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Preventing Temper Tantrums in Children with Asperger's Syndrome

Kids with Aspergers (high functioning autism) have difficulty in communication, a wish for everything to stay the same, and sticking to their favorite routines. They can get very angry and upset if something unexpected happens or when they do not understand what they are told or what is expected from them.

Their frustration levels are much higher and even the slightest thing can set them off. To outsiders their sometimes violent tantrums seem to be without a cause. As a grandparent of a boy with Aspergers, I know from experience there is always a reason for him to express his frustration in such a way.

Typically, rages in Aspergers kids occur when the youngster has experienced a maximum sensory overload and can no longer interpret the environment stimuli occurring around them. The rages and outbursts may occur because of miscommunication between your youngster and another youngster, or when your youngster is simply not able to interpret the communication occurring in their environment.

In most kids with Aspergers, rages occur because of frustration in their ability to interpret and communicate effectively, and in combination with the sensory overload of the activities around them. If you feel that your youngster is experiencing rages, temper tantrums, and outbursts due to environment stimulation complications, it is important to place your youngster in an environment where you can, to some extent, control what happens in the environment. Progressively, over time you can increase the exposure that your youngster experiences in their environment as a way to slowly teach your youngster how to manage and respond to the stimuli without experiencing feelings of rage.

When your youngster lives with Aspergers and has feelings of rage, it is important to understand some of the early warning signs that a temper tantrum is about to occur. In kids with Aspergers, biting of the lower lip or chewing on their play things is quite common when feeling distressed. In addition, your youngster may begin to pick at their hands or fingers and show signs that they want to rock in a chair. Some Aspergers kids, when feeling frustrated, may begin pacing, or even bolt out of a room as a way to alleviate the frustration they feel when too much stimulation is present.

All of these early warning signs are important to signify that a rage is about to occur, and when you see these warning signs in your Aspergers youngster not only should you defuse the situation, but also look around the environment to determine what could possibly be causing the rage to occur. By learning by experience, you can teach your youngster how to more effectively manage their rage and feelings of frustration so as to create a more peaceful, tantrum-free, environment in which to live.

Causes of tantrums—

Kids with Asperger have more trouble communication so are unable to express their frustration in a more acceptable way. Their anxiety level is much higher and they are known for their extreme reactions. It can be as simple as being touched unexpectedly or a stranger bumping into them and they feel it was done on purpose.

Another problem for those with Asperger can be sensory overload. Some kids with Asperger, have great difficulty with their senses such as the feel of their clothes, tags inside their clothes or the taste or texture of certain foods in their mouth. These uncomfortable senses make them feel uneasy and lead to built up stress. Anger tantrums can be a seen as a stress release.

What NOT to do—

One thing I learned over the years is this: never give in when they are throwing an anger tantrum. For example, if your youngster asks for a cookie and has an anger tantrum because you said "no," you will reward him for this behavior if you give him the cookie anyway. This way they are rewarded for their unacceptable behavior - and guess what - they will do it again and again and again because it pays off! I know it’s hard to stay calm, but shouting back will not work. Hitting you youngster will not work either. Realize it is the only way they can get rid of their frustration.

What you can do—

Isolated your youngster or walk away from the scene yourself if you feel unable to control your own feelings. Be direct and tell them they are on time out so they can calm down until they are able to talk about it. Find out the reason why your youngster has an anger tantrum so you both can learn to avoid it in the future. Trying to distract or redirect your youngster might help when they are still young. Holding your youngster firmly and not allowing him or her to escape can work sometimes. It is called holding therapy and it can have a calming effect when deep pressure is put on the body.

What worked for me and my grandson was to put our hands against each other and let him try to push me as far away from him as possible. It would put pressure and strain on his arms and legs and help him to vent his frustrations. Don’t let him push your body or get physical, just pushing through the hands will calm him down. I never gave my kids the idea they should be ashamed for their feelings of frustration or anger. It’s okay to be angry but it’s not okay to hit or hurt somebody because of it. Being angry is not something they are able to control, but they do have a choice what they do with their anger. Try to talk about it to them, create an open communication with your youngster. Support him or her in any way you possibly can.

Just never give in to their expressed wishes while they are angry, or they will learn being angry and throwing anger tantrums will pay off and give them what they wanted in the first place.


==> 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

Aspergers Children Are Picky Eaters

Getting Your Asperger Child to Try New Food: As if coping with Aspergers (high functioning autism) wasn't difficult enough, meal times can become the battle of the century trying to get your Aspergers child to eat something, anything. Sometimes, due to their sensory issues, getting a child with Aspergers to eat can make you want to pull your hair out. One day they will eat something, and the next day they scream when it comes near their mouth … not to mention your fears as a mother or father that your child is not getting adequate nutrition.

So what do you do when your Aspergers child becomes a picky eater? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Make a game of trying a food. Have him help you prepare a new food, and then both of you taste it. Or make a food a funny color as a joke, and then eat it.

2. Make your Aspergers child a "menu". Have him choose an appetizer and a main course. Provide him with two choices in each category. Make both appetizer choices foods he does not typically eat. Serve him a very small portion of the appetizer he chooses, start with just one bite. Provide a choice of at least one main course food that he prefers, but tell him appetizer comes before the main course and he needs to choose and eat the appetizer before he will be given the main course. Stress to him that as soon as he tastes the appetizer it will be time for the main dish, and provide a lot of positive reinforcement for eating the appetizer. Try to stick with the same appetizer choices for about a week to allow him to get used to them. If he starts picking the same appetizer on consecutive days, begin increasing the serving size until he is eating a typical amount.

3. One option is to try the same food in another form. If they were unimpressed by the orange slices, provide them with a glass of orange juice.

4. One possible issue is the upset over food touching other food. This can be easily remedied by using divided plates that do not allow contact between areas and therefore, the food remains separated.

5. Outside of meals, try talking to him about new things in general, and how trying new things is sometimes scary – but also lots of fun. You could remind him of things he was scared of initially but now enjoys, and then point out that trying new foods is similar.

6. Won't touch green vegetables? Serve them some V8. Of course, this can become difficult and you can feel like you are running a restaurant if you have other children you are preparing meals for, but like all aspects of the Aspergers world, it takes adjustments. The less you indulge in the food fight the better chance you have of overcoming the issue.

Though coping with Aspergers and picky eating can be a somewhat daunting task, it is essential to keep trying and doing your best as a parent to provide your child with what they need. If you notice a complete lack of certain nutrients or foods in their diet, your best approach may be supplements. Do what you can, and in time it becomes easier and more like second nature. It's a long and gradual process, but stick with it.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

Aspergers in Babies

Self-centered behavior, repetitive behavioral patterns, and difficulty in social interaction – all these symptoms point to Aspergers in your baby.

Aspergers is a part of the family of autism spectrum disorders. Those suffering from the syndrome show difficulties in social interaction, along with repetitive and restricted behavior and interests.

This syndrome differs from other autism disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Unlike other autism disorders, it is also very difficult to track and diagnose. The babies suffering from this syndrome might exhibit a few symptoms only and even they might be difficult to identify. Unlike the kids suffering from autism, those with Aspergers might show no delay in language development. They usually have a good control over grammar, but do exhibit a kind of language disorder. There are no delays in cognitive development or in age-appropriate self-help skills, such as feeding and dressing themselves. However, they may have problem with attention span and in organization. Such kids usually have average and, at times, above average intelligence. Read on to explore the causes and symptoms of Aspergers in infants.

Causes—

The causes of Aspergers are not very clear. Researchers are still investigating for the exact reasons behind this syndrome. It is believed that the pattern of behavior that characterizes Aspergers may have many causes. The condition seems to have a hereditary factor or component in it. Studies indicate that Aspergers may be associated with other mental disorders as well, like depression and bipolar disorder. Researchers are also looking for any possibility of environmental factors affecting brain development.

However, what needs to remembered is that Aspergers is not caused by emotional deprivation or deficient upbringing of a person. Some of the behavior may appear deliberate and intentionally rude, but people should not mistake it as the result of bad parenting or upbringing. It is a neurological disorder whose causes are not yet been fully understood. Currently, there is no treatment for the disorder, as the causes are so vague, so a youngster with Aspergers grows up with the same. However, it generally does not affect the normal living of a person.

Symptoms—

• Babies suffering from Aspergers usually stay away from other people. They are more of a shy nature and indulge in minimal interaction with the people around them.
• Kids suffering from Aspergers are often highly self-centered. From their talks and behavior, it seems that nothing matters to them more than their own self.
• Clients may also face problems with regard to non-verbal cognitive abilities, which can be average or below average. The verbal ability remains average or above average.
• Such children even tend to have a robot-like scripted speech or way of conversing. They keep repeating the same things again and again.
• Such children tend to show some kind of an obsession with any complex topic or situation, which does not even require the amount of attention they are giving.
• The babies suffering from Aspergers might also lack in common sense. They may find it difficult to apply their brain in common situations.
• The kids suffering from the syndrome may face some problem with regard to reading and writing. They may also have problem in subjects like math, where reasoning is required.
• The syndrome often projects some odd behaviors and mannerisms. The children may behave in a strange manner to a certain situation, or just generally.

Diagnosis—

This syndrome is very difficult to diagnose as kids suffering with Aspergers functions well in most aspects of life. So, their strange behaviors can easily be attributed to them being different. According to mental health experts, the detection of the syndrome at the earliest is very important. Interventions involving educational and social training perform while a youngster’s brain is still developing is highly recommended. Though the symptoms are not very clear, but if you are able to detect even few of them, it is advisable to recommend your youngster to a doctor. A complete psychosocial evaluation will be done while examining the baby. This will include careful examination of the history of symptoms, the language and motor skill development of the youngster and other aspects of personality and behavior.

Treatment—

• Language Therapy— Kids suffering with Aspergers show some difficulty in speaking and communicating, though they have good control over language. There is a need for them to go through a language therapy to make their expressing ability fluent.

• Medications— There are no medications as such for Aspergers. But some medications as prescribed by a specialist may improve some specific symptoms that might be complicating your baby’s progress.

• Parent’s Education & Training— It is very important for the moms and dads to be completely aware about all the aspects of the disorder. The moms and dads whose youngster is suffering with the disorder should be well aware of the disorder and its affect, so that they can take proper care of their kids, as prescribed by the specialist.

• Psychotherapy— Once a youngster grows up they can also undergo psychotherapy or a cognitive therapy for better results.

• Sensory Integration Training— The sufferers of the syndrome might be highly sensitive to certain things or situations. So, a sensory integrated training can be conducted by a specialist, which will help decentralize the stimuli to which the kids are highly sensitive.

• Social-Skill Training— Kids suffering with Aspergers are self-centered. They don’t mingle well with the society. It is important to give them some social-skill therapy. The moms and dads or the family members can only help them by comforting them and granting confidence in them at social gatherings.

• Specialized Educational Interventions— Kids suffering with Aspergers can also face problems in educational field, so a special educational intervention is a must.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

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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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content