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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High-Functioning Autism and Behavior Problems at School

“I have a 6 year old boy who has yet to be diagnosed but, it is looking as if he has high functioning autism. He is having major behavior problems at school including hitting other classmates and staff. Although there are some behavior problems at home as well, the main problem is when he is in a group situation at school. I need assistance to resolve this as quickly as possible or they have threatened to expel my son.”

First of all, you should have your son tested by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (ask for a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation) to determine if he, in fact, has high functioning autism, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, some combination thereof – or something else entirely. You're shooting in the dark for a resolution without a confirmed diagnosis.

Since this issue is rather emergent, I strongly suggest requesting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). If the school is sending home complaints about your son's behavior -- and expecting you to do something about it -- put the ball back in their court by requesting an FBA. This will force the school to really think about your son's behavior rather than simply reacting to it. 

An FBA examines what comes before problematic behavior, what the consequences are for it, what possible function the behavior could serve, and what sorts of things could be setting your son off. If a “special needs” boy or girl finds classwork too hard or a classroom too oppressive, for example, getting sent to the hallway or the principal or home could become a reward, not an effect discipline. Conducting an FBA – and writing a behavior plan based on it – is probably the best way to head off discipline problems. If teachers and other staff refuse to go along with it, you may need to do a little behavior analysis on them.

Personal One-on-One "Parent Coaching" from Mark Hutten, M.A.

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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. 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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