Showing posts from August, 2012

Primary Comorbid Conditions Associated with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

In 1987, I started doing music therapy with children who had High-Functioning Autism (HFA). Although we didn't call it HFA at that time, we knew that some autistic children were higher functioning than others. I have always said - and continue to believe - that if you have an undiagnosed HFA child WITHOUT any comordid conditions, you have a child who may go his or her entire life without ever being diagnosed with HFA. The child might be viewed as a little weird by peers, but without any comorbid conditions, few - if any - adults (e.g., parents, teachers, etc.) would ever suspect that the child had HFA. This is because HFA has few problematic symptoms in-and-of itself. Most often, it is the conditions associated with HFA that indicate something is not quite right. For example, an alarming number of children who were eventually diagnosed with Asperger's were first diagnosed with ADHD years earlier. Unfortunately, in my 25+ years of experience, I have never met a child

Behavioral Support for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Effective behavioral support for a student with special needs requires highly individualized strategies that address the primary areas of difficulty in managing anxiety, communication, preferences for sameness and rules, ritualistic behaviors, social understanding and interactions, and sensory sensitivities. While the specific components of a positive behavioral support plan will vary from child to child, the following tips will assist teachers as they work towards achieving the best outcomes on behalf of their special needs student: 1. Students with special needs experience communication difficulties. While they are able to use language quite effectively to discuss topics of interest, they may have great difficulty expressing sadness, anger, frustration and other important messages. As a result, behavior may be the most effective means to communicate when words fail. 2. Since behaviors are influenced by the quality of relationships with teachers, teachers should monitor the

Children & Teens on the Autism Spectrum Who Purposely Injure Themselves

“I am wondering if there are a larger number of young people with Aspergers and autism who self mutilate out of depression, anxiety and other pressing emotions more so than typical people. I want to know if there are members with Aspergers on this site that have ever engaged in this activity and what caused it …depression, anxiety, or is it from the the disorder? Also, is it common for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to physically hurt himself on purpose ...and what can be done to stop him from doing this?" Self-injury (also called self-harming and self-mutilation) is often a coping mechanism, particularly with the feeling of being rejected. This is a particular problem for anyone who has difficulty in understanding non-verbal communication. For most people, understanding facial expressions, body language, etc., is instinctive, starting as babies before language acquisition. But just as some people having hearing difficulties or are short-sighted or color-blind, o

Do iPad apps really help families affected by autism?


Can Children on the Autism Spectrum "Outgrow" Their Disabilities?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Autism now affects 1 in 88 kids (although other estimates say it's more like 1 in 60), and is becoming a challenge shared by more and more American families. The good news: About 10% of kids with low-functioning Autism outgrow most of their severe disabilities by the time they become teenagers. NOTE: Let's be clear about this. The 10% of young people sited in the research continue to have the disorder, but most of the major debilitating symptoms have diminished significantly. A recent study offers some good news for parents with Autistic children: most kids affected by Autism don’t have intellectual disabilities . Even among the severely low-functioning ones, about 10% improve significantly over time with some outgrowing their diagnosis by their teenage years. The research tracked approximately 7,000 Autistic kids in California for a total of 9 years. These children were followed from diagnosis to age 14 (or

Helping Aspergers Children Avoid The Back To School Jitters

Preparing students with Aspergers for the new school year requires a little more than making sure uniforms fit and backpacks are filled with all the necessary school supplies. Most U.S. schools will open their doors on Aug. 20. Before then, parents need to ensure all their documents are in order, transportation is prepared, and good communication is established with their child's school. ==> Here are 25 ways in which you can help your Aspergers youngster prepare for the new school year.

Overcoming the "EQ Deficit": Help for People with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

While much of what I'm about to talk about applies to both men and women, this post is going to lean more toward addressing the male-version of Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism... Men with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism suffer from a phenomenon called “mind-blindness,” which is a cognitive condition where the person is unable to attribute mental states to self and others. As a result of this condition, he is often unaware of others' mental states and has difficulty attributing beliefs and desires to others. Lacking in this ability to develop a mental awareness of what is in the mind of his partner, the Aspergers man is often viewed as emotionally detached. "Emotional intelligence" is in many ways the opposite of mind-blindness. Emotional intelligence (EQ) matters just as much as intellectual ability (IQ) when it comes to happiness and success in life. Emotional intelligence helps one build stronger relationships, succeed at work, and achieve care