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Symptoms and Treatments for Aspergers and HFA

There are various symptoms that can be seen in a youngster with Aspergers (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA). Parents can use a checklist to closely observe their kids when they are fairly young. Children on the autism spectrum:
  • often lack motor skills
  • often speak in an odd tone or pitch
  • adhere to routines and have repetitive habits
  • have difficulty interacting at a social level
  • are often unable to make a coordinated plan
  • fail to get the undertone of a speaker
  • have difficulty empathizing because they have a hard time understanding the feelings of others
  • have narrowed interest fields and are often focused on one particular subject or topic

There is no treatment for AS or HFA as such, but there are many ways in which a parent can help his or her youngster to cope with this disorder. Often times, there is an additional disorder found in the child, which worsens the situation. Fortunately, medication is used to help the child deal with these comorbid conditions.

There are several medicines and therapies that have been discovered so far that help to control the symptoms of AS and HFA as well as comorbid conditions (e.g., ADHD, anxiety, depression). Certain medicines are prescribed by the physicians to bring ADHD under control; however, many of them show side effects such as twitches, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, stomach aches, and  headaches. Fortunately, most of these side effects subside within a few weeks.

There are programs conducted in various schools that help the youngster by training him and helping him understand social cues and non-verbal language. In these training sessions, a communication specialist can always be brought in to help the youngster with social communication and social interaction skills. With proper training, these "special needs" kids can easily learn about the social cues, which is often taught in a way that one is taught a foreign language. They can also be taught to speak in a natural pitch and rhythm, and they can be trained to understand the various communication gestures like tone of voice, undertone like sarcasm and irony, eye contact and much more.

There are certain behavioral training procedures and therapies that have been adopted in order to train kids on the spectrum when it comes to behavioral disorders. These therapies help to curb such habits as interrupting, obsessions, anger and other emotional outburst. Cognitive behavior therapy appears to be a very effective method for changing unwanted behavior in AS and HFA children and teens.

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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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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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