Showing posts from November, 2011

Helping Children on the Autism Spectrum Through Divorce

Your very sensitive youngster with Aspergers (AS) or high functioning autism (HFA) will probably sense marital discord long before you do – even if you believe you've been very secretive about it. He may internalize what is occurring around him and assume personal responsibility for it. It is a very disturbing time for child with special needs, and the internal personalization of the situation cannot be contained indefinitely. In the AS or HFA youngster, this can manifest itself in: Depressive symptoms Heightened anxiety Increase in “acting out” or other “attention-seeking” behaviors Increased difficulty in school Post-traumatic stress disorder Rashes and other skin irritations Regular symptoms of physical illness Maintaining peace wherever possible and providing reassurances as the divorce unfolds are important considerations for helping AS children through divorce. Here are 20 crucial tips for helping your child with the transition from a traditional two-par

Helping Children with Autism to Transition to a New School

"We are going to be moving to a nearby town in a few weeks, and starting the first week in September, my son (with high functioning autism) will be attending a new school. The timing is not very good for this move as we had hoped to wait until he finished grade school at the current location. In any event, how can we make this transition without having major meltdowns and/or behavioral problems?" Click here for the answer...

The Misdiagnosis of Children on the Autism Spectrum

Some "Aspergers" and "high-functioning autistic" (HFA) children do not have the disorder at all, they are simply "gifted." Has your child been misdiagnosed? No one knows exactly how many gifted kids are misdiagnosed by clinicians and pediatricians who are not trained in the unique emotional difficulties of the gifted youngster. A common belief is that gifted kids do not have any particular social or emotional problems. Yet, research indicates that up to 20 % of high school dropouts test in the gifted range. Some gifted kids may not seem different than other “behaviorally-difficult” children in their behavior and emotions, but the underlying causes are different. Any youngster can become withdrawn, aggressive, depressed, anxious, or sad – or exhibit any number of other problem behaviors given the right circumstances. However, there are a many aspects of giftedness that create unique challenges. Gifted kids, many of whom are “asynchronous” (i.e

Avoiding Meltdowns and Tantrums While Shopping: Tips for Parents of Kids on the Autism Spectrum

All parents with Aspergers and high functioning autistic (HFA) children have experienced it: the dreaded meltdown in a public place. Your child is screaming at the top of his lungs while an assortment of disapproving eyes are all focused on you. The pressure is on! What can you do? Fear not, you are not alone. Below are some tips to preventing meltdowns and tantrums while shopping: 1. Anything that reduces uncertainty will help to reduce meltdowns. Give your youngster a visual list of where you are going and the places you will be visiting. Make cards with pictures of the places you are going to, or cut out pictures from a magazine. Let your youngster help you make the list and arrange the order of places where you are going. In this way, he will be able to anticipate where you are going and what will happen next. Take your list along, and every time you have finished one errand, remove the card from the list and ask your youngster to tell you where you are going next. Once

The Holiday Season: Coping Strategies for Aspergers Children

With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I thought we should have a conversation about coping with the holidays – an especially important topic for parents with Aspergers children: My Aspergers Child: Coping with the Holidays : Help for Aspergers ... Nov 1, 2010 ... With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I thought we should have a conversation about coping with the holidays – an especially important ... My Aspergers Child: Dear Family and Friends: A Holiday Letter Dec 18, 2008 ... “Dear Family and Friends:” was written for the purpose of it being sent to relatives and hosts of holiday gatherings who might need a crash ... How to help your child with Aspergers survive the holiday season... Dec 6, 2008 ... This is an article designed to help parents of children who have Aspergers through the holiday seasons. We all have fond memories of our own ... My Aspergers Child: Surviving Thanksgiving: Tips for Parents with ... Nov

Children on the Autism Spectrum and Emotional Dysregulation

Emotional dysregulation is a term used in the mental health community to refer to an emotional response that is poorly modulated and does not fall within the conventionally accepted range of emotive response. Emotional dysregulation may be referred to as labile mood or mood swings. Possible manifestations of emotional dysregulation include behavioral outbursts (e.g., destroying or throwing objects, aggression towards self or others, anger and rage, etc.). These variations usually occur in seconds to minutes or hours. Emotional dysregulation can lead to behavioral problems and can interfere with a child’s social interactions and relationships at home and school. Emotional dysregulation is quite common in Aspergers and High-Functioning Autistic (HFA) children. In my practice, the most frequently asked question by parents is: “What do I do when my child loses control of his emotions?” When emotional dysregulation is occurring, the best reaction is to ensure the safety of all co

What causes Aspergers and HFA?

Scientists don't know the exact causes of Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism (HFA), but research suggests that both genes and environment play important roles. In identical twins who share the exact same genetic code, if one has Aspergers, the other twin also has Aspergers in nearly 9 out of 10 cases. If one sibling has Aspergers, the other siblings have 35 times the normal risk of also developing the disorder. Researchers are starting to identify particular genes that may increase the risk for Aspergers. Still, scientists have only had some success in finding exactly which genes are involved. Most people who develop Aspergers have no reported family history of autism, suggesting that random, rare, and possibly many gene mutations are likely to affect a person's risk. Any change to normal genetic information is called a mutation. Mutations can be inherited, but some arise for no reason. Mutations can be helpful, harmful, or have no effect. Having increased geneti

How To Parent An Aspergers Child: From Childhood To Adulthood

What works for your Aspergers (high functioning autistic) child at the age of 3 may not work for him/her at the age of 13. Here are some important tips for parenting children on the spectrum  across the lifespan : Childhood— After your youngster is diagnosed with Aspergers, you may feel unprepared or unable to provide him/her with the necessary care and education. Know that there are many treatment options, social services and programs, and other resources that can help. Some tips that can help you and your Aspergers youngster are: • Contact your local health department or autism advocacy groups to learn about the special programs available in your state and local community. • Keep a record of conversations, meetings with health care providers and educators, and other sources of information. This will help you remember the different treatment options and decide which would help your youngster most. • Keep a record of the doctors' reports and your youngster

Getting Aspergers Children Ready For School

Help for parents who are stressed-out every morning because they can't seem to get their Aspergers child out the door and off to school: 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: Comprehensive Handbook ==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book ==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with

What are some other conditions that Aspergers children may have?

Most Aspergers (high functioning autistic) children and teens have at least one comorbid (i.e., co-existing) condition in addition to their autism diagnosis as listed below: 1. Co-occurring mental disorders— Kids with Aspergers can develop mental disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, etc.). Research shows that children and teens with Aspergers are at higher risk for some mental disorders than those without Aspergers. Managing these co-occurring conditions with medications or behavioral therapy, which teaches kids how to control their behavior, can reduce symptoms that appear to worsen a youngster's Aspergers symptoms. Controlling these conditions will allow kids with Aspergers to focus more on managing their disorder. 2. Fragile X syndrome— Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder and is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, causing symptoms similar to Aspergers. The name refers to one part o