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Kids with ASD and Their Problems with Perfectionism

“I'd like to ask you about a very big problem for our autistic (high functioning) son - his perfectionism! Can you give me some advice on what to do about this issue, because I believe it is a major contributing factor to his never-ending anxiety, especially when doing his homework?”

Although it may be hard to completely change a "special needs" youngster’s perfectionist nature, there are many things that parents can do to help their child find a better balance and not be so hard on himself.

Please consider these suggestions:

1. The pressure to be perfect may stem from school (or other areas where perfectionism is exhibited) being the only place from where your son derives self-worth. Try to expand your son’s notion of his identity by finding activities for him to participate in that do not involve scoring or competition (i.e., activities that simply exist to feel good and have fun).

2. Regularly remind your son to “keep it simple” and “make it fun.”



3. Make sure that you are not deriving your own sense of worth only from your son’s accomplishments.

4. Look for books and movies that provide role models of real people or characters who succeeded after a long line of failures.

5. Let your son make mistakes. Offer minor assistance and support if asked, but let him turn in work that is truly his own so he can get comfortable with constructive feedback. Allowing kids to do their own work and make mistakes not only can decrease a sense of pressure on them to always present a perfect front to the outside world, but also gives them the confidence that they can succeed on their own without the parent’s help.

6. Address faulty or unhealthy logic in your son’s thinking. Perfectionists tend to think in terms of “all-or-nothing” (e.g., “If I don’t get 100% on this quiz, then I’m dumb!”).

7. Keep the focus on the importance of learning new material or a new skill, rather than being the best. When your son brings home a perfect test score, you can say something like, “You worked really hard to learn that tough material,” instead of, “Excellent work – another 100%!”




8. If your son is spending too much time on homework, set a time limit so that he has to stop working and relax a bit. Explain the situation to his teacher and ask for help with what you are trying to teach your son.

9. Have a mantra in your house, for example, “Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to have fun learning and enjoy the process.” You may also want to consider finding a different word to use instead of “mistake” (e.g., everyone has “challenges” …or, everyone has to make a “detour” now and then).

10. Find activities for your son where he will not be the best. Help him learn how to handle being in such a circumstance. Do not let him stop the activity because it is too difficult or uncomfortable.

11. Do not discount your son’s school anxiety with statements like, “There’s no need to worry, I know you’ll get 100% on that test – you always do!” Even though your intentions are of the best, your son may interpret statements like that as adding more pressure to maintain his status. Instead, tell him that what matters most is putting forth enough effort to learn the subject matter, regardless of what the grade is.

12. Be careful about over-scheduling, and make sure that your son has time “scheduled” to just relax.

13. Be a good role model yourself by not holding yourself to perfectionist standards and showing your son how you handle mistakes. Point out what you did and how you learned from it.

14. Even though the pressure to be perfect often seems to come from the youngster himself, evaluate the messages that you are giving to your son. Even if you tell him that high grades or first-place trophies do not matter to you, if he hears you bragging about such honors all the time, he may feel a lot of trepidation about continuing to bring them home. Your son needs to understand that your love is unconditional, and not based on how well he does in school. Point out other ways in which he makes you proud (e.g., when he helps you around the house, when he is kind to others, etc.).

15. Lastly, have plenty of patience with your son. Don’t pressure him to relax and be “less than perfect.” It takes a lot of practice to overcome perfectionism!


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

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism
 

COMMENTS:

Anonymous said… I have come to except that its a packaged deal and is part of the OCD that hangs them up, allow for more time so he can make the corrections he needs to feel good about his work remember he sees flaws where your eyes see nothing but perfection.

Anonymous said… I'm loving this group. It's so helpful! Thanks...

Anonymous said… In fact, it is such that he will avoid doing his homework as much as possible, then the following morning when it is due, he is having a fit "because he needs to get it done....NOW!"

Anonymous said… It may not be a bad thing. I believe I suffered with some of the attributes of asperger when young - still do, getting obsessed with things being one of them. But that allows me to study and learn most trades, I have several degrees including a PhD and I earn a good salary, the only hindrance is saying a development project is finished and ready to go to market which we manage with certain constraining rules. I would be happy if my boys managed a good education that could earn them a decent salary, I don't see why they shouldn't achieve this and I will do everything in my power to make that happen. So I don't feel Perfectionism and the Obsessive nature is a bad factor of Asperger, the tantrums when over whelmed are the nasty attributes. As for the anxiety, I look at what I've managed before and make sure the next time it's better, I make that my satisfaction, which controls the anxiety, Back to what we were told a few days ago, to engineer their lives to succeed even if it's in little steps so taking any failure out of the equation.

Anonymous said… my aspie just wants to get credit for it, but doesn't actually want to do the work on it.

Anonymous said… My daughter is that way, too. Homework we can manage because it's too easy for her (first grade), but at school, she will meltdown if the teacher wants to display the classes work and she sees hers as not perfect enough, even though it's miles better then her classmates.

Anonymous said… tell him everyone messes up and does things wrong everyday. Maybe give him examples in writing and pictures. Tell him its okay and it everything doesn't have to be perfect.

Anonymous said… What I find is that if one part came out wrong, then the whole thing is messed up and sometimes it will get destroyed. The CF/GF diet has helped immensely.

 Add your comment below…

Does My Child Really Have ASD - or Is It Something Else?

Question

We have a diagnosis of ASD from our pediatrician, but our counselor is telling me that she does not agree with the diagnosis because my son is very social with her and he always makes eye contact. He has ASD traits, and then some that are not:
  • He has problems keeping friends. No boys, just has friends that are girls.
  • Everything is black or white, there is no in between.
  • Everything is taken in the literal sense.
  • He does not understand that benefit him.
  • Refuses to do school/homework statements like "I shouldnt have to make up that school work, it wasnt my fault that I broke my shoulder at school!"
  • Dominates all conversations
  • Targets music (very talented) and will hound relentlessly for you to hear him play at inappropriate times (mom on a business call)
  • Doesnt understand jokes - gets offended because he thinks that they are directed at him in a negative way
  • Does not try to fit in with others (has his own style - not intentially, but because he has no interest in social norms)
  • Always raises his hand in class to answer EVERY question, to the point where the teacher has to ignore him and he does not catch on that he has has his turn.
  • Interrupts all conversations.
  • Was an "outstanding" citizen at school and wanted to always do the right thing, but has recently become a rule breaker, lying and stealing (only stealing things that he wants and says he took it because he wanted it and doesnt show remorse).

I know that you cannot diagnose through an email, but these are things that we have noticed and that he is much different from other kids. We are trying to get counseling and help dealing with his behaviors (everyday is a blow up over nothing) but the counselor thinks he does not have ASD because he makes eye contact. He also has Tourette's, but he does not suffer from coprolalia, just vocal and motor tics. I have seen other autistic kids who make eye contact and can be social, but dont key into social cues, understand body language, etc. How do I approach this with our counselor?

Thank you,

D.


Answer

Kids with ASD level 1 (high-functioning autism) experience many difficulties, and to complicate the situation, many of these difficulties are associated with other disabilities. Ultimately, ASD is hard to diagnose and is frequently misdiagnosed. Also, kids on the spectrum frequently have other disabilities as well. 
 

Following are some traits to help clarify what ASD is and how you can recognize it in your son:

1. Cognitive Difficulties: Frequently the ASD youngster experiences difficulty with empathizing with others and says inappropriate things because he fails to consider others' feelings. A significant problem for the ASD youngster, mindblindness occurs when he is unable to make inferences about what others are thinking. Mindblindness hinders communication with others.

2. Delayed or Impaired Language Skills: If your child starts talking late and exhibits lagging language skills, this may be a sign of ASD. My autistic grandson son talked late, but when he did, he began with full phrases and sentences. He also mixed up pronouns. The autistic youngster also fails to understand the "give and take" of communication; in other words, he may want to monopolize a conversation and fail to acknowledge the comments of others. The youngster with ASD understands communication as a way to share information but fails to recognize communication as a way to share thoughts, feelings and emotions.

3. Development of a Narrow Range of Interests: If a child seems stuck on a certain topic and seems a bit obsessed about always talking about that topic, s/he demonstrates narrow interests -- this a characteristic of ASD. Often the youngster learns everything s/he can about this special interest and then feels compelled to share information about the topic with everybody around them. Usually focusing on narrow interests affects social interactions negatively.

4. Difficulty with Social Interaction: Although the autistic youngster may want to interact with others, s/he lacks the skills. The child fails to understand both verbal and nonverbal cues, and communication with others breaks down. The child may lecture others, fail to ask questions to continue a discussion, or simply not even acknowledge the other person by looking at them. The desire to communicate may be there, but the language abilities others seem to develop naturally just don't develop easily for the youngster. But, ASD kids develop these skills with early interventions and teaching.

5. Motor Clumsiness: Sometimes, but not always, kids on the spectrum display poor coordination because they experience difficulties with either or both fine and gross motor skills. This problem is due to difficulties with motor planning in completing the task. For example, the youngster may experience difficulty in riding a bike because of planning the different steps to successfully complete the task.
 

6. Sensory Sensitivity: The youngster with ASD may be underactive to a sensation, or s/he may be intensely reactive to a sensation. The sensitivity could involve one or involve many of the senses. For example, before my grandson was diagnosed, I was appalled when he wanted to run outside in the middle of winter with no shoes or boots. I was so afraid he would sneak out of the house and get severe frostbite. I also remember he was fascinated by lights. Some moms and dads detail how their youngster may scream when the vacuum is turned on or how he refuses to brush his teeth due to the sensation caused by the tooth brush.

7. The Need for Routine: Perservation is a common characteristic of the youngster with ASD. Perservation involves repetition in language and/or behavior. For example, with language a perservative tendency is to repeat certain phrases over and over. In terms of action or behavior, the youngster may line objects up and insist the objects not be disturbed. Completing a certain set of rituals in a specific order also demonstrates perservation.

Although some of these traits are common to other disabilities, the whole bunch together certainly suggests further investigation into an ASD diagnosis. A professional, like a psychologist or a psychiatrist, should be consulted because early intervention is very important.

What ASD Is - and What It Is Not

Young people with ASD  have difficulty communicating or interacting in social settings, expressing emotions or empathy toward others, and may have eccentric language and behavior patterns. ASD is a developmental disorder. This means the brain of someone with the disorder processes information differently than most people.

What ASD is not is an illness per se. It is a neurological problem within the brain, causing impairment in language, communication skills, and repetitive thoughts and behaviors. Often, those with the disorder are thought to be eccentric and unique.

Although children on the spectrum retain their early language skills, some other things to look for include:
  • An obsessive preoccupation with a particular subject or object to the exclusion of any others
  • Clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements
  • Crawling or walking late, and later clumsiness
  • Difficulties with non-verbal communication, including no use of gestures, flat facial expressions, or a stiff gaze
  • High level of vocabulary and formal speech patterns
  • Peculiarities in speech and language, such as lack of rhythm, odd inflections, or in monotone
  • Socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with others
  • Taking figures of speech literally
  • Talking incessantly about one particular topic, but in a random stream of facts and statistics with no point or conclusion

 
Causes Too Early to Know

The exact cause of ASD is still unknown. But there is strong research evidence to suggest a genetic connection. In fact, the brother or sister of someone with ASD is 50 times more likely to also have the disorder. The particular gene or group of genes has not been isolated yet. Research is ongoing and promising in this direction.

Your Autistic Child Can Have a Normal and Productive Life

Although there is no known cure for ASD, there are many ways your youngster can learn to cope with his or her condition. Your child's treatment plan must address three areas of their disorder:

1. Obsessive or repetitive routines
2. Poor communication skills, particularly in social situations
3. Poor motor coordination

Treatment includes social skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy, occupational or physical therapy, and speech and language therapy.

Many kids with the disorder grow up having learned how to cope with and manage their disability. They often lead lives holding mainstream jobs, maintaining intimate relationships, raising kids, and being socially active.

The best means of handling your youngster’s diagnosis is to educate yourself. Find out everything you can about ASD by reading, asking questions of medical and psychological professionals, going online to find support groups in your area and all other resources.

The important thing to remember is that your child is unique and precious just like any other youngster. The greatest gift you can give him/her is a strong sense of self-esteem, encouragement, and love.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 

Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Social Skills Troubles

Question

How do you get teenagers with ASD [level 1] to recognize that the social skills that you are trying to teach them (often to no avail) are imperative if they are to get on in life with regard to finding friends, a job etc.? Teens with ASD often seem in such a world of their own that they cannot appreciate the importance of those social skills. In our case, we have an adolescent who thinks that they are always right anyway and so see no need to modify their behavior.

Answer

The teen years can be a trying time for moms and dads and kids alike. As parents, we know that our adolescents have a lot of growing up to do. As adolescents, our kids cannot figure out how we made it to adulthood with so little knowledge and understanding! 
 
 The truth is, these years bring about difficult adjustments on both parties, and this happens whether or not you are dealing with ASD (high-functioning autism).

Adolescents with ASD have lived through the elementary and middle school years and have struggled with social skills weaknesses all along. Through years of classroom experiences, a social base has been built. It may not be strong, but it is there. All you have to do is find a way to add to it. The same is true for basic living skills. 
 
 


 
Here are some suggestions you may find helpful:

• Find resources to help you choose appropriate tasks/skills for your adolescent. You can find books that are geared towards adolescents with ASD. These books highlight the skills needed that may not come naturally.

• Instead of pushing your adolescent to recognize his need for these social and basic living skills, try building them into his daily schedule. As the parent, you can require his participation in daily chores, personal hygiene, and even part-time employment. 
 

• Reinforce your chore/responsibility requirements with rewards and consequences. Be consistent.

• Use calendars, written schedules, and visual daily lists to plan your adolescent’s daily commitments. While it is true he/she may not appreciate having chores and planned responsibilities, chances are he/she will become accepting when faced with negative consequences.

Sometimes moms and dads have to find sneaky ways to teach their kids. It sounds like this may be one of those times in your home. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to bring in another trusted adult. Involving a favorite teacher, a relative, church leader, or coach may help your adolescent see that these skills you have been pushing are indeed very important.
 
 


 
 


PARENTS' COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… I am happy to hear others struggling in the same way. I can't tell you how many times a day I have said that his words or tone of voice are rude and hurtful!
•    Anonymous said… I can write a book. Not a easy journey at all. Aspergers has its stages. I'm bless to have my sanity 16 years and counting (teenager).
•    Anonymous said… If your son knows he's going to be punished and it escalates into a meltdown, it's not escalating into a meltdown. It's escalating into a tantrum so that he can avoid the punishment. Learn the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown, and learn when autistics make their meltdowns look like tantrums so that they can avoid punishment. When it's a tantrum, and when he is faking, do not withhold punishment.
•    Anonymous said… Lots of wonderful stuff in there. But for us the rewards system did not work and the psych explained that for many ASD kids the sticker charts ect do not work for behaviours as the kids have little control over their emotions and reactions. They are effective for menial tasks like chores around the house, but not for sitting still or for doing homework etc
•    Anonymous said… My 15 year old daughter has no problem with household chores, part time job or personal hygiene. I'm having a really difficult time teaching her how to speak to and treat her friends respectfully. She swears, creates drama, won't back down in a disagreement, won't admit to being wrong, won't apologize and doesn't understand the need to do any of that. She knows how to be polite and respectful and is with people she isn't close to. She thinks those close to her she just accept "the real her" bad behaviour and all. She doesn't seem to care that she hurts them.
•    Anonymous said… on a waiting list to find out if my 5 yr old has aspergers. I'm getting absolutely exhausted from the blow ups and hitting all the time it seems like lately. I'm lost.
•    Anonymous said… This is where we are right now with our 14 year old son...
•    Anonymous said… Totally same here...but different! Lol...our 17 year old gets that look in his eyes that says "i'm standing here because i know i have to but i'm ignoring everything you say..." it drives us nuts! Thankfully mr 17 isn't violent etc but van be very harsh with his words sometimes and really doesn't understand that he is, or tone etc. But for mr 17 it isn't so much "i don't care if they like me" as "i'm happy to live in my room with my computer for my whole life". Doesn't see the need for a job, or a license or anything. Zero aspirations....just apathy. My husband days he was the same at that age but i cannot fathom it...
•    Anonymous said… Yeap that's my son he's 12 and its been dificult for him and us(mom and dad) during this transition sometimes We fiel we're going to lose it. Its exausting imagine that both my husband and I are teachers despiste that we've all had a Hard time. Our son is also swearing using really harsh words and is also having lots of meltdowns schools aren't cutting it. Its been pretty dificult for everyone why should our Kids adapt to the rest???? It should be the other way around our education is behind our century. All I can say is that I'm greatful for this group and just knowing that we're not alone. THANKYOU

Post your comment below…

Educating Students with ASD [Level 1]: Comprehensive Guidelines for Teachers and Parents

Children with ASD (high functioning autism) will respond quite well to specific classroom adaptations. Here are the recommended methods teachers can employ with their "special needs" students: 
  1. Implement Creative Programming - Through the student’s IEP, educators can develop class schedules which will be motivating and challenging to the student while addressing his/her needs.
  2. Intervene Early - The earlier intervention begins, the earlier children can learn the needed skills for adulthood and friendship.
  3. Obtain In-Depth Training - Learn the differences among the kids with ASD in elementary, middle school and high school.
  4. Recognize Children’ Strengths - Many children with ASD will go on to make great contributions to society. However, we must tap into their strengths and offer support so that they do not drop out of school because academic and social demands are too high.
  5. Understand How Social Impairments Impact Learning and Peer Relationships - Some children require weekly sessions with trained staff members who can help them “solve the puzzles” they encounter in everyday activities and help alleviate depression caused by perception of social failure. Provide ongoing social skill instruction to help children form relationships with peers.

Role of Inclusion—

1. Carefully structure seating arrangements and group work. Kids with ASD should not be seated near class bullies or aggressive children. Rather, sit them next to children who can serve as a “peer buddy.” See where the youngster works most effectively; near the teacher or near a quiet open space. Avoid self-selection when children are being assigned to a group. Teach children how to function as a team and accept all members.

2. Connect with Each Other, Parents, Internet, and Other Support Groups. To avoid the feelings of many educators and families who feel isolated in their attempts to support children with ASD, create regular communication through meetings, telephone or e-mail among inclusion and special education educators and parents. Create a Home School Coordination- Improve the behavior of this student by combining school and home effort. Work on goals that the youngster should meet. Then send home a note indicating if the youngster has met that goal. If s/he has done so, reward him/her (in school and at home if the appropriate behavior is being exhibited there as well). 
 

3. Don’t Take it Personally. Don’t be insulted by the student who interrupts, speaks too loudly or misses your jokes. Separate the youngster from the syndrome (be perturbed with the behavior, but support the youngster) and try to imagine the world as viewed through his eyes. Model warmth and acceptance. Refrain from impatience and irritation so peers will too.

4. Help Your Classroom Become a Caring Environment. Create and maintain your classroom as a safe, supportive and accepting community by expecting and ensuring that all children respect, support and take responsibility for each other. Help create a strong sense of belonging among all the diverse children in your classroom.

5. Prepare for Changes in the Routine. Since most children with ASD thrive on clear expectations and routines there are many different methods a teacher can use to help create smooth transitions. Write class schedules and time frames on the blackboard, or use a picture schedule for younger kids. Designate classroom jobs, space and time with certain activities (e.g., computer). Explain changes in the routine well in advance (e.g., “On Thursday, we will have an assembly. That means you go straight from your second period class to the auditorium.”).

6. Promote Positive Peer Interactions. Create ways to connect the student with empathic peers in order to promote social acceptance and friendships. Use role playing and games - Try the program “Magic Circle” where children are seated in a circle and are encouraged to share their feelings and listen to others. This type of activity helps promote active listening skills and recognition of each individual. Help the student engage in successful conversations and reflection by using comic strips, since the pictures, words and symbols identify what the people say and do and emphasize what people may be thinking. Social stories which describe typical social situations and explain the meaning of various comments and identify appropriate responses are also good. Direct the youngster to participate in activities or clubs in which their abilities might neutralize their social deficiencies (e.g., math groups). Make sure they are not involved in groups that are frequented by bullies. Identify the student’s special gifts and teach him/her to share those gifts through tutoring, class presentations, or community service.

7. Provide a Safe Haven. Children with ASD can become overwhelmed by noise, crowds, chaos or trying to engage in social interactions (e.g., an assembly, recess time), which can lead to anxiety and stress. Offer an alternative to attending these events. Try earplugs or headphones to assist in screening out troubling noise. Make sure the youngster has a trusted contact person with whom they feel comfortable with (e.g., special education teacher, school psychologist, guidance counselor or principal, older responsible pupil). Give access to a quiet, private place (e.g., school library, tutoring room, empty classroom or office) where the student can spend lunchtime, study hall or any other free time alone, can rest and refresh themselves to alleviate the stress that accompanies the constant effort to fit in. 
 

8. Use Available Resources/ Make Needed Accommodations. Children with ASD often respond well to visuals, graphic models and technology. They often have impaired gross or fine motor skills. Encourage the use of computers for written assignments and exams. Allow for extra time or quiet space if needed. When significant amounts of notes need to be taken, pair the student with ASD with a buddy in order that the student can photocopy the notes missed. Allow time on the Internet. The effort and anxiety associated with interpersonal connections is greatly reduced because then children only have to deal with the written word. However, limit the amount of time on the computer in order that a potential obsession does not develop and that the computer does not become a substitute for human contact.

Characteristics of ASD—
  • Cognitive abilities which are average or above average (they are often known as “little professors”)
  • Depression, frequent school absences, low school motivation due to being socially vulnerable and easy targets for teasing and bullying
  • Difficulties with subjects that require inferential reasoning, abstract concepts, problem solving, extensive calculations or social judgments
  • Fine motor problems which lead to poor penmanship and low writing motivation
  • Friends and new acquaintances may be acknowledged with tight and enthusiastic hugs instead of formal greetings like “Hi, how are you?”
  • Gross motor clumsiness which leads to poor skills in competitive sports and physical activities
  • Hypersensitivity to noises or smells
  • Lack of emotional reciprocity or empathy
  • May begin to talk about the latest topic of concern which is of interest only to themselves (e.g., train schedules), may be age inappropriate or boring but the person does not pick up on looks of disinterest or snickers from the group
  • May move into the personal space of others, not recognizing body language, facial and verbal cues that he/she has transgressed
  • May not make direct eye contact
  • Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
  • Rigid and inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
  • Speech and language peculiarities such as: stilted and formal language, voice too loud or monotone or hyperverbal.
  • Stereotyped and repetitive motor movements
   
The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with High-Functioning Autism
 
 
Personal Challenges for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder—

Listed below are behaviors that a youngster on the Autistic Spectrum might encounter on a daily basis...

Social Interactions:

• inappropriate use of eye contact, avoidance or extended staring
• little sense of other people’s boundaries
• not accepting hugging, cuddling or touching unless self initiated
• poor use of nonverbal gestures
• trouble with back and forth social interactions
• wanting to be left alone at times

Interest and Activities:

• defensive to touch which isn’t self initiated
• difficulty waiting
• history of eating problems
• lack of fear or real danger
• lining up and or/ ordering objects
• pacing or running back and forth, round and round
• repeatedly watching videos or video segments
• resisting change
• strong attachment to inanimate objects
• very sensitive to sounds

Qualitative Impairments in Communication:

• difficulty understanding abstract concepts
• problem understanding jokes
• problem with getting the order of words in sentences correct
• problems answering questions
• problems using speed, tone and volume appropriately
• problems with reciprocal conversations

Learning Characteristics:

• delayed response time
• good visual skills
• hyperactivity
• needs help to problem solve
• problems organizing
• short attention span to some activities and not others
• well developed long term memory

Observable Problems Behaviors:

• aggression- biting, hitting, kicking, pinching
• low motivation
• temper tantrums
• toileting problems

Motor Problems:

• balance
• clumsiness
• motor planning- can’t make body do what it needs to do
• stiffness
• tired easily

 
Environmental Challenges that Lower Ability to Function Competently—

Personal:

- not being understood
- not understanding
- not having choices
- making a mistake
- being touched

Major Changes:

- alterations in school, work, home, community
- time changes
- staff or teacher absent
- cancellation of event or activity
- having to wait too long

Environmental Confusion:

- crowds
- noise
- not having enough space
- losing things of value
- surrounded by too much movement
- surrounded by too much visual stimuli

Relationships:

- being corrected
- being denied
- being late
- being ignored
- being left out
- being teased
- being scolded

Sensory Challenges—

Sound/ Auditory:

- reacts to unexpected sound
- fears some noises
- making self induced noises
- confused about direction of sound
- distracted by certain sounds

Sight/Vision:

- has been diagnosed as having a visual problem
- is sensitive to light
- has difficulty tracking
- upset by things looking different
- closely examines objects or hands

Smell/Olfactory:

- sensitive to smells
- explores environment by smelling
- reacts strongly to some smells
- ignores strong odors

Touch/Tactile:

- defensive about being touched
- prefers deep touching rather than soft
- dislikes feel of certain clothing
- over or under dresses for temperature
- upset by sticky, gooey hands

Taste:

- has an eating problem
- dislikes certain textures or foods
- tastes non-edibles

Movement/Vestibular:

- seems fearful in space
- arches back when held or moved
- likes rocking, swinging, spinning
- avoids balancing activities

Perceptual/Perceptual Motor:

- has difficulty with time perception
- problems with use of some tools
- difficulty with body in space
- relies on knowing location of furniture

Social Skills which may be Personal Challenges—

Personal Management/Self Control:

- waiting
- finishing work
- taking care of belongings
- turning in assignments on time
- changing activities
- accepting correction

Reciprocal Interactions:

- imitating
- sharing
- taking turns
- offering help, comfort
- inviting others to join
- asking for a favor
- letting someone know you are hurt or sick

Reciprocating Social Interactions Appropriately:

- listening
- commenting on a topic
- answering questions
- accepting help
- responding to teasing
- making a choice
- giving eye contact appropriately

Manner of Interaction:

- being polite
- being kind
- being considerate
- being honest
- not walking away when someone is talking

Abstract Social Concepts:

- being good
- timing
- fairness
- friendship
- caring
- lying
- humor

Group Behaviors:

- come when called to a group
- stay in certain places
- participate with group
- follow group rules
- winning and losing
- pick up, clean up, straighten up

 
Effective Behavior Interventions of Problem Behaviors–

What makes kids on the spectrum do what we do?
  • Biological Influences
  • Instructional/ Reinforcement History
  • Setting /Events
  • Stimulus Events

In order to create an effective intervention for problem behaviors, educators (and parents) need to take into consideration a variety of aspects.

1. Hypothesize the function of the behavior

• Social Attention
• Escape/ avoidance
• Wants tangible item or activity
• Sensory Feedback

2. Gather Information

a. Antecedent : Does the behavior occur……

- When you are attending to other people in the room?
- Following a request to perform a difficult task?
- When a request for an item or activity is denied?
- Repeatedly, in the same way, for long periods of time, even when no on is around?

b. Consequence: When the behavior occurs, do others….

- Attend to the student?
- Leave the student alone?
- Negotiate or give the desired item/activity
- Allow the student to engage in inappropriate behavior? 

3. Plan an Intervention

a. Based on information gathered, are environmental changes needed?

- Move student closer to teacher.
- Limit materials available to student.
- Remove distracters.

b. Based on information gathered, determine how people should react to the challenging behavior each time it occurs.

- Plan to ignore.
- Plan to attend.
- Plan to remove privileges.
- Plan to redirect.

4. Identify a Replacement Behavior

a. What appropriate behavior is “functionally equivalent” to the challenging behavior?

- Manipulating a stress ball or twist pen to replace inappropriate hand movements
- Teaching the student to ask if he can use the computer later to replace tantrum behavior
- Teaching student to raise his hand to replace attention-seeking behaviors
- Teaching the student to communicate his wants appropriately to replace escape/ avoidance behaviors

b. Complete replacement behavior planning guide with team…

- Which behavior is the team going to target for replacement?
- What functionally equivalent behavior is the team going to train in place of the problem behavior?
- In what situations will training occur?
- Who will be responsible for conducting the training sessions?
- What motivation system will be implemented during training?
- Describe how the team will evaluate if and how the student uses the new response.

 
Promoting Positive Classroom Behavior of Children—

The suggestions written below can be used to help kids with ASD but can be used in any classroom to help promote a positive atmosphere.

a) Rules - Establish, teach and enforce classroom rules. Rules should be positively stated and identify the specific behaviors you wish to see displayed

b) Premack Principle - Method of maintaining and increasing compliance with rules through the use of positive reinforcement. A desired activity is available to children on the completion of an undesired activity (e.g., a student who stays in their seat for a period of time can earn an opportunity to work on the computer).

c) Contingency Contracts - Children and educators formalize agreements concerning specific behavior for the exchange of reinforcers by writing an agreement. It outlines the behaviors and consequences of a specific behavior management system. (See the link on this site titled "Contracts")

d) Self-Recording - The student monitors his or her own behaviors by using a data collection system. Children can be taught to increase their on task behavior during a class by placing a + in a box when they are paying attention for several minutes and a -–if they are off task.

e) Self-Evaluation - A self-management system that has been used to promote appropriate behavior in many general education programs. Children are taught to evaluate their in class behavior using a rating scale. For example, a student can rate his on task and disruptive behaviors using a 0-5 point rating scale ("unacceptable" to "excellent"). The student earns points (which can be exchanged for reinforcers) based on both student behavior and the accuracy of his ratings. 
 

Ways to Decrease Inappropriate Classroom Behaviors –

Listed below are various ways to decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate ones for kids with ASD.

- Redirection - Introduce a novel stimulus to recapture the student’s attention by delivering verbal and nonverbal cues to the student to stop misbehavior, offering assistance with a task, engaging him/her in conversation, reminding him/her to focus attention on the task, or modeling calm and controlled behavior.

- Interspersed Requests - Used to motivate children to perform a difficult or unpleasant task by initially asking them to perform several easier tasks, which they can complete successfully in a short amount of time. This helps promote “behavioral momentum”.

- Differential Reinforcement - Techniques used to decrease inappropriate behaviors by reinforcing the occurrence of positive behaviors, which cannot coexist with the appropriate behavior. (See the link on this site titled "Differential Reinforcement")

- Extinction - A strategy in which the positive reinforcers maintaining a behavior are withheld or terminated, resulting in the reduction in the behavior. (See the link on this site titled "What is ABA" ---then read about 'Ignoring')

- Checklists and Schedules - Provide visual structure and motivation needed to complete assignments and remain on task by checking off assignments and activities upon their completion.

Adaptation of Oral Presentations/Lectures for Children—

Some children require modifications to be made in order for them to understand what is being taught. There are various types of adaptations. Listed below are a few which can be used to help any student achieve to their highest potential:

Pausing - to help children retain lecture content pause for 2 minutes every 5-7 consecutive minutes of lecturing. During the pause children can discuss and review content, ask questions or engage in visual imagery.

Visual Aids - Visual supports such as charts, graphs, lists and pictures can be used to highlight main points, maintain attention, promote eye contact and address the needs of visual learners.

Guided Notes - Outlined and guided notes in which the student fills in the blanks provide a foundation for note taking, and promotes on task behavior. Since many kids with ASD have difficulty with fine motor skills such as writing, this is a method that can be implemented to help them throughout lectures.

Active Student Responding (To encourage active participation) choral responding- in which children answer simultaneously on a cue from a teacher during fast paced lessons.

Response Cards - cards are simultaneously held up by all children to display their responses to questions or problems presented by the teacher

Cooperative Learning Groups/ Peer Tutoring - helps with social interaction

Other Strategies—
  • Use repetition by asking children to answer the same questions several times during a class period.
  • Reinforce correct responses and appropriate behavior with descriptive statements that identify what made the answer "right".
  • Group student with peers who participate and attend.
  • Select children randomly to respond and remind them that they may be called on next
  • Change activities frequently
  • Vary the presentation and response modes of instructional activities.
  • Decrease the complexity and syntax of statements.

Affective Education Strategies to Implement in Any Classroom—

Rapport - Maintaining rapport with children can help establish a positive classroom environment. Educators can establish rapport by talking to children about topics in which they are interested, sharing their own interests, providing opportunities for children to perform activities in which they excel, and complimenting children.

Humor - Good-natured joking helps develop a good relationships and a positive classroom atmosphere. Humor helps children see a situation from another perspective and decreases the likelihood of conflicts.

Dialoguing - Dialoging involves meeting with the children to assist them in identifying the problem, discovering their perspective on that problem, phrase it in their words, and discussing solutions for resolving the problem. It helps children understand their behaviors and problem solve alternatives to inappropriate behaviors.

The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with High-Functioning Autism
 

Problems with "Sensory Overload" in Children on the Autism Spectrum

Question

My children (3 teens---2 still at home--plus a 3-yr-old) all have ASD (level 1). They have the disability as well as dealing with others (including one parent) who also have ASD. As a result, people are oversensitive to sensory input and comments and, of course, go from 0 to 100 in seconds. I have a great deal of difficulty heading off the mood escalations and defusing the situation once it has started. I need any suggestions for quicker resolution, etc. that will help us function more effectively.

Answer

Children with sensory issues can be taught to understand how they are “wired” and adjust to the blended flood of incoming sensory messages that is their norm. Learning to understand their triggers will help them cope. For some, the labels on their shirts or itchy socks may overwhelm their senses and shut down their ability to listen to parents. Becoming aware of the irritation will enable them to remove the cause, and then better process auditory messages.

Providing a less stimulating environment is the key to helping these children. Many ASD (high-functioning autistic) children outgrow their sensory-overload issues. By adolescence, many of the symptoms are better managed as the child learns coping skills. Helping the child identify his overwhelming sensations and providing quiet spaces can speed the process of understanding his own triggers and enable him to be more functional and better adjusted. 
 

Sensory overload is when autistic youngsters are faced with so much sensory stimuli that they can't process it all, and they then find a way of dealing with that situation that - to them - seems out of control. 
 
For example, if you have your child at the mall and people are coming up to tell you how cute he is and there is background music playing, then you may have a youngster that begins to throw a tantrum – and to you it may seem like there was absolutely no reason for it. But for a child on the spectrum, such a situation is more than he can take. It is too much information for him to try to process, and he breaks down.

As ASD kids with sensory issues get older, they will outgrow some of these problems on their own. Other kids will require the help of Occupational Therapists, and still others will have sensory problems with them for a life time.

The cause of Sensory Integration Dysfunction (the formal term for sensory problems) is not yet known. Kids who have other disabilities - and kids who were born extremely premature - are more likely to have Sensory Integration Dysfunction, but it is also known to be a condition that some otherwise healthy kids have.

Because of the mystery that surrounds this condition (and the limited information), most people aren't accepting or understanding of children who have this problem. Therefore, if you find that your youngster has this condition, you should find a great therapist and have them give you information to share with your youngster's school and other family members so that they are better prepared to help him or her.
 
 


 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 

Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Associated Relationship Problems

"Is it common for children with ASD to have a great deal of difficulty relating to their peers in a proper manner? My son tends to burn bridges (so to speak) rather quickly with his friends."
 
ASD level 1 (high-functioning autism) often leads to problems in social interaction with peers. These problems can be severe or mild depending on the individual. Kids with ASD are often the target of bullying at school due to their idiosyncratic behavior, precise language, unusual interests, and impaired ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues, particularly in interpersonal conflict. 
 
Kids on the autism spectrum may be overly literal, and may have difficulty interpreting and responding to sarcasm, banter, or metaphorical speech. Difficulties with social interaction may also be manifest in a lack of play with other kids.

The above problems can even arise in the family. Given an unfavorable family environment, the youngster may be subject to emotional abuse. A youngster or teen with ASD is often puzzled by this mistreatment, unaware of what has been done incorrectly. Most kids on the spectrum want to be social, but fail to socialize successfully, which can lead to later withdrawal and asocial behavior, especially in adolescence. 
 
 
At this stage of life especially, they risk being drawn into unsuitable and inappropriate friendships and social groups. People with ASD often interact better with those considerably older or younger than themselves, rather than those within their own age group.

Young people with ASD often display advanced abilities for their age in language, reading, mathematics, spatial skills, and/or music—sometimes into the "gifted" range—but this may be counterbalanced by considerable delays in other developmental areas. This combination of traits can lead to problems with teachers and other authority figures. A youngster with ASD might be regarded by teachers as a "problem kid" or a "poor performer." 
 
The youngster’s extremely low tolerance for what they perceive to be ordinary and mediocre tasks, such as typical homework assignments, can easily become frustrating; a teacher may well consider the youngster arrogant, spiteful, and insubordinate. Lack of support and understanding, in combination with the youngster's anxieties, can result in problematic behavior (such as severe tantrums, violent and angry outbursts, and withdrawal).

Two traits sometimes found in individuals on the spectrum 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 oneself or others), which reduce the ability to be empathetically attuned to others. Alexithymia in ASD functions as an independent variable relying on different neural networks than those implicated in theory of mind. In fact, lack of Theory of Mind may be a result of a lack of information available to the mind due to the operation of the alexithymic deficit.

A second issue related to alexithymia involves the inability to identify and modulate strong emotions such as sadness or anger, which leaves the individual prone to “sudden affective outbursts such as crying or rage.” The inability to express feelings using words may also predispose the individual to use physical acts to articulate the mood and release the emotional energy.

People with ASD report a feeling of being unwillingly detached from the world around them. They may have difficulty finding a life partner or getting married due to poor social skills. The intense focus and tendency to work things out logically often grants people with ASD a high level of ability in their field of interest. When these special interests coincide with a materially or socially useful task, the person on the spectrum can lead a profitable career and a fulfilled life. The youngster obsessed with a specific area may succeed in employment related to that area. 
 

What is ASD like?
  • It affects individuals all of their lives, but as individuals get older they get better at social and coping skills.
  • Many great scientists, writers and artists are thought to have had Aspergers, including many Nobel Prize winners.
  • Individuals with ASD can do well when others understand the effects of the syndrome on their behavior and learning, and provide a supportive environment.
  • They find it hard to relate to other individuals.
  • Some individuals who are said to be eccentric loners may have ASD.
  • The effects of autism can vary from slightly unusual behavior to quite aggressive and anti-social behavior.
  • They have trouble understanding the feelings of other individuals and they do not seem able to read body language. For example, a person with ASD may not realize when they have hurt someone's feelings, or when someone doesn't want to listen to them.
  • They like everything to be the same, and everything to be in the right place. They can get very upset if something is done 'the wrong way'.
  • They may talk a lot about their own interests, but have problems getting the message across or giving others the chance to talk.

Secondary School—
  • It can seem as though they are really bright because they know a huge amount about something they are interested in, but they might have trouble keeping up with other subjects.
  • Other students get better at interpersonal relationships as they grow older, but it can become more difficult for a student with ASD to be involved in friendship groups. However, they may enjoy groups which follow their special interest (e.g., science clubs).
  • Secondary school can be very stressful for students with ASD because they have a different timetable each day, several different teachers, and have to move between classrooms. These changes can be really stressful for someone who likes everything to be the same.

Teenagers with ASD are usually able to manage stressors better than younger kids, and behavior problems at school may be less of an issue at secondary school. However a teenager on the spectrum  may be so worn out after 'holding it together' all day at school that he or she may 'fall apart' at home.
  • It may be possible to negotiate with teachers to reduce the amount of homework or extend tasks over a longer time.
  • Feeling tired after school is often a problem, and facing up to homework at the end of the day can be very stressful for someone who has already had a stressful day.
  • A school counselor can help to work out strategies for dealing with problems, which might include a place to work alone if things get too hard sometimes.

 
Adult Life—
  • If partners and kids are able to learn more about ASD, they are often more able to understand the behavior and live more comfortably with the person who has autism.
  • Individuals with ASD also need to understand relationships better and learn more about how their behavior and emotions can affect others.
  • Most individuals on the spectrum can form strong bonds with a few friends, marry and have kids.
  • Peer support groups can also be helpful for partners and kids. Check on the internet to see if there are support groups in your area.
  • Their anxieties and difficulties with the subtleties of relationships can be confusing and upsetting to partners and their kids.

Problems for Brothers and Sisters—

It can be difficult if you have a brother or sister with ASD.
  • Parents often have to spend a lot more time with the youngster who has autism, so that you can feel you are missing out.
  • Their behavior can be difficult to live with because they don't relate to others well.
  • They may have frequent tantrums when things don't go their way, and this can be embarrassing to you, especially if your friends are around.
  • You may have to watch out more for your brother or sister to protect them from others, such as protecting them from being bullied.

Understanding more about Autism Spectrum Disorder may help you interact more successfully with your brother or sister.

Children on the Autism Spectrum and Behavioral Problems at School

"I have a 7 year old son who has yet to be diagnosed but, it is looking as if he has ASD [level 1]. He is having major behavioural problems at school which include hitting other children, staff etc. He is an only child and although there are some behaviour issues at home, the main problem is when he is in a group situation like school. Has anyone else had this experience and if so what did you do?"


First of all, you should have him tested by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (ask for a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation) to determine if he, in fact, has ASD (high-functioning autism).

There are all sorts of reasons why autistic kids misbehave in school. By the time an autistic student is reacting with violence, it's too late to institute a quick fix. Here are five ways to start dealing with problems or potential problems early, when there is still time to work with teachers and administrators to make school a tolerable place for your youngster.

1. Be realistic about your youngster's abilities—Pushing and motivating and holding high expectations can drive some kids to be all they can be, but it can drive others straight into anxiety and depression. Would you want to work at a job, day in and day out, where you always had to be at the top of your abilities, handling things you weren't quite on top of and hoping things turn out alright? Kids can't quit, and they have very little recourse in terms of demanding better working conditions, but they can find all sorts of ways to act out their anger and despair. 
 
Be honest and compassionate when considering what sort of classroom your youngster will learn best in and what sorts of supports he or she will require. Academics are important, and it's not wrong to make them your biggest concern, but emotional support and feelings of mastery are important, too.

2. Be respectful of authority yourself—We all know how important it is to fight for our kids and be strong, effective advocates. That struggle may lead us to conclude that some teachers and some administrators are not worthy of our respect, and their judgment is subject to doubt. But be very, very careful how you communicate that to your youngster. You may think the message you're giving is that grown-ups can be wrong, and you will always stick up for him, and she should value herself even when others criticize. 
 
 
The message your youngster receives, though, may be that it's okay to be disrespectful to teachers, the rules don't apply to her, and you will clean up every mess he makes. That's an attitude that's sure to cause major problems at school, and beyond -- if you teach a kid to question authority, sooner or later he's going to question yours.

3. Listen when your youngster talks—I suggest that kids don't answer the question "How was school?" because they know moms and dads only want to hear good news. Moms and dads should reconnect with what it really feels like to be in school -- the uncomfortable desks, the stuffy classrooms, the disengaged teachers, the work that is either too easy or too hard. Think about what it really feels like to be your youngster at school. Ask questions about feelings, and really listen to what he or she says. 
 
Don't be quick with a pep talk and a pat on the back. Having someone to listen, without judging, can help defuse some of the frustration that might later erupt in dangerous behavior. And if you listen closely, you may be able to figure out other ways to lessen your youngster's emotional burden.

4. Request an FBA—If the school is sending home complaints about your youngster's behavior -- and expecting you to do something about it -- put the ball back in their court by requesting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). This will force school personnel to really think about your youngster's behavior, not just react to it. 
 
An FBA examines what comes before bad behavior and what the consequences are for it; what possible function the behavior could serve for the youngster; and what sorts of things could be setting him or her off. If a youngster finds classwork too hard or a classroom too oppressive, for example, getting sent to the hallway or the principal or home could become a reward, not a punishment. 
 
Conducting an FBA and writing a behavior plan based on it is probably the best way to head off discipline problems. If teachers and administrators refuse to go along with it, you might need to do a little behavior analysis on them.

5. Volunteer at your youngster's school—Being a presence at your youngster's school -- whether you volunteer at the library or help in the lunchroom, serve as class parent or staff special events -- pays numerous dividends. It gets you known by the administration in a non-adversarial context. It lets your youngster know that school is important to you and a place you want to be. It gives you an opportunity to observe what goes on in that building, from the conduct of the students to the morale of the teachers. 
 
If you can't spare the time to volunteer during the school day, attend every Home and School Association meeting you can, and be sure to show up for Back to School nights and teacher conferences. When school personnel get to know you as an involved and interested parent, they're more likely to be your ally when problems come up.


Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
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…

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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...

--------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Click here to read the full article…

------------------------------------------------------------

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."

Click here to read the full article…

------------------------------------------------------------

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...

------------------------------------------------------------

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...
 
------------------------------------------------------------
 
A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

Click here for the full article...
 
 

 
 
COMMENTS:

504 plan at school and lots lots lots of educating the staff and teachers how he functions.
Anonymous said...   Aggression can be a symptom of many things, so please don't hyperfocus on getting an AS diagnosis especially when the symptomology could point to another health condition altogether (ie. severe social anxiety disorder).
Anonymous said...   Extremely small amount of info. to be suggestive of asd. There would be many many other signs previous.
Anonymous said...   From what you have shared this doesn't sound like asd. What makes you believe it is?
Anonymous said...   I have learned that it is the fear and overwhelming sensation of being in a group that creates the outbursts. My son has a very supportive school and 2 years later is a happy amazing child. When he had outbursts instead of removing him from the class they removed everyone else so that he could feel safe while calming down. They went above and beyond to make him feel safe. I am forever grateful, because prior to this school he used to launch at teachers, spit run away etc. we had a few days at this school where he wasn't able to handle it and walked out. So talk to your school about some strategies, believe that it is from a place of fear and pain as sometimes too much noise is very painful for them. Best of luck xx
Anonymous said...   It is very possible they do. If communication is impaired they often times will act out. My son is very verbal but at the same time has trouble processing info to be able to express how he really feels and what's bothering him.
Anonymous said...   It sounds a lot like my son. High functioning autism and ADHD. my son would go into melt down at school from over stimulation. Even at 6 and 7 he knew he needed to leave the class to calm himself but teachers wouldn't let him. Then things would escalate.
Anonymous said...   My child was 7 when he was diagnosed with Aspergers. When he had meltdowns, he would hit. It sounds like when he's in this group, he's having social anxiety. My son also has a sensory disorder, which he could have?
Anonymous said...   My grandy is 8 yrs he wont go to school at all watch the english program on utube my violent child great advice on the 3 episodes
Anonymous said...  I'm going through the exact same thing. My son is 7 too. I have an appointment with an autism center and I just signed papers to have him psych tested at school. I bought him a weighted vest. It helps. He also has a dark space in his classroom to use if needed.
Anonymous said...  Speak to the school .im in the same position as you .waiting for a decision but my son is showing signs of aspergers .he doesnt like being in group settings .the school and SENCO.have put things in place for my son like if he finds things like the clasroom gets too crowded he can leave the classroom and he stays with a teacher at playtime /lunchtime .my sons school has been very helpful as they dont want my son to get upset or any child to be in danger .my advice is to ask for a meeting with the school and voice your concerns .you will find they will support you the best they can .good luck .i totally understand what you are going through x

Post your comment below...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

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