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I need to find someone to evaluate my daughter for Aspergers...

Question

I need to find someone to evaluate my daughter for Aspergers. She is 5 and 3/4. Previous evaluations have missed the issues that I am concerned about so I only want to bring her to someone who has Asperger's expertise. Could you direct me to someone who can do this in Westchester County, NY?
Thanks, Julie

Answer

We suggest:

Gayle Augenbaum, MD [Child Psychiatrist]
125 East Main Street
Mt Kisco, NY 10549-2325
(914) 244-4133‎

More referrals can be found here...

Advocating for Your Teenager on the Autism Spectrum

Question

"My child [high functioning autistic] is 16 and I feel there are times when I will be advocating for him when he should be doing it for himself. Any advise where to draw the line?"

Answer

As moms and dads, we sometimes struggle when our kids reach the age of emerging independence. We must begin to let go a little and allow them to be self sufficient in their early teens in order to grow and develop into self-supporting adults. 
 
In addition, teenagers with ASD (high-functioning autism) can often feel intimidated, automatically stepping aside and allowing a parent or trusted adult to make important decisions, even when they are completely capable.

Helping your youngster on the spectrum begin to accept some responsibility does not have to be difficult. If your child is to become an effective self-advocate, he will need to be aware of the following points:

1. Your son should participate in counseling and group therapy to help keep himself focused. Counseling sessions are useful for people with autism. This is a place where your child can talk about how his strengths and weaknesses make him feel. In group therapy, your son can learn new strategies for coping with social situations.

2. Your son should become active in his IEP process and know his written goals. Your child should be encouraged to take part in his IEP meetings. Once your son acknowledges his own strengths and weaknesses, his input can help the team set reachable goals.

3. Your son must recognize his weaknesses. Just as with his strengths, your child must also be mindful of his weaknesses. People with ASD sometimes struggle with language based academics, for example. Social skills and sensory problems may be weak areas for your child.

4. Your son must know his strengths. People on the spectrum are often gifted with an above average I.Q. It is possible that your child excels in one or more academic subjects. They also usually have an intense interest outside of academics, such as music or computers. Knowing his own strengths will help your child gain much needed self-confidence. 
 

ASD is nothing of which to be ashamed. It is a part of who your child is, but it does not define him. Once your son realizes this, and that he is capable and intelligent, he should be able to step up and take on some of the responsibility of self-advocacy. 
 
In the meantime, remember, your child is still a youngster. Make the switch slowly by pushing gently. And foremost, your son still needs you.
 
What other parents have had to say about this issue:
 
•    Anonymous said... my son is going to be 15 with Aspergers, I feel like I will always have to take care of him..but I pray he will be able to succeed one day.
•    Anonymous said... Your child is always your child no matter the age but yes, u will know when the time is right. In the meantime we just have to keep showing them the right way :-) some learn fast and some take longer. Best wishes!
•    Anonymous said... They will let you know when they want more responsibility. My son is 24 and he does not want me taking him everywhere anymore, he still has problems remembering things from doctor visits and sometimes ends up needing a ride home, but he wants to try it for himself first.
•    Anonymous said... I've been wondering about this too. My husband says I'm fighting all of our son's battles and I need to let up, but I can't. Am I wrong for that?
•    Anonymous said... If you're fighting ALL - then perhaps.
•    Anonymous said... Maybe my wording is poor. I'm fighting all of the battles with the school, family, other adults, and Drs. When I see issues with other kids and he's not able to handle it himself, THEN I step in. But I don't consider the minor things with the other kids to be battles.
•    Anonymous said... Yes, I too am guilty of fighting my 14 year old son's battles. I sometimes think he "expects" it of me. He is my only child and I'm having a very difficult time of letting go of things that he should be doing solo. I want him succeed in life, but not because I help him with everything. This includes schoolwork as well as social situations.
•    Anonymous said... There is a fine line between "advocating" and "over-protective parenting".
•    Anonymous said... Tricky job being a parent. All you can do is your best. Maybe try standing back a bit and jumping in when it is obvious he can't handle it. (easier said than done, I'm guilty of being too protective).
•    Anonymous said... There is nothing wrong with advocating for your child, as long as you are also teaching him to advocate for himself when you aren't or can't be there. I think the key to this question is "I feel there are times when I will be advocating for him when he should be doing it for himself." I have never needed to rely on my instincts more in my life than I do when parenting my boys (who are all at different points on the spectrum). If YOU feel he should be advocating for himself, then take a step back and figure out why he isn't. If it's because he doesn't have the skills, then how can you help him get them? If it's because you're doing it for him, then stop it :P If it's because he's not capable of advocating for himself and never will be, then figure out who can advocate for him when you can't and get it set up. But clearly, the parent in this particular instance thinks it's time to do something different, which to me says it's time to do something different :D

 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 
 
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
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…

---------------------------------------------------------------

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...

--------------------------------------------------------------

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…

------------------------------------------------------------

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…

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Click here
to read the full article...

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Click here for the full article...
 
------------------------------------------------------------
 
A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

Click here for the full article...

Helping Children with ASD to Manage Time

Question

"I have an 16-year-old child with ASD [level 1]. He is an excellent student now that he is doing his high school online through a public charter school. However, he has no concept of time so he is often cramming at the last minute to finish his assignments. How can I help him learn to manage his time better so that he can do his work without added stress and anxiety?"

Answer

Nothing creates stress and anxiety quite like procrastination. While some individuals are just natural procrastinators, others, like your child, have a genuine problem understanding the concept of time. This is a common characteristic of ASD [High-Functioning Autism].

Online schooling is a great option for teenagers with ASD. Removing the classroom distraction does wonders for your child's thought processes. The lessening of sensory assault, the one-on-one instruction, and no bullies are definite pluses! As an added thought, please consider social skills group classes and other social outlets to prevent total isolation. Clubs and community groups that are geared towards his special interests (i.e., history book club, chess club, and band lessons are common choices) will provide much needed social skills practice in a comfortable environment.

Organization is another weak area for many children with ASD. Since children on the spectrum are prone to struggle with depression, anxiety, and stress, the addition of poor organization can cause real problems. Organizational skills are necessary for young adults. High school teachers and college professors expect students to contribute acceptable work in a timely manner. Finding solutions that work now will lead to positive changes and less stress in the future. 

Here are some things you can do to help your child manage his time better:

• Visual timers can be very helpful tools when organizational skills are being taught. These timers have a colored line that gets smaller as the time passes, giving the user a true visual image of running out of time. Each daily task or, in your child's case, each school subject, can be timed with the visual timer. Congratulations on finding the solution for your child's school issues. High school can be very overwhelming for teenagers with ASD. With your guidance and a plan of organization, your child is sure to finish high school and move on to adulthood ventures with confidence and control.

• Visual schedules are a necessary part of your child's routine. Use lists and reminders to keep him moving along. Encourage him to keep a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar. To do lists, written schedules, and assignment lists will give him the structure he needs to begin organizing his life.

• Designing an ordered workspace is a good place to start. A designated place for everything, comfortable seating, quiet surroundings, and a calming decor will help diminish distractions.

• Creating a routine is essential for your child. As an individual with ASD, he craves routine and order. A daily routine will set him on the right path. He may need guidance to develop a routine. Work with him to create a smooth flow to his day.

 
Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
 
 
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 
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…

---------------------------------------------------------------

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...

--------------------------------------------------------------

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…

------------------------------------------------------------

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…

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Click here
to read the full article...

------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Click here for the full article...
 
------------------------------------------------------------
 
A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

Click here for the full article...
 
 
Comments:
  • Anonymous said...Has anyone looked into whether it is difficult for an individual with Asperger's to manage the assault of many emails a day coming into one's inbox? How does someone with Asperger's manage the constant contact modern technology requires? Thanks.
  • Anonymous said... Visual timer!
  • Max...Help him develop a schedule he can follow and put it where he can always see what he should be working on.
  • Anonymous said...Perhaps he needs help or training in breaking down assignments into bites sizes. Time the bites and keep a journal of how long the bites take for a week so that he can learn how long specific tasks take. From these bite sizes a visual planner with the bites in place may help him stay on task... Also perhaps "first this then that" visual reminder so that he completes a needed bite (classwork) followed by a reward (use timers). These should help him feel successful in coursework and also feel rewarded as well as able to remain in control. Further these are huge skills that will later help him be successful in his employment.
  • Anonymous said...Find some resources on mind maping - an excellent visual aide that will help him plan what information he knows, needs to find out, and then can be used to study. There are books detailing how to teach/learn the technique and also must be computer programmes too - I'm sure I have heard of these. He may also be a gestalt learner - and have trouble breaking his assignment down into smaller, more manageable chunks, meaning he is more likely to leave it to the last minute.
  • Anonymous said...my son does online school (13 in 7th grade) and he thrives on a list for each day. He has a white board and puts each days list of classes in the order he plans to do them. He doesn't use this next idea, but my husband with ADHD does. A silent timer. You can see the hand ticking down without the annoying ticking sound. It will help him develop a sense of time going by as well.
  • Anonymous said...Can I ask which online school he does. Mine does Connections.
  • Anonymous said...Do you have specific schools over there for kids with Aspergers. (I mean not intergrated in mainstream schools but schools specifically for only ASD kids). from Australia.

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.

Click here
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.

Click here for the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content