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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Common Social Deficits of Kids on the Autism Spectrum

“Is it common for a child with high functioning autism to have difficulty interpreting the messages others give in conversations? Our son does not seem to understand the rules of social interactions. If he doesn’t understand what someone is saying or doing, he will always be unable to give the appropriate response.”

Yes, these issues are very common. This is why social-skills training in crucial for young people with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s. Skills that “typical” children gain naturally do not become so automatic for kids on the spectrum. Below are some of the socially-related deficits that are part of the disorder.

The child may:
  • “Tell” on peers, breaking the “code of silence” that exists (he will then be unaware why others
    are angry with him).
  • Avert eye contact, or keep it fleeting or limited.
  • Avoid observing personal space (is too close or too far).
  • Avoid turning to face the person he is talking to.
  • Be unable to use gestures or facial expressions to convey meaning when conversing.
  • Be unaware of unspoken or “hidden” rules.
  • Confront another person without changing his face or voice.
  • Engage in self-stimulatory or odd behaviors (e.g., rocking, tics, finger posturing, eye blinking, noises such as humming/clicking/talking to self).
  • Fail to assist someone with an obvious need for help (e.g., not holding a door for someone carrying many items or assisting someone who falls or drops their belongings).
  • Fail to gain another person's attention before conversing with them.
  • Have body posture that appears unusual.
  • Experience difficulty with feelings of empathy for others. 
  • Have interactions with others that remain on one level, with one message.
  • Have tics or facial grimaces.
  • Ignore an individual’s appearance of sadness, anger, boredom, etc.
  • Lack awareness if someone appears bored, upset, angry, scared, and so forth (therefore, he does not comment in a socially appropriate manner or respond by modifying the interaction).
  • Have little awareness of the facial expressions and body language of others, so these conversational cues are missed.
  • Lack facial expressions when communicating.
  • Laugh at something that is sad, or ask questions that are too personal.
  • Look to the left or right of the person he is talking to.
  • Make rude comments (e.g., tells someone they are fat, bald, old, have yellow teeth).
  • Respond with anger when he feels others are not following the rules.
  • Discipline others or reprimand them for their actions (e.g., acts like the teacher or parent with peers).
  • Smile when someone shares sad news.
  • Stare intensely at people or objects.
  • Talk on and on about a special interest while unaware that the other person is no longer paying attention, talk to someone who is obviously engaged in another activity, or talk to someone who isn’t even there.
  • Touch, hug, or kiss others without realizing that it is inappropriate.
  • Use facial expressions that do not match the emotion being expressed.
  • Use gestures, body language, or facial expressions infrequently or atypically when interacting with others.

Also, when questioned regarding what could be learned from another person's facial expression, he may say, “Nothing.” Faces do not provide him with information. Unable to read these “messages,” he is unable to respond to them.

For information on providing social-skills training, click on the link below…

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

Feeling Guilty for Setting Limits with Your Aspergers Child?

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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to read the full article...

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