Adults with Asperger’s Disorder

In What is Asperger’s Disorder? we looked at an overview of this condition which forms one of the autistic spectrum disorders, a developmental disorder that influences how the brain processes information, particularly in the area of social cues. Much of the available literature on Asperger’s deals with the diagnosis and treatment of children with the disorder. Similar material can often be difficult to find on adult sufferers. This is largely due to the fact that the DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of Asperger’s is of relatively recent origin. The disorder was only distinguished as a condition in its own right … Continue reading

What is Asperger’s Disorder?

The first time Elise met her mother-in-law she was struck by the fact that the woman seldom made eye contact with her. Instead she looked slightly over her shoulder into the distance, even when she was talking to her. The first time she hugged her mother-in-law, after receiving a Christmas gift from her, the mother-in-law became perfectly rigid and did not return the hug. Looking around at the rest of the family, Elise noticed that they were all holding their breath. Apparently no-one ever hugged Mom. Elise was at a loss to know what she was dealing with. Over time, … Continue reading

The ABCs of ASDs

Has your child recently been diagnosed as having autism? Parents can find the jargon and abbreviations that are used by teachers and staff in a Special Education program to be confusing and overwhelming. Here is a quick list of definitions that make everything much clearer. Think of it as the ABCs of autism in a school environment. ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis It is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by environment. This therapy can help children who have autism to pick up on the social cues that their peers, who do not have autism, … Continue reading

Clarification on Asperger’s Syndrome and Violence

By now, we have all heard the tragic news about the shooting that took place in an elementary school in Connecticut. Some say the shooter had Asperger’s Syndrome. Experts point out that there is no evidence of a link between violence like what happened and the existence of Asperger’s syndrome. A tragedy has occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. I do not have the words to express the grief and pain that the parents of the children who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut must be feeling. Lacking that, I will instead quote part of what President Obama … Continue reading

Parents of Kids With Autism Want Less Judgement

No one wants to get “that look” from the other parents in the room. It is the look that implies that you are a failure as a parent because your child is misbehaving. Parents of kids who have autism want less judgement, and more understanding. What others see as “acting up” could be nothing more than a coping mechanism, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. The other day, I opened up a bottle of tea, and found writing on the inside of the lid. It was one of those “6-Word Memoirs”. This one said: “I have Aspergers. What’s your … Continue reading

Should Children be Given Anti-psychotic Drugs

With a 40-fold increase in bipolar diagnosis for children and adolescents over the last decade, I have to ask what percentage of these kids are really bipolar. The experts claim to be more aware than they were in the 1990’s of bipolar disorder in children. Others say there is more pressure to prescribe drugs. Either way, the statistics are troubling. “The label also gives doctors and desperate parents a quick way to try to manage children’s rages and outbursts in an era when long-term psychotherapy and hospital care are less accessible, they say. In addition, drug makers and company-sponsored psychiatrists … Continue reading

Why So Many Parents Homeschool “Problem” Children

A teacher of a five year old boy is recorded calling the child “pathetic”, “selfish”, and “ignorant” and discouraging other kids from being his friend. The teachers union saying that the teacher’s rights have been violated. A Kindergarten teacher stands one child in front of the classroom and one by one has them tell him what they don’t like about him and have them vote on whether or not he deserves to be in the classroom. The teacher is unapologetic. Both of these incidents hit the national news in the past month. What is worse than these incidents is the … Continue reading

Asperger’s or not Asperger’s?

We’ve all heard of common mental conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. We may also have knowledge of less mainstream disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, borderline personality disorder and Tourette’s syndrome. Yet there are many other conditions that affect humans that do not fall into such clear- cut categories but which nevertheless are indicative of problems in the sufferer. We discussed one such case in the article on Munchausen’s by Proxy. Many more strange and puzzling afflictions affect the general population and today’s blog describes one of them. It involves the diagnosis of … Continue reading

Glossary of Special Needs Adoption-Related Terms “A”

Special Needs and Adoption-Related Terms: Adoption terms and special needs words may vary from agency to agency. The terms used in this Special Needs Adoption-Related Glossary may be slightly different from one State to another. A | B | C | D | E-F | G-H-I | J-K-L | M | N-O | P | Q-R | S | T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z Abuse: Harm inflicted on a person through physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual means; may cause victim to develop emotional or behavioral problems, some of which may not appear until later in life. Help from an experienced counselor or therapists may … Continue reading

Coping with an adult with Asperger’s (3)

In this third blog on living with a person with Asperger’s, (see Coping with an adult with Asperger’s (1) and (2), we look at further behavioral patterns of the sufferer and ways families and friends can better deal with difficulties encountered in everyday interactions with individuals with the condition. Asperger’s Disorder makes for difficulties in understanding the emotions of others as well as interpreting subtle communication skills, as transmitted through eye contact, facial expressions, and body language. This often leads to the person with this disorder being labeled as rude, uncaring, cold, and unfeeling. While it is natural for those … Continue reading