Archive for June, 2008

Coping with Asperger Syndrome

Asperger syndrome can be a difficult disorder for children and their parents. This disorder brings difficulties socializing and communicating with your child. It may also mean fewer play dates and birthday invitations and more stares at the grocery store from people who don’t understand that a child’s meltdown is part of a disability.

Fortunately there are several things you can do to cope with Asperger syndrome. The first thing to do is learn about the disorder. There is a large amount of information in books and web sites. Do some research so that you better understand your child’s challenges and the range of services in your school district and state that may help. Another big help for you is to learn about your child. With some time and patience, you’ll learn which situations and environments may cause problems for your child and which coping strategies work. Keeping a diary and looking for patterns may help.

You’ll need to make important decisions about your child’s education and treatment. Find a team of teachers and therapists that you trust. They can help evaluate the options in your area and explain the federal regulations regarding children with disabilities.

The tendency to fixate on a particular narrow topic is one of the hallmarks of Asperger’s syndrome, and it can be annoying to those who must listen to incessant talk about the topic every day. But a consuming interest can also connect a child with Asperger’s syndrome to schoolwork and social activities. In some cases, kids with Asperger’s syndrome can even turn their childhood fascination into a career or profession.

Add comment June 12th, 2008

Asperger Syndrome Can be Overwhelming

Children with Asperger Syndrome have the intelligence to have success in school but they often do not have the emotional strength to cope with the demands of the classroom. These children are easily stressed due to their inflexibility and low self-esteem. They are often very self-critical and unable to tolerate making mistakes. Children with Asperger Syndrome may be prone to depression. Temper outbursts are a common response to stress and frustration. These children rarely seem relaxed and are easily overwhelmed when things are not the way they think they should be. Interacting with people and coping with the ordinary demands of everyday life take continual effort. If you think your child has symptoms of depression, talk with your child and your child’s doctor. 

Let your child know that you’re there whenever he or she needs you. Say this over and over again — your child may need to hear it a lot because he or she feels unworthy of love and attention. Remember, kids who are depressed see the world through “dark lenses” because their experiences are colored by their depression. They might act like they don’t want help or might not even know what they are really experiencing. It’s important to let your child know that you understand what he or she might be going through and that you’re going to seek an expert opinion to find a way to make life easier.

Add comment June 11th, 2008

Classroom Success for High Functioning Autism

 When students with autism are mainstreamed into the regular classroom setting they would be much more sucessful in classes that are their academic strengths, strong interests, and take place in a structured setting. Many high-functioning students with autism have been very successful in school when they are assisted by an individual aide. Again this should be a person who knows about autism. Such a person would benefit from receiving specific training regarding high-functioning autism. The aide is most helpful when they assist in developing and implementing the structure that will be useful in increasing the child’s independence. Providing a student with autism structured opportunities to interact with peers can help him develop his social skills. Another way a student with autism might benefit is to have an assigned buddy who accompanies him in some less structured social situations. As students with autism move into middle school and high school, extracurricular activities become another structured opportunity for peer interaction. Joining groups that are related to the strengths and interests of a child with autism gives them the opportunity to interact around a shared interest.

Many students with autism benefit from using a notebook that helps them organize their work and materials. Some students have difficulty remembering which books to take home. It is often helpful to give students with autism two sets of books; one for home and one for school. This reduces the number of ideas that the child needs to organize to be able to complete his homework in a timely way. It is also important for individuals with autism to learn to rely on daily schedules. By doing so, they will be able to function in a more organized and independent manner as adults. A daily schedule can be writen on the inside cover of their school notebook. Changes can be highlighted so that he can anticipate them without becoming upset.

Add comment June 5th, 2008

High Functioning Autism

Certain types of high functioning autism are often diagnosed as Aspergers Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Symptoms include delayed or absence of speech, the inability to appropriately relate to others, repetitive movements, such as hand flapping, and an insistence of a routine. With the correct intervention, the higher functioning child with autism can learn to overcome his difficulties and eventually be mainstreamed into a regular classroom. 

 One of the biggest misconceptions of high functioning children with autism is that they are unable to accomplish or learn many tasks as reflected by their low testing IQ scores. This is not the case, since measuring the IQ of such children cannot be done with any degree of accuracy. Many factors, such as distractions in the testing environment as well as their level of hyperactivity may interfere with the test taking. Quite simply, the child with high functioning autism may just require more time to respond along with some visual input to help clarify a question. This is especially true since children with autism tend to think in more visual terms than most people do.

Add comment June 3rd, 2008


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