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

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Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder versus Autism Spectrum Disorder

“What is Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder? And how does it differ from Autism Spectrum Disorder?”

Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder (SCD) is characterized by “a persistent difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication that can’t be explained by low cognitive ability.” Symptoms include:
  • inappropriate responses in conversation
  • difficulties with academic achievement and occupational performance
  • limited effective communication
  • difficulties in the acquisition and use of spoken and written language
  • complications in social relationships

Also, these symptoms must be present in early childhood (even if they are not recognized until later when language, speech or communication demands exceed abilities).

The new diagnosis of SCD more correctly identifies children who have significant problems with verbal and nonverbal communication for social purposes. These problems lead to impairments in their ability to perform academically and occupationally, participate socially, maintain social relationships, and effectively communicate.

Previous editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders didn’t provide an appropriate diagnosis for children with such symptoms. As a result, inconsistent treatment was initiated in various clinics and treatment centers, and a lot of children were lumped under the “not otherwise specified” category of Pervasive Development Disorder.

While previous editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders included diagnoses with related symptoms, the SCD diagnosis is needed to address the special needs of SCD children (e.g., while Autism Spectrum Disorder does include communication problems, it also includes restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities, and gives equal weight to both communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors).

Research shows that communication disorders are very treatable. Thus, identifying distinct communication difficulties is a crucial first step in getting these children appropriate care. The SCD label helps them get the services and treatment they need.

As a side note, Autism Spectrum Disorder must be ruled out for SCD to be diagnosed.

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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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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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