Behavior

The developmental stage children are going through and their Asperger profile impact their behavior. The frustration parents and kids often feel about behavior boils down to expectations and assumptions about what causes confusing behavior. If you believe your child is doing something that is socially unacceptable intentionally, it’s hard to stay calm, step back, and take time to think about trying different strategies. But if you understand that your child’s behavior is likely the result of an underdeveloped skill or difficulty interpreting the situation, it is easier to respond with patience and compassion.

Many parents feel conflicted about the cause of their child’s behavioral challenges. They wonder if they are letting their child off the hook if they don’t respond with a strong consequence or punishment. But we have to remember that our children and teens are expending greater effort to try to understand and respond to the complex social situations they encounter. We need to interpret their behavior through an Asperger/Autism lens so that we can learn how to help them manage the strong emotions they experience and cope with frustration and change.

Essential Resources:

Parent Coaching
Support Groups
Upcoming Events
Parenting Toolbox 
Anxiety and Depression
Education

Browse content about this topic

Filter Results
Submit

Tips for Preventing A Violation of College Sexual Misconduct Policies

Article
** The following is the first in a series of articles that are designed to provide students with a diagnosis of Asperger’s or autism with tips regarding the sexual misconduct policies and procedures at our nation’s colleges. **If you are presently a student at a college or university, it is likely that you have heard discussions about... more

Why Does My Child Behave Like That? Practical Strategies for Parents of Kids on the…

Webinar
Brenda Dater, author of Parenting without Panic, offers practical guidance to help your family function with less... more

Fewer Meltdowns! Practical Strategies for Fostering Positive Behavior in Children & Teens with AS

Webinar
Brenda Dater, author of Parenting without Panic, shares practical strategies for fewer... more

Parenting without Panic with Brenda Dater

Webinar
Brenda Dater, author of Parenting without Panic, shares practical guidance for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum; helping all parents feel less... more

Welcome to the Teen Years

Webinar
In this webinar, Erika Drezner helps parents distinguish between behaviors that are related to an Asperger profile, and typical teen behaviors. She gives information on how Asperger’s impacts the adolescent mind, and how to handle the demands of parenting this kind of... more

Preparing For Life: The Complete Guide for Transitioning to Adulthood for Those with Autism and…

Recommended Reading
Far too often, students with Asperger profiles graduate from high school graduates unprepared for the transition to an independent adult life. Early, ongoing training in the social skills crucial to establishing successful adult relationships—in college, vocational school, residential living, or... more

The Incredible 5-Point Scale: Assessing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders In Understanding Social Interactions and…

Recommended Reading
Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis have created a tool that helps students with Asperger profiles become aware of their feelings and emotional reactions, and communicate about them with others. This must-have resource shows how the use of a simple 5-point visual scale can help students understand and... more

The Best Kind of Different: Our Family’s Journey with Asperger’s Syndrome

Recommended Reading
This personal memoir has touched many hearts, and helped many couples come together to co-parent their children with Asperger profiles.Learn More and... more

Living Sensationally

Recommended Reading
Winnie Dunn has worked with many people with Asperger profiles. Based on her deep understanding of how their sensory issues impact their experience and functioning, she offers strategies to creating more hospitable environments and practical solutions. The book is refreshingly concise, with handy... more

Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In – When to Worry…

Recommended Reading
Quirky Kids is a classic written by two experienced pediatricians, offering parents practical strategies for raising children with Asperger profiles.Learn More and Purchase... more

The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students

Recommended Reading
The behavior of children with Asperger profiles is often driven by anxiety and/or missing skills. Over-simplified behavioral interventions such as imposing inflexible negative consequences may increase a child’s anxiety--and do nothing to teach the necessary skills. This book offers a much more... more

Easy-To Implement Interventions for Children With Asperger Profiles

Article
“Hello, Mrs. Thompson, this is Ms. O’Conner, Jacob’s teacher. I’m calling today because there was another incident in class. Jacob is struggling with listening to directions. We were at morning meeting and, as always, he was jumping up and down and calling out. Another student asked him to sit and be quiet because he couldn’t hear. Jacob... more

Guidelines for Neuropsychological Evaluations for Children and Teens

Article
To most parents hearing it for the first time, the term “neuropsych eval” is mysterious, a phrase that never comes up in toddler music classes, playground chat, or the mainstream parenting manuals. Parents facing the possibility that their child has developmental problems, however, must quickly become accustomed to it, because the... more

Helping Children Understand Time

Article
All children have challenges with understanding time, waiting, wondering when something will happen, or feeling like they’ve been doing homework for hours when it’s been 10 minutes. For children with Asperger profiles, these challenges can be even more difficult and will need more strategies and patient repetition to learn the concept. Because... more

Helping Students with Asperger Profiles Make Sense Of Recess

Article
When “typical” children are asked: “What’s your favorite class at school?” many will say “Recess!” Most children love recess. They are in charge. Freed from arbitrary adult rules, they get to play and run around, burn off energy etc.Children with Asperger Profiles, however, may have another perspective. For them, recess is... more

How to Determine Homework Needs of Students on the Autism Spectrum

Article
Homework is an issue that needs careful consideration for the student with AS. Hopefully this article will help both parents and teachers focus your thinking about homework and make good decisions for your student. Decisions about homework should be addressed by the whole educational team, including parents and, if possible, the student... more

How to Handle Meltdowns

Article
Many children with Asperger profiles have meltdowns. After a meltdown parents can feel exhausted and wonder if they responded correctly. If you have a child who has meltdowns, consider the following:Not all meltdowns look alike: There are a variety of behaviors that occur when a child has lost the ability to stay calm or regulated. They... more

Morning Work Template

Article
Students with Asperger profiles often have challenges with organization and self-regulation. They benefit from having an explicit list that teaches them what tasks to do, and in what order, and allows them to check off items as they are completed. Try using a form like this for first thing in the morning to help your student know what they need to... more

Sensory Processing and the Sensory Budget

Article
How do we know anything at all about the world? Our sensory system is responsible for accurately taking in information so our brain can interpret this information and then do something with it. For everyone, this process happens instantaneously and continuously throughout the day: “I see red, I see round, I hear bouncing, I smell... more

Simple Steps to Help Your Child Follow Through on Tasks

Article
Many parents find that their children resist doing jobs at home especially when tasks have multiple steps that are not explicit. Daily requests like; ”Clean your room,” or “Take the trash out”, or “We’re leaving, get ready,” or  “Play with your sister,” may seem to be ignored or result in a meltdown. But there are strategies... more

Change in My Day Card

Article
Many students with Asperger profiles get distressed when anything changes in their day. Alerting them in writing that a change is anticipated can help them adjust. You can help reassure them that everything will still be OK and help them understand what they will be doing instead of their regular schedule. Try using this model or one of your own.... more

Teaching Resilience to Children with Asperger Profiles

Article
Perhaps you, too, have had this experience. A child—let’s call him Joey—is in the middle of a meltdown, and a well-intentioned adult advises him to take some deep breaths. (Perhaps you have even been that adult.) There’s just one problem—the child has never had any prior instruction in deep breathing, or any opportunity to rehearse using... more

Helping Your Child Learn How to Be Calm

Article
Many children with Asperger profiles are easily frustrated, have strong reactions to change and have a more difficult time calming themselves when they are upset. Many parents have found it helpful to use the following strategy to help their children learn how to calm themselves when they are frustrated, angry or anxious. Step 1: Observe and Get... more

Strategies for Surviving the Holidays

Article
With Your Extended Family: Normalize the chaos.  Don’t expect that everything will go perfectly even if you preview, plan and use every strategy in the book.  Decide for yourself what is really important and what you can live without.  One mom who had been very keen on the perfect family photo in front of the Christmas tree... more

Throw Away The Yardstick or The Blessing of the Diagnosis

Article
Many of us started this journey through the now famous metaphor of visiting Holland. If you haven’t read Emily Perl Kingsley’s brilliant essay on having a child with special needs, read it here. In it, she compares getting ready to have a baby to planning a trip to Italy—only expectant parents could think of parenting as a trip to one of... more

Asperger Syndrome and Young Children: Building Skills for the Real World

Recommended Reading
Teresa Bolick is an experienced and trusted child psychologist who has shared her wisdom with the AANE community at many of our conferences. In this book she offers parents a compassionate perspective and practical strategies for raising children with Asperger profiles.Learn More and... more

Dear Grandma and Grandpa, I’m Not a Bad Kid

Article
Dear Grandma and Grandpa,I know you think I'm rude sometimes. The last time you tried to take me to the movies I screamed and put my hands over my ears because it was too loud and you got mad at me and said I ruined the movie for my little sister. Afterwards, when I was pacing in the back of the restaurant, you told me I needed to sit down... more

Asperger Syndrome and Bullying: Strategies and Solutions

Recommended Reading
Bullying is a serious problem for people with Asperger profiles, both at school and in the workplace. Displaying "different" behavior, such as not understanding social rules or hand-flapping, exacerbates the risk of being victimized. Nick Dubin describes the bullying behavior he and others have... more

Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Helping Preteens and Teens Get Ready for the Real World

Recommended Reading
Teresa Bolick is an experienced and trusted child psychologist who has shared her wisdom with the AANE community at many of our conferences. In this book she presents strategies for helping the ten to eighteen­-year-­old achieve happiness and success by maximizing the benefits of Asperger... more

Parenting without Panic: A Pocket Support Group for Parents of Children and Teens on the…

Recommended Reading
Ever wish that parenting a child or teen on the autism spectrum came with instant access to a support group? Brenda Dater has provided parents with exactly that. In this book she draws on her extensive experience as a support group leader and parent of a child on the spectrum to offer trusted... more

Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to…

Recommended Reading
At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains... more

Types of Help for Complex Children and Teens with Asperger Profiles

Article
When children are in crisis or things seem stuck, there is no silver bullet. Generally speaking there are only so many types of interventions one can try. Therefore, it’s critically important to re-examine key areas to see if something got missed, or if something needs to be tweaked or changed (or some member of the team needs to be swapped... more

Using Skill Cards to Generalize Skills

Article
Skill cards help educators focus on teaching one particular skill at a time. They clarify which skill you are teaching, where the skill is being practiced and how it will be generalized. These cards are shared with the team of teachers who are working with the child as well as the parent.Skill cards collect data to help you know if your... more

Using Visual Schedules on the Weekend

Article
Ever have the experience of waking up Saturday morning with a plan for how the day should proceed?  Guess what, your child on the autism spectrum does too! Often the parent and child perspectives differ concerning what should happen during the weekend. One strategy that can help address these differing expectations and clarify what will happen is... more

Walk a Mile in Our Shoes

Article
Sometimes parents of children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) have the good fortune to encounter someone who really listens to our concerns, offers us emotional support or concrete help, or understands and appreciates our children. We are deeply grateful when we encounter one of these wonderful people, and never forget their kindness.All too... more

How to Choose a Social Skills Group for Your Child

Article
Who will be the most successful in school and life: students with high academic achievement— or students with good social skills? Ever since Daniel Goleman’s work on Emotional Intelligence hit the popular press, we have increasingly come to realize the critical importance in our society of good social skills. If we are parents of children with... more

Asperger Profiles: The Big Picture-Challenges

Article
While respecting the abilities and humanity of people with Asperger profiles, one should not underestimate their struggles and suffering they might endure. A society designed for and dominated by the neurotypical majority can feel uncongenial and even overwhelming for a person with an Asperger... more

Executive Function Challenges in Children with Asperger Profiles

Article
What Is It, What Does It Mean for Kids, and What Can Be Done?Executive function is the ability to plan, organize and manage complex tasks. Executive function allows us to develop and apply problem-solving skills as circumstances call for them. We need executive function skills to deal with the stream of decision points we encounter throughout... more

Dear Parents of Typical Kids

Article
Dear parents of typical kids, I could have been labeled a helicopter parent for my oldest son, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 3 years old. When he started middle school 8 years ago, I tried to arrange for neighborhood kids to walk or bike to and from school together. I knew that other parents were not making plans for their kids.... more

Helping Students with Asperger’s Make Sense of Recess

Article
When “typical” children are asked: “What’s your favorite class at school?” many will say “Recess!” Most children love recess. They are in charge. Freed from arbitrary adult rules, they get to play and run around, burn off energy etc.Children with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS),... more

How Parent Coaching Helped Me

Video
Katie shares how parent coaching has helped her family. Sign up for Parent Coaching... more