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Aspergers Checklist: Does Your Child Have Aspergers?

There is a certain set of symptoms common to Asperger’s Syndrome (high functioning autism). However, each case of Asperger’s Syndrome is unique and not everyone experiences the same combination of symptoms. Here is a checklist to help you identify Asperger’s symptoms:

Social Interaction Difficulties—

A child with Asperger’s Syndrome may have difficulty with the following aspects of social interaction:

• Difficulty playing with others: She may not understand how to initiate play with her peers or how to play by common social rules. For example, she may take a ball from a group of kids playing a game without asking to join the game first. She will not return the ball if they ask for the ball back because she does not understand the negative reaction.

• General social skills: She wants to socialize with others but does not understand how to interact.

• Inability to understand common social cues: She may not comprehend common social cues such as facial expressions, body language or gestures.

• Inappropriate responses: She may behave or respond to social situations in an unusual or inappropriate manner. For example, an affected person may laugh at something sad.

• Problems with two-way conversation: She has trouble with initiating and maintaining a two-way conversation. She may appear to talk at someone than with them. Conversation topics may focus on an obsessive interest. She speaks inappropriately such as talking too loudly or softly.

• Relating to others: She does not understand other's emotions or social responses accurately in a group situation. She may not understand if an activity or conversation is boring or upsetting to another person.

• Rigid range of interests for social interaction: She will only engage in a narrow range of activities or talk about certain subjects.

Communication Problems—

An affected child experiences a number of communication difficulties. Communication problems can include the following symptoms:

• Easily distracted: He has trouble concentrating his attention on people and objects that are not connected with his favorite subjects.

• Eye contact: He may not make eye contact.

• Facial expression: Facial expressions are either absent or inappropriate to the conversation or situation. He may have facial tics.

• Monotone speech: He may speak in a monotone voice, without expression or emotion.

• Personal space issues: He might stand too close to a person during conversation.

• Unusual gestures: He might make unusual or inappropriate gestures during conversation.

Language Skill Challenges—

A child with Asperger’s Syndrome generally has a large vocabulary but experiences problems with language processing. Language skills challenges may include:

• Difficulty processing language: She does not always understand the verbal speech of others or misunderstands the meaning of a conversation. She may have trouble making a decision or answering a question.

• Language rituals: She might have certain word scripts that she repeats ritualistically in conversation with others.

• Literal interpretation of words: She interprets most language on a literal level and misses abstract meanings.

• Trouble with language use: She has trouble using language appropriately in social situations. She may also misunderstand common word meanings.

• Unusual use of words: She may use words in an unusual way or create her own words.

Cognitive and Motor Skill Impairments—

Cognitive and motor skill problems are also common in children with Asperger’s Syndrome. Typical cognitive and motor skill issues include:

• Difficulty with imaginative play: He does not engage in imaginative play as a youngster.

• Learns best visually: He has trouble learning without visual aids.

• Mindblindness: He has mindblindness, meaning he cannot determine what others are thinking and feeling in social situations or in relationships.

• Organizational skills difficulties: He experiences difficulty with planning, implementing and completing tasks.

• Problems with coordination: He may have problems with both fine and gross motor skills. Common examples of motor skill difficulty include bike riding, handwriting and playing ball games.

• Problem-solving issues: He has trouble figuring out how to solve problems outside of his routine.

Limited Interests and Unusual Behavior—

An affected child often has a limited range of interest and may exhibit bizarre behavior. Interests and behavior may include:

• Narrow range of interests and obsessions: She is intensely interested in a small number of activities and subjects and refuses to engage in other activities.

• Self-stimulatory behavior: She may engage in stimming behavior such as hand flapping, rocking back and forth or twirling.

• Strict schedule: She prefers a rigid schedule and experiences anxiety when the schedule is interrupted.

Sensory Input Issues—

Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome have sensory difficulties and may have unusual reactions to certain sights, smells, sounds or tastes. Sensory problems include:

• Limited food choices: He may choose and reject foods based upon smell or texture.

• Odors: He may react strongly to certain smells.

• Sounds: He might be hypersensitive to different sounds.

• Touch: He may not want to be touched.


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Anonymous said...

Thanks so much. My son is going for his aspergers assessment tomorrow and I have lots of random notes. This has helped me put them all into categories and to verbalise what is sometimes difficult to explain. Fantastic!!!

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Unknown said...

I feel I am lost with my daughter I feel that this is going on and. I one listens to me I have know clue where to start . I don't know if I need to talk to her doctor or what she does speech at school just been told she is Dyslexia

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.

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...