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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Your Child on the Autism Spectrum: What the Future Holds

*** Prognosis ***

There is some evidence that kids with Asperger's (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) may see a lessening of symptoms as they mature. Up to 20% of kids may no longer meet the diagnostic criteria as grown-ups, although social and communication difficulties may persist.

People with AS and HFA appear to have normal life expectancy, but have an increased prevalence of comorbid psychiatric conditions (e.g., major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder) that may significantly affect prognosis.

Although social impairment is life-long, the outcome is generally more positive than for people with lower functioning autism spectrum disorders. For example, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) symptoms are more likely to diminish with time in kids on the high functioning end of autism. Although most students with the disorder have average mathematical ability and test slightly worse in mathematics than in general intelligence, some are gifted in mathematics. AS and HFA have not prevented some grown-ups from major accomplishments such as winning the Nobel Prize.

Kids on the spectrum may require special education services because of their social and behavioral difficulties, although many attend regular education classes. Teens with the disorder may exhibit ongoing difficulty with self care, organization and disturbances in social and romantic relationships. Despite high cognitive potential, most young adults with AS and HFA remain at home, although some do marry and work independently.

Anxiety may stem from (a) preoccupation over possible violations of routines and rituals, (b) being placed in a situation without a clear schedule or expectations, or (c) concern with failing in social encounters. The resulting stress may manifest as inattention, withdrawal, reliance on obsessions, hyperactivity, or aggressive or oppositional behavior.

Depression is often the result of (a) chronic frustration from repeated failure to engage others socially, and (b) mood disorders requiring treatment may develop. Clinical experience suggests the rate of suicide may be higher among teens on the autism spectrum, but this has not been confirmed by systematic empirical studies.

Education of families is critical in developing strategies for understanding strengths and weaknesses. Helping the family to cope improves outcomes in these young people. Prognosis may be improved by diagnosis at a younger age that allows for early interventions, while interventions in adulthood are valuable, but less beneficial.

As one parent stated, "I keep telling my 7 year old that things may be more difficult for him than other kids but he is smarter than his brain (the best way i can describe it at his age) and that he can train his brain to over come most any obstacle. i truly believe that this is possible with a lot of hard work."

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Aspergers and HFA

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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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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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