Showing posts from March, 2012

Preparing Your Aspergers Child for Transition to Middle-School

Parents who have children that will attend middle-school for the first time in the fall of this year need to initiate preparations pronto! More on this crucial topic can be found here ...

Place-Blindness in Individuals with ASD

Some children and teens – and even adults – with High-Functioning Autism and Aspergers frequently become lost because they can't remember previously seen places. An estimated 33% of people with Aspergers suffer from “place-blindness” (also called topographic agnosia), which causes them to become lost easily. This can happen even in areas they know very well if a familiar landmark has changed. Place-blindness is a form of “visual agnosia” in which the individual can’t rely on visual cues to guide him directionally. However, he may still have an excellent capacity to describe the visual layout of the same place or location. People with place-blindness may have the ability to read maps, but often become lost in familiar environments. A person with place-blindness could live in a neighborhood for years and not recognize local houses if he sees them out of context (e.g., a photo featuring the house on its own). When out on a hike, the place-blind child or teen may remember c

Limiting "Special Interests" in Children with Aspergers and HFA

Should parents limit their child's time spent on just one or two "special interests" or passions? The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Oral Sensitivity in Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"My son with aspergers (high functioning) will often have a gag response or a strong reaction to certain textures of food, for example, whenever he tries to eat an apple or any other hard fruit. Is this something we should be concerned about, or is it a trait of aspergers (similar to picky eating)?" In contrast to motor-based swallowing problems, difficulties with eating can also stem from dysfunction with the sensory system. The act of swallowing does require both motor and sensory functions to complete the act. All of us have a range of sensory tolerance, some of us more sensitive than others. If you have a low sensory threshold, you may have an affinity for stronger tasting foods or perhaps crunchy foods. Conversely, if you are on the other end of the sensory spectrum, you may prefer milder foods or soft foods. Kids also have taste and texture preferences and tend to prefer milder, simple foods. Hypersensitive oral reactions are exaggerated responses to

"Face-Blindness" in Children and Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Many children and teens with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Aspergers have difficulty recognizing the faces of those they don’t know well. Prosopagnosia, also known as “facial agnosia” and “face-blindness,” is a neurological disorder that makes facial recognition difficult or impossible. Research suggests that up to two-thirds of children and teens with HFA and Aspergers have difficulty recognizing faces until they have interacted with a particular person on a number of occasions. Research into Facial Recognition— Most research into the facial processing abilities of kids and teens with HFA and Aspergers has focused on the ability to read and accurately interpret facial expressions. Research on facial recognition difficulties among children with Aspergers has been sparse, but there have been a few studies conducted. Findings indicate that many of children with Aspergers have difficulty recognizing the faces of people they have only met once or interacted with a few times,

Children with High-Functioning Autism: "Gifted" or Hyperlexic?

P a rents who have discovered that their young child is "gifted" because he/she may be able to recite the alphabet at 18 months of age, or can read words by the age of 2, may want to reassess the situation.  Hyperlexia often coexists with High-Functioning Autism and Aspergers. Hyperlexia is not seen as a separate diagnosis; however, with current fMRI research revealing that hyperlexia affects the brain in a way completely opposite to that of dyslexia, a separate diagnosis may be on the horizon. ==> Click here for full article...

Repetitive Routines and Rituals in Aspergers Kids

Confusion about coping in a world that is overwhelming influences this behavior, so the youngster with AS responds to this uncertainty by being in control of their immediate environment, the objects in that environment, and the people in it. Repetitive motor mannerisms may occur when some kids are excited, anxious, or worried. For others, sensory sensitivities and physical enjoyment may drive repetitive jumping, arm flapping, twiddling of fingers in front of their eyes and covering ears and eyes with their hands.   CLICK HERE for full article...

Aspergers Children and Poor Concentration

Why children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have difficulty concentrating -- and what parents and teachers can do about it: Teaching Students with Aspergers and HFA

Helping Aspergers Children Alleviate School-Related Stress

Research suggests that up to 80% of students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism experience school-related anxiety at some point during their school career. Anxiety Disorders such as OCD, Social Anxiety and Generalized Anxiety Disorder commonly co-occur with Aspergers. When anxiety symptoms are untreated, they can further interfere with a child's quality of education. Kids with both Aspergers and Anxiety Disorders experience a more limited social world than kids with only one disorder. They may have difficulty in adapting at school by avoiding opportunities to make friends, join social activities, and break their usual rituals to try something new. Although little is known about what anxiety symptoms look like in Aspergers students, the following symptoms (which overlap with Anxiety Disorders) indicate school-related anxiety: Avoidance of new situations Becoming "silly" Becoming explosive easily (e.g., anger outbursts) Increased insistence on rou

Aspergers Teens and Visual-Spatial Abilities

Which figure is identical to the first? If you have a teenager with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autsim, you may want to ask him. He will likely be very quick to pick the correct answer. Why? According to research, many teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism demonstrate superior performance in recognizing and discriminating hidden and embedded designs and figures. Brain studies have shown that Aspergers teens use different neural pathways than “neurotypical” teenagers (those who do not have Aspergers) when trying to understand visual-spatial stimuli. One study was designed to assess the spatial abilities of Aspergers teens in several tests using a human-size labyrinth or maze. The tests measured the ability to learn routes and find unseen locations, both forward and backwards in the maze. The abilities were tested under two different conditions: (1) by exploring directly the environment and (2) from a map. Two groups of teens were studied: (1) those wit

Effective Teaching Practices for Students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

As a parent of a child with Aspergers (AS) or High-Functioning Autism (HFA), you may have had an occasion in which your child’s teacher was unsure of what course of action to take given a particular issue related to your child’s condition. Not all teachers know how best to deal with an AS or HFA student – but most are willing to learn. If you have had such an experience, please feel free to copy and paste the “teacher’s tips” below and offer to provide a copy to your child’s teacher(s). Effective Teaching Practices for Students with Aspergers (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA): 1. A youngster with AS/HFA is likely to be more successful at completing school assignments and tests if the work is presented in a way that visually highlights and organizes important information. For example, the directions for a test might be highlighted so that he will be sure to see them. Important sections of a book can also be highlighted to help him study. If he will need specific informa