Aspergers

Updated on February 13, 2009
M.G. asks from Williston Park, NY
8 answers

My 12 year old son has been diagnosed with aspergers.I've done a lot of research on it. Can anyone give me any other advice on how to help him. He's just started a social skills group with a pyschologist Mondays after school.

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N.D.

answers from New York on

Is he just shy or does he have other symptoms that might impair his independent skills when he is an adult? All people are different and not everyone is a social butterfly. I often wonder what Einstein or Bill Gates would have been diagnosed with if they were kids today. And if they had been 'fixed' how would they have grown up. Its a fact that Edison was dyslexic, but back then no one had a name for dyslexia or a way to 'fix' it.
Labeling different kids is what of my pet peeves, because I think having the label makes them feel badly about themselves. So having said all that I wouldnt push your child beyond his social skills group. Help him with his school work and make sure he has fun doing whatever he wants to do. If its sitting in his room reading or drawing, let him. You never know, while he is sitting alone, not 'fitting in' he might figure out a cure for cancer or invent a new Microsoft.

3 moms found this helpful
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H.G.

answers from New York on

I am a former teacher, and I've taught 4 kids (ages 7-12) with Asperger's. That social skills group is a great start! If possible, take your son to counseling outside of school as well. Find a fantastic counselor or social worker with experience on the autism spectrum. He or she can really work, in depth, on those social skills, as well as the emotional side. A common issue for children with Aspergers is difficulty understanding their own emotional reactions to social situations. Frequently puberty can be very hard for them, because their emotions become so much stronger and can feel out of control. (Where before, they may have had limited emotional responses.)

Talking, one on one, is crucial! A counselor can really help your son understand his feelings, and learn how to react appropriately in social situations. It will build nicely on his after school class.

Also, you keep talking to him! (Which I know you already do!) Ask him questions all the time- and make them "why, what, and how" questions, so he won't just give you yes or no answers. Ex: What was the most fun thing you did in school today? How hard was that math test??? Why did you seem so frustrated when you got home?

While your son may not be big on looking you in the eye, he can still be reminded to stay on topic. Help him learn to answer your questions fully, with real opinions of his own! Ask more questions to follow up on his answers, and show him how interesting you think he is. :) You can role play solutions to social problems, too. Make it fun- using games, music, or examples from TV.

Finally, keep an eye on him at school. Bullying can be a huge problem, and sometimes isn't dealt with appropriately by teachers or staff. Your son may feel awkward socially, and may not know what to do when kids are mean to him. Middle school is a rough place to be different. So talk to his teachers, check up on him a lot, and again- ask him a ton of questions!

All my students who were diagnosed with Aspergers have gone on to be very successful in school- it usually accompanies intellectual strengths in different areas! Find what he loves to do, and he'll thrive. One of my old students is in college this year...makes me feel so proud (and old)! The others are in middle school and high school, and doing great!

Enjoy your son!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Albany on

Hi M.,

Children with Aspergers do well on a strict diet, no chemicals in the home and a good detox. Social skills will be much easier to learn if there are no chemicals or heavy metals in his brain. My friend's boy is doing fantastic since she took him out of school. They do homeschooling and he's really improved. I'd be happy to email you some files about detox that are specifically related to autism. Asperbergers is simply a milder form of a very wide spectrum. I find these people rather delightful to be around since they can speak their mind.

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M.T.

answers from New York on

Hi M.,
If you have not yet done so, I would request a CSE meeting at school, to get him an IEP or a 504 plan for any services that might benefit him during the school day. While it's great that he is going to a social skills group, it can also help for the whole family to see someone, because it is all of you dealing with this diagnosis and helping him to be the best that he can be.
Good luck!

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B.T.

answers from Rochester on

I have a 17 year old who was diagnosed at 6. I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for as your question wasn't specific. I had issues with social skills, personal hygeine, boundaries, self mutilation, suicide, and anger management. I had therapists from hell, government programs, special education, and myself as advocate.

If you have one of these issues, I'd be glad to let you know what worked for us. Meanwhile, just love and support your child with every ounce of energy you have.

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C.B.

answers from New York on

What prompted you to have your son diagnosed? I have a 16 year old who is suddenly depressed and now thinks he has Aspergers. What's up with this? I've had depressed teens before & never had one think they had such a diagnosis.

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A.R.

answers from New York on

it sounds like you are doing the right thing with a social skills group- it is important that he learn better ways to interact so that he is not isolated as he gets older. If you would like an additional evaluation, my colleague here at the NYU Child Study Center, Dr. Di Martino, is conducting a study of children with Asperger's that includes a very comprehensive evaluation. If you are interested, you can contact Dylan Gee at ###-###-####.

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G.P.

answers from Utica on

There is a great new line of supplements that were created sepcifically for children on the spectrum. It is the Might-a-mins Spectrum line from Market America. There is a multi-vitamin, antioxidant, digestive enzyme and a probiotic. They are readily absorbable and I have heard testimonials on how they can help children specifically with Aperberger's. You can find them, more info or a distributor in your area by visiting www.marketamerica.com