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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Anger-Control Techniques for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

All children experience anger. But, young people with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism, in particular, have difficulty channeling their strong emotions into acceptable outlets.

Creating Daily Schedules for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

"I have a 4 year old boy, Chris, who has been diagnosed with autism (high functioning), and I need help on making a daily schedule or routine that will help us both. I’m currently at a loss. Nothing seems to be working. I would love examples of schedules. Please assist in this matter!"

A daily schedule definitely benefits high functioning autistic (Asperger’s) children by providing the structured environment that is critical to their sense of security and mastery. If you spend any time in a kindergarten or elementary school, you will be amazed at the teacher's ability to organize the students’ day.

When you understand the nature of attachment in your son, you will realize that shared communication and goals replace his attachment patterns. The daily schedule communicates the family's shared goals and allows the child to contribute to his accomplishment. Each time he follows the schedule, he has a small – but cumulative – experience of mastery of his environment.

Follow these simple steps to create a daily schedule for your family:

Step 1 - Analyze Your Day—

Do a simple, but consistent time study. The easiest way to do this is to print a daily calendar. Note what each family member is doing at each time of the day. Look for the problem times, and think about how the schedule can be structured to eliminate problems related to behavior, stress, fatigue, hunger, and disorganization.

Step 2 - Brainstorm What You Want—

Take the time to think about what you want in your family life (e.g., less confusion in the morning, homework done by dinner, kids in bed by a certain hour, family play time, relaxation, a clean house, etc.). Focus on a balance of activity and rest for your family. Take an honest look at the needs of your son – as well as your needs.

Step 3 - Write It Down—

Get a poster board and a marker, and write it down for all to see. Post it in the kitchen, and tell your son that you will now be following it. You're likely to get some opposition, so stand firm.

Step 4 - Follow the Schedule for a Week—

Check the schedule often, and let it guide your days for at least one week. Instruct your son to check the schedule and follow it. If you must remind him, do so. But, your goal is for him to learn to take responsibility for his part of the schedule.

Step 5 - Tweak the Schedule—

After the first week, take a look at what is working and how the schedule needs changing. Make changes in the schedule, and write it on a new poster. Continue to follow your daily family schedule until it is second nature. In a few weeks, you may be surprised at how this simple tool has changed your family life for the better.

Here is just one of many examples of schedules for high-functioning autistic (Asperger’s) kids:

EARLY MORNING SCHEDULE—

7:30 - 8:15 a.m. – You and Chris prepare for breakfast.

8:15 - 8:45 a.m. - Breakfast and clean-up: As Chris finishes breakfast, he reads books or listens to music until free play begins.

MORNING SCHEDULE—

8:45 - 9:00 a.m. – Sharing time: Conversation and sharing time; music, movement, or rhythms; finger-plays.

9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - Free play: Chris selects from one of the interest areas: art, blocks, library corner, table toys, house corner, sand and water.

10:00 - 10:15 a.m. - Clean-up: Chris puts away toys and materials; as he finishes, he selects a book to read.

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. - Story time (the length of story time should vary with the age of the youngster).

10:30 - 10:50 a.m. - Snack and preparation to go outdoors.

10:50 - 11:45 a.m. - Outdoor play: Chris selects from climbing activities, wheel toys, balls, hoops, sand and water play, woodworking, gardening, and youngster-initiated games.

11:45 - 12:00 noon - Quiet time: Chris selects a book or listen to tapes.

LUNCH AND REST—

12:00 - 12:45 p.m. - Prepare for lunch, eat lunch, and clean up: As Chris finishes lunch, he goes to the bathroom and then read books on his bed in preparation for nap time.

12:45 - 1:00 p.m. - Quiet activity prior to nap: Story, song by parent, quiet music, or story record.

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Nap time: As Chris awakens, he reads books or plays quiet games such as puzzles or lotto on their cots (kids who do not sleep or who awaken early are taken into another room for free play with books, table toys, and other quiet activities).

AFTERNOON SCHEDULE--

3:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Snack and preparation to go outdoors.

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Outdoor play: Chris selects from climbing activities, wheel toys, balls, hoops, sand and water play, woodworking, gardening, and child-initiated games.

4:30 - 5:15 p.m. - Free play: Chris selects from art (activity requiring minimal clean-up time), blocks, house corner, library corner, and table toys.

5:15 - 6:00 p.m. - Clean-up: After snack, parent plans quiet activities such as table toys; songs, finger-plays, or music; stories; and coloring. Chris may help parent prepare materials for the next day.

Children on the autism spectrum crave structure and predictability in their day. However, they may react strongly when faced with an unexpected change in their daily schedule. When creating daily schedules be sure to match the schedule format to your youngster’s skill level: 
  • The fluent reader can use a written schedule, with words selected at your youngster's reading level.
  • For the beginning reader, the schedule can pair pictures with the words describing the events to the day.
  • For a non-reader who recognizes pictures, the schedule can include a picture to represent each scheduled event.
  • For a youngster who can’t read and doesn’t recognize pictures as depictions of actual objects and events, the schedule can consist of objects that represent schedule entries (e.g., a book can represent “reading time,” or a wrapped snack bar can represent “snack time”).

A daily schedule lays out the events of the day that affects the child. But, remember that schedules have value only when they are used. Your son should preview his schedule at the start of the day. After each activity is completed, he can check off that item on his schedule or otherwise indicate that the event is finished (e.g., by removing the event's picture from the schedule board). If an event in your son’s schedule is unexpectedly cancelled, you may find that he will adjust more quickly to the change if the two of you sit down together to review the schedule and revise it to reflect the altered plan for the day.

Here are some additional ideas from parents of high-functioning (Asperger’s) kids:

• "Don't forget to breathe. My daughter changes drastically when there is ANY transition that deviates from her normal day-to-day routines. Posting "to do" lists is good. I let my daughter decide what order to do her morning before school things on a numbered list. I find that even in school, this helps her fourth grade teacher see that visual cues help. Mostly, touching my daughter physically, on her elbow seems to be her most responsive spot, and asking, "Can I ask you something?" instead of giving commands from across the room works great so I don't escalate in frustration as she really is not capable at times to "hear me". Also, LOTS of activities that allow rocking, swinging, being "squished" by pillows or rolled up tight in a favorite blanket ...having time to decompress with their favorite activity right after school. Allowing them to pick friends when they are ready, but encourage them by becoming acquainted with moms and other kiddos who your child "clicks" well with."

• "Give him a lot of small chores to help you, and often say, “After we do this, then you can do that.” Give him pockets of free time, ask him how he wants to use it. Use a list for yourself, but not for him. He will get the list in his brain in a short time. Thru the day 3-5 times, say “We only have 8 or 10 or 12 things left to do.” Possibly the momentum of the number lowering will trigger him to cooperation."

• "I break the schedule down into parts and put the visual schedules up near the areas where he needs to complete the tasks (e.g., the "get out of the house" schedule to go to school is by the door; the bathroom bedtime routine is in the bathroom). This gives the visual schedules a context. You can try googling it for some ideas too on what they can look like. I modeled mine after the ones that are in my son's schools. Weekends were the hardest for us until we sat down at the breakfast table that morning and made a visual schedule for that day as well. So long as we keep to the routine, we do far better. I've heard that there are also some apps to help with this, though I have not explored them yet. I find that when we have this structure, he is also a bit more adaptive if we need to make a slight change."

• "If he attends school, this will be part of his routine... Wake up same time in the morning, put clothes on, eat breakfast, brush teeth, comb hair, and go to school. After school, you need to get him in an activity so he can be around other kids his age in a "social" environment (e.g., Gymnastics, T-Ball, Soccer, etc.). When he gets home, get a snack, do homework, "playtime" or "practice", dinner, bath, then bedtime. Life is busy and most can't stay on such schedules, but let him know several times the day before what activities you all have for the next day... Remind in the morning, after school, before bed... Also remind him of the activities you all have planned that day, even if it it's going to the store... It is best to try to slowly change his routine without him knowing so he can get used to change.... but start off with a certain schedule. My son was diagnosed 2 years ago when he was 10. He is now 12, and these are things I did for him without knowing he had high functioning autism. Today you wouldn't know he had it because he is very social. Get play dates, get him in to sports even if doesn't want to, push him - push him, because the end result is worth it."

• "One way I know is to put a laminated sign by his breakfast spot that shows him combing hair and brushing teeth in the bathroom. Then in the bathroom, another sign shows him in his room getting clothes on. Then in his room, it shows him grabbing his backpack and coat and setting it by the door. Our key to success is NO downtime in the A.M. If he gets started playing and then has to stop to head to school - it's no good. If he's "off track," you can prompt him by asking him what he should be doing right now rather than telling him. Always put it on him so he learns it's HIS responsibility. In the P.M., you can make your routine more time oriented (e.g., 3:00 - 3:15 snack, 3:15 - 3:30 computer time, 3:30 - 4:00 free choice or quiet reading, and so on)."

• "Yes, routine, routine, routine. Also make sure that if there's a major change, try to let him know ahead of time. In a perfect world we can predict changes, but obviously that doesn't happen, particularly in school. Have safety nets (people) set up in place so that if a sudden, unexpected change happens and a meltdown occurs that he has support to help him through it. The more you can tell teachers and staff members at school about his needs and "triggers," the better off he is. After a while it gets to be second nature for everyone, and it does get better!!"

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management
 
COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… clocks in every room.always give countdowns between changing task..surprise changes are hard and a part of life so they are unavoidable..love him thru those situations...you will have good days and bad days...if you know the routine will be different tell him early and prepare him for it..don't try to follow a schedule that works for someone else, do what is best and works for you guys..
•    Anonymous said… I just watched my son and see how he likes schedule as long as its within reason. I would do the same thing everyday and then he would find his nitch. Im aspergers too though so its easy for me. But we are moving around so much these days because we are not in a permanent place til after the holidays that im really surprised hes doing very well with it. The only problem hes having is so frustrating at 15 is going number 2 in his pants. Sometimes its just a streak but like he holds it. I tried.to keep that on a schedule too but weve been chenging time zones. I always try to warn him ahead of time what the day will be like if its not the normal routine.
•    Anonymous said… In 5 minutes....that's how we run our lives  ๐Ÿ˜Š
•    Anonymous said… Maybe try creating a visual schedule with pictures for each step in your routine so he knows what comes next without you having to give a million warnings and prompt him constantly. Like others have said, consistency is key!
•    Anonymous said… My 10 year old even stopped watching tv before school this morning, he said "you only give me 12 minutes of Pokemon every morning and that is finished"  ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚okay then go outside and play  ๐Ÿ˜Š once you get routines happening they are a dream. He ALWAYS takes his plate to the dishwasher etc lives by routine!!!! You just have to establish one which can be slow going. Get the sticky back things so he can pull off "breakfast" and put it in a done pocket. Have a clock with hands he can change by the routine. Just stick with a plan give it at least 3 days before you give up and remember they need to be taught EVERYTHIBG! But once the hard work is done it's awesome
•    Anonymous said… The only thing that'll make it work is consistency. . consistency from EVERYONE in his life. 1 person throwing off his schedule/ routine, can set you back days of progress... Learned that the hard way... Otherwise, what works for my 5yr old is letting him know the list of tasks. 2 at a time. We are going to do this, then this.. After 2nd task, then I share the next following.  Sometimes he gets distracted with his own interests, but the way I found works for us, to bring his attention back is, " addison, right now it is __________ time. Not ________ time. We've got to stick to our agenda and then it can be _______ time. But right now we are doing, said things"
•    Anonymous said… The problem is in life something unexpwcted will rise and he needs to be prepared for that. Cant always have a routine but one thing should stay consistant is his mom in this knowing he can count on her.

Post your comment below…

Understanding the Behavioral Problems Associated with High-Functioning Autism

“Our 11 y.o. grandson is a high functioning autistic child and is totally disruptive and seems to want to control everything and everyone. I don't want to give into him but need some suggestions because it is upsetting all of us. The whole family revolves around him and his wants. It even influences his sister - and the sister imitates this dreadful behavior. PLEASE, what can we do?!”

You need to understand what your grandson is thinking, how he interprets what is going on, and how his deficits cause problems before you can begin any intervention strategy. Do not rush into action until you have collected enough information and analyzed what is going on. If you do not know the reasons behind the behavior, you may very likely do the wrong thing. If you know what is going on, you can make a big difference.

To help you determine the reasons why your grandson acts the way he does, you should ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Is he stuck on an idea and can't let it go? (He does not know how to let go and move on when there is a problem.)
  2. Is he misunderstanding what is happening and assuming something that isn't true? (Misinterpretation)
  3. Is he expecting perfection in himself? (Black-and-white thinking)
  4. Is he exaggerating the importance of an event? There are no small events, everything that goes wrong is a catastrophe. (Black-and-white thinking)
  5. Is he blaming you for something that is beyond your control? (He feels that you must solve the problem for him even when it involves issues you have no control over.)
  6. Has he made a rule that can't be followed? (He sees only one way to solve a problem; he cannot see alternatives.)
  7. Does he see only two choices to a situation rather than many options? (Black-and-white thinking)
  8. Does he need to be taught a better way to deal with a problem? (He does not understand the way the world works.)
  9. Because a situation was one way the first time, does he feel it has to be that way always? (Being rule bound.)

Realizing that your grandson will not be a good observer of his behavior is your first step. The high-functioning autistic (Asperger’s) youngster often does not know what to do in a situation. He does not know the appropriate behavior because he doesn't understand how the world works. Or, if he knows a better solution, he can’t use it because he becomes "stuck."

Not knowing what to do - or being unable to do what is appropriate - results in anxiety that leads to additional ineffective and inappropriate actions. High-functioning autistic behavior is usually a result of this anxiety, which leads to difficulty moving on and letting go of an issue and "getting stuck" on something. This is rigidity, and it is the most common reason for behavioral problems. You must deal with rigidity and replace it with flexibility early on in your plan to help your grandson. Flexibility is a skill that can be taught, and you will need to make this a major part of your efforts to help him.

Understanding your grandson involves knowing the high-functioning autistic characteristics and how they manifest themselves in everyday behaviors. How does your grandson see the world, think about matters, and react to what is going on around him? The following reasons will help you understand why he acts the way he does:

Reasons for Rigidity—
  • Transitioning from one activity to another. This is usually a problem because it may mean ending an activity before he is finished with it.
  • The need to engage in or continue a preferred activity, usually an obsessive action or fantasy.
  • The need to control a situation.
  • The need to avoid or escape from a non-preferred activity, often something difficult or undesirable. Often, if your grandson cannot be perfect, he does not want to engage in an activity.
  • Other internal issues, such as sensory, inattention (ADHD), oppositional tendency (ODD), or other psychiatric issues may also be causes of behavior.
  • Lack of knowledge about how something is done. By not knowing how the world works with regard to specific situations and events, the autistic youngster will act inappropriately instead.
  • Immediate gratification of a need.
  • Anxiety about a current or upcoming event, no matter how trivial it might appear to you.
  • A violation of a rule or ritual – changing something from the way it is supposed to be. Someone is violating a rule and this is unacceptable to the youngster.
  • A misunderstanding or misinterpretation of another's action.

Not Understanding How the World Works—

Your high-functioning autistic grandson has a neuro-cognitive disorder that affects many areas of functioning. This includes a difficulty with the basic understanding of the rules of society, especially if they are not obvious. Life has many of these rules. Some are written, some are spoken, and some are learned through observation and intuition. Your grandson only knows what has been directly taught to him through books, movies, TV shows, the Internet, and explicit instructions. He is not able to sit in a room, observe what is happening, and understand social cues, implied directions, or how to "read between the lines," and as he is growing up, he does not learn how to do this. Instead, he learns facts. He does not "take in" what is happening around him that involves the rest of the world, only what directly impacts him.

Many of the conversations he has had have generally been about knowledge and facts, not about feelings, opinions, and interactions. As a result, he does not really know how the world works and what one is supposed to do in various situations. This can apply to even the smallest situations you might take for granted. Not knowing the unspoken rules of situations causes anxiety and upset. This leads to many of the behavioral issues that appear as the high-functioning autistic youngster tries to impose his own sense of order on a world he doesn't understand.

The high-functioning autistic youngster creates his own set of rules for everyday functioning to keep things from changing and thereby minimize his anxiety. Sometimes, he just makes up the rules when it is convenient. Other times, he attempts to make them up by looking for patterns, rules, or the logic of a situation to make it less chaotic for him and more predictable and understandable. If there are no rules for an event or situation, he will create them from his own experiences based on what he has read, seen, or heard. He will often have a great deal of information to use in reaching his conclusions and forming his opinions and feelings. As a result, some of his conclusions are correct and some are wrong.

He will rarely consider someone else's point of view if he does not consider them to be an "expert." The fewer people he sees as experts, the more behavioral difficulty you will see. He might consider teachers and others to be experts, but his moms and dads will rarely be seen as such. Therefore, he will argue with you about your opinions if different from his own. He thinks that his opinion is as good as yours, so he chooses his. This represents his rigid thinking. He finds it difficult to be flexible and consider alternate views, especially if he has already reached a conclusion. New ideas can be difficult to accept ("I'd rather do it the way I've always done it"). Being forced to think differently can cause a lot of anxiety.

You must never overestimate your high-functioning autistic youngster's understanding of a situation because of his high intellectual ability or his other strengths. He is a boy who needs to figure out how the world works. He needs a road map and the set of instructions, one example at a time.

Frames of Reference—

In trying to understand how the world works, your grandson tries to make sense of your explanations, but sometimes is not able to do this. As a result, your effort at intervening falls short. This can occur because your explanation has no meaning. Each high-functioning autistic youngster can only understand things for which they have a frame of reference, meaning they have a picture or idea about this from other sources or from prior discussions. They cannot understand what you will tell them without this frame of reference. For example, when I asked a very bright teenage boy on the spectrum if he missed his mom and dad when he was at overnight camp for a week, he replied that it was not all that long. When I asked him again if he missed them, he said he could e-mail them whenever he wanted. After my third attempt to get an answer he finally said to me, "I can't answer that question. Since I have never missed anyone before, I have nothing against which I can compare my feelings to know what missing feels like."

Preferred and Non-preferred Activities—

For all high-functioning autistic kids, life tends to be divided into two categories – preferred and non-preferred activities. Preferred activities are those things your grandson engages in frequently and with great intensity. He seeks them out without any external motivation. However, not all of his preferred activities are equal. Some are much more highly desired and prized. An activity that is lower on the list can never be used as a motivator for one that is higher. For example, you cannot get him to substitute his video game playing by offering a food reward if the game playing is higher on his list.

Any activity that is not preferred can be considered non-preferred. They are less desirable and many are avoided. The lower they are on the list of desirability, the more he will resist or avoid doing them. Sometimes an activity or task becomes non-preferred because it is made to compete with one that is much more highly valued. For example, taking a bath could be enjoyable, but if your grandson is reading, and reading is higher on his list, he will resist or throw a tantrum.

Preferred and non-preferred activities are always problem areas. Your grandson will always want to engage in preferred activities even when you have something more important for him to do. He does not want to end preferred activities and your attempts to have him end them can produce upset of one kind or another. On the other hand, trying to get him to do non-preferred activities, such as interacting socially, can also be difficult. If many non-preferred elements are combined together, the problem can become a nightmare, such as with homework.

The high-functioning autistic youngster rarely has activities he just likes. He tends to either love or hate an activity. The middle ground is usually missing. Teaching a middle ground or shades of gray can be a goal and will be discussed later. Also, as you try to teach him something new, you will encounter resistance because you are asking him to do something that's not a preferred activity. But, as he outgrows younger interests, he will need to learn new ones in order to have some common interests with his peers. He needs to experience new things to see if he likes them, but may not want to do this just because you're asking him to do something new. He already has his list of preferred interests and will rarely see the need for anything new. Quite often, his preferred list will include computer or video games. However, the more he is on the computer or the more he plays video games, the less available he is to be in the real world and learn something new. Most likely, you will have to control his access to preferred activities if new ones are to be introduced.

Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors and Anxiety—

Obsessive-compulsive issues, also referred to as rituals, rigidity, perseverations, rules, or black-and-white thinking, originate in the high-functioning autistic child's difficulty understanding the world around him. This creates anxiety, the underlying cause for his obsessive-compulsive behaviors. You will see anxiety in many different ways, depending on how your grandson manifests it. Some kids will show it in obvious ways, such as crying, hiding under furniture, or clinging to you. Others show it by trying to control the situation and bossing people around. Some may hit or throw a tantrum. Some may act silly. No matter how your grandson displays his anxiety, you need to recognize that it is there and not assume it is due to some other cause such as attention seeking or just plain misbehavior.

Anxiety can occur for the smallest reason. Don't judge anxiety-producing situations by your own reaction to an event. Your grandson will be much more sensitive to situations than you will be, and often there will be no logical reason for his anxiety. Something that you would be anxious about causes no anxiety in your grandson, while a small event causes him to be quite anxious. When events change, he never knows what is going to come next and he becomes confused and upset, leading to some form of inappropriate behavior.

Your grandson's first reaction may be to try to reduce or eliminate his anxiety. He must do something, and one of the most effective means is to take all changes, uncertainty, and variability out of the equation. This can be accomplished by obsessions. If everything is done a certain way, if there is a definite and unbreakable rule for every event, and if everyone does as he wishes, everything will be fine. Anxiety is then diminished or reduced, and no upset, tantrums, or meltdowns occur.

Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to do this in the real world. Nevertheless, anxiety needs to be dealt with in some manner. This is the first order of business in planning for many interventions. If you move ahead before this has been settled, it will continue to be a significant interfering factor.

Behavioral Manifestations of Anxiety—
  • Wanting things to go their way, when they want them to, no matter what anyone else may want. They may argue, throw a tantrum, ignore you, growl, refuse to yield, etc.
  • Tending to conserve energy and put forth the least effort they can, except with highly preferred activities.
  • Remaining in a fantasy world a good deal of the time and appearing unaware of events around them.
  • Reacting poorly to new events, transitions, or changes.
  • Preferring to do the same things over and over.
  • Lecturing others or engaging in a monologue rather than having a reciprocal conversation.
  • Intensely disliking loud noises and crowds.
  • Insisting on having things and/or events occur in a certain way.
  • Having trouble playing and socializing well with peers or avoiding socializing altogether. They prefer to be alone because others do not do things exactly as they do.
  • Having a narrow range of interests, and becoming fixated on certain topics and/or routines.
  • Eating a narrow range of foods.
  • Displaying a good deal of silly behaviors because they are anxious or do not know what to do in a situation.
  • Demonstrating unusual fears, anxiety, tantrums, and showing resistance to directions from others.
  • Demanding unrealistic perfection in their handwriting, or wanting to avoid doing any writing.
  • Creating their own set of rules for doing something.
  • Becoming easily overwhelmed and having difficulty calming down.

Black-and-White Thinking and Mindblindness—

The obsessive-compulsive approach to life results in the narrow range of interests and insistence on set routines typical of a high-functioning autistic youngster. However, it usually starts as a cognitive (thinking) issue before it becomes a behavioral one. Cognitive issues, such as the inability to take someone else's perspective (mindblindness) and the lack of cognitive flexibility (black-and-white thinking), cause many of the behaviors we see. We know there is a cognitive element by looking at the youngster's behaviors. There is always some distress, anxiety, or obsession manifested in every inappropriate behavior.

Your grandson's cognitive difficulties may lead to inaccurate interpretations and understanding of the world. How someone interprets a situation determines how he will respond to it. Many times the interpretation of an event is either not an accurate one or not one that leads to positive or prosocial actions. If the event can be reinterpreted for him, it might lead to a more productive outcome. In doing this, you must first try to understand how the child interprets a situation. All of the child's behaviors are filtered through his perception of the way the world works.

Related information can be found here:


==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

 
COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said…  Behavior Modification, counseling, and this may require inpatient therapy. It will be short term. It helped with my 17 year old. We started at age 3.5 years old. The behavior will change for the better or will continue to decline.
•    Anonymous said… bdoes this sound familiar? This is a very interesting read, especially the bit about OCD. x
•    Anonymous said… dreadful behavior is from the adults- he's 11 and sounds like being at the house with people who "won't give in" is stressful.If he had a physical aliment, you would adjust so why, when he is 11 are you just beginning to ask questions about how to help. My kids will not go to people's homes (including their grandfather) because of the lack of empathy of medical issues (physical as well). Although it is not clear what the parents are doing, it's clear you are blaming a child for the family wrongs. What have you done to make him feel welcome, calm, and to be interested in him ? What can you do? Stop judging. Read. Learn. Empathize. Help.
•    Anonymous said… feel like the author has been spying on my son!!  ๐Ÿ˜ Very good article.
•    Anonymous said… Get a trampoline. We used to put our son on it before and after school to burn up excess energy.
•    Anonymous said… I feel you, things eventually settled down with my son, but I think it's such a strange age and everything is changing all around, some of his peers may be going into puberty, there's the transition to big school, and possibly even hormonal changes in him. I used to battle with my son, but then I realised a lot of his behaviour was due to anxiety, hence the need to control, and the massive meltdowns. Try to be patient, and if possible try to allocate time to spend alone with your daughter, and spoil her a little, my nt child acted up a lot because of her brother having all the attention for what she saw as bad behaviour. Also, try to get in on his special interest, it will help you to have a better relationship with him so you can discuss other things, I know it's tedious hearing every tiny minute detail of something which you have no interest in (good god help me, I don't even care about the lore of the elder scrolls, but I gotta try so he knows I actually care about what's important to him) Also, communicate with him on a more adult level, my son hated being spoken to like a child, even though he was one, he sensed people spoke to him differently to how they speak to their equals. It really helps him to be treated like an adult, and I think it was around 11 when I decided to treat him more like an equal, he's 13 and quite self-responsible now, a thing I thought I'd never see
•    Anonymous said… I would recommend social thinking counseling -- probably individual and group. Also check out the books from Michelle Garcia Winner, the social thinking expert for kids on the spectrum. She has books for kids and teens that are great.
•    Anonymous said… I'm probably not telling you anything that you don't already know...he acts this way with you and your family because he's had to hold it together ALL day at school. Keep setting boundaries, get connected in your area with families that are going through a similar journey...be kind to yourself.
•    Anonymous said… Intense behavior modification. Tools to help them calm triggers, recognizing triggers, group therapy, counseling, environment has a strict structure, family therapy, social skills, empathy, and assessment of current diagnosis. Also, the child will continue to attend school. It can be two weeks to 6 months. It depends on insurance and program.
•    Anonymous said… Is there a Spanish versiรณn of this article!! Live in Spain and would love my sons School to read this as it sums him up! Too much for me to translate..
•    Anonymous said… Please tell others when referring to a child on the Spectrum that "____is an 11 year old child with ASD" The child first please!  I am a 30+ year Special Education teacher with Masters in Special Education. I teach in a self-contained classroom with some amazing students who happen to live and learn with Autism. The most effective programs and the most functional and long term learning that I have used and individualized education around is based on social-emotional learning. The most effective strategy is consistency across all of the child's environments and an at-home positive behavioural support team that consults across school and home.
•    Anonymous said… Poor kid has to behave at school and can't hold it together 24/7. You have to have lots and lots of positive parenting, rules... and stick to them ( which can be v hard and tiring ) but it is possible for things to improve. If you as the parent are in a relationship then be kind to each other ( when you probably don't want to always) and talk to each other. Remember why you're together in the first place and when things seem bad stick together Children like this can cause immense strain on a family unit.
•    Anonymous said… Sounds just like my 8 year old.
•    Anonymous said… This all sounds very similar to my experience (except that I am likely to hear more about "game theory" than "Lore of the elder scrolls" :) ). My younger not son also acts out because of his brothers behaviour.
•    Anonymous said… This article described my 10 yr old daughter exactly. I related to almost everything in it.
•    Anonymous said… We can't figure out what triggers my six year old son. He wakes up, and has the immediate desire to wake everyone, even if it means hurting others to do so. He instantly goes after his three year old brother every time he's near, and separating them doesn't work, because my six year old is terrified to be alone. He's seen three different councilors, a psychiatrist and 2 neurologists all in the last two years. We've tried 9 different meds to try to help calm his hyperactivity, and nothing works for him. He's an angel at school and during his extra curricular activities, but with us, he's a monster. We don't know what to do anymore.
•    Anonymous said… We have two trampolines. Nothing affects his behavior, no matter what we do. He's like this on weekends, all through the summer, and during every break from school. It's literally unbearable. He laughs in your face as he's going after his siblings. He has no fear of consequences, and there's never been an effective form of punishment for him. I completely understand why parents of these children get divorced. They need a break.
•    Anonymous said… What do theu do at inpatient therapy
•    Anonymous said… You have to be really strong...as do all adults who have some childcare responsibilities for this boy....there are no days off as far as rules go... firm but fair and eventually you will get there....I've beeen through it... sending you positive vibes...
•    Anonymous said… your leading with child first, label second is much appreciated. As my own parenting journey progresses I prefer to say "my son is on the Autism Spectrum", or "my son has an Autism Spectrum condition"... I have found I dislike applying the term "disorder" at all, although there is certainly that aspect to it, but i don't want it to be the only thing that defines him...

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Poor Academic Performance in Students on the Autism Spectrum

“I am a single mom of a 12 y.o. daughter with high functioning autism. She is a very smart child, but she doesn’t work hard in the classroom or on homework. Her teacher recently said that she’s in danger of getting D’s in most subjects. She will do just enough to get by rather than trying her best. When I talk to her about how important it is to get good grades, she rolls her eyes and tells me that it’s too boring. And there have been a few times that talking to her about it leads to meltdowns. She’s more interested in playing games on her iPad. What can I do to light a fire under her?”

As a mother of a child with high-functioning autism (Asperger’s), I’m sure it’s difficult not to become highly invested in her academic life, because you know how important it is for her future. From an adult’s viewpoint, it probably makes no sense to you that your daughter would put things like electronics before her work. In all actuality, she probably is motivated, but not by what you think should motivate her. In other words, she is probably not at all lazy when it comes to things that excite her (e.g., her iPad). However, if you pressure her in order to motivate her to do better in school, it almost always makes things worse.

So, what can you do? Here are some general ideas that can help:

1. High-functioning autistic kids respond best when the answer to the question "what's in it for me?" is something they desire. These “special needs” children never really make the leap from instant gratification to internal motivation or drive (e.g., self-satisfaction in a job well done or pride in their ability to face a challenging situation). They are simply wired differently emotionally. Parents and teachers soon come to realize that motivation to complete tasks is closely linked to perceived personal gain or reward for that student. For them to achieve and keep on achieving, the possibility of personal reward must be present as a motivator. Often this reward revolves around the special interest of the student (in your daughter’s case, games on an iPad!).

2. Eliminate the word “homework” from your vocabulary. Replace it with the word “study.” Have a study time instead of a homework time. Have a study table instead of a homework table. This word change alone will go a long way towards eliminating the problem of your daughter saying, "I don't have any homework." Study time is about studying, even if you don't have any homework. It's amazing how much more homework high-functioning autistic children have when they have to study regardless of whether they have homework or not.

3. Is it really boredom – or anxiety? Children on the autism spectrum are notorious for experiencing anxiety. Some of your daughter’s “lack of motivation” or “irresponsibility” may very well be her own anxiety about schoolwork. Most kids have anxiety about doing certain things and may avoid them at all cost. Your daughter may not know that anxiety plays a role in her academics, because it’s not always on a conscious level for her.

Think of it like this: Let’s say your daughter tells you she doesn’t have homework when she actually does.  This will stir up your worry and concern. When you react to it by lecturing her about how important good grades are, your daughter will manage her anxiety by distancing from it – and from you! While a little anxiety can be a motivating force, too much will block your daughter’s ability to think and to have access to the part of the brain that helps her with motivation. Thus, try to keep your emotions in check by recognizing that it may be your daughter’s anxiety at play rather than plain laziness. Your task is to not react to her anxiety – or your own.

4. It's possible that your daughter may simply be bored with the school routine rather than the actual subject matter itself. Thus, try to spice up the educational process. For example, take her studies outdoors. Connect family outings and activities to things your daughter is learning in school. So, if she's studying American history, take a weekend and visit to a nearby battlefield. Or, if she is learning about botany, start digging in your backyard and plant a garden.

5. Disorganization is a problem for most kids on the autism spectrum. If you want your daughter to be organized, you have to invest the time to help her learn an organizational system. Your job is to teach her the system. Her job is to use it. Check occasionally to see if the system is being used. Check more often at first. Provide direction and correction where necessary. If your daughter needs help with time management, teach her time management skills. Help her learn what it means to prioritize by the importance and due date of each task. Teach her to create an agenda each time she sits down to study. And, help her experience the value of getting the important things done first.

6. Sometimes books needed for homework are left at school. If this happens often, it is a sure sign that your daughter is struggling to learn and feels that the homework is too hard. Talk to your daughter's teachers and try to set up a system to remind her what books are needed.

7. Many kids on the autism spectrum become overwhelmed with schoolwork and need to focus on the smaller steps to achieving goals, rather than the big end result. Perhaps the number one reason that high-functioning autistic kids feel unmotivated is that they are overwhelmed by the enormity of homework and studying, which can make success seem so far in the future that it's unattainable. Thus, create a list of small goals that your daughter can check off as she reaches them. For example, rather than telling your daughter that she needs to spend one hour writing in order to complete her assignment, break the assignment down into (a) researching an idea (check!), (b) writing a rough draft (check!), and (c) polishing it up in a final draft (check!).

8. Doing homework takes time, time that your daughter would rather spend doing her fun thing. So, set a limit to the time she spends doing homework and stick to it. If she knows she can stop working at a certain time, she will be more motivated to do the work.

9. A “token economy” suits the needs of kids on the spectrum quite well. It is a system where your daughter can earn tokens as a reward for desired actions (in this case, completing homework). A predetermined number of tokens are then “cashed in” for an activity that she desires (e.g., “game time” on her iPad).

Some parents are stringently against giving their child money in exchange for doing homework. However, for children with high-functioning autism, it is worth trying. Token economies that use money tokens seem to be the most successful in increasing their ability to delay gratification, and lessening the risk of satiation (i.e., overuse of a reward that results in the youngster no longer viewing it as a reward). Using money in a token economy will negate the need for your daughter to decode an abstract concept, because in the “real world,” people are paid money for completing tasks by way of employment.

Autistic kids take a long time to establish trust, and for this reason, a token economy should focus on rewarding desired actions. Once the program has been established for a few months, you may then be able to introduce “response costs” where your daughter is fined for failing to follow through on her “work.” This correlates the token economy program with real-world experiences. However, the focus of the program must be on the positives, otherwise your daughter will quickly lose motivation and trust.

Be creative with the “reinforcers” offered as motivation for your daughter. Offering a “menu” of rewards to choose can be very effective. Initially, “cashed in” rewards need to be fairly instant (e.g., at the end of each day). Over time, this can be stretched to the end of each week. As your daughter matures, this delayed gratification may be able to be stretched to a month. However, small rewards and motivators should be offered consistently along the way.

10. Homework is often left to the last minute. Thus, help your daughter keep a homework agenda complete with dates for when work has to be handed in. Mark dates on a calendar and work backwards to decide when she should start the work. Then let her be responsible for getting the work done on time. Don't let your daughter allow her problem (no time left to complete homework) to become your problem.

11. Kids on the spectrum are very visually-oriented. Thus, consider a visual way for your daughter to see accomplishment on homework. For example, it may mean taking a link off of a paper chain or putting jelly beans in a container. It can be a marker board or calendar to mark off the items completed. When the completed tasks are made visible, your daughter will develop a stronger sense of accomplishment.

12. Be patient with your daughter. Some days will go smoothly when it comes to homework. Other days, it will feel like a war-zone. Maybe she is having a bad day. Tomorrow is a new day that brings another opportunity to teach study skills.

13. The amount of benefit your daughter gets from finishing a homework assignment NEVER outweighs the importance of your relationship with her. The amount of time you spend cajoling and coercing her to do the work is counterproductive. There is no way that homework should create tension in a family, and definitely not the kind that leads to meltdowns.

As a mom of a high-functioning autistic child, you have probably discovered that this disorder disrupts her academic abilities in multiple areas (e.g., a lowered tolerance for new situations or sudden transitions, lack of organizational skills, inconsistent energy levels, high distractibility, excessive interest in only one or two subjects to the exclusion of all others, etc.). All of these can present challenges when attempting to complete homework. Fortunately, the basic strategies listed above can help prevent those dreaded evening meltdowns related to homework.

Click here for more ==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management


COMMENTS:


•    Anonymous said…  This sounds like my daughter. I have not found anything that helps.
•    Anonymous said… (9yr old): so true when I must do homework I'd rather just play games its way better than boring school work. Trust me if you were a child in these days then you would understand. Maybe give your child enough playtime before school and after school then they more likely to do some homework, but it must sound like its part of playtime From me (mom): I completely get this, homework time is a nightmare!
•    Anonymous said… At home don't you think it's easier to manage than what they do or don't do at school?
•    Anonymous said… Does she have an IEP, we got my daughter one this year, so far they are working with us and modifying hw....its a battle every night.
•    Anonymous said… Have they tried to figure out why he won't do it? My son likes Math but he has Sensory issues so he's distracted in the classroom. He complains of the noise a lot. Also, he has problems writing. I think they need to find out why first.
•    Anonymous said… He behaves for the most part at school. He releases it all on me. I raised him as a single mom. He doesn't act this way with his every other weekend dad. I'm the one who has to make him do things he doesn't want to do. So, homework and home behaviors are tough for us.
•    Anonymous said… he doesn't do it because it's "boring and pointless" he says.  ๐Ÿ˜žHe's been told numerous times how math helps you in the future, but he is still resistant. I think he just needs help reading math questions to clarify what they ask, because he makes it harder than it is.
•    Anonymous said… Home school her. Let her guide her own education, since she's smart enough :)
•    Anonymous said… I am experiencing the exact same thing with my son. My fear is that video games are always going to be more interesting, addictive, and they make him feel happy. He us fairly socially isolated so all the more reason video games are attractive to him. He does well at school but does not work to his ability and only puts in enough work to get it done. There is no passion beyond video games. I talk to him all the time about it but nothing seem to change his thinking.
•    Anonymous said… I don't normally comment on anything but i will have to say i am happy with the progress of my son who is now 14 yrs old. For the fits he is on antidepressants. I was always against it till we got one that works. He can now have a rational conversation. He has the same rules as the rest of the kids which is no gaming until house work and home work is done. He is the only one of the kids who figured it out and gets his stuff done because we don't give in on the rules. Good luck it's not an easy road but doable๐Ÿ˜Ž
•    Anonymous said… I have a 15 yo grandson with Aspergers. Enrolled in our local Charter school. When he does not perform up to his potential, he loses all electronics.
All. At our house electronics are tied to participation and grades. Tough love. Let her meltdown.
•    Anonymous said… I'm so sorry. I think the only reason the considered it for my daughter is because she also has seizure disorder but is well controlled with the med. see if a doctor could maybe help
•    Anonymous said… It can be the way their brain works. Had trouble with my son getting him to expand on answers, finally got out of him "the teacher already knows the answer, and if they don't, they need to learn where to get the answers from, I'm not giving them my tricks to get the answer." We also found with him at times he couldn't be bothered writing the answers, or wouldn't expand when the work was too easy.He is now doing home schooling and we have seen a large improvement in his work, as it is all on the computer, and he is individually assesed and given work at his level as he is a year 7, but they are giving him year 8-9 work..
•    Anonymous said… It should not matter that he gets it. Having a iep allows special instructions. It is individualized to fit the needs of the student. You can write a letter requesting why he needs the iep. My daughter is in a mixed class. Some without iep and some without There are coteaching to Keep things on track.
•    Anonymous said… Lock up the devices. (We have to put our kiddo's in the Thule roof pod, because he's getting good at opening other locks.) Give time on the device as a reward for better school performance. Write up a contract with your kiddo that outlines the marks they need in order to obtain time on the device. Worked with our kiddo. Went from a D to an A-minus average. Of course, he still whines about us not giving him free-range access.
•    Anonymous said… Mine fakes sick and really doesn't want to go. It is so frustrating.
•    Anonymous said… My 11 yr old son is the same. I've emailed the head of year 7 and she said she'll inform the SENCO.
•    Anonymous said… My 12 year old boys are exactly the same. With us we try to vary rewards (computer time being one of them) to at least get stuff done at home. They've used a point system at school with the same reward to get stuff done. We try to base stuff on minecraft or things they like doing
•    Anonymous said… My husband is always accusing me of letting my son off the hook because of his asperger's so I find it difficult to find the balance. I want him prepared for life but also want to have empathy for his situation and the way his mind works. It's a constant battle with school work and tests etc. I spend so much of my time breaking his work down into manageable sections.
•    Anonymous said… My son is similar and all teachers in all prior grades have said he picks up quick and knows all material and they afraid he will get bored easily. Which is exactly what hapened. Try talking to the school staff and see if they can her something more challenging to find interest.
•    Anonymous said… My son is the same but he just often refuses to go to school. Yes, he is on an iep. Getting him to even go to school for a short time is a daily battle. He has a lot of anxiety.
•    Anonymous said… Pushing them harder will only make it worse, teach her differently. Sometimes there is too much stimulation in a full classroom that makes it hard to concentrate. Went threw this with my son. Or, it simply just cant hold their attention. Not all children learn the same. Like putting square peg in a circle.
•    Anonymous said… Sometimes I wonder if we make excuses for them because we don't want to deal with the rage and tantrums. I'm at a crossroads where I feel like I'm sick of always thinking about the diagnosis and making it about that. At a certain point he's going to have to deal with it and toughen up. He can be so manipulative and uses rage to get what he wants. I used a reward system at a younger age then I stopped because I think I created a need for reward for doing regular things. Now, when he has to do normal stuff it isn't worth it to him. I feel I need to let him know that no one will give him exceptions in the real world. I'm worried he will not succeed in terms of learning to be motivated to provide for himself or do basic self care if he's not held to the same standards as everyone else. I'm really burned out. Anyone else?
•    Anonymous said… Take her on experiences that show her how the subject matter that she is learning is applied. Just as an example, for Geography, get a compass and borrow an altimeter. Take her on an awesome hike with a plotted destination. Teach her to calculate the gradient and direction, look at wind flow and mountain clouds to describe adiabatic flow and orographic rain. Let her take you to where you're going to learn to orientate a map..... Once she can see application in real life during fun activities, her whole attitude to learning will change.
•    Anonymous said… The last meeting about this was Thursday. This is the second time I've asked for it. The last time we were turned down after going through the process, so they don't want to try again. We are at a brick wall. We had a stressful weekend and that added to today's meltdown. This all scares me.
•    Anonymous said… They won't give my son an iep because he gets the math, but won't do it. Just today he threw a fit in class in front of the other students!!. 6th grade and it landed him in the principles room. What the heck do I do? What am I doing wrong???
•    Anonymous said… This is my 16 year old son as well. He has a 504 but his school counselor isn't all that helpful. It's been a constant homework battle for 10 1/2 years of school. He's still getting D's in classes but his test scores are As. One thing I have observed having another kid in my neighborhood who is on the other end of the spectrum is that it's easy for people to look at a child who is visibly handicapped and be empathetic and want to help, but with these high functioning autism spectrum kids like ours they look normal so the attitude is they should just act normal.
•    Anonymous said… Use what they love as a reward and break the task down. I had to sit beside my son to do homework almost every day until he was in year 10 then fortunately he got a case manager at school who would help him to alleviate the stress at home. I found that once I accepted that his field of interest was so narrow and explained to him that he still needed to get the work done for the other classes to be able to finish school and then focus in a career in gaming it made it easier. We would do one task then set the timer and he was allowed to game until it went off - was usually an hour as it gave me time to get dinner cooked! My son is now 21 and studying online, he also "works" with a group of international people on game design which hopefully oneday he'll see a return on. Remember to look after yourselves along this journey, it is particularly exhausting for parents of ASD kids....be kind to yourselves  ๐ŸŒท ❤
•    Anonymous said… We had the same problem with my son, refused to do any homework and it just became a never ending battle that no one was going to win, so I explained the situation to the school SEN coordinator and they decided to put aside a little time at school every day to do his homework so he could have his time in the evening at home (which I think they really need as when you think it must be an exhausting day for any child on the spectrum) and it worked. He's 16 now, got all B's and C's in his GCSE's and is now at college studying computer science and I.T which he loves as it's something HE is interested in, "no more boring lessons" :)
•    Anonymous said… You're doing nothing wrong! If he has a diagnosis then they have to work with you to create an IEP. If the school won't work with you, go to your school district.

Post your comment below…

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for Nov., 2016]

Do you need some assistance in parenting your Aspergers or HFA child? Click here to use Mark Hutten, M.A. as your personal parent coach.

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My daughter was adopted at birth and diagnosed with Aspergers in 4th grade. Fast forward to this year. She hates us and we have had a horrible year as a junior in highschool. Chloe has progressed to the point where she runs away and has stayed with her birth mother, acquaintences, and so called “friends”. We have tried all these years with psychologists and psychiatrists. She has been been on medications and she believes it is all my husband’s and my fault she is messed up because we made her take these drugs! Her doctor’s said she needs to be in treatment at a facility twice this past summer. That was the worst decision in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I could take back this whole year I would and I would never listen to these so called professionals!! That time in these places destroyed any relationship that could have been. I am positive things were  not handled correctly considering her adoption and aspergers together. Between these 2 parts of her personality her life has fallen apart and I’ve lost my daughter. Nobody would listen and the schools and doctors made everything worse. My world has fallen apart!

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My marriage has failed. I had posted my thoughts on the subject on facebook because I wanted to share with people about the changes in my life. A friend of mine that has known me for years reaches out to me whose child has recently been diagnosed with ASD. She used to live with me for at least a year or two and asked me if I had looked into Aspergers before because she began to think specifically of me while she was learning about her child. About three years ago a pediatrician had met me for the first time and then asked my wife if I had Aspergers. I did not follow up on this because it seemed ridiculous. A year later my third child, my second son, was diagnosed with ASD. He is moderate to severe. Now that my friend has reached out to me I began to take her thoughts seriously. Since I was on the edge of divorce which is now inevitable, I was much more open. I began to read about Aspergers and watch videos on youtube and I almost cried because of just how much it made sense to me... the isolation, the depth of intense emotion, and the great difficulties in social interaction, etc, etc. While I may not have a strong case which we might seen as portrayed in Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, which I believe is just an acted portrayal to extenuate the obvious, I do believe that I may suffer from some form of Aspergers, ever if just a mild case. My wife has insisted that I am narcissistic but I don't feel that on the inside at all. I have difficulty understanding most people and am often misunderstood. I have many friends who have experienced social awkwardness. I have not found an affordable method of obtaining a formal diagnosis, and even then I am afraid that I will not receive it. It would be very confusing to me if it were not so given the cogency of this perspective. I know that not all psychologists are the same, with varying degrees of knowledge concerning ASD, and so I fear that I could receive a wrong conclusion depending upon who does the evaluation. Please share your thoughts with me in this regard. I would greatly appreciate it.

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My son is high functioning but he still struggles with alot as far as school, he has autism and a central auditory processing disorder and adhd....im fighting back amd fourth with his school to have him placed in a smaller setting and its been a year and im still fighting to get my son the best education he deserves im uneducated when it comes to his disorder i try to understand it a little more each day i want to know if you have any referral sources for me to help me be a better advocate for my 8 year old son.

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Hello
I have a 17 year old who just found out he has HFA and is devastated. Even when his father and I heard the news, it didn't make sense. We thought he just had been suffering from depression all his life but the more we learn about HFA, the more we realize that you're describing our son. However, he doesn't seem so typical...he plays baseball but that's his only other interest besides video games, he doesn't seem not to get along with friends but when he's tired of them, he pushes them to the curb with no empathy, he never invites friends over, and he says he has no feelings for us, his parents,.. he's adopted.
But if anyone met him on the surface, they would never suspect anything. They describe him as funny, a nice kid and everyone loves him. Hes never been picked on in school. But it's an act.
Anyway, my question to you is, how do we get him used to the idea that he has this. It was suggested to him by his therapist and ever since then, he doesn't want to talk about it, or deal with it. He wants to bury it. He always thought of a kid with autism as a "nerd" and he says he's not that kid. And I understand, I never would have guessed on the surface, but the more I learn about it, I think his therapist is right.
Any suggestions?
I would do anything to help out this kid. He has been dealing with this for a long time and we need help before he graduates.

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Hi Mark,
My husband and I realized he had aspergers about 3 years ago. We have two small kids. I am working on letting go of the resentment but its hard. Especially because no one really knows except me that he has it so I can't really talk about it openly.  I have been reading your ebook and listening to the audio clips from your seminar. They are extremely helpful. Its really hard to find the right resources. Your book and audio clips are spot on our challenges.

I have been struggling to find the right therapist for my husband and I that has experience in this area. I have seen psychologists and find them helpful for me. My husband has gone too which is a good step but I think we need someone with more knowledge of Aspergers.  Is there a website of therapists you would recommend? We live in Northern Virginia.

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Hi Mark,

We have  HFA 14yr old  teenager( Ethan). He under treatment for anxiety. He is taking cymbalta and adderal for Adhd.     We have many issues : failing grades , poor hygiene., little or no social connection with anyone in 9th grade.  He has not friends in the neighborhood. Based on our knowledge , this is normal for HFA kids.

We try to  provide support  and guidance on his difficulties. He does have consequence for non-compliance. Currently , he has lost all phone and video game privileges.   He can be defiant to discipline at times.

 When we offer advice and  or get him professional help , he is resistant to needing help.  He doesn't think he has anxiety  or depression.

He tells every psychiatrist  that he does not  have anxiety and doesn't need medicine.  He does it only for his parents. 

WE remind him to shower and brush teeth every  day.  He often lies about it or makes an excuse not to  do either. When he does clean himself , he does a poor job.

As parent we knows something is wrong, but HE WONT ADMIT ANY difficulty or the fact that is autistic in even a minor way..  He will argues  this to the end. As far as he is concerned he is normal teen and does not see much difference between himself and other teens. Any issues he is having he thinks he can handle it himself. He has the maturity of a 5-6th grader in a 14yr old body.

. He is smart enough to come up with lots of excuses ( tired, lazy, sleepy, etc)

  He is too big and too old to hold his hand on hygiene and he is self aware enough to know that he is too old for parents to see him naked or help do basic hygiene like teeth brushing.

 When he was younger I could  forcibly clean him but now  he just shuts bathroom door and comes out. I cannot verify if he uses soap at all.. many times his hair is not washed at all.

when he is confronted with his failures, he makes simple excuse that he is tired.
But it seems he is tired all the time.  i know he is frustrated but getting him to admit that he is having struggles is nearly impossible.

What advice can you offer?   We need help.  I keep thinking if we could get him recognize that he needs  help, he would  follow our guidance more.
Even for schoolwork, we he thinks his strategy is working and he is failing.

Where should we start? 

One final note, his mother and I are divorced but have good communication and co-parenting. He lives primarily with his mother. I have him every other weekd and every Wednesday.

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Dear Mark Hutten,
my wife and I have read you article "Parents with Asperger Syndrome"on
http://theneurotypical.com/parents-with-aspergers.html
Being parents of five wonderful now adult children my wife Elisabeth and I initially felt that you were a little too sombre in your approach, but we have come to realise that my ASD has been more devastating to our children  than hitherto perceived.

Elisabeth is working on a book in Danish to deal with the burden that ASD pose on the neurotypicals in their family. Most books have until recently dealt more with how to cater for the autistic persons.  Such books are certainly needed. But we have (at least on the rather small Danish market )  lacked books and information aimed at helping the many neurotypical "innocent bystanders" who become victims of the urgent demands from siblings or parents with ASD.
We have translated the article mentioned above into Danish, and want to ask your permission to quote it in full in the Danish book , which hopefully will be the result of our endeavours. I am an experienced translator and interpretor (my main special interest is in the field of Linguistics) But your article did not get much help from Google translate, so I had to translate most of it "by hand",
A Canadian friend of ours offered to help, but we think that we have already a functional translation and only need your approval (you are welcome to receive a copy - though it might not make much sense to you).
While responding my Canadian friend, the real meaning of the third part of the triad finally dawned on me - and I have to agree with your description and metaphor. Also mind-blindness is a more precise description.
Thank you very much for the enlightenment that you article has yielded for us.  I hope that you will take the time to read the mail quoted below since it contains the reason for me realising the meaning of mind-blindness.

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Mark,
I 'used' his gullibility to tell him that I called non-emergency police and they confirmed that it is about the assaulted one, once one pays hands on another, that the one who was grabbed and frightened could press charges, he'd be arrested. He seemed to shrug it off, but then a few mins ago, I intercommed to see what he needed for school tomorrow, and said I wished he would be sorry, and he said, "Goodnight Mom and i AM sorry I knocked you on the sofa and pressed your lungs that you felt bad."
We talked a little more about it, I thanked him for the acknowledgement. We even said our prayers together on the intercom--he led. He is staying out in the tent bc I am sure it is just too much to have said that and he needs some time with his ego and feelings.
I would still welcome any feedback you may have, as you likely have much experience with this. Overall, I feel it is a good outcome and I will sleep well tonight.

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Hi there,
My daughter has many of the challenging behaviors you speak of on your website. However, I am wondering what you think since the situation is with a teen who is 19 years and 4 months of age. Wants out of the house for many reasons and would go if affordable. Attends college, works, etc. Therapy and meds have been used but are now refused.  Should I work on this with your techniques or is this more of an "I want out of the house" situation? We are all pretty miserable. Of course when a teen is now an "adult", legally, things change.
I look forward to hearing from you.

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Hi, Mark.
I am part of your parents of those on the spectrum. My son is 21, "high-functioning" and attends college classes independently. He reliably comes and goes, etc but occasionally has, as is the case this time, misperception about how HARD or roughly he handles or touches me, his mother.
There is no-body else in the home, and mostly no-body else in his life that "knows" him in this way, although he would deny the validity of this statement.
The issue I ask your advise on is this: Friday evening, when I was vocally upset that he wouldn't come along to the tire store (because I have laryngitis this week and it has been tough to talk or I would have handled the tire issue) and stated so, he came into the other room where I was sitting on the sofa and knocked me down to a laying position and held my shoulders. With the laryngitis I already have a feeling of it being a little hard to breathe in my upper chest--when he held me down saying I was 'out of control" I was gasping and I was really frightened, struggling with NO HOPE of getting UP and out of his grasp--I had to say "I can't breathe!" as loudly as I could until he finally let me up about the 5th request--I was terrified that my lungs were going to burst.
He had to leave to go to self defense on the bus, and I told him that under the rules of housing, he had to stay out in the tent on our premises--I locked the house and made it inaccessible and that is how it has been until now--2 nights. I originally wrote in the note I placed outside that he was "grounded outside" until Sunday at 5 pm--and then at 230 PM today, I requested an apology via note outside on door. He denies that 'he held me down THAT hard" and refuses to apologize.
My position, although I prefer of course not to have to remain in it, is that I refuse re-admittance until he makes apology, having told him on the phone extension (which is how we talk--a few times now since he has been outside) that ASSAULT is not about how the person inflicting IT perceives it, but rather how the INJURED party perceives it, and if it were another person he did this to, they could have him arrested. (Of course, a smaller or older person could have been seriously hurt or caused death and he would still contend that "he didn't hold them down THAT hard"???). He is 210 pounds and 6'2". I am under 150 pounds and 56 years old.
I feel you will support my position as the parent and owner of this home, and advise me that I must hold my ground, even though I DID in fact change the original statement (that he would be grounded only until Sunday 5pm) and that I now require an apology/acknowledgement. I ask what additionally you will advise so that I can "get through to him" about this being a serious matter. (He stated after refusing the apology that (he graduates with an AS Business degree next month) that he is going to get a job at the DQ down the street and 'have his own money'. To me, that is evading the responsibility of this matter, and separate and unreal in light of the fact that he now lives in a tent.)

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I need so much help I am on the verge of divorce that my husband doesnt know. We have three kids and everything in this video describes me. My husband mother never told him he was HFA and left it to me to do so. I am not sure why his fsmily wont tell him and he hates me for telling him he is and needs help. I feel like I cant do anything for him and the best thing to do is leave. Please send me the e-book or direct me to sute to download please. It is by God I came across you again the first time I just skipped by it thinking there wasnl no hope now I am here and need to give this another shot. If he is in denial about being autistic how do i get him diagnose and my young daughter has autistic child like characteristic but because she is smart people blow me off but I know she thinks differently I feel so alone as a wife and mom.
Thank you for all that you do to help us women.

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Hi Mark,

I am about to get the book “Living with an Asperger Partner” for us. Jim and I have an Asberger son now 35.
He lives with a wonderful gal partner the last few years and they really love each other. she really goes thru it with him – as we did for 30 years. We love her and she is very close to us like a daughter. We are very blessed she has a relationship with us….they want to get married…but there are big hurdles that have to take place first.

We discovered that his problem was Aspergers only later in life at 25….I was taking a Psychology course for Art Therapy studies and I literally screamed when I read the section on Aspergers and shouted to my hubby- honey this is it -this is it -this is whats wrong!!! We then headed into great grief as there was NO info like this when he was younger!! We took him to a psy. Doctor and he confirmed it….but he WoNT get any more help. We have all have gone nuts trying everything and my/our health suffered from the acute stresses.

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Hello Mark,

Could you tell me if there are any online support group for teenagers with Asperger’s?  My 13 year old son has expressed interest in joining a group and I think this could be beneficial for him. We told him about his diagnosis about a year ago, but he struggles with it daily and I think that maybe if he could talk with other teenagers like himself, it would make him feel not so different.  In addition, I was wondering if you could help direct me to any social group for teens with Aspergers in Maryland or DC? 

I will look forward to your response.  Thank you and have a great day! 

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Dear Mr. Hutten,

I am the proud Mom of a 15 year old son diagnosed with ADD and Asperger's approximately 5 years ago (also Mom to an 8 yr old girl).  I've been a frequent visitor to MyAspergersChild.com and have found it to be an excellent resource on a variety of topics!  

Fortunately my son has been very high functioning and has required little, if any, modifications/accommodations at school (he has a 504).  He's always been the "little professor" with dreams of becoming an aerospace engineer from the age of 4!!  However, as he started high school last year (he's in 10th grade now) it seemed as if some of the "traits" were becoming more apparent.   I've read many articles and was informed by his Doctor to expect this as he reached his teens and responsibilities grew, but somehow I just hoped he'd get off easy....and then life got even more complicated.  

My 17+ year marriage to his Father was crumbling and we began living separately in Nov 2015 and started the horrific descent down the path of divorce.  Obviously any divorce is difficult and we have the added stress of domestic violence against me (which children have witnessed, unfortunately) and although never officially diagnosed, my son's Father exhibits behaviors which leads my therapist and myself to believe he is a narcissist (covert).  Whether my soon-to-be ex is or isn't a narcissist, he has suddenly taken a keen interest in being a Dad and is waging an all out war to get the "time" he is entitled to his children - 50% - but specifically using the 5/2/2/5 schedule (One parent has Mon/Tues overnight, the other parent has Wed/Thurs overnight, then alternate Fri/Sat/Sun overnights).  Personally this sounds like transition terror for anyone - let alone a child with Asperger's.  I am praying my attorney and I can convince either my husband or a Judge but it doesn't look promising.  

Please forgive me for sharing my life story, but, here's where you may be able to help me.  I'm hoping my story can give you a glimpse into our life and help you determine how or if any of your programs may assist me in better supporting my son.  Currently my son is barely attending school and is suffering anxiety and depression to the point he's been placed on an anti-depressant.  Of course we are seeing a therapist, Dr., etc. on a regular basis and my attorney will hopefully be addressing the legal issues as best he can.  But is there anything else I can do to help my son?  I've been a stay-at-home mother for 15+ years and will soon be forced to sell the home we've lived in for over 10 years, am facing financial hurdles and a future that is unknown.  All the while I'm feeling like a spectator in this process of divorce, having little sense of control over the direction of my or my children's lives.  I almost feel it would have been easier on the kids if I had just "sucked it up" and tried to continue living as a married couple.  What did saying "no more" get us?  I'm still being manipulated and abused, maybe not physically, but certainly mentally and emotionally and my husband is now armed with an additional weapon - the legal system.  I can tolerate just about anything, but seeing what this is doing to my kids is killing me - and I'm afraid I seem to be the only one seeing the damage being done.  Ok, sorry for the ranting, but hopefully the intensity of my concern for my kids, especially my son, is coming through.

As I mentioned, I have visited your site often, however, for the first time today I noticed you are based in Anderson, IN.   I too am a Hoosier!  I was born and raised in Lapel, Indiana, graduated from Madison Heights High and still have a brother living in Anderson.  I relocated to Arizona in 2000 but am still a Hoosier at heart!  Call it Divine Intervention or something but knowing you were based in Indiana made me look a little further - specifically into the online parent coaching.  I'm really thinking it would help me to get some reassurance and support regarding issues with my son.  Obviously in this whole process of splitting up, it's really been just trying to survive, keep things together and as normal as possible for the kids.  There's been little time for healing myself - that will have to come later.  But I do recognize my lack of confidence and insecurities as a woman and a parent can play a huge factor (good or bad) in how I am able to support my children through this.   Perhaps having someone to bounce things off via email when I'm questioning myself or need ideas or advice in handling issues with my son is just what I need.  My typical hour long therapy session is good, but somewhat limited by time and my ability to connect face to face.  I feel more comfortable behind the screen.

Again, sorry for the lengthy note.  I'd really appreciate it if you would take a moment and consider if any of your services may be useful.  I'm looking to expand my knowledge to better assist my son through this process.  I really believe one of the best things I can do for both my kids is to reassure them everything will be ok - no matter what the future looks like - I'll still be there for them.   And in order to do that I have to BELIEVE it myself and learn to trust myself and empower myself.  Thanks so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you Mr. Hutten.

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Hi Mark!  I have a daughter with HFA and bought your e-book awhile back.  Well, just starting with it now and am very HOPEFUL this will help our entire house.  2 questions for you:
1.  Megan, my daughter, has been in a MAJOR flare-up for almost 2 months now.  Due to her stage 3 kidney disease, we just now have it under control.  HOWEVER, the NEGATIVE behaviors that came along with it (PANDAS) are NOW her natural response when she is upset, frustrated, etc.  She uses the F bomb, spits, and destroys a room.  There is NO talking to her when she is in this place.  Her 2 brothers know this is wrong and usually lock themselves in their rooms for safety sake. Any suggestions?  Am I just supposed to let her call me a F'n lady and destroy things?

2.  She is "sweet as pie" at school (she is at a small Montessori school), yet if something has her mad, it all comes out in the car and at home.  I used to think this was all behavioral, but the autism experts tell me this is where she feels safe.  What is your take on this?  BTW, she won't communicate with me about what the problem is and trying to figure it out only makes things worse.

Thank you for your time!  Today we are going to start week 1 in our home. 

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Dear Mark,

I listened to the video about your book but my daughter is 5 years old so thought I'd email you for advice. 

I have had my little lady at a specialist who said she has some asperger traits but because she's so clever and because I have put a lot of work into educating her, she copes well. 

The issue isn't crisis point and she does pretty much as I ask her but if she's doing something she likes (jumping on the sofa) and I tell her not to with the reasons why, she gives me reasons why she likes doing it.  I then have to put her through to her room as she will not stop when I have asked her to stop.  I know it seems a small thing but it could potentially be a big thing if it's not dealt with in the right way.  We both live with my mum at the moment.  My mum tells me that my daughter is being defiant but I think she genuinely doesn't have the concept that other people's feelings matter or that she needs to respect that.  I know she's only 5 years old but she's incredibly bright for her age in some ways so my mum sees her behaviour as defiant.  How do I discipline her without her throwing an almighty Tantrum that lasts all night because she doesn't give up her reasons for doing certain things despite the effect it has on others never mind the sofa..... I hope this email makes sense and that you can help.....?

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Hi Mark,

 I LOVE my boyfriend to death. He has aspergers but does not know it. It is very obvious though. I think it is so beautiful, and while at times frustrating, I have grown to really admire the qualities that are so specific to him. We have been dating for the last 1.5 years. We have had stretches of pure bliss, and times of a rollercoaster type relationship. The bad times seem to be sparked by me.. wanting more.. whether more of a partnership or more affection and communication. I have learned to back off in these times for the most part. But this past month, I guess I had some outside stress going on, and I couldn't seem to cut off the complaining commentary. His parents just came to town to visit. I met his mom for the first time. We all hung out for 4 days straight, and then all of a sudden he started getting pretty rude towards me. we spent the last night that they were here apart. He talked about how miserable he was and that he wants the relationship to be over and that we need to talk about how to move apart and separate. The next day, while we took his parents to the airport, he acted normal like nothing happened. We slept together that night and cuddled a little bit, but never talked about him breaking up with me. The next morning I brought it up and tried to apologize for complaining lately. he was very stern in saying that the relationship is over and its not what he wants, etc. There is no negotiating it. He didn't have time to talk but said that we needed to talk about separating and finances at some point. This was yesterday morning. We have gone through this before, and it eventually blew over. But it seems a lot more serious this time. He was talking about how I wedge my way in with everyone in his life - parents.. friends.. etc. His parents really liked me.. maybe he got jealous? And yeah, his friends always reach out to me because I'm a quicker responder and better communicator, but I am in no way trying drive a wedge between them at all!! But, that is what he sees in his mind. I know he is not truly miserable (maybe right now he is). But whenever there is conflict, he seems to totally forget the good times and that he was happy right before that. There's no discussing it with him either. 

So all day yesterday, I didn't call or text him. Right after work, I went to my friend's house where I stayed until almost midnight. Right before I got home, he texted me and asked if I was okay... which is abnormal for him to do. I didn't see it until I was home so I didn't reply. He was staying up waiting for me it seemed. So, I went to bed... no words spoken... and he initiated sex.. and then we cuddled all night again. Then this morning, when he got up, it was just this "dead" feeling again. No talking on either of our behalfs. 

I really don't know where to go from here. I do not want it to be over at all. I have had the most pain I've ever experienced in the last few days. I want it to blow over. So, this time I'm avoiding talking about it. Being more distant.. Trying to let him come to me. But, do you think there is hope? Do you have advice of how to communicate to him in a way that he will listen and we could possibly move past this. I know if we can get past this, I will be much more aware of myself and complaining. Reading your book really helped. He can't help the lack of affection/emotions. But he does show he cares in his own ways. I love that so much about him.

Any advice would be appreciated. For now, I'll just keep being silent.

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My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years. When I met his son, I noticed right away that he was more unsocial and sort of void in expression most of the time. As time went by, I would mention to my husband that I felt Cole must have some sort of high functioning autism or Aspergers. He would deny it, but after time, he has come around a bit and mentions during conversations that I think he has some sort of Aspergers "or something". Problem is, Cole is now 20 years old. I read so much about teens with HFA but not much about young adults. Do you talk to the child at the age of 20 and tell them your thoughts? Do they get diagnosed at that age? And if so... it seems more knowledge and understanding than anything. 
Cole has never been one to throw a tantrum, and he is willing to put the game down for a minute to do an errand... I appreciate all of that. 
He does play games ALL of the time when he is home. My husband doesn't find issue with it at all. He's glad that Cole isn't out partying or getting into trouble. I told him that I agree, but this is its own kind of wrong... sitting on the computer or xbox ALL OF THE TIME. We did make him get a job. This took a couple of years. Now that job ended and he just got another job, or he was going to have to move out, cause he needs to pay rent and car insurance. (He didn't get his license til we made him either.) The job hunting was hard too, cause he doesn't want to deal with the public and would overlook so many job openings due to disinterest. He finally is working at Office Max. 
I guess I'm just asking for answers to the above questions if possible. Or even finding info that would help with a young adult HFA.

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Good morning,

I am looking for a counselor with Asperger experience for my husband and I.  He is 52 yrs old with a later in life diagnosis.  He travels for work so we need online counseling as I am not with him during the week.  We have been married since 1998 and have tried counseling for many years which did not work since it did not address the Asperger issues.  I am exhausted and deflated.  If I could support our 5 children by myself, I would have left years ago.

Our income is 125,000 a year for a family of 7 (we have 3 boys on the Autism spectrum as well.

Please let me know if you are taking new clients and what the fee would be for long term therapy.

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My teenager is totally out of control and abuses me verbally won't listen to me my mother sides with her my mother abused me and I am bipolar and very sick with chf they take advantage of me because I am mentally ill and take advantage of that situation I am widowed My husband sometimes had control of our daughter she is very strong willed at school she acts shy and lets others push her around gets bullied and at home she is very vocal I think someone at a friends house is abusing her or she is depressed or someone at school is abusing her she use to go to school HC with panties come home without panties I just don't know what to do and can no longer reach her afraid for her actions I don't think anyone is safe around her she becomes very violent at times this weekend she was hitting her friend for chicken when she had food on her plate when I told her to stop she hit her more...

Lost on what to do in Holland(?)

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Hello Mark,

I am wondering if it is possible for a child to have 2 evaluations (at ages 13 and 15) by 2 different agencies, be diagnosed with ADHD-Not Otherwise Specified and ADHD-Inattentive Type, but have HFA instead.  I guess what I’m really asking is if you’ve ever heard of someone having a very atypical presentation of HFA but still being diagnosed with HFA.  For instance, instead of the typical stims of rocking and hand-flapping, the stims are ballet-spins and constantly singing out loud unconsciously.  

All of my daughter’s issues seem to line up with HFA at this point, rather than ADHD (she’s a senior in high school now).  Her 1st evaluator indicated “Savannah has an unusual presentation which warrants continued monitoring for emergence of more severe psychopathology.” I’m wondering if my daughter could have been so high functioning and had such an atypical presentation of HFA that it was missed.  Have you ever heard of this happening and, if so, where does someone go next for a proper diagnosis?
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My son has aspergers. I am going to give him this information about Skype appointments and see if he is interested.
He has some serious paranoia problems that arise at times.
He just had one. He was arrested first time for acting aggressively and over reacting to a situation that was triggered by an incident.
I need to have him connect with someone right away because of a need for a mental consult for him.
Just wanted to know when you are available.

I and his brother have gone over your material and videos and I've tried to keep up on your facebook.
Please let me know when you are available.
I have been introducing your blog to my son with Aspergers. He is 33 and this year is starting to act out more. He just landed his first good job and he needs to keep it.
I knew he had some kind of autism when he was 3. But have not narrowed it down until the last 2 years. He is starting to understand a budget. But he does not have a handle on his thinking.
  

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Hi Mark
I was called in school today to be informed that my 8 year old son has been caught kissing his 8 year old boy classmate several times this week. The teachers warned him and he still did it. They were even caught touching each other's private parts. How should I react to this? I'm in shock.. We have had several sex talks with him yet he did this..Should I purnish him/ ground him ? What would be effective enough for him to understand his behavior is wrong at his age?


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Do you have any names to therapists n the Portland Oregon  see that are skilled in working with couples dealing with Asperers?

My husband and I are botj 57-yers-old, and has aspergers. We've been to counseling b4 but the clinicians have usually apply  their chosen form I couples therapy which simply doesn't work with asperger.  My husbands symptoms worsen a he ages any suggestions you could offer would be apprecited. My husband gets enraged when I try n talk w him about anything related to his behaviors.  There is no right time Or way to speak n tells me he wouldn't do B if I just didn't Do A. Common yet needing 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.

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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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