Search This Site

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query female. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query female. Sort by date Show all posts

The "Female Version" of Aspergers

Aspergers (high functioning autism) affects behavior, personality, and the way a person interacts with others. As females with Aspergers become adults, they may feel isolated because they react differently to certain "stressful" situations. Their comments can seem insensitive and uncaring, when in reality, they simply may not fully understand the concept of empathy. These ladies often look for companionship with other adult females who have similar behavior patterns and outlook.

The symptoms of Aspergers in adult females are usually displayed in a more subtle manner, which often results in missed or incorrect professional diagnoses, a lack of access to special education services and provisions in school, and a greater chance of social and emotional problems in adulthood. Several distinct differences exist in regard to the ways that females and males with Aspergers behave.

Females with Aspergers are not often aggressive when they get frustrated. Instead, they tend to be withdrawn and can easily "fly under the radar" in classrooms and other social environments. These girls are also able to express their emotions in a calmer way than their male counterparts. Young females with Aspergers are often protected and nurtured by their “non-Aspergers” friends, who help them cope with difficult social situations. Acceptance from peers can sometimes mask the issues that these kids have so that they are not recognized by educators and parents, and as a result, they are less likely to suggest psychological and social evaluations for young female "Aspies."

There are certain personality traits and symptoms that moms and dads, educators, and professionals can look for if they suspect that a young girl or woman has Aspergers. Females with the disorder often display obsessive tendencies in regard to animals, dolls, and other female-oriented interests. While “non-Aspergers” females will play with dolls by pretending that they are interacting socially, female Aspies may collect dolls and not use them to engage socially with other kids. Their fascination with certain subjects can lead to them lagging behind their peers in terms of maturity and age-appropriate behavior (e.g., a pre-teen with Aspergers may be fascinated with stuffed animals or cartoons long after other peers her age have outgrown these things).

Female Aspies may be mistakenly assumed to have a personality disorder because they mimic typical kids, but use phrases inappropriately. They tend to be bored with others their age and have difficulty empathizing with their peers' worries or problems. While their behaviors are more passive than those typical of males with Aspergers, people who pay close attention to female kids with social and emotional delays can ensure that proper diagnosis and treatment will take place. The younger a child is when she begins to receive the appropriate speech, occupational, and psychological services for the disorder, the greater likelihood she will have of living an independent and functional adult life.

Other Aspergers symptoms if females include:

• Communication Difficulties— A girl with Aspergers finds that social communication does not come easily. She may struggle to find topics to talk about that will interest her peers. She often attempts to mimic the interests, behavior, and body language of others in an attempt to "fit in." Many female Aspies become quite adept at this mimicking, causing them to elude diagnosis and treatment throughout life. A girl with Aspergers who does not mimic others appears shy and socially awkward. Her body language is different from her peers, and she seems oblivious to the body language of others. Her voice may lack inflection, and she may show no happiness at the good fortune of others.

• Emotional Outbursts— It may be easier to identify males as having Aspergers, because they express their feelings and frustrations through emotional outbursts, which are more obvious to the observer. On the other hand, females with Aspergers may be more likely to internalize their emotions and feelings, and experience inward or passive signs of aggression. These certain gender-related behaviors might be part of the reason that fewer females are diagnosed with Aspergers.

• Fantasy— Female Aspies are intrigued with fantasies that include magical kingdoms, princesses, and other fairy tale elements. It is possible that the princess fantasies are given little notice, because females in general are more prone to this type of imaginary fantasy and play; therefore, these fantasies are not used as criteria in diagnosing the disorder.

• Highly Intelligent— Girls with Aspergers may be less talkative than other females their age. They are highly intelligent, but like their autistic counterparts, possess poor language skills. Communication and interaction with other kids may be difficult. Female Aspies may strive to learn as much as they can, even though social interaction is limited. Most "typical" kids who are socially active have no problem learning in a group setting, whereas Aspie girls may want to study and learn on their own.

• Inflexibility— An girl with Aspergers may be inflexible about her daily routine. She may want to eat the same meal each day and avoid food that has touched other food on her plate. She may arrange her toys a certain way on the shelf, perform the same grooming ritual each day and become upset by any change in her schedule.

• Obsessional Interests— Obsessional interests are another indicator of Aspergers. The child may talk incessantly about her topic of interest or spend the majority of her free time studying it or playing with it. A girl with Aspergers is more likely to have interests that are common to healthy females, whereas an Aspie male is more likely to have an unusual interest (e.g., a girl may be obsessed with horses, while a boy may be obsessed with AAA batteries). This highly focused interest can prove helpful or harmful (e.g., a strong interest in math can help a girl function well in school, while an interest in dolls may cause her to not focus on schoolwork and to eventually bore her friends).

• Repetitive Behaviors— The girl with Aspergers may exhibit repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand-flapping, pacing, stomping, blinking, finger-tapping, etc.). These may become more obvious when she is stressed. Even when she is made aware of these behaviors, she may be unable to control them.

• Socially Awkward— Inability to communicate and physical clumsiness will put young Aspies at a disadvantage from the very beginning. They may seem disinterested and aloof. Asperger kids have difficulty understanding slang and humor. They may seem out of place and will not make friends easily. As Asperger kids grow into teens, many find ways to adapt, and their differences may not seem as pronounced.


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

Sexual Deviation in Asperger’s Teens and Young Adults

Perhaps the most obvious trait of Asperger’s (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) is impairment of two-way social interaction. This is not due primarily to a desire to withdraw from social contact. Rather, the problem arises from a lack of ability to understand and use the rules governing social behavior.

These rules are complex, unwritten and unstated, constantly changing, and affect choice of clothing, eye contact, gesture, movement, posture, proximity to others, speech, and many other aspects of behavior.

The degree of skill in this area varies among “typical” people, but those with AS and HFA are outside the normal range, for example:
  • Many are over-sensitive to criticism and suspicious of others.
  • Some have a history of rather bizarre antisocial acts (perhaps because of their lack of empathy). 
  • Their social behavior is peculiar and naive.
  • They do not have the intuitive knowledge of how to adapt their approaches and responses to “fit in” with the needs and personalities of others. 
  • They may be aware of their difficulties – and even strive to overcome them – but in inappropriate ways.



Relations with the opposite sex provide a good example of the more general social ineptitude in AS and HFA. One 26-year-old male with AS observed that most of his peers had girlfriends and eventually married and had kids. He wished to be “normal” in this respect, but had no idea how to indicate his interest and attract a partner in a socially acceptable way. He asked some of his friends for a list of rules for talking to females, and tried to find “the secret” in various books. He had a strong sex drive, and on one occasion approached and kissed a female he had a crush on. As a consequence, he found himself in trouble with the police, and later tried to solve the problem by becoming solitary and withdrawn.

==> Discipline for Defiant Aspergers and High-Functioning Autistic Teens

Possibly because of the absence of a reference group, sexual interests among individuals with AS and HFA may be unusual, for example:
  • AS and HFA males may become addicted to adult internet sites, and a few have attracted police attention by downloading pictures of kids.
  • Fetishes are not uncommon and may occasionally lead to forensic problems, as with the person with AS who liked to impersonate doctors and ask women intimate questions about reproduction. 
  • Many young people with AS and HFA manage to suppress their sexuality. 
  • Teens with AS and HFA may relate better to younger kids than they do to their peer group, and may occasionally make inappropriate sexual approaches to them. Older teens – and even some grown-ups – may idealize childhood, and may be sexually attracted to kids for that reason. 
  • Young people with AS and HFA may rarely get into trouble indecently exposing themselves, but this may turn out to be something that someone else (often a girl) put them up to.



Stalking is the area in which the sex life of young people on the autism spectrum gives most cause for concern. “Crushes” are common in the teenage years, and young men with AS and HFA often develop them. Although “typical” teens are aware that their feelings are not going to be reciprocated by the opposite sex, this may not be obvious to the teenager with AS or HFA who may become inappropriately attached.

There is usually an initial phase during which the object of the attraction (the female) feels a bit flattered, a bit alarmed, or very caring toward the AS or HFA male who has become fixated on her. However, there may be phone calls, inappropriate notes, or statements made to others that lead the female who is the object of adoration to decide that “enough is enough.”

There is usually a confrontation that is often clumsily handled because the object of adoration is frequently someone like a teacher or nurse who has a duty of care for the AS or HFA male. The problems begin if this rejection is not accepted. The object of adoration may become an object of hatred and may be targeted with abusive calls or letters by the AS or HFA male. The female’s friends may be the victims of jealous attacks, or the female may be followed.

==> Discipline for Defiant Aspergers and High-Functioning Autistic Teens

How can parents and teachers help? Start by providing a few straightforward relationship tips. For example:
  1. Ask the girl how she's doing or what she's reading instead of commenting on her body parts.
  2. Be aware of the girl’s personal space.
  3. If she ignores you, drops eye contact, or walks away, back off. 
  4. It’s not rude of you to approach a girl, but understand that she is not being rude if she doesn't want to keep talking to you, especially if you initiated conversation while she was running an errand, waiting for the bus, or on her computer at a coffee shop.
  5. Look at her face instead of her chest. 
  6. Males are socialized to think that females don't really say what they mean. Wrong! Take her words at face value.
  7. Not all greetings are out of bounds. There is the matter of context. For example, early-morning dog-walkers may offer courteous "good mornings" as they pass each other on the sidewalk. However, commenting on a woman's form as she walks past is not acceptable. 
  8. Talk “to” the girl, not “at” her. 
  9. Know that there can be a fine line between flirtation and harassment.
  10. Above all, treat her with respect.

Most AS and HFA males will want a girlfriend, but may feel shy or intimidated when approaching the opposite sex. They may feel "different" from others. Although most “typical” teens place emphasis on being and looking "cool," teens with AS and HFA may find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to “fit in.”

They may be immature for their age and be naive and too trusting, which can lead to social skills deficits (especially in the world of dating), teasing and bullying. All of these difficulties can cause these young people to become withdrawn, socially isolated, depressed and anxious.



==> Discipline for Defiant Aspergers and High-Functioning Autistic Teens

Girls with Aspergers and HFA

More often identified in males than females, Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) are characterized by compulsive pursuits, awkward communication skills, and problems with social cues.

The signs and symptoms of the disorder in females are often exhibited in a more subtle manner, which leads to missed or incorrect professional diagnoses, a lack of access to special education services and provisions in education, along with an increased potential for interpersonal and psychological difficulties in the adult years.

A number of unique differences exist regarding the ways that young ladies versus males with Aspergers behave:

  • Females that have Aspergers and HFA aren't usually aggressive once they get irritated; instead, they tend to be withdrawn and may very easily "fly under the radar" in classrooms and other interpersonal situations. 
  • Females with the disorder can communicate their feelings in a more calm way than their male counterparts. 
  • Aspergers and HFA females tend to be safeguarded and nurtured by their neurotypical friends, who assist them to deal with challenging interpersonal situations. Acceptance from friends can occasionally cover up the problems these girls have so they aren't recognized by educators and moms and dads. Consequently, grown-ups are not as likely to suggest psychological and social evaluations.

There are specific personality characteristics and warning signs that moms and dads, educators, and specialists can search for when they believe that a young female may have Aspergers or HFA:

  • Females with the disorder often exhibit compulsive traits regarding animals, dolls, and other female-oriented pursuits. While neurotypical females will play with dolls by pretending that they're interacting socially, Aspergers and HFA females might collect dolls and never use them to interact socially with other females. 
  • Their passion for certain subject matter can result in them lagging behind their friends in terms of maturation and age-appropriate conduct (e.g., a pre-teen on the autism spectrum may be captivated by stuffed animals or cartoons long after other females their age have outgrown this stuff.
  • Females that have Aspergers and HFA may be incorrectly assumed to possess a character disorder simply because they imitate typical kids - but use phrases inappropriately. 
  • They are usually bored with kids their age and possess problems empathizing with their friends' concerns/problems. 

While their behaviors tend to be less aggressive than males on the spectrum, grown-ups who pay close attention to females with social and psychological delays can make sure that correct diagnosis and therapy will take place. The younger a female is when she starts to receive the appropriate speech, occupational, and psychological services, the greater likelihood she'll have a completely independent and functional adult life.

Females with Aspergers and HFA have the same difficulties with sensory processing and social navigation as males. In addition, they have telltale intense focus on a particular subject of interest.

Symptoms include:

Routine—
o Appears anxious when there are changes in routine
o Intense focus on a particular subject
o Practices rituals that appear to have no function
o Resists change

Physical—
o Difficulty coordinating movements
o Odd posturing
o Repetitive movements (stims)

Sensory processing—
o Dislikes textures in foods, clothes or objects
o No response or extreme response to noises
o Resists activities that involve movement (slides, escalators…)
o Seeks out sensory experiences (spinning, rocking…)
o Strong aversion to certain smells

Social difficulties—
o "Scripts" daily conversations
o Appears excessively shy
o Appears uncomfortable during conversation
o Avoids interacting with others
o Hesitant to make the first move
o Tends to "blend" into the crowd
o Tends to mimic rather than providing natural responses

It's not uncommon for females with Aspergers and HFA to go undiagnosed well into adulthood. Like heart disease, autism spectrum disorders are 10 times more prevalent in boys, so doctors often don't think to look for it in girls. But some experts have begun to suspect that unlike heart disease, the disorder manifests differently - and less obviously in females - which is also causing them to slip through the diagnostic cracks.

This gender gap may have implications for the health and well-being of females on the spectrum, and some specialists predict that as we diagnose more females, the profile of the disorder as a whole will change. Unlike males, females with ASpergers and HFA seem to have less motor impairment, a broader range of obsessive interests, and a stronger desire to connect with others despite their social impairment.


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



Comments:

Anonymous said... Dear Dr. Mark, I am speaking at a retreat Aug 4 on the female perspective of AS. I am co-founder of Asperfemme, a support group for self- and officially-diagnosed women with ASD in Ottawa, Canada. I was 48 when I was diagnosed, three years after my two-decade long married ended, and have splinter skills in music (absolute pitch) and language (hyperlexia) which I have parlayed into self-employment as a private music teacher (after several failed careers.) We older women are struggling with financial needs, broken or troubled relationships, sometimes children on the spectrum, on top of the regular aging stuff. I would be interested if any of your research and writing deals with this largely unexplored group (a subgroup of "the spectrum within the spectrum" as Dr. Kevin Stoddart of Toronto's Redpath Centre calls Asperger's). I do find we women are less rigid about routines, and have fewer self-soothing behaviors (stims) than the men. We also tend to get sad and anxious rather than angry, a fact my marriage counselor could not deal with. I was introduced to you in the article "Children with High-Functioning Autism: 'Gifted' or Hyperlexic" on the My Aspergers Child web site (excellent by the way.) My precocious reading skill was considered cute, and not a sign in 1963 that anything was wrong. I think my parents were relieved that I amused myself with books, because I was quiet and no trouble while they dealt with my two rambunctious younger brothers born 11 months apart. I ended up in a Gifted class for 4 years (Grades 5 to 8) and had few friends, being chosen only for the spelling team. I flew entirely under the radar with my good academic record--a child seen and not heard. Looking back I also had selective mutism, excellent mimicry, apraxia and poor executive function. I firmly believe the piano saved my life, as it gave me an outlet and later a means to communicate. Public performance was very hard, but I learned to develop 'show' and private persona.

CoolMama said... I'm glad to see someone writing about girls/women on the spectrum. Like ADHD, women tend to present differently than boys/men do with regard to "symptoms" or characteristics. For myself, when I got into middle school (junior high back then), I learned about acting. For me, being involved in theater classes allowed me to become someone else, someone who wasn't "weird", who wasn't bullied or teased. I learned about personas, roles, and finally felt like I'd found a group where being a misfit was accepted and even embraced. Some might think being on stage as completely opposite to the social awkwardness inherent to ASD/Asperger's--I disagree. When you act, you aren't yourself, so you have the freedom and confidence to overcome your weaknesses. Plus, most interactions are scripted (I didn't do so well at improv, for example). You memorize your lines, and you learn techniques for portraying emotion. It's pretend play at the highest level. Not only was it a life-saver for me in school, it helped me once I tried to get a professional job. Interviews are all about presenting an image, and presenting an image is about projecting a persona, or playing a role. Other ASD individuals may have difficulty with "feeling like a fraud", and I totally get that--but I chose to look at it as being on stage. The "role" I created was just the best parts of me, the parts I wanted to stand out and be noticed. Theater isn't the solution for every person with ASD...but it is something to consider.

Girls with Aspergers

Do girls with Aspergers experience the same symptoms as boys?

The male to female ratio for referrals for a diagnostic assessment is about 10 males to each 1 female. However, the epidemiological evidence indicates the ratio is 4:1. This is the same ratio as occurs with Autism.

So far there have not been any studies that specifically investigate any variation in expression of features between males and females with Aspergers, but males tend to have a greater expression of social deficits with a very uneven profile of social skills and a propensity for disruptive or aggressive behavior, especially when frustrated or stressed. These characteristics are more likely to be noticed by moms/dads and educators who then seek advice as to why the youngster is unusual.

In contrast, females tend to be relatively more able in social play and have a more even profile of social skills. Females with Aspergers seem more able to follow social actions by delayed imitation. They observe the other kids and copy them, but their actions are not as well timed and spontaneous. There is some preliminary evidence to substantiate this distinction from a study of sex differences in Autism.

Females with this Aspergers are more likely to be considered immature rather than odd. Their special interests may not be as conspicuous and intense as occurs with males. Thus, they can be described as the "invisible" youngster (i.e., socially isolated), preoccupied by their imaginary world, but not a disruptive influence in the classroom. Although females are less likely to be diagnosed, they are more likely to suffer in silence.

An important issue for females is that during adolescence the usual basis for friendship changes. Instead of joint play with toys and games using imagination, teen friendship is based on conversation that is predominantly about experiences, relationships and feelings. The female teen with Aspergers may want to continue the playground games of the primary school and starts to reduce her contact with previous friends. They no longer share the same interests. There is also the new problem of coping with the amorous advances of teen males. Here conversation is acceptable, but concepts of romance and love as well as physical intimacy are confusing or objectionable.

In an attempt to be included in social activities, some Aspergers females have described how they have deliberately adopted a "mask-like” quality to their face. To others at school, they seem to continuously express a smile - but behind the mask – they are experiencing anxiety, fear and self doubt. They are desperate to be included and to please others, but cannot express their inner feelings in public.

Females with the classic signs of Aspergers in their primary school years usually progress along the Autism/Aspergers continuum to a point where the current diagnostic criteria are no longer sensitive to the more subtle problems they face. These females have a better long-term prognosis than males. They appear to be more able to learn how to socialize and to camouflage their difficulties at an early age.


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

Aspergers in Females

From A Woman's Perspective:

A young lady who has participated for several years in a social group for adults with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome sponsored at our TEACCH Center in Asheville, recently remarked, “There aren’t a heck of a lot of ladies who have Asperger’s Syndrome or autism. The majority are males, and although we get along with the guys, there are some issues that they are never going to understand. I wish there was more information specifically for ladies who have autism.” Her comment prompted the initiation of the first ladies’ group at the Asheville TEACCH Center. 

While talking with this lady, who is in her 20’s, I was reminded of my own early adulthood. I remember the strong support of “ladies’ consciousness-raising groups” that sprouted up on college campuses and in living rooms in the 60’s and 70’s. While struggling for and demanding equality between the sexes in the society at large, we discovered that there were important distinctions that needed to be honored. Together we explored and defined what “being a lady” was about, in the company of other young ladies searching for self-awareness. Being a member of a ladies’ “CR” (Consciousness-Raising) group was educational, exciting, exhilarating, emotional, relevant…and never boring.

According to Tony Attwood and other professionals in the field, ladies with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome may be an under diagnosed population. If this is true, some of the reasons may be attributed to gender differences.

Are there behaviors that are seen in females with Asperger’s Syndrome, but not in males, that we haven’t yet identified as part of the profile… or certain gender-related behavior that might fool us into ruling out the diagnosis? What about the “pretend play” that has been observed in many young females at our center, which on the surface appears to be quite creative and imaginative? There seem to be many females (on the spectrum) who are enamored with princesses, fantasy kingdoms, unicorns, and animals¬¬. How many diagnosticians observe these interests and skills as imagination, and rule out a diagnosis based on these behaviors? Might this interest in imaginary kingdoms and talking animals be more common among females than males, yet still exist alongside other autistic/Aspergers traits?

And what about one typical response to confusion or frustration--hitting or other such outward expressions of frustration? Does this type of acting out occur more often in males with autism than in females? Is confusion or frustration simply easier to identify in males than females because we already look for it? Among the general population, it is commonly thought that males do “act out” more than females. (You sometimes hear teachers complain there are too many males in his or her class, and its impact on the class’ personality!) Is it easier to identify males as having autism because these behaviors are more obvious, than females who may experience inward or passive signs of aggression?

Professionals whose task it is to diagnose individuals with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome need to learn more about the full range of qualities and personality differences unique to females and ladies on the spectrum.

And what about the females’ and ladies’ route to self-understanding? Indeed, several ladies I have worked with who have Asperger’s Syndrome have talked about the unique challenges they experience because they constitute a “minority” within this special group of society.

I believe that in order to gain self understanding, each person with - or without - autism needs to see his or her own reflection in the world. I call this ‘seeing one’s place.’ For people with autism or AS, who already are challenged in this area, it becomes imperative that they meet, listen to, talk with, read about, and learn from others with autism. What happens as a result of this coming together is that they are able to see their ‘reflection’ and better understand their own unique styles of thinking and being. Ladies with autism, although benefiting greatly from getting to know other people with autism, often find that they might be the only female (or one of a very few ladies) in the group.

When I asked the ladies we see at our center if they would be interested in being in a ladies’ group, I had hoped that the group could fill a gap in our services. I also hoped that I would learn more about what it means to be a lady with autism. The more I meet with these ladies, the more I realize we have far to go in understanding the unique challenges that ladies with autism or Aspergers face.

One lady explained that, from her perspective there is subtle interaction between two sets of issues. “Problems related to the [autism] spectrum are combined with problems of society’s expectations of ladies. How one looks, what one wears, how one is supposed to relate socially, that a lady is supposed to have a natural empathy towards others, expectations about dating and marriage…” Ladies are affected by autism in the same ways as are their male counterparts; however, they are doubly challenged by the added assumptions that society places on the female gender.

At the risk of stereotyping, any man who is a rational thinker, and not emotionally in tune with others, is often thought of as having “typical male behavior” (think of the TV show “Tool Time”). A female exhibiting these same personality traits might be regarded as odd, annoying, cold, or depending on the situation, even mean-spirited. Autism, with its particular effects on personality, causes one to appear more rational and less emotionally responsive or empathetic to others. Ladies with autism note that these expectations indeed may weigh more heavily on them, just because they are ladies.

At the first meeting, the group members requested specific topics for discussion, topics that they encounter in daily life or ones which they are currently pondering. These topics included issues that are relevant to ladies at large such as personal safety; dating and sex; or being taken advantage of when your car needs repair. Other issues they raised were felt by group members to possibly be more significant for ladies with autism, but common to all--being pressured to conform by getting married; to “act like a lady”; and issues about one’s appearance--to have to “look a certain way”.

However, there were topics that all agree are a direct result of being a lady with autism, such as common behavioral and social expectations by the society at large. At the top of the list were the expectations of being sensitive to others and displaying empathy.

Ladies with autism have expressed that they feel that more is expected from them than from their male counterparts, simply because of their gender. Members of the group felt these expectations to be sensitive and empathetic, typically attributed to ladies, are unfair and difficult to meet. Discussion centered on how these behaviors require skills like the ability to accurately read and respond to body language, along with the inherent desire to “take care of others, emotionally”. Interestingly, after discussing these issues, the first requested topic to explore was reading body language and how to tell if someone is trying to take advantage of you.

The topic that generated the biggest emotional response from the group was the personal experience of feeling like one was “being treated like a child”. Parents, in general, are often more protective of their daughters than their sons. Daughters with autism talked about feeling overly protected into womanhood. In many cases, this is needed, although without understanding the parent’s perspective, the adult daughter can feel unfairly babied. Some ladies talked about the resentment they felt toward people, who for many years had been trying to teach them “socially appropriate” ways of acting. “Enough already!” was a common response.

The desire to be respected as an individual, and as a lady, was voiced clearly and strongly. Although this desire is probably equally shared among grown men with autism, the ladies voiced these desires clearly, with deep emotion and passion, when talking with other ladies.

The Female Version of High-Functioning Autism

“What are some of the traits of high functioning autism that are unique to girls with the disorder?”

High-Functioning Autism (HFA) affect behavior, personality, and the way the child interacts with others. The symptoms of HFA in females are usually displayed in a more subtle manner, which often results in missed or incorrect professional diagnoses, a lack of access to special education services and provisions in school, and a greater chance of social and emotional problems in adulthood.

Several distinct differences exist in regard to the ways that females with HFA behave as compared to their male counterparts, for example:
  • “non-autistic” females will play with dolls by pretending that they are interacting socially, but HFA females may collect dolls and not use them to engage socially with their peers
  • a girl with HFA is more likely to have interests that are common to “typical” females, whereas an HFA male is more likely to have an unusual interest (e.g., a girl may be obsessed with horses, while a boy may be obsessed with AAA batteries)
  • acceptance from peers can sometimes mask the issues that these girls have so that they are not recognized by educators and parents, and as a result, they are less likely to suggest psychological and social evaluations for them
  • they are highly intelligent, but like their autistic counterparts, possess poor language skills 
  • they are not often aggressive when they get frustrated; instead, they tend to be withdrawn and can easily "fly under the radar" in classrooms and other social environments
  • fascination with certain subjects can lead to them lagging behind their peers in terms of maturity and age-appropriate behavior (e.g., a 13-year-old girl with HFA may be fascinated with stuffed animals or cartoons long after other peers her age have outgrown these things
  • females with HFA may be more likely to internalize their emotions and experience inward or passive signs of aggression, whereas males often express their feelings and frustrations through emotional outbursts (these gender-related behaviors may be part of the reason that fewer females are diagnosed)
  • females with the disorder often display obsessive tendencies in regard to animals, dolls, and other female-oriented interests
  • girls on the autism spectrum are often less talkative than other females their age 
  • they are often protected and nurtured by their “non-autistic” friends who help them cope with difficult social situations
  • girls with the disorder may be mistakenly assumed to have a personality disorder because they mimic typical kids, but use phrases inappropriately
  • they are intrigued with fantasies that include magical kingdoms, princesses, and other fairy tale elements 
  • their behaviors are more passive than those typical of males with HFA
  • girls on the spectrum often attempt to mimic the interests, behavior, and body language of others in an attempt to "fit in" – in fact, they become quite adept at this mimicking, causing them to elude diagnosis and treatment throughout life in many cases
  • they are more able to express their emotions in a calmer way than their male counterparts
  • they tend to be bored with others their age and have difficulty empathizing with peers

As females on the spectrum become adults, they may feel isolated because they react differently to certain "stressful" situations. Their comments can seem insensitive and uncaring, when in reality, they simply may not fully understand the concept of empathy. These young ladies often look for companionship with other adult females who have similar behavior patterns and outlook.

 
More resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

Gender Differences in High-Functioning Autism

"It seems that there are more boys than girls with the high functioning version of autism. Is this true? If so, what accounts for the difference?"

Interestingly, different research studies list the ratio of males to females with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) as being anywhere from 4-10 to 4-1 (i.e., some research suggests that for every 4 males, there is 1 female).

Other studies suggest that the male population is much higher (8-10) relative to females. Obviously, much research is needed in this area.

As there is no known specific cause of autism as yet, researchers don’t know why there seems to be such a diagnostic difference between boys and girls.

A couple things could account for this difference:
1. There could be a hereditary or structural difference in boys that account for such a difference. There are other disorders associated mostly with boys (e.g., hemophilia) that have been found to be related to the genetic basis of the disease.

2. There could be a difference in the way society and therapists diagnose HFA in boys and girls. The behavioral expectations between boys and girls are such that boys are less likely than girls to be “diagnosed” with shyness - and could instead be diagnosed with a mild form of autism. Because the symptoms of HFA aren’t as readily diagnosable as some diseases, mistakes in diagnosis are very possible.

3. Girls with the disorder tend to be safeguarded and nurtured by their “neurotypical” friends who may assist them to deal with challenging interpersonal situations. 

4. Acceptance from peers can cover up many of the problems a girl on the autism spectrum has, so she isn’t recognized by parents, teachers, and other adults. Thus, they are not as likely to suggest psychological and social evaluations.

5. Females on the autism spectrum aren't usually aggressive once they get upset; instead, they tend to be withdrawn and may very easily "fly under the radar" in classrooms and other interpersonal situations (i.e., they often “shutdown” rather than “meltdown”).

As one lady with Asperger's stated: "I am a 50 year old female. My mother was told that I could not start kindergarten when I was 5 years old because I 'was not social enough'. I was held back, even though, at age 7, I was 'still not social enough'. Well, I didn't want to go over and initiate conversation and play tea with the other girls; I thought I was going to school to read BOOKS not socialize. Things haven't changed. After getting my Univ. of WA degree in American history at the age of 47, I was diagnosed at the time with Aspergers. What a relief as I suffered for decades and knew it wasn't 'just shyness'. Girls are 'quiet' sufferers and can frequently be suicidal when socializing is so important with girls and when getting jobs. I am glad I decided to go to college late in life; I had myself diagnosed and a thicker skin by then - I didn't care about social stuff when in college."

6. Females with the disorder can communicate their feelings in a calmer way as compared to their male counterparts.





As a side note, there have been several studies linking HFA and Asperger's in adults with gender identity disorder (i.e., a disorder where an individual feels like they are actually a member of the opposite gender they appear to be).


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

Behavioral Interventions for Children with ASD [Level 1]

 "We're trying not to use the same discipline methods with our autistic child (high functioning) that we use with the other two children, but we fall back into old habits and end up using traditional methods that usually backfire. Any suggestions?"

Many kids and teenagers with Asperger’s (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) are prone to behavior problems, and on occasion, aggression. Even though frequently motivated to be near to – and to socially interact with – peers and grown-ups, young people with HFA are deficient in age-appropriate, reciprocal social interaction skills (e.g., those required to participate in cooperative play and related activities).

A propensity for socially unacceptable behavior and insensitivity to – or unawareness of – verbal and nonverbal social cues makes these “special needs” kids vulnerable to displaying a variety of behavior problems. Accordingly, parents and teachers must provide appropriate instruction and supports for HFA children to progress and experience success at home, school, and in the community.



Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with HFA, mostly because they have difficulty appreciating the consequences of their actions. Therefore, punitive measures are apt to exacerbate the type of behavior the punishment is intended to reduce, while at the same time giving rise to distress in both the parent (or teacher) and child.

The same basic behavior management model that is used with “typical” kids can also be applied when crafting management supports for kids on the autism spectrum. That is, teams of parents and professionals should cooperatively:
  • target socially valid and pivotal responses for change
  • ensure careful measurement of targeted responses selected for change
  • systematically analyze behaviors that are identified for change relative to their functions and environmental and antecedent factors connected to their occurrence
  • select and systematically implement and evaluate appropriate interventions and treatments

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

Behavioral interventions entail manipulation of antecedent conditions (i.e., what happens immediately prior to the behavior problem) as well as use of consequences for targeted behaviors. Approaches that seem to work best with these young people give them an opportunity to participate in developing and implementing their own behavior management systems. Thus, whenever possible, HFA kids should be involved in their own program development and implementation.

In order to be successful, behavioral interventions should be applied consistently across all areas of the youngster’s life. Also, the longer a particular problematic behavior has been evident, the longer it will take to change it. Therefore, it may take a while for the chosen strategies to be effective. The job for parents and teachers is to focus on the behavior they would like to increase or decrease.

One specific behavioral intervention that has been found to be useful with many kids on the spectrum is cognitive behavior modification. This is a strategy that teaches the child to monitor his own behavior or performance, and to deliver self-reinforcement at established intervals. In this technique, the locus of behavior control is shifted from an external source (e.g., the parent or teacher) to the child.




Cognitive behavior modification can be used to facilitate a variety of behavior changes, including following various specific house and classroom rules, and attending to assigned tasks at home and school. The following is an example of this technique:

One AS teen was assisted in monitoring and changing his "stalking" behavior at school. The teen had become a concern to school officials and his mother because of his serial interest in attractive girls in his school (none of whom he knew personally). His obsession with any one female student typically lasted less than a week. But during this time, he attempted to walk with these girls from class to class, sit with them at lunch, etc., at every opportunity.

Even though the female students protested loudly and did not encourage the AS teen’s interest in any way, it had no impact on his behavior! Furthermore, negative consequences for this behavior (e.g., detention, suspension) only seemed to exacerbate the problem.

However, the AS teen did respond positively to a cognitive behavior management program. His school counselor and homeroom teacher used a videotaped sequence of his stalking behavior to assist him in understanding that his behavior was inappropriate. He then was:
  • instructed to use a self-monitoring system structured by the school's bell system for signaling transitions
  • taught to use a self-recording system related to his contact with his peers
  • taught to use a self-reinforcement system

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

The self-reinforcement he selected was to spend time with classmates who agreed to sit with him at lunch and walk with him during class transitions. Social skill instruction related to his behavior during these peer contacts also proved to be beneficial.

It is crucial that parents and teachers recognize – and plan for – problems related to aggression and violence. Not all HFA children have these problems, and most are not inherently aggressive. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that problems of aggression in some of these young people do arise from time to time.

The social deficits connected with HFA (e.g., difficulty in engaging in age-appropriate reciprocal play) frequently create problems and frustrations that may escalate into aggressive responses and counter-actions. For instance, one youngster with AS had difficulty interacting with friends as a result of not understanding commonly known and accepted social rules, As a result, he gave the appearance of being rude and unwilling to follow generally understood game rules.

With some planning on the part of parents and teachers – and hard work on the part of the HFA child – social skills can be learned and practiced on a daily basis. It may not come naturally, but it is very possible for young people on the autism spectrum to discover the basic ability in socialize in an acceptable manner.


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…

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

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...

Characteristics of Females with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

"We think our daughter may have a form of autism due to her severe shyness, excessive need to have things just so, certain rituals she has with food, major touch sensitivity, a lot of anxiety, just to name a few. What are some of the signs to look for to help us decide if an assessment is in order?"

Females with Aspergers (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) often present with a unique set of characteristics that can make diagnosing their disorder very difficult. In addition, their strengths often mask their deficits.

There has been considerable discussion among professionals about the way girls with AS and HFA demonstrate their major characteristics. Some girls have obvious social difficulties, whereas others appear to have excellent skills because they imitate the behaviors of others (often without understanding them).



There are many females who do not receive a diagnosis, possibly because, compared to males, (a) they have fairly good social skills (particularly when interacting with adults in a one-to-one situation), (b) their special interests are different, and (c) their clinical presentation is different.

Sometime during childhood, a female with AS or HFA characteristics will begin to know she is different compared to her peers. For example:


1. Due to adopting an alternative persona, she may begin to have problems of self-identity and low self-esteem

2. Due to observing and analyzing social behavior and trying not to make a social error, she may become emotionally exhausted

3. During the stress of adolescence, she may develop routines and rituals around food and a special interest in calories and nutrition that develops into the signs of an eating disorder

4. Her interests may be different to her peers in terms of intensity and quality of play

5. She may be an avid observer of human behavior and try to decipher what she is supposed to do or say

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

6. She may be extremely sensitive to the emotional atmosphere at a social gathering

7. She may be like a chameleon, changing persona according to the situation

8. She may be more likely to apologize and appease when making a social error

9. She may be overly well-behaved and compliant at school so as not to be noticed or recognized as a different.

10. She may be vulnerable to “peer predators” who take advantage of her social immaturity

11. She may become increasingly aware of her social confusion and frequent faux pas, and thus prefer to be on the periphery of social situations

12. She may enjoy living in a fantasy world and creating a new persona

13. She may escape into the world of nature, having an intuitive understanding of animals, but not people

14. She may fear that her “true self” must remain secret because she is defective, thus she is almost always acting like someone else

15. She may have a pet that she views as a loyal friend

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


16. She may have a single - but intense – friendship with another female who may provide guidance for her in social situations

17. She may have a strong desire to collect and organize her toys (e.g., dolls) rather than to share her toys with friends

18. She may have an aversion to the traditional concept of femininity

19. She may have an encyclopedic knowledge of specific topics

20. She may have an intense interest in reading and escaping into fiction

21. She may have an interest in ancient civilizations to find an old world in which she would feel at home

22. She may have an interest in other countries (e.g., France) where she would be accepted

23. She may identify with a fictional character (e.g., Harry Potter), who faces adversity but has special powers and friends

24. She may not be interested in the latest craze among her peers to be 'cool' and popular

25. She may not identify with her peers

26. She may not play with her toys in conventional ways

27. She may not want to play cooperatively with her peers

28. She may prefer non-gender specific toys (e.g., Lego)

29. She may prefer to play alone so that she can play her way

30. She may prefer to play with males, whose play is more constructive and adventurous than emotional and conversational

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

31. She may suffer social confusion in silence and isolation in the classroom or playground, but she may be a different character at home

32. She may talk to imaginary friends, or write fiction at an early age

33. She may think that the way her peers play is stupid and boring

34. She may use imaginary friends that can provide companionship, support and comfort when she feels lonely

35. She may use passive-aggressive behaviors in order to control her family and/or social experiences


As young girls, many (but not all) females with AS and HFA:

1. Apologize frequently and want to please others

2. Are an expert on certain topics

3. Are determined

4. Are honest

5. Are involved in social play, but are led by their peers rather than initiating social contact

6. Are kind

7. Are misunderstood by peers

8. Are more able to follow social actions by delayed imitation because they observe other kids and copy them, perhaps masking the symptoms of AS and HFA

9. Are more aware of - and feel a need to - interact socially

10. Are perfectionists

11. Are so successful at "faking it" that they only come to the attention of a therapist when a secondary mood disorder emerges

12. Are specially gifted in the areas of mathematics and engineering

13. Are very good at art

14. Are visual thinkers

15. Are well-liked by adults

16. Become a target of teasing

17. Do not ‘do social chit chat’ or make ‘meaningless’ comments in order to facilitate social communication

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


18. Enjoy solitude

19. Have a faster rate of learning social skills than males

20. Have a single friend who provides guidance and security for them

21. Have a special interest that is more likely to be unusual in terms of intensity rather than focus

22. Have difficulty knowing what someone else may be thinking or feeling

23. Have difficulty making friends

24. Have difficulty managing feelings

25. Have difficulty showing as much affection as others expect

26. Have difficulty taking advice

27. Have difficulty with writing skills

28. Have extremely detailed imaginary worlds

29. Have imaginary friends

30. Have interests that are very similar to those of neurotypical girls (e.g., animals, dolls, classical literature), and therefore are not seen as unusual

31. Have what is classified as a "male brain"

32. Make reliable and trustworthy friends

33. Mimic or even try to take on all the characteristics of someone they are trying to emulate

34. Notice sounds that others do not hear

35. Read fiction to help them learn about inner thoughts, feelings and motivations

36. Show little interest in fashion

37. Speak their minds (sometimes to the point of being rude)

38. Still need to be directly taught certain social skills

39. Try to understand a situation before they make the first step

40. Use doll play to replay and understand social situations

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

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

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

Yeast-free, Gluten-free, Casein-free Diet Plan for Aspergers Children

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is a developmental disorder, which was first described around 1940, about three years after the introduction of the first main commercial antibiotics (i.e., sulfa drugs). As antibiotic usage grows, so do rates of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Aspergers is really a disorder of the antibiotic era. Why? Simply because antibiotics help the yeast Candida albicans grow within the intestinal tract. Candida albicans makes toxic chemicals, which hurt the developing brain.

The yeast Candida albicans can be discovered inside of our intestinal tract, mouth and in the female genital tract. Occasionally this yeast overgrows and the doctor recognizes this overgrowth of yeast as a yeast infection of the female genital tract or in the mouth, where this infection is commonly known as thrush.

Bacteria are also resident inside the intestinal tract, sharing space with the yeast. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not yeast. After the use of antibiotics, the yeast grows to fill in the space left by the removal of the bacteria. Yeast makes chemicals which kill bacteria, which enables the yeast to grow at a greater level, even after the antibiotics have been stopped.

Yeast makes numerous chemical compounds which are then picked up and absorbed into the body. These compounds are quite toxic to the nervous system. These compounds include toxic alcohols and acetone, as well as the powerful nervous system poison hydrogen sulfide. Alcohols depress and slow the nervous system and acetone causes coma. These chemicals slow the brain down to ensure that the brain no longer works properly. These chemicals ought to be cleared by the liver so that these chemicals by no means reach the brain. Nevertheless in some individuals, these chemicals are apparently not cleared, reach the brain, and cause mental symptoms.

Slowing of the brain, especially in speech areas has been found in brains of Aspergers kids. Alcohols are well known to disrupt brain development. There are also chemicals in the diet which slow the brain down. Barley malt, the raw material for generating beer, contains twenty chemicals which slow the brain down. Vinegar also contains such chemicals.

The mixture of chemicals from internal yeast and from food could partially account for the finding of the brain slowing in Aspergers kids. The essential reason to take a look at yeast as a main contributor to Aspergers causation is that yeast is effortlessly and safely treatable.

The method to reverse this yeast problem would be to take the anti-yeast drug nystatin. This drug is not absorbed and kills the yeast living in the intestinal tract. Then the yeast can no longer make the toxic chemical compounds. Second, the diet contains numerous foods which include yeast compounds. Some of these yeast chemicals are toxic to bacteria and will clear space for the yeast to grow once more. If these yeast chemicals are left within the diet plan, nystatin will not do a lot simply because the yeast keeps growing back. To treat yeast, these foods should be removed from the diet. Removal of these dietary yeast goods enables nystatin to kill the yeast without the yeast growing back. Malt contains chains of sugar molecules, which most likely inhibit the body's immune method. This inhibition makes it tough for the immune system to fight Candida. Malt must be removed to clear Candida.

Fortunately, simply because nystatin isn't absorbed, nystatin causes no side effects except for a bit of nausea. Consequently there is no risk to this therapy. The diet plan for Candida issues consists of removing fermented foods from the diet plan. The worst offenders are alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beer, vinegar, barley malt, chocolate, pickles, soy sauce and aged cheese.

Nearly every youngster who has followed this anti-yeast therapy has improved. Kids who can speak usually speak better and more often. Kids under 2½ who can talk a little can be brought back to regular or near normal. Behavior and sleep all enhance. Kids are calmer and easier to teach.

Gluten Free / Casein Free Diet—

Where does the gluten free casein free diet fit in? This diet comes from research on schizophrenia, in which these gluten and casein protein fragments were found within the urine of schizophrenic patients. Similar urine profiles had been later found within the urine of Aspergers kids.

The role of opioids in Aspergers is as follows. Milk and dairy include a protein known as casein and wheat contains a protein called gluten. Inside of both casein and gluten are structures that are tough for the body to digest totally. The structures or peptides remaining following digestion of casein and gluten react at particular sites in the brain called opioid receptors. These sites are so named simply because these sites are where opiate drugs such as morphine act. The internal chemicals which react at the opioid receptors within the brain are called endorphins. These peptide structures from the diet plan have several names, one of which is "opioids".

In experimental studies, opiate drugs like morphine have been found to bind to brain opioid receptors and this binding leads to decreased glucose (sugar) utilization and decreased metabolic rate. In other words structures which bind to opioid receptors in the brain slow the brain down. As already noted, the one discovery that stands up in the brains of Aspergers kids is that the brain is slowed down (metabolically less active) as shown by decreased blood flow, especially in speech areas.

Presumably these casein and gluten protein fragments also slow the brain down. This has led to the treatment of excluding casein and gluten from the diet of Aspergers kids. You will find many commercial goods available to support such treatment.

How good is the gluten free casein free diet plan? The main studies show that kids do much better in school. Some kids improve, some only modestly and some barely at all. Why? The gluten free casein totally free diet plan is not an anti yeast diet plan. The gluten free casein totally free diet plan permits some main yeast offenders such as vinegar, pickles, chocolate, peanut butter and corn. Both peanuts and corn are frequently contaminated with mold. Chicken are fed much cottonseed and cottonseed is contaminated with mold.

So if a youngster is taken off gluten and casein, but is continued on vinegar and is put on more chicken, peanut butter and corn, what will occur? Whatever benefits there are from removing gluten and casein will be taken away by adding to the diet more mold within the type of chicken, peanut butter and corn. The intestinal yeast will still be there making toxic chemicals. The youngster will show only minimal improvement and the improvement and behavior will fluctuate, based on what the youngster has eaten.

This gluten free/casein free diet is frequently recommended today as the main factor to help Aspergers kids. However, be sure implement the gluten free/casein free diet AFTER the anti-yeast diet has begun. The gluten free/casein diet plan allows eating of vinegar, pickles, along with other foods containing toxic yeast chemicals that are quite toxic to the brains of Aspergers kids. Except for elimination of malt, there is no overlap between foods eliminated on a gluten free/casein free diet plan and foods eliminated on Stage 1 of the anti-yeast diet. Malt (which is actually a specially sprouted barley product) should be eliminated on a gluten free/casein free diet plan and malt will be the number 1 item to eliminate on an anti-yeast diet. Nevertheless, too many other foods containing toxic chemicals could be left in on a gluten free/casein free diet plan, to make use of this diet plan as the only therapy.

High Dose Vitamins and Minerals—

What about high doses of vitamins and minerals? Vitamin B-6 neutralizes among the yeast chemicals and this yeast chemical takes the location of magnesium at important locations in the body. The neutralization of this chemical might explain why vitamin B-6 and magnesium are occasionally helpful. However, it's much better to clear out the yeast, so that the chemical is no longer created rather than to try to neutralize it. There are many other yeast chemicals which are not affected by vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

Moms and dads who continue the high doses of vitamins and minerals and then attempt to add nystatin often discover that nystatin isn't useful. Among the vitamins, perhaps vitamin B-6, binds to nystatin, making it ineffective. Moms and dads should not make use of the high doses of vitamins and minerals while giving nystatin.

Acidophilus—

Acidophilus is not recommended because it helps yeast grow. Acidophilus may seem to assist because it clears out another poor microorganism, Clostridia, but acidophilus does nothing for yeast. Acidophilus makes an anti-bacterial chemical. Acidophilus ought to only be utilized short-term, not long-term.

Particular Carbohydrate Diet—

Some people for their Aspergers kids attempt the specific carbohydrate diet plan. This diet plan is used for individuals with major allergic reactions. This diet is not an anti-yeast diet. This diet consists of simple food molecules which the yeast Candida can effortlessly use to grow. For fighting yeast, the specific carbohydrate diet has no location and might make the yeast and the Aspergers worse.

Yeast and the Immune System—

Why can the body's immune system not clear Candida? The Candida has many tricks to evade the body's immune method. The immune method then calls within the reinforcements. These immune cells attack the yeast and create the signals for inflammation. Inflammation is really a defense, like a wall to keep out the Candida. The Candida is still there, which indicates the inflammation remains.

Within the intestine, this continued inflammation leads to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Occasionally these immune cells circulate and discover yeast cells in other locations. There is yeast on the skin. Again the yeast is evasive and also the immune cells generate the signals for inflammation. The yeast is not cleared and also the inflammation remains. This leads to skin issues from itching and eczema to psoriasis.

The Candida has also evolved to look like our own cells. Candida has the body's own connective tissue receptor on it, which it uses to anchor itself into our tissues. Sometimes the immune cells, as they attack the yeast, attack anything which looks like the yeast.

What else looks like the yeast? Body cells which have the connective tissue receptor. This attacking of body cells leads to "autoimmune diseases" such as numerous sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In these diseases, the body's immune method appears to be attacking the body's own tissues. The immune cells are attacking the yeast and then attacking anything which looks like the yeast.

The yeast chemicals slow the brain down. The gut has its own brain to make certain all of the food goes through the intestinal tract at the right rate. What will happen if yeast chemicals put the gut's brain to sleep? The result will be constipation, sometimes very severe. Diarrhea is the body's attempt to clear the yeast. The diarrhea could be present at the exact same time as the constipation, which is why they are able to alternate.

What occurs if the yeast chemicals slow down the body's nerves and put them to sleep? Then the youngster can't really feel anything or absolutely nothing feels correct. The hardest parts of the nerves to numb up are the parts which carry discomfort. This is why light touch, rather of feeling pleasant, now feels painful. If the nerves are numb, occasionally pain feels better than absolutely nothing at all. This is why these kids bang their heads. Even the discomfort feels better than numbness.

The lack of correct sensation in the mouth is a reason why these kids can become picky eaters. Foods, especially new ones don't feel correct to them. The picky consuming improves with anti-yeast treatment.

Sleep Problems—

Why do Aspergers kids have such trouble sleeping? There are numerous chemicals which put their brains to sleep. But the brain doesn't wish to go to sleep from these chemicals. How does the brain fight these chemicals? The brain stays awake. When the chemicals are removed, kids sleep much better. These chemicals also cause headaches and abdominal pain.

Melatonin is really a natural hormone made within the brain when it's dark. Melatonin is really a signal for individuals to go to sleep. For unknown reasons, Aspergers kids don't appear to make enough melatonin or maybe they make enough, but do not respond to it, so they stay awake for lengthy periods of time when others could be asleep.

Giving melatonin at night is helpful in promoting sleep. Make sure to obtain a brand that contains only melatonin, and isn't mixed with vitamins or other substances. Some brands may also contain other allergens, like wheat or dairy or casein. Search for melatonin mixed in powdered rice. Begin with 1/2 capsule (about 1.five mg.) mixed in a little quantity of food, given at bedtime, preferably when it's already dark. Melatonin isn't a sleeping pill and does not act like one. You'll not see the child drop off suddenly to sleep. Rather, it promotes natural sleep.

Antibiotics and Aspergers—

It's better to steer clear of giving antibiotics to kids who have yeast problems because the antibiotics help yeast grow. However, in case of serious illness, you need to be guided by your physician. How does one avoid giving antibiotics to kids? Kids who're treated for yeast usually have fewer infections, and those that they've are much less severe. Why?

Back within the days before high tech, researchers asked a lot simpler questions. They asked whether Candida and tuberculosis like one another. Do they grow better together? The answer is yes. Candida's capsule assists tuberculosis to grow. This kind of experiment has been carried out with other infectious microorganisms and yeast assists other poor microorganisms to grow. Candida helps the microorganisms at the back of the mouth to grow and to grow back after antibiotics. The Candida helping the bad microorganisms is why kids get ear infection after ear infection.

IEP Containing Dietary Restrictions—

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is usually developed for kids who qualify for special education under federal law. If your youngster has an IEP and is following a specialized diet, the IEP should contain information that makes the entire school aware of the dietary restrictions. In the IEP, designate in the appropriate place that your youngster is on a special diet for his condition that necessitates the IEP.

Here is an example of “dietary restrictions” noted within an IEP:

[Child] is on a special diet to treat his/her__________.

[Child] may only eat foods that are sent from home.

If other foods are available in school as treats or snacks, [Child] may eat the following: [list all of the foods your youngster can eat].

Staff may not supplement [Child's] diet in any way, as treats, incentives or for any other reasons, without first obtaining parental consent, unless the food is listed above.

Staff shall inform parent as much as possible about upcoming parties, treats, school projects, etc., involving food, so parent can send in appropriate treats for [Child].

[Child] may not share or trade food. Staff must supervise [Child] during snack and meals to ensure that he/she eats safely. Any deviation from [Child's] diet will likely result in severe behavioral symptoms, which may include: kicking, hitting, biting, head banging, pinching, scratching, grabbing, stomach pain, head pain, lack of cooperation, hyperactivity, lack of concentration [list any other that you have experienced].

Staff shall be trained and made aware of the dietary restrictions and the [Child's] diet. If [Child] eats something that he/she is not supposed to eat, which results in one or more of the behavioral problems listed above, the school will not suspend or expel him/her, because such behavioral problems are a direct manifestation of [Child's] condition of _______________.



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