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Children on the Autism Spectrum and Problems with Perfectionism

“I'd like to ask you about a very big problem for our autistic son - his perfectionism! Can you give me some advice on what to do about this issue, because I believe it is a major contributing factor to his never-ending anxiety, especially when doing his homework?”
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Unknown said...

My daughter was like this for years! Then we switched her to a charter school for learning disabilities. The teachers are all special educators and amazing! Perfectionism is gone!!!! Regular School was the problem

Unknown said...

The article suggests finding a book or movie role model who fails and then succeeds. I have a five year old son who fits the article model. He has never been diagnosed with Aspergers, but from our observations he shows many of the traits. Would anyone have any movie or book suggestions for a child his age?

Unknown said...

Thomas Edison
He failed many many times.

Michael Jordan failed making his high school basket ball team

Mickey Rooney has a quote " you always pass failure on the way to success"

Even Einstein got things wrong- he insisted one mathematician was wrong but eventually it was determined (after countless hours by Einstein) that tgat mathematician was correct!

I reccomend watching the new "cosmos" series on netflix! It shows many scientists who made mistakes, or were considered weird or wrong etc. My son totally enjoys the show!

Katarina said...

I'm almost 57 and was diagnosed as having Aspergers. I am a perfectionist on morality. When I fall short of even small blunders,I punish myself greatly. Because I never had my issues addressed,when other people don't meet up with what I feel is the perfect moral/religious code,I cut them out of my life only to find out I hurt them to the extreme!I then view this as morally wrong on my end and start the self punishment again. My friends are really helping me see that perfectionism with self loathing when I miss the mark is destructive.Balace is key.I think a lot in black and white terms. Anyone on the spectrum needs to learn that there are grey areas of personal decision and areas of conscience. So, it is good to see examples of others who missed the mark and learned how they picked themselves back up to continue in their goals without self hatred.Bible examples of loyal Servants of God who missed the mark, but came back on the right tract again are my favourite ones to imitate. They help me to forgive myself and move forward and not expect ABSOLUTE perfection!!!

Unknown said...

My daughter is a perfectionist to the point where it can impair her day to day. One day at a place where you pick and pick and paint your pottery (she chose a Penguin), she had a spiraling meltdown because her painting of the Penguin wasn't 'perfect'. After painting every color on the penguin in an angry way making it a really tragic looking penguin and after the ensuing drama and crying, we sat down for a follow up conversation about what had occurred. We talked about perfectionism and how it ruined a chance for a fun day of painting with friends. She was about 10 when this happened. Now at 22, she still keeps that Penguin around and we often refer to her moments of perfectionism with a simple phrase: Perfect Penguin? It's a funny little way she reminds herself that she can stop and rethink how to approach the task at hand.

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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