Aspergers and Sibling Relationships

Parenting in general can be overwhelming. Add Aspergers to the equation, and the job just got tougher! Taking care of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism can take up the vast majority of the parent's time and energy. From learning everything you can about the condition and what it entails ...to various doctor and specialist appointments ...to seeing about special accommodations both at home and at school, the list of things that must be done can seem endless.

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The Importance of "Social Stories" for Children on the Autism Spectrum

"Why the emphasis on 'social stories' for autistic children ...and do they actually work?"

A social story that directly addresses the issue in question (e.g., getting along with friends) and is age appropriate can be a wonderful tool for teaching social skills and helping the child to comprehend the hidden social rules that most of us take for granted. For example, common sense manners like:
  • Be patient when waiting in line or when waiting to get in elevators, subways, cabs, etc.  
  • Engage people with genuinely good eye contact. 
  • If you are meeting someone for the first time and just coming off a cold, mention it and don’t shake their hand.
  •  If you get to the door first, hold it open.
  • Wait for people to finish their sentences and listen to what they are saying instead of waiting for your turn to speak. 
  • When someone compliments you, take it.
  •   and so on...

 
 
Children with ASD level 1, or High-Functioning Autism, struggle with social skills. The long held notion that these kids lack an interest in social interactions is often inaccurate. 
 
They do indeed desire social involvement, but lack the necessary skills to interact effectively. This lack of “know-how” can also lead to feelings of social anxiety in many children on the spectrum, which often results in the avoidance of social situations, and subsequently, the development of social skill deficits.

Children with ASD need to be taught social skills, and they need to understand what may happen in social situations so that they are prepared, and do not become overwhelmed or withdraw from social settings. Social stories provide these children a manner of improving their social skills and understanding what is expected of them in social situations. 
 
Social stories also provide some perspective on the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of others. And because social stories occur in a discrete teaching situation without the stresses of the actual social situation, they give the child a chance to practice the skills often -- and in a safe environment.
 
 

Sleep Problems in Aspergers Children

Many children with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism have problems sleeping through the night, or getting to sleep. This is due in large part to sensory issues. Sensory dysfunction is typically an issue for Aspergers children. Many parents are forced to try medications, or natural supplements (e.g., melatonin) to try to regulate sleep patterns. These may be beneficial. Using sensory integration therapy can also be helpful so that the child can learn to regulate his or her activity level.

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Shopping Trips with Your Aspergers Child

Shopping with any child can be extremely hectic and more than just a little bit difficult at times. Shopping places are filled with attention-grabbing advertisements that stimulate children even without the challenge of Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism. The last thing you want is to need to overpower a screaming child while trying to shop. 

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Sexual Behaviors in Aspergers Children

Kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism are sexual beings just as everyone else is. However, because of their inability to control all of their impulses, they may display behaviors that are inappropriate in public. This can be particularly difficult to deal with -- and of course it is embarrassing for parents.
 
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Sensory Stimulation for Hyper Aspergers Kids

Many children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism who are also hyperactive benefit from sensory stimulation. Providing a sensory room or area can be very effective. Be as creative as you can when providing sensory stimulation for your child.

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Sensory Integration Therapy for Aspergers Children

Children with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism often have a secondary diagnosis of sensory dysfunction. This may be found in the child who can't get enough sensory input, and needs to touch everything, jump on things, and simply craves input. Or it may be the child that can't stand touch, doesn't like certain clothing because it irritates them, and can't handle sounds.

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Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...