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How to Deal with an Aspergers Child Who Also Suffers with Anxiety


How do you deal with an Aspergers child who also suffers with anxiety?


For kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism), anxiety can be overwhelming. What causes this anxiety? Just about anything can cause anxiety. The stress of social situations when you have weak social skills, changes in your normal routine or in the order of things, depression due to the loneliness that can come with lacking social abilities, and frustration. Truthfully, frustration is the root of anxiety in kids with Aspergers.

In kids with Aspergers, anxiety builds as frustration builds. Something as simple as being forced to make eye contact and explain your reasons for choosing a certain book to read can cause frustration. Imagine trying to find the words you need and learning that some of those words are missing. Imagine having to look someone in the eye and feeling actual physical discomfort when doing so. Imagine eating in a noisy, crowded cafeteria when the sights, sounds, and smells are painfully overwhelming. Imagine having a deep desire to make and keep friends, but not having the social skills needed to accomplish this desire. Frustration is around every corner, and with that frustration comes anxiety.

Aspergers anxiety must be understood before it can be eliminated or at the very least, managed. Knowing the youngster’s anxiety triggers, or daily frustrations is a good place to start. Once you know the youngster’s frustrations, you can make a plan for these stressful Aspergers anxiety situations. 

There are several choices of treatments for parents to choose:

• Moms and dads can choose to teach coping skills at home. Search the Internet for published resources that can make the job easier and more effective.

• In some cases, medication is a necessary treatment. Anti-anxiety medications can make it easier for kids with Aspergers to deal with the depression and anxiety issues. Since medications are not for everyone, a trusted doctor‘s guidance is necessary.

• Counseling is a common treatment option for anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as psychological counseling can help. Social skills training, sensory integration therapy, and language therapy can also help with the underlying causes of a youngster’s anxiety-inducing frustration.

Aspergers anxiety is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. Finding the right combination of stress management and treatments will help your family deal with the frustration that leads to anxiety.

More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Hutton,

I'm very thankful for your online help. I'm new to this site. Psychologically, It helped me so very much. Finally i can rest my case! You lifted my soul. I'm more positive now. My 16 year daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers one month ago. She has completely stopped talking to family members for 4 years now. According to my daughter she is willing fully chooses not to talk to us. Her psychologist is seeing her every two weeks. She called my husband and i once to let us know my daughter's diagnosis. She haven't tell us on what should we do to help her. But you do. Give love, love, love and support.

Anonymous said...

My son takes an anti-anxiety medication. What has helped him most the past few months is going a program called Brain Gym. This has helped him to build academic and social skills I thought he would never have!

Anonymous said...

I have identical twin sons that are 14 years old and in the ninth grade in high school, we have been to several therapists over the years but I am over the whole therapy scene with them as I am not trying to figure out why they have aspergers or what caused in but just trying to get some coping skills for us in dealing with life in general.

My boys are extremely intelligent and very funny and our day to day life is great, however, our latest problem that is causing them extreme anxiety is travel. Neither of them want to fly anymore they say, even though last year they went on two flights to Florida and the train to Chicago, both with me. They have traveled their whole life; however they now say they are not interested in traveling out of Michigan, where we live ever again and definitely not by plane. They think that pilots are not trained well enough anymore.

I had a trip planned to take my 16 year old daughter (their older sister) to New York back in Oct and I had to cancel it because of the anxiety is was causing for me to go, my son was throwing a fit and said he would not make it in this world if something happened to me (his father and I are divorced) not only did he not want me to fly but he didn’t want me going to New York either, because of all the 911 events.

My daughter is going to Florida with her father in April but they said they did not want to go, I have asked them if there was somewhere else they would want to go or if they want me to fly with them and they said no.

I just am worried if I let this go on it will not only drive me crazy but limit them in their life as well. I need suggestions.

They are so worried and focused about finishing high school and getting into the college program that they want to do and getting on with their career, they feel that if something happens to me they won’t be able to do all the things that they want because I am the most supportive of them, and they like living with me, it’s almost like they want me in a bubble until they have gotten on with their adult life and then they’ll feel safer in who they are I guess, if that makes any sense to you.

They did overcome their fear just the other night of going to downtown Detroit to see a play, after saying they wanted to go their father purchased tickets to take them and then one of them said he couldn’t go and started having an anxiety attack, I calmed him, we talked it over and I told him to sleep on it and the next day he came home from school and said he would go, he went and had a great time. I was so proud of him and told him, he was afraid of the bad neighborhoods in Detroit and the crime he sees on the news but he overcame it and went so that was a big step and just an example for you of what I am dealing with.

Anonymous said...

A virtual reality program that simulates the experience of take-offs, landings, normal flying and turbulence helps many people overcome their fear of flying.

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."

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.

Click here
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...