Dealing With Your Child's Frustrations

"I would like ideas on how to deal with my Aspergers son’s frustrations. He will either dig his heels in and refuse to do what he is supposed to do, or he shuts down and then we have a time away so he can get himself together to discuss the problem. It seems he works himself up over things that are not that big a deal."

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Asperger's Syndrome: Quick Facts

Asperger’s Syndrome is:
  • a complex brain disorder that falls within the Autism spectrum
  • a developmental condition in which people have difficulties understanding how to interact socially
  •  a mild variation of autism; however, individuals with Asperger's Syndrome have normal intelligence and language development
  • a neurological disorder with symptoms similar to those of “classic” autism
  • a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by persistent impairments in social interaction, restricted development and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities
  • an autistic spectrum disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction, motor delays, adherence to routines, average to above-average intelligence, and preoccupation with a particular subject of interest
  • called a syndrome because the cause is not known, but it does describes how a person thinks, feels, and acts as a human being
  • characterized as being at the mildest and highest functioning end of the spectrum, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Continuum
  • is a developmental disorder in which people have severe difficulties understanding how to interact socially
  • the same diagnosis as Autism, except it explicitly states no retardation or speech problems
  • typically associated with poor social behavior
  • very hard to diagnosis

Children with Asperger’s Syndrome:
  • are often isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests
  • are often the target of bullying at school due to their unusual behavior, language, interests, and impaired ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues, particularly in interpersonal conflict
  • display motor delays, clumsiness, and problems with social interaction
  • have difficulty with social interactions and understanding unspoken social cues
  • have traits that make them appear to be perfectionists
  • have trouble interacting with their peers, but can carry on an intelligent and often animated conversation with adult
  • may appear to be physically clumsy
  • may be extremely literal and may have difficulty interpreting and responding to sarcasm or banter
  • may talk at length about a favorite subject or repeat a word or phrase over and over again
  • often have difficulty with transitions or changes and prefer sameness
  • often have limited and very focused interests
  • often mature more slowly
  • often show a stilted or bouncy walk, which appears awkward
  • struggle with a problem and internalize their feelings until their emotions boil over, leading to a complete meltdown
  • take verbal and written communication literally
  • tend to be self-absorbed, have difficulty making friends, are often preoccupied with their own interests and easily become the victims of teasing or bullying
  • typically develop a good to excellent vocabulary, but they usually lack the social instincts and practical skills needed for relating to others
  • typically exhibit distinct awkwardness when in just about any kind of social setting, as well as an all-absorbing interest in specific topics or subjects, utilizing intense focus
  • typically make efforts to establish friendships, but they may have difficulty making friends because of their social awkwardness
  • usually have a history of developmental delays in motor skills, such as pedaling a bike, catching a ball, or climbing outdoor play equipment
  • usually have excellent memories, especially in the area of facts, figures, dates, times and statistics
  • want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else

Applied Behavioral Analysis

"I've heard that ABA therapy is very effective for children with high functioning autism. Is this true, and how does it work?"

It is often difficult to understand why the child with Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism behaves the way he does. However, there is a reason for his behavior, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) helps us understand the behavior and determine a method of support for the child so that he no longer needs the behavior to meet his needs.

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How To Teach Social Skills to Your Aspergers or HFA Child

"I would like to know how to advise my son with ASD [level 1] on social skills, such as relating to friends without being insulting to others and driving them away." 
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•    Anonymous said... We show them the proper ways and the kids of today are so far off that they cannot handle our kids with very graceful manners.I feel like it is a lost cause.I have seen too many people look at my daughter as if she were from Mars.
•    Anonymous said... My 5 yr old grandchild is already getting bullied in our neighborhood. She just started kindergraden and Im afraid of how they will treat her in school. She doesnt react the same way as other children
•    Anonymous said... Not sure if this helps but early on ...I put my child in a GirlScout group and helped the group (using role play) to identify different ways they could demonstrate with their body exclusion or how to ostracize someone from a group. For example: Crossing their arms and turning away from their friend, rolling their eyes, not answering their friend when they spoke to them. We then talked about how this affected the person and if they ever felt this way or saw this happen to someone else. Group behavior changed immediately when we talked about ways to include with body language and words. Most children are learners and don't even realize what they are doing when they are younger. This group of girls (from what I'm told because we moved) have continued to be "helpers." If you can get your child in a group with other children and teach them social skills that is your answer. If all schools incorporated this into their program at the elementary school level it would cut down on a lot of bullying behavior.

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