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Stephen's Story: Parents Share Their "Aspergers" Experience

While we are a bit sad about our son Stephen's diagnosis of Aspergers, we are also actually somewhat happy to find out. Finally, we have direction and some understanding!

Just like you read about kids with Aspergers or PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified), Stephen has a lot of idiosyncracies, practices, attitudes, etc. that get him in trouble and teased and ridiculed.

He's also very sad at times, very depressed to the point of talking about suicide at least every other day.

We had problems with him being attacked at school, over and over again, and after much screaming and threats of lawsuit over the lack of safety contributing to Stephen being repeatedly assaulted we were finally granted a meeting with the Director of Pupil Services, the District Psychologist and the Principal and Vice Principal of the school.

After reciting Stephen's history to the District Psychologist she then asked us if anyone had ever mentioned Aspergers in regards to Stephen's difficulties.

As soon as that meeting was over and we got home I started researching Aspergers online and it wasn't long before I was convinced that this is what Stephen has been dealing with all this time.

I downloaded information from online, highlighted sections and made notes that were specific to Stephen's issues and scheduled a couple appointments, one with a psychiatrist (med doctor) and one with a particular psychologist whom Stephen is familiar with and connects with.

Our suspicions were confirmed and Stephen was officially diagnosed with Aspergers in November 2005.

After his diagnosis, his depression subsided quite substantially. I think it's because of a few reasons...

1. I think our son somewhat realizes that we understand him better and sees that we are fighting for him to make life in school smoother for him.

2. The psychiatrist that he has started seeing (he was seeing just a behavioral doctor for behavioral issues) has changed his medication, he eliminated the Risperdal and put him on Prozac.

3. We are able to understand him better and we now realize that he's not necessarily purposely breaking rules, not necessarily purposely hurting feelings and not necessarily purposely 'bugging' people and because of this new-found understanding we are working with him differently now.

4. Mark Hutten’s eBook entitled My Aspergers Child has given us the tools to deal with Stephen’s meltdowns. We had no idea what to do about these intense temper tantrums before. But the information in the eBook and videos has made a tremendous difference in how we react to our son, which in turn has made a big difference in how our son reacts to us – his parents. There is much less tension in our home now, which gives everyone more energy to focus on the really important things.


Anonymous said...

We have just recently had our daughter diagnosed, and Oh how I wish we'd known sooner! It would've helped with so many different things. But we are learning, and just thankful to know what we need to do now to help her.

Anonymous said...

My son was dx'd at age 11, and it was a huge relief to know the reasons for his behaviors and that there were things we could do to help him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! i had a therapist when we told them what they diagnosed our son with aspergiers that she was so sorry???? i got to give her a wierd look and ask why cause we already have another disabled kiddo, and they were looking at my youngest for the spectrum too? i told her at least now we know what it is what can help and we know its not us... cause we were feeling guilty on parenting ect... therapist have helped there.

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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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