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Asperger's Syndrome: Quick Facts

Asperger’s Syndrome is:
  • a complex brain disorder that falls within the Autism spectrum
  • a developmental condition in which people have difficulties understanding how to interact socially
  •  a mild variation of autism; however, individuals with Asperger's Syndrome have normal intelligence and language development
  • a neurological disorder with symptoms similar to those of “classic” autism
  • a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by persistent impairments in social interaction, restricted development and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities
  • an autistic spectrum disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction, motor delays, adherence to routines, average to above-average intelligence, and preoccupation with a particular subject of interest
  • called a syndrome because the cause is not known, but it does describes how a person thinks, feels, and acts as a human being
  • characterized as being at the mildest and highest functioning end of the spectrum, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Continuum
  • is a developmental disorder in which people have severe difficulties understanding how to interact socially
  • the same diagnosis as Autism, except it explicitly states no retardation or speech problems
  • typically associated with poor social behavior
  • very hard to diagnosis

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome:
  • are often isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests
  • are often the target of bullying at school due to their unusual behavior, language, interests, and impaired ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues, particularly in interpersonal conflict
  • display motor delays, clumsiness, and problems with social interaction
  • have difficulty with social interactions and understanding unspoken social cues
  • have traits that make them appear to be perfectionists
  • have trouble interacting with their peers, but can carry on an intelligent and often animated conversation with adult
  • may appear to be physically clumsy
  • may be extremely literal and may have difficulty interpreting and responding to sarcasm or banter
  • may talk at length about a favorite subject or repeat a word or phrase over and over again
  • often have difficulty with transitions or changes and prefer sameness
  • often have limited and very focused interests
  • often mature more slowly
  • often show a stilted or bouncy walk, which appears awkward
  • struggle with a problem and internalize their feelings until their emotions boil over, leading to a complete meltdown
  • take verbal and written communication literally
  • tend to be self-absorbed, have difficulty making friends, are often preoccupied with their own interests and easily become the victims of teasing or bullying
  • typically develop a good to excellent vocabulary, but they usually lack the social instincts and practical skills needed for relating to others
  • typically exhibit distinct awkwardness when in just about any kind of social setting, as well as an all-absorbing interest in specific topics or subjects, utilizing intense focus
  • typically make efforts to establish friendships, but they may have difficulty making friends because of their social awkwardness
  • usually have a history of developmental delays in motor skills, such as pedaling a bike, catching a ball, or climbing outdoor play equipment
  • usually have excellent memories, especially in the area of facts, figures, dates, times and statistics
  • want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else

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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 ASD 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 Children on the Spectrum

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 or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your 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 Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the 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 ASD 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 ASD 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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