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Try this
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

I don't have a child with Autism per se, but I do teach those who have Autism. And one particular thing that may help with the meanness happening at school is to capitalize on her talents. I say this because one of my students is socially somewhat of an outcast due to his autism. However, he played in the talent show last year and he became an overnight sensation. The kids in the school had no idea he was so talented musically and this brought his social life to a whole new level.

Her acceptance in this arena may help her to feel more confident in all areas, even at home. I have three teenage boys and they don't accept responsibility for their actions sometimes either, can be extremely moody and they don't have autism.

What I'm trying to say is that it is normal for her to feel and act this way, all teenagers go through it. It is difficult enough being a teenager without the complications of being one with autism. She will most likely come around, in her own time. In the meantime, don't feel like it is in anyway your failure as a mother-although I feel that way at times too. I am sure you have a wonderful and supportive family at home and together you can steer your daughter in the right direction.

Social Situation
by: Janet

Have you tried sitting with her and play acting a social situation? Say things to her that are happening in school that are hurtful to her and tell her the appropriate way to respond to the situation. This should be done on a daily basis.

Don't only do the negative also teach her positive responses. Make sure you tell her how great she is doing when teaching her how to respond correctly to a situation.

Let her know you understand that sometimes it hurts when other students are mean to her and that's why you're practicing with her to make it better. Also, ask the school if they have a Best Buddies program that meets after school so she can make some friends.

Age 18 and I Have Asperger's Syndrome
by: Anonymous

They have told me for awhile I have it [Asperger's], just throwing a tantrum when they threw that word around. They decided not to do the testing. Feeling though like I can relate to the story, I just wanted to say, my mom also thought she failed as a mom, and always asked me, where did she go wrong. You didn't fail... nor did your daughter.

You just can't fully see things the way she does. My mom doesn't either. I say so much to my mom, she just doesn't take it to heart. She knows I can't help it, but she still yells at me because she wants me to not feel handicapped.

Sorry for the long letter. It must be hard for her. I never can accept responsiblity, but as I get older I am finally aware that I actually have a problem with taking responsiblity. You may not explain your view clear enough, and she may not be able to tell you how upset she is, and that's how tantrums are started.

At least that's how it is with me. I threw a fit once because there were no plastic spoons in the house. I started to stomp all over the house and cry. I didn't do it to be spiteful, but it disrupted the daily routine. And when things feel different it sometimes is hard to adjust.

When I get upset I have to let it all out. If I hold it in I will be worse off later. Small things will calm me down though, like a simple chat or drawing. You might not be able to see eye-to-eye always on everything, but small things seem like a big deal.

So the only thing I could say my mom never realized is, if my mom would have seen my tears when I have breakdowns over something small, I was crying because I was upset. Those tears are tears no matter how big or small the issue is. And if I feel like it's the end of the world and people tell me otherwise, I slowly shun them, feeling like they don't understand...

I have a lot of the Aspergers symptoms, I just never had the testing. I'm old enoguh to start to realize where I'm making mistakes. My new school has openned my eyes and helped me. I have gone to a school with three therapists and eight kids. Now I don't get picked on and I stopped having breakdowns. I've learned to control myself once I got used it.

Though I'm not good at writing my thoughts down I hope it helps...

Editor's note: Thank you for your insightful letter! You did a fine job sharing your thoughts with us at www.Child-Autism-Parent-Cafe.Com.

Teaching Children With Autism to Mind-Read
by: Wanda

We found the book title below to be extremely useful to teach our son how to learn how others may think and feel in given situations. It's user-friendly and fun to read together. We even bought a copy for the school psychologist to use during their counseling sessions.

The book (more like a self-teaching manual) is expensive but worth every penny! We paid $65 for it, but the price has gone down some over the years. Teaching Children With Autism to Mind-Read: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Parents [Paperback] by Patricia Howlin, Simon Baron-Cohen, Julie A. Hadwin

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