Showing posts from October, 2011

Teaching Interpersonal Relationship Skills: Tips for Parents of Kids on the Spectrum

"In any type of social setting, my daughter (high functioning) is very withdrawn and will rarely speak to anyone unless they speak to her. How can I teach her to be just a bit more social in a way that fits her comfort level?" Because Aspergers and high-functioning autistic (HFA) youngsters often have difficulty perceiving the “ins and outs” of typical social interactions, your daughter may feel uncomfortable or be pegged as socially “awkward” when it comes to conversation with friends, family, teachers, etc. Navigating the “ebb and flow” of everyday interactions can be an art for anyone – but it can be especially precarious for a child on the autism spectrum. However, with parental support, these young people can grow to learn ways to improvise and improve the quality of those interactions. Some Aspergers and HFA kids appear shy and withdrawn, rarely speaking unless spoken to. Others may dominate the conversation with lengthy discussions about their special interes

Aspergers Teenagers and Problems with Depression

All teenagers experience depression from time to time due to the normal pressures faced during adolescents. Also, people with Aspergers (high functioning autism) experience depression occasionally due to dealing with the symptoms associated with the disorder. So, little wonder why a teenager WITH Aspergers may have more than his fair share of depression symptoms. Click here for the full article...

Helping Your Child on the Autism Spectrum to Cope with Frustration

"If things are not the way my son (high functioning) wants/needs them, we often hear swearing or he will just ignore me when i ask what is wrong (like he expects me to mind read)....i think he finds it difficult to put his feelings into words, so it often pours out in yelling and abusive names. Any suggestions?!" Does your high-functioning autistic (HFA) or Asperger's child seem to experience more than his fair share of frustration? And does he often slip into a meltdown once he’s frustrated? If so, then read on… Most kids on the autism spectrum go through peaks of frustration throughout their childhood. Younger ones often express their frustration in tantrums. At that point, many of them learn the word “frustrated,” and moms and dads and teachers help them to find compromises and alternatives and to develop at least some degree of “frustration tolerance.” In the preschool years, further triggers for frustration emerge (e.g., comparisons with peers, new expectati

Aspergers in the Elderly

Although Aspergers has been around for many years, it was only classified as a distinct condition in 1992. This means that many elderly folks could not have been diagnosed as kids because the signs and symptoms were not recognized. There is evidence that Aspergers can run in families, and elderly folks may become aware of their condition when a younger family member is diagnosed. Moms and dads normally read up on the signs and symptoms and may recognize the same signs in their older relatives. Grown-ups with Aspergers present with similar signs of the condition as do children and teens. In some cases, the problems may not be quite as pronounced as the grown-up may have developed coping mechanisms. Elderly folks with Aspergers normally display the following symptoms: Social interaction is difficult, and the Aspie is normally too detached or too intense. They struggle to understand the full meaning of relationships, and sexual issues may be a problem. Some are unable to

Aspergers Teenagers and Feelings of Low Self-Worth

"My son (high functioning autistic) has been spending his summer vacation pretty much isolating in his bedroom playing computer games.... has no friends... no desire to find a friend... says 'people don't like me anyway, so why try'. How can I help him develop some confidence and self-esteem?" Click here for the answer...

Helping Your Child Deal with Stress

"How can I help my little man (high functioning autistic) reduce his stress. He's usually excessively concerned about many things. Currently his main stressor is worrying about a week long summer camp coming up soon (but after that, it will be something else)." Click here for the answer ==>   More resources for parents of children and teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: ==> Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Asperger's Children ==> Discipline for Defiant Asperger's Teens ==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management ==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's: How to Promote Self-Reliance ==> Everything You'll Ever Need to Know About Parenting Asperger's Children ==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism ==> AudioBook: Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism ==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with As

Revealing Your Child's Diagnosis To Extended Family

"How should we go about telling my parents (and other family members) that our son has been diagnosed with autism (high-functioning)? They have always thought his behavior was odd. We believe strongly they should know so they can help to one degree or another with his special needs." Click here for the answer... 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: Comprehens

How will your other children be affected by your Asperger's or HFA child?

An estimated seven million "typically developing" American kids have siblings with some type of “disorder” (e.g., ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.). These kids face many of the same challenges - and joys - as their moms and dads, but they also face other problems. Some resent the extra demands placed on them at an early age by the affected sibling, and many feel neglected by their often overburdened parents. Some kids say they fear "catching" their sibling's disorder. Others may wish that they, too, had a disorder so that they could get all the attention their sibling does. And many suffer embarrassment about their sibling's inappropriate behavior or abnormal appearance, and then feel guilty about it. On the other hand, some siblings welcome the early maturity and responsibility that come with having an Aspergers or high-functioning autistic (HFA) sibling. They are often well versed in the details of their sibling's be

Aspergers Children and Social Impairment

Question I’m a family therapist who is in the beginning stages of learning how to counsel Aspergers clients, specifically children between the ages of 5 and 12. What is the main thing I need to look for in working with these children. Answer One main issue that comes up routinely in therapy for Aspergers (high functioning autistic) children and teens is "social skills deficits." There are three broad categories into which we can classify social deficits: 1. Social awkwardness -- Socially awkward Aspergers kids are typically higher functioning children who may try very hard to gain and keep friends, but are hindered due to: focusing on their favorite topic or topics to the exclusion of most everything else an inability to learn social skills and taboos by observing others a lack of reciprocity in conversation and interest 2. Social avoidance -- Children who would fall into the category of socially avoidant might be those who tantrum, shy away from, or

When Aspergers Runs In The Family

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is often an invisible disability. Because it is so subtle, it can go undetected. It is very likely that there many people on the spectrum living and working in your community who are undiagnosed. Click here for the full article...

Pet Therapy for Aspergers Kids

Man’s best friend can truly be your "Aspie’s" best friend, according to some studies on the interaction between pets and Aspergers (high-functioning autistic) kids. Many moms and dads are surprised to see the connection between their youngster and pets. You might see it happening spontaneously — just when you are wondering how to help improve your child’s communication and social skills, you notice that he acts playful, happier, and more focused when around a friend's pet. Or perhaps you have heard about the profound impact pets can have on some Aspergers kids from another parent. Whatever prompts you, it may be time to introduce your Aspie to the world of pets. Being around household pets or having structured contact with pets can be a great addition to treatment for kids with Aspergers. There are many reports from both parents and clinicians that interacting with pets, formally called animal-assisted therapy, can offer both physical and emotional benefits to

Aspergers Children and Sibling Aggression

"My son is an 8 yr old fraternal twin. He was diagnosed with ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder in the summer of 2016 and was diagnosed with autism (high functioning) in the summer of 2018. He is the oldest of 5 boys ranging from 8 to 14 months. My question is: How do I keep him from physically attacking the baby when he gets frustrated? This has only been happening physically since September of last year, but verbally has always said he hates the baby, wants the baby to die, etc. since he was born. I know it has to do with him feeling he's not getting the attention he wants, but with 5 kids, the youngest being of an age that is very demanding, I don't always get to focus on the 8-yrear-old as much as he would like." Click here for the answer... ==> Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Self-Help Strategies: 25 Tips for Teens on the Autism Spectrum

“I'm dumb.” “Nobody likes me.” “I can’t find any friends.” “I can’t talk to girls.” “I’m such a nerd.” Do any of these statements sound familiar? Are you used to putting yourself down? If so, you're not alone. As an Aspergers (AS) or high functioning autistic (HFA) teen, you're going through a ton of changes. And as you change, so does your image of yourself. Lots of teens have trouble adjusting, and this can affect their self-esteem. Here are some self-help strategies to help you rid yourself of negative, defeating self-talk: 1. A positive, optimistic attitude can help teens with AS and HFA develop strong self-esteem - for example, saying, "Hey, I'm human" …instead of, "Wow, I'm such a loser" …when you've made a mistake, or not blaming others when things don't go as expected. 2. As one Aspergers teenager said, "Parents just don’t understand" (understatement of the year, huh?). It may seem like there’s no

What is the best treatment for teens with Aspergers and HFA?

“My husband is ashamed and embarrassed that our oldest son has autism (high functioning) and is not what he calls normal. If my husband knew that I was typing this, he would become very irate and the yelling would start between the two of us as he does not like it when I try and seek help. James is 15 and in the years gone by He has called him a retard to his face, he even used to hit him across the back of the head. James does not seem to get along with our 13-year-old and often hurts himself as well as our other son. Because of this, I try not to leave the two of them home alone. The other evening, I went to visit my parents for two hours leaving them with their dad. Apparently, the boys started into each other and instead of separating them and talking with them, he told the oldest with the problem. ‘I wish you would just beat the shit out of him and teach him a lesson’. When I found out about this, I became very irate and tried to explain to Michael [husband] that he just gave Ja