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When do you tell a child he/she has Aspergers?

Dear Parents of kids with Aspergers:

Re: How or when do you tell a child he/she has Aspergers?

Since all children with Aspergers (high-functioning autism) are different, I can only tell you how I told Matthew, and leave the judgment call up to you. We found out Matthew had Aspergers when he was 5. We decided to tell him as early as possible, hoping he would embrace it instead of completely rejecting the idea.

My wife and I then researched different parts of this spectrum and when we were ready, sat Matt down and begin to tell him. We started out by telling him that everybody is born with a gift. Some are born to be athletes, some with great music talents. We stated he was born with the gift of Aspergers. When then stated that Aspergers give him the ability to see life differently (out of the box). If all people see the world the same, then we would not have great inventions. People who look outside of this box can view the world in a whole different way.

We also gave him names of famous people who had Aspergers, to put his mind at ease. I also found that giving him this list gives him hope that he could change the world one day. We also used television personalities so Matt could see people on television who have it. For example: Lisa Simpson, Spock, House, Gissom from CSI, and now Sheldon from the Big Bang theory.

We have found that in using this strategy, Matt has not only accepted his diagnoses, but now has become proud of it. This was his gift.

My Aspergers Child: Help for Parents with Out-of-Control Aspergers Children


Anonymous said...

Just wondering, how old did you tell your aspie that he has aspergers? my aspie is 7 and i also have a 6 year old with autism. we tell them they have issues with their brain so they have try harder than other kids but that they can do lots of stuff still with effort and time. they were non verbal until 3 1/2 to 4 years old and used to not look us in the eyes at all. we continue to see improvement though i am not looking for or expecting a recovery by any means. when do you think is a good age to actually tell the actual diagnosis? any thoughts would be appreciated it.

Anonymous said...

Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group The sooner - the better !
August 3 at 2:08pm · Like · 2 people
Karen Gomez Vega
ok then, another question-how do you explain it in terms that a 6 or 7 year old can comprehend? they already know that they are different and need extra help, we have watched parts of parenthood where max melts down or withdraws (we have one that internalizes and one that acts out) and talked about another aspie boy at their school and how he has a hard time too. they have also been to events with other children with aspergers and autism and i run a support group in coordination with CARD. i feel confident they know what is going on and understand it i just have not labeled it per se. thanks for your thoughts!
August 3 at 2:18pm · Like
Julie Edwards My son has,nt had a diagnosis yet,but we are very open with him,and when we see the doctor,he is there with us even if major issues crop up. My son knows he has to try extra hard with socialising and being nice to people. The more open you are the better,because it will help them in later life,and cope with negative comments of other people. My son is accepting it quite well now,and no diagnosis yet.
August 3 at 3:59pm · Like · 1 person
Julie Edwards I agree with not labelling a child,to me it's a diagnosis like a physical disability but in their brain.
August 3 at 4:02pm · Like · 1 person
Lucy O'Neill I think personally when the child starts to ask questions, clearly if they are not asking then they are perhaps not necessarily aware that they are different. There are some great books out there to show your child and explain to them what Autism or Aspergers is. Good luck x

Anonymous said...

Karen Gomez Vega
thanks so much everyone. they are not asking questions yet i just try to explain what is happening to them so that we can work on it as a team. we have a counselor and a behavioral therapist plus their school is amazing so we are very blessed in that respect. i know we will have the talk about autism and aspergers at some point. we have already gotten the sensitive sam book but they did not really get it so we will re read as they get older and get other books too. again, thank you so much all!
August 3 at 4:57pm · Like
Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group http://www.myaspergerschil​​tell-child-heshe-has.html
My Aspergers Child: When do you tell a child he/she has Aspergers?
August 3 at 8:17pm · Like · 1 person ·
Karen Gomez Vega thank you so much for your answer and sharing your personal story. it really helps to get your point of view and i am sure it will help many other parents too!
August 3 at 10:15pm · Like
Christine Selby
We gave our son bits and pieces that were age appropriate from the time of his diagnosis at age 5. The first thing we told him was that Autism EXPLAINS his behavior but does not EXCUSE his behavior. We started working from there identifying what was poor behavior choices or what tools would help with symptoms. As he grew older we shared more specifically about the spectrum. At about age 10-11 HE started asking the questions and opening the dialogue and since then discussion is on HIS terms and time (he is now 12). He does not like for me to bring it up but he does bring it up when he feels the need to. I'm grateful I equipped him with information over the years so that when we reached this stage in life I wouldn't be overloading him with all the ins and outs of autism. We address specifically what he is struggling with or what he is curious about. I'm VERY VERY proud of my Aspie!
14 hours ago · Like

Unknown said...

It's funny...I didn't learn that I had aspergers syndrome until I was 17 because my mom saw it but my dad refused to believe that there was anything wrong with me.
When my dad left the family at 15 we were finally able to diagnose me.
I don't see it as anything wrong with me, though. It's just part of who I am and part of God's plan for me.
I looked up to find if Sheldon has aspergers though, and actually, Jim Reynolds says he doesn't have aspergers.
Here are some characters I think have aspergers:
Butters Stotch
Twilight Sparkle
Lisa Simpson

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...