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Where can I find the right medication to help his Asperger’s, not cure it?

Question

Where can I find the right medication to help his Asperger’s, not cure it?

Answer

Asperger’s Syndrome (high-functioning autism) is not something with a cure. There are no medications that can make Asperger’s go away. Many children with Asperger’s benefit from social skills training and cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition, many children can benefit from medications for symptoms related to the syndrome. Many children with Asperger’s suffer from anxiety or depression. Some suffer from hyper-activity or attention deficit disorder. Some children with Asperger’s suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Medications designed to alleviate those symptoms are available for children with Asperger’s. Working with your doctor to understand the symptoms your child suffers from is the first step. Once those symptoms are understood, it is important to then talk with your doctor about which medications might be available to treat those symptoms in your child.

A variety of medications are often available for some of the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. For example, many different drugs are available for ADD. If your child suffers from ADD, your doctor will decide which medication and what dose is right for your child. Your child will need to try the medication to see how it affects him. During that trial period, you’ll need to watch your child carefully to see how he reacts. If he reacts well and tolerates the medicine, and the medicine alleviates the symptoms, your child will continue on with the medication.

If your child tries a medicine and suffers from side affects or if the medicine doesn’t help alleviate the symptoms, you’ll need to consult the doctor about changing the medication. This process could be a long one. It is not unheard of to try three or four different medications and dosages to find the medication that is right for your child.

Be sure that you understand the benefits and the possible drawbacks and side affects of any medications you give your child. Also, try to understand how the medicine can work in concert with behavioral therapy in helping your child manage the symptoms of Asperger’s. Be sure to tell the doctor about any herbal medicines or other supplements your child might be taking. Supplements can often have harmful interactions with medicines, or they can render the medicines ineffective.

My Aspergers Child: How to Prevent Meltdowns

Raising an Aspergers Child: Tips for Home and School


"Our son has just been diagnosed with asperger syndrome (high functioning). Even though we thought he might have it, it was still a shock. This is all new to us... not sure what path to take at this point. Any tips to get us started on this journey? Thanks!"

You can best serve your youngster by learning about Aspergers (high functioning autism) and providing a supportive and loving home environment. Remember that your youngster, just like every other youngster, has his or her own strengths and weaknesses and needs as much support, patience, and understanding as you can give.

Educating yourself about the condition and knowing what to expect is an important part of helping your youngster succeed outside of home and develop independence. Learn about Aspergers by talking to your doctor or contacting Asperger's organizations. This will reduce your and your family members' stress and help your youngster succeed.

The following are some suggestions on how to help your youngster who has Aspergers. Some of the ideas will be helpful, and some may not work for you. Flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to continue to learn will all help you as you raise your youngster.

General strategies for success:

• Be aware that background noises, such as a clock ticking or the hum of fluorescent lighting, may be distracting to your youngster.

• Kids with Aspergers benefit from daily routines for meals, homework, and bedtime. They also like specific rules, and consistent expectations mean less stress and confusion for them.

• Kids with Aspergers often mature more slowly. Don't always expect them to "act their age."

• Many children with Aspergers do best with verbal (rather than nonverbal) teaching and assignments. A direct, concise, and straightforward manner is also helpful.

• Children with Aspergers often have trouble understanding the "big picture" and tend to see part of a situation rather than the whole. That's why they often benefit from a parts-to-whole teaching approach, starting with part of a concept and adding to it to demonstrate encompassing ideas.

• Try to identify stress triggers and avoid them if possible. Prepare your youngster in advance for difficult situations, and teach him or her ways to cope. For example, teach your youngster coping skills for dealing with change or new situations.

• Visual supports, including schedules and other written materials that serve as organizational aids, can be helpful.

Strategies for developing social skills:

• Encourage your youngster to learn how to interact with children and what to do when spoken to, and explain why it is important. Give lots of praise, especially when he or she uses a social skill without prompting.

• Foster involvement with others, especially if your youngster tends to be a loner.

• Help your youngster understand others' feelings by role-playing and watching and discussing human behaviors seen in movies or on television. Provide a model for your youngster by telling him or her about your own feelings and reactions to those feelings.

• Practice activities, such as games or question-and-answer sessions, that call for taking turns or putting yourself in the other person's place.

• Teach your youngster about public and private places, so that he or she learns what is appropriate in both circumstances. For example, hugging may not be appropriate at school but is usually fine at home.

• Teach your youngster how to read and respond appropriately to social cues. Give him or her "stock" phrases to use in various social situations, such as when being introduced. You can also teach your youngster how to interact by role-playing.

• Your youngster may not understand the social norms and rules that come more naturally to other kids. Provide clear explanations of why certain behaviors are expected, and teach rules for those behaviors.

Strategies for school:

• Ask your youngster's teacher to seat your youngster next to classmates who are sensitive to your youngster's special needs. These classmates might also serve as "buddies" during recess, at lunch, and at other times.

• Be aware of and try to protect your youngster from bullying and teasing. Talk to your youngster's teacher or school counselor about educating classmates about Aspergers.

• Encourage your youngster's teacher to include your youngster in classroom activities that emphasize his or her best academic skills, such as reading, vocabulary, and art.

• Orient your youngster to the school setting. Before the school year starts, take time to "walk through" your youngster's daily schedule. You can also use pictures to make your youngster familiar with the new settings before school starts.

• Set up homework routines for your youngster by doing homework at a specific time and place every day. This will help your youngster learn about time management.

• Some kids with Asperger's have poor handwriting. Typing schoolwork on a computer may be one way to make homework easier. Using computers can also help kids improve fine motor skills and organize information. Occupational therapy may also be helpful.

• Use rewards to motivate your youngster. Allow him or her to watch TV or play a favorite video game or give points toward a "special interest" gift when he or she performs well.

• Use visual systems, such as calendars, checklists, and notes, to help define and organize schoolwork.

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

Can Asperger's Teens Make It In College?

Question

My son was just diagnosed with aspergers syndrome and i am heartbroken. Will he ever be able to go to college or even make it through HS? He is 13 years old and can’t make friends and has a tough time in school.

Answer

Improving social skills can be an important part of any child's repertoire. Asperger's (high functioning autism), like classic autism, falls on a continuum of symptoms and impairment. Usually, it constitutes an exclusive focus on one area of interest, or one topic, particularly of a non-social nature. The ability to empathize with others and their circumstances could be one area in which social skills get compromised.

Social skills can be improved, and an awareness of social signifiers may make a big difference in your son's experience at college. Sometimes called interpersonal training, the approach consists of two dimensions.

First, a individual is taught to understand communicative cues, and how to send and receive them in a contextually appropriate manner. These cues include smiling, eye contact, nodding to register comprehension, posture, and learning to ask open-ended questions. In addition, learning to disclose opinions, experiences, and feelings in a reciprocal manner with others can immensely improve social skills and social standing.

The second dimension to learning interpersonal skills is gaining emotional insight: managing anxiety, self-criticism, depression, anger, and avoidance in social circumstances.

The first dimension gets most of the attention, but the second dimension is most important. That's because we might learn a "skill," but feel too much anxiety, depression, or critical self-consciousness to implement it.

Remember that the average male teenager may have a lot of social-skill deficits that usually get worked on because of his desire to get along with females. Females develop social skills earlier, on average, and males catch up to become viable companions and boyfriend material. However, the emotional glitches I mentioned above, including anxiety, self-criticism, shame, and depression might be the more important issues to tackle.

By developing emotional muscles, which consists of displaying creative optimism, self-acceptance, and an acceptance of others with whom we disagree, your son can learn some specific social skills. Saying "hi" and smiling to one new person a day will provide immense feedback, as will the task of deepening relationships with real self-disclosure (including taking some appropriate risks) and confidently being himself.

Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management


COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Asperger's, although a struggle, can also be a blessing. Once my son was diagnosed, we finally had our answers which explained his behaviors. It then put us on the right track to help him. He is now 18, graduated from high school, and working full time. The best thing you can do is educate yourself.
•    Anonymous said… Aspies are some of the most successful people..
•    Anonymous said… Bill Gates is known to be an Aspie...
•    Anonymous said… Don't give up hope but also realize there's more to life then going to college. There are training schools.. oh could set out to be a business owner and operator.. my aspie just turned 18 and is a junior,she has plans to become a manicurist.
•    Anonymous said… Hang in there! Remember Aspies have a lot of strengths too. Foster those strengths and teach skills to make up for what does not come naturally. This disorder is not a curse. My 14 year old also had huge problems making and keeping friends. This is the first year that he has found the right circle of friends and it has made the world of difference. College/University will definitely be difficult for him, but with the right supports in place, I'm confident he'll do just fine.
•    Anonymous said… He will be fine. He is just a loner in his own world. My teen is 16 and wants to do everything. This is a strange diagnosis to understand but read and educate yourself. It will help. Each child is different. My son would be an excellent computer geek. Hopefully, it will be a good career.
•    Anonymous said… How did she go 13 years with no clue?? I can't go an hour without knowing my aspie son is up to something, let alone the behaviors and obvious signs.
•    Anonymous said… I have a friend that is sr it manager for a nationwide company with aspergers. My son has aspergers and is 12 and i know he will be fine
•    Anonymous said… I mentor students with asperger's in university, my students are all doing really well, so don't worry, with the right support your son could do anything xx
•    Anonymous said… I think it may be of help to know what state people are expressing concerns in so perhaps local support can be offered and added. Especially with getting help.
•    Anonymous said… It's very common for Aspergers to be diagnosed later. My son was diagnosed at 11. At no point did the post say she had no clue- but sometimes the diagnosis takes time - each Aspergers diagnosis is different - what appears in your child may be different for the next. Support and compassion is what each of us Aspie parents need. No judgement necessary.
•    Anonymous said… many of the worlds best have aspergers. have faith
•    Anonymous said… My 15 y.o has always had trouble forming & keeping friendships. It's still somewhat of an issue but the issue lies with me, not him. For the most part I feel he has people he hangs with & feels comfortable with, I'm just not sure how reciprocal those friendships are. In his eyes though, they are his people. I do believe he will fare better in an adult world though as he is so much more adept at adult conversations. I know in my heart he will be fine, there are times when I think he feels on the outer but to him it is just the norm. He has many connections daily with people & never misses an opportunity to hang out with friends after school. These are important for building his social skills. Don't be heartbroken, there are many positives, you just have to navigate the hard times (& there are plenty but you just go on, for your child, cos they need you!) Look to the future & just be his support network during the teen years.
•    Anonymous said… My aspie son is 17 and in his last year of high school smile emoticon
•    Anonymous said… My husband and his twin brother, age 45, were not diagnosed until they were in their 30s, so they never got help as children or teens. Both now married with kids, did great in college, and have executive level jobs for good companies. So yes, they can definitely succeed. I think a lot of it had to do with my in laws teaching them the mindset that failure is not an option.
•    Anonymous said… My son has Aspergers & is also 13. I have all the hope that he will go to college & be successful!
•    Anonymous said… My son is 10 and we think he has aspergers.
•    Anonymous said… My son is 22, he completed a college course, he makes film's, he passed his driving test first time and he is the best son, would'nt change him for the world x
•    Anonymous said… My son struggled through high school and is doing great in college. 13 is tough enough without having Aspergers on top of things for sure - keep working with him socially and find out what programs the high school offers. My son was on an IEP, which is good and bad. You have to stay on top of the teachers to get them to stick with the IEP. Some teachers are amazing and others not so much. Wishing you and your son all the best.
•    Anonymous said… My son was diagnosed last year at13 and what a difference a year makes!! All the help he now has, has made the most incredible difference. 3 1/2 days at school a week and able to socialise a lot more. A long way to go but with the right help and support I know that he has a very bright and rosy future smile emoticon It's not a death sentence just means they are wired different once you get your head round that its a lot easier smile emoticon x
•    Anonymous said… My son was diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD, OCD, early onset bipolar disorder etc he graduated 2nd top of his class in college (computing) went onto uni and finished with a 2.1 in Computer Forensics. You bet it's possible!!
•    Anonymous said… Not only go to college, but probably work at one. Go to any lab on any campus at any university, you'll find at least one person on the spectrum there. Trust me. He'll do just fine. Exploit his strengths. Always trust him to know himself better than anyone. Support but don't push. You got this Mama.
•    Anonymous said… Our story is the same and the proper school was key in his progress.
•    Anonymous said… Please don't be heartbroken. Your child will have amazing ability (most likely, several abilities) that will shine through. He may do things "differently" but his mind will blow you away at times. He may be challenging, but, possibly innovative and strong-willed. Our children are not fighting a deadly disease. It's not a diagnosis for a terminal illness. This means they think differently. We just have to find the puzzle pieces to understand. It can be overwhelming...but the community is very supportive. You are not alone, and neither is he. Our children have so many gifts that are waiting to unfold! It's amazing to me, how talented they are, all in their own ways. Keep being his biggest advocate and help others understand, because, more times than not-they probably will not. But that's okay, sometimes, it takes time.
•    Anonymous said… Some very very intelligent well paid professionals have aspergers. He will be absolutely fabulous!!!
•    Anonymous said… Sometimes you know there is a problem but it takes years for professionals to diagnose the problem.
•    Anonymous said… That's crazy to me how they can delay diagnosis for some parents, leaving them at a loss, and give some parents a quick diagnosis. I didn't judge her🙄 I'm just wondering how 13 years passed with no one batting an eye, that's how the post made it seem.
•    Anonymous said… There are some great support colleges and college programs for aspies. Definitely!
•    Anonymous said… There is hope...Einstein was an Aspie, Susan Boyle too. My child was diagnosed at age 7 with ADD and age 12 with Aspergers (high fumctioning) going to grade 10 next year. Get yourself lots of reading, google, get familiar with it in order to 'understand' your child. Strongs!!!!
•    Anonymous said… With God all things are possible...There is hope...
•    Anonymous said… With or without aspergers you get out of life what you put in. Surround him with love support and give him the confidence to know he's different but that it's not a negative. And there's always more than one way to do something and the world is his.
•    Anonymous said… Yes! My son is 22 and a junior in college. He was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 14. He had difficulty socially from preschool up until he was a junior in high school. By then, he was in a good school that gave him the academic challenge he needed. With maturation, he was able to start working on social skills. He is still a work in progress, but I am so proud of the obstacles he's overcome. You can feel free to PM me.

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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.

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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