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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?"

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Anonymous said...

Wow ! Thanks for posting this- It always seems as though whatever the content of your email is- that's what we are dealing with at home that week. My 15 yr old son has been going through a rough adjustment to high school- In fact he has not been attending school for going on a month now and was hospitalized for psychiatric reasons earlier this month. He transitioned from a small private special needs school to a very large public high school and it has not gone well. Thanks for all the information and support. Its so helpful to know that we aren't the only ones going through it.

Anonymous said...

For years we have enjoyed the sweetest child you would ever meet. He is academically bright, is about to complete his fourth year of marching band, is in NHS, and has never been in any trouble. He is 17 and a senior. He was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 9.

Over the last few weeks, he has become isolated, keeps saying, "Leave me alone," and has engaged in odd behaviors including removing what he considers extraneous items from his room (clothing, wall pictures, calendar, mementoes, books, video games, new DSi, etc) and claims to have no attachments to those items. He threw away a James Avery ring with a cross on it, removed a cross from his wall, and refuses to wear any t-shirts with pictures or writing on them. He boxed up his class ring and says he doesn't need anything representative of where he is in life. He says symbols are sinful. At a recent marching band contest it was announced his school's band scored 1st place and would move on to state competition, he simply sat with no expression on his face. He says he needs no reward and only needs to know he has done his best. A child who has said, I love you," everyday since he was able to talk, suddenly no longer wants to do this. He says we should know without him having to say the words. He is extremely frustrated with taking his Concerta (has taken since 9 and was most recently at 72 mg). He says he should be able to concentrate on his own and he can never learn how to do this while dependent on medication. He has begun an obsessive reading of the Bible and as you may guess, a very legalistic one. He refuses to listen or take suggestions from anyone including the youth pastor. He refuses to ask for anything in prayer other than forgiveness. Yesterday, he refused to eat for over 24 hours.

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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