Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Explaining the Death of a Loved One to Kids on the Autism Spectrum

“When should I begin to talk with my grandchild about his grandfather’s (papa’s) sickness that will result in death? How best to approach the subject? Thank you for your assistance.”

The answer to your question would be “the sooner the better.” Kids, even those on the autism spectrum, typically know more than their parents and grandparents think they do. You can gauge what your grandson knows through the questions he asks. If he asks, for example, "Is grandpa going to die?" …he may not want to hear, "Everyone is going to die someday." Instead, this can be a signal that he knows grandpa’s condition is life-threatening.

I recommend open and direct communication at all times. If you avoid your grandson’s questions, he may ask someone else or hold the questions in, which could result in unnecessary anxiety. Acknowledging rather than disregarding questions can build trust and show him that his concerns are important. This may increase the likelihood he will come to you with future questions.

So, be honest and concrete in discussions about death and dying. Avoid euphemisms. We use euphemisms to avoid uncomfortable subjects, but kids with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism (who think very literally) may not pick up on these cues. For example, if you tell your grandson (after his grandfather’s death) that “grandpa is sleeping,” he may expect grandpa to wake up. If you then say that “grandpa can’t wake up,” your grandson may fear going to sleep and not waking up (you get the point).

Though the words are difficult to say, use terms like "die," "dead," and "dying." Also, considering finding books on the subject of “death of a loved one” or create some social stories around grief.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content