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What is important to know before my Aspergers teenage son turns 18?


What is important to know before my Aspergers teenage son turns 18?


Stepping into adulthood can be a confusing and difficult time for the Aspergers (high functioning autistic) teen. However, it does not have to be. Many teens with Aspergers are fairly well adjusted after years of living with the associated symptoms and adapting to better fit into their environment.

Here are a few areas that can cause problems for the teenager with Aspergers:
  • Employment
  • Independent living skills
  • Post secondary education
  • Relationships and social skills
  • Self-care issues

Moms and dads can help their Aspergers teen prepare for life as an adult by making sure he has the right amount of support. Support can come from many sources. Parents, teachers, school advisors or counselors, medical professionals, therapists, friends, and support group members cover most, if not all, of the basic areas of life.

Some geographical areas offer support for the Aspergers teen through government agencies. With a qualifying diagnosis, your teenager may be able to receive health insurance coverage, housing assistance, various therapies, vocational training, and career counseling, just to name a few possibilities. Check with your local government or disability services office to learn more about availability in your area.

It might help if you make a list of the skills you would like to see developing in your Aspergers teen. By making this list, you will be able to see his strengths and weakness and help determine a plan for his immediate future.

Here is a sample list:
  • Social skills and relationships-- Does he have the ability to relate to others and communicate, verbally and non-verbally? Should he continue with social skills classes or perhaps find a home program?
  • Self-care-- Does he have good personal hygiene? Does he understand the importance of regular medical care and keeping track of his medications?
  • Coping skills-- Can he handle the anxiety, emotions, and frustration often brought on by change? Should he begin cognitive therapy to help with his emotions?
  • Career and college choices-- Has he chosen a path based on his special interests and talents? What colleges are grabbing his interests? Do these schools offer disability support services?
  • Basic living skills-- Does he understand the importance of housekeeping, budgeting, and grocery shopping?

Moving into adulthood does not have to be daunting for your teenager with Aspergers. Teens can develop the necessary skills for college, career, and independent living with the right support.

Discipline for Defiant Aspergers 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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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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