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  1. #1
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    Default What are realistic outcomes for an Asperger's child?

    Random question I know but let me explain...

    My DS1 9yo went to his psych this morning. They are currently finishing up working on emotions; identifying and dealing with emotions. It's been almost a year. DS is going ok-ish with it, but as with these kids it is a very very slow process of rote learning. So it got me thinking about what issue will we deal with next? My next biggest concern is social/conversational issues. But what can I expect to be 'fixed' (for lack of a better word), and what do I and others around him just have to learn to deal with? For eg, I was thinking, I would love for him to know that it is socially expected that if he sees his friend he says 'hi' and at the end says "bye'. This I expect him to learn, and I have been working on this his whole life and he is getting the hang of it somewhat. But what about things like; I would love to have a normal conversation with him, ie when I try and talk to him about something spontaneous he either doesn't reply or just nods his head or says 'yep', or at the other end of the scale, if he has a spiel ready to go it just goes on and on and on without any consideration for the other person in the conversation. And further to that, I would love him to realise when he is boring the other person to death, and change the subject. But then I thought, is that too much to ask? Will he be able to learn these things? Or not? There's a whole bunch of other traits that I wonder about too.

    Opinions? Does anyone know what is reasonable to expect after trying to socially train an Aspergers kid all their life?

    Sorry I think this has turned into abit of a vent more than anything, it gets really tiring talking to DS sometimes.
    But would be curious to hear of anyone's experience/opinions, especially I guess of older Aspie kids/teens/adults.

    Thanks.

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    Default Asperger's boy

    Hi CMF,
    I do not claim to be an expert, but I have worked with many Asperger's children within the public school system. Each child is different, and also, what works this week may not work next week. However, you are correct in being consistent in what you are using and doing to help him. Some things do need to be taught by rote, and for considerably longer than for general children. In my experience, the social interaction aspect is probably the mist important, and also most difficult, to learn and to impart. I don't believe one can focus on this for a certain period and then move on to something else. I believe this is something that needs to be routinely and consistenly instilled, along with all the other strategies you are teaching him, and that it is a lifelong learning experience, just as it is for all of us, albeit more pronounced and rigorous. It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things, and looking for some extra strategies to give him a deeper understanding of social protocols. Have you thought of little role-plays? For example, you play his friend and have him greet you, engage in a short discussion where you both have a say, and then end the dialogue (and the role-play) by each saying "bye". Try doing it every couple of days for no more than two minutes each time. Praise him afterwards for all the points he got right, and be specific and explicit about how to fix the others. Also, have you tried some of the games using facial emotion recognition? I'm sure his psych could put you on to them. Some are available online. You can even pull faces and ask him what that particular face means, how he thinks you are feeling, how it makes him feel when he sees such a face and how he should/would react to it. You are to be commended for your acceptance of your son's condition, your willingness to devote whatever energy and emotion is required to help him, and especially for your commitment and determination in seeking every way of helping him. Unfortunately, we see too many parents who refuse to accept there is a problem, thereby denying their child expert help, special funding and support, as well as understanding from those they must interact with. You are already doing a magnificent job, and mums like you make our jobs easier, too. Hang in there. In my experience, it all seems to come together as the children develop, mature and build on their experiences.

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for your reply.
    Yes we do role plays etc, and we have done the facial recognition thing but not with games, didn't know there was any?

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    No advice as my ASD child is 7 but subbing, interesting topic.

  5. #5
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    My son has just turned 6 and is HFA. I take him to see both a psych and a speech pathologist one on one and we are attending a social skills group session also at the speech therapists. So far, he is great with one on one sessions with both the psych and speechie but struggles with the social skills group. He appears to have an understanding of the need to act a certain way with others but doesn't quite understand WHY we need to be considerate, polite, thoughtful, etc. He'll just say "I don't want to use manners, its boring" and comments like that, yet other times, he will be very polite.

    Our therapies have only been going on for a couple of months, and yes, it is an ongoing thing. Our speech therapist has also recommended role play with greetings. For example; I go out the front door and knock, then DP answers it and we say hello to each other using smiles and eye contact. DS then tries to do the same thing with one of us, and if he does it right, he gets a sticker on a rewards chart we keep by the door. Our speechie has also suggested using toys or puppets to act out a social situation or use greetings and emotions in their voice intonation. Social stories are also quite good if your DS likes books and reading. For instance; you could write your own story about your son going to school and what is involved in the process, ie; we enter the classroom and say hello to Miss ...(his teacher). Break the process down into short sentences which get to the point of what he needs to do. You can add photos or if he's artistically inclined like my DS, he can do his own illustrations.

    Social skills groups are generally run by speech therapists and involve a small group of kids with similar needs, ie: ASD's who come together for a set amount of time and are officially taught how to interact socially with one another with the guidance of the therapists. My son has has 4 sessions so far and has only spoken one word. He tends to become very anxious in group situations and I know this is very challenging for him and quite stressful for me taking him there, but we are perservering. He will be starting school next year in a main****** environment and really needs to develop these skills but it breaks my heart seeing him look terrified about entering the room and tightly grasping my hand with a sweaty palm and not wanting to let it go.

    Our psych is also doing emotional regulation, and so far has had him identify his emotions and is in the process of working out how to deal with anger, shyness and sadness in a constructive way. She also tends to do a lot of role play through toys and puppets and enables DS to express himself through drawings and games

    I'm not sure if any of these things are already something you are familiar with (other than emotional regulation) but I hope there are some ideas there. I understand how hard it can be sometimes (for both you and DS) but hang in there, you are doing a fantastic job by giving him the help he needs. Not enough people will tell you that!

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