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Diagnosing "Asperger's Syndrome" in Children

When moms and dads seek help for their youngster, they encounter varied opinions – he'll outgrow it, leave him alone, it's no big deal, he just wants attention, and so on. Many professionals try to work with the Aspergers (high-functioning autistic) youngster as if his disorder is like other developmental disorders, but it is quite different. In most cases, there is a great misunderstanding by many people of the needs of these special individuals.

For the inexperienced, recognizing the six defining characteristics of Aspergers as outlined in the introduction can be difficult, and misdiagnoses are quite common. This is further complicated by the fact that an Aspergers youngster or teen has many of the same characteristics found in other disorders. These various characteristics are often misinterpreted, overlooked, under-emphasized, or over-emphasized. As a result, a youngster may receive many different diagnoses over time or from different professionals.

For example, if a youngster with Aspergers demonstrates a high degree of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- that might be the only diagnosis he receives. However, this is a common characteristic of Aspergers kids. The same holds true if obsessive or compulsive behaviors are displayed – the youngster gets labeled with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) instead of Aspergers. The following traits are also commonly seen in those with Aspergers in varying degrees. However, just because these traits are there, it doesn't mean that the youngster should be diagnosed differently; these traits should be noted as significant features of Aspergers:

• Anxiety
• Difficulty with pragmatic language skills
• Hyperlexia (advanced word recognition skills)
• Motor deficits
• Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
• Sensory difficulties
• Social skills deficits

As mentioned, professionals who do not have much experience with Aspergers have a hard time identifying the defining characteristics. For example, social skill deficits may be noted by a professional, but then they are often downplayed because the youngster or adolescent appears to be having appropriate conversations with others or seems to be interested in other people. But with an Aspergers youngster, the conversations are not generally reciprocal, so the youngster must be carefully observed to see whether or not there is true back-and-forth interaction.

Also, many Aspergers kids have an interest in others, but you need to clarify if the objects of their interest are age appropriate. Do they interact with peers in an age-appropriate fashion? Can they maintain friendships over a period of time or do they end as the novelty wears off? These are the types of observations and questions that must be asked in order to ensure a proper diagnosis.

Another example of an overlooked area is the narrow routines or rituals that are supposed to be present. This does not always manifest as obsessive-compulsive behavior in the typical sense, such as repeated handwashing or neatness, but rather in the insistence on the need for rules about many issues and situations. These kids may not throw tantrums over their need for rules, but may require them just as much as the person who has a meltdown when a rule is violated. In essence, there is no single profile of the typical Aspergers individual. They are not all the same, as you will see in later chapters.

Because of these subtleties and nuances, the single most important consideration in diagnosis is that the person making the initial diagnosis be familiar with autistic spectrum disorders – in particular, Aspergers. They should have previously diagnosed numerous kids. To make a proper, initial diagnosis requires the following:

1. An evaluation by an occupational therapist familiar with sensory integration difficulties may provide additional and valuable information.

2. It is important to include a speech and language evaluation, as those with Aspergers will display impairments in the pragmatics and semantics of language, despite having adequate receptive and expressive language. This will also serve to make moms and dads aware of any unusual language patterns the youngster displays that will interfere in later social situations. Again, these oddities may not be recognized if the evaluator is not familiar with Aspergers.

3. The youngster should see a neurologist or developmental pediatrician (again, someone familiar with autistic spectrum disorders) for a thorough neurological exam to rule out other medical conditions and to assess the need for medication. The physician may suggest additional medical testing (blood, urine, fragile X, hearing).

4. You and your youngster should have sessions with a psychologist where your youngster is carefully observed to see how he responds in various situations. This is done through play or talk sessions in the psychologist's office and by discussions with both moms and dads. The psychologist may ask you to complete checklists or questionnaires to gain a better understanding of the youngster's behaviors at home and/or school. If the youngster is in school, the psychologist may call the youngster's teacher or ask her to complete additional checklists. The checklists or questionnaires used should be ones that are appropriate for individuals with Aspergers. It is important to determine the IQ level of your youngster as well. An average or above-average IQ is necessary for a diagnosis of Aspergers.

Diagnosis of Autism and Resultant Parental-Grief


I have a son recently diagnosed with ASD [level 1] and am in denial about my family situation, but I want to start to take some control back ...where should I start?


The feelings you are experiencing are completely normal. A diagnosis of ASD level 1 (high functioning autism) brings with it a mourning process in some cases. Every parent faced with a life-changing situation will need time (some more than others) to sort out the emotions.

Denial is natural. Even if the diagnosis has been a long time coming, you may still feel like someone ripped the rug from beneath your feet. Your first reaction, "not my child," is not just common but expected. Be aware that there are several steps in the mourning process. Anger and depression are other steps of mourning that can come at any time.

The fact that you sense the need to take control shows that you are moving through the process. You are reaching acceptance. Your child needs you and you want to offer him the very best support possible. Here are some ideas you can use to regain control of your home life.

* Finding support is crucial. Autism support groups are a great place to connect with other parents. You do not have to go through this trial alone. Gathering with others living with ASD can give you the strength you need to find acceptance.

* Arm yourself with information on the disorder. Read books, consult specialists, and contact research organizations. Knowledge equals power. When you know what to expect, your situation becomes smaller than you are, allowing you to conquer what once seemed too big.

* Work together as a family to change your circumstances. Do the things you have been avoiding because of the diagnosis. Get out of the house together, enjoy each other, and don’t worry about what other people think or say.

* Consider going to a counselor. Sometimes we need a neutral, caring professional to talk with about our situation. Couples counseling can also help. Having a special needs child can be tough on a marriage. Group therapy for the family can get everyone on the same page, united and ready to move forward.

* Now you can get down to the business of treatment. Children with ASD usually do very well with a little assistance. Discuss treatment options with your child’s physician, psychologist, and school special education team.

You will find that taking action, even if you have to start out with baby steps, will help you get out of that hole called denial and have you moving along toward a brighter future.

==> Click here for more information on parenting kids on the autism spectrum...

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

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

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


•    Anonymous said... Don't forget your extended support system like the child's grandparent or very close friends. They can be a good sounding board.
•    Anonymous said... I remember when my son was diagnosed with Aspbergers. I cried all day, then the next day I read everything I could on Aspbergers. My husband and I fought a lot after he was diagnosed. He felt like nothing had changed, and we should treat him the same way we did our daughter with punishment for bad behavior, ect. Now, after 3 years I think he finally understands. It finally feels like we are working together not against each other when it comes to our son. It's hard, I felt like I was the only one supporting our son and accepting him for who he really was.
•    Anonymous said... I think there is always someone in our lives who goes into denial about our children. For me it was my ex husband (her father) and my own mother. I got lots of "she'll grow out of it" "you worry to much" to even having it suggested I suffered from Munchhausen. They did finally come around and she is now the apple of the families eye but it does take time for some people to take it all on board. As the parent who is dealing with it face to face we don't have that luxury. Burying our heads in the sand does not get our children the help they need
•    Anonymous said... It's really hard and I know how you feel. My ex husband blamed "my" parenting for our sins behaviour. For years I had to fight not only the professionals but him...right up to the point I got the diagnoses. I'm still not able to give any kind if medication as his dad won't allow it. It's still not 100% but we are now working together. It took about 5 years. Good luck and I hope your husband comes around as you need the support x
•    Anonymous said... Janette remember my entire years of experience bringing up a child that was just labelled "a naughty boy" and the only thing that got us through the entire ordeal was our love for him and Gods help without us knowing it. You too will "get through it" there is much help available now, not so in the 1960s and you know this "child" so you know what i'm telling you is positive proof that one can handle these situations. Love Gillianx
•    Anonymous said... My "aspie" is 25 and he still needs me as his advocate. The degree has changed, but not the basic need. We're in this for the long haul! He brings so much joy , to those willing to take the time and explore the depths.
•    Anonymous said... My aspberger's child also has multiple rare diseases. My husband is supportive I'm his own way but not always in the me or our son need. We both know he loves us but he doesn't handle " sick " well and he is very military minded and has a hard time understanding that our son is not the same child that he was growing up.
•    Anonymous said... my son is nearly 8 and was diagnosed at 5..his dad and i separated a year later..he is still in denial and blames our sons behavior on my parenting,i know my x is also asd and his 2 sons from a previous relationship,all in's so hard..i love my son dearly and find it so difficult standing alone as his advocate sometimes without any support..his dad does not support him financially,his relationship with my son is not consistent but hey we do so much better without his constant criticism,negative energy,and mood swings,angry outbursts and has been much more relaxed and happy without him...yeyyyy

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Aspergers Teens: Clueless Geeks?

Aspergers Teen Shares His Story

Hi. My name is Shawn. I’m a teenager with Aspergers. Here’s my story…

First of all, unlike autistic people, I did not have trouble learning to speak. However, I do have mild hyperlexia, which basically means a large vocabulary. Moreover, it is common for autistics and aspies to have some trouble lying, recognizing lies, and interpreting metaphors. The result is that most Aspergers teens are seen as literal and humorless.

Like many Aspergers teens, my voice can sometimes sound monotonous and emotionless. Similarly, Aspergers teens are known for giving soliloquies about their favorite subjects, or perseverations, not always realizing how much they are boring the individuals they are speaking to.

Aspergers teens sometimes also miss facial expressions, body gestures, and implications. While I can often pick up on someone's emotional state from a quick glance at their face (and it has to be quick because, like most Aspergers teens, I have trouble looking individuals in the eye), I can often completely miss things or misinterpret them. Likewise, my facial expression is usually plain or uncontrolled.

Aspergers teens tend to take an obsessive interest in detailed things. It is typical for an aspie to take an all-encompassing interest in something for a few months and later become interested in something else after having already learned enough about the first subject. In other words, we aspies have "weird," nerdy interests and hobbies.

This is a chicken-and-egg problem, of course. Do we aspies take up these perseverations because we are unable to occupy ourselves with more neurotypical (NT) (that is, something relating to nonautistics) socializing, or do our perseverations prevent us from socializing? Maybe it's a little bit of both.

Nevertheless, perseveration for me has meant spending my early teenage years learning how to program and becoming especially adept at using Windows. A little later it meant focusing on perfecting my French accent and reading French newspapers like Le Monde. Because of my perseverations, I have a more thorough understanding of history, politics, language, computers, psychology, geography, and numerous other subjects than the average person. In contrast, I have a deficit of knowledge about today's pop stars, actors, and social gossip. This sometimes makes it hard for individuals to have interesting conversations with me.

It is not uncommon for me to hear high-frequency noises that go unnoticed by most individuals. I can sometimes hear the buzzing of the lights, TV, and other things, especially if I'm trying to fall asleep or it's quiet. A similar thing is I dislike the feel of cotton balls, although I've heard some NTs complain about this too.

Another thing is I frequently mishear individuals and sometimes don't hear them at all. If you say, "I went to the park today," I might hear, "I went tooth per day," or some other nonsense; and so I often have to ask, "Huh?" or "What?"

Sometimes I don't notice things right in front of my face. I have more than once accidentally skipped problems on a test because the question was too close to the directions, which I probably didn't read (did I mention Aspergers teens are sometimes too honest?). Especially in mathematics, I have been known to make absent-minded mistakes by doing things like 6 * 5 = 35. This would disqualify me from being an engineer or surgeon, I think.

For a person with Asperger's (an aspie), friendships, social banter, and romantic relationships can be difficult channels to navigate. Aspergers teens have more than their share of difficulties making friends and finding a loving mate. Part of it is our perseverative interests, another part must be our tendency towards literal interpretations, and a third must be our tendency to be rigid and conservative--unfun. Many of us long for better social acceptance or at least friends to keep our lives interesting, but sometimes this seems beyond our grasp.

Many Aspergers teens show signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, especially the inattentive type. In fact, many Aspergers teens are misdiagnosed as having ADD.

There also seems to be a relationship between autistic spectrum disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While Aspergers teens do have perseverative (obsessive) interests, a significant portion develops actual OCD. Aspergers children with OCD may or may not show the typical symptoms of OCD, like compulsive hand washing.

Various anxiety disorders and anxious personality disorders other than OCD, especially social phobia and avoidant personality disorder, may also develop, as the autistic life can be stressful.

Depression is also not uncommon among Aspergers teens. My own life has too often been filled with this mood. I was first and most depressed in 8th and 9th grades when my life seemed to have reached a low point. I had recently changed from a Catholic elementary school to the public school system, and adjustment was harsh. The only emotions I knew were anger and frustration. I could only see the worst of intentions in others towards me, and I became the more socially secluded than I'd ever been before. My recover from this strong depression included becoming an atheist, changing my attitude towards life, and becoming more accepting. I still become depressed sometimes but not nearly as badly as back then.

The aspie sense of humor is somewhat different from most individual's sense of humor. I am especially good at making odd connections about social happenings and use highly sarcastic humor to criticize actions like the invasion of Iraq. My disconnection from society along with my attempts to better understand society are a gold mine containing the nuggets of social injustices and inequalities, hypocrisies, and self-aggrandizement.

I vent my unattainable need for excitement and companionship through art. I can sketch disturbing images of distorted faces and forms as well as near photorealistic pictures--if I'm looking at the object or a photograph of that object. Writing, especially humorous writing is another thing that allows me to assuage my unfulfillment.

I have written--even perseverated on--this article in the sincere hope that someone might better understand aspies and not write us off as clueless geeks. We aspies only want what everyone else wants: happiness.

Aspergers Syndrome: Frequently Asked Questions

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characterized by symptoms such as very focused or obsessive interests, deficits in social skills, and some language differences. Since two of my sons were diagnosed with Aspergers and I've written a little on the subject, I've been asked many questions about this confusing and misunderstood disorder.

What exactly is Aspergers, anyway?

As I said before, it's an autism spectrum disorder. Picture something like a number line in your mind; this is the "spectrum". At one end, you will have children who are completely non-verbal, have virtually no social skills or ability to interact with others, and are diagnosed mentally retarded. OK, before we go any further, make sure you throw out that old idea of "retarded" from your grade-school playground. Mental retardation (MR) is a clinical diagnosis; the textbook definition of "retarded" is slow, and most of us are retarded in one area or another. So if your youngster is on the spectrum (or isn't, for that matter) and has been diagnosed MR, don't sweat it too much. It is not a death sentence or something to be ashamed of. It simply is, and many children with MR have more common sense than those who are considered "gifted", and do quite well for themselves. Back to the spectrum-at the opposite end of your line, you'll have children with high IQs, a few quirky personality traits, and some mild social impairment. This is what classic Aspergers is. Most children with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER will fall somewhere between these two extremes, and the symptoms of Aspergers can vary from person to person. Aspergers is a high-functioning AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER, which means the autistic symptoms are present to a lesser degree and most children with Aspergers are able to function normally, or almost normally, in society.

What are the symptoms of Aspergers?

Children with Aspergers tend to have very focused interests, and often seem to be obsessed with one or two subjects. These interests are often related to things with moving parts, like trains or automobiles, or how things are built, or fact-based things like history or numbers, but not always. Many younger youngsters develop interests in scientific things like dinosaurs or space. These interests may be life-long, or may change every few months or years. It can be frustrating hearing about the same subject over and over, but this focus is actually something that can work to a person's advantage. My older son has developed quite an obsession with history, especially WWII history, and he plans on channeling this into a career as an historian or a history teacher. Since children with Aspergers often have excellent memories, especially for things like facts and dates, they can become "walking encyclopedias". My son has been a great help in teaching his younger siblings about history, and he's the one who always reminds us whose turn it is to host different holiday celebrations each year. Of course then there are those times, especially when the youngsters are young, that you wish their memories weren't so good. There's nothing like having your little genius tell everyone at the Christmas party about something embarrassing you did when the kid was only two years old-and tell it with remarkable detail to boot.

Children with Aspergers also have somewhat impaired social skills. They may not understand the reciprocity of a relationship, or the "give-and-take." It may be hard for your youngster to understand that not everyone wants to play what he likes to play. It isn't a matter of being obnoxious or rude; it's just that he really doesn't understand that something that's fabulous to him might not be fabulous to everyone. This can tie in to the obsessive interests as well; he may not understand that not everyone really wants to hear a half-hour lesson on baseball statistics, and children with Aspergers often can't pick up on others' non-verbal cues that they are bored or disinterested. When trying to win the heart of a young lady, a teenage boy with Aspergers may try and woo her with the most fascinating subject he can think of. Unfortunately, she may want to talk about Fall Out Boy or what she should wear to the mall, not hear a tutorial on all the weaponry used in the first half of World War II. Children with Aspergers often fare better in one-on-one situations with friends or in very small groups. Both of my boys are very uncomfortable in group situations, especially those with unfamiliar people, but my older son - the "classic" case of Aspergers - deals with it much better than my younger son. A person with Aspergers, when placed in a large group or uncomfortable situation, may look like a typical person with an extreme case of shyness, looking down at the ground and not speaking to anyone. Often when a person with Aspergers becomes involved in a conversation that makes him uncomfortable, he will change the subject to one that he is comfortable with-there we are again with the interests-and ignore the other person's attempts to get the conversation back on track. When a youngster with Aspergers has two friends over to play, he may have a hard time paying attention to both and working with them to find activities they can all enjoy. He may have trouble understanding the rules of games, or accepting that he can't always win, just because he wants to.

Children with Aspergers sometimes appear to lack common sense. They may need to be told step-by-step how to perform a task many, many times before they get the hang of it. They may not be able to look at a situation and see what is the next logical step or they may follow directions a bit too exactly. My son baked a cake once, and the instructions on the box of cake mix said to bake it until a knife inserted in the center came out clean. He made the cake, and it smelled heavenly. After it was done he came to me looking distressed, because he couldn't figure out how to get the knife out of the cake without tearing the whole cake up. He had laid a knife in the center of the cake pan, in the unbaked batter, before putting it in the oven. Most youngsters at fourteen would know that wasn't the right thing to do, but he was simply following the directions as he read them.

Another symptom that often accompanies Aspergers is a range of sensory difficulties. The youngster with Aspergers may have a strong aversion to certain tastes, smells or textures. Conversely, he may seek out different sensory stimuli, smelling or tasting everything he comes in contact with. Certain sounds may be torturous to the Aspergers youngster's ears. There is a name for this condition: Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), also known as Sensory Integration Disorder, and while it frequently is present in youngsters with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER, it can also be present independently.

Youngsters with Aspergers often have a very strong need for routines and schedules. If the routine is broken, they may have "fits" or withdraw, or simply be pretty darn angry at Mom and Dad. My little one got grounded from the computer for being quite naughty, and all day Monday-his computer day-he was asking why he couldn't play. He's smart, he just couldn't get past the fact that it was his computer day and he wasn't playing. We've had to rethink that particular consequence for him. Children with Aspergers frequently like things to be "just so", making them great little organizers and helpers. If you need that silverware drawer organized, you know who to ask.

A person with Aspergers may also exhibit clumsy or uncoordinated movements. He may have an awkward-looking gait or, like my little guy, look like a marionette when he runs. Hand-eye coordination may be a problem in children with Aspergers, along with some fine- and gross-motor delays, although these are usually not significant.

One thing that is often present in children with Aspergers is high IQ and advanced verbal skills. While the person with Aspergers may have talked early and have an extensive vocabulary, he may not understand sarcasm or figures of speech, like "It's time to hit the road" or "I put my foot in my mouth". My oldest son and his father have almost a brotherly relationship at times, picking on each other about opposing football teams and their differing tastes in music. My son knows he doesn't get things sometimes, and will actually stop his dad mid-debate and say "You know I can't tell when you're teasing me; you have to tell me!" So Dad says "All right, you're about to get picked on" and Dylan knows it's time to bring out the zingers about the Steelers' last season. It may also be hard for someone with Aspergers to get the point of a joke, or to know when it's appropriate to say certain things. You may have to give lots of reminders to the adolescent that just discovered dirty jokes, that Grandma's house is not the place to share them. He may take things very literally-if dinner is in a minute, it better be in sixty seconds exactly or you'll hear about it. Moms and dads of youngsters with Aspergers sometimes feel as if they've had to learn a whole new language, losing the idioms and slang expressions we're all so used to.

Some children with Aspergers may have all of these symptoms; some may have just a few.

When did you first see the signs of Aspergers in your youngsters?

This is difficult to answer; I knew my younger son was different since birth, and though he is diagnosed with Aspergers, some of his behaviors place him lower on the spectrum. I was unsure of what was up with him, and it took a series of evaluations, starting when he was in kindergarten, before we came up with a diagnosis that somewhat fit. Bear in mind that the only purpose of a diagnosis or label is to obtain services. You may not want your youngster 'labeled', but if you want help for him, it's a necessity. If I had known the signs and symptoms of Aspergers when my older son was small, I probably would have seen it when he was in elementary school. He was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at age six (fortunately it's a very mild case) and I believe misdiagnosed with ADHD at the same time. While ADHD can co-exist with Aspergers, looking back I can see that the ADHD behaviors were actually a symptom of his sensory difficulties. We only had him re-evaluated a few months ago, because new issues appear with adolescence. I want his behavior to be understood by his professors when he goes to college, and I also want him to be able to understand his differences (he is very aware of them) and know that there is a medical reason for them.

How is Aspergers diagnosed?

As of now there is no definitive test, like a blood test, for Aspergers. If you suspect your youngster has an AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER, take him to his pediatrician for a thorough check-up. My younger son was sent for a full metabolic workup to eliminate a physical cause for his behaviors, and then sent to a developmental pediatrician. Your primary doctor may be able to diagnose Aspergers, or it may take a trip (or a few) to a developmental pediatrician or psychologist. We were given a form to fill out called the Gilliam Asperger Scale, which contained many, many questions about the youngster's behavior and symptoms. If your youngster is in school, a form may be sent for the teacher to fill out as well. The form will be scored and if your youngster scores as "a high probability for Aspergers" and the doctor's observations concur, then you'll likely be on your way to a diagnosis of Aspergers. At the visit you'll be asked a lot of questions, as will your youngster, if he is developmentally able to answer. The doctor will observe the youngster and may administer some play-type tests. The diagnosis of Aspergers is basically done by process of elimination-if the test and observations indicate Aspergers, and there is nothing else that is causing the symptoms, you have an Aspergers diagnosis. Your doctor may want to monitor the child for a while before making the official diagnosis.

What can be done to help the child with Aspergers?

There is no cure for Aspergers or autism. Some moms and dads swear by nutritional changes or supplements but none of that has worked for us. Your doctor may refer your youngster to an occupational therapist (OT) to address any sensory issues. Some areas have social skills groups for youngsters that could be very beneficial. Try and stick to your routine as much as possible and warn your youngster as far in advance as you can when something is going to change. It is important to have some change, though; things don't run like clockwork in the real world and you have to try and get your youngster to be a bit less dependent on his routines and schedules. If your youngster has an OT, ask her or your doctor about brushing to calm your youngster. Known as the Wilbarger Protocol or Wilbarger Method, brushing is just what it sounds like-brushing the youngster's arms, legs, hands and feet with a small surgical brush. You will need a professional to show you how to do this, along with the joint compressions that go along with it, but it was well worth the time for us. It only took my son's OT a few minutes to demonstrate the technique, and as odd as it sounds, it really works for us.

Where do I go for help?

Online Parent Support has been an invaluable resource for me. They offer support groups, parent-matching (where a parent of a newly-diagnosed youngster with a disability can be matched with a parent who has been through it), informational meetings, and a wealth of information through their library, handouts, and knowledgeable staff. Most states have a Family Support Network or similar programs; check with your pediatrician or department of social services for a list of services for moms and dads. The Autism Society also has many resources for moms and dads of youngsters on the autism spectrum. Look in local papers for lists of support groups and services. If your youngster is in school, the administration there may be of help. Remember that your youngster has a right to a good education and you have the right to be involved in the decisions about his education. If you have problems, the autism society should be able to refer to you the right place for help.

Will my child with Aspergers be OK?

YES! Raising a youngster is never easy, whether they come with some kind of syndrome or not. Aspergers is not fatal or physically debilitating. Children with Aspergers often grow up to be doctors, scientists, teachers, musicians, custodians, laborers, lawyers, artists, heads of huge computer companies worth billions of dollars...yes, Bill Gates is rumored to have Aspergers. So are many other famous people, including Einstein and Andy Warhol. Be aware that there are other disorders such as Tourette syndrome, ADD, OCD and depression that can accompany Aspergers, but they don't always, and all are treatable; millions of people live with these things every day and lead happy, productive lives. Focus on the positive things, be there to support your youngster, learn as much as you can about Aspergers, become an advocate, and your youngster will have every opportunity to succeed.

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.

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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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to read the full article...

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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