Asperger’s and HFA Teens as Aggressors

"Any strategies for dealing with an angry 17 y.o. teenager (autistic - high functioning) who has been more and more aggressive towards us, the parents, and his siblings?" Many children and teens with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) are regularly victimized, and even more regularly misunderstood. Naturally, they and their parents feel that they are unjustly treated and inappropriately discriminated against. They are the victims of a society that puts a considerable premium on reciprocal social relationships. Considering young people with AS and HFA as aggressors seems to fall-in with exactly the kind of stigma that has led to the injustice in the past. Nonetheless, aggression is a common problem, as many moms and dads will privately admit (in one survey, 40% of parents of autistic children reported “hitting other people” to be a problem). Warning signs that an AS or HFA teen may become aggressive include: Being cruel to pets Fantasizing about acts

Who should be responsible for helping teens and young adults with Asperger’s and HFA?

Jane, a 21-year old with Asperger’s, had worked as a secretary for her father when he was alive. But when he died and the company closed, she did not seek further work. She carried on living in the family home, which became more and more neglected. Jane enjoyed novels, and was reading Tolstoy's War and Peace when the author met her, but she did not know who to contact to change a broken light fitting or how to change it herself. So she read by candlelight. Her neighbors thought her weird, and the various doctors who saw her found her uncooperative. They believed that she was simply unmotivated to change. Although none of them said it, there was a definite implication that she was lazy and difficult. Jane continues to be dismissed by professionals as having moral failings, but not impairments. Adolescence and young adulthood are times of identity change and identity confusion. Understandably, teens and young adults do not want to define themselves in terms of impairmen

Communication Intervention and Social Skills Training for Kids on the Spectrum

"How can I help my child with high functioning autism to develop some important communication and language skills?" For most children with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA), the most important treatment strategy involves the need to enhance communication and social competence. This emphasis on social competence does not reflect a societal pressure for conformity, and it does not attempt to stifle individuality and uniqueness. Instead, it reflects the clinical fact that most children with AS and HFA are not loners by choice, and that there is a tendency (as these kids develop towards adolescence) for hopelessness, pessimism, and oftentimes, anxiety and depression due to the child’s (a) increasing awareness of personal inadequacy in social situations and (b) repeated experiences of failure to make and/or maintain friendships. The typical limitations of insight and self-reflection often preclude spontaneous self-adjustment to social and interpersonal