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Parent's Concrete Plan to Avert Meltdowns in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Question

Our son Nathan is four, turning five next month and has ASD. We have placed him in a mainstream school, grade RR and it has been a hectic week for him, us, his teachers at school. He is having meltdown after meltdown and is lashing out at the other kids by punching them, scratching them, or biting them severely. The parents are not happy and neither are the teachers. Please give us advice on how to deal with these abusive and often violent meltdowns as he refuses to go to timeout and threatens to punch the teachers. They don't know what to do or where to start to assist him.

Answer

Here are some important tips regarding meltdowns in children with ASD [High-Functioning Autism]:

• Help your youngster find more appropriate outlets for aggressive feelings and frustration, and encourage him to develop self control.

• Insist on an apology, directly to the person your youngster has bitten, and (if your youngster has bitten a baby or toddler) to the other youngster's parent.

• Pinpoint the cause. Is your youngster under a lot of stress? Does he have a new playmate from whom he may be picking up this behavior? Once you determine why your youngster is biting, you are well on the way to solving the problem.

• React immediately, with consequences that are connected to the act of biting. If your  youngster bites another youngster in a quarrel over a toy, remove the toy and don't let him play with it for a while. If he bites you because you will not give him a candy bar, make it clear that there will be no more candy bars until the biting behavior stops.
 

• REDIRECT any behavior that could lead to physical bopping or hitting. In many cases, what starts as fun and games ends with someone getting hurt. Don't be afraid to remove something that can cause harm or distress. Even an inflatable toy that doesn't hurt a youngster per se can reinforce negative behaviors of hitting one another, and should simply be discouraged.

• REFUSE to let your youngster play unattended with another youngster who consistently demonstrates hitting behaviors. It is your job to protect your youngster and to instill proper behaviors. You know what to do if your youngster is the one hitting, but don't hesitate stepping in if it is your youngster who is the one being hit (accidentally or not). You don't want your youngster to begin to think that he should also hit or hit back (or begin other bad behaviors, such as biting) in self-defense. You may need to speak up and even discipline another person's youngster to stop the inappropriate actions if the parent isn't acknowledging there is a problem. If you're comfortable, have a frank conversation with the parent of the youngster who is hitting. Consider choosing your words carefully to avoid anyone from becoming overly-defensive, and potentially ending a friendship. After all, next time it could be your own youngster with the behavioral issue.

• REMAIN calm and don't let your child see you get upset. You need to show a calm yet firm face so that your youngster knows that while you love him, you will not condone his actions and that it isn't ever okay to hit. Avoid over-reacting too. Use the redirection and firm "no hitting" words while removing the offender from the play area may be all that is needed.
 

• REMOVE the child on the spectrum from any situation in which he is deliberately hitting another youngster. If a youngster is a toddler and has begun socializing, consider ending the play-date and leave, howling and all. You need to teach your youngster that hitting another youngster ruins the activity for everyone. Of course, there are situations where you truly can't walk away. In this case a youngster must be removed from the others and not allowed to play with them. After a reasonable amount of time and after everyone has calmed down, you can talk with your youngster about the incident and then re-introduce the social play, but be sure to keep a very close eye on your youngster's actions. Nobody likes their youngster to be hit, and while some of the behavior is normal, it should be closely monitored and stopped. Plus, you don't want your own tot becoming known as a bully, or at the very least a youngster no one wants to be around.

• SUPERVISE your youngster and be prepared to react quickly. Too often, parents aren't attentive enough to young kids playing together because they are so busy having an adult conversation that they don't see warning signs of potentially-hurtful behavior starting. Don't rely on someone else to watch your youngster. Your youngster and his behavior is always your responsibility. At the same time, don't do the helicopter hover either.

• TALK with your youngster before he joins others in a playgroup about appropriate ways to act. Tell your youngster what you expect in easy-to-understand language. Once your youngster is old enough to really understand what you are saying, he is old enough to begin learning right from wrong.

Remember that having an youngster who hits, bites, scratches, etc., doesn't mean that they will grow up to be bad or become a bully. It's just your job to stop the action and properly discipline your youngster through loving guidance and age-appropriate communications.
 
More resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.


 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Being only 4 could probably be part of the problem
•    Anonymous said… I am a friend of Marisa and I agree with her. Her son was so unhappy at our school and I have seen him grow so much since he has been at this new school. He is like a different child. Take him to a place where he can be content.
•    Anonymous said… I am a mom of a 10 year old boy with Aspergers. He did grade 1 and 2 so unhappy in a remedial school. It was traumatic for him, and really bad for his self-confidence and his trust in us. By the time I was able to move him to a a school that deals purely with children on the spectrum, we had so much damage and hurt to undo. Your son is acting out because it is the only way he knows how to express himself. He is showing you that the situation is not a good one for him, as he is not capable of putting into words his emotions. As another mom, I would recommend that you move him to a place where they teach him social skills as well as an academic program, so that he doesn't grow into a teenager that still cannot understand 'neurotypical language'.
•    Anonymous said… I can only go by what i just read it doesnt sound like hes getting much support! Time out and punishment wont help......a safe place for him to regroup and calm could. Trying to deal with the blow out of too much stress after the fact wont help but trying to manage expectations transitions etc beforehand might. Does the teaching staff understand him and aspergers as a condition? Ita with kelly above......my son went into a new school they did not understand him they disciplined him and did not manage him properly at all..not their fault they did not understand him.....it took us an entire year to get things going somewhat smoothly and his confidence and esteem took a big knock. If i could go back i would have started out with a very definitive plan on how my son would be managed (iep) and how certain situations would be dealt with. I would have been a stronger advocate for my son.....i was struggling with the embarrassment of what he was behaving like and didnt focus enough on supporting him and his needs (not saying thats the case with anyone else that was just me) good luck i feel your pain its a difficult situation
•    Anonymous said… I know the feeling all too well ! he's just overwhelmed ... your son is not a bad child !!!! I use the positive re- enforcement you're a good boy ,you can do this, think how proud you're going to feel... good luck mama
•    Anonymous said… If at all possible, move to a different class or school where teacher/aide ratio is no more than 4 kids per adult. He needs lots of positive input and reinforcement that a mainstream teacher is not going to be able to provide - even with an IEP. Our son had a similar experience, and it took 2 years to undo the damage that was done to his development and self esteem. To this day, the parents of the kids in that class will avoid him and me. If you can't change schools, insist on an aide because of the high level of support he will need.
•    Anonymous said… In my opinion the school are not doing enough to recognise the signs before meltdown,of you have mastered it they need to to,,if they wont work with you and figure out the causes of his meltdowns and adjust things to make it easier on him,which he is entitled to be happy at school too,I would consider looking else where with a good reputation,there are lots schools are doing to make it less over whelming for all children ...less work on walls hanging up ect different lighting,things like coloured sheets to go over pages of books as it can be to much the white and black and all those words,,all triggers of a meltdown.... Maybe ask to sit in and see what's going on see if you can see his triggers smile emoticon hope I have not waffled to much.
•    Anonymous said… Make sure the school realises he is in a threatening environment for him. He is at meltdown point because no intervention has been given prior to him getting to that point. Once at meltdown he no longer can hear or think and will/can lash out. A meltdown can take up to 4 hours to recover from as the brain hormones released at this time leave the body, he needs time to recover from a meltdown not put in another situation that will cause further problems for him. He needs adults around him who take the time to get to KNOW him and his warning signs and take action to help him calm before meltdown. Time out at that point won't work, he can no longer think, but a relaxation break, (a lie down somewhere quiet, music, colouring in, whatever he likes to do quietly) or an active (climbing, running, jumping, rolling) break might help. Quick rewards of high interest given at the right time will help, a first then next timetable so he knows what the day looks like. All these things and many other strategies will help if his teacher and aid are willing.
•    Anonymous said… My HFA son is in Sr. Kindergarten. Last year when we transitioned him from Daycare to Jr. Kindergarten it was challenging. He too has aggressive tendencies (biting, kicking, scratching, throwing objects). We knew JK would be a challenge, so we gathered a team including the daycare, school, therapists etc and started planning early. The first few months were not easy - he was at 60% serious aggression level (60% of the days had a serious incident) and had many potty accidents. However, we persevered, had alot of communications and statistics and with the dedication of all involved, he finished the year at about 20% incident levels (and not as severe). This year, there has been virtually no problems - but keep in mind, same teacher and schedule for the second year. My fear is that the administrators don't realize how much support he needs to maintain this level. I am very happy we had a plan and are able to keep him totally integrated.I would suggest, professional observation of him in the clase, ABC analysis, statistical analysis, open communications and a good sense of humour.
•    Anonymous said… Take him out. There are other places. Not worth putting him through this trauma.
•    Anonymous said… We dealt with this at age 6. Started anxiety med and eventually placed in a Emotionally Disabled classroom. Sounds scary, but they have tools to build child back up. Small class size and aides. It did get worse for a few weeks...then we had a kid back. He was his old self. That tornado inside of him calmed down. He still has bad days, but once every few weeks, not everyday. Keep at it! Know you are not alone. You are a good mom, your son is lucky to have you.

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Learning to Parent a Child with a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder [Level 1]

“Our son now 6 went for assessment last Friday after a lot of form filling on his history etc. and doing tests with him, they - like me - have come to conclusion he has all the signs of a child with Autism (high functioning). Now that I finally have medical proof of what I have suspected for years, where do I go from here? How can I make his day easier? Basic tasks are major hurdles.”


When moms and dads seek help for their youngster, they encounter varied opinions – he'll outgrow it, leave him alone, it is no big deal, he just wants attention, and so on. Many professionals try to work with the high-functioning autistic youngster as if his disorder is like other disorders, but it is quite different. In most cases, there is a great misunderstanding by many people of the needs of these special individuals.

Diagnosis can be difficult. For the inexperienced, recognizing the defining characteristics of Autism can be difficult, and misdiagnoses are quite common. This is further complicated by the fact that an Autistic youngster or teen has many of the same characteristics found in other disorders. These various characteristics are often misinterpreted, overlooked, under-emphasized, or overemphasized. As a result, a youngster may receive many different diagnoses over time or from different professionals.

For example, if a youngster with Autism demonstrates a high degree of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - that might be the only diagnosis he receives. However, this is a common characteristic of Autistic kids. The same holds true if obsessive or compulsive behaviors are displayed – the youngster gets labeled with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) instead of Autism.

The following traits are also commonly seen in those with Autism in varying degrees. However, just because these traits are there, it doesn't mean that the youngster should be diagnosed differently; these traits should be noted as significant features of ASD [level 1]:


•    Anxiety
•    Difficulty with pragmatic language skills
•    Hyperlexia (advanced word recognition skills)
•    Motor deficits
•    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
•    Sensory difficulties
•    Social skills deficits

Professionals who do not have much experience with Autism have a hard time identifying the defining characteristics. For example, social skill deficits may be noted by a professional, but then they are often downplayed because the youngster or adolescent appears to be having appropriate conversations with others or seems to be interested in other people. But with an Autistic youngster, the conversations are not generally reciprocal, so the youngster must be carefully observed to see whether or not there is true back-and-forth interaction. Also, many Autistic kids have an interest in others, but you need to clarify if the objects of their interest are age appropriate. Do they interact with peers in an age-appropriate fashion? Can they maintain friendships over a period of time or do they end as the novelty wears off? These are the types of observations and questions that must be asked in order to ensure a proper diagnosis.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Another example of an overlooked area is the narrow routines or rituals that are supposed to be present. This does not always manifest as obsessive-compulsive behavior in the typical sense, such as repeated hand washing or neatness, but rather in the insistence on the need for rules about many issues and situations. These kids may not throw tantrums over their need for rules, but may require them just as much as the person who has a meltdown when a rule is violated. In essence, there is no single profile of the typical Autistic individual. They are not all the same.

Because of these subtleties and nuances, the single most important consideration in diagnosis is that the person making the initial diagnosis be familiar with autistic spectrum disorders. They should have previously diagnosed numerous kids. To make a proper, initial diagnosis requires the following:

1. An evaluation by an occupational therapist familiar with sensory integration difficulties may provide additional and valuable information.

2. It is important to include a speech and language evaluation, as those with Autism will display impairments in the pragmatics and semantics of language, despite having adequate receptive and expressive language. This will also serve to make moms and dads aware of any unusual language patterns the youngster displays that will interfere in later social situations. Again, these oddities may not be recognized if the evaluator is not familiar with Autism.

3. The youngster should see a neurologist or developmental pediatrician (again, someone familiar with autistic spectrum disorders) for a thorough neurological exam to rule out other medical conditions and to assess the need for medication. The physician may suggest additional medical testing (blood, urine, fragile X, hearing).

4. You (both moms and dads) and your youngster should have sessions with a psychologist where your youngster is carefully observed to see how he responds in various situations. This is done through play or talk sessions in the psychologist's office and by discussions with both moms and dads. The psychologist may ask you to complete checklists or questionnaires to gain a better understanding of the youngster's behaviors at home and/or school. If the youngster is in school, the psychologist may call the youngster's teacher or ask her to complete additional checklists. The checklists or questionnaires used should be ones that are appropriate for individuals with Autism. It is important to determine the IQ level of your youngster as well. An average or above-average IQ is necessary for a diagnosis of Autism.

==> How to Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

O.K. My youngster has been diagnosed with ASD – so now what?

Parenting kids displaying Autism characteristic behavior will often require an approach which is somewhat unique to that of other kids. Finding the balance between understanding the needs of a youngster with Autism and discipline which is age appropriate and situationally necessary is achievable when applying some simple but effective strategies. These strategies can be implemented both at home and in more public settings.

General Behavior Problems—

Traditional discipline may fail to produce the desired results for kids with Autism, primarily because they are unable to appreciate the consequences of their actions. Consequently, punitive measures are apt to exacerbate the type of behavior the punishment is intended to reduce, whilst at the same time giving rise to distress in both the youngster and parent.

At all times the emotional and physical well-being of your youngster should take priority. Often this will necessitate removing your youngster from a potentially distressing situation as soon as possible. Consider maintaining a diary of your youngster's behavior with a view to ascertaining patterns or triggers. Recurring behavior may be indicative of a youngster taking some satisfaction in receiving a desired response from peers, moms and dads or teachers.

For example, a youngster with Autism may come to understand that hurting another youngster in class will result in his being removed from class, notwithstanding the associated consequence to his peer. The solution may not be most effectively rooted in punishing the youngster for the behavior, or even attempting to explain the situation from the perspective of their injured peer, but by treating the root cause behind the motivation for the misbehavior...for example, can the youngster be made more comfortable in class so that they will not want to leave it?

==> Parenting System that Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder

One of the means to achieve this may be to focus on the positive. Praise for good behavior, and reinforcement by way of something like a Reward Book, can assist. The use of encouraging verbal cues delivered in a calm tone are likely to elicit more beneficial responses than the harsher verbal warnings which might be effective on kids who are not displaying some sort of Autistic characteristic. If necessary, when giving directions to cease a type of misbehavior, these should also be couched as positives rather than negatives. For example, rather than telling a youngster to stop hitting his brother with the ruler, the youngster should be directed to put the ruler down.

Obsessive or Fixated Behavior—

Almost all kids go through periods of development where they become engrossed in one subject matter or another, but kids with Autism often display obsessive and repetitive characteristics, which can have significant implications for behavior.

For example, if an Autistic youngster becomes fixated upon reading a particular story each night, theymay become distressed if this regime is not adhered to, or if the story is interrupted. Again, the use of a behavior diary can assist in identifying fixations for your youngster. Once a fixation is identified, it is important to set appropriate boundaries for your youngster. Providing a structure within which your youngster can explore the obsession can assist in then keeping the obsession within reasonable limits, without the associated angst which might otherwise arise through such limitations. For example, tell your youngster that they may watch their favorite cartoon for half an hour after dinner, and make clear time for that in their routine.

It is appropriate to utilize the obsession to motivate and reward your youngster for good behavior. Always ensure any reward associated with positive behavior is granted immediately to assist the youngster recognizing the nexus between the two.

A particularly useful technique to try to develop social reciprocity is to have your youngster talk for five minutes about a particularly favored topic after they have listened to you talk about an unrelated topic. This serves to help your youngster understand that not everyone shares their enthusiasm for their subject matter.

==> Parenting System that Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Bridging the Gap Between ASD and Discipline and Other Siblings—

For siblings without the disorder, the differential and what at times no doubt appears to be preferential treatment received by an Autistic sibling can give rise to feelings of confusion and frustration. Often, they will fail to understand why their brother or sister apparently seems free to behave as they please without the normal constraints placed upon them.

It is important to explain to siblings or peers of Autistic kids and encourage open discussion about the disorder itself. Encouragement should extend to the things siblings can do to assist the Autism youngster, and this should be positively reinforced through acknowledgement when it occurs.

Sleep Difficulties—

Autistic kids are known to experience sleep problems. Kids on the spectrum may have lesser sleep requirements, and as such are more likely to become anxious about sleeping, or may find they become anxious when waking during the night or early in the morning.

Combat your youngster's anxiety by making their bedrooms a place of safety and comfort. Remove or store items which might be prone to injure your youngster if they decide to wander at night. Include in the behavioral diary a record of your youngster's sleep patterns. It may assist your youngster if you keep a list of their routine, including dinner, bath time, story and bed, in order to provide structure. Include an image or symbol of them waking in the morning to provide assurance as to what will happen. Social stories have proven to be a particularly successful tactic in decreasing a youngster's anxiety by providing clear instructions on how part of their day is likely to play out.

==> Unraveling the Mystery Behind High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

At School—


Another Autistic characteristic is that kids will often experience difficulty during parts of the school day which lack structure. If left to their own devices their difficulties with social interaction and self-management can result in anxiety. The use of a buddy system can assist in providing direction, as can the creation of a timetable for recess and lunch times. These should be raised with class teachers and implemented with their assistance.

Explain the concept of free time to your youngster, or consider providing a separate purpose or goal for your youngster during such time, such as reading a book, or helping to set up paint and brushes for the afternoon tasks.

In Public—

Kids with Autism can become overwhelmed to the point of distress by even a short sojourn in public. The result is that many moms and dads with Autism simply seek to avoid as much as possible situations where their youngster is exposed to the public. While expedient, it may not offer the best long-term solution to your youngster, and there are strategies to assist with outings.

Consider providing your youngster with an iPad, or have the radio on in the car to block out other sounds and stimuli. Prepare a social story or list explaining to the youngster a trip to the shops, or doctor. Be sure to include on the list your return home. Consider giving your youngster a task to complete during the trip, or having them assist you. At all times, maintaining consistency when dealing with Autism and discipline is key. It pays to ensure that others involved in your youngster's care are familiar with your strategies and techniques, such as those outlined above, and are able to apply them.

Most importantly, don't hesitate to seek support networks for other moms and dads, and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge those who have dealt with the disorder before you. The assistance you can gain from these and other resources can assist you in developing important strategies to deal with problems with ASD [level 1] in a manner most beneficial to your youngster.

 

More resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

Rituals and Obsessions in Children with ASD [Level 1]

Question

I work with a young boy with ASD, and we (the parents and I) are looking for ways to help the child with repetitive (perseverative) thoughts, i.e., he wants to know what his snack is for school. He will ask his mom, his mom will tell him, then he will ask again while getting dressed, then ask again while getting on the bus, then he screams from the bus window, "what’s for snack today?", then the school nurse will call and say he needs to talk to Mom or Dad because he needs to ask again.

Answer

You’re referring to obsessive thoughts. Rituals and obsessions are one of the hallmarks of ASD [High-Functioning Autism]. In order to cope with the anxieties and stresses about the chaotic world around them, kids often obsess and ritualize their behaviors to comfort themselves. 
 
While some kids may spend their time intensely studying one area, others may be compulsive about cleaning, lining up items, or even doing things which put them or others in danger.
 

How to deal with an ASD child's obsessions:

1. Be prepared for resistance by arming yourself with suggestions and alternatives to your youngster's behavior. A great way of doing this is by creating a "social story". Carol Gray's Social Stories site is a great resource for parents and educators alike to create books which will modify behavior in kids with autistic spectrum disorders.

2. Choose your battles wisely. Breaking an obsession or ritual is like running a war campaign. If not planned wisely or if you attempt to fight on many fronts, you're guaranteed to fail. Not only is it time consuming and tiring, it means you can't devote 100% to each particular area. 
 
So, if you have a youngster with a game obsession, a phobia of baths and bedtime troubles, choose only one to deal with. Personally, and I have had that choice, I dealt with the bedtime troubles. Using logic, a sleep deprived youngster certainly isn't going to deal with behavioral modification in other areas well. Plus, it was having an effect on his overall health. Deal with the worst first!
 

3. Communicate with your youngster to explain the effect that his or her ritual is having on your family as a whole. My son's 2am wake-up calls were affecting me mentally, emotionally and physically, and I told him so. I pulled some research off the internet about sleep needs and discussed this with him.

4. Speak to professionals for advice. Contact your pediatrician for recommendations for behavior therapists. Your local parent support groups and national associations, such as the National Autistic Society, will not only provide you support but the information you need to move forward with your youngster.

5. When breaking an obsession or ritual, examine the ways that you may have fed into this. With my son's bedtime activities, I found I was too tired to fight his waking up at 2am. While dealing with this ritual, I ensured I was in bed early myself so I had enough sleep in me to knock his night owl tendencies on the head.

6. When tackling any problem with any youngster, ASD or not, it's always best to remain calm at all times. Kids can feed off your anger, frustration and anxiety, so keeping a level head at all times is essential. If you feel a situation is escalating and elevating your blood pressure, take a step back and collect yourself.

 
More resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
 

 

COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… Can anyone advise when a child is fixated on a place eg the park, they will ask from the min they wake all day long. This is usually only resolved by going to the park or trying to reason that another day/time would be better. Tia.
•    Anonymous said… Can he take/pack his own snack and bring it in? He would have more control and might help him feel less anxious..?
•    Anonymous said… Draw a pic of snack
•    Anonymous said… I think this sounds like ADHD. He is not holding onto the information long enough to understand its meaning. I say don't make more work for yourself or the parents. Allow him to choose his snacks at the grocery store and pack them himself every morning.
•    Anonymous said… It's his routine,comfort, his way of processing that he is on way to school and maybe not very able to cope with that.
My son will say every night 'are you coming in afterwards'.
He knows I will come in as soon as I've read my younger daughter he story. And I tell him. But he has to ask. It's just what he does. Much to everyone's annoyance...that's his routine. Maybe it's because he needs me to say it to settle in his bed? Maybe he is checking? Maybe it's his comfort?
But, he asks every night and that's that!
•    Anonymous said… My son gets stuck on getting things he wants ie video games . He will basically badger us over and over about the thing he wants. When he earns it he will move onto something else he wants. I am not sure if this is bipolar mixed with Aspergers?
•    Anonymous said… Some good ideas here. You could also try giving limits to when he can ask and then reducing the number to once. So he can ask 3 times before school and no more. Then reduce to twice then once. All with the rule clearly stated and warning of it reducing. I found limiting things very effective. It may be the asking that is the obsession rather than the snack itself. Good luck.
•    Anonymous said… Take a picture and print it off
•    Anonymous said… Take a picture of his snack with his cell phone or tablet. Of he doesn't have one, plan ahead, take a picture of it, print it and let him put it in his pocket or put it in a lanyard with his lunch card. That way he can look at it for the answer.
•    Anonymous said… This is when I worry a child will be misdiagnosed with OCD. He can't process his snack for some reason, it's not obsession. The ideas above to help him process are great ideas.
•    Anonymous said… Try writing it on sticky notes and post them in the places he usually asks, his bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Also give him a note for his pocket too. I had to do this for my son and when he would ask, I would just point to the note. He got to the point where he would look for the note instead of asking. I also like the picture idea. My son was/is very visual. He remembers better if he can see the actual item. Hope this helps.
•    Anonymous said… We also take pics of things she needs to part with so she can look at them anytime (iPad) no clutter!
•    Anonymous said… We went thru this in second grade and started using a see through bag so he could learn to how to find the answer in his own. Worked like a charm. Keep laughing it helps
•    Anonymous said… Write it down for him and stick it in his pocket.Beware and prepare him that it could change if they are out of said snack.I get around the time thing like that.Ex.....I plan to be there at 12:00 but it could be 12:ish......ish is my favorite thing to add because it builds flexibility.

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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.

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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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