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Asperger's Kids and Their 'Pedantic' Style of Speaking

“I read a lot online that children with Asperger syndrome have a ‘pedantic’ style of speaking. Can you help me to understand what that means?”

While kids with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) may have begun talking at an appropriate age, they often used a rather long-winded (and sometimes rather concrete or literal) style of speaking. Pedantic describes speech that is overly focused on the details of its topic. It is speech that appears to list details about a topic one after the other. In a child on the autism spectrum, this type of speech does not appear to be impacted by the environment (e.g., by the nonverbal cues of others), and therefore seems less conversational and more like a monologue.

In addition, kids on the spectrum often understand and use words concretely and literally. For example, a teacher discussed possible consequences for misbehavior with her Asperger’s student. This child heard that if he did not complete his classwork when asked, he would receive detention. He became very upset over this perceived injustice. He didn’t understand that the teacher had meant that when she saw a “pattern” of incomplete work, she would provide the consequence of a detention.

With such a concrete way of understanding others, children with AS or HFA can easily misinterpret the intent of others and respond in an unexpected and possibly inappropriate way. Thus, when speaking to these young people, it’s important for parents and teachers to be very specific (e.g., instead of saying, “You need to get ready for lunch” …be more detailed by saying, “Hand in your assignment, put your pencil and notebook away, and get in line with the other students”).


Glastonburytor said...

I have an 11 year old with aspergers and adhd does anyone have their child on meds. He's having trouble at school like licking others papers etc... not being on task always losing papers.

Unknown said...

Hi Kathy,
Yes my 7 year old has both Aspergers and ADHD. When he is on his medication its like a totally different child (in a good way) but when he is off. . . he is back to his hyper and non being able to function ways. Some parents are afraid to put their child on medication but I always say this.. . Aspergers is a disorder where he/she may need assistance to function. If your child was diagnosed with a disorder such as high blood pressure and needed medication to help control the pressure, would you not give it to them?

Jessie said...

I also have an 11 year old diagnosed with both Aspergers and ADHD. With a little more research and with a better understanding of how their brain works (I was stumped up until that point) We've been able to set up an immediate reward system and with a lot better understanding and patience he's made BIG improvements in his behavior.
Once the official diagnosis came the doc suggested meds and we did try them since prior to his evaluation we felt we were doing him more harm than good by NOT medicating him. He needed help. His impulsive behavior and inappropriate comments were getting him into trouble and it was only getting worse. He's highly intelligent but because he was so disorganized and unable to follow through on simple instructions, his grades didnt reflect it.
The meds put him to sleep. If he wasn't sleeping he was almost asleep. He lost his appetite completely and looked horribly depressed. WAS horribly depressed just in the week he was on them but it.was more than enough time for us. Although I feel a lower dose could have helped him, I took him off the meds considering he was already making such huge strides in his behavior prior to them. I will be discussing using a much lower dose with his doctor bc even a slight calming effect would help him a great deal with less worry about extreme changes in his demeanor and side effects.
Our kids are always going to struggle on some level because of their Aspergers so I could see this being a heck of a balancing act finding what works best for our kid. Meds or no meds.

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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to read the full article...

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