Showing posts from April, 2012

Organization Skills for Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"Any tips on how I can help my child get more organized? He loses and misplaces many things, including homework and school books, which is now affecting his grades. Help!" Children and teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) often have deficits in what we call “cognitive function” (i.e., the intellectual process by which we think, reason, understand ideas, and remember things). So a child with Aspergers may have difficulties with: “executive function” (i.e., he/she may be detail-focused and less able to see the whole picture) predicting the consequences of an action (e.g., “If you do this, what will happen next?”)  processing information  understanding the concept of time One or all of these four examples can affect Aspergers kid’s ability to organize, prioritize and sequence (e.g., if they struggle to understand the concept of time, they will have difficulty planning what to do over the course of a week). Below are some ways in which ch

Obsessions in Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"Why is my 6-year-old son (high functioning autistic) so engrossed in Minecraft, and how can I tell if it is an unhealthy obsession rather than just a fun time activity for him?" CLICK HERE for the answer...

Potty-Training Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Special Considerations

"Any tips on potty training a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder?" Potty-training success hinges on physical and emotional readiness, not a specific age. Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) show an interest in toilet-training by age 2, but others might not be ready until age 3 or even older — and there's no rush. If you start toilet-training too early, it might take longer to train your youngster. Is your ASD youngster ready? Ask yourself these questions: Can your youngster pull down his/her pants and pull them up again? Can your youngster sit on and rise from a potty chair? Can your youngster understand and follow basic directions? Does your youngster complain about wet or dirty diapers? Does your youngster seem interested in the potty chair or toilet, or in wearing underwear? Does your youngster stay dry for periods of two hours or longer during the day? Does your youngster tell you through words, facial ex

Resolving "Homework Battles" with Children on the Autism Spectrum

"Getting my son to do his homework has become a nightly battle. We are at the point of arguing constantly, which clearly is making a bad problem worse. Is there a way I can help him understand the importance of education and to develop some interest in following through with schoolwork?" Homework can be very difficult for kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) to understand for the following reasons: ·          they do not understand why they are expected to do schoolwork at home ·          they find school stressful and do not want any reminders of it at home ·          they might have difficulty with organization skills ·          they find it difficult to remember to write down all the homework and remember deadlines However, there are a number of tips that can help these young people in the future: 1.        Allow kids on the spectrum to make choices about homework and related issues. They could choose to do study time b

Behavior Problems At Home - But Not At School

"I have great difficulty with my 6-year-old daughter (high functioning) at home due to frequent tantrums and meltdowns, yet her teacher states that her behavior at school is quite good. Why is this – and what can I do to get the same results at home?" First of all, just because the behavior occurs at home doesn’t necessarily mean the “cause” of the behavior lies there. Your daughter may find school very stressful, but keeps her emotions bottled-up until she gets home. Most kids with Aspergers and high-functioning autism (HFA) do not display the body language and facial expressions you would expect to see when a youngster is feeling a particular way. While your daughter may appear relatively calm at school, she may be experiencing very different emotions under the surface. Asking an HFA youngster how she feels may not get the correct response, because most of these young people struggle to explain their emotions to someone. Some find carrying visual “stress sca

The Misunderstood Aspergers Child

This video reveals the true reasons behind the behavior that some teachers may view as insubordination. Is your Aspergers or HFA student "misbehaving" - or is he simply experiencing some "autism-related" symptoms? Either way - you can help! Note to parents: Please email your child's teacher(s) and send them the link to the video below. Copy and paste the following URL into your email: ==> Teaching Students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

The Strengths of Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism possess a combination of strengths and difficulties.  This video focuses on the strengths: Most Aspergers children: can stick to routines… are able to forgive others… are accepting of others… are gentle… are honest… are not bullies, con artists, or social manipulators… are not inclined to steal… are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves… are smart, they study hard, and they respect authority… are talented… can make amazingly loyal friends... don’t discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, or age... don’t launch unprovoked attacks, verbal or otherwise… don't play head games, and don’t take advantage of other’s weaknesses… enjoy their own company, and can spend time alone… have a child-like innocence, an exceptional memory, and have no interest in harming others… notice fine details that others miss… prefer talking about significant things that will enhance their knowledge-base, rather than engaging in ch

Teaching Self-Care Skills to Aspergers and HFA Kids

"How can I teach my 5-year-old daughter with High-Functioning Autism some basic self-care skills like brushing her teeth, taking a bath, getting dressed for school, etc.? Currently she insists that I help her with everything. Help!" There are two main ways to teach self-care skills: 1. Backward chaining: This starts at the last step and works through the activity to the first step. For example, once your daughter has brushed her teeth with your help, move backwards through each step slowly (“You just brushed and rinsed your teeth. Before that, we turned on the water. Before that, we put toothpaste on your toothbrush. Before that, we got your toothbrush and toothpaste from the drawer.”). 2. Forward chaining: This teaches a skill in small steps from the first step of the activity through to the last step. For example, “To get dressed in the morning, first you put on your underwear and socks, then put on your pants, then your shirt, then…” (and so on). Wh

Helping Aspergers Students Cope with Recess

"My son’s teacher told me that he gets nervous and often goes into a meltdown at recess time. During recess, the students usually either go to the gym or outside for 'free-time' recreation. How can I help him deal with this transition and the unstructured nature of 'free-time', thus avoiding a meltdown?" Recess is a time when students traditionally run-off their stress, but this transition can be very challenging for a student with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism. Students are given instructions, rules and a timetable to guide them through the rest of the day, but recess is rather unstructured, and it can be difficult for Aspergers students to know what to do during this time. Playgrounds are also often noisy and crowded places, with lots of children running around screaming and talking loudly. This can be daunting for a special needs youngster who is not aware of the "hidden" social rules of recess. Here are some suggestions that

Aspergers Children and Biting

Understanding the developmental factors that contribute to biting behavior in children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can help moms and dads make environmental or programmatic changes as necessary to minimize the behavior. Guidance to kids who bite should be provided with the goal of helping them develop inner control of their feelings and actions. A quick and consistent response at home can help kids who bite learn to express their feelings in words so that they can become better able to control their behavior. Why Do Children With Aspergers and HFA Resort To Biting? 1. An attempt to gain sensory input: Many Aspergers children experience sensory difficulties, so it can be helpful to consider the possible sensory functions of particular behaviors. Chewing and biting are proprioceptive activities (i.e., they provide sensory input to the proprioceptive system, which regulates what different parts of the body are doing at different times). Biting can also provide oral

Coping With Difficult Child-Behavior: Tips for Parents of Children on the Spectrum

"My child’s behavior is often very difficult to understand. And since I don’t really understand a lot of his behavior, it makes it difficult to think of an intervention to change it. Why does he over-react to certain things (e.g., flipping into an intense temper tantrum when asked to put his Legos away -- even when I ask him nicely), and what can I do to help?" There is a range of reasons why kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism have difficulties with behavior. The world can be a confusing, isolating and daunting place for your youngster, and it is his fundamental difficulties with communication and social interaction that are often the root cause of difficult behavior. There are some other possible reasons, too. It's important to say that your youngster's behavior is not caused by bad parenting – and is not your fault. It may seem as though your youngster's difficult behavior is only directed at you - especially if it tends to happen at home,