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Educating Others About Your Child

"My 8 year old son is going to begin testing in a few weeks. I'm not sure if he has high functioning autism or not, but he sure has many of the behaviors and tendencies. He does have sensory issues and severe anxiety. My question is about the constant judgment and ignorance of other parents and teachers. I do have plenty of supportive friends, but recently I've had some intense altercations with my son's teacher (saying he's only "oppositional" with me, he's fine at school and this is "something I need to work out in therapy"). Her comment was so ignorant - she knew nothing about his level of anxiety, his sensory issues or how he melts at the end of each day after just trying to hold it together. I also had another mom leave our playdate the other day because of inappropriate behavior (slamming a door b/c of frustration). She couldn't believe I let that happen. Ugh!! My parents and even husband have called me a pushover and too "soft" with my son. I feel like ALL of the blame is put on me!! I look forward to getting some answers through testing so I can educate others about the extreme difficulty and unpredictable nature of parenting a child with these challenges. It has been a very lonely and deflating parenting experience. Does anyone else have this experience or advice? Thank You!"

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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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