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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Skills for Parents, Teachers and Therapists Who Deal with Autism Spectrum Disorders



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

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

____________________

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

____________________

The Social Traits of Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Teens on the Autism Spectrum and Low Self-Worth

"My son (high functioning autistic) has been spending his summer vacation pretty much isolating in his bedroom playing computer games.... has no friends... no desire to find a friend... says 'people don't like me anyway, so why try'. How can I help him develop some confidence and self-esteem?"

All teenagers suffer with low self-esteem from time to time. But, high functioning autistic (HFA) and Asperger's teens have an especially difficult time with esteem issues due to the associated traits that make “fitting-in” with their peer group extremely challenging.

Unfortunately, many teens on the autism spectrum have been permanently ostracized from the middle school or high school “in-crowd” – and some have been bullied to the point of becoming depressed.

Helping your HFA son to cultivate high self-esteem provides a secondary bonus for parents: better behavior! If you have a child with poor self-esteem, you have a child with behavioral problems.

When we recognize that our "special needs" adolescents may be having feelings of low self-worth or other destructive issues with low self-esteem, there are many parenting techniques that we, as parents or caregivers, can use to intervene.

How to help your HFA or Asperger's teen overcome low self-esteem:

1. A poor self-esteem can lead to poor performance in multiple domains (academics, sports, etc.), which can “cycle” the negative feelings that these young people have about themselves. Over time, theses teens may develop a defeatist attitude that can lead to depression. If your son is showing signs of depression, seek advice from a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

2. An adolescent who is not the star quarterback he wants to be may be able to set short-term goals for improvement instead of focusing on a long-term, lofty or out of reach goals.

3. As you work with your son on changing those things that can be improved, continually reinforce the positive and encourage him to learn how to focus on developing his strengths while working to improve on the weaknesses.

4. Be kind and patient with your HFA son – because he is probably not being kind and patient with himself.

5. Build on the understanding that each person has strong points. The main goal should be to focus on developing these strong points without getting bogged down in negativity.

6. Encourage your son to focus on his areas of interest. Help him understand that it’s okay to be less than perfect, and help him create realistic, achievable personal goals. If there are traits that can be improved upon, help your adolescent if you can, or get him the help he needs to evoke a positive change.

7. Finding something that your teen can really excel at can give him a genuine boost to his self-esteem. Help your adolescent be realistic about goals that aren’t within his reach based on unchangeable capabilities or physical limitations.

8. Getting your adolescent involved in a worthwhile activity can be a good complimentary service to counseling and talking. Sometimes being able to see the impact they really do have on the world around them can make a difference. Get them interested in volunteering for a cause. They may very well learn that while your actions don’t always cause an immediate effect, the effect they do carry can be quite rewarding.

9. Having an HFA or Asperger's adolescent with low self-esteem does not mean that you are a bad parent or that you did the wrong things when he was little. Every parent makes mistakes, and every youngster misinterprets information. Low self-esteem can come from various sources, including some that are outside the home.

10. Identify specific areas where your son is feeling deficient, even if you don’t agree with his assessment. Listen carefully, and don’t criticize his feelings. You need to acknowledge how important each of the concerns he expresses is to him. Being open as you listen carefully to his concerns - and not judging them - is the first step in solving any issues for adolescents with low self-esteem.

11. If your adolescent feels he is not excelling in class or not performing well in a sport, and these are things well within his capabilities to develop, then you can work with your adolescent to get the help required to facilitate his improvement in these areas (e.g., tutor, life coach, mentor, etc.). For example, an adolescent who is not excelling in class can get tutors or extra assistance to enhance his or her grades. Making these changes will go a long way toward building her self-esteem.

12. It’s not unusual for an HFA or Asperger's adolescent to not really understand why he has been feeling the way he does. For some of these young people, they have grown used to it, having had these feeling for longer than even they realize. Others just aren’t able to articulate it. They are not purposefully trying to be evasive or secretive – they just honestly don’t know what’s going on with them.

13. Just like every other parenting issue, take it one day at a time - and one issue at a time. Raising strong and solidly-grounded adolescents is not an easy task. Walk with him, and he will know that if nothing else, he matters to you.

14. Keep your youngster talking! Being interested in what he has to say is a good start in letting him know that his thoughts and feelings are valuable. Listen to his thoughts reflectively and offer feedback. You may not always agree with what he has to say, but he doesn’t agree with everything that you have to say, either.

15. Know that sometimes an adolescent who is suddenly remarkably helpful or trying with great determination to please everyone around them is actually suffering from a low self-esteem.

16. Self-esteem problems can be temporary and somewhat short lived, or they can often be deep rooted and be a lifelong battle. Either way, it is always advisable to seek out counseling for your adolescent. Taking your youngster to counseling doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with him. It simply offers him the opportunity to talk about things that maybe he isn’t comfortable talking to a parent about. While adolescents typical turn to their friends for help and assistance in dealing with life’s issues, low self-esteem – and the depression that often comes with it – is one issue that really should involve a sensible professional.

17. Some adolescents on the spectrum are quite willing to talk about how they really feel. They have simply been waiting for someone to ask. Others aren’t quite so eager to lay it out there and need to be approached in order to discover what has them feeling so bad about themselves.

18. The pressures to grow up fast and be an independent, well liked member of their peer group can lead adolescents to feelings of low self-esteem. There are many dangers associated with these negative feelings and the consequences that may result. However, feelings of low self-esteem can be changed for the better with a little effort and positive thinking. Tell your child that “feeling bad about yourself” is only a temporary situation.

19. We, as parents, do not usually ask our adolescents, “What is the level of your self-esteem.” It’s typically not dinner conversation. However, if we are paying attention, we can notice when their self-esteem level is drifting, or plummeting, downward. Adolescents will often reference themselves as stupid, fat, ugly, or incompetent. These are glaring red flags that are screaming out “my self-esteem is low!” There are less obvious signs such as commenting how “it doesn’t matter anyway,” when referencing themselves or their thoughts or feelings, or noting that “it’s not like it makes a difference” when noting the affect their behavior has on the world.

20. When dealing with an youngster’s self-esteem, it is important to be sincere when dishing out the compliments and the positive reinforcement. If your adolescent gets the feeling that you are just trying to make them feel better, your efforts will be in vain.

21. When your adolescents struggles with issues (e.g., poor grades, social awkwardness, loss of friends during transition, adjustment to change, etc.), they often question themselves and their self-worth. Being adolescents, they tend to be more observant of the comments that people are making, and they use these comment to determine their worth in the world. Of course they are naturally looking for specific things to be said, and instead of asking the question, they hope to have these answers provided for them. Without direct communication, HFA and Asperger's adolescents often misinterpret the communication around them.

22. While hormonal functions do play a role in an adolescent’s emotions, it’s not really helpful to simply chalk it up to puberty and the onset of strong hormones. Their emotions are legitimate and real, and teaching them to ignore it will only compound the problem. It is reasonable that the intensity of their emotions may be triggered by hormonal issues, but certainly not the only cause.

23. Work with your HFA son to identify the reasons for any feelings of low self-worth. Is it because he has a negative self-image? Is it because he is not excelling at school or sports? Is he feeling excluded from peer groups?

24. You and your adolescent need to recognize the reality of each situation. You both need to be realistic and identify which areas can and cannot be changed. For example, if your adolescent is upset because he’s too short to play basketball, assess the situation carefully. Does he have other skills that could be improved on to allow him to be competitive in basketball, or should he be encouraged to change his passion to a different sport or maybe something entirely different where he would have a better chance of excelling.

25. Involve your son in an activity that he enjoys – but that also involves other people. For example, if he spends a lot of time - alone - playing video games, encourage him to invite a couple friends over who also enjoy playing these games. If he enjoys World War II history, see if there is a history club at school that he could join.

A message to your HFA teenager:

1. Can you help others feel good about themselves? Yes. Don't put others down. Be patient with your friends and family when they fall short. We all make mistakes from time to time.

2. Does self-esteem guarantee success …success on tests …success playing sports …success with friends? No, but if you keep trying and doing your best, you are a success. Remember, having positive self-esteem will help you to achieve what you want. But when you don't succeed, it helps to accept the situation and move on.

3. Does self-esteem mean being self-centered or stuck-up? No. Teens who act this way usually are trying to pretend they are something they are not. In fact, they often have low self-esteem.

4. How do you get high self-esteem? Be honest with yourself. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Don't beat yourself up over your weaknesses. Don't compare yourself to others. It's hard at times, but accept yourself. Celebrate your achievements, set realistic goals for yourself, take it one day at a time, and do your best each day. Also, trust your own feelings, and try to get the most out of your strengths and do your best, without demanding unrealistic results of yourself.

5. Is it easy to change your self-esteem? No. It means taking some time to understand who you are -- what you like, don't like, feel comfortable with and what goals you have. This takes time and hard work. It's a lifelong process, but it's worth the effort!

6. Why is self-esteem important? As an adolescent, you now have more responsibility to choose between right and wrong. Your parents are no longer constantly by your side. Positive self-esteem gives you the courage to be your own person, believe in your own values, and make the right decision when the pressure is on.

7. Your friends can put a lot of pressure on you. You want to be part of a crowd. The crowd may be the "cool" crowd, the "jock" crowd, the "computer" crowd or the "brainy" crowd. Belonging to a crowd is a part of growing up – it helps you learn to be a friend and learn about the world around you. It's okay to want to be liked by others – but not when it means giving in to pressure. Your friends are now making many of their own decisions. And their decisions may or may not be good for you. It's never worth doing things that could hurt you or someone else. For instance, drinking alcohol or using other drugs, having sex before you are ready, joining a gang or quitting school can all lead to trouble.

==> Discipline for Defiant HFA and Aspergers Teens

Helping Your Child on the Autism Spectrum to Deal with Stress

"How can I help my little man (high functioning autistic) reduce his stress. He's usually excessively concerned about many things. Currently his main stressor is worrying about a week long summer camp coming up soon (but after that, it will be something else)."

High-Functioning Autistic (HFA) and Asperger's kids and teens tend to experience more anxiety and stress relative to neurotypical children. Issues like school and social life can sometimes create pressures that can feel overwhelming for these children.

As a mother or father, you can't protect your child from all stress, but you can help him develop healthy ways to cope with stress and solve everyday problems.

Here are some important parenting techniques to help your HFA or Asperger's child deal with stress:

1. Be patient. As a mother or father, it hurts to see your child unhappy or stressed. But try to resist the urge to fix every problem. Instead, focus on helping him grow into a good problem-solver. A kid who knows how to roll with life's ups and downs, put feelings into words, calm down when needed, and bounce back to try again, is a child who will be happy and healthy through the adolescent years and on into adulthood.

2. Comment briefly on the feelings you think your child was experiencing. For example, you might say "That must have been upsetting," "No wonder you felt mad when they wouldn't let you in the game," or "That must have seemed unfair to you." Doing this shows that you understand what he felt, why, and that you care. Feeling understood and listened to will help your son or daughter feel supported by you, and that is especially important in times of stress.

3. Having “pizza night” (or your child’s favorite food) to discuss the week’s trials and tribulations can be therapeutic for some stressed-out kids.

4. Help your child think of things to do. If there's a specific problem that's causing stress, talk together about what to do. Encourage your youngster to think of a couple of ideas. You can get the brainstorm started if necessary, but don't do all the work. Your youngster's active participation will build confidence. Support the good ideas and add to them as needed. Ask, "How do you think this will work?"

5. Just be there. Children on the autism spectrum don't always feel like talking about what's bothering them. Sometimes that's OK. Let your child know you'll be there when he does feel like talking. Even when children don't want to talk, they usually don't want moms and dads to leave them alone. You can help your youngster feel better just by being there — keeping him company, spending time together. So if you notice that your youngster seems to be down in the dumps, stressed, or having a bad day — but doesn't feel like talking — initiate something you can do together (e.g., take a walk, watch a movie, shoot some hoops, bake some cookies, etc.). Your presence really counts!

6. Limit stress where possible. If certain situations are causing stress, see if there are ways to change things. For instance, if too many after-school activities consistently cause homework stress, it might be necessary to limit activities to leave time and energy for homework.

7. Listen and move on. Sometimes talking and listening and feeling understood is all that's needed to help an HFA or Asperger's youngster's frustrations begin to melt away. Afterwards, try changing the subject and moving on to something more positive and relaxing. Help your youngster think of something to do to feel better. Don't give the problem more attention than it deserves.

8. Listen to your youngster. Ask him to tell you what's wrong. Listen attentively and calmly — with interest, patience, openness, and caring. Avoid any urge to judge, blame, lecture, or say what you think he should have done instead. The idea is to let your youngster's concerns (and feelings) be heard. Try to get the whole story by asking questions like "And then what happened?" Take your time. And let your son or daughter take his or her time, too.

9. Notice out loud. Tell your child when you notice that something's bothering her. If you can, name the feeling you think she is experiencing (e.g., "It seems like you're still mad about what happened at the playground."). This shouldn't sound like an accusation (e.g., "OK, what happened now? Are you still mad about that?"), or put the youngster on the spot. It's just a casual observation that you're interested in hearing more about her concern. Be sympathetic and show you care and want to understand.

10. Put a label on it. Most children on the spectrum do not have words for their feelings. If your youngster seems angry or frustrated, use those words to help him learn to identify the emotions by name. Putting feelings into words helps these children communicate and develop emotional awareness - the ability to recognize their own emotional states. Kids who can do so are less likely to reach the behavioral boiling point where strong emotions get demonstrated through behaviors rather than communicated with words.

Moms and dads can't solve every problem as their child goes through life. But by teaching healthy coping strategies, you'll prepare him or her to manage the stresses that come in the future.



 COMMENTS:
  • Anonymous said... I don't know if this helps but I am looking into yoga, mindfullnees to help me and my toddler and a professional just mentioned fun village which is activities designed to help children I am hoping use it to destress us both as his stress and aggressive behaviours stress me and then it just escalates, I know it may be different situation but heard yoga really helpful.
  • Anonymous said... my son's teacher definitely could benefit from reading this. 
  • Anonymous said... Reading this has opened my eyes a little,.. maybe the teacher needs to read this?? 
  • Anonymous said... This has been a big issue with my daughter lately. Usually about once a month she will have a meltdown and refuse to go to school. Because of the excessive number of snow days in our area and a change in my husband's work schedule, there have been a huge number of these meltdowns in the last couple of months. 
  • Anonymous said... Working on sensory strategies for heightened sound/ sensory defensiveness with an OT. This should help.

Post your comment below...

How Parents Can Help the Oppositional Child with High-Functioning Autism

The #1 technique for oppositional kids on the autism spectrum:



==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

Revealing Your HFA Child's Diagnosis to Other Family Members

"How should we go about telling my parents (and other family members) that our son has been diagnosed with autism (high-functioning)? They have always thought his behavior was odd. We believe strongly they should know so they can help to one degree or another with his special needs."

Disclosing your youngster's diagnosis to other family members (e.g., grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.) is a sensitive issue. Divulging this information should occur in partnership with your high-functioning autistic youngster in order to determine how much - or how little – extended family members need to know. 

In weighing your decision, ask yourself the following:
  • Can other family members be trusted to honor this disclosure?
  • Can they treat the subject with sensitivity and respect?
  • Can I foresee their reactions?
  • How often do I see these relatives?
  • If there's potential for misunderstanding and conflict, how will I handle it?
  • If they are intrigued and interested, how will I handle that without breaching my youngster's trust about disclosure (i.e., sharing more than what we agreed on)?
  • If I see them infrequently (e.g., only once or twice a year), is it important to say anything?

In the end, the pros of disclosure may outweigh the cons, but you and your youngster may decide that it's simply no one's business. Many high-functioning autistic (HFA) and Asperger's kids can skillfully “pass” and “blend in” for the duration of a day with extended family such that any differences may go completely unnoticed given all the other distractions.

If you decide it’s appropriate to share information about your youngster's diagnosis, you will want to be prepared to deal with the potential for other family members to show their ignorance (they may simply need to be educated about the condition), overcompensation, or discomfort. You will need to consider how best to control any situations that arise from over-reactions should they express concern about the entire family being stigmatized by the diagnosis.

For example, they may:
  • become increasingly distant due to their own issues in processing the information (e.g., they may only want to spend time with your other kids)
  • confuse HFA with severe Autism or some other diagnosis
  • exclude you and your youngster from future family get-togethers
  • express excessive and unreasonable concern (e.g., they may think that Aspergers is life threatening, contagious, etc.)
  • focus on a cure or a “quick fix”
  • offer assurances and support
  • be overly cautious (e.g., trying not to do or say the wrong thing)

So, be prepared for the full range of reactions from extended family.

Additional tips:
  1. Agree on how long you will attend family gatherings – and stick to it!
  2. Be certain to locate an area where your son can retreat, undisturbed by others, to recuperate during much-needed “downtime.” Show him where this “safe place” is, and assure him that he may use it at will.
  3. Check with your family members in advance to find out what materials your son may access with their permission.
  4. Ensure that your son has some materials related to his special interest (e.g., iPod, iPad) to quietly indulge in if he feels overwhelmed.
  5. Make sure he knows where books, TV or videos, crayons, pen or paper, and Internet access can be found for solitary downtime activities.
  6. To help your son in surviving a day or more with extended family, you will want to arm him with self-advocacy and coping skills prior to attending family get-togethers.

Sharing information about your youngster’s disorder with neighbors, acquaintances, or total strangers in your community is no different than the process of determining when, where, and how to share the same information with extended family. Weigh carefully the pros and cons that may come from disclosing this information. Ideally, your HFA child should be encouraged to be his own advocate as early as possible in order to decide how much or how little to tell others about his condition (if it's even necessary at all).


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

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

____________________

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

____________________

When Asperger's or HFA Runs In The Family

Aspergers (High Functioning Autism) is often an invisible disorder. Because it is so subtle, it can go undetected. It is very likely that there many adults on the autism spectrum living and working in your community who are undiagnosed.

It is hypothesized that certain types of individuals with “Aspergers-like” or HFA traits (e.g., smart, but antisocial) attract one another, leading to such couples having kids with the same traits – but magnified due to an overload of genes. It is estimated that the disorder correlates with a genetic component more apparent than even autism.

About 33% of fathers of kids with Aspergers or HFA show signs of the disorder themselves – and there appear to be maternal connections as well. This information increases the likelihood that it may be present in your own family. Think about your youngster's lineage. Are there - or were there - brilliant and creative, but blatantly eccentric, family members?

Depending on your personality and the strength of your coping skills, this may be either a relieving or a disturbing revelation to ponder. If the diagnosis is received with a negative outlook, you may slip into a period of guilt or self-condemnation. You may even find yourself unjustly bearing the brunt of blame induced by your partner.

Moms and dads of kids on the autism spectrum do tend to reflect more stress tied to anxiety and depression when compared with moms and dads of neurotypical (i.e., non-autistic) kids. But never forget that the disorder is a naturally occurring phenomenon – and it is no one's fault. So, avoid believing pessimistic, self-defeating “autism stereotypes” in favor of focusing on the positives associated with this challenge.

One father reported that learning of his son’s diagnosis was “liberating,” because it wasn't until then that he realized he, too, had the disorder. He defined the experience as “reaching the end of a race to be normal.” At long last, he came to a point of acceptance, and was now in a position to voice his “quirks” using the framework of Aspergers. This father’s journey was challenging, but fortunately, his wife was very supportive throughout. However, not all families deal the experience of uncovering the disorder in themselves as well as this.

There are married couples that simply don’t do well under real (or perceived) pressures of raising a youngster with a different way of being. Families of kids on the spectrum are no exception. Educate and inform yourself - and your husband or wife - early on. Connecting with other moms and dads in similar situations can help cast out destructive, stigmatizing myths and stereotypes.

If your child has been diagnosed with Aspergers or HFA, and you suspect that you or your partner also has the disorder, consider the following suggestions:
  1. Arm yourself with knowledge and gather as much information as you can from the Internet or the resources.
  2. Avoid the “blame game” (e.g., “It's your fault our son is this way.”).
  3. Avoid the “guilt game” (e.g., “It must be my fault.”).
  4. Because you are both still assimilating your youngster's experience, allow yourself and your partner time to process this new twist on the situation.
  5. Broach the subject with your partner by asking leading questions that will provide opportunity for reflection (e.g., “Do you think our son gets his love of history from your side of the family or mine?”).
  6. Discuss marriage counseling or other professional supports with your partner.
  7. Offer to research the disorder with your partner or to provide your partner with whatever literature you've already gathered.
  8. The conversations you have about it in the family should build slowly and incrementally.

Understanding Aspergers and HFA as a probability for you and your partner will be a learning experience for the both of you. It can create marital stress and chaos, or it can be an opportunity to strengthen and enhance your relationship. It’s your choice!

As one parent stated, "How interesting. My husband and I have agreed that we share a preponderance of traits and that is probably what attracted us to each other. Thankfully, we view our son's difference as a positive. I love that he is only seven and has taught me about the history of World War II. He is definitely a challenge, but we love him for who he is and not is spite of it." 

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

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

____________________

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

____________________

Sibling Aggression in Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

Question

My son is an 8 yr old fraternal twin. He was diagnosed with ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder in the summer of 2016 and was diagnosed with autism (high functioning) in the summer of 2018. He is the oldest of 5 boys ranging from 8 to 14 months. My question is: How do I keep him from physically attacking the baby when he gets frustrated? This has only been happening physically since September of last year, but verbally has always said he hates the baby, wants the baby to die, etc. since he was born. I know it has to do with him feeling he's not getting the attention he wants, but with 5 kids, the youngest being of an age that is very demanding, I don't always get to focus on the 8-yrear-old as much as he would like.

Answer

Parents of a large family (i.e., 3 or more children) have to deal with personality clashes, attention tactics, and multiple mini-battles, and eventually come to realize that sibling rivalry is one of the inevitable annoyances of having kids. Moms and dads must learn that the degree of sibling rivalry, and whether or not it has long-term positive or negative consequences, depends on what they do about it. 

Here are several ways that you can help your older child be friends with the younger ones:

1. If possible, start most days with "special time" with your oldest child. Often times, starting the day with 15 minutes of “special time” can ward off angry feelings in the child toward the new baby – and it is a good investment for the rest of the day.

2. When your older child says things like, “I hate the baby!” …always come back with the comment, “The baby loves you – and he looks up to you because you’re his BIG brother” (emphasis on “big”).

3. Promoting sibling harmony requires a bit of parental marketing. You may think that your older youngster should be thrilled to have gained a live-in friend, but kids are often preoccupied with what they've lost. They're not so keen on sharing their toys, their room, and most importantly, their mom and dad with someone else. Turn this around to help the normally egocentric youngster to imagine, "what's in it for me?" Use the term "special time" (you'll get a lot of marketing mileage out of the word "special"). The attention your older youngster apparently has lost from mom, he gains from dad. Arrange a lot of one-on-one outings for your older youngster (e.g., time at the park), so the youngster realizes that even though he's lost some time with mom, he's gets more special time with dad, grandparents, or other caregivers.

4. What bothers your older child the most is sharing you with the new baby. Since the concept of sharing is foreign to the child (as mom is his most important "possession"), it's unlikely that you'll be able to sell him on the concept of “sharing mother.” It sounds good to say that you'll give your older youngster equal amounts of your time, but in practice that's sometimes unrealistic. New babies require a lot of maintenance, and you don't have 200 percent of yourself to give. So what can you do? Wear your infant in a baby sling, which will give you two free hands to play a game with the older one. While feeding baby, you can read a book to the older sibling. Spending a lot of time sitting on the floor increases your availability to your child while your baby is in-arms or at-breast. As baby gets older, place him in an infant seat, or on a blanket on the floor to watch you play one-on-one with his big brother. This entertains two children with one parent.

5. While kids are created equally, it's impossible to treat them that way all the time. In their desire to prevent sibling squabbles, moms and dads strive to do everything the same way for all their kids, whether it's buying pajamas or selecting a college. Kids aren't the same; you don't need to behave as if they are. Make moment-by-moment decisions, and don't worry about the long-term consequences if you give one youngster more strokes than the other on any particular day.

6. In the future, as much as you can, try to divide chores equally among kids according to their ages and capabilities, yet don't beat yourself up trying to be 100 percent fair. You can't be. Remember, you are preparing your kids for life, and life does not treat people fairly and equally.

7. It's unrealistic for moms and dads to claim they never play favorites. Some parents and some kids have personalities that clash – others mesh. Some kids bring out the best in their parents – others push the wrong buttons. The key is to not let your kids perceive this as favoritism. Better yet, make them all feel special. If your youngster asks you a question, "Who do you love more – me or Johnny?" …give the politically correct answer: "I love you both in special ways."

8. Children are so caught up in their own emotions that they don't hear what you're saying. Show that you understand what your oldest child is going through by echoing his feelings (e.g., "Bobby, you feel like Jimmy is getting too much attention and that I love him more than you. But that’s not true. I love all my children equally.”).

9. Just for future reference (in case you have another child), get your older youngster acquainted with the new baby before birth. Show him pictures of a baby growing in mommy's belly. Let him pat the baby beneath the bulge, talk to baby, and feel baby kick. Replay the older youngster's babyhood. Sit down with your youngster and page through his baby photo album. Show him what he looked like right after birth, coming home from the hospital, nursing, and having his diaper changed. By replaying the older youngster's baby events, he will be prepared for a replay of his new brother or sister.

10. Make the older sibling feel important. Savvy visitors to your home (who themselves have survived sibling rivalry) may bring along a gift for the older youngster when visiting the new baby. In case this doesn't happen, keep a few small gifts in reserve for the older child when friends lavish presents and attention on the new baby. Let him be the one to unwrap the baby gifts and test the rattles. Give him a job in the family organization.

11. As the children grow up, minimize comparisons. This is also the basis for feelings of inferiority, which encourages undesirable behavior among siblings. Praise your older youngster for accomplishments in relation to himself and not in comparison to a sibling. Each youngster can feel he is special in the eyes of his parents. Kids are constantly being compared. Most of their life they will be rated on their performance (e.g., grades in school, batting order on the baseball team, races, games among themselves, etc.). The home is the only organization left that values a youngster for himself and not in comparison with others. So, avoid comments like, "Why can't you behave like your brother?"

12. “Disciplining” siblings is not “punishment,” rather it is giving them the tools to succeed in life, and one of the most important tools that will have life-long social implications is the quality of empathy. Help your kids learn how to get behind the eyes of another person and think first how their behavior is going to affect that other person. You want your kids to think through what they're about to do. A lack of empathy is the hallmark of sociopathic relationships between adult siblings.

13. It's hard to hate - and hit - a person you care about and who cares about you. Siblings are not born adversaries, certainly not unless moms and dads permit it. You can nurture patterns of life-long friendship among your kids by helping them find constructive ways to be sensitive to each other. Learning to live with a sibling is a youngster's first lesson in getting along with other kids. Your job is not to control how siblings relate, but rather to shape these relationships.

14. When to step in as a referee and when to remain a bystander is a round-by-round judgment call. Sometimes “letting kids be kids” or giving them reminders is all that is necessary. One parent’s immediate fight-stopper was, "You're disturbing my peace." This worked because she had already planted the idea that, in crowds, one respects the peace of others.

15. Sometimes you're too tired to play amateur psychologist and you just want to switch into “police mode.” Do it and don't worry about permanently damaging your youngster's psyche. Give clear messages about how you expect your children to behave toward one another before arguments become a way of life. Offer calm verbal reminders (e.g., "that's a put-down") as one sibling belittles the other, or issue a look that says "don't even think about it!" Head off fights at the first squabble, before they get out of hand.

16. Be watchful for aggressor-victim roles. Your job is to protect your kids, even from one another. How siblings behave toward one another is their first social lesson in how to behave in a group. In your family, set certain "maximum allowable limits," which are behaviors that you insist upon – and the kids are taught to respect these.

17. When one of the younger siblings gets hurt, ask the older one to help attend to the injury. Even give him a job title (e.g., "Dr. Billy, you hold Michael’s leg while I wrap it" …or "Please be my assistant and help me put the bandage on Johnny's cut"). The "doctor" will most likely muster up compassion for the "patient."

18. If your older child is a born clown, capitalize on that asset and encourage the clown to entertain the baby, such as the older youngster humoring the baby while you get ready for work.

19. When the kids get a little older (which will happen sooner than you think), encourage your oldest youngster to teach a skill he is proficient in to his siblings (e.g., get your older son, who may be an avid baseball player, to show his younger brother how to hit and catch a ball).

20. Since your kids are several years apart, give the older youngster some supervised responsibility for the younger ones. This will motivate the older brother to care, and the younger sibling will sense this.

21. Sometime during middle childhood (ages 5 through 10), impress upon your kids what "brother" really means. Kids sense that "blood is thicker than water." Brothers are a sort of live-in support system. Here's the message to give your kids: "Your brothers will ultimately be your best friends. Once your other friends have moved or drifted away, your family friends will always be there when you need them. Friends come and go, but siblings are forever."

22. Try sleeping together occasionally. Kids who sleep together at night usually play more peacefully together during the day.

Attention Problems in Children with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism




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

The Best Treatment for Teenagers on the Autism Spectrum

“My husband is ashamed and embarrassed that our oldest son has autism (high functioning) and is not what he calls normal. If my husband knew that I was typing this, he would become very irate and the yelling would start between the two of us as he does not like it when I try and seek help. James is 15 and in the years gone by He has called him a retard to his face, he even used to hit him across the back of the head. James does not seem to get along with our 13-year-old and often hurts himself as well as our other son. Because of this, I try not to leave the two of them home alone. The other evening, I went to visit my parents for two hours leaving them with their dad. Apparently, the boys started into each other and instead of separating them and talking with them, he told the oldest with the problem. ‘I wish you would just beat the shit out of him and teach him a lesson’. When I found out about this, I became very irate and tried to explain to Michael [husband] that he just gave James permission to beat up his brother. He does not really understand right from wrong at times. So now I wait for the day they fight and he says, ‘dad said I could’ without realizing the damage he could cause or the consequences. My husband refuses to seek help, says he reads up about what is going on but I find that hard to believe otherwise he would know better how to deal with issues. Is there anything you can suggest in the way for treatment for James? I can’t change his dad but maybe I can get James some help for his disorder. I am starting to think that my feelings do not matter and I need to put my children first and remove Michael from my home so that our eldest will have a home that understands him. Even our 13 year old understands him better than his own dad. ppls help!”

RE: "Is there anything you can suggest in the way for treatment for James?"

 The best treatment for Aspergers and high-functioning autistic (HFA) children and teens is definitely “social skills training” (SST). Social skills training is a form of behavior therapy used by therapists to help these young people who have difficulties relating to other people.

A major goal of social skills training is teaching the youngster (who may or may not have emotional problems) about the verbal and nonverbal behaviors involved in social interactions. There are many teens and preteens on the autism spectrum who have never been taught such interpersonal skills as making "small talk" in social settings, the importance of good eye contact during a conversation, etc. In addition, many of these individuals have not learned to "read" the many subtle cues contained in social interactions (e.g., how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity).

Social skills training helps these young people to learn to interpret these and other social signals so that they can determine how to act appropriately in the company of others in a variety of different situations. Social skills training assumes that when individuals improve their social skills or change selected behaviors, they will raise their self-esteem and increase the likelihood that others will respond favorably to them. The child or teen learns to change his social behavior patterns by practicing selected behaviors in individual or group therapy sessions.

Another goal of social skills training is improving the child’s ability to function in everyday social situations. Social skills training can help these children and teens to work on specific issues that interfere with their school or daily lives.

Techniques in social skills training—

Therapists who use social skills training begin by breaking down complex social behaviors into smaller portions.

Next, they arrange these smaller parts in order of difficulty, and gradually introduce them to the clients. For example, a therapist who is helping an Aspergers or HFA teen learn to feel more comfortable at parties might make a list of specific behaviors that belong to the complex behavior called "acting appropriately at a party" (e.g., introducing oneself to others, making conversation with several people at the party rather than just one other guest, keeping one's conversation pleasant and interesting, thanking the host or hostess before leaving, etc). The teenager would then work on one specific behavior at a time, rather than trying to learn them all at once.

Such specific techniques as instruction, modeling, role-playing, shaping, feedback, and reinforcement of positive interactions may be used in social skills training. For example, instruction may be used to convey the differences among assertive, passive, and aggressive styles of communication. The technique of monitoring may be used to ask clients to increase their eye contact during a conversation. In role-playing exercises, group members have the opportunity to offer feedback to one another about their performances in simulated situations. For example, two members of the group may role-play a situation in which a customer is trying to return a defective purchase to a store. The others can then give feedback about the "customer's" assertiveness or the "clerk's" responses.

Some of the goals for social skills group training are helping autistic kids and teens to:
  • read the body language of others
  • play and have fun
  • learn to cope with mistakes
  • learn strategies for developing peer relationships
  • learn peer group problem-solving
  • become aware of their emotions

Kids on the spectrum are pliable to treatment because they tend to be compliant. Although their ritualistic behavior and rigidity may create obstacles to treatment, most of these kids are able to learn the nuances of feelings, body language and behavior to assist them in their everyday functioning.

Content of social skills training—

Social skills training may be used to teach "special needs" children and teens specific sets of social competencies. A common focus of social skills training programs is communication skills. A program designed to improve the teen’s skills in this area might include helping him with nonverbal and assertive communication and with making conversation. It might also include conversational skills that are needed in different specific situations, for example job interviews, informal parties, and dating. The skills might be divided further into such subjects as beginning, holding, and ending conversations, or expressing feelings in appropriate ways.

Another common focus of social skills training programs involves improving a client’s ability to perceive and act on social cues. Many of these teenagers have problems communicating with others because they fail to notice or do not understand other people's cues, whether verbal or nonverbal. For example, some of them become unpopular with their peers because they force their way into small play groups, when a youngster who has learned to read social signals would know that the kids in the small group do not want someone else to join them, at least not at that moment. Learning to understand another person's spoken or unspoken messages is as important as learning conversational skills. A social skills program may include skills related to the perceptual processing of the conversation of others.

Scheduling—

Social skills training may be given as an individual or as a group treatment once or twice a week or more often depending upon the severity of a client’s disorder and the level of his social skills. Generally speaking, kids on the spectrum appear to gain more from social skills training in a peer group setting than in individual therapy. Social skill training groups usually consist of approximately 10 clients, a therapist, and a co-therapist.

Culture and gender issues—

Social skills training programs may be modified somewhat to allow for cultural and gender differences. For example, eye contact is a frequently targeted behavior to be taught during social skills training. In some cultures, however, downcast eyes are a sign of respect rather than an indication of social anxiety or shyness. In addition, girls or women in some cultures may be considered immodest if they look at others, particularly adult males, too directly. These modifications can usually be made without changing the basic format of the social skills training program.

Generalization or transfer of skills—

Current trends in social skills training are aimed at developing training programs that meet the demands of specific roles or situations. This need developed from studies that found that social skills acquired in one setting or situation are not easily generalized or transferred to another setting or situation. To assist clients in using their new skills in real-life situations, therapists use role-playing, teaching, modeling, and practice.

Preparation—

Preparation for social skills training requires tact on the therapist's part, as Aspergers and HFA clients (especially older teens and young adults) may be discouraged or upset by being told that they need help with their social skills. One possible approach is through reading. The social skills therapist may recommend some self-help books on social skills in preparation for the treatment. Second, the therapist can ease the client’s self-consciousness or embarrassment by explaining that no one has perfect social skills. An additional consideration before starting treatment is the possibility of interference from medication side effects. The therapist will usually ask the client for a list of all medications that he takes regularly.

One of the most critical tasks in preparation for social skills training is the selection of suitable target behaviors. It is often more helpful for the therapist to ask the client to identify behaviors that he would like to change, rather than pointing to problem areas that the therapist has identified. The treatment should consider the client’s particular needs and interests. Whereas social skills training for some clients may include learning assertiveness on the job, training for others may include learning strategies for dating. Therapists can prepare clients for homework by explaining that the homework is the practice of new skills in other settings, and that it is as relevant as the therapy session itself.

Aftercare—

Some studies strongly suggest the need for follow-up support after an initial course of social skills training. One study showed that follow-up support doubled the rate of employment for a group of older Aspergers and HFA adolescents, compared to a group that had no follow-up.

Normal results—

Outcome studies indicate that social skills training has moderate short-term effects, but limited long-term effects. Social skills training programs that include social perspective-taking may have greater long-term effects than traditional social skills training programs based on cognitive-behavioral models. In general, social skills training tends to generalize or transfer to similar contexts rather than to contexts that are not similar to the training. Social skills training programs for Aspergers and HFA children and teens should include programming for generalization, so that these clients can transfer their newly acquired skills more effectively to real-life settings. One approach to improving generalization is to situate the training exercises within the client’s school, work, living, or social environment.

The benefits of social skills training programs include flexibility. The treatment can take place either as individual or group therapy, and new trainers can learn the techniques of social skills training fairly quickly. An additional advantage of social skills training is that it focuses on teaching skills that can be learned rather than emphasizing the internal or biological determinants of social adequacy.

Future research should explore (a) the integration of social skills training with the needs of families from different cultural backgrounds, (b) the relationship between social skills training and different categories of mental disorders, (c) the transfer of skills from therapeutic contexts to daily life, and (d) improving the youngster's long-term gains from social skills training.

NOTE: Having said all of the above, while proper treatment for your autistic son is important, it sounds like you have bigger fish to fry (i.e., dealing with an abusive husband). If possible, try to educate him about the disorder so that he can understand your HFA son better - and hopefully show more compassion.




Virtual Reality and Learning Social Skills: Help for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

It’s no secret that Autism is on the rise, but what's being done about it? Researchers have invested a lot of time and money to figure out ways to reach kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a few have come up with an approach called "Virtual Reality."

Virtual reality is a realistic simulation of an environment by a computer system. It’s technology taking you to a scene that feels and looks real, and for some kids with Aspergers and high functioning autism (HFA), it can be a safe way to learn to interact with others.

Virtual reality allows these "special needs" kids to practice all-important reciprocal social interaction skills in a safe environment. Virtual characters are more predictable than real peers, and sometimes more patient, and so young people on the autism spectrum may find it easier to engage in the kinds of interactions that we ultimately hope they will have in the real world with their real friends.

The “virtual reality” concept involves using computer technology to create a simulated, three-dimensional world that the child can manipulate and explore while feeling as if he were in that world. Scientists, theorists and engineers have designed dozens of devices and applications to achieve this goal. Opinions differ on what exactly constitutes a true virtual reality experience, but in general it should include:
  • The ability to track the user's motions, particularly his head and eye movements, and correspondingly adjust the images on the user's display to reflect the change in perspective
  • Three-dimensional images that appear to be life-sized from the perspective of the user

In a “virtual reality” environment, the user experiences “immersion” (i.e., the feeling of being inside and a part of that world). The child is also able to interact with his environment in meaningful ways. The combination of a sense of “immersion” and “interactivity” is called “telepresence,” which is the extent to which one feels present in the mediated environment, rather than in the immediate physical environment (i.e., an effective virtual reality experience causes you to become unaware of your real surroundings and focus on your existence inside the virtual environment).

The “Virtual Reality” project started over ten years ago with a study designed to determine whether virtual reality could help Aspergers and HFA kids learn the beginning skills of street crossing. These kids were placed in a virtual world and practiced correctly observing and responding to the virtual world situations. The results indicated that they could - and did - accept learning in a virtual world.

Here’s how it works: There are two modes of interaction in virtual learning systems. In one, the youngster interacts directly with a virtual peer. In another, the virtual peer is controlled by the youngster. In the future, it is hoped that virtual reality can go even further in helping kids with an autism spectrum disorder. Virtual peers of this sort can help to assess the exact nature of the social deficits that may be experienced by these kids, which in turn may allow us to design better and more targeted interventions.

A playmate named Sam, a talking dog named Buddy, and an Israeli street leading to a toy store all have starring roles in a new generation of virtual reality games designed to teach basic safety and social skills to kids diagnosed with Aspergers and HFA.

Skills that are often taken for granted can be torturously difficult or school-aged kids on the spectrum (e.g., classroom manners, navigating the social norms of group playtime, etc.), but with a virtual reality learning experience, “practicing” for multiple real-life situations that occur in the real-world is finally possible.

Here are our top 5 picks for virtual reality headsets:



Pansonite Vr Headset with Remote Controller[New Version], 3D Glasses Virtual Reality Headset for VR Games & 3D Movies, Eye Care System for iPhone and Android Smartphones



Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset - 32GB




VR Headset for iPhone & Android Phone - Universal Virtual Reality Goggles Ver2.0 - Play Your Best Mobile Games 360 Movies With Soft & Comfortable New 3D VR Glasses | + Adjustable Eye Protection System




VR Headset - Virtual Reality Goggles by VR WEAR 3D VR Glasses for iPhone 6/7/8/Plus/X & S6/S7/S8/S9/Plus/Note and Other Android Smartphones with 4.5-6.5" Screens + 2 Stickers




FAY VR Glasses, Virtual Reality Headsets, Helmet 3D Goggles, Stereo HI-FI Headphones, 360-Degree Panorama, Support for 4.7-6.2 Inch Smartphones

P.S. Social skills apps are available from iTunes.


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

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

____________________

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

____________________

Is My Autistic Child "High-Functioning"?

Question

We have a 12 yr old son who is not in our primary care, as he lives with his mother and we see him only every other weekend. He was diagnosed with very mild autism, and is very high functioning, i.e. he is not on an EAP getting B's and C's, and although a bit socially challenged does OK with his peers.

Unfortunately he is not being challenged to become more independent, and it would appear as if his mother is trying to hold him back, i.e. he is forced to be in daycare after school with 5 - 10 yr olds, and desperately wants the chance to spread his wings and try an hour after school on his own (with a safety plan, and he has taken and passed the babysitters course). Are there any suggestions on how we go about determining if he can be challenged with more responsibility, i.e. is there a checklist of demonstrated behaviours etc?


Answer

The following lists can help parents, teachers and other caretakers to determine if the child is truly on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Note: It is not expected that any high-functioning child will show all the traits listed in any section.

General intellectual ability—

• asks many questions of a provocative nature
• displays a great curiosity about objects, situations or events
• displays a willingness to accept complexity
• has a high energy level
• has a liking for structure, order and consistency
• has a power of abstraction, conceptualization and synthesis
• has a power of concentration, an intense attention that excludes all else
• has a wide range of interests
• has an interest in cause-effect relations
• has avid interest in science or literature
• has the capacity to look into things and be puzzled
• has the capacity to use knowledge and information other than to memories
• is a good guesser
• is an avid reader
• is an entrepreneur - readily makes money on various projects or activities
• is creative in new ideas, seeing associations, pursuing innovations
• is friendly and outgoing
• is independent
• is involved with many exploratory type activities
• is perceptually open to his or her environment
• is persistent
• is resourceful - solving problems by ingenious methods
• is secure emotionally
• is venturesome, wanting to do new things
• learns rapidly, easily and efficiently
• makes good grades in most subjects
• needs little outside control - applies self discipline
• provides very alert, rapid answers to questions
• retains and uses information which has been heard or read
• reveals originality in oral and written expression
• shows superior judgment in evaluating things
• tends to dominate peers or situations
• uses a large number of words easily and accurately
• uses a lot of commonsense

Specific academic aptitude—

• has a long attention span in areas of interest
• is able to extend learning from these key areas to various situations somewhat unrelated in orientation
• is able to judge own and others' relative abilities in key areas of interest
• is able to show broad perspective on one or more subject areas
• learns rapidly, easily and with less repetition in one or a few specific areas (probably not all subject areas)
• likes or loves one or a few areas of knowledge
• likes to study some subjects more than others
• seeks assistance of others beyond his or age peers in extending knowledge in areas of interest
• shows similar characteristics to general intellectual ability but concentrated around one or a few fields
• spends time voluntarily beyond ordinary assignments on projects of interest to him or her

Creative thinking and production—

• acts spontaneously, intuitively
• always trying to adapt or improve things
• asks provocative questions, challenges parents, teachers, written and other authorities
• can show intense concentration on a task
• can show unusual degrees of originality, concentration and persistent hard work on projects that capture their interest and imagination
• displays energy, sometimes disruptively
• doesn't accept authoritarian pronouncements without own judgment
• doesn't mind being different
• has a keen sense of humor, seeing humor in situations others don't
• is bored with memorization and recitation
• is considered, and perhaps resented, by some peers as "crazy"
• is flexible in thinking patterns
• is fluent in producing and elaborating on ideas
• is intellectually playful, interested in fantasy, imagination
• is uninhibited in expression, sometimes radical
• juggles or redefines elements of a problem or task
• makes unusual associations between remote ideas
• produces unexpected, sometimes "silly" responses
• provides multiple solutions or responses to problems
• readily guesses and makes hypotheses
• retains own ideas in a discussion or collaboration
• senses inconsistencies and discontinuities
• senses when problems exist
• tolerates ambiguity and uncertainty

Leadership—

• can adopt non-leadership roles within a group
• can articulate ideas clearly
• can coordinate the work of several individuals
• can establish the mood of a group
• can give directions clearly and effectively
• can listen to others empathetically
• can stimulate and arouse others
• exercises authority reliably and responsibly
• interacts with others easily showing social skills
• is looked to by others when something must be decided
• is often asked for ideas and suggestions
• organizes others
• recognizes and can articulate the goals of a group
• recognizes skills and abilities possessed by others
• supports others in a group when appropriate
• understands how people feel and how groups function

Psychomotor ability—

• demonstrates endurance, stamina and persistence in physical activities
• demonstrates prowess in physical activities common amongst age peers
• has a suitable body build
• is able to understand the intellectual aspects of psychomotor activities
• is athletic
• is coordinated, balanced and confident in physical activities
• is energetic
• is inventive in constructing or modifying games
• is rhythmic
• likes to play physically

Visual and performing arts—

Music:

• discriminates musical and other sounds well
• enjoys dance and dramatic activities with musical elements
• enjoys musical activities and demonstrates musical feeling
• has good sense of rhythm
• is well-coordinated
• makes up original tunes
• responds readily to rhythm, melody and harmony
• shows tonal memory
• understands musical relationships
• uses music to express feeling or experience

Dramatics:

• brings a dramatic situation to a climax with a well-timed ending when telling a story
• communicates feelings by means of facial expressions, gestures and bodily movements
• demonstrates ability to dramatize feelings and experiences
• demonstrates interest and enjoyment in dramatic activities
• demonstrates understanding of conflict when acting out a dramatic event
• enjoys evoking emotional responses from listeners
• readily shifts into role of another character, animal or object
• uses voice to reflect changes in mood

Art:

• draws a variety of objects
• is interested in other people's art, both appreciating it and criticizing it
• is willing to try out new materials and experiences
• likes to model three dimensionally with clay, soap carving, etc.
• pursues art in spare time
• puts depth into drawing, showing planning and good proportion
• shows originality in modes of undertaking art
• treats art seriously and enjoys it
• uses art to express feelings and experiences

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

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

____________________

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.

____________________

 

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here
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.

Click here for the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content