HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Teens on the Autism Spectrum Who Threaten Suicide

"Do people with Aspergers (or high functioning autism) often take action on the threats they make when they blow up? My sister (who died tragically 5 years ago) has a 18 yr old so with AS. When he gets really worked up, he threatens to kill himself and 'take others with him'. His threats of suicide are often paired with 'if I don't get what I want', not 'I am so depressed I want to die'. These threats seem to be more of a bullying technique instead of a cry for help. I hesitate to call the police because there is no other topic that sets him off more than the police."

__________

Parents, families and teachers need to keep a watchful eye on the emerging teenager who has an autism spectrum disorder. Know the warning signs and learn about the three D's = drugs, depression and dangerous activity.

Some teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can deal with social isolation, but others can't, so that makes them depressed, question the reason for living, and ask themselves if there's any point in carrying on.

Often times, these "special needs" adolescents are discriminated against and outright bullied. They may be harassed to conform and fit into the humdrum “Neuro-Typical” society. Some will take their own lives if the heat gets too high.

Perhaps, if suicide is a problem with this group, it would be due to the fact that it is more difficult for them to connect emotionally with other people. They also don't realize that they will hurt others by taking such drastic action on themselves. It is overwhelming for them because basic things for some take so much effort for this group of people – and it is too easy for them to be disconnected emotionally from people.

Like all mental conditions which cause people to behave differently from the norm, autism spectrum disorders are associated with depression. Depression can be caused by a number of things including:
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Fatigue or Tiredness due either to the condition or to the treatment of the condition
  • Guilt or regret over past actions/outburst/meltdowns
  • Miscommunications
  • Misunderstandings
  • Overwhelming feelings and thoughts
  • Social troubles because you do not seem to fit in

Teenagers on the spectrum need the love and support of family and friends more than the average teenager.

Having said this, your sister's son needs to know that if he makes threats to "take others with him" outside of the home (e.g., at school), his threats will be taken very seriously. So, to let him get away with these threats at home may not be in his best interest, because it is not representative of how the real world operates.

As one parent stated:  

"This is a very touchy subject, coming from former law enforcement. It is so super hard to know the right thing to do because they threaten so often it is almost like the boy that cried wolf thing - BUT IF he were to follow through and hurt a sibling or burn something down or hurt someone else, YOU as the parent will also be charged criminally, and your other children removed from the home because the way the law would see the situation is this: 'You KNEW he was capable of doing it and YOU CHOSE to keep it quiet and keep your other children in the situation, therefore YOU have KNOWINGLY endangered your other children'. I have been faced with this exact scenerio personally. It is so hard to know what the right thing is and the lst thing any of us want to do is feel like we could ever be put in a situation to be forced to chose between our children :( "

==> Discipline for Defiant Aspergers Teens

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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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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