Should ASD Teens Try To Be "Normal"?

If you have a teenager with  Autism Spectrum Disorder [Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism], how do you let him be who he is while still protecting him so he doesn't emerge traumatized? 

 •    Anonymous said... It is EXHAUSTING trying to be normal in this NT world. NO, they should not try to be normal. They should have acceptance in this world for being themselves.
•    Anonymous said... let them home school
•    Anonymous said... My husband was "forced" to be normal because his parents had no idea. Some of that helped him, but not all of it. Now, his littler brother (currently 16) is getting the exact opposite treatment for his Aspergers. I find that this is also unhelpful however. He gets away with murder most of the time. Forcing my husband to be "normal" helped him get a job and be able to go to college and to drive. My husband and I often talk about the two different experiences. He wishes there was a little more give in his childhood, but quite a bit more take from his brother's. Home/Private schooling would have been a dream. Right now, his brother is doing half online and half in room classes. My husband was forced to take responsibility for himself, but his brother isn't at all. There should be give, but I don't think carte blanche should be allowed.
•    Anonymous said... They can try, for sure, but experience shows they will be found out. So sad that others can't be more accepting of our differences. Having a couple of bullyguards is something I think every autistic individual should have. I had a few in school and that definitely helped, but social situations can leave one open to dangerous possibilities.
*   Anonymous said... When I was in highschool, there was a boy I am now certain had Aspergers. But back then, he was just viewed as a 'nerd'. He was ostricised, laughed at, had no friends. I felt so bad for him. But most of the time, he appeared oblivious. These days things are different, though. Being 'different' isn't as big a deal; more and more kids are letting their differences out. More people are aware of Asperger. I feel the key to an Aspie having a successful highschool 'career' lies in having a strong support system and a knowledge of what to expect. Just make sure they know that most kids will be very social, that there will be kids in relationships (make sure they know what that means), and ask them regularly about their day, if they had any issues or concerns. My son needs to be excused for pep rallies, for example: too loud, too much chaos. But there are so many opportunities. There are so many clubs where Aspies can delve into a subject of interest, giving them a sense of belonging and a chance to contribute. 

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