Tag Archives: Social Interactions

Question?: Asperger Syndrome In Adults

John asks…

Is there anyone else that has Aspergers Syndrome?

I ONLY WANT PEOPLE WITH ASPERGERS TO ANSWER THIS
I have Aspergers Syndrome and I am the only person at my school with it… as far as I know.
I want to get an idea of how many people there are with Aspergers and what’s it’s like for them living with it. I DO know that one in one thousand people in the world have Aspergers.
Anything will do… I’m keen to know.

admin answers:

I’m an adult with Asperger’s syndrome. I have poor social skills, which makes it hard to make/keep friends, participate in social interactions or relate to other people. I am noticeably different from the people around me, but I still live a pretty normal life. I’ve been through college, I have a good job, I’m married (to someone who I suspect has Asperger’s syndrome too, although he has never been diagnosed), we live in our own apartment etc. I have few friends though and don’t socialize much, because I’m quite terrible at it. Asperger’s syndrome has its good and bad sides and I have learned to use the good sides to compensate for the bad ones. That has worked well for me and gotten me ahead.

There exist many online discussion forums for people with Asperger’s syndrome. Maybe it would be helpful for you to visit some and get the chance to talk to other people with Asperger’s syndrome, so you won’t feel like you’re the only one. I can recommend the forums at http://www.wrongplanet.net , they’ve been very useful for me.

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Routine Developmental Screening Essential To Identify Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay, Autism

Main Category: Autism
Article Date: 30 Aug 2012 – 1:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Routine Developmental Screening Essential To Identify Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay, Autism
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Hispanic children often have undiagnosed developmental delays and large numbers of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children who first were thought to have developmental delay actually had autism, researchers affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute have found.

The study, one of the largest to date to compare development in Hispanic and non-Hispanic children, is published in the journal Autism. The results lead the study authors to recommend increased public health efforts to improve awareness, especially among Hispanics, about the indicators of developmental delay and autism.

“Our study raises concerns about access to accurate, culturally relevant information regarding developmental milestones and the importance of early detection and treatment,” said Virginia Chaidez, the lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences when the study was conducted. “Autism and developmental delay tend to go undiagnosed when parents are not aware of the signs to look for, and the conditions are often misdiagnosed when parents don’t have access to adequate developmental surveillance and screening.”

Developmental delay is diagnosed in children who lag behind others in reaching important mental or physical milestones, while autism is characterized by deficits in social interactions and communication behaviors. The symptoms of both disorders can be improved with targeted interventions, with the greatest improvements seen when interventions begin early in life.

In conducting the study, the researchers used data from the Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study, a population-based study of factors that increase risk for autism or developmental delay. The current study included 1,061 children living in California who were between 24 and 60 months of age. They were divided into three groups: children with autism, children with developmental delay but not autism, and children with typical development. All diagnoses were confirmed or changed based on evaluations by MIND Institute clinicians.

The evaluations of Hispanic children were conducted by bicultural and bilingual clinicians in Spanish or English, depending on the primary language used at home. The results for children with at least one Hispanic parent of any race were compared to the results for children of non-Hispanic white parents.

“Our goal was to use the CHARGE Study to help fill the gaps in research on autism for Hispanics so we can better understand what autism is like for this growing U.S. population,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences, researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute and principal investigator of CHARGE. “No other study of autism has included such a large proportion of Hispanic children.”

When the outcomes for Hispanic children were compared to non-Hispanic children, the results revealed more similarities than differences in terms of autism profiles, including diagnostic scores, language function, whether or not children lost acquired skills and overall intellectual, social and physical functioning.

A striking outcome, however, was that 6.3 percent of Hispanic children enrolled in the study who were selected randomly out of the general population met criteria for developmental delay, compared with only 2.4 percent of non-Hispanic participants, which is the expected percentage. This raised concerns among the researchers that many Hispanic children with developmental delays may not be getting the services they need.

For both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children, there was a high percentage (about 19 percent overall) of Hispanic and non-Hispanic children recruited for the study with developmental delay who actually met criteria for autism, raising concerns about adequate access to accurate developmental assessment.

When the analysis was restricted to bilingual children, a significant relationship also emerged between secondary language exposure (when a child was spoken to 25 to 50 percent of the time in a language other than English) and lower scores on standardized tests of receptive and expressive language. This resulted in lower overall cognitive scores for this group.

“Our results emphasize the importance of considering cultural and other family factors such as multiple language exposure that can affect development when interpreting clinical tests, even when they are conducted in the child’s preferred language,” said Robin Hansen, chief of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at UC Davis, director of clinical programs with the MIND Institute and a study co-author.

Hansen, the MIND Institute clinical team and the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the MIND Institute have worked hard to provide accurate, current and evidence-based information about developmental disabilities to parents, educators, therapists and health-care specialists through an annual conference, website resources and community outreach.

“That so many children are slipping through the cracks is disheartening,” Hansen said. “The differences between developmental disabilities can be subtle but important and involve distinct treatment pathways. We need to make sure that all children are getting routine developmental screening, early diagnosis and intervention so they can achieve their fullest potential.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. The study, titled “Autism spectrum disorders in Hispanics and non-Hispanics,” is available at http://aut.sagepub.com/content/16/4/381. The research was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (grants R01-ES015359 and P01-ES11269), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s STAR program (grants R-829388 and R-833292) and the UC Davis MIND Institute.
University of California – Davis Health System Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

MLA

n.p. “Routine Developmental Screening Essential To Identify Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay, Autism.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 30 Aug. 2012. Web.
30 Aug. 2012. APA

Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.


‘Routine Developmental Screening Essential To Identify Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay, Autism’

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Diagnosis Often Missed For Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Article Date: 29 Aug 2012 – 2:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Diagnosis Often Missed For Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay
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Broader outreach on developmental milestones needed

Hispanic children often have undiagnosed developmental delays and large numbers of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children who first were thought to have developmental delay actually had autism, researchers affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute have found.

The study, one of the largest to date to compare development in Hispanic and non-Hispanic children, is published in the journal Autism. The results lead the study authors to recommend increased public health efforts to improve awareness, especially among Hispanics, about the indicators of developmental delay and autism.

“Our study raises concerns about access to accurate, culturally relevant information regarding developmental milestones and the importance of early detection and treatment,” said Virginia Chaidez, the lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences when the study was conducted. “Autism and developmental delay tend to go undiagnosed when parents are not aware of the signs to look for, and the conditions are often misdiagnosed when parents don’t have access to adequate developmental surveillance and screening.”

Developmental delay is diagnosed in children who lag behind others in reaching important mental or physical milestones, while autism is characterized by deficits in social interactions and communication behaviors. The symptoms of both disorders can be improved with targeted interventions, with the greatest improvements seen when interventions begin early in life.

In conducting the study, the researchers used data from the Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study, a population-based study of factors that increase risk for autism or developmental delay. The current study included 1,061 children living in California who were between 24 and 60 months of age. They were divided into three groups: children with autism, children with developmental delay but not autism, and children with typical development. All diagnoses were confirmed or changed based on evaluations by MIND Institute clinicians.

The evaluations of Hispanic children were conducted by bicultural and bilingual clinicians in Spanish or English, depending on the primary language used at home. The results for children with at least one Hispanic parent of any race were compared to the results for children of non-Hispanic white parents.

“Our goal was to use the CHARGE Study to help fill the gaps in research on autism for Hispanics so we can better understand what autism is like for this growing U.S. population,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences, researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute and principal investigator of CHARGE. “No other study of autism has included such a large proportion of Hispanic children.”

When the outcomes for Hispanic children were compared to non-Hispanic children, the results revealed more similarities than differences in terms of autism profiles, including diagnostic scores, language function, whether or not children lost acquired skills and overall intellectual, social and physical functioning.

A striking outcome, however, was that 6.3 percent of Hispanic children enrolled in the study who were selected randomly out of the general population met criteria for developmental delay, compared with only 2.4 percent of non-Hispanic participants, which is the expected percentage. This raised concerns among the researchers that many Hispanic children with developmental delays may not be getting the services they need.

For both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children, there was a high percentage (about 19 percent overall) of Hispanic and non-Hispanic children recruited for the study with developmental delay who actually met criteria for autism, raising concerns about adequate access to accurate developmental assessment.

When the analysis was restricted to bilingual children, a significant relationship also emerged between secondary language exposure (when a child was spoken to 25 to 50 percent of the time in a language other than English) and lower scores on standardized tests of receptive and expressive language. This resulted in lower overall cognitive scores for this group.

“Our results emphasize the importance of considering cultural and other family factors such as multiple language exposure that can affect development when interpreting clinical tests, even when they are conducted in the child’s preferred language,” said Robin Hansen, chief of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at UC Davis, director of clinical programs with the MIND Institute and a study co-author.

Hansen, the MIND Institute clinical team and the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the MIND Institute have worked hard to provide accurate, current and evidence-based information about developmental disabilities to parents, educators, therapists and health-care specialists through an annual conference, website resources and community outreach.

“That so many children are slipping through the cracks is disheartening,” Hansen said. “The differences between developmental disabilities can be subtle but important and involve distinct treatment pathways. We need to make sure that all children are getting routine developmental screening, early diagnosis and intervention so they can achieve their fullest potential.”

For information on developmental milestones, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Learn the Signs” website , which is available in English and Spanish at. Parents with concerns about their child’s development should work with their health-care provider, school district and California Department of Developmental Services regional center to identify appropriate services.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (grants R01-ES015359 and P01-ES11269), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s STAR program (grants R-829388 and R-833292) and the UC Davis MIND Institute.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. “Autism spectrum disorders in Hispanics and non-Hispanics”, Virginia Chaidez et al.
Autism March 7, 2012, doi: 10.1177/1362361311434787

Source: UC Davis MIND Institute

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

MLA

n.p. “Diagnosis Often Missed For Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 29 Aug. 2012. Web.
29 Aug. 2012. APA

Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.


‘Diagnosis Often Missed For Hispanic Children With Developmental Delay’

Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.


View the original article here

How to Bully Proof Your Child With Autism

Does your child have a bully problem? If not, consider yourself lucky that you don’t have a bully to deal with right now but would you and your child be prepared if one should arrive on his or her doorstep tomorrow?

Bullying is difficult for anyone to deal with, regardless of age. All children are targets for bullying but a child on the autism spectrum is especially vulnerable. Due to the fact that the social part of their brain is wired differently, this type of behavior can be very complicated for a child with Autism to understand and deal with. Therefore, they desperately need our guidance in learning how to label bullying behavior and practice in ways to manage it.

Teaching a child with Autism to cope with bullying behavior is imperative in today’s world. Bullies like to target peers that they consider to be weak or passive. Weakness may be determined by physical size but can also be interpreted as someone who is sensitive by nature, has a quiet personality, or seems needy or isolated. Bullies also enjoy taunting a peer who is easily provoked to tears or triggered into a meltdown.

A bully and his or her target are often lacking in social skills but in different ways. Bullies typically know the basics of social skills but for various reasons choose to ignore them and utilize power and force to develop relationships instead. On the other hand, a child with Autism will use appropriate social skills if taught – it’s not that they are intentionally awkward in a social situation or don’t want to make friends – they just don’t know how in many cases.

How do you prepare your child for the negative social interactions she or he may have to deal with?

Studies show that helping your child develop a sense of self-confidence and a mindfulness of body language can help reduce their possibility of being targeted by a bully. You may be doing a lot already to prepare your child for a possible encounter with a bully without knowing it. I invite you to review the following strategies and see if there are any new ideas you can incorporate into your teaching role as parent.

– Help your child be social: Social skills training and teaching your child how to think socially is imperative. Whatever social skills your child is able to acquire will be helpful. At a minimum, knowing what a healthy friendly relationship is like will be a positive asset to many situations. If a child has an accurate sense of what constitutes a friendship he or she will be able to identify and see bullying for what it is right from the start. The sooner one spots a bully the easier it is to deal with.

– Teach assertiveness: Learning how to be appropriately assertive rather than aggressive or passive is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Bullies are counting on their targets to be passive and will not spend time grooming a child who is likely to speak up for her or himself. Teaching your child the word no and how to say it in various forms and ways is crucial. The non-verbal language for assertiveness is just as important and it involves standing straight, using a firm voice and looking someone in the eye – all of which send powerful messages to bullies.

It is a well-known fact that some children with Autism do not like to make eye contact. Try challenging them to determine the ‘color’ of a person’s eyes when talking to them. This a simple distraction technique for an uncomfortable task that will make them appear confident and self-assured.

– Build confidence: Give specific praise each time your autistic child makes an effort to try a new task. “You climbed the ladder by looking at where to put your feet. That’s the safest way to do it!” This gives your child a detailed picture of what she did which makes it easy to replicate for continued success. Hearing that she is climbing the ladder safely and correctly provides her with a feeling of accomplishment that can carry over into other areas.

– Encourage independence: Children who appear capable are less likely to be targeted by individuals who bully others. Bullies actively search for those who are vulnerable, those who seem helpless. Helping our children become as independent as possible is important and we need to be mindful of the tendency to do too much for our children with special needs because it can lead to learned helplessness. Don’t ever hesitate to help your child learn and master a new task if you think they are ready. The feeling of “I can do it” is powerful and will serve as one more layer of protection from the taunts of a bully.

– Address fears: All children have fears that are caused by a number of different sources. Learning to identify and express their fears is crucial to children’s emotional well-being. It is important to give your child language for his fears and various ways to express them such as speaking, signing, drawing, writing or acting them out depending on their abilities. If your child is being bullied you want to make sure he will have the language and the avenue to tell you what is happening in a safe environment.

– Preparation and practice: Whenever time allows, helping your child prepare for new situations will boost their confidence for the real event. New experiences are often difficult for many children with Autism to approach because of their reliance on routine and resistance to change. The first day at preschool or the transition to a new school, can be a worrisome affair to many young children. Because we often fear what is unknown, the more information and practice opportunities we can present to a child, the better the chances will be for success.

Find a social skills curriculum or a book about bullying that will help you and your child practice what to do in the presence of a bully. Bullies are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain takes a humorous approach to bully-proofing yourself and uses lots of pictures which appeal to visual learners.

Also, remember to take the time to discuss bystander behavior with all of your children. One of the most effective interventions for bullying behavior is the response from those who are witnessing it. Bullies often rely on bystanders to help intimidate their target but it can be just as powerful, and often ends the bullying, when a bystander or two supports the child who is being picked on.

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. Visit her website http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com/ to get your FREE resources – a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism – 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.

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How Can I Tell If My Child Has A Form Of Autism?

In this article I will try to answer the question that I often hear, and that is how can I tell if my child has a form of autism?

As a parent, different concerns will arise about your children from time to time and it is not unusual to sometimes wonder if there is something going on with your child, particularly if you notice other children are starting to develop and socialise differently to your child.

Over time, changes can become more obvious so it is important to be aware of signs of autism if you have any suspicions.

This article will discuss

· The tell tale signs of autism like behaviour

· What to do if you suspect your child has a form of autism?

Autism like behaviour is characterised by difficulties in social settings and social interactions, verbal and non verbal communication and often repetitive types of behaviours and actions.

As autism is a complex brain disorder, not all of these common characteristics may apply to your child as it depends on the mildness or severity of the case.

Some children are diagnosed with a form of autism as early as two years old. However you may suspect your child is not responding as they should from an earlier age when they are not doing things such as smiling, following with their eyes or body, taking interest in things, pointing, babbling or making attempts at speech.

Over time it will become more obvious that your child is not developing normally so it is important to act fast on any suspicions you have and have your child seen by a professional.

They will be able to conduct an autism screening assessment of your child. Having your child seen at the earliest opportunity affords the best success for your child.

To date studies have shown that early intervention gives the best success for helping your child progress their development and maximise their chances for a good outcome.

In addition to availing of early intervention services if your child has a form of autism, you also need to ensure you have the best “team” for your child who will work well with your child and help bring out the best in him or her.

Since no two children with a form of autism are alike, there will be a certain therapies, treatments and solutions that will work for your child but may be less effective or ineffective for other children with autism. Do not be afraid to keep trying new things but do allow enough time before discounting any therapy or treatment.

Do you want to learn more about special needs parenting? If so, download my free guide here: http://www.parenting4specialneeds.com/
Orla Kelly is a special needs parenting coach, and can help you help your child.

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Taking a Look at Aspergers Symptoms

Aspergers syndrome is on the range of behaviors classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aspergers is considered to be at the high end of functioning for patients suffering from autism. Diagnosis at this end of the range can sometimes be difficult because symptoms can be subtle depending on the functionality of the involved individual.

The behaviors known to make up the spectrum of autism are very much social in nature. They can be detected in familial interactions as well as alone time. It is the social implications of the behaviors that speak to the necessity of its early diagnosis.

Probably the most commonly known symptom for autism comes in the form of repetitive behaviors. This particular symptom can be seen all across the spectrum. It is the degree to which such patterns are practiced as well as what it takes to cause cessation that can be useful in determining the severity of the disease.

Obviously, if an individual is so committed to knocking his/her head against the wall that he/she cannot be distracted, functioning is very much impaired and diagnosis would be on the low end of the spectrum. However, repetitive behaviors practiced on a much smaller scale can be seen by observers as annoyances instead of symptoms. That can be a problem for an undiagnosed aspergers victim.

Other symptoms of Aspergers are not so obvious. Individuals afflicted can have problems with social interactions and may present like they are not even interested in them. Difficulties with communication can look like speech issues when they could in fact be caused by an inability to read body language or other skills necessary for conversation.

Creative play, abstract thinking, and changing course outside their little box can be very difficult too making interactive play and teamwork a struggle. Aspergers kids can also be very literal setting them up to not understand the nuances of communication and cooperation. Understanding the concept of sharing and the importance of empathy can all be challenging to grasp.

Any combination of these aspergers symptoms leaves an afflicted person with a list of behaviors that interfere with social interactions and prevent relationship building. Despite the fact many look like they don’t care about relationships, most want to fit in just like the rest of us. Early intervention to teach necessary social skills can give those diagnosed with Asperger’s Sypmtoms the tools they need to lead happy, productive lives.

If you would like to know more, check out the many resources available on the web, and do not forget to view the Asperger’s Sypmtoms

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Asperger’s Syndrome Child: Developing Social Skills at Home and School by Teaching Empathy

Many parents feel notice that their child with Asperger’s syndrome of high functioning autism shows little if any empathy for others which inhibits their social skills. These children can seem aloof or selfish and uncaring.

But any parent with a child on the autism spectrum knows that outward appearances can be deceiving. Our loved ones with Asperger’s syndrome of high functioning autism are very caring and feeling beings. But they often have difficulties understanding the feelings of others which is a contributing factor to the well known autism symptom — lack of social skills. Often times, we see this inability to understand another person’s feelings as a lack of empathy.

How Can a Person with Asperger’s Syndrome Develop a Sense of Empathy and Improve Social Skills?

Lack of emotional readiness, sensory overwhelm, and lack of relevant experiences can all contribute and help explain why your child with Asperger’s syndrome may seem distant or uncaring of others feelings.

In this article, we will talk about the process of developing empathy — an important ingredient in improving social skills. Below, a young adult with Asperger’s syndrome shares her experiences and feelings to help us understand how those with Asperger’s syndrome feel and cope.

If a child with Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism is disconnected from people when he is young, due to different brain wiring, this sense of difference is likely to persist and cause him to withdraw from people and experiences over the years. The more he thinks of himself as a person who can’t connect with other people, the less likely he will be to try.

In order to develop social skills, one must practice. But if a child continually fails in his or her social interactions, they will eventually become discouraged and give up.

Experiences of a Young Adult with Asperger’s Syndrome —

I moved to a house with a 94 year old, very vibrant and active roommate two years ago. This woman, Madeline, has the most welcoming smile and presence I have ever felt. I immediately felt calm and comfortable in her presence, which never happens for me. I started spending more and more time with her, watching TV and talking about nothing important — just soaking up her gentleness and positivity, her utter acceptance of me. Every time she smiled at me, it made me happy.

I thought this behavior — willingly spending time with another person — quite out of character for me, but I kept doing it. Madeline was always happy to see me. Merely entering the room could make her face light up. Therefore I started feeling a sense of connection to her.

Some of these principles, especially high affect — Madeline was a very passionate speaker with highly evident emotions — as well as pure acceptance, gentleness and meeting someone on common ground are some of the very principles of the autism therapy floortime. (Floortime is a therapy designed to increase emotional and cognitive connections in an autistic person’s brain, and to bring the person slowly into the world around them by first joining them in their world.)

Madeline had wonderful social skills. She had the ability to make me feel welcomes and to draw me out.

My Relationship with My Roommate Increases My Empathy and Improved My Social Skills —

After I had been living here about seven months, Madeline had to go to the hospital for about two weeks because of a problem in her leg. The first night she was there, I worried about her constantly. I kept thinking “But she was always talking about how much she hated hospital food!” I hoped she had something good to eat and was being well taken care of.

This probably sounds quite unremarkable, except I had never before worried about someone on quite an emotional level before. I had always expressed sympathy (when I remembered) and felt intellectually things like “I hope so and so gets better soon. That’s terrible. Well, I hope it works out,” but never really on a gut stabbing, stomach hurting, almost visceral emotional level before.

It rather took me by surprise. While the feelings were of a negative nature, I was so happy to have them (upon later reflection) because they made me feel so much more connected to the human race! I didn’t feel so isolated inside myself when I had those feelings.

So That’s What They Were Thinking!

Later on, at different times, two of my friends began having severe health problems of the same sort that I had experienced a few years ago. They were both long distance, so I was limited in what I could do to help them.

I had many long phone conversations with one friend, Elaine, trying to provide both emotional support and practical solutions. After the often hour long conversations, I was drained and in emotional turmoil. I felt helpless. I wanted to ease her pain so much. I wanted to make things better for her. I did what I could, but it wasn’t much. It almost felt like too much to deal with, but I would never walk away from her.

After a few phone calls like this, I got an epiphany. So THAT’S what my parents and friends were feeling during all of my crisis phone calls to them! Years before I had called them during my own health crisis in tears. They tried to help, but I just felt more alone. I kept telling them “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!” I was convinced they didn’t care, because they often had a hard time showing their emotions about the situation and I had an even harder time reading what they did say.

I would mention something that was bothering me and be hurt when my grandfather would change the subject without any response. “Why didn’t you say anything?” I would ask him. “You know how I feel,” he would say. “No, I don’t!” I would tell him. “Come on, you know I feel bad for you,” he’d say. “No, I don’t!” I’d repeat.

I truly felt isolated from those that were trying to help me because I couldn’t imagine how they were feeling towards me. Why? Because I had never felt that way towards anyone else. How could I even know those feelings existed, or at least know what they felt like?

Relationships Develop Empathy for a Person with Asperger’s Syndrome —

If you can understand how others are thinking, you can feel more connected to them. You can understand their needs more and feel the desire to fill them. This, as I understand it, is empathy. Without the kind of interactions and friendships that foster this awareness (that so many on the autism spectrum don’t have), you’re stuck pretending to be functioning in a world you don’t understand one bit, longing for emotional connection and having everyone around you think you’re self-centered and uncaring about others. Without these emotional connections you never really can have sufficient social skills to develop deep and nurturing relationships.

I believe empathy lives in every single person — but the right experiences and circumstances have to be present to bring it out.

Tips for Parents and Those with Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism

Try to expose your child to social situations and experiences that they haven’t had before, within the limits of their abilities. Social groups, summer camps, anything that will offer the ability to foster these forms of relationships. Make sure the programs are well matched to your child’s needs, though.
For children, social stories are also a good way for a parent to focus on development of social skills and empathy. You can create your own social stories with your child by drawing pictures of people and events and adding captions to the stores. Perhaps a relative that your child knows was in the hospital. Maybe a friend fell off their bike and scraped their knee. Think of an event that your child can relate to. By developing a story around this event, you can help your child fill in the emotions that the people in the story felt — worry, fear, sadness — to help your child with Asperger’s syndrome practice empathy.
You can also purchase books that are specifically designed to teach empathy and feelings. Check out Amazon.com which has arrange of these books.
Many therapists can help your child with Asperger’s syndrome learn social skills by focusing on developing empathy. Check with your school or a local Asperger’s syndrome or autism support group. There may be a class offered by your local education department. So many children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome need this type of training that classes are common.
Consider purchasing videos or audio tapes. Many companies sell videos specifically geared to children to help them understand the feelings of others. After all, practice makes perfect. One good thing about videos is that they can help your child read facial expressions. Children with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome often have challenges reading facial expressions. Videos can make a point of highlighting the aspects of facial expressions. And by allowing your child to watch the video many times, they can pick up a lot of clues to reading the feelings expressed by a person’s mannerisms, gestures and facial expressions.
For adults with Asperger’s syndrome, try to expose yourself to different social opportunities. Also consider therapy to try to help you work through these issues.

And for further tips and techniques to help your children with Asperger’s syndrome live a happy and fulfilled life, go to the web site AspergersSociety.org and http://www.autismparenthood.com/. There you will be able to sign up for the free Asperger’s and Autism newsletter as well as get additional information to help your loved ones thrive on the autism spectrum.

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Does Your Child Play Well With Others? Boosting Their Social Success

Waste Stream 10 Detail Children Playing

Does Your Child Play Well With Others? Boosting Their Social Success

Establishing social relationships is one of the earliest milestones children of school age achieve. These interactions begin to build what will be their lifelong socialization habits. Learning how to meet new people, make friends, and get along with others are all critical skills.

Some children, however, are challenged more than others in this important area of life. If you recognize that your child is struggling with making friends and sustaining connections, you can implement strategies to help them succeed socially.

Use these techniques to help your child learn important social skills that will serve them well their entire life:

1. Establish and maintain open communication. Provide plenty of verbal encouragement to help your child build confidence in social interactions.

2. Keep your eyes open. Notice how your child relates to other children in the neighborhood, at school and during extracurricular activities.

* Does he seem excessively shy? Does he stand alone, waiting for others to approach him? Or do classmates make efforts but he doesn’t respond? You can gather information about your child’s social life simply by observing him in the presence of peers.

* When your child performs socially appropriate behavior, mention it later. Say something like, “It was nice of you to offer a cookie to Jim today.” Reinforce any positive actions you observed.

3. Set up a play date at your house. Talk with your child first about inviting a friend to come over to play. For example, you could start the conversation by asking her opinion, like, “Sally, would you like for Patty to come over to play Saturday morning?”

* Sally will most likely say, “Yes.” If she says “no,” inquire about why she doesn’t want Patty to come over.

* Arrange the play date with the other parent(s). To ensure the kids won’t get bored or tired, avoid making the first one too long. Depending on your child’s age, 1-2 hours should be adequate. Have some snacks on hand.

4. Ask your child the day before the play date how she’d like to spend the time. This conversation prompts her to consider activities she’d enjoy. Allow her to choose the activity as long as it’s safe, inside your home or in your yard, and is feasible (consider the weather).

* If your child doesn’t offer an idea, be encouraging and say, “I’m sure the two of you will come up with something fun to do.” Refrain from micro-managing the play date, if possible.

* This conversation plants the idea that when we have friends over, we share time doing something fun that we both enjoy. Also, she learns that being a friend requires some effort. Posing the question is a subtle way to teach her how to be appropriately social.

5. Make your home a fun place for kids. Doing so might boost your child’s social life. Do you have a family room with a television, DVDs, a video game console, books, board games, or other kid-friendly activities?

6. Spend a bit of time helping your child clean her room. After all, don’t we get ready for company in advance? These efforts illustrate for kids how friends behave and how social relationships are conducted.

7. When the play date occurs, leave the children to their own devices. Usually, two kids can figure out how to spend time. Check on them often to ensure they’re relating well. Intervene only when necessary (if play is too rowdy or loud or one or both kids seem bored).

* Your child will begin building confidence about social relationships after just one successful play date.

Preparing your child for social relationships can be fun for all and quite rewarding. These parenting techniques are fairly simple and yield beautiful results. Help your child learn to interact with others in a positive and meaningful way as they start to explore the world outside your home.

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Exams Tests and Places to Get Help For Those With Asperger’s Syndrome

Exams Tests and Places to Get Help For Those With Asperger’s Syndrome

The doctor will take a medical history and ask questions regarding the child’s development including his or her motor development, language development, and any special interests that the child has expressed.

Making the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is difficult and takes the input of doctors, teachers, parents and other caregivers in order to make the diagnosis. There are specific criteria that need to be met in order to make the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome including poor social interaction, unusual behavior, obsessive interests, and activities, normal language development, and normal self-help skills and curiosity about the surrounding environment.

The doctor will take a medical history and ask questions regarding the child’s development including his or her motor development, language development, and any special interests that the child has expressed. Social interactions will be noted and a history of the pregnancy and any family medical history or medical conditions will also be ascertained.

Exams and tests will be performed to help determine if Asperger’s syndrome is the correct diagnosis for your child.

Testing will probably include a Psychological Assessment, a communication assessment, and a psychiatric examination. The psychological assessment will look at intellectual function, learning style and intelligence quotient (IQ) as well as an assessment of motor skills. Personality assessment tests may also be performed. The communication assessment involves speech and formal language evaluations where the child will be tested to see how well they understand the use of language and how to communicate ideas. The child will also be tested regarding the ability to understand non-verbal communication and nonliteral language skills, such as humor or metaphor. The child’s voice regarding volume, stress, and pitch will be evaluated.

The psychiatric examination will include the child’s family, peer relationships, reactions to new encounters and the ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others, and also the ability to interpret indirect communication such as sarcasm or teasing. Your child may be observed at home and at school. Signs of conditions such as anxiety and depression will be watched for during observations. Medical personnel will be looking for signs of compliance with the criteria set for Asperger’s Syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is a publication of the American Psychiatric Association and used to be a standard for diagnosing Asperger’s Syndrome and other Mental Disorders.

Many times a child is misdiagnosed with other conditions prior to be correctly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Like most diseases and conditions it is often necessary to rule out other conditions and disorders when making a determination of a diagnosis. It is often a team effort that involves doctors, parents, teachers, psychiatrists, and others who have observed the behavior and communicative abilities of the child.

Places to get help for those with Asperger’s Syndrome:

There are many resources available to gather information concerning Asperger’s Syndrome online and offline.

Online you can find information by going to Aspergerinfo.com or to the Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Website located at:

http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/

Other organizations that can give support and information about Asperger’s Syndrome are:

Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership located in New York, USA and also online at:

http://www.grasp.org/

Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome (FAAAS) located in Centerville, MA USA and on the Web at:

http://www.faaas.org/

MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome located in Crown Point Indiana and on the Web at:

http://www.maapservices.org

Tagged as: Exams Tests and Places  Asperger’s Syndrome

View the original article here

Exams Tests and Places to Get Help For Those With Asperger’s Syndrome

Exams Tests and Places to Get Help For Those With Asperger’s Syndrome

The doctor will take a medical history and ask questions regarding the child’s development including his or her motor development, language development, and any special interests that the child has expressed.

Making the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is difficult and takes the input of doctors, teachers, parents and other caregivers in order to make the diagnosis. There are specific criteria that need to be met in order to make the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome including poor social interaction, unusual behavior, obsessive interests, and activities, normal language development, and normal self-help skills and curiosity about the surrounding environment.

The doctor will take a medical history and ask questions regarding the child’s development including his or her motor development, language development, and any special interests that the child has expressed. Social interactions will be noted and a history of the pregnancy and any family medical history or medical conditions will also be ascertained.

Exams and tests will be performed to help determine if Asperger’s syndrome is the correct diagnosis for your child.

Testing will probably include a Psychological Assessment, a communication assessment, and a psychiatric examination. The psychological assessment will look at intellectual function, learning style and intelligence quotient (IQ) as well as an assessment of motor skills. Personality assessment tests may also be performed. The communication assessment involves speech and formal language evaluations where the child will be tested to see how well they understand the use of language and how to communicate ideas. The child will also be tested regarding the ability to understand non-verbal communication and nonliteral language skills, such as humor or metaphor. The child’s voice regarding volume, stress, and pitch will be evaluated.

The psychiatric examination will include the child’s family, peer relationships, reactions to new encounters and the ability to understand and respond to the feelings of others, and also the ability to interpret indirect communication such as sarcasm or teasing. Your child may be observed at home and at school. Signs of conditions such as anxiety and depression will be watched for during observations. Medical personnel will be looking for signs of compliance with the criteria set for Asperger’s Syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is a publication of the American Psychiatric Association and used to be a standard for diagnosing Asperger’s Syndrome and other Mental Disorders.

Many times a child is misdiagnosed with other conditions prior to be correctly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Like most diseases and conditions it is often necessary to rule out other conditions and disorders when making a determination of a diagnosis. It is often a team effort that involves doctors, parents, teachers, psychiatrists, and others who have observed the behavior and communicative abilities of the child.

Places to get help for those with Asperger’s Syndrome:

There are many resources available to gather information concerning Asperger’s Syndrome online and offline.

Online you can find information by going to Aspergerinfo.com or to the Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Website located at:

http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/

Other organizations that can give support and information about Asperger’s Syndrome are:

Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership located in New York, USA and also online at:

http://www.grasp.org/

Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome (FAAAS) located in Centerville, MA USA and on the Web at:

http://www.faaas.org/

MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome located in Crown Point Indiana and on the Web at:

http://www.maapservices.org

Tagged as: Exams Tests and Places  Asperger’s Syndrome

View the original article here