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Aspergers & Picky Eating

"My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s in January. His eating habits are not that great. He will only eat about 3 specific foods which are not at all healthy. How can I introduce something new to him if he doesn’t like to try anything new? Unless he has eaten it before, he will not try it."

This is a common problem with people with Asperger’s. Some AS adults will eat only three or four foods for months at a time. For AS kids, many foods taste terrible to them (but not to others) or have disgusting textures or smells. They can’t help these reactions; they are a part of Asperger’s. Unfortunately your son’s three choices are not healthy ones, so he isn’t getting a balanced diet. For that reason, his diet must change.

Your son’s diet should include protein from eggs, milk, cheese, fish, beef, and chicken, pork, even hot dogs. He needs grains, which provide B vitamins, from breads, hamburger and hot dog buns, corn, and cereals. He needs vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, from juices, fruits, and vegetables. He requires calcium and vitamin D from milk and cheese. Getting him to eat these foods is the challenge.

You will have to eliminate the three items he will eat from your home and offer him a variety of other healthy foods, letting him choose what he will eat from them. Prepare for a battle royal when you do this! He may scream, cry, and have “meltdowns” at every meal. But, when he gets hungry, he will try at least some of the new foods. Whatever you do, don’t give him any of his preferred three foods, or they are all that he will eat and he will never try any of the new foods. Needless to say, the rest of the family must not eat his preferred foods, either.

Perhaps he would try some whole grain cereals. Many children like Life cereal or Cheerios (with or without milk). If he’ll eat the cereal, see if he likes a sliced banana on it. Use Splenda to sweeten cereal, fruits, and baked items. Try popcorn (a whole grain). Don’t load it up with butter. 

Fruit juices may appeal to him. There are new ones on the market that are delicious and have a serving of fruit and one of vegetables in each glass. Try hot dogs and hamburgers. He may like scrambled eggs. If he will drink milk (even chocolate milk or a milkshake), it will give him protein and calcium.

Try mixing rice or noodles into a cheese and chicken casserole. Most children like macaroni and cheese. See if he does. Try tacos made with whole grain tortillas, hamburger, and cheese. Will he eat fried chicken or chicken nuggets? How about fish and chips?

Many fruits may taste sour to him. Canned peaches and pears are sweet and may appeal to him. Cut fruits into bite sized pieces so they are easy to eat. Don’t chastise him if he doesn’t eat them; maybe in the future he will. Make small apple or blueberry muffins. Yoghurt with fruit is an option you could try.

As far as vegetables are concerned, it may be an uphill road! But, sometimes vegetables can be hidden in other foods, for example, in those juices mentioned above. How about putting some onion in his hamburger? Potatoes are vegetables and he might eat oven-fried French fries. Blend some cooked cauliflower into mashed potatoes. He may not notice the difference. He may like sweet potatoes. He might like creamed corn or cornbread. Does he eat any soups? You could try tomato soup made with milk; he might like it or chicken noodle soup. 

It’s very important not to make “a big deal” about what he doesn’t eat. If you do, eating will become an even worse power struggle than it’s going to be. Offer various new foods at each meal. If he doesn’t like them, don’t make an issue of it. He’ll eat something when he gets hungry! Avoid serving soda pop and sweets so he doesn’t fixate on them. When he finally accepts a new, healthy food, offer it often, but not at every meal, so he has to keep trying new foods.

My last suggestion is to make sure he has a multivitamin each day. Get one that is chewable, tastes good, and has a cute shape. Also, drinking Ensure or Pediasure is a good way to supplement his diet with vitamins and minerals.

Asperger's Kids & Sleep Problems

"We are parents of a newly diagnosed son (age 9) with high functioning aspergers. He wakes up in the middle of the night. He is in good health. We have tried Valerian, but that has not helped much. Is this a common trait for children with autism? Could this be hormonal? Can you suggest anything to remedy this?" 

The first known attempt to evaluate the sleep patterns of kids with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism (taking into account sleep architecture and the Cyclic Alternating Pattern or CAP) finds that these boys and girls have:
  • sleep restlessness
  • problems related to initiating sleep
  • morning problems
  • daytime sleepiness
  • a high prevalence of some sleep disorders

The study, authored by Oliviero Bruni, MD, of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, focused on 8 kids with Aspergers, 10 with Autism, and 12 healthy control kids. The moms and dads of these kids filled out the following materials:
  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, a semi-structured, standardized assessment of communication, social interaction and play or imaginative use of materials for children who have been referred because of possible Autism spectrum disorders
  • Child Behavior Checklist, a questionnaire used to examine daytime behavior in kids
  • Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale, which evaluates the relationship between daytime sleepiness and school-related outcomes
  • Sleep questionnaire

In addition, the kids took the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, which measures verbal IQ, performance IQ and a full-scale IQ, and also underwent an overnight poly-somnogram, or sleep study.

Several sleep parameters (i.e., time in bed, sleep period time, number of awakenings per hour, and sleep efficiency) were evaluated. CAP, a periodic EEG activity of non-REM sleep characterized by repeated spontaneous sequences of short-lived events (phase A) with the return to background activity identifying the interval that separates the repetitive elements (phase B), was also scored.

According to the results, 50 percent of the kids with Aspergers were reluctant to go to bed, while 75 percent felt a need for light or a television in the bedroom, 87 percent had difficulty getting to sleep at night, and 75 percent fell asleep sweating. In addition, 50 percent felt un-refreshed when waking up in the morning, 87 percent had difficulty waking up in the morning, and 87 percent felt sleepy during the day.

With respect to the CAP (in comparison to healthy controls), subjects with Aspergers showed a lower total CAP rate in the first two sleep stages, but not in slow wave sleep. In addition, they showed an increased percentage of synchronized EEG patterns and a decreased percentage of desynchronized EEG patterns. Further, the duration of the A and B phases, and consequently the entire CAP cycle, was longer. Compared to the kids with Autism, Aspergers subjects showed an increased CAP rate in slow wave sleep and a decrease in the second sleep stage. The duration of the A phases was longer, as well as the CAP cycle duration.

This study showed peculiar CAP modifications in kids with Aspergers and represented an attempt to correlate the quantification of sleep EEG oscillations with the degree of mental ability or disability.

Aspergers is one of several Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) characterized by difficulties in social interaction and by restricted and stereotyped interests and activities. Aspergers is distinguished from the other ASDs in having no general delay in language or cognitive development. Although it is not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria, there are frequent reports of motor clumsiness and atypical use of language.

It is recommended that kids in preschool sleep between 11-13 hours a night, school-aged kids between 10-11 hours of sleep a night, and adolescents about nine hours a night. Here are just a few tips to help your youngster sleep better:
  1. At bedtime, do not allow your youngster to have foods or drinks that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate and sodas. Try not to give him or her any medicine that has a stimulant at bedtime. This includes cough medicines and decongestants.
  2. Do not let your youngster fall asleep while sitting in the car during transport, sitting in front of the TV, being held, rocked, etc.
  3. Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
  4. Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Set aside 10 to 30 minutes to get your youngster ready to go to sleep each night.
  5. Interact with your youngster at bedtime. Don't let the TV, computer or video games take your place.
  6. Keep your kids from TV programs, movies, and video games that are not right for their age.
  7. Supplements such as melatonin and ZMA have been found to be effective in a significant number of cases.

Kids are encouraged to inform their moms and dads of any sleep problems they may have. Caretakers who suspect that their youngster might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their youngster's doctor or a sleep specialist.

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


*   Anonymous said... wondering if anyone on here can help,,i have a 12 year old son who cant sleep,his doctor at camhs put him on melatonin which worked for a few weeks,now it dosnt seem to be,,he cant drop off too sleep which means hes getting 5 hours a night even on school nights and his school have rang me to say that hes nodding off in class,ive tryed routine etc but dosnt work,once he is asleep he will stay asleep but he cant drop off in the 1st place 

*   Anonymous said... I have problems sleeping and no-doctor will provide me with any medication and im suffering too.
*   Anonymous said... my lad had to have assesments 1st to see if he really needed it,it was a last option for me,,some foods have melatonin but low levels of it.
*   Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group said…
*   Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group said… Try ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate). This is a new recommendation that is getting some amazing results!!
*   Anonymous said... Any advice for children with AS that have sleep issues? He takes 5 mg melatonin and .1 clodnine before bed but is still up every two hrs he is 3.5 yrs old 
*   Anonymous said... My son was the same way when he was younger. I kept trying higher doses of melatonin but it only gave him headaches. So then I did the reverse and gave him a very small dose of 300 mcg and it worked! Now he is 8 and we have added a long, warm bath to his routine and he reads about 45-60 minutes on his own. It really seems to calm him down.
•    Anonymous said... Clonidine for my aspie to
•    Anonymous said... In the U.S. at least, melatonin is not prescription - it's sold with vitamins and supplements - maybe have a look?
•    Anonymous said... It is common for our family. He wakes up just enough for his brain to start moving- and he's up. We have discovered him in our car, in the backyard and also setting off fireworks in the kitchen. (he found our hiding spot!) Our family doctor prescribe an antihistimine and it helps both his sleep issues and some of his eating issues. My son is Asperger's/ADHD, so it is also combatting the medicine he takes during the day- for his appetite. And believe it or not- and I am not a medicine pusher- his sleep at night and getting up through the night seemed to normalize once I had him on adhd medicines. I was warned to stay away from melatonin for prepubescent boys, the doctor said they hadn't fully tested it. But, there was some indication that it may retard there physical/sexual development.
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin didn't work for my 9 yr old aspie. Clonidine works for him.
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin for my little ones
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin has been great for my 8 year old son, don't know how I managed without it
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin has opposite effect on my aspie teen, keeping him awake more than he is (don't think he's slept a night in his life) and giving him extreme nightmares. So we r still at a loss. Physical exercise helps but hard to get him to move much.
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin works for my 8yr old Aspie.
•    Anonymous said... My 13 year old son still wakes up most nights unless he stays up really late. Can make for a rough day when he is tired and grumpy. I just make him go to his room and recalibrate. I have heard from my other friends that this is pretty normal.
•    Anonymous said... My 13 yr old (high functioning female AS) has never slept very well or very long. The only thing that seems to work with her is extreme amounts of physical exercise. Her main hobbies are JuJitsu and climbing and she does 2 - 4 hours a day of one or the other. Even with that she rarely gets more than 5 hours sleep in 24. Having said that she doesn't seem to suffer from this 'lack' of sleep and at 13 is quite capable of keeping herself occupied at night with books or Gameboys. Nobody else in her class can understand why she has an official bedtime on school nights of 11:30 - 12! She has found her own balance over the years and it seems to work for her. 19 yr old ('more' AS than her) on the other hand can now quite happily sleep for 12-14 hours a day if left to his own devices which comes with it's own set of problems ...
•    Anonymous said... My 8 yr old began using melatonin 2 years ago... We started with 0.5 mg and are now using 2.5 mg. he needs it almost every night but on weekends I hold off to see if he can go to sleep on his own. Which he can sometimes . Melatonin has significantly reduced the 1-2 hour falling asleep snuggle sessions we use to have to do. He still would wake every night and rise early. After we began a gluten and dairy free diet this summer (due to allergies found by the naturopath) we had our first night where he slept all night. Honestly it has happened less then 5 times in his life! We are now 3.5 months into this dietary change and last week he slept through the night 5 school nights in row! I continue to see he sleep improving . Not perfect but huge improvements. The diet has also helped his growth as he had only gained about 3 pounds in over 2 years And had not changed show size in 2.5 years. In past we did a trial with guanfecine as some have mentioned and he did sleep but usually at school which was not the point . All the best as you search for what will work for your child.
•    Anonymous said... my daughter can't go to sleep until past midnight every night and then can't get up in the morning.... but drugs are not routinely prescribed in UK. We struggle.
•    Anonymous said... My eight year old was finally put on Clonidine and MOST nights, he sleeps well.
•    Anonymous said... My son (now 12) was diagnosed at about the same age...I could NOT keep that kid asleep all night long for ANYTHING. I finally tried Melatolin (I don't know how to spell that)...he has not had a problem sleeping since then. I have read that Aspie kids don't produce the same levels of Melatolin as others. I hope that helps.
•    Anonymous said... my son had the same problem. Melatonin worked pretty well for him. Now he is 15 and no longer needs it.
•    Anonymous said... My son has hfa he also had ADHD which is now completely gone with nuerotherapy, diet and learning program's. he wakes in the night to play the iPad etc to calm himself, we started yesterday treating his beta which is the back part of his brain. We just had two weeks school holidays and they were the best EVER, not one meltdown and biggest shock of all I could reason with him - unbelievable. He is calm and focused. We are in Australia and this has worked for us
•    Anonymous said... Our son is 7 and wakes during the night but will lay and listen to his music we keep on low all night for him. We find this helps him a lot.
•    Anonymous said... The simple supplement of Melatonin sometimes works. My daughter is 13, and Melatonin would help, but taken too often she would begin waking up too early in the mornings. However, sometimes a couple of nights is all it takes to establish a sleep rhythm.
•    Anonymous said... They have put my son on GuanFACINE and he sleeps throughout the night. He is only 6. We tried 4 different ADHD medications and all increased his hyperactivity.
•    Anonymous said... We have to use Clonidine for my daughter. she wakes several times but goes right back to sleep
•    Anonymous said... We tried everything with my 9 year old Aspie. Nothing worked. We finally bought him a weighted blanket, custom made. He hasn't had an issue since. He has slept every night in his own bed the whole night since it came in the mail
•    Anonymous said... We use 5mg time-release Melatonin for our 10 year old. We found it worked 80% of the time. I added 100mg of L-Theanine and now it's a winner. We also have a custom weighted blanket, purchased from DreamCatcher Weighted Blankets. The combo ensures he gets a good, solid 10-11 hours a night and he falls asleep fast. One last thing we added, that I almost forgot, is a white noise machine for his room. It helps him to shut out his thoughts and quiet down.
•    Anonymous said... we use over the counter sleeping pills
•    Anonymous said... Where did you get the blanket Allison? My son has been waking up a lot and now is starting to sleep walk, I wonder if the blanket would work.
•    Anonymous said... Yes Melatonin has worked for my Aspie.
•    Anonymous said...  5am every morning here.
•    Anonymous said...  Our doctor had a try a few things that never worked, then a different doctor said he can just take Melatonin, which has been working very well for my 9-year-old.
•    Anonymous said... A nutritionist told me that melatonin was potentially dangerous for kids. (Can't remember why, I'll check.) Relaxing routines including breathing, relaxation exercises, warm baths with lavender, reading, etc. do help. My now 13 yo son use to come to our room at least once a night until he was about 11. I'm afraid they are just wired differently. Benadryl is helpful also, but they are not going to have the same sleep habits as nuerotypicals.
•    Anonymous said... Essential oils. Melatonin causes seizures an dB brain bleed in children.
There is also something called Lorinthine. It's amazing
•    Anonymous said... I call them " all nighters" mine has them several times a month...melatonin helps
•    Anonymous said... I love essential oils & we diffuse lavender & vetiver at bed time. It works wonders for instant relaxation & peaceful sleep! BTW - I have to add that therapeutic grade essential oils, ONLY -- like Young Living Essential Oils.
•    Anonymous said... Many nights with only 4 hours sleep, yep
•    Anonymous said... Many people on the spectrum are low in magnesium. I give that to my 10 yr old son before bed. Not only does he sleep better, his disposition is better. He is less angry, more understanding! You can do a search on it. smile emoticon. Good luck!
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin gets my vote
•    Anonymous said... Melatonin should be the best option given it is the crucial hormone for sleep.
•    Anonymous said... My 8yr old is the same he takes Catapres and Melatonin at nite, works great for a couple of weeks but he tends to repeat cycles so two weeks later we are back to sleepless nites, he can stay awake quite happily for 36+ hrs at a time smile emoticon
•    Anonymous said... Our son is 8 with the same diagnosis. Our doctors put him on trazadone to help him sleep. I notice a big difference when he doesn't get enough sleep
•    Anonymous said... The extended release formulation of melatonin works quite well
•    Anonymous said... Try Essentials oils . We use a combination of Lavender, Peace & Calming and Cedarwood. It seems to work great.
•    Anonymous said... Try melatonin
•    Anonymous said... We have never had trouble with our ADHD And HFA son - we have a strict bedtime its black and white - if we do not follow it there can be troubles. When he had his ipad he would wake in the middle of the night to play it but since its broken that hasnt been an issue.
•    Anonymous said... We use melatonin too! Seems to help, but he is still an early riser.
•    Anonymous said... We use P5P plus, it is B6 with Magnesium, we have used it for 4 years it calms our son and he sleeps well. We administer it at bedtime.

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ASD and Bereavement

"We lost my father-in-law last month due to Covid virus. My son with autism is totally devastated. It is not helped by the fact that, before the schools closed, he was spending the time before school and after school at his Grandma’s house and will now be reminded of Granddad’s absence by his empty chair. Due to the fact that I have to work full time, my sons have spent much of their time from Monday to Friday with their grandparents, so it is like their second home - they even have their own bedrooms there! I am finding it very difficult to help him come to terms with Granddad’s death. He is OK most of the time, but will then fall into a black mood and will overreact to the slightest incident and go into a meltdown. Do you have any advice?"  

CLICK HERE for the answer...

What does it mean to have Aspergers?

"What does it mean to have Aspergers? Is it just a different way of thinking? Do 'Aspies' have severe ADHD, mild autism, learning disabilities, or are they just nerds? Do they outgrow it?"

For years, psychiatrists have debated how to classify and subdivide the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Pervasive Developmental Disorder is a category that contains several specific diagnoses. Children with PDD have problems with the social interaction and often show delays in several other areas. These other areas may include language, coordination, imaginative activities, and intellectual functioning. The degree of severity can vary tremendously in the various forms of PDD.

Autism is one of the more severe forms of PDD. A child with Autism has marked difficulty relating to others. He or she frequently has delayed or absent speech and may be mentally retarded.

Aspergers (also referred to as ‘high-functioning autism’) is on the milder end of PDD. Kids with Aspergers generally have normal intelligence and normal early language acquisition. However, they show difficulties with social interactions and non-verbal communications. They may also show perseverative or repetitive behaviors.

Preschool: A preschool aged Aspergers kid might show difficulty understanding the basics of social interaction. He or she may have difficulty picking up social cues. He may want friends but be unable to make or keep any friends.

Elementary School: One often hears the phrase, “poor pragmatic language skills.” This means that the child cannot use the right tone and volume of speech. He may stand too close or make poor eye contact. He may have trouble understanding age-appropriate humor and slang expressions. Many are clumsy and have visual-perceptual difficulties. Learning difficulties, subtle or severe, are common. The Aspergers kid may become fixated on a particular topic and bore others with frequent or repetitive talk even when the other kids have given clear signals that they are no longer interested in the topic. Some have difficulties tolerating changes in their daily routine. Change must be introduced gradually.

Middle and High School: This may be the most difficult time for a youngster with Aspergers. Those with milder forms of the disorder may first come to treatment when they are in middle school. In adolescence, social demands become more complex. Subtle social nuances become important. Some may show an increase in oppositional or aggressive behavior. Children with Aspergers have difficulty understanding which of their peers might want to be a friend. A socially marginal boy might try to date the most popular girl in his class. He will probably experience rejection. He is unaware that some other girl might accept his invitation. Because of his social naiveté, he may not realize when someone is trying to take advantage of him. He can be especially vulnerable to manipulation and peer pressure.

Adulthood: There is less information on Aspergers in adulthood. Some people with mild Aspergers are able to learn to compensate. They become indistinguishable from everyone else. They marry, hold a job and have kids. Other people live an isolated existence with continuing severe difficulties in social and occupational functioning. People with Aspergers often do well in jobs that require technical skill but little social finesse. Some do well with predictable repetitive work. Others relish the challenge of intricate technical problem solving. I knew a man, now deceased, who had many of the characteristics of Aspergers. He lived with his mother and had few social contacts. When he visited relatives, he did not seem to understand how to integrate himself into their household routine. When the relatives would explain the situation to him, he was able to accept it. However, he was unable to generalize this to similar situations. Although he was a psychologist, his work involved technical advisory work, not face-to-face clinical sessions.

Associated Difficulties: Aspergers may be associated with learning difficulties and attention deficit disorder. Indeed, many kids and teenagers with Aspergers have previously been diagnosed with ADHD instead of Aspergers. Children with ADHD may have difficulty with social interaction, but the primary difficulties are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. In children with Aspergers, the social awkwardness is a greater concern. As children with Aspergers enter adolescence, they become acutely aware of their differences. This may lead to depression and anxiety. The depression, if not treated, may persist into adulthood.

Treatment for Aspergers—

Medications: There is no one specific medication for Aspergers. Most are on no medication. In other cases, we treat specific target symptoms. One might use a stimulant for inattention and hyperactivity. An SSRI such as Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft might help with obsessions or perseveration. The SSRIs can also help associated depression and anxiety. In children with stereotyped movements, agitation and idiosyncratic thinking, we may use a low dose antipsychotic such as risperidone.

Social Skills Training: This is one of the most important facets of treatment for all age groups. I often tell moms and dads and teachers that the child needs to learn body language as an adult learns a foreign language. The youngster with Aspergers must learn concrete rules for eye contact, social distance and the use of slang. Global empathy is difficult, but they can learn to look for specific signs that indicate another individual’s emotional state. Social skills are often best practiced in a small group setting. Such groups serve more than one function. They give people a chance to learn and practice concrete rules of interpersonal engagement. They may also be a way for the participant to meet others like himself. Children with Aspergers do best in groups with similar children. If the group consists of street-wise, antisocial peers, the Aspergers child may retreat into himself or be dominated by the other members.

Educational Interventions: Because Aspergers covers a wide range of ability levels the school must individualize programming for each child with Aspergers. Educators need to be aware that the student may mumble or refuse to look him in the eye. Educators should notify the child in advance about changers in the school routine. The youngster may need to have a safe place where he can retreat if he becomes over-stimulated. It may be difficult to program for a very bright student with greater deficits. In one case, a student attended gifted classes but also had an aide to help her with interpersonal issues. That student is now in college. Kids with Aspergers are often socially naive. They may not do well in an “emotionally disturbed” class if most of the other kids are aggressive, street-wise and manipulative. I have seen some do well when placed with other students with pervasive developmental disorders. Some do well in a regular classroom with extra support. This extra help might include an instructional assistant, resource room or extra training for the primary teacher.

Psychotherapy: Children with Aspergers may have trouble with a therapist who insists that they make an early intense emotional contact. The therapist may need to proceed slowly and avoid more emotional intensity than the patient can handle. Concrete, behavioral techniques often work best. Play can be helpful in a limited way if the therapist uses it to teach way of interaction of the therapist uses play as a break from an emotionally tense if it is used to lower emotional tension. Grown-ups and kids may also do well in group therapy. Support groups can also be helpful.

Moms and dads play an important role in helping their Aspergers children. These young people will require time and extra nurturance. It is important to distinguish between willful disobedience and misunderstanding of social cues. It is also important to sense when the Aspergers kid is entering emotional overload so that one can reduce tension. They may need to prepare the youngster for changes in the daily routine. One must choose babysitters carefully. Moms and dads may have to take an active role in arranging appropriate play dates for the “Aspie.” Some moms and dads seek out families with similar kids. Kids with Aspergers often get along with similar playmates. Moms and dads should help educators understand the world from the Aspergers kid’s unique point of view. Parenting an adolescent with Aspergers can be a great challenge. The socially naive adolescent may not be ready for the same degree of freedom as his peers. Often moms and dads can find a slightly older adolescent who can be a mentor. This person can help the adolescent understand how to dress, and how to use the current slang. If the mentor attends the same school, he can often give clues about the cliques in that particular setting.

Grown-ups with Aspergers may benefit from group therapy or individual behavioral therapy. Some speech therapists have experience working with grown-ups on pragmatic language skills. Behavioral coaching (a relatively new type of intervention) can help the man or woman with Aspergers organize and prioritize his daily activities. Grown-ups may need medication for associated problems such as depression or anxiety. It is important to understand the needs and desires of that particular adult. Some do not need treatment. They may find jobs that fit their areas of strength. They may have smaller social circles, and some idiosyncratic behaviors, but they may still be productive and fulfilled.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook 


Anonymous said... Great story! I am always asked "what is Asperger's?" when I explain it im always told "yeah, my kids like that too, they'll grow out of it, what's the problem, why do you need a label....." etc....... Ignorant people suck! LOL

Anonymous said... I so agree!!!! I hear it too....then maybe the ignorant should see if their child really needs help instead of going with the "grow out of it" ignorance! Aspies don't grow out of being aspies...they just learn to adapt. Which is insanely difficult!! As I am sure you know! Love your comment!

Anonymous said... I call it what it is. A high functioning form of Autusm. I explain my son's specific challenges (routine, high sensory needs.). My biggest challenges are the inlaws.

Anonymous said... I love both of your comments and couldn't agree more! Why do some people think they're 'experts'? Maybe it's fear? The ironic thing is that it doesn't have to be scary because there's so much wonderful support and education available for kids and parents.

Anonymous said... I just keep gettin naughty boy he will grow out of it he only young drives me insane ppl hav actualy ask me to leave shops cus he haz a meltdown if busy or noisey an when u explain no one haz a clue an i live in a small town which is worse

Anonymous said... I've been told the same as well, ranging from the "my kids are the same" to the "you need to spank your child more" comments. I've learned there is a very big difference between my Aspie son and their misbehaved kids. Have also noticed that the one's pointing fingers the most, have some atrocious social skills themselves, so it's been a lot easier to let their comments roll off my back. I know that my son is happy and healthy and doing well, that's all that really matters. :)

Anonymous said... Thanks all! its truly a blessing to have a lot of support!!! ;-)

Anonymous said... I had my first encounter with an old lady who was clearly UNaware of autism who saw fit to comment to the cashier in the next line over that "(HER) children never behaved like THAT". I'm afraid I didn't handle myself with the wit nor the tact I would have preferred to show. Thankfully what I said was out of earshot of the kids.

Anonymous said... My Son is really well behaved but what upsets me is when teachers still think he is just like all the other kids. Eg school report for mist lessons says he only writes what he is asked to do and never expands on his writing. He is very capable but needs to believe in himself. We know he has it in him to do more. Etc Ben is fairly confident and clever in so many other ways but because he is quiet etc I feel he gets ignored by his teachers. After countless meetings they still don't think he any different. They seem to forget he as asphergers. Am needing to go back to school again to remind them that ben needs a different approach e.g. More pushing with questions and clearer instructions. He is typical of an aspie child will only do what is asked. Its almost like a hidden disability so hidden the teacher forget he's different and needs much more prompting.

Anonymous said... I would like to take this moment to share a little hope. My son was diagnosed with HFA/ADHD when he was 9 yrs old & was not aloud to attend more than 2.5 hrs of school a day until Grade 6 when he started full time, by grade 9 he was on the honour roll, by grade 11 he was excepted onto the high school football team and this year he will be graduating with his peers, with plans to attend university to study criminology to get involved in forensics. He is right now getting ready for prom with his date. Please don't give up on hope, I was told to grieve the milestones my son would not share with his peers and he has proved them all wrong!

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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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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