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Helping Your Aspergers Child to Make Friends: 10 Tips for Parents

Always an eccentric youngster, your child has now been diagnosed with Aspergers (or high functioning autism). The social world of kids is chaotic enough these days, but a child on the spectrum is particularly challenged. Nonetheless, with the parent’s help, an "Aspie" can find - and keep - friends. Here’s how:

1. Align your own expectations with reality. Know that the Aspergers youngster will probably not be popular, but can be happy and fulfilled with just one or two good friends.

2. Encourage your youngster to notice when other children are interested in him, because he may not pick up on attention. Impress upon him that it's important to remember classmate's names and use them in conversation.

3. Find a therapist who specializes in, or at least understands, children with Aspergers. Your child will have issues around being "different" that he must discuss with someone, preferably a qualified professional. He may need further help in setting social goals.

4. Know that Aspergers is defined as a pervasive developmental disorder on the autism spectrum characterized by a discrepancy between intellectual and social abilities.

5. Know that your Aspergers youngster may appear to be indifferent to his lack of friends. Many of these children care deeply, but have simply given up on having a social life.

6. Limit solo activities such as video games, but know that too much social time can be overwhelming.

7. Locate Social Skills groups in your area. They usually consist of three or more children of the same age who meet once a week to interact socially under the guidance of a therapist. The goal is to take their new skills into the broader world.

8. Support your child in setting up social activities. She may be uncomfortable asking someone to just "hang out," so a movie and ice cream may be more desirable.

9. Understand that those who have Aspergers have difficulty understanding social cues, although they are often academically advanced.

10. Urge him to join school clubs. Many Aspergers children have very specific interests and can parlay their skills in this area into a social activity.


Anonymous said...

How do I help my daughter find friends and develop relationships? She gets involved but with no outcome of friendships outside of these social events. She plays violin at school and takes private lessons, she is involved w/ Girl Scouts…but no outside friends except for one…and they are not close. It’s very frustrating!!

Royal Book Sleuth said...

Search out other Aspie kids on mom websites to schedule play dates. Mainstream kids will never "get" your child. Meanwhile continue mainstream extracurricular activities so that your child learns mainstream social interaction. Your child is unique and special and one day a select special few will get a wonderful life long friend--fellow Aspie adult and mother of Aspie.

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."

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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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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...