How to deal with Aspergers anxiety?
For children with Asperger’s, anxiety can be overwhelming. What causes this anxiety? Just about anything can cause anxiety. The stress of social situations when you have weak social skills, changes in your normal routine or in the order of things, depression due to the loneliness that can come with lacking social abilities, and frustration. Truthfully, frustration is the root of anxiety in children with Asperger’s Syndrome.
In children with Asperger’s, anxiety builds as frustration builds. Something as simple as being forced to make eye contact and explain your reasons for choosing a certain book to read can cause frustration. Imagine trying to find the words you need and learning that some of those words are missing. Imagine having to look someone in the eye and feeling actual physical discomfort when doing so. Imagine eating in a noisy, crowded cafeteria when the sights, sounds, and smells are painfully overwhelming. Imagine having a deep desire to make and keep friends, but not having the social skills needed to accomplish this desire. Frustration is around every corner and with that frustration comes anxiety.
Asperger’s anxiety must be understood before it can be eliminated or at the very least, managed. Knowing the child’s anxiety triggers, or daily frustrations is a good place to start. A helpful tool for learning about your child’s frustrations is “The 5-Point Scale and Anxiety Curve Poster”, by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis. This chart allows the child to use a visual aid to categorize his levels of anxiety. (Read more about this chart at
Once you know the child’s frustrations, you can make a plan for these stressful Asperger’s anxiety situations. There are several choices of treatments for parents to choose.
* Counseling is a common treatment option for anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as well as psychological counseling can help. Social skills training, sensory integration therapy, and language therapy can also help with the underlying causes of a child’s anxiety-inducing frustration.
* In some cases, medication is a necessary treatment. Anti-anxiety medications can make it easier for children with Asperger’s Syndrome to deal with the depression and anxiety issues. Since medications are not for everyone, a trusted doctor‘s guidance is necessary.
* Parents can choose to teach coping skills at home. Search the Internet for published resources that can make the job easier and more effective.
Asperger’s anxiety is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. Finding the right combination of stress management and treatments will help your family deal with the frustration that leads to anxiety.
Articles and video posted this week at The Parenting Aspergers Community
Aspergers Behavior – What do you do when all the suggested ways of dealing with misbehaviour (eg redirection, calm voice, direct instruction) don’t work and you feel your child with Aspergers is “getting away with it”?
The truth is the suggested coping and teaching skills are not always an effective means for behavior control. It can be difficult to stand in the midst of misbehavior and remain calm-faced, with a controlled voice, and mildly redirect your errant child! Many a parent of children with Autism have questioned and wondered about the possibility of their children getting away with too much. Disciplining a child with Autism is not easy. Let’s examine some issues that can cause misbehavior… .
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Aspergers Information – What should my son with Aspergers do if he ever has to deal with the police?
Many social situations tend to be difficult for kids with Asperger’s. Police interaction is one such situation. While police officers and first responders are trained to deal with unusual characters and situations, not many states have recognized the need for Autism-specific practices and training. Asperger’s Syndrome brings into question everything that is taught regarding unusual characters. . .
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Aspergers Video – Autism Awareness…Donnie
This short video is an Autism awareness message of hope for families affected by Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Donnie is a little boy who was not supposed to ever talk, interact with others, or show emotion. The video shows Donnie singing loud and clear during a church service. The message is for families to not give up on their children with Autism. Running Time: 2 minutes, 16 seconds
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