Source: wikimedia.org

 

Most online information regarding autism is geared towards young children. In fact, data about adult autism is insufficient that it poses a negative impression that the condition rarely occurs in adults.

The truth is, autism is a disorder that does not only occur in children but can also prevail during adulthood. However, there is just a lack of information about this according to Kenneth Smith, LPC. He says, “Many resources are available for childhood/adolescent autism, but these approaches do not seem well-suited for adults, and there is almost nothing for people over age 21.”

Autism can primarily appear during the early stages of childhood and can progress until old age. Due to its permanent effect, autism can be severely challenging for adults. Therefore, it is essential to learn about adult autism since it can interfere with how a person will appropriately navigate through a complex and demanding world.

According to Sarah Swenson, LMHC, “When your adolescent is also at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, which we used to refer to diagnostically as Asperger’s syndrome, the angst and alienation can remain locked inside to an even greater extent. They manifest in withdrawn behavior, preference for solitude, and intense acting out in frustration.”

Adult Autism Facts

Let’s start with the basics of adult autism. What are the things that are necessary for one to know about the disorder?

 

Autism Can Persist From Childhood To Adulthood

Despite the stories you know and see on television, autism is a disorder that does not disappear quickly. Yes, there are claimed treatments here and there, but it is a rare occurrence for children who were diagnosed with autism to not carry the condition with them once they grow old. On certain occasions, autism persists from childhood to adulthood even though the person has efficiently built a reliable set of skills and demeanor that make autism less discernable.

 

 

Source: defense.gov

 

Autistic Adults Can Be Successful

Just because they have autism, doesn’t mean that they are not going to have their fair share of success. Although it is somewhat extraordinary, there are still prominent adults with autism who are either moderately or extremely triumphant in their fields. Some are enjoying their married lives while being adequately compensated by their employers. There are even some autistic personalities that have become role models for those who fall under the spectrum, inspiring them to become independent and live full lives despite their condition.

 

Autistic Adults Experience Uncompromising Challenges

“Typically, explains Psychologist Megan Farley, “adults with autism come to a mental health clinic because they’re struggling with one or more issues. Common autism-related challenges include social isolation, finding and keeping a job or a romantic partner, anxiety or mood problems or an inability to organize one’s life.”

Given that high-functioning adults who have autism were able to power through despite the weight of their disorder, the majority still face difficulties and challenges. The demand required from higher-functioning autistic individuals is sometimes so herculean that they usually struggle to become “normal” and at the same time, cope with their sensory dysfunction, deficits in social or communicational skills, and extreme anxiety. Almost 30% of individuals with autism are on the non-verbal side; which means, they have little capacity to verbalize words or phrases to communicate with other people. More so, approximately 18% of autistic adults are exhibiting aggressive behavior, making it hard for them to develop positive relationships in a typical environment.

 

 

Source: pinterest.com

 

Adult Autism Varies From One Person To Another

The presentation of the condition is not singular; adult autism can be divided into different settings and categories. While some autistic adults are outstanding in ambitious fields like robotics, video game design and production, and information technology, others are efficiently functioning within compounded settings. The vast differences between a happily married individual versus someone having a fruitful friendship make it arduous for medical experts to provide support and services for autistic adults.

“If you think this might be you and you want a diagnosis, go online and find someone in your area who specializes in autistic adult assessment. Sometimes, just knowing can be a tremendous relief and explain so much that you always wondered about.” –

In retrospect, autistic people are dependable, honest, and are mostly focused on getting the job done because they are seldom distracted by external factors and interests.  Never underestimate the capabilities of an individual with autism for you may just be in awe with their wide-range of competence and strengths that can even surpass “normal” standards.

 

 

 

Attention deficit disorder (ADD), but what is it?

 

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Many studies show that it is a common illness that affects all kinds of people – children, teens, and adults. The symptoms of ADD start at a young age and persist and carried throughout adulthood, while other researchers say that the illness is noticed at an early age which changes over time through occurrences or incidents of events as they take place.

“Life can be a balancing act for any adult,” says Richard Vogel, LMFT, “but if you find yourself constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you may have ADD/ADHD. Attention deficit disorder affects many adults, and its wide variety of frustrating symptoms can hinder everything from your relationships to your career.”

What Is It Like To Have ADD?

In an interview, Sari Solden, LMFT, said, “It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like, “What’s wrong with me? I’m deficient. I need to fix it. Asking for help means something bad.” Those old stories are damaging.”

There are many debates on whether the syndrome is real or doesn’t exist.  The continuous study of ADD leads many researchers to identify that individuals who exhibit this kind of syndrome have a hard time completing tasks that excite them.  It is because they are hyperactive all the time.  By the time they have an idea to act upon, they will suddenly switch to new thoughts, and never finish the first one they put their head-on.

 

Source: pinterest.com

 

Socially, persons with ADD have trouble maintaining a conversation for a lengthy period.  They often change topics, fidget a lot, do some drum rolling, flickering hair, and sometimes they never seem interested in what the other person is telling.

Kathleen Smith, LPC, wrote in her article, “Signs of ADHD in adults can sometimes be more difficult to spot than in children. They might be less hyperactive than a child with the diagnosis, but deep down they are struggling with paying attention, staying on task, and warding off impulsive behaviors.”

According to some experts, these mini gestures are often their way to try and tell if the person conversing is paying attention to the individual with ADD.  Meanwhile, some people misunderstand and think that these mini gestures mean nothing but disrespect or just apparently not paying attention to the person talking.   It is perhaps a misunderstanding, cluelessness because actually the person with ADD hears you and understands you in his own way of thinking.  People who have experienced this syndrome definitely say that it does exist.

 

Source: i.pinimg.com

 

ADD Can Be Diagnosed And Be Treated  

It’s hard to say if a person has ADD. You can’t say that just because you have problems with focusing your attention or you’re hyperactive, you’re already categorized as having the disorder.  If you want to be sure, you can consult your doctor.

If you turned out to have a positive diagnosis, you might want to hear some advice, considering that I, myself, have ADD

  1. Find a support group or a coach who can help you get straight on your track, to avoid and suppress the running thoughts of ideas and just act on the work you have started.

 

  1. Casual daydreaming is typically usual with ADD, dreaming about what you wish to have, future goals and perhaps things you would like to achieve. It ruins your progress as you tend to overthink and not accomplish something.  Instead, practice focusing on short-term goals rather than long-term ones.

 

  1. Break the long-term task into small chunks so you will not get overwhelmed. Get the help you need. You can maybe hire someone who is willing to do some work for you, an assistant, secretary, house helper, whoever you need. It can help you finish what you are aiming for.

 

  1. Exercise. It may be out of the way, but doing exercises can help you improve your concentration to finish a job, task, plan or goal in a day.

 

ADD can be understood. It just depends on how badly you want to get rid of the syndrome. If this is stopping you from what you want in life, consider asking for help.

 

Source: pixabay.com

There are many times in your life when you may realize that everything sucks. These are the days when you feel too much stress or anxiety because of work, relationship, or some personal matters. During these moments, you may become a difficult person to handle. It will seem that you would hate a lot of things in your life. Because of this, you have to be careful when you deal with others so that you can preserve your relationship with them.

For Gary Breuer, LPC, “It should be of no surprise to those distressed Americans that stress could have negative effects on our relationships…Lack of appropriate stress management can exacerbate this. However, the study shows that many Americans utilize unhealthy coping mechanisms to manage their stress, such as smoking and alcohol use, skipping meals, over-eating, or consuming junk food.”

As much as possible, make an effort to handle your stress in the right manner. Keep in mind that experiencing stress can have adverse effects. Here are the things that you need to do if you want to let go of stress:

Source: pexels.com

Talk To Someone

 

One of the things that you need to do is to talk to someone so that you can discuss what is going on in your life. Remember that having a conversation with someone who cares about you can be comforting. It can also be a relief on your part once you open up to someone about your problems. Keep in mind that you do not need to be the only one to handle your issues. Sometimes, you have to reach out to a close friend or family member so that you will feel better.

Alexandra Lambeth, LPC supports this by saying, “It may be frightening for sufferers to reach out because of several reasons. However, many individuals struggling with anxiety have found it incredibly helpful to have someone to talk to that understands them, knowing that they will not be judged based on the worries and concerns they may express.”

Control Your Actions

 

Are you aware that you have the absolute control of how to react to every circumstance that comes your way? Take note that the way people act and treat you is something that you can never control. They may get upset at you or give you stress, but you will always be the only one who can give a reaction to these things. Make sure that you think twice before you react to an occurrence. In so doing, you can take unnecessary stress out of your life.

Meditate When Necessary

 

Another thing that you must keep in mind is the importance of taking good care of your body. As much as possible, find time to meditate so that you can achieve inner peace and happiness. Take note that no matter what you do, there will always come a time in your life when stress will take you over. To lessen the possibility of this occurrence, it is best if you will practice meditation. According to Paul Chernyak, LPC, “You may think that learning to meditate effectively is hard or too time-consuming, but you really only need a few minutes in your day to practice these simple exercises and feel refreshed.”

Make it a big part of your life so that you can learn how to quiet your mind when necessary. Being good at meditation can also help you make better decisions for yourself. Most importantly, it can help a lot in keeping you calm during stressful situations.

Source: pexels.com

What are you waiting for? Make sure that you establish a routine that will work well with you so that you can avoid experiencing stress. Take note that you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Never let anything or anyone affect you adversely. Instead, be a bigger person when handling conflicts or issues in your day-to-day life.

 

Kathleen Smith, LPC defines ADHD as a condition that involves a person’s hyperactivity and impulse control. She says, “Adults can be diagnosed with ADHD, though symptoms typically emerge when they are children. When symptoms are left untreated, they can cause problems for adults at work and school and in relationships.”

Living life with ADHD is a fast and quirky lifestyle.  Understanding it was the only way for me to utilize it so I can become a better version of myself.

 

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

 

Ever since I was a kid, I had trouble focusing on the things that I need to do, often finding myself distracted by anything that occurs spontaneously.  It was in my late adolescence that I was made aware of my condition.  Awareness of my situation was essential to me as it allowed me to understand who I am.  Now, I can function and live my life with more control over my condition, helping me manage it to the best of my capabilities.

Don Baker, LMHC encourages further by stating, “The journey to a more fulfilling life is a process of discovery. It’s about unpacking your truth, uncovering your strengths, and learning to be more conscious of the moment-to-moment choices that shape your experience.”

Life With ADHD Is Never Easy

I always find myself procrastinating, often losing complete thought of time.  I frequently miss deadlines and have serious difficulty in budgeting my time, because I never seem to make it in time.  Conversations were also not my specialty.  Talking, and even remaining eye contact, was very difficult for me during my early years.  These things made life a little more difficult than usual for me, and that is why I learned how to utilize it to be more of a strength than just a weakness in my life.

 

Embracing My Flaws

Accepting ADHD in my life was the first step to utilizing it to my advantage.  Knowing that I still find it difficult sitting steadfastly for a long time, I realized that being active while doing work was the best situation for me.  I excelled more at work when I got to move around, allowing me to burn the physical energy that I perpetually felt the need to use.  It also allowed me to multitask more, evoking a constant impulse and desire to do more things at a given time.

One of the virtues I cannot commit my life with is patience. I have always found waiting to be a stressful and often ill-tempering activity for me.   I find it hard to control my fidgeting, fiddling things with my fingers.   It sometimes becomes a hassle for everyone around me, and they keep saying that I was too noisy and that I had to stop moving.  These are things that I sometimes consciously do, but most often than not, subconsciously, and that is why I find it difficult to avoid.

“ADHD is a disorder characterized by the inability to regulate one’s behavior, emotions and attention. As we get older, we have fewer people telling us what to do. When we get to college or a job, we’re expected to show up without having someone tell us what to do.” – Stephen Faraone, Ph.D. 

 

Source: images.pexels.com

 

No One Is Perfect, And So Am I

All these things about me, things that make me imperfect to some, are the very things that make me feel normal.  Understanding that perfection does not need to exist in the world allows me to think of myself and the ADHD that comes with me, not as a burden to me and those around me.

Engaging in conversations allowed me to understand people more, allowing me to socially and romantically build connections with people.  I have used my hate for disorganization and made it a highway to develop my organizing skills, and it will enable me to live my life more organized than usual.

With ADHD, I am now more motivated to reach my dreams, being more patient with life and all its shenanigans, taking life one step at a time.

 

 

 

Source: pixabay.com

Having a friend who has an autism spectrum disorder can be challenging on your part. Of course, you want that person to become a big part of your life. However, there are times when you will become clueless on what to do with the said individual. You will have a difficult or hard time understanding his tantrums or communicating with him. At the same time, you may also end up getting frustrated because you keep on disagreeing about some issues.

“Autism is one of the most mysterious and confusing disorders facing families and clinicians today and unfortunately the prevalence is growing at an alarming rate.” – John Carosso, PsyD.

Nonetheless, you have to make an effort to build your relationship with this individual. As much as possible, be the best kind of friend that he can have. In this article, we are going to share the top things that you must do when it comes to dealing with a friend who has autism.

source: pixabay.com

Understand The Disorder

 

The initial step that you must do is to understand what autism is. Stop being a know it all kind of person, because the truth is that there is a lot to learn about the illness. You need to understand the causes, signs, and symptoms of this disorder so that you will become better in dealing with it. You can use certain online resources to educate yourself about autism. However, be sure to verify the sources of the information before believing what you read.

Janeen Herskovitz, LMHC, wrote in her article, “People who are overly dependent, toxic people, or those who simply drain tend to go by the wayside. Those who don’t understand or empathize with your grief process may become angry that you don’t have time for them or accuse you of changing. “You’re just not the same person,” they might say. “I miss the old Sally.”

 

Be Available At All Times

Another essential thing that you need to consider is to be available to your friend at all times. Keep in mind that he has a disorder that needs attention. The said individual may also need to have someone to talk to whenever he is down or has issues with his autism. Because of this, it is best if you can be with this person whenever he needs someone to be there for him. He will surely appreciate it if he can see that you always go out of the way just to be with him.

 

Give Him Some Space

Once you learn more about autism, you will discover that sometimes, people with this kind of disorder may become dissociative with society. As such, you must respect your friend’s privacy in case he wants to be alone for some time. You have to stop forcing him to socialize if he does not want to. Take note that you must become supportive of your friend. Otherwise, he will end up having issues or problems with your friendship.

Source: pixabay.com

 

Conclusion

As already mentioned above, it is going to be difficult on your part to have a friend who has autism. There will be challenges along the way. However, everything is going to become easier once you take note of the things we mentioned above. If you think that your friend’s disorder starts to become worse, the best thing that you can do is to encourage him to see a therapist. If he does not listen to your advice, you can also talk to a family member who can help you convince him to get the right treatment.

“Autism is expressed to varying degrees and in different ways in each individual. A diagnosis of autism is not a defining label. It is an opportunity to begin exploring the expressions of the neurological differences between the autistic and neurotypical.” – Sarah Swenson, LMHC. 

 

 

Source: pixabay.com

One of the things that you must remember about autism spectrum disorder is that the persons diagnosed with it may show behavior that can be difficult to handle. However, it does not mean that you can give up on them, especially if one of these persons is someone that you love. Keep in mind that you must never let his problem prevent you from having a healthy relationship.

“Autism is expressed to varying degrees and in different ways in each individual. A diagnosis of autism is not a defining label. It is an opportunity to begin exploring the expressions of the neurological differences between the autistic and neurotypical.” – Sarah Swenson, LMHC. 

In this article, we are going to discuss the top tips and tricks to remember if you want to help someone with autism. Take note that you have what it takes to inspire someone to enjoy life despite his disorder. At the same time, you must also become the source of his strength and happiness. Here are the things that you can do for someone who is suffering from autism spectrum disorder:

Source: pixabay.com

Give Him Some Slack

As much as possible, avoid expecting everything in your relationship to be perfect. There are days when he would lose focus on the topics that you are talking about. At the same time, there is also a tendency that he will remember essential details about your union. Do not take these mistakes seriously. Instead, give him some slack and remind yourself that his being forgetful is only a symptom of his autism. You have to deal with it.

Erin Bullus, Ph.D. agrees, stating, “Taking time out is not self-centered, though it is often viewed as such. It is self-preservation.”

Offer Acceptance

At this point, you need to instill in your mind that autism is a mental health disorder. As such, it is not voluntary on the part of the person you love. He is not choosing to become a different person from the rest of the world. Because of this, you have to stop trying to change him into someone that he is not. Take note that what he needs at his life is your acceptance. Make sure that you never make him feel that there is something wrong with him.

According to Eva Mendes, LMHC, “Understanding that ASD is a biologically-based, neurological difference vs. a psychological mental disorder is key. Learning about ASD is important to sort through what challenges are ASD based and what are just regular marriage issues.”

Talk About Stuff

Find time to discuss interesting topics about your partner’s life. Make sure that you allow him to open up about what he feels. Remind him of the reasons why you have decided to stay with him. These little things can help a lot in improving his condition. You will be amazed at how his symptoms may be decreased the moment he feels that he can talk about anything to you. Never let your partner feel that he has to find someone else to discuss his condition.

Source: pixabay.com

Conclusion

Another smart thing that you must never forget is the importance of spending quality time together. You must find a way to let him realize that you are by his side at all times. The more you do this; the more natural things will become on his part. Make sure that you are always out there to care for him. If you think that you need help in handling his conditions and issues, the right thing to do is to contact a mental health professional.

 

 

Source: pixabay.com

Source: pixabay.com

There are many things that you need to remember when it comes to dealing with autism in children. First of all, you have to keep in mind that the condition of your kid is something that you must take seriously. As much as possible, keep your cool once you find out that your child has autism spectrum disorder. Do not act recklessly by not thinking twice before you do something. We understand that trying to remain calm can be difficult on your part.

According to Shuli Saunders, PsyD, “Children can be diagnosed as young as two or three or well into adolescence, so the discussion about when and how to talk to a child about the diagnosis will be impacted by the age of the child and his level of emotional maturity.”

As such, we have decided to come up with an article that will guide you on the proper things to do. Here are the tips and tricks to keep in mind:

 

Source: pixabay.com

Talk To A Therapist

“Traditionally, intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has focused upon reducing interfering behavior and teaching language, academic and self-help skills. More recently there has been a greater emphasis upon social skills awareness and skills to independently navigate the social world.” – Marlene Driscoll, LMFT. 

The first thing that you must do is to find a way to talk to a therapist or a professional who specializes in handling autism cases. Keep in mind that it is best if the person you will choose is knowledgeable about ASD cases in children. In so doing, you can get a high guarantee that your child will get the best care and assistance possible.

 

Ask Other Parents

 

Do you know someone who has a kid that has autism? If yes, then make sure to talk to that parent. Find a way to establish a connection and be polite when asking questions about autism. Remember that some parents are not open about their child’s condition. As such, you have to see to it that the person you are talking to is comfortable to discuss autism. Otherwise, you will have an issue in dealing with her.

Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC, founder of Autism in Black, has this to say, “Being a parent is a hard job, being a black parent is even harder, and being a black parent to a child on the spectrum is tough. Having to navigate the process of getting a diagnosis, getting services, finding therapies, knowing what an IEP is and how to get the right goals in place, and receiving adequate support can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming.”

Understand Your Child

 

Since your child has autism, there is a high chance that he will show behavior that you may not like. The best way to handle this challenging situation is to remind yourself about your child’s autism. Do not expect him to understand your instructions right away or to stay focused on one job. Take note that one of the symptoms of autism is low cognitive skills. Avoid giving your child a hard time in his day-to-day life.

 

Communicate Well

 

Another thing that you must always keep in mind is the importance of communicating with your child. Make sure that you talk to him about his condition so that he will understand how to express his feelings. Let him know that you are always by his side. In so doing, you will be the first one that he can remember whenever there is something wrong in school or his life. As such, you will be informed right away when an unfortunate event takes place or when he is feeling sad. Be the best and most fantastic parent that you can be.

Source: pixabay.com

At this point, you have to remember that being a parent is one of the best things that can happen in your life. Do not let your child’s autism spectrum disorder prevent you from enjoying the best experience of parenting. Do whatever it takes to make your family life happy and satisfied. You deserve the best things in this world.

 

 

Are you aware that many people are suffering from a low state of mental health because they failed to love themselves a little more? These are the individuals who are suffering from their self-limiting doubts. They believe that they are not good enough for someone or something. If you feel that you are one of these individuals, it is best to consider reading this article from stop to finish. In today’s write-up, we are going to share some of the tips that we learned from a therapist that taught us the importance of loving one’s self.

Source: pexels.com

Read More →

Source: pixabay.com

 

Marriage is something that takes a lot of work to succeed and remain harmonious for the longer term. And when one of the spouses has Asperger’s syndrome, it can even be more daunting than it already is. For one, having the condition makes it very difficult for the person to connect emotionally and socially. Consequently, the spouse without the Asperger’s can be severely stressed, confused, and frustrated. Psychologists suggest that it is vital to understand thoroughly how people with Asperger’s are affected by its signs and symptoms to learn how to cope with one’s spouse or partner.

Asperger’s syndrome is a congenital disorder that is categorized under ASD or autism spectrum disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a recent report stating that there is one out of 68 children in America with a type of autism spectrum disorder. Another report showed that ASD is four times more commonly seen in males compared to females.

Each with Asperger’s syndrome has unique traits and personalities, but some common qualities include an above-average intelligence, having strict mannerisms and routines, difficulty making complicated and some simple transitions, sensory problems, and an obsession over a particular topic or thing. Because of these peculiarities, including their difficulty socializing, individuals with Asperger’s syndrome often have a few friends and are usually loners.

How The Syndrome Affects A Relationship

Among the most frustrating problems that a spouse can face is his partner’s lack of empathy or responsiveness. As someone not affected by the condition, you would naturally get hurt and angry by the affected person’s insensitivity and lack of emotion. Most of the time, when you argue, you would tell him, “Why can’t you just get it?” It’s because he doesn’t, which is why he backs away, does not respond, or becomes defensive. When this happens progressively, the disconnect can destroy the relationship. The spouse becomes worn out, depressed, and unloved. The Aspergerian still doesn’t get it.

This is why, Eva Mendes, LMHC, says, “NS partners can sometimes experience their own mental health issues such as anxiety, ADHD, Affective Deprivation Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of being in a relationship with an undiagnosed ASD partner.”

Couples with this kind of relationship also have to face other challenges, which include the following:

  • Parenting Conflicts. Mental health experts say that when children are involved, it is often the end of the relationship. The unaffected spouse feels so devastated by the lack of attention and affection that the Aspergerian shows to their child. He may neglect the child, blurt out sarcastic words, and may not know how to communicate with their child appropriately. Often, the parenting is left to the non-Aspergerian only to stop the conflict and the never-ending argument.  Thus, Psychologist Kathy Marshack agrees, stating “Lack of empathy is one of the most challenging problems for someone with Asperger’s who is in a relationship.”

Source: mahogany.ng

  • Problems With Sex. Because the Aspergerian spouse has sensory issues and is not empathic, he is unable to show affection and passion. Therefore sex is not enjoyable. The affected partner is unable to figure out what makes his partner happy, as he doesn’t quite know how to read body language. It’s going to be awkward having steamy sex and then suddenly your Aspergerian spouse asks, “Where do I put my hand?”

 

  • Tension When Socializing. When your spouse with Asperger’s socializes at a party with you, he tends to blurt some words that are out of the topic, or just simply get irritated. You, the non-affected partner, would already be used to saving your spouse from getting humiliated. It’s draining when even socializing takes too much effort from you, and eventually, you’ll stop going to parties or watching your children’s shows because of it. Some Aspergerians abuse alcohol just to relax in social events.

How To Cope With Your Aspergerian Spouse

  • Communicate Directly And Frankly. You can either write it down or tell him straight to his face. Hints won’t do it. Remember, they usually don’t get it.

 

  • Seek Therapy. Mental health professionals recommend starting with individual therapy first for each of you. After a few sessions, you can do couples therapy. It will be emphasized that you will not and will never be able to fix your spouse, but awareness and education is a vital part of keeping the relationship going. Read about Asperger’s syndrome and master the dynamics of your relationship. Therapy can play a significant role in helping you thrive and survive with your partner.

 “If she is fortunate, she has found a good therapist along the way. She has had the opportunity to talk without feeling crazy. She has cried the bulk of her tears, though they still come when she thinks of her children, of how she loves them, of how unfair this has been to them, to her, to her former husband.” – Sarah Swenson, LMHC.

 

Source: peggybolcoa.com

  • Find Support Networks. Joining support groups will do you great, especially when spouses are involved. They can share how they deal with the different characteristics of their partners, and you can learn from each other.

Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome do want to love and be loved, for most of them. However, just as you as the non-affected spouse needs to understand the whole gamut of his condition, he, too, needs help in learning how to express, and probably, what to express. Life can be a little easier for you. Be there for each other.

 

 

 

While this is something not every parent would have to deal with, managing anxiety is an issue most parents of children with autism would have to face at some point in their lives. Anxiety in kids with autism can be exhausting and intense. It manifests itself with one or all of the following signs: mild to severe agitation or aggression, increased obsessiveness, and changes in social behavior. As parents, we need to understand what anxiety is all about for us to help our children with autism to cope with anxiety attacks.

“The autism diagnosis itself is often traumatic for parents,” stressed Janeen Herskovitz, LMHC. “During the process,” she continued, “parents are typically faced with myriad feelings, including anxiety, guilt, excessive worry, hope, and fear about the future.”

 

Source: af.mil

Types Of Anxiety With Autism

Any form of anxiety can occur in someone with autism, but the most common types are specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and social anxiety.

Specific phobia is a type of anxiety wherein a person fears a particular object, place, or situation. For instance, a child with autism may feel anxious when brought into an amusement park or to a dark theater to watch a movie; thus, avoiding these places is necessary (read more about it here: babycenter.com)

Obsessive-compulsive behavior, on the other hand, is characterized by repetitive and obsessive behavior. Children with this type of anxiety feel that something negative will happen to them if they do not do an action repeatedly. John Grohol, PsyD wrote in his article, “A hallmark of OCD is that the person recognizes that their thoughts or behaviors are senseless or excessive. However, the drive can be so powerful that the person caves in to the compulsion even though they know it makes no sense.”

Meanwhile, social anxiety is often present in kids with autism because of their struggles with social interactions. It can manifest in their conversations, body language, and eye contact.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

What Causes Anxiety?

Environmental Triggers

Unexpected changes in routine, such as changes in schedules or new social situations like attending birthday parties or weddings, may cause anxiety in children with autism.

Traumatic Experiences

Losing their loved ones or being separated from familiar faces and surroundings may trigger anxiety in kids with autism.

Brain Chemicals

Children with autism who suffer from anxiety have an abnormal level of neurotransmitters, which means their brains have trouble transmitting information.

Parents’ Role In Managing Anxiety In Their Autistic Child

Source: af.mil

Parents whose child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may need help in coping and managing the anxiety of their child. Here are some pointers in dealing with your child’s anxiety:

  1. First of all, find out what makes your child anxious. Since children with autism have difficulty in communicating their feelings, you, as parents, should look for signals or triggers that make them feel anxious. It may help if you make a list of these situations so that you can give your child plenty of opportunities to practice in dealing with these unfamiliar situations.
  2. Teach your child to understand what anxiety does in his/her body by asking what he/she feels. For instance, you can ask your child if his/her palms are getting sweaty or if his/her heart beats faster. This way, your child will be able to inform you of what he/she is experiencing during an anxiety attack.  Jerry Bubrick, a clinical psychologist, has this to say about OCD in children: “OCD can be very overwhelming to families and can really interfere with how families can normally function. The family decisions are made to accommodate the anxiety, rather than the best interests of the family.”
  3. Use calming and relaxing strategies for your child to learn how to calm down if he/she starts to feel anxious or stressed. These strategies might include the following: counting from one to ten, taking five deep breaths, running around the house, or reading a favorite book.
  4. Visual techniques, such as using photographs, can help your child cope with stressful situations or environments. Children with autism are visual learners; thus, it may help to teach them what they would do in a particular place by showing them a picture of their task so that they would know in advance what you expect from them. Giving them a printed schedule of their activities for the day or week would also prepare them for what is coming next.
  5. Use distractions to help calm your anxious child, such as letting him/her try an activity or giving a toy that he/she enjoys. Your child may find the spy gear toys cool to play with. It’s also a fun form of imaginative style of playing.
  6. Rehearsing or practicing situations that are stressful for him/her will help your child visually understand them. This strategy will also help the child cope with anxiety by preparing him/her physically.
  7. Essential oils, such as chamomile, lavender, and jasmine oils, are gaining popularity for their calming and relaxing ability to treat a variety of mental issues including anxiety and autism.
  8. Getting help from a psychologist may be your last option if your child has a severe anxiety disorder. These professionals use a range of approaches, such as cognitive behavior therapy, interventions using gradual exposure, social stories, and relaxation training, in aiding your child to relax. Sometimes, medication may be administered to help calm the child.

As parents, coping with anxiety in kids with autism is daunting. Nonetheless, you must power through for their sake.