Remember, every child with AS is different so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and intervention. What is true, regardless of your teen’s unique needs, is that the sooner intervention starts, the brighter his or her future will be.
4 – Get your teen into an IEP (individualized education program). Public schools are required by law to offer appropriate services for anyone between the ages of 3 and 21 years who has a disability (which includes ASD). Contact your local school district and meet with them to set up an IEP for your teen.
Supporting and Encouraging Your Child
One of the best things you can do for your teen with AS is provide ample support and encouragement. There are many ways you can do this including:
- Learn everything you can about Asperger’s Syndrome and ASD so you’ll know what to expect and how you can help
- Encourage your teen to explore his or her interests, both at school and at home
- Find ways to facilitate friendships between your teen and other kids his or her age (e.g. have your teen invite a friend to spend the night or go on a fun family outing)
- Be flexible
- Create a routine at home (e.g. for meals, bedtime, etc.) and stick to it as much as possible to minimize stress for our teen
- Set rules and expectations that are clear and specific
- Take note of (and minimize, if possible) things that may be distracting your teen, such as certain noises (e.g. a ticking clock)
- Help your child learn and practice coping skills for stressful situations that can’t be avoided; prepare him or her in advance if possible (e.g. company coming to visit, moving to a new home, etc.)
- Learn what things are particularly stress for your teen and avoid (or at least minimize) them as much as possible
- Help your teen develop better social skills by using role-play and discussing people’s behaviors you see while watching TV or movies together
- Be generous with your praise, focusing on frequently praising desired behaviors