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Helping Your Asperger’s Teen to Eliminate Thinking Errors

Many children and teens with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) experience “thinking errors,” largely due to a phenomenon called “mind-blindness.” Mind-blindness can be described as a cognitive disorder where the child is unable to attribute mental states (e.g., emotions, beliefs, desires, motives) to himself or others. This ability to develop a mental awareness of what is in the mind of another person is known as the “Theory of Mind.”

Thinking errors are irrational patterns of cognition that can cause your AS or HFA teen to feel bad and sometimes act in self-defeating ways. If she becomes more upset the more she thinks about a troubling circumstance, she may want to consider the possibility of thinking in a different way. And you, as the parent, can help with this.

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Unknown said...

My grandson seems to be totally opposite of this. He accentuates the positives to such a extent that he believes that although he has AS, it doesn't affect him at all. And even though he was caught red-handed doing something bad, he totally denies it until the end. If he does choose to admit to it then, he doesn't see anything wrong with the behaviour or that it is something that should not be repeated (despite very clear discussion).

Unknown said...

My step-son too! We are really struggling with his extreme self-approving behavior. Whatever he does is completely ok, but what everyone else does is wrong... even if they are the same thing. In his mind he can do no wrong because it's what he wants. He refuses to do the things he needs to do because he doesn't want to, or he does things he's not supposed to because he wants to.

This in particular, DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE, is the opposite for him, he disqualifies the negative. He dislikes the negative so much that he has said "I don't want to think of the bad things that could happen so I only think of the good stuff" and in turn continuously chooses actions that get him in trouble or have a high negative result because he refuses to acknowledge that negative things could happen. He also refuses to work on the situation and practice thinking differently because thinking of only the good things is pleasurable. We are completely stumped.

Unknown said...

Oh, Stephanie, I know what you mean. My grandson is my daughter's step-son, and there are issues with his birth mother, so she and hubby are also aware of pushing too hard and him choosing to go live with her. If that happened, it would not be very good for him at all. We are stumped too, especially with the extra hurdle.

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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