Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


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How To Avoid Child-Meltdowns At The Doctor's Office

“Do you have any advice on how we can make my 6 year old daughter’s upcoming visit to our doctor less stressful? She was diagnosed with high functioning autism recently, and has a history of not doing well while being examined, crying hysterically from start to finish. It’s a real ordeal for all of us, including the doc! Also, my daughter has pica.”

Most children with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism have difficulties with social interaction, communication, and accepting novelty. Therefore, spending the extra time to acclimate the “special needs” child to the new environment/experience will be crucial, for example:
  • Allow ample time while talking before touching the child
  • Allow the child to manipulate instruments and materials
  • Exaggerate social cues
  • Familiarize the child with the office setting and staff
  • Have family and/or familiar staff available
  • Keep instructions simple, using visual cues and supports
  • Slow down the pace of the overall doctor’s visit

These accommodations will be helpful in reducing the obstacles to health care provision presented by the child’s social skills deficits and resistance to new and unusual encounters.

Often, more time is required for outpatient appointments. In a nationally representative sample, it was found that kids on the autism spectrum spent twice as much time with the doctor per outpatient visit compared with kids in control groups.

RE: Pica— Asperger’s children with pica or persistent mouthing of fingers or objects should be monitored for elevated blood lead concentrations, particularly if the history suggests potential for environmental exposure. Pica often goes away in a few months without treatment.

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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