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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

1 comment:

Nonie said...

parent of very high functioning Aspie teen, almost adult now. I wanted to share my experience. My son's limiting interests were very morbid when young, and thus kept social activity to a minimal even if one could overlook his 'weird' behavior, as kids didn't like the interest he had. I was exuberant when this fixation was replaced with video games and movies. Now that he is older and feels safer, with more coping skills, he feels safe to go out to do some outside physical fitness activities and school. I wanted to say that he fixates on those things now, too. And while the interests are more vaired, the fixation is as rigid as before. What I noticed was that initiating conflict around new interests was very hard to do, especially when he was young because he did not feel safe in the world. I did push him in that I did not allow spooky stuff talk or fantasy at a certain point and kept the rule for years with everyone who interacted with him. When he felt more safe in the world he then became more open to 'normal' peer fixations and thus progressed. But I think it's important to pick you battles wisely and if there is another battle that is more essential, removing or limiting a fixation may upset other gains you can make. Just my opinion based on my experiences. Again, a wonderfully insightful talk. Thank you!

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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