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The Gift of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's and their families spend a great deal of time focused on the needs or limitations of the affected child. However, these young people also have abilities that many "typical" children do not.

It is important that families talk about the strengths and abilities that their "special needs" child does have. For example:
  • they are often very creative
  • many have a sort of natural genius
  • many have above average intelligence
  • they can see the world very differently to the average person, which can mean different priorities or different sensory experience 
  • their overriding priority is often to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others
  • they are renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined 
  • they can be a loyal friend 
  • they give considerable attention to detail 
  • they have a distinct sense of humor 
  • they have a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people 
  • they have a strong sense of social justice 
  • they may perceive errors that are not apparent to others 
  • they often actively seek and enjoy solitude 
  • they value being creative rather than co-operative 

It is important to celebrate children on the autism spectrum for what and who they are, recognizing their individual strengths and abilities. Doing this on a daily basis enhances both self-esteem and self-confidence (two things that many of these kids are short on). 

More resources for parents of children and teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism:

 Where does your child excel? Please comment below...

•    Anonymous said… My daughter also has Asperger's Syndrome. Recently, she has been having a lot of trouble with tics (twitching of her feet and hands, biting her lip, and rolling of her eyes.) Whenever she is feeling stressed out, her tics are worse and she complains that they cause her hands, feet and eyes to hurt. She is already on Benztropine to help with the tics, but sometimes they seem out of control. I wish there were more doctors that specialized in Asperger's Syndrome in Maryland!
•    Anonymous said… my daughter was recently diagnosed. I don't know anyone that has a girl! I would love to talk to you! My daughter is exceptional, I rarely have to get on to her. Mostly just not saying mean things. Which she doesn't think are mean.
•    Anonymous said… My kid is pretty awesome! She struggles, but has an amazing "code" that she lives by. She insists that people be treated fairly.
•    Anonymous said… No child has ALL these positive traits, but they all have some of the traits (some more than others)...
•    Anonymous said… See I struggle with this. My daughter is sweet and definitely not all bad. But I struggle to see these things as strengths.
•    Anonymous said… So true to many of these!
•    Anonymous said... Attention to detail.
•    Anonymous said... Every evening I tell my son all the things he has done that day that make me proud. And I ask if he is proud of himself. I use very specific events so he will be more likely to continue those behaviors. I haven't had a night when i couldn't find something to praise him for.
•    Anonymous said... Julian is very smart.. He has an iq of 99.
•    Anonymous said... My 10yo son is the kindest kid I know. He also has a deep love for animals. All he wants out of life is peace and fairness (and ice cream...) He is extremely smart and I know he will contribute a lot to society during his lifetime. I think we'd all be a lot better off if more people thought like aspies:)
•    Anonymous said... My 12yr old son has a deep love for animals as well, he is gifted in playing the drums..all he has to do is hear a song a few times and he can play it. Amazing
•    Anonymous said... My daughter, who is 14 is a talented musician. She can play just about any band instrument you put in her hands and has only had formal teaching on one single instrument!
•    Anonymous said... My son (who is 10) is gifted e.g. in math and orienteering. He always knows his location. When he was about three or four years old, he knew the names of the streets.
•    Anonymous said... My son (who is 14) is artistically and musically gifted. These talents help him with his self-esteem and help define who he is in a positive way.
•    Anonymous said... My son is 9 and is a human calculator! He is brilliant when it comes to math. He gets it even when no one has taught him. Amazing.
•    Anonymous said... My son who is 16 is also artistic.
•    Anonymous said... Would have to say his imagination... Amazing ♥
•    Anoymous said… My 13 year old Aspie has a way with animals and babies. They just love him! He is amazing at history and often likes to stump us on unusual facts lol.
*    My daughter with Asperger's taught herself to play the guitar, she also taught herself to do tricks on the skateboard & she's amazing with animals

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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 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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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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