Aspergers Teens and Social Skills

How do you get teenagers with Aspergers to recognize that the social skills that you are trying to teach them (often to no avail) are imperative if they are to get on in life with regard to finding friends, a job etc.? Kids with Aspergers often seem in such a world of their own that they cannot appreciate the importance of those social skills. In our case, we have an adolescent who thinks that they are always right anyway and so see no need to modify their behavior. 
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Helping Students with Aspergers and HFA: Snapshot for Teachers

Children with Asperger's and high-functioning autism will respond quite well to specific classroom adaptations. Here are the recommended methods teachers can employ with their "special needs" students...
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Can you help me teach my ASD child organizational skills?

For children and teens with ASD, organizational skills are a mystery. We all need strong organizational skills. Teaching these skills starts very young and continues through childhood as they increase in difficulty. Kids with ASD lack these natural skills and must be taught these skills if they desire to be productive adults. 
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What do you do if you think your child may have Aspergers?


What do you do if you think your child may have Aspergers? Should I schedule an appt. with his pediatrician or is there someone more specialized that we should see? I have suspected this with him for some time, but he is only three years old and I am nervous about putting something on him that may not apply. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


It is unlikely that Aspergers will be diagnosed before school age. Some diagnosticians are clearly of the view that Aspergers cannot be diagnosed before a child starts school. The reason for this is that it is thought that social skills may not have been fully developed at this point due to the lack of exposure to social settings prior to starting school.

Get as much information as you can. Make notes and correlate what you know of your child’s behavior with the information you have gathered. This is a good step for empowering yourself before you visit your doctor, and it will show him/her that you have been concerned enough to have done your homework. Once you have convinced the doctor, request a referral to an Aspergers specialist. This might be a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. A team on your side can help. If you still have problems, take the private option and pay for a “comprehensive psychiatric evaluation” from a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns

Is it a good idea to try to stop obsessive behaviors?


I have a 5 year old son with Asperger's. Is it a good idea to try to stop his obsessive behaviors? Perhaps taking some of the toys he plays with repetitively or inappropriately.


Aspies' obsessions should not be curtailed unless they are totally inappropriate. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with getting into the child's world and experiencing their obsession with them. In fact, you MUST do this to ever truly reach and connect with an Aspie. (FYI: In schools, teachers who practice this are the ones who are successful with Aspies most often.) How can we expect Aspies to come out to our world if we refuse to visit theirs?

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns


ASD Teens and Tics


My son is 16 years old and has developed a severe tic. He shakes his head and moves his shoulder up and makes a grunting noise. This has only happened in the last few weeks. Could this be due to stress?? He is becoming extremely anxious about it as everyone notices it!!

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Depression in Older Teens and Young Adults with ASD


Any info to help w/22 yr. old (recently diagnosed) college grad--floundering, drinking, depressed; appears high functioning, but truly isn’t... His father has asperger traits as well.


When diagnosis of the adult ASD (high-functioning autism) occurs, it is often as a result of a child being assessed with the disorder. It then becomes apparent to other family members that the un-diagnosed adult they have struggled for so long - to understand or relate to - also has the disorder.

When an adult is diagnosed with ASD as a result of a child within the extended family being diagnosed, it can come as a "double whammy" to the family. This is particularly the case when a child and a spouse are diagnosed, since the remaining member of the family group is now in the position of dealing with two people on the spectrum in the one home. 

Similarly, the diagnosis of a child may make the parent twig that one of the parents had the disorder too. This also causes intense personal suffering for the person concerned since finding out that one's parent has the disorder will open as many wounds as it will explain.

The problems in dealing with adult autism sufferers can be numerous, and include:
  • A sense of frustration that you cannot "get through" to this person
  • A sense of hopelessness that the person doesn't love you
  • Depression related to the knowledge that the individual won't get better
  • Difficulties accepting that the partner has the condition
  • Failure to understand why the person cannot relate to you in a "normal" manner
  • Feeling overly responsible for the person
  • Feeling a need to constantly explain their inappropriate behaviors and comments to others
  • A feeling of trepidation due to the effect of this constant vigilance
  • If the adult Asperger is a marriage partner, concerns over whether to stay in the relationship are at times overwhelming
  • Lack of intimacy in the relationship and a failure to have your own needs met
  • Lack of emotional support from family and friends who do not understand the condition

There is less information on ASD in adulthood. Most people with mild autism are able to learn to compensate. They become indistinguishable from everyone else. They marry, hold a job and have children. Other people live an isolated existence with continuing severe difficulties in social and occupational functioning.

People on the spectrum often do well in jobs that require technical skill but little social finesse. Some do well with predictable repetitive work. Others relish the challenge of intricate technical problem solving.

I knew a man, now deceased, who had many of the characteristics of Aspergers. He lived with his mother and had few social contacts. When he visited relatives, he did not seem to understand how to integrate himself into their household routine. When the relatives would explain the situation to him, he was able to accept it. However, he was unable to generalize this to similar situations. Although he was a psychologist, his work involved technical advisory work, not face-to-face clinical sessions. 
Summary of interventions:
  • Adults may benefit from group therapy or individual behavioral therapy.
  • Some speech therapists have experience working with grown-ups on pragmatic language skills.
  • Behavioral coaching, a relatively new type of intervention, can help the adult with ASD organize and prioritize his daily activities.
  • Adults may need medication for associated problems such as depression or anxiety.
It is important to understand the needs and desires of that particular adult. Some grown-ups do not need treatment. They may find jobs that fit their areas of strength. They may have smaller social circles, and some idiosyncratic behaviors, but they may still be productive and fulfilled.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:


Problems with Sensory Overload

My children (3 teens---2 still at home--plus a 3-yr-old) all have Asperger's. They have the disability as well as dealing with others (including one parent) who also have Asperger's. As a result, people are oversensitive to sensory input and comments and, of course, go from 0 to 100 in seconds. I have a great deal of difficulty heading off the mood escalations and defusing the situation once it has started. I need any suggestions for quicker resolution, etc. that will help us function more effectively. 
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ASD and Relationship Difficulties

ASD level 1 (high-functioning autism) often leads to problems in social interaction with peers. These problems can be severe or mild depending on the individual. Kids with ASD are often the target of bullying at school due to their idiosyncratic behavior, precise language, unusual interests, and impaired ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues, particularly in interpersonal conflict. 
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Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...