Overwhelming Emotional States in Children with Asperger's and HFA

Unlike temper tantrums, meltdowns are triggered by anxiety – not anger. The child with Asperger’s, or High-Functioning Autism, is in an overwhelming emotional state due to environmental stressors around him or her. This, in turn, can produce the fight-or-flight response, where removing the child from the situation (i.e., flight) is often the best option. Noisy and crowded places, florescent lighting in stores, other people’s cologne or perfume, etc., all cause neurological responses in the child where his or her brain is over-stimulated and needs to “reset.” Usually, the best way to reset an over-stimulated brain is to have the child go to a quiet place – alone! In this way, his or her emotional alarm system will have the time and space to wind down. The following videos will provide additional information regarding meltdowns in Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism:  ==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger&#

Is it High-Functioning Autism, ADHD -- or Both?

“My high functioning autistic son has difficulty paying attention in school (3rd grade). He is also somewhat hyper most of the time. My husband and I are beginning to wonder if he has ADHD instead of – or in addition to – high functioning autism. Are these two disorders similar? And do some high functioning autistics also get the ADHD diagnosis?” Hyperactivity and inattention are common in kids with High-Functioning Autism (HFA), particularly in early childhood. Differential diagnostic considerations are paramount, particularly in the context of HFA. Hyperactivity and inattention are seen in a variety of other disorders (e.g., developmental receptive language disorders, anxiety, and depression). Therefore, the appearance of inattention or hyperactivity does not point exclusively to ADHD. The compatibility of the child and his school curriculum is particularly important when evaluating symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention. There is a risk that a school program that is poo

How Therapists Teach Social Skills to Children on the Autism Spectrum

“The importance of teaching social skills is mentioned a lot on this site. I was wondering what a therapist actually does when he or she is training a child with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism. Can parents accomplish the same results at home?” The therapist who teaches social skills to children on the autism spectrum usually begins by breaking down complex social behaviors into smaller pieces. Then he arranges these smaller parts in order of difficulty, and gradually introduces them to the child. For instance, a therapist who is helping a child learn to feel more comfortable in group activities could make a list of specific behaviors that belong to the complex behavior called behaving appropriately in groups , which would include specific actions that will make in more likely the child will “fit-in” with his/her peer-group (e.g., introducing oneself to others, making conversation with several peers in the group rather than just one “favored” peer, keeping one

Developing Language Skills: Help for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Instead of delaying language development, AS and HFA impairs the subtleties of social communication. These boys and girls have difficulty understanding nuances (e.g., irony, sarcasm, fanciful or metaphoric language, etc.), and many of them take language literally (e.g., expressions like “watching paint dry” or “smart as a tack” leave these kids very confused). These kids also have difficulty interpreting and displaying non-verbal communication. Body language, facial expressions, the use of personal space, gestures and postures are often mysteries to boys and girls on the autism spectrum. This inability to instinctively comprehend unspoken communication has led some experts to suggest Asperger’s is actually a non-verbal communication disorder. In this post, we will discuss the following: Characteristic Checklist for Asperger’s and HFA  Language Disorder  Parenting Tips for Helping with Language-skills Acquisition  Click here for the full article...