Aspergers is not actually a disease at all but more of a condition that many children have. The word disease itself can give the wrong impression of Aspergers and the many wonderful children who experience it. In this article I will give a simple explanation of some of the characteristics of Aspergers and then give some useful tips on how to manage challenging behaviours which are often associated with this condition.
Aspergers is a developmental disorder that affects a child’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Aspergers typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics. Signs and symptoms of Aspergers include displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures. People with Aspergers will often show an intense obsession with one or two specific, narrow subjects, such as baseball statistics, train schedules, weather or snakes. They will appear not to understand, empathize with, or be sensitive to others’ feelings and will have a hard time “reading” other people or understanding humor. When they speak it is often in a voice that is monotonous, rigid or unusually fast. They will sometimes appear to move clumsily, with poor coordination and display an odd posture or a rigid gait
Children with Aspergers frequently display challenging behaviors as a response to a world which they cannot deal with effectively. Any attempt to discontinue the behaviors must first consider why the behavior is occurring. The best way to establish why the individual with Aspergers is displaying challenging behaviors is to complete an A-B-C analysis. This includes an analysis of the Antecedent, Behavior, and the Consequence. The antecedent is what happens before the behavior. The behavior is their response to the antecedent. The consequence, and this is the tricky one, is whatever immediately follows the behavior. Often the child with Aspergers will have limited ability to verbalize their needs; you can help them with this once you have identified the cause of the behavior. Remember it will be something that happens either before or after the behavior occurs. Once you have established the reason for the behavior, the child with Aspergers will need a consistent behavior program or method of intervention. Children with Aspergers crave consistency and routine and need to know what is coming, or you will simply create more challenging behaviors.
For children with Aspergers, the behavioral intervention should include consideration of environmental changes that may need to be made. This may include removing items that may be over-stimulating or providing things that they appear to need. For the child with Aspergers, the behavioral intervention should also plan to provide the individual with a replacement behavior. Remember, if you eliminate the behavior without meeting the need, they will find their own replacement behavior! Autism and Aspergers are difficult to diagnose especially in young children where language and cognitive skills are still developing. All children are different, and many toddlers show a sign or symptom of Aspergers at some point.
It’s natural for small children to be egocentric, and many little ones show a strong interest in a particular topic, such as dinosaurs or a favorite fictional character. These alone aren’t reasons to be alarmed! However, if your child has frequent problems in school or seems unable to make friends, it’s time to consult your pediatrician. These difficulties have many possible causes, but developmental disorders such as Aspergers shouldn’t be ruled out. Hopefully this article will have provided you with some ideas of what to do next, where to seek help and how to manage your child’s behaviors better.
Source by Dave A Angel