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Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with ASD Level 1 [High-Functioning Autism]


From the office of Mark Hutten, M.A. - Counseling Psychologist

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Learn How to Reduce - and Eliminate - Meltdowns, Tantrums, Low-Frustration Tolerance, School-Related Behavior Problems, Sensory Sensitivities, Aggression, Social-Skills Deficits, and much more...




Dear parents,

I'd like to talk to you about my parenting system that significantly reduces problematic behavior in children and teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism (ASD Level 1).

"Parenting Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism" is a 4-part downloadable eBook (along with audio instruction) designed to help parents of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autistic kids who are experiencing behavioral difficulties. The program contains prevention, identification, and intervention strategies for the most destructive of autism-related behaviors.

Although ASD [Level 1] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum (i.e., high-functioning autism), the challenges parents face when raising a child on the autism spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an "average" child. Complicated by symptoms associated with the disorder, the HFA child is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels, unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” children and teens do not take into account the many issues facing a youngster with a neurological disorder. Meltdowns, shutdowns, aggression, sensory sensitivities, self-injury, isolation-seeking, and communication problems that arise are just some of the issues that parents of these young people will have to learn to address.

Parents need to come up with a consistent parenting plan ahead of time, and then present a united front and continually review their strategies for potential changes and improvements as the HFA child develops and matures.


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Kids on the autism spectrum possess a unique set of attitudes and behaviors:

Social Skills— Social conventions are a confusing maze for young people with HFA. They can be disarmingly concise and to the point, and may take jokes and exaggerations literally. Because they struggle to interpret figures of speech and tones of voice that “neurotypicals” (non-autistic children) naturally pick up on, they may have difficulty engaging in a two-way conversation. As a result, they may end up fixating on their own interests and ignoring the interests and opinions of others.

Sensory Difficulties— Children on the autism spectrum can be extremely sensitive to loud noise, strong smells and bright lights. This can be a challenge in relationships as these "special needs" kids may be limited in where they can go, how well they can tolerate the environment, and how receptive they are to instruction from parents and teachers.

Routines and Fixations— These young people rely on routine to provide a sense of control and predictability in their lives. Another characteristic of the disorder is the development of special interests that are unusual in focus or intensity. These children may become so obsessed with their particular areas of interest that they get upset and angry when something or someone interrupts their schedule or activity.

Interpreting and Responding to Emotion— Children and teens on the spectrum often suffer from “mindblindness,” which means they have difficulty understanding the emotions others are trying to convey through facial expressions and body language. The problem isn’t that these kids can’t feel emotion, but that they have trouble expressing their own emotions and understanding the feelings of others. “Mindblindness” often give parents the impression that their child is insensitive, selfish and uncaring.

Awkwardness— Children with HFA tend to be physically and socially awkward, which makes them a frequent target of school bullies. Low self-esteem caused by being rejected and outcast by peers often makes these kids even more susceptible to “acting-out” behaviors at home and school.

School Failures— Many HFA children, with their average to above average IQs, can sail through grammar school, and yet hit academic and social problems in middle and high school. They now have to deal with four to six teachers, instead of just one. The likelihood that at least one teacher will be indifferent or even hostile toward making special accommodations is certain. The adolescent student on the autism spectrum now has to face a series of classroom environments with different classmates, odors, distractions and noise levels, and sets of expectations. HFA teenagers, with their distractibility and difficulty organizing materials, face similar academic problems as students with ADHD. A high school term paper or a science fair project becomes impossible to manage because no one has taught the teenager how to break it up into a series of small steps. Even though the academic stress on a "special needs" teenager can be overwhelming, school administrators may be reluctant to enroll him in special education at this late point in his educational career.

Social Isolation— In the school environment where everyone feels a bit insecure, children and teens that appear different are voted off the island. HFA students often have odd mannerisms. Isolated and alone, many of these "special needs" students are too anxious to initiate social contact. They may be stiff and rule-oriented and act like little adults, which is a deadly trait in any popularity contest. Friendship and all its nuances of reciprocity can be exhausting for the kid on the spectrum, even though he wants it more than anything else. 

As the years go by, are you seeing your child rapidly becoming reduced to a person who is surviving on:
  • anger
  • being a mistake
  • depression
  • hate
  • isolation
  • low self-esteem
  • resentment
  • sadness
  • ...and self-hate?

Have you heard your child say things like:
  • I'm a mistake.
  • I'm dumb.
  • I'm useless.
  • I hate myself.
  • I wish I was dead.
  • What is wrong with me?
  • Why was I born?

If so, then alarm bells should be going off. You know changes need to happen! Low self-esteem and behavioral problems go hand-in-hand!!!

The program "Parenting Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism" is guaranteed to (a) improve your child's behavior and self-esteem, and (b) empower parents and assist them in starting to enjoy their amazing and talented child or teen.

Parenting young people on the autism spectrum is tough!  If you don't know how, that is. In this program, you will discover how to:
  • Be your child's best advocate
  • Help her comply with rules and expectations
  • Help him learn positive ways to "work with" his differences - not to "fight" them
  • Learn the specifics of autism-related behavior and how to keep it in perspective
  • Look at mistakes as lessons - not as major set-backs
  • Re-evaluate your expectations
  • Take your power back as the parent
  • Tune-in to who your child genuinely is - not what the stereotypical child is (based on social beliefs)
  • Cope with your child's difficult and aggressive behaviors
  • Understand what is really going on inside her head
  • Help him cope better in the community and at school
  • Keep the peace at home with the rest of the family
  • Greatly improve your child's self-esteem, because "special needs" kids with low self-esteem have very little - or no - motivation to change behavior

==> If you have tried talking, screaming, punishing, pleading, and negotiating - but your Asperger's or HFA teenager still walks all over you… 

==> If you find yourself "walking on eggshells" around your child trying to avoid saying something that will set him off… 

==> If you are tired of struggling with a person who is disrespectful, obnoxious, or even abusive toward you in your own home… 

==> If you are frustrated and exhausted from constant arguing… 

Then download this 4-part eBook, and begin the healing process within 5 minutes from now!

Imagine NO MORE:
  • Begging to get your child to respond to simple requests
  • Getting pulled into pointless, never-ending arguments
  • Energy-sucking power struggles that ruin the whole evening
  • Feeling powerless and stress-out because nothing you say to your child gets through

Now, when you talk, your youngster will listen and respond appropriately. Don’t go another day being a hostage in your own house. Get back in control of your child today.


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I can tell you from over 20 years of experience that "bad autism-related behavior" does NOT change without an intervention like the one I'm giving you here. Inside this program, you will get all the tools you need to improve your child's behavior. And as always, I guarantee your success - or your money back! 

The problem is that most parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum have tried very hard to get just a little respect and compliance, but with little - or no - success. And it seems the harder the parent tries, the more the child feels frustrated, which often results in tantrums, meltdowns, or non-compliance.

I often hear the following statement from parents: “I've tried everything with this child – and nothing works.” But when they download this program, they soon discover they have NOT tried everything – rather they have tried some things.

You now have the opportunity to learn "cut-to-the-chase" parenting strategies that work immediately rather than weeks or months down the road. And I guarantee your success or you get your money back – and you can keep the 4-part eBook. This is how confident I am that this information is going to work for you!

No, I’m not a miracle worker. But you don’t need a miracle! All you need is this set of proven parenting techniques – specific to the Asperger's and HFA condition – to use with your "special needs" child or teen.

If parents don’t have the techniques outlined in this program, all they are left with are typical disciplinary methods. And as you may have discovered, typical methods don't work with an HFA child.

Here is a partial list of typical parenting strategies. Parents have found these strategies to have little - or no - effect on their "special needs" child's behavior:
  • Trying to "reason" with the child
  • Having heart-to-heart talks
  • "Confronting" the child or being assertive
  • Grounding
  • Taking away privileges
  • Time-outs
  • Counseling
  • Trying to be a nicer parent
  • Trying to be a tougher parent
  • "Giving in" and letting the child have his way
  • Verbal warnings
  • Ignoring misbehavior
  • Medication
  • Having the child go live with his other parent (if parents are separated or divorced)
  • Having another family member "talk to" or attempt to "mentor" the child
  • Threatening to send the child away to a juvenile facility
  • Threatening to call the police
  • and so on...

I’m giving you the chance to break the cycle of confusion and non-compliance …to bring some peace back into your household again …and to keep your child from potential self-destruction. And you can start in just 5 minutes from now!

  1. The Comprehensive Handbook on Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum
  2. How to Stop Meltdowns and Tantrums
  3. Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management
  4. My audio book entitled “Unraveling The Mystery Behind High-Functioning Autism”
In addition, you will receive:
  • The “Parenting Defiant Asperger's and HFA Teens” audio course
  • Access to me, Mark Hutten, M.A., as your personal parent coach (via email correspondence) 
  • My 100%, Ironclad, "Better-Than-Risk-Free" Money Back Guarantee

I say "better-than-risk-free" because this whole package is yours to keep even in the unlikely event you decide to ask for a refund. If for any reason you aren't completely satisfied with your purchase, just contact me within 60 days (that's right – two months!), and I'll give you a 100% prompt and courteous refund...  no questions asked!  I’m the one taking the risk here – not you.

I’ve learned a lot in my 20+ years of working with families affected by autism spectrum disorders. And this counseling psychologist is putting all of his best tools in this one package that can now be yours.

I trust that you’ll take a step of faith here and get started with this on-line program today. 

~ Mark Hutten, M.A.



CLICK HERE  to get started...


With this parenting toolkit, you will finally be able to manage your child's meltdowns, tantrums, attention difficulties, behavior problems at home and school, picky eating, problems completing homework, rigid thinking, rituals and obsessions, sensory sensitivities, sleep problems, social skills deficits, verbal and physical aggression ...and much more!


About the Author: 

Mark Hutten, M.A. is the executive director of Online Parent Support, LLC. He is a practicing counseling psychologist and parent-coach with more than 20 years’ experience. He has worked with hundreds of children and teenagers with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism (HFA), and presents workshops and runs training courses for parents and professionals who deal with Asperger's and HFA. Also, Mark is a prolific author of articles and eBooks on the subject.

Contact Information:

Online Parent Support, LLC
2328 N 200 E Anderson, IN 46012
Phone: 765-810-3319
Email: mbhutten@gmail.com


Testimonials :

"Mark.  I just wanted to tell you that I have purchased so many Parenting programs for help with my son with Aspergers. While they do touch on related issues, they seem to operate on the principle that these kids are from the same mold and will all respond to the same forms of discipline. Your program is the first (and I think the last) one that has actually helped my situation. Thank you!!!" ~ D.H.

"Today I spoke to my son's former counselor (whom I was asking for a referral for another counseling, which I did before I found your program). I told her, 'I think I don't need it for now,' because I found your site. I gave her your site and told her to spread the word about your program, since her job deals with parents and kids of similar problems. Thanks for all the help!" ~ A.D.

"Thanks Mark. I have been very impressed with your advice and felt I should 'pay it forward' as we feel we are getting such extreme value for our money. As such, I sent your email address to the doctor who was 'trying' to help us. Our son was so extremely disrespectful during our visit with the doctor that he was exasperated at the end and told us there was nothing more he could do and so we should consider kicking him out at 18 and prior to that, send him to a home for 'raging' teens if his behaviour continued. I also note that our doctor has a Psychology degree. I know he has many cases such as ours, so I sent him your website to pass on to other parents who would benefit from this resource. Kindest regards!" ~ S.F.

"I just started your program, but I am already seeing an amazing and positive difference in my HFA daughter. We have struggled with her behavior since she was 9 months old. I was humbled and astounded to learn that I was a big part of the problem in the way that I was reacting to her. We actually have some peace in our home and she even hugs us and says 'I love you' on a regular basis. She has  even begun apologizing for getting angry and being unreasonable. The next step is to help her bring her grades up and stay out of trouble at school. I have every confidence that we have turned a corner and I’m referring everyone I know to your program. Thank you!" ~ T.E.

"My Asperger child (high functioning) had been on medication for ADD for several years.  It never seemed to help the way we hoped. His anger was out of control and most of the walls in our home had holes from him punching them.  He was violent with his siblings and distant from us. I found your program while looking for a treatment facility to send him away to.  I knew it was not safe for his brother and sister if he stayed in our home. About 2 and a half weeks into your program we were able to take him off the medication and he continued to improve. (His doctor insisted we were making a huge mistake and that medication was the only way to help him.)  He is changing into a more confident self-controlled person thanks to your program. He used to scream at me how much he hated me.  Now when he does not get his way he will yell, 'Why are you such a good parent???' He will try to sound angry, but he is letting me know he is happier with the way things are now.  He is learning to diffuse tense situations as well.  We have both become better people.  Thank you for giving me my son back." ~ K. M.

"Nothing has helped as much as this common sense advice. We've been to counseling, read books, you name it.  We can't even put into words what we owe you.  Thank you so much for your help." ~ L.B.

"I have purchased your program ... just wanted to say how amazing your work is proving to be.  I work in psychiatry but have struggled to discipline my son and to understand his behaviour.  I have put in to practice the first week session and already it is working.  Your insight into teenagers with Asperger syndrome is amazing... it was like you had written it all for my son and I.  Thank you, a thousand times, thank you.  I’ll keep you informed of J__’s progress." ~ T.J.

"I wanted to say thank you for all your support, sound advice, and speedy email responses. You were the only person I could speak with, and you helped me enormously. I will never forget your support Mark - when I was terrorised and totally overwhelmed, you gave me the strength and support from half way around the world that allowed me to do my very best for my asperger son. God bless you for your generosity of spirit and your great work." ~ V.T.

"I am so thankful and blessed I found your website.  I am incorporating your suggestions into my life with my 15-year-old daughter on the spectrum – and things are going so much better.  We are both trying and, though she still goes to counseling, I feel like I have tools to work with her now.  Thanks a $$$million and God Bless You!" ~ J.P.

"I started using the language and skills suggested and WOW what a difference it's making already! My most defiant Aspie is being positive, kind and respectful to me. It's hard to change, but I'm convinced this is going to work for my family. I've learned that my actions have a direct effect on my child, and when I show him respect, I get it right back! Thank you so much for retraining me!!!" ~ M.H.

"I have seen such a change in myself and my son, it's amazing. Not that the problems are all gone, but simply by saying I'm not arguing and honoring that, even though I've said it before, surprised him (and me) and put an end to so many problems. It was like I was the MOM again. I guess just having the support of the program helped and knowing there were others out there with the same problems." ~ T. A.

"I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I was trawling the WWW at 02.30 for some help and found your sight and thought I would have a look. I sat in tears listening to you... it was like you had stepped into my home and seen the destruction, the tears became tears of relief that I could possibly make a change in my parenting that could help change my child's behaviour, and so I signed up. It has taken me 2 weeks to get though the first part of the program, but I have already seen tiny creaks for the better in all our behaviour." ~ E.B.

"Thank You Mark! Our prayers were answered with your program/ministry.  We are gradually reclaiming control of our family. THANK YOU for bringing love, peace and harmony to our family once and for all this time.  Yes there are still those idle complaints here and there and the occasional gnashing of teeth. But we have seen so many improvements in our special needs child since we, the parents, have changed our perspective and attitude." ~ R.W.

"I wanted to just take a minute to Thank You and to share my results thus far with my teen son (aspergers, high functioning) using your methods. We have been in counseling since February of this year and yesterday, we withdrew. In all these months, I never felt like we were making any permanent progress....just dancing around, two steps forward, one step back..etc. Since utilizing your strategies along with having our counselor as a sounding board, here are some of the things that have changed: arguments are fewer and less in intensity, a prevailing sense of peacefulness has come back into our home, my son has become more responsible, he has become more respectful towards me, I now have less "guilt" about saying "No" and less difficulty MEANING it, and there is no longer any question about who the parent is now. I can only hope and pray and continue to implement your strategies to see that he does move forward into his adult life in a more positive manner." ~ A.S.

"I am very glad to have you here working with us parents and "our" kids.  I appreciate your insight and your "heart" for these kids.  I just watched "Take the Lead", which is based on a true story about a man who made a commitment to teach ballroom dancing to inner city kids in New York who were in "detention" for the remainder of the school year.  No one else would work with them.  His message to them was simple:  have enough confidence in yourself to lead; enough trust in yourself to follow; and to always show respect for others. Very powerful stuff. There are only a few of you around, Mark. Keep doing what you love - it shows." ~ K.H.

“During these past few weeks, my husband and I have been implementing many steps, successfully. Our Aspergers son has been completing his weekly chores with not much complaint.  There haven't been any melt-downs around here, and the few irritable times we've had have been much less stressful. I hope it's still ok to email you from time to time to say hi and fill you in on our progress.” ~ T.P.

"My daughter simply couldn't understand her peers and did not socialize well at all. Unfortunately, she knew when she was being teased and became very hostile toward the teaser. Her retaliation often resulted in her having to leave the classroom and spend the rest of the morning in the "quiet room" all by herself. Fast forward... we have been working on "how to interject" and the SENSE method that you discuss in the material. These two skills alone have made just a big difference in her coping ability and level of empathy toward others." ~ M.K.

“I have fired the counselors, weaned my child off medications, and I am ready to begin the work of becoming a stronger, more focused parent. My soon to be ex-husband has also agreed to purchase the program and we intend on working it together to get our teen back on track. I thank you for your help and guidance.” ~ W.S.

"Glad I found these parenting skills. Wish I had known about it long before now. Would have saved us a lot of sleepless night." ~ B. F.

“I wanted to let you know how much I really appreciate your program. It is full of really practical and easy-to-use information to help parents with their Asperger’s and HFA children, and also the rest of the family. As a journalist, I know a thing or two about writing - and this is definitely put together and written very professionally.”  ~ I.K.

"I wish my child's teachers would read your ebooks. Since I've been working with him, he does much better at home, but school is still an issue - mostly because his teachers don't get it." ~ N.W.

“In just one week of the course, I saw huge changes in my child with Aspergers Syndrome – and even the teacher noticed. He’s a happier person due to this program. Thank you… thank you …thank you!” ~ C.D.



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, resistance to change, and much more...

Teens on the Autism Spectrum and Low Self-Worth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A message to your HFA teenager:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teens On the Autism Spectrum Who Have Serious Problems Getting Up In the Morning

Hello Mark,

I recently purchased your eBook "Launching Adult Children w/Aspergers" ...It's nicely laid out/a very useful tool indeed! I do have a question for you:

My son and I had a heart-to-heart conversation last night, as a result of getting into an altercation with him one morning. I'm beginning to understand his thoughts/ways more and more. I realize that 'patience' is a must and as you stated it is important to keep one thing at the fore-front of our minds...."Everyone has good intentions!" These kids do not do things to deliberately send our emotions reeling/upset us. With all of that said, my son has great difficulty getting up on time in the morning and as a result he doesn't get to eat breakfast and prepare his lunch before departing. As a Mom I get upset w/him, concerned about his well-being; he is quite thin to begin with. He told me last night that he doesn't want any help from us that he has to be the one to solve his own problem. I was actually shocked w/what he said, however, my concern is that he will not get up for school or will miss the bus, which would not make for a good morning/I would end up being late for work. I will obviously respect his wishes/not interfere, however, my intuition tells me that he will not wake up on time and actually be missing the bus. What course of action would I then take, assuming his best efforts result in failure? I do not want to get confrontational with my son and do more harm. How can I motivate him to get up if he doesn't wake up with the alarm clock going off...??

Do I take away his IPOD/DS Game/TV privileges for an indefinite period of time...? Appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Thanks! L.

__________

Hi L.

Re: Do I take away his IPOD/DS Game/TV privileges for an indefinite period of time...?

Before we have the conversation about consequences for non-compliance as it relates to waking up, let’s look at some things that may help other than disciplinary strategies. “Having difficulty getting up in the morning” is more of a “life-style” and “biological” issue rather than a “behavioral problem” per say.

Before adolescence, circadian rhythms (i.e., the biological and psychological processes that follow the cycle of a 24-hour internal clock) direct most children to naturally fall asleep around 8 or 9 p.m. But puberty changes a teenager's internal clock, delaying the time he starts feeling sleepy (often until 11 p.m. or later). Staying up late to study or socialize or surf the Internet can disrupt a teenager's internal clock even more.

Most teenagers and young adults need about nine hours of sleep a night — and sometimes more — to maintain optimal daytime alertness. But few teenagers actually get that much sleep due to part-time jobs, homework, extra-curricular activities, social demands, early-morning classes, and so on.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What time does his bus/ride come or how long does it take to walk to school?
  • What privilege would he like to earn when he is able to get up on time on his own for the week (e.g., an hour added to curfew on Friday or Saturday night)?
  • What is the last possible moment he can get up and still make it to school on time?
  • What consequence should you impose if you have to wake him up at that last possible moment (e.g., no computer for that day)?
  • How much time does he need to get ready?

The answers to these questions should help the two of you come up with a reasonable “lights out” time.

Other points to consider:

1. Help him avoid “all-nighters”. Don't wait until the night before a big test to study. Cutting back on sleep the night before a test may mean you perform worse than you would if you'd studied less but got more sleep.

2. Create the right sleeping environment. Studies show that teenagers sleep best in a dark room that is slightly on the cool side.

3. Discourage him from drinking caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening.

4. Don't let him sleep in for more than a total of two hours over the entire weekend.

5. Don't let him nap too much. Naps of more than 30 minutes during the day may keep you from falling asleep later.

6. Encourage regular exercise. Try not to exercise right before bed, though, as it can rev you up and make it harder to fall asleep. Finish exercising at least three hours before bedtime.

7. Have him turn off all electronic equipment (including phones) at least an hour before bed.

8. Help your son learn relaxation techniques in order to unwind and signal the body that it's time for sleep. Encourage him to practice creative visualization and progressive relaxation techniques. Putting thoughts and worries in a journal often helps to put problems to rest, enabling the child to sleep.

9. If your son gets into the habit of turning his alarm off and going back to sleep, place his alarm clock further away from his bed so that he has to get up to turn it off.

10. Know that morning sunshine can help to reset the internal clock. So when the alarm goes off, consider opening the blinds/curtains. Bright light in the morning signals the body that it's time to get going.

11. Help him to relax his mind. Avoid violent, scary, or action movies or television shows right before bed — anything that might set your mind and heart racing. Reading books with involved or active plots may also keep you from falling or staying asleep.

12. Set a regular bedtime. Going to bed at the same time each night signals to your body that it's time to sleep. Waking up at the same time every day can also help establish sleep patterns. So try to stick as closely as you can to your sleep schedule even on weekends.

13. Simulate the dawn by opening the curtains and turning on the lights an hour before your teen needs to get up.

14. The alarm clock should not double as your son’s radio – and it should not play all night long. This will desensitize him to the noise and make it harder to wake up to an actual ‘alarm’.

15. Help him unwind by keeping the lights low. Light signals the brain that it's time to wake up. Staying away from bright lights (including computer screens), as well as meditating or listening to soothing music, can help your body relax.

16. Encourage him to avoid TV, computer and telephone at least one hour before he goes to bed.

17. Make getting up in the morning something your son ‘wants’ to do – or at least something he doesn’t dread (e.g., a simple ‘good morning’; his favorite breakfast food, preferably something that has a pleasant smell to it that permeates the house like fresh backed cinnamon buns; smiles from you, etc.).

18. Talk with your son about his sleep/awake schedule and level of tiredness. Discuss how much time he spends in extracurricular activities and after-school jobs.

19. Help him make adjustments to his commitments (e.g., homework) so he can get his sleep needs met.

20. Consider a safe supplement to help you son fall asleep (e.g., melatonin).

In some cases, an inability to get up on time for school – or excessive daytime sleepiness during school hours – can be a sign of something more than a problem with your teenager's internal clock. Other problems can include:

1. Depression. Sleeping too much or too little is a common sign of depression.

2. Insomnia or biological clock disturbance. If your son has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, he is likely to struggle with daytime sleepiness.

3. Medication side effects. Many medications can affect sleep (e.g., over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, prescription medications to treat depression and ADHD).

4. Narcolepsy. Sudden daytime sleep, usually for only short periods of time, can be a sign of narcolepsy. Narcoleptic episodes can occur at any time – even in the middle of a conversation. Sudden attacks of muscle weakness in response to emotions such as laughter, anger or surprise are possible, too.

5. Obstructive sleep apnea. When throat muscles fall slack during sleep, they stop air from moving freely through the nose and windpipe. This can interfere with breathing and disrupt sleep.

6. Restless legs syndrome. This condition causes a "creepy" sensation in the legs and an irresistible urge to move the legs, usually shortly after going to bed. The discomfort and movement can interrupt sleep.

I hope you’ll find a least a couple tips here that will help. Good luck!


==> Discipline for Defiant Aspergers and HFA Teens


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… He could make his lunch the night before to save time in the morning.
•    Anonymous said… I asked my son what time he is setting his alarm for and that if he's not up I will wake him. He agreed to that. So far he has been getting himself up though.
•    Anonymous said… I feel like maybe you could make a deal with him, that if he doesn't get up to the alarm, then you can/will wake him up. Leave the alarm running to show him he missed it.
That's what works for me and my son. He wants independence and gets mad at me because he thinks Im nagging him. But I then follow up with showing g why Im reacting the way I am. And because he is confronted and can see Im doing this, because this. He can understand me, and MEET me with understanding. And slowly from there he learns that task of independence. Im his fall back. But he can do it on his own. By the way. He is 5yrs old. Not sure if that's helpful.
•    Anonymous said… I find that once I let go of my fears that he would fail, and wanting to help him since that is my job as his mom, he really surprised me and is very good at being self sufficient. Natural consequences of getting in trouble at school when he is late are best. I do find that I have to be completely hands off though, or he can blame me for anything that does not go to plan.
•    Anonymous said… Just want to say good luck. I didn't see how old your son was, I hope it works for him (and you) I agree with Anna, let him try it and if he has trouble help him. My aspie son is now 27. Graduated college has a job and bought his own home last year. While there are still every day struggles. Your son seems to be wanting to try things on his own. Your story could have been mine all those years ago.
•    Anonymous said… Love all the insight this page has given me!!  ❤
•    Anonymous said… My daughter set her alarm clock on the farthest side of the room from her bed on purpose so she would have to get out of bed and walk a few steps to turn it off. As a result she is super punctual getting up in the mornings. She is 13. Another thing that could help is to get him a fitbit and use the silent alarm function - it will vibrate on his wrist at the selected time and help wake him up gently. I always hated beeping alarms but this gentle vibration on my wrist is just enough to bring me out of sleep and does not assault my ears so I can get up in a much better mood!
•    Anonymous said… My suggestion is to practice getting up (not in the morning - as a trial run). Then video it and play it back to him once you've got it down. He needs a picture in his mind of what getting up in the morning looks like. Once that picture is planted in his head, that will be the way he sees it and acts on it. We did this with my son and it worked.

Post your comment below…

School Phobia in Students on the Autism Spectrum

At some point in their school career, High-Functioning Autistic (HFA) children are significantly challenged by anxiety. School phobia (known to professionals as school refusal), a complex and extreme form of anxiety about going to school (but not of the school itself as the name suggests), can have many causes and can include related anxiety disorders (e.g., agoraphobia and selective mutism).

Symptoms include:
  • a racing heart
  • fatigue
  • frequent trips to the toilet
  • nausea
  • shaking
  • stomachaches

Young children on the autism spectrum (up to age 7 or 8) with school phobia experience separation anxiety and cannot easily contemplate being parted from their parents, whereas older kids (8 plus) are more likely to have it take the form of social phobia where they are anxious about their performance in school (such as in games or in having to read aloud or answer questions in class).

HFA children with anxieties about going to school may suffer a panic attack if forced which then makes them fear having another panic attack and there is an increasing spiral of worry with which parents often do not know how to deal.
 

Going to school for the first time is a period of great anxiety for very young kids. Many will be separated from their parents for the first time, or will be separated all day for the first time. This sudden change can make them anxious and they may suffer from separation anxiety. They are also probably unused to having the entire day organized for them and may be very tired by the end of the day – causing further stress and making them feel very vulnerable.

For older children on the spectrum who are not new to the school, who have had a long summer break or have had time off because of illness, returning to school can be quite traumatic. They may no longer feel at home there. Their friendships might have changed. Their teacher and classroom might have changed. They may have got used to being at home and closely looked after by a parent, suddenly feeling insecure when all this attention is removed; and suddenly they are under the scrutiny of their teachers again.

Other children with HFA may have felt unwell on the school bus or in school and associate these places with further illness and symptoms of panic, and so want to avoid them in order to avoid panicky symptoms and panic attacks fearing, for example, vomiting, fainting or having diarrhea. Other kids may have experienced stressful events.




Possible triggers for school phobia include:
  1. Being bullied
  2. Being off school for a long time through illness or because of a holiday
  3. Being unpopular, being chosen last for teams and feeling a physical failure (in games and gymnastics)
  4. Bereavement (of a person or pet)
  5. Fearing panic attacks when traveling to school or while in school
  6. Feeling an academic failure
  7. Feeling threatened by the arrival of a new baby
  8. Having a traumatic experience such as being abused, being raped, having witnessed a tragic event
  9. Moving to a new area and having to start at a new school and make new friends or just changing schools
  10. Not having good friends (or any friends at all)
  11. Problems at home such as a member of the family being very ill
  12. Problems at home such as marital rows, separation and divorce
  13. Starting school for the first time
  14. Violence in the home or any kind of abuse; of the youngster or of another parent

Children with an autism spectrum disorder need to be dealt with differently as compared to kids without the disorder (e.g., teaching them relaxation techniques can actually make them more anxious).

The longer school phobia goes on, the harder it is to treat, so referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are usually quite quick to ‘nip it in the bud’. However, if your youngster is severely affected, it is better to ask for a referral (from your youngster’s doctor or head teacher) to the service before you are desperate as it is often overstretched: in reality it can take some time to get an appointment. 
 

Things you can do yourself as a parent include getting help from your youngster’s school. Teachers need to be aware there is a problem. Sometimes being taught in a special unit in school (if the school has one) may help your youngster feel more secure as it is a more comfortable place and acts as a half-way point between home and school. Some HFA children are so severely affected that they stop going to school. It should be made quite clear to your youngster’s teachers that she is not ‘playing up’ but that her anxiety is very real and she is suffering from it.

At home, life should continue and your youngster should be encouraged to carry on as normal. But she might want to stop going out, especially without you, even to parties that she was quite happy being left at before. Although you need to deal sensitively with her, if she doesn’t absolutely have to miss something, it is best to help her go by going with her for part (or all) of the time so that her world does not shrink altogether. 
 
It is also helpful to:
  • Encourage your youngster to find things she can enjoy in the school day.
  • Explain that her fears are brought on by thoughts that are not true thoughts; she is reacting to normal things in an extreme way.
  • Find things that your youngster can look forward to each day.
  • Keep to the same routine. 
  • Make her go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even on weekends) so that she has some secure framework to live around.
  • Reassure your youngster. Tell her that she will be fine once she has got over the part she dreads.
  • Tell her she is brave for going to school. Although her friends find it easy, she has a private battle she has to fight every school day.
  • Tell her you are proud of her for being so brave.

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

•    Anonymous said... Homeschool was the best thing I did for my daughter.
•    Anonymous said... Homeschool!!! Made a world of difference for our son. There is no need to force children into painful, emotionally damaging situations every day.
•    Anonymous said... I am homeschooling my son this year after a horrendous attempt at mainstreaming at a new school last year that just left him feeling horrible about himself and behind academically.
•    Anonymous said... I did homeschool .. Did wonders for his self esteem
•    Anonymous said... I would agree homeschooling sounds like it would just be so so much better for him....
•    Anonymous said... My son was compressing his anxiety all day and then melting down the second he was off the bus. It would happen every single night. Several times a week the school would call be because he was vomiting. After we finally figured out what was going on, we made the decision to homeschool him. It has been the best decision we've made and a huge blessing for our family. He is doing great, light years ahead academically and happy. I wish we'd have started when he was younger and never put him through that at all. 99% of the time, his Aspergers symptoms are gone or under control now.
•    Anonymous said... My sons kindergarten teacher told me he should snap out of it. She immediately learned the extent of my vocabulary.
•    Anonymous said... Same for my son....I homeschooled my son (12) last year. This year he is going to attend a small private school that is very similar to homeschooling with multi age classrooms.
•    Anonymous said... School is a constant struggle for my 16 year old aspie son. He's currently in a special ed autistic class at his high school but he still struggles with not wanting to be there. Last year we dealt with him having thoughts of injuring/killing one of his teachers. He too would hold things in until finally blowing up. I have been told by his IEP team and school counselors that home school would be a horrible idea for him and that because he has an IEP the school would not approve it. I considered online schooling for him but was basically told no. How did you all get around that? We live in Washington state.
•    Anonymous said... they likely say that because they don't want the school to lose funding they get for kids on IEPs, and plus the school has no right to tell you how you educate your child. Since when do schools have to approve homeschooling? Sounds like bullying tactics to me. It is your choice.
•    Anonymous said... This was perfect timing for me..school starts on Tuesday and last year was a constant battle with the school and getting the kids to go. Meltdowns, nightmares, and physical illnesses all year. I have been strongly considering homeschool iand its great to know how well it has worked for others.
•    Anonymous said... We had the experience. We cyber school now and it has changed everything for the better. So grateful for options such as this to help these precious children succeed.
•    Anonymous said... Yup true, I sent my son to homeschool. Better environment for them. No bullying from teacher and friends. when there is no bully, they feel comfortable with the lesson they are in. Now he even able to skip 2 levels....

Post your comment below…
 
 
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...

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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…

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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...

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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...

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
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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content