This is the first experience of most parents when they receive a diagnosis of ASD for their child.
Where to go, what to do? Nancy Wiseman has provided clear direction for parents in this essential resource that will be of great value for parents and professionals. Prizant, Ph. This new book continues her legacy providing straightforward yet compassionate information for parents and families affected by autism. This book should quickly become a classic.
Every parent with a newly diagnosed child with ASD should have this book on their shelf. Order this book online. Description When parents learn that their child has autism, the news can be devastating, even paralyzing. About Nancy D. No studies have yet been conducted to determine the incidence of AS in adult populations.
In , an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger observed four children in his practice who had difficulty integrating socially. Although their intelligence appeared normal, the children lacked nonverbal communication skills, failed to demonstrate empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. Their way of speaking was either disjointed or overly formal, and their all-absorbing interest in a single topic dominated their conversations. It is likely that multiple genes cause AS, since the symptoms and the severity of symptoms vary so widely among individuals.
Researchers recently identified an association between certain behavioral traits the insistence on strict routines and repetitive behavior in a group of children with autism and a specific gene — GABRB3. Additional evidence for the link between inheritable genetic mutations and AS is seen in the higher incidence of family members of children with an ASD who have similar behavioral symptoms, but in a more limited form.
For example they may have mild social, language, or reading problems.
Current research points to structural abnormalities in the brain as a cause of AS. These abnormalities impact neural circuits that control thought and behavior.
My Child Has Asperger Syndrome - A Parents Guide To Coping Paperback
Researchers at the University of California , supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, have proposed the disorder stems from abnormal changes that happen during critical stages of fetal development. Defects in the genes that control and regulate normal brain growth create abnormal growth patterns, which cause overgrowth in some brain structures and reduced growth, or excessive cell loss, in others.
Using advanced brain imaging techniques, scientists have revealed structural and functional differences in specific brain regions between the brains of normal versus AS children.
One study found a lack of activity in the frontal lobe of AS children when asked to respond to tasks that required them to use their judgment. Another found differences in brain activity when children were asked to respond to facial expressions. Other methods of investigating brain function have revealed abnormal levels of particular proteins in the brains of adults with AS, which correlate with obsessive and repetitive behaviors.
The NINDS conducts research in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland , and also awards grants to support research at universities and other facilities.
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One study is using functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI to show how abnormalities in particular areas of the brain cause changes in brain function that result in the symptoms of AS and other ASDs. A large-scale study is comparing neuropsychological and psychiatric assessments of children with possible diagnoses of AS or HFA to those of their parents and siblings to see if there are patterns of symptoms that link AS and HFA to specific neuropsychological profiles.
Some children with AS have become experts on vacuum cleaners, makes and models of cars, even objects as odd as deep fat fryers. Children with AS want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else. Their expertise, high level of vocabulary, and formal speech patterns make them seem like little professors.
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Children with AS will gather enormous amounts of factual information about their favorite subject and will talk incessantly about it, but the conversation may seem like a random collection of facts or statistics, with no point or conclusion. Their speech may be marked by a lack of rhythm, an odd inflection, or a monotone pitch. Children with AS often lack the ability to modulate the volume of their voice to match their surroundings.
For example, they will have to be reminded to talk softly every time they enter a library or a movie theater. Unlike the severe withdrawal from the rest of the world that is characteristic of autism, children with AS are isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests. However, parents should assess their own children to find additional individual strengths.
The next three chapters focus on the home, school and social world respectively. The chapter on home life explains the importance of consistency and provides strategies for difficult times of the day, breaks, routines, chores and homework. This chapter also addresses the issues of a healthy family attitude and how to deal with sibling matters.
However, the great contribution of this chapter is the explanation of and examples pertaining to functional behavioral analysis. This is a method for understanding and addressing challenging behavior. It is a cognitive approach for the parents with clear, simple steps. Success will depend on how well you know your child and how reflective and creative you can be in determining the reasons behind his or her behavior and providing your child with better ways of communicating those needs.
There is an introduction to special education law and disability law and a discussion of the pros and cons of different educational placements.
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While all this information is useful, the real strength of the chapter is in the section on typical school challenges and ideas for working them out. It is not just the solutions themselves that are helpful, but the demonstrations of how to apply kids' strengths to meet the challenges presented. The one thing that is conspicuously absent from the discussion of school life is the notion of special school classes for gifted children.
Qualifying for and attending such classes should bolster a child's self-esteem, raise their regard in the eyes of others and keep them interested in and challenged at school. All goals specifically laid out in this book. Yet the topic does not arise. An inability or limited ability to understand reciprocity is at the heart of this challenge. Chapter eight explores this concept. This chapter is devoted to strategies for building social skills and reviews clinical methodologies such as social skills groups and cognitive behavioral therapy.
But it emphasizes that such therapy is not sufficient to teach all social skills or to generalize them to other situations. Thus it promotes home strategies such as social stories, peer modeling and play groups, among others. Emotional regulation is also an important topic in this chapter since it has a large role in a child's ability to interact appropriately with others. The final chapter is on late adolescence and adulthood. This chapter has less of a focus on problem solving and more of a focus on providing information about what hurdles and challenges parents and growing children will face along with advice on how to prepare for these stages.
One of the stated goals of the chapter is to help parents distinguish whether particular adolescent problems are a result of autism or of adolescence itself. It is not clear that it succeeds in this goal, but it certainly identifies a great many issues for which parents need to prepare. But to be warned is to be prepared and this chapter provides a great starting point for researching all the options and strategies for success.
It also points to other sources of information and support. At the end of the book is a fifteen page appendix of resources divided by subject and source. Parents often wish that children came with instruction manuals, probably none more so than parents of children with special needs.
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