but turns away from me every time). She becomes fixated on ideas. She hates change- I attempted changing her bedtime routine and she threw a screaming tantrum for two hours (she's been throwing those since birth). She's a hoarder (I have to throw things away secretly or she'll dig them out of the garbage and hide them.)

She has an incredible imagination and can describe her thoughts in abstract pictures. She is also an amazing artist and plays the piano by ear.

She struggles with germaphobia and became obsessed with contamination a few years ago (she wouldn't go near her "dirty" grandfather because he smelled like cigarette smoke).

In so many ways she seems like a normal (slightly quirky) kid. She does well in school and has friends. But as her mother who has to battle her to take a shower (she believes the cartoon bear from Brave will get her), battle her to go to bed at night (she wanders the house for hours past her bedtime each night saying she can't sleep even when I do the 30 minute ritual bedtime routine), battle her to wear school-appropriate clothing (she's decided she hates anything touching her legs and shirts with buttons), battle her to do simple things every kid does every day- only to have her reject any affection I try and show her, and most of what I say (even when answering a direct question).

Writing it down like this, only makes me more certain that this is not normal behavior and that I need help knowing how to handle my child. I try and stick to routines so as not to upset her, but life doesn't always allow for routine and then I have anxiety anticipating the tantrum she's sure to throw.

I have two other children who need me but I feel that I have so little left to give. I am exhausted and depressed and at my wit's end. I love my girl so much, but feel that I'm failing as her mother. I constantly worry about her future and whether she'll be able to function or maintain relationships. I feel frustrated that I cannot seem to reach her with logic (there are no bears in the shower) or appeal to her compassion (that hurts your sister's feelings). But mostly I'm becoming more and more helpless and angry that my best efforts seem to yield nothing but more failure.

She really is a wonderful girl- she makes me amazing little pop-up cards and brings me gifts of candy. When she is happy she is the best kid in the world. I just never know what little thing will trigger the downward spiral into crazy town.

Anonymous said...

I just started being a one on one aide to a first grade child with Aspergers. The article was very informative. I try and be consistent as possible to prevent irritation but find it difficult in an included classroom. Any suggestions that I can bring to the teachers attention that might help make things easier for the student and avoid less "melt downs?"

Jackie Wilkins said...

Just to let u know my son is now 18 and although his original prognosis was not good he is doing well and at college. He still has problems with the real world but as long as we let him know in advance what is happening he can cope. Just remember this you must love your child whatever and the day they give u a hug and say I love u mum is the best day in the world x

momoftwoboys said...

Hello,
Just want to say "Hang in there" It will get better! These children are so special, they just need a little extra patience!
Hope the days ahead become easier for you all!
: )

AJ Hyun said...

I know I'm late for the discussion, but I am 20 years old, I don't have a degree and I work with children at a community center. Recently we were enrolled a participant who we believe has aspergurs, but her mom totally avoids the subject and thinks nothing is wrong with her daughter. Her school has put her in Special Ed classroom environments to help give her the attention she needs, but her mom got mad and pulled her out of the school. I've never worked with a special needs child, and the other participants find it distracting. I ALWAYS feel like a failure because I can't get to her.

I would like to try routines, but my job has a lot of different partnerships come in, so does anyone have advance as to how I could help her the best I can?

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.

If your child suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, expect him to experience both minor and major meltdowns over incidents that are part of daily life. He may have a major meltdown over a very small incident, or may experience a minor meltdown over something that is major. There is no way of telling how he is going to react about certain situations. However, there are many ways to help your child learn to control his emotions.

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.

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing a child with a neurological disorder. Violent rages, self-injury, isolation-seeking tendencies and communication problems that arise due to auditory and sensory issues are just some of the behaviors that parents of teens with Aspergers will have to learn to control.

Parents need to come up with a consistent disciplinary plan ahead of time, and then present a united front and continually review their strategies for potential changes and improvements as the Aspergers teen develops and matures.

Click here to read the full article…

Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

Parenting children with Aspergers 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.

Although they may vary slightly from person to person, children with Aspergers tend to have similar symptoms, the main ones being:

=> A need to know when everything is happening in order not to feel completely overwhelmed
=> A rigid insistence on routine (where any change can cause an emotional and physiological meltdown)
=> Difficulties with social functioning, particularly in the rough and tumble of a school environment
=> Obsessive interests, with a focus on one subject to the exclusion of all others
=> Sensory issues, where they are oversensitive to bright light, loud sounds and unpleasant smells
=> Social isolation and struggles to make friends due to a lack of empathy, and an inability to pick up on or understand social graces and cues (such as stopping talking and allowing others to speak)

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."

Parents face issues such as college preparation, vocational training, teaching independent living, and providing lifetime financial support for their child, if necessary. Meanwhile, their immature Aspergers teenager is often indifferent – and even hostile – to these concerns.

As you were raising your child, you imagined how he would be when he grew up. Maybe you envisioned him going to college, learning a skilled traded, getting a good job, or beginning his own family. But now that (once clear) vision may be dashed. You may be grieving the loss of the child you wish you had.

If you have an older teenager with Aspergers who has no clue where he is going in life, or if you have an “adult-child” with Aspergers still living at home (in his early 20s or beyond), here are the steps you will need to take in order to foster the development of self-reliance in this child.

Click here to read the full article…

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