Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Helping Aspergers Students Transition To High School

Young Aspergers (high functioning autistic) teens entering high school look forward to having more choices and making new and more friends; however, they also are concerned about being picked on and teased by older students, having harder work, making lower grades, and getting lost in a larger, unfamiliar school.

As Aspergers teens make the transition into high school, many experience a decline in grades and attendance. They view themselves more negatively and experience an increased need for friendships. By the end of the 10th grade as many as 6% drop out of school. For middle school students, including those who have been labeled "gifted" or "high-achieving," the transition into high school can be an especially unpleasant experience.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you! I wish you could help me get people to understand my son and his needs. they have him at Stetson in Barre MA and he has been there two years in June.He didn't have a good therapist that knew how to help woith the sexual stuff going on or how to help him when I was begging for help.The State of CT was no help either. I have been able to take him off campus but all my social skill I taught him before hand have gone out the window. He is nervous around people and hates to look at people and thinks its bad now. they have him labeled as a sexual predator and I don't feel that is right but I have no one to help me change anyone's mind. They did a predator interest list with him in Dec. it showed normal interest. The sexal psyco that was done I was spoken to for 5 -10 minutes and never contacted again. I am not sure anyone that has questioned him or done test with him understands kids with autism at all. Do you know of specialist that do this or do you do this...also we are looking at a good group home/school for him that deal with autism in NH do you know of any since they will not let him return home to me.

Anonymous said...

Getting the student involved in a non competitive activity early in the elementary Years,that will grow into the high school can be greatly benificial. A program such as string orchestra is a great idea. I am an orchestra teacher in the public schools and I have had great success starting students with Aspergers in the elementary program. I have taken these students from Elementary into the Middle School program as well as through highschool. These students have found a place to become socially accepted and develop their social skills beautifully. Through their hard work and becoming top players they have gained the respect of the "normal" students who are also working just as hard. I expect all of my students to work to the highest level of their own ability. and reach to the highest level of their ability at all times. My program is non competitive and all students support and coach each other through my guidence. Learning to play the instrument well is hard work for all students, at all levels. Parent involvement is a must for the Asperger student to succeed. I have found that when the parents are involved, the student comes to the top very quickly. The parents who are involved through getting their child private lessons early and attending the lessons with their child and becoming the home practice buddy, their child rises to the best in the class. As the students grow up these parents are my best supporters in parent groups, trips, parties and comcerts. All of my Asperger students have graduated from highschool as well as college. My program gives them a place of acceptance and to polish social skills. All students are expected to fail at times, but the secret is to keep doing it until they get it correct and easily. They are to never try, they are to "do" it until they get it. I love all of my students if they choose to join into the work and earn their own way. My program is about learning, respect, quality, and loving hard work no matter who or what you are. Everyone is expected to do their best, be willing to make mistakes and fix them. All students reach out to help others learn, because the entire group benefits as we reach to perform well at concerts and contests. It is simply hard work, honor, integrity, and a love of music and teamwork. Parents must also be willing to work hard for their child to succeed. Parenting any child is a lot of selfless work and it all shines through when the child moves into their own independent life.

Steve Borgman said...

I like your suggestion of asking whether there is a peer mentor who can be assigned to the Aspergers teen during the freshman year. Also, it could be helpful for the Aspergers teen to take a summer school class to familiarize him/herself with the high school environment.

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content