Survival Techniques for Aspergers Teens

The challenges of Aspergers (high functioning autism) can be many, especially for adolescents. Because socialization plays a major role in teens' lives, the world of an Aspergers adolescent can be a difficult one. Unfortunately, schoolmates and friends are often ignorant about the characteristics associated with Aspergers. This ignorance can often lead to cruelty, making an "Aspie" feel ostracized from other adolescents. Social issues are some of the most common problems associated with this condition.

Because the range of symptoms and behaviors are so varied from one youngster to another, the key to discovering coping mechanisms for adolescents with Aspergers depends somewhat on understanding these behaviors. For many young people, the behavior of an Aspergers adolescent can be puzzling and sometimes irritating. Because of this, many schoolmates simply ignore that adolescent. This could result in even more negative behavior on the part of the Aspergers adolescent because, although he may strongly desire social interaction, he doesn't know how to go about achieving that connection with other children his age. Socialization problems, communication difficulties, and physical disabilities may make him feel separated from others.

Common behavior issues include the following:
  • Inability to make everyday conversation
  • Inability to make eye contact
  • Inability to respond appropriately
  • Inability to show humor, takes everything literally
  • May have difficulty with speech
  • May have impaired motor skills
  • Need for specific routine, and may want to impose this need on others

Survival Techniques for Aspergers Adolescents

Survival techniques for Aspergers adolescents can help these children deal with the daily stress and often profound loneliness that they experience. Because adolescents with Aspergers may not be able to cope alone, it is imperative that all of those involved in the adolescent's life, including moms and dads, teachers, and others, learn how to help him or her cope.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Build a support system. This is extremely important for your adolescent. Talk to other moms and dads, professionals, etc. about what is going on.

2. Educate yourself. The more you know about the disorder, the more adept you'll be at helping your youngster learn to cope with the issues he'll face.

3. Get others involved. It may be difficult for your youngster to make friends, but you can help by encouraging her to get involved in school. Drama, chorus, art, band, and various sports can open up your youngster's world. Invite other adolescents to your home, and include their moms and dads in some of the plans. Discuss with these individuals some of the issues your youngster faces each day, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

4. Help your youngster discover a passion. Whether this is acting, writing, drawing, etc., help your youngster find his niche in the world. This is one of the best survival techniques he can use!

5. Know the youngster. Because each youngster is different, coping mechanisms will vary as well.

6. Ask your adolescent to picture a peaceful setting, such as the beach, a meadow, a stream, etc. Have him close his eyes and dwell on this picture for several minutes.

7. Concentrated breathing will help him relax his muscles. Breathing in and out slowly for several moments will reduce his feelings of anxiousness.

8. Relax each set of muscles, beginning from the feet and working up, or beginning from the face and working down. Focus on relaxing each section of your body for ten seconds each. Sometimes it helps to tense the muscle first, and then begin the relaxation method. Practice this as often as is necessary.

Discipline for Defiant Aspergers Teens

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