Asperger’s syndrome (AS), a neurological disorder, falls on the autism spectrum, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Symptoms include language and communication challenges, restrictive thought patterns and repetitive behaviors. To discipline a child with AS, parents must determine which behaviors their child is unable to control such as repetitive behaviors and which require guidance and discipline such as rude, aggressive behaviors.
- Create a list of behaviors and actions your child cannot control due to her asperger’s diagnosis. These may include repetitive behaviors such as spinning or hand flapping, along with poor peer relations and easy distractablity. Your child may require help and guidance to overcome these issues. However, she should not be disciplined.
You are part of a unique group who may not quite fit in with the traditional autism community.
You may even feel guilty for using the term “autism” when your child is far from “Rain Man.” You may feel like you don’t deserve to use that term when others are far worse off and your child is verbal and may not even need an aide at school.
But your child with high functioning autism has challenges. Plenty of them. Challenges that very much affect him/her and your entire family. They may not always be obvious to everyone around you. But when they are? It’s very apparent.
“Growing up with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome can be traumatic for many individuals.”
Many adults with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome are usually keenly aware that they do not ‘fit in’, yet are unable to either express or understand exactly what it is that makes them feel differently to others.
For this reason many undiagnosed adults develop negative perceptions of themselves as “weird”, “crazy,” or “broken.”
Despite these negative self-images, many undiagnosed adults are able to hide their difficulties by developing coping mechanisms, such as mirroring or mimicking those around them in social settings.
They are therefore seen as being able to engage in the everyday routines of life such as working, having relationships, getting married and having children.
In 2008, I stumbled upon something that would change my life. I would discover by typing into a Google search, “Why do I take everything so literally” that I have Asperger’s syndrome. I’m a self-diagnosed Aspie who has been slowly unraveling the mystery that has been my life for the past 5 years. It’s been an amazing journey.
What is Asperger’s Syndrome?
Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder on the autistic spectrum. The name of the syndrome came from its founder, Austrian Pediatrician, Hans Asperger. A developmental disorder is a disorder that occurs during a child’s development, either in utero or during the first critical years of life.
Autism Spectrum Disorder persists into adulthood; this is a medical fact, yet few doctors know how to recognize and diagnose autistic symptoms in adults. Here are some of the condition’s most common warning signs, and the other conditions they are mistakenly attributed to.
I’m going to ignore the fact that the DSM no longer includes Asperger’s as a diagnosis. Asperger’s remains a useful way to categorize people with very low social skills and very high IQ — and a high rate of manic-depression and suicide. It’s useful to separate out these people in order to help them. It’s like separating out people who have a gene for breast cancer. There are things you can do to make their lives better.
My son and I have Asperger’s so I am constantly thinking of how to help both of us better fit into the world. Here are three things that stand out to me.
1. To get along with someone who has Asperger’s, look closely at that annoying car.
You know when you’re on the highway and everybody moves along like a ballet – merging, exiting, changing lanes. There’s moving over for a truck. There’s moving away if you’re blocking someone who wants to go faster than you. There are all kinds of unwritten rules we adhere to in order to not run each other over.
Can an adult with Aspergers or High Functioning Autism have a meltdown just like a child with the same disorder?
The answer is ‘yes’ – but the adult’s meltdown-behavior looks a bit different than a child’s. Under severe enough stress, any normally calm and collected individual may become “out-of-control” – even to the point of violence. But some individuals experience repeated meltdowns in which tension mounts until there is an explosive release.