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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Developing Parental Optimism and Self-Care: Encouragement for Parents of Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Because it can be exasperating for parents to deal with the behavioral challenges of a youngster with Asperger’s (AS) or High-Functioning Autism (HFA), it can be reassuring for them to know that some of the negative behaviors of their son or daughter often become positive traits in adulthood.

For example, the child who doodles and draws all through school may well become an artist; the most manipulative youngster often turns out to be a remarkable leader, entrepreneur or politician; the most obstinate youngster often turns out to have fierce determination; and the youngster who argues all the time (like a jail house lawyer) may actually become a lawyer someday.

This pattern has been evidenced again and again throughout my experience in working with families affected by autism spectrum disorders:
  • One bright child with AS and ADHD who was impulsive, highly distractible, and had a poor attention span, grew up to be an exceptional emergency healthcare specialist. In an emergency, his adrenaline was apparently stimulated, so he became highly focused, able to put his analytic abilities to use while doing several tasks at once.
  • One very hyperactive youngster with AS turned out to be a very enthusiastic, productive entrepreneur.
  • Another child who sold his mom’s jewelry for 50 cents apiece grew up to be a real estate tycoon.
  • One child who was an incessant tinkerer, taking everything apart, became a mechanical engineer.
  • One boy who tried to help his peers avoid arguing, and who was teased because he was always trying to keep the peace and never projected any opinion of his own, became a mediator.
  • Another child who was very inflexible became an airplane controller who could focus intensely on the task at hand.

Self-care needs to be a priority for moms and dads of kids on the autism spectrum. For example:
  • Parents need to find supportive relatives and friends.
  • They need to locate a support group or an online parent support community that will provide a place for them to vent frustrations and obtain valuable suggestions and parenting strategies.
  • Parents need to develop a strong sense of humor. The youngster with AS or HFA needs to feel that it is not the end of the world that he has a disorder – and he needs to be able to laugh at life’s odd twists and turns, rather than taking life too seriously. Moms and dads, too, need resilience and humor. When they can have fun, and be silly with their child, everyone benefits.
  • Moms and dads themselves need nurturing to help nurture their youngster on the spectrum.
  • They need more sleep than other parents do, because the child with “special needs” can sap his parents’ energy; his disorder demands constant assistance.
  • And, parents need to go out and have fun regularly – away from their child.

It’s challenging to be a parent of any child, but it’s even more difficult to be a parent of a youngster with an autism spectrum disorder. In these special cases, parents need to become an organizer, interpreter, analyst, advocate, a spiritual advisor, psychiatrist, problem solver, notetaker, lawyer, a friend and companion, a disciplinarian, and a cheerleader. That’s certainly juggling a lot of balls all at once! But the payoff will be worth it.

Someday, your high-functioning child may very well start his or her own business, become the Mayor of your city, the CEO of a major company, an engineer, or a medical professional. So, when your AS or HFA child becomes successful in adulthood, don’t be surprised – and remember I told you so.


1 comment:

Farida said...

I'm desperate, I have nothing of those, no friends, no relatives, no support group. feel like i'm getting creasy i won't last long. i feel so lonely in this crowded world, kids have no friends and this makes me feel hundreds timees worse. i hate this fucking world

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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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content