If you are a High Functioning Autistic (HFA), the odds are troublingly high that you also suffer from some form of depression. As someone who suffers from depression myself, I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about how to find happiness when you struggle with the burdens of having an autistic brain. One possibility for the prevalence of depression in autistic brains is that HFAs, for reasons distinct to their neurological condition, are innately more likely to feel depressed.
My sense, though, is that we tend to be depressed because life is difficult for us in ways that are somewhat different from the experiences of the Neurologically Typical (a satirical term for non-HFAs). As such, any discussion of why HFAs tend to be depressed must be approached as a social justice issue, with a clear statement of ethical axioms that, if followed, would help HFAs and non-HFAs alike.
Matt Rozsa is a Ph.D. student in history at Lehigh University, as well as a political columnist. His editorials have been published on Salon, the Good Men Project, Mic, MSNBC, and various other newspapers and blogs. Matt actively encourages people to reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is nothing amusing about “the meltdown”. It is reflective of a complete loss of control of the person with an autism spectrum disorder. It is often loud, risky at times, frustrating, and exhausting.
Here is a video that explains meltdowns from the perspective of someone living with autism. Feel free to share with others, as it is available through youtube.
Ask an Autistic: What is a meltdown?
One might say that the loss of control overtakes the child. They need their teacher or parent to recognize this and help them to regain control, as they are unable to do so on their own. A child with autism in the middle of the meltdown desperately needs help to regain composure.
Moreover, it becomes critical to learn to recognize when the meltdown is imminent.
In this way, you can both work to prevent a meltdown. The individual with an autism spectrum disorder needs to learn how to recognize the feelings of escalation and then actualize strategies to de-escalate before the crisis ensues.
That is why a “feelings chart” or “emotion rating scale” can be such an important strategy.
Notice the left column of this particular feelings chart. It should be reviewed when calm to help identify the internal and external indicators that emotions are changing. The right hand column is just as, if not more important, in that it helps to identify calming strategies for that particular individual.
It is best to intervene early in the escalation process to increase the likelihood of a successful solution to the situation.
We are not “giving in to” or “reinforcing” negative behavior when providing one of these calming strategies, but rather throwing a lifeline to someone that is unraveling neurologically for many possible reasons.
The Education (K-12) Blogs and Special Ed Q & A are written and maintained weekly by Lisa Rogers with Educating Diverse Learners. Lisa received her M.A. in Special Education with an endorsement in the area of individuals with severe disabilities. Mrs. Rogers has also created products that have been used throughout the state of Texas for training purposes. Through the Association for Texas Professional Educators [ATPE], Ms. Rogers has produced an online course that targets the importance of visual strategies for student with autism spectrum disorders and just released her highly anticipated book titled: Visual Supports for Visual Thinkers.
“The Autistic Mind: Different in Function and Anatomy”
Understanding the function of the Autistic Brain may help you understand, or explain, the different behaviors exhibited by someone with Aspergers Syndrome. This episode of Top of the Spectrum News features doctors revealing studies that prove the importance of therapy. They explain that the Autistic brain is different in both function and anatomy from a neuro-typical brain. In other words. . . it’s not bad behavior! Aspies are coming from a place of being neurologically different.
You may purchase the entire DVD “Coping to to Excelling: Solutions for School-Age Children Diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome” HERE
After an extensive career broadcast marketing, Jennifer and her husband searched for answers when their oldest son hit the kinder years with great difficultly. After finally learning that their oldest son had Aspergers Syndrome, she left her career in television and became a full time mother to both of her sons. Jennifer elicited the participation of her sons and together they produced several independent programs including a children’s animated series titled Ameriquest Kids (now distributed by Landmark Media) as well as her documentary and book titled, Coping to Excelling: Solutions for school-age children diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome.
The need for more information encouraged Jennifer to elicit a team of autism experts to provide weekly, original content to a website free to anyone seeking to live their best under the diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism/Aspergers Syndrome… appropriately titled: Aspergers101.com.
The Autistic Mind is different in both function and anatomy.
Understanding the function of the Autistic Brain may help you understand, or explain, the different behaviors exhibited by someone with Aspergers Syndrome. In this edition of Top of The Spectrum News doctors reveal studies proving the importance of therapy, explaining that the autistic brain is different in both function and anatomy from a neuro-typical brain. In other words. . . it’s not bad behavior; Aspies are coming from a place of neurological difference. This is a great video clip to show to friends or family members who do not understand your Asperger childs ‘differences’.
Notice: Aspergers101 is no longer being updated. The site will be maintained as a resource for those looking for more information. No new content will be published and comments will no longer be accepted. We hope this website continues to be a helpful resource!