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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 James permission to beat up his brother. He does not really understand right from wrong at times. So now I wait for the day they fight and he says, ‘dad said I could’ without realizing the damage he could cause or the consequences. My husband refuses to seek help, says he reads up about what is going on but I find that hard to believe otherwise he would know better how to deal with issues. Is there anything you can suggest in the way for treatment for James? I can’t change his dad but maybe I can get James some help for his disorder. I am starting to think that my feelings do not matter and I need to put my children first and remove Michael from my home so that our eldest will have a home that understands him. Even our 13 year old understands him better than his own dad. ppls help!” 

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Steve-Prosper With Aspergers said...

Thanks for the very helpful breakdown of social skills training. One of the promising evidence based programs I've seen lately is the PEERS program based out of UCLA.

Anonymous said...

WV Grandmother trying to raise A Grandson, of 14 Aspie,ODD ,ADHD,..The Behavori is not good.Refuseale to change of any kind ,eating habits,not wanting to try any thing that may help. He has become demanding ,our lives as we knew it dose not exsit. The boy gose in total meltdown if I even mention what he don't want to hear.ex; Were planning to go fishing the weekend. NO'I can't b get him to budge without he becomes violent. out of control if i try makeing him...
STUCK IN place to place him. the Help I have seeked not helping. What is the best treatment for this kind of child.

Anonymous said...

I can see this site will help me out alot. Im a newbie to this syndrome but I ready to take it on... Love my girl and will help her with this all i can

Anonymous said...

Hello Mark,

We have a 14 y/o aspie son and am grateful for your newletters.

If this is an obvious question, I apologize for taking your time, but how do I go about finding a Social Skills Training group?

Thank you in advance,

Mark said...

Check with your nearest mental health facility.

Mom With Bipolar said...

Can I find more information on Social Skills Training? Is it actually a curriculum of sorts. I think our son's therapist would be interested in learning more. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, this is a very good resource for parents. This particular article is one I found to be very accurate. My daughter is now in middle school and social skills training has made a very big difference in how she gets along with her peers, her academic performance and most importantly her self confidence. These are skills for life.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I want to respond to your post. I don't know what exactly to say about your marriage, but I can understand what you are going through - someone I know is separated from her husband for that very reason. It is a long process for her to decide either way, and she is working hard. Sadly to say, he isn't. If your husband is willing to accept help, I have a few resources that may be good for him/you, but if he isn't, then I agree that something has to be done to protect your son while he is vulnerable. Blessings. I'll read this again...

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of a 13 year old son with Aspergers. School has always been difficult for both my son and me. Since he has entered middle school, things have gotten worse. Both his teachers and I are trying to help him but he is not interested in helping himself. He is about to get kicked off the bus because of his behavior, he won't do his work in the classroom or assigned homework, he has taken up swearing, and nothing seems to motivate him to do better.
I feel like I have tried everything I know, but things are starting to escalate and the school is losing patience with him and to be honest, so am I. This isn't the child I thought I was raising. I don't want to give up on him but nothing I say or do motivates him to do the right thing.
I feel like a failure as his parent. No one seems to understand. So many people around me give advice but the advice they give is what might work with a child who is "normal". Logan has never been "normal". He has always been my greatest love and my greatest challenge. I am lost and I am tired of crying and feeling like I am failing him.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to ask anyone has recommendations of a good psychologist who really knows about Aspergers kids (you know, their strict way of thinking, poor social understanding etc) to come to school for doing FBA for my son. He is in 1st grade, struggling with a lot of frustrations in school. From what he told me, a lot seems to be frustration with the situations, but the school keeps saying it is overstimulation and has a plan to put him to a low functioning small autism class. They keep saying that will reduce his stimulation etc.

I live in North Jersey area.

In fact, I would expect he would have much more frustration in the self-contained class. As typical to many Aspergers kids, he is very smart academically, but very poor understanding of social behavior.

Anonymous said...

My 9 year old son, was diagnosed with Asperger's during Kindergarten. He has had wrap-around services in the home since the age of 6. His TSS would come out and work with him 10 hours a week. Every weekday afternoon, usually from 4 to 6 pm. And his behaviorist would come out once or twice a week also. And this was a good arrangement, that was showing positive results.

However, sometimes the progress was slow in coming, and was frustrating. But overall, it was working. Well, recently I had a meeting to continue his services, and they want my son out of the program. And they have implemented a fading of services until the end of November. After the services in the home are discontinued at the end of November, they recommend outpatient services for him.

I am fighting this decision, and requested a appeal. There is another meeting on the 24th of this month. This is the first step in the appeals process. I was informed that these meeting are generally done, over the phone. But I requested it be done in person. My thinking on that decision is that they may be less likely to look me in the eye and deny my son these services, than they would over the phone.

In the meantime, Alex's behaviorist has left the company. And Alex's TSS just stopped showing up, or returning phone calls or text messages. And we know that she is not sick, because she teaches 4th grade at my my son's elementary school and Alex sees her everyday.

They had replaced my son's behaviorist with another one. But they removed him from Alex's case before any of us had even met him. They removed him from Alex because he is new with the company. And they did not feel that he would be right for Alex, because of the appeal process, and his lack of experience. So, they gave him a behaviorist that has a great deal of experience that will guide us through the appeal process.

And Alex's new TSS will actually be his old one. So, that is one positive thing. At least he already knows her. And she did a very good job in the past. So, I don't see any problems with her coming back. In fact I asked if she was available. And it worked out.

Any advice? As far as the County is concerned, these wrap-around services are supposed to be temporary services that provide support to the parents, by instructing them how to deal with certain behaviors. And they feel that after three years of services, the parents should be able to address whatever issues might arise.

But, in my opinion these services are needed to give the parent the additional support that are needed through out. After all we are not always dealing with the same problems, time after time. As time goes on and he matures old problems go away and new ones arise. And Aspergers is not something he will outgrow.

Looking for any advice that might help.

Anonymous said...

My 18 yr son, has wrap around services that come to house six hours a week, a Master level behavioral therapist, a Doctor in Psychology he sees once a week, a school life skills program, a MH/MR caseworker, a person at OVR to help him with job skills and employment, a caseworker from AHEADD also to help with employment and skills, and a very supportive and involved family.

For 12 years of this child's life I have brought him to one doctor, clinic, after another to seek the help I know he needs. I have spent my life devoted to helping him and at times my other children have suffered because they just do not get the attention my oldest receives. I thank God that my other children can seem to find their way more independently.

I was away in Florida two weeks ago and received a call from my daughter that my oldest was caught stealing game cards from Walmart. They were kind enough to let him go into his younger sisters care. They don't press charges for under 20 dollars.

He was grounded, faced consequences, and I am far from easy on him. He has stolen in the past and has had to pay fines. Which I always made him responsible for.

We discussed this with his therapist and they again put another diagnosis on him. Impulsive Control Disorder. His impulsiveness gets in the way of daily life. Too much risk taking etc....

I thought my son learned a lesson since he was caught and embarrassed. Yesterday I get a call that while he is supposed to be in school he was at a convenience store across the street and stole a stupid box of Mike and Ikes. He was caught and they arrested him. Being over 18 he now has a record.

Then after telling his wrap around services (behavioral) they have sat me down and said that they can't help my son. His problems are beyond their scope. They recommend going to a family based service which they said has more programs, resources etc. Their company does not do family based so I would have to start the process all over again with new therapists.

I am so frustrated because I do not see how family services will help him more than individual services. I kind of feel that they are giving up on him and they have only been here a couple of months. I feel they don't have the experience needed or the answers to provide true behavioral modification. When they come we are playing therapeutic is this to help my son? The therapist stated that he felt he was providing family based services and not doing what his job is supposed to be. Is this my fault? They are supposed to be the experts and put things into place. They are supposed to know how to work with my son to change his behaviors. I look at them for guidance and knowledge in this area and yet they are telling me they don't know what to do.

Could anyone please explain to me why we should go family based vs wrap around?

I am ready at this point to place my son in a group home. I feel that though he is extremely bright, he refuses to do anything for himself as long as I am here with him.

We are so back and forth because without an MR title we do not know what our expectations should be. We feel there are things my son could and should be doing but he seems to never be able to attain any goals. Are our expectations too high? He's not a little boy anymore and he has point blank told us he doesn't want to grow up because growing up is not fun.

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.

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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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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.

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