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How To Live With Aspergers: 30 Tips For Aspies

Living with Aspergers (high functioning autism) is not something to shy away from. You can run – but you can't hide. So, if you think you have Aspergers, or if you have had it for a while, the following tips will help you in multiple areas of your life (i.e., spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, and vocationally):

1. Be self-aware. Go online and read all about Aspergers. Folks who have it tend to be outspoken, and can have overall issues with the natural 'flow' of communication between two "normal" folks. Once you start to notice your own differences, you can actually adjust them.

2. Consider finding a group for support, most likely to be found online. However, take into consideration that most Aspergers individuals can be hard to talk to since they're, well, not always so good at that. You can use this group throughout your journey through life.

3. Consult a therapist to learn more about Aspergers. A therapist can develop a treatment plan to assist with daily living. Use the treatment plan to develop social skills. Some of the things practiced may include how to converse with folks in different social situations.

4. Determine what you want your quality of life to be and make a flexible plan so you can account for little hiccups. Unfortunately as black and white as life can be, it's really light grey/dark grey. So while you could know you want to have friends and be social, you may not want to be the kind of shallow 'non-Aspergers' individual who cheats on their significant other, lies, and doesn't pay bills on time.

5. Do not discuss sensitive topics. A treatment plan will discuss how to approach sensitive issues.

6. Don't think of Aspergers as a disease. Think of it as a personality type. Every personality type has its positives and negatives. Folks with Aspergers are generally very intelligent, but need help with social skills, such as anxiety management, choice making, and being optimistic.

7. Find someone to tutor you in a game (e.g., poker). Practice social skills while learning how to play the game.

8. If it's difficult for you to follow social rules, it might help to learn the reasons behind them. A good etiquette will help you learn, even if it never becomes easy, how to follow those rules.

9. If reading facial and body language is difficult for you, one trick is to watch soap operas. Soap opera actors are very emotive, and if you listen to their words for context and then freeze the screen on a facial expression or bit of body language, you can learn by rote what might come more naturally to others.

10. Join some clubs that feature activities of interest. People with Aspergers tend to be interested in a few narrow activities, and uninterested in anything outside of them.


11. Learn how to "lose" a game in such a way that it is not obvious that it was intentional.

12. Learn to play chess or other popular games. Join folks who can play them.

13. Learn when it is appropriate to touch folks. Practice what you learned and try to follow treatment plan recommendations.

14. Learn which specific aspects of Aspergers give you the most trouble, and try to work around them.

15. Maintain eye contact, but do not stare .The best way to achieve eye contact is to look at their left eye briefly and then shift to their right eye.

16. Make lifestyle choices that reflect your needs. If sensitivity to noise and crowds are one way Aspergers manifests for you, there is no need to build your life around a career that requires you to spend your time in noisy crowds.

17. Make sure to remember the basics. You have to remember to keep up the basics because they are what got you to the moment. When you remove vital, necessary parts of human life, you are just setting yourself up for a problem!

18. Many folks with Aspergers have extraordinary minds and the ability to solve problems in a way that non-Aspergers folks struggle with. Be proud of your mind and your differences.

19. Memorize folk's behavior when they are distressed. Ask friends how actions may have caused distress. Ask friends how to prevent causing distress in the future.

20. Folks may sometimes think you are lying, even when you are being truthful. The best way to avoid this is to always tell the truth to the best of your ability (e.g., if you do not know the correct answer to a question, respond accordingly).

21. Some agencies have special social and support groups for adults on the spectrum. Look around to see if there is one around you and join one! This will give you a safe place to make friends and learn social skills.

22. Since you don't always pick up cues about other folk's feelings, it's smart to ask if they are interested or have time to listen before you launch into an involved discussion of your favorite topic.

23. Spend some time thinking about the things you enjoy and those that are difficult for you, and how you can arrange your life to emphasize your strengths and work with your weaknesses.

24. Take pride in your uniqueness. Some aspects of living with Aspergers can make life difficult. Sensory issues and social awkwardness are two common manifestations that often are problematic. But folks with Aspergers have qualities that are worthy of pride as well. Maybe you have a good grasp of language and vocabulary, or an excellent memory, all of which are also common Aspergers manifestations.

25. Talk “with” folks – don't talk “at” them. A good ratio in a one on one conversation is to listen about 60% of the time and talk about 30%. Try not to talk for more than five minutes at a time. Let the other individual, or folks, set the pace of the conversation.

26. Try to be less critical of things, starting with the outside of your world, the folks in the street who walk too slow, the waitress who brought you the wrong food, and work your way toward your own world, your friends, family, just make sure to take it at the pace you can handle.

27. Try to behave in a manner that is seen as acceptable. Allow enough of your uniqueness to come through to intrigue folks, but try to keep most of it under control.

28. Use caution when trying to adjust your life. Don't let anyone ever tell you you're weird. Or let them, but don't even think twice about it.

29. When someone is talking about a problem in their life, they don't necessarily want to know how to solve it, even if you have the answer. Instead, ask them how they feel about the situation or what they have already tried or are considering. This lets them know you care and respects their ability to solve their own problems.

30. Work on being more animated during conversations (e.g., display a variety of facial expressions that correspond to what you’re saying).


Aspergers/HFA Children and Problems with Bathing/Showering

"Any tips for helping my high functioning daughter to take a bath? This is a daily battle that is becoming unbearable."

Sometimes getting your Aspergers or high functioning autistic youngster to take a bath or shower can be like pulling teeth. While some of these kids do enjoy playing in the tub, there are those who fight not to have to get washed up.

Here are some tips for helping your youngster to enjoy bath time and actually want to bathe:

1. Allow your youngster to use bath crayons in the bathtub. Bath crayons are great because they come in a few different colors and wash off easily on any type of tub. Let your youngster draw pictures in the bath tub and wash them away with the tub water. You can even teach your youngster how to write his name, words, sentences, or anything you like and give him a little education during bath time. Just be sure to explain to your youngster that bath crayons are only for tub time and never to be used anywhere else.

2. Buy bath mousse and let your youngster get creative. Bath mousse is sold anywhere that bath toys and crayons are and can be used to make all sorts of fun things in the bath tub. The nice thing about bath mousse is that it washes away easily, leaving no mess. Your youngster will love to make castles, animals, and monsters with the bath mousse. Bath mousse comes in different colors so there is a color to suit every youngster. When bath time is done, simply have him help you rinse the bath mousse from the sides of the tub and you've also then taught him to be responsible.

3. Don’t fight over the use of a wash cloth. Often times, AS and HFA children do not like the feel of a wash cloth.

4. Even though the youngster may not see any need to use soap or shampoo, if you put the shampoo in a bottle that has measurement marks on the side and highlight exactly how much should be used each time the hair is shampooed, there is a much better chance that the hair will be shampooed. The same can be done with bar soap or perhaps even liquid wash soap.

5. In order to have the same amount of water in the tub every time, you could install a decal on the side of the tub that shows exactly how high the water needs to go.

6. Let your youngster keep bath toys near the tub to play with. Bath toys of all sorts are a great way to help your youngster enjoy bath time. They make all sorts of toys specifically geared toward bath time fun. Try buying a bath basketball set and playing with your youngster or even plastic fish and a fishing pole. There are many bath time games that you and your youngster can play to help him enjoy bath time. If you don't want to have to go out and actually purchase bath toys, any of your youngster's toys (that don't have batteries) can be played with in the tub.

7. Put a hook on the back of the bathroom door so that a routine can be set for your youngster to know that this is where his/her “own” towel will always be before the bath, and that this particular place is where the towel is to be put back when the drying off has been done.

8. To make a routine to get the feet done, you can always put 2 decals in the shape of feet in the bottom of the tub. This will then be their special place to routinely put their feet when washing them and for getting in and out of the tub.

9. Try blowing bubbles with your younger child in the bathtub. Kids love blowing bubbles and watching them hit the water still intact. Children also love it when you blow a bunch of bubbles at once. Blowing bubbles in the bathtub will help your younger child enjoy bath time and want to take a bath when you tell him it's time.

10. When it comes to taking a bath or shower you might need to have a whole set of rituals that the youngster can adhere to.

11. When the AS or HFA youngster is finished with their bathing ritual, having the same set of towels or at least the same colored towels after each bath helps set the routine for drying themselves off.

12. You can put a small decal on each of the water handles to show how far they need to be turned.

If your daughter dreads a dunk in the tub even more than the family cat, bath time at your house is undoubtedly a nightly battle. Yet teaching kids good hygiene habits is definitely worth the effort. How often your youngster needs a soak depends on the time of year, the type of skin he has, and how dirty he gets.

Kids with normal skin who are active can bathe daily, and those with dry skin might choose to bath every one-to-two days. In the summer, especially if kids are playing outside, and once puberty starts, baths should be daily.

My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Aspergers Children

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