Monthly Archives: June 2017

Does Your Child Have Asperger’s Syndrome? Here Are 10 Signs To Look For

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Asperger’s syndrome is a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum. There are many behaviors that may be signs that your child should be checked for Asperger’s syndrome. Here are ten common behaviors to watch for:
1. Fixation on One Activity
Many children with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to fixate on one activity and can spend hours upon hours of their time doing one thing.
2. “Little Professor” Speech”

Typically a child with Asperger’s tends to have advanced verbal skills, but due to the autism aspect of the syndrome they might seem fixated on a topic that they want to talk about constantly.

3. Difficulty Reading Social Cues
Social difficulties are another key sign of Asperger’s syndrome. A child with Asperger’s syndrome will have a hard time reading body language, taking turns or holding a conversation with their peer group.
4. Need For Routine
Many children with Asperger’s syndrome, need to have a very structured schedule, otherwise they get confused and can become stressed out or frustrated.

5. Emotional Meltdowns
Many children with Asperger’s syndrome can’t handle routines or plans going awry. They become easily overwhelmed and have an inability to control their emotions which leads to emotional breakdowns.
6. Lack of Empathy
Another sign your child may have Asperger’s syndrome is their lack of empathy. Many of these children have no clue that people around them have feelings or wants and needs. They live in their own bubble and tend to be totally aloof.
7. Can’t Understand Speech Subtleties
Some people with Asperger’s syndrom have a hard time understanding speech tone, pitch, and accent. They tend to take words very literally and have a difficult time understanding sarcasm or jokes.
8. Unusual Body Language
Other signs that your child might have Asperger’s syndrome is their unusual facial expressions or postures, and either staring a lot at others or completely avoiding eye contact.
9. Delayed Motor Development

Poor or delayed motor skills, such as delays in handwriting, problems riding a bike etc can also be signs that your child may have Asperger’s syndrome.

10. Sensory Sensitivities
Many children with Asperger’s syndrome have heightened sensory sensitivity. As a result, they can be easily overstimulated by lights, loud noises etc.
If you think your child may have Asperger’s syndrome it is best to get an expert’s evaluation as soon as possible.

Should Yoi Teach Your Child To Share?

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Growing up children here over and over again that it’s nice to share, or they are asked repeatedly to share their toys with friends, family and sometimes even strangers…but are we doing a disservice to our children by teaching them to give up their toys just because someone else wants to play with them?

The fact of the matter is that in the “real world” people are not obligated to give up their possessions just because someone else asked nicely. In fact maybe we should change the way we teach our children how to share. Maybe it would be a better life lesson to teach a child that they can play with a toy once another child is done with it, and in the meantime they can occupy their time with a different toy that no other child has picked up.

It is important that your child understands that in life they can’t always get what they want and it does a child a great disservice to teach them that they can have something that someone else has, simply because they want  it.

The last thing we want is for our children to grow up into adults and think they are owed everything they see.”
It’s important to teach our kids how to cope with disappointment, because it happens. There will be times in life when they don’t get what they want, don’t achieve what they set out to do, and there won’t always be someone there to fix it for them. We need to start teaching them how they can get things they want through diligence, patience, and hard work at an early age.

Preparing For Summer Camp

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It’s the beginning of summer and many children are transitioning from school to camp. Going to camp is a way for children to interact with their peers, experience new things, and create lasting memories, but for some children who have been diagnosed with autism, the transition can be a difficult one. They may need to adjust to new people and schedules and this can cause anxiety and fear, but it doesn’t have to. Here are some ways Beautiful Minds Center recommends that you prepare your child on the spectrum for a fun and memorable experience at summer camp.

Once you figure out what camp is best for your child, visit the camp site so that your child on the spectrum is familiar with where they are going when you drop him/her off on the first day. Try to meet the camp counselors and any other staff members, if possible. Unfamiliar places and situations can cause unnecessary stress for a child who has been diagnosed with autism, so take pictures of the camp grounds, the schedule, and the faces of the people you meet; and use these tools to create a social story on what to expect. This will make your child’s transition much easier to handle on the first day of camp.

Another great way to prepare your child for camp is through visual aids. Use the pictures you took on your visit to the camp, the camp brochure, their website or any other visual information you can get your hands on, and talk to them about the cabins, the food, what activities they will be involved in, etc. so that you can help set their expectations and give them a feel for what camp will be like when they go.

Involve your child on the spectrum in planning their day at camp. Have them pack their backpack for the day, discuss with them what the weather will be like, what activities they want to do and what they can expect from the day. If they are playing sports, have them pack their sports clothes and shoes. If it’s a water day, work with them on packing their bathing suit. Also remember that sometimes a new activity sounds like fun, but if it’s the first time your child who has been diagnosed with autism is participating in that activity, prepare them for what they should expect and/or practice this activity with them at home, in the park or wherever you have access to the items you need.

Throughout the whole process of planning to go to camp, and even after your child with special needs has started camp, continue to set their expectations. Be sure your child knows what they can expect, not only from the camp and the people/peers at the camp, but from you. Let them know where you will drop them off and where you will pick them up, the time you will get there, etc. This way you decrease anxiety at the start and end of the day.

Go over each day of camp with your child on the spectrum when they get home. By doing this, you allow them to process their day, tell you stories, and create special memories. Many camps also take pictures of their campers throughout the summer and either post these pictures or e-mail them to the parents. Take these pictures and create an album or a book to share with your child, so that they remember their summer experiences and so that you can use this book next summer when it’s time for your child to go back to camp.

Summer camp can be an incredible learning and growing experience for a child and with a little preparation, communication, and setting expectations, your child that has been diagnosed with autism, can have an enjoyable summer, meet new friends, experience new activities and create memories that last a lifetime.