Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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How Will My Aspergers Son Do As An Adult?

“I have a 19 y.o. son with high functioning asperger’s. I am curious how he will do out in the world as an adult. How well do people with asperger’s truly “function” when they actually have to fend for themselves?”

One of the most interesting and useful sources of data on outcome derives indirectly from observing those parents of kids with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger’s (AS) who themselves appear to be somewhere on the autism spectrum.

From these observations, it is clear that HFA does not preclude the potential for a more "typical" adult life. These grown-ups will often gravitate to a job or profession that relates to their own areas of special interest, sometimes becoming very proficient.

Many young people with HFA and AS are able to successfully complete college – and even graduate school. However, in most cases, they will continue to demonstrate (at least to some extent) subtle differences compared to “typical” adults. For example:
  • Many find their way to psychiatrists and other mental health providers where the true, developmental nature of their problems may go unrecognized or misdiagnosed.
  • Their rigidity of style and idiosyncratic perspective on the world can make interactions difficult, both in and out of the family.
  • There is a risk for mood problems (e.g., depression, anxiety).
  • They can be challenged by the social and emotional demands of marriage, although many do marry.
  • They may exhibit significant differences in social interactions.

It is estimated that 30-50% of all grown-ups with HFA or AS are never evaluated or correctly diagnosed. These individuals are simply viewed by others as "different" or “odd.” I’ve counseled many young adults that I believe fall into this category, yet I’m frequently amazed by how many of them have been able to capitalize on their strengths (usually with support from family) to achieve a high level of functioning, both personally and professionally.

In fact, some of these high-functioning men and women represent a unique resource for society in general, having the single-mindedness and consuming interest to advance our knowledge in various areas of engineering and science (just to name a couple).

Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers 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 Aspergers Children

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 child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s 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 Aspergers Teens

Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers 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 Aspergers 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 Aspergers 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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content