I am the father of a son with Aspergers Syndrome and through the years of my wife and I raising him, it has had many challenges for me. As a father I wanted him to take interest in outdoor activities, sports and other things that we could do together but while he was not interested in these things there were other items of interest that I had to adapt to in order to spend the most amount of quality time with him.
While he may not have had interest in what I thought a young boy, now a man, “should” be interested in, he has opened my eyes to a different world that has brought us closer together over the years. I just had to be the one to approach his interests with an open mind and with the idea that these were things we could do as a father and son.
The many times that my son was being called names or bullied by his peers I had to be supportive and encouraging in creative ways, primarily to teach him how to ignore those and look forward to the future with special father and son times together.
Some words of advice from a father of an aspie:
Learn to be a listener;
Take interest in his activities, not those you think a young man should take interest in;
Find things to do outside the home that you can teach him and he is interested in;
Be supportive and patient, as typically those with Aspergers will find it difficult to relate to things we take for granted as well as conveying their thoughts in the same manner we are accustomed to;
Above all, be a father as well as a dad, they will never forget the times you spend with them and the memories you are making.
The inspiration behind the documentary, Coping to Excelling: Solutions for school-age children diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome, Sam offers his insights into the world of Autism through his blogs and input for aspergers101.com. Currently enrolled in college working toward a degree in Engineering, Sam enjoys spending his time building high-end computers, on-line gaming and even took time to build a low-powered FM Radio station for fun. Contributing guest writer on our Autistically Speaking Blog, Sam’s take on having Aspergers is: “Don’t think of Autism as a weight but more like wings in which to soar”. We would agree!
James Cox wanted to raise awareness for the special needs community by creating a mini documentary. His subject of choice was a thoughtful one: Lizzie has a heart of gold and the story of her and the amazing relationship with her warrior-for-a-cause Mom will both enlighten and uplift.
Following this mini-documentary, Aspergers101 spoke with both the filmmaker and mother about the film, its meaning, and the amazing story of Lizzie.
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.
Puberty is a difficult and oftentimes scary process in any adolescent’s life. The changes that the body goes through can be frightening and confusing. For young girls with ASD, these changes come with an entirely new set of obstacles and challenges. At Aspergers101, we focus on providing resources that are free to the community. The following webinar by the Asperger/Autism Network contains invaluable information, but at a cost of $20. We hope that this can be of use to some families, as this is a very important topic that often gets overlooked.
This webinar takes parents of girls through the common difficulties faced by girls with AS/ASD as they begin and move through puberty. These girls may be confused or upset by the changes taking places in their bodies. New hygiene routines can be made more difficult by sensory sensitivities. In addition, pre-teen and teen girls with AS/ASD often desire increased independence, but need to learn safety skills. Parents will learn to address these sensitive issues in a calm and informed manner. We will also look at different resources to use when talking to our daughters. Following the presentation there will be time for questions.
About the presenter:
Erika Drezner, LCSW, is a social worker and has been on staff at the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) since 2009. She has trained as a Parent Consultant through the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Erika has a special interest in girls on the spectrum and has run support groups for parents of girls at AANE. In addition, she has presented workshops on Females with ASD, Anxiety, Friendship, and Adolescence. Erika will be a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital for 2016-17. She has two children with autism spectrum diagnoses and in her free time she enjoys running and reading.
Please register for ‘ Puberty Basics for Parents of Girls with AS/ASD: Health, Hygiene, Self-Esteem and Safety’
Dr. Marcia Eckerd has been in practice as a licensed psychologist since 1985. I am on the CT ASD Advisory Council and the Clinical Advisory Committee of the Aspergers/Autism Association of New England, as well the professional advisory board of Smart Kids with LD. Aspergers101 is honored to offered the knowledge and experience of Dr. Eckerd through her informative blogs!