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Aspergers Mental Health Issues - What parents need to know...

There can often be a secondary diagnosis for many children and adults with Aspergers. Mental health issues can often be that second diagnosis; be it depression, OCD or Bipolar. You can also add conditions such as ADHD and ODD (oppositional Defiance Disorder) into the mix too. So parents need to have an awareness of this possibility of a dual diagnosis and how to cope with it.

This department looks at strategies to use to help support your child with Aspergers and mental health issues. Whether that is about getting a diagnosis, understanding symptoms, finding the correct treatment, or practical day-today tips then this department aims to offer you an answer.

Aspergers Mental Health - Which aspects of the Aspergers personality can really be changed and which ones cannot?
Aspergers Mental Health - Which aspects of the Aspergers personality can really be changed and which ones cannot? Many parents spend a good deal of time and resources trying to find a cure for, or at the very least, a reduction of symptoms for Aspergers. Personality traits are similar in all children with Aspergers Syndrome, with variations, of course, and these traits are ingrained into the very being of each individual. Changing, or curing a child with Aspergers Syndrome would result in a very different person. Recognizing your child's true personality traits and finding ways to make the most of those traits should be the focus. . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - My child has Asperger's Syndrome and anxiety. What can be done for my child?
Aspergers Mental Health - My child has Asperger's Syndrome and anxiety. What can be done for my child? A majority of children with Asperger's Syndrome suffer from intense anxiety. Your child is definitely not alone, and neither are you. Parents struggle to accept this side of Asperger's because of the degree in which anxiety interferes in their child's life. Anxiety can be devastating if the symptoms are not addressed . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - What can I do to make my boy with Aspergers realize the great qualities that he has?
Aspergers Mental Health - What can I do to make my boy with Aspergers realize the great qualities that he has? When people hear Asperger's Syndrome, they tend to focus on the negative aspects that lead to the diagnosis. When you live with a child with Asperger's Syndrome, sometimes it is difficult to move past the challenges. These qualities grab your attention and the attention of others. It is important to remember, and for other people to realize that there are positive qualities of Asperger's Syndrome. . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - How can we try to stop the negative feelings of a child with Asperger's?
Aspergers Mental Health - How can we try to stop the negative feelings of a child with Asperger's? Many children on the Autism Spectrum seem to struggle with feeling negative. Asperger's Syndrome and high functioning Autism individuals are usually more likely to make these feelings known to others, simply because they have the ability to use verbal communication. Also, children on the higher end of the Autism Spectrum have a stronger social awareness . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - How to deal with children with Aspergers that have OCD for example homework, or trying something new to eat?
Aspergers Mental Health - How to deal with children with Aspergers that have OCD for example homework, or trying something new to eat? There is some confusion regarding the multiple Aspergers OCD diagnosis. Many people believe the symptoms of each condition are too similar to differentiate. Even though both conditions are neurologically based, they have distinctive differences. It is possible for a child to have both Aspergers Syndrome and OCD. While the repetitive behaviors of each condition appear to be exactly the same, the difference lies in the motivation. The obsessive behaviors of Aspergers tend to be a part of the individual's personality, which is sensory in nature. The obsessions of OCD tend to be caused by fear and anxiety raised by unmanageable thoughts... . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - How to get my 11 year old son with Aspergers to sleep on his own. He has a lot of bad dreams. Usually fear based, for example losing me (his mother) or being lost etc.
Aspergers Mental Health - How to get my 11 year old son with Aspergers to sleep on his own.  He has a lot of bad dreams. Usually fear based, for example  losing me (his mother) or being lost etc. For children with Aspergers, sleep issues are extremely common. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and poor quality of sleep due to bad dreams are all reasons given for Aspergers sleep problems. Sleep is necessary for growth, attention span, focus, and concentration, just to name a few obvious benefits. Without sleep, the symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome will be exaggerated and will be difficult to control... . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - My 9 year old son with Aspergers also suffers from terrible anxiety and OCD and fits of crying for no particular reason (other than he can't make "it" stop). We took him to see the same team that diagnosed him four years ago, and the head psychiatrist recommended 10mg Prozac daily to help with his behaviours and distress. My husband is truly horrified and I am too scared to put this into his body. I detest the misery he is in daily, and it his really disrupted our lives. He has counselling with a psychologist once a month for social skills training, but he doesn't tell her about his "head telling him to do or say things" which make him cry and punch himself. Help! Is medication such as Prozac safe for young children?
Aspergers Mental Health - My 9 year old son with Aspergers also suffers from terrible anxiety and OCD and fits of crying for no particular reason (other than he can't make "it" stop).  We took him to see the same team that diagnosed him four years ago, and the head psychiatrist recommended 10mg Prozac daily to help with his behaviours and distress.  My husband is truly horrified and I am too scared to put this into his body.  I detest the misery he is in daily, and it his really disrupted our lives.  He has counselling with a psychologist once a month for social skills training, but he doesn't tell her about his "head telling him to do or say things" which make him cry and punch himself.  Help!  Is medication such as Prozac safe for young children? Prozac is a medication that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a drug that is safe for children over the age of seven in the treatment of depression. The medication has been used as a treatment for . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - My son has Aspergers but recently he has also been diagnosed PDA Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome. He is nearly 12yrs old and is in mainstream school with support. We are out of our mind his dad and I with worry as he has changed alot hitting and strangling himself he won't comply at home or school. We need help but don't know where to get it, and although he was diagnosed we haven't been given any strategies to go with the report. He wants to stay at his current school but we feel the school although they are trying they are not able to meet his needs,and we cant cope at home. Do you know of PDA? And if so any ideas of where we can seek help?
Aspergers Mental Health - My son has Aspergers but recently he has also been diagnosed PDA Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome. He is nearly 12yrs old and is in mainstream school with support. We are out of our mind his dad and I with worry as he has changed alot hitting and strangling himself he won't comply at home or school. We need help but don't know where to get it, and although he was diagnosed we haven't been given any strategies to go with the report. He wants to stay at his current school but we feel the school although they are trying they are not able to meet his needs,and we cant cope at home. Do you know of PDA? And if so any ideas of where we can seek help? Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (PDA) is a diagnosis that is related to but separate from the autism spectrum. People who have PDA are socially manipulative and have great success in social situations. They can maintain good eye contact and they are skilled verbally. They tend to manipulate and lie to get what they want. They can have an almost obsessive need to dominate in social situations and they are very good at imitating socially inappropriate behavior . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - I really want to know what makes my son with Aspergers happy and I want to be able to help him with this. It is heartbreaking to watch a child who used to laugh and love learning, withdraw into himself and not know how to interact with peers.
Aspergers Mental Health - I really want to know what makes my son with Aspergers happy and I want to be able to help him with this.  It is heartbreaking to watch a child who used to laugh and love learning, withdraw into himself and not know how to interact with peers. Every parent's dream is to watch their baby grow into a happy, well-adjusted child. You are right. It is heartbreaking to watch your child suffer. Thankfully, there are things you can do to get your son back on a happier, fulfilling course . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - Fears of suicide for the child with Asperger's
Aspergers Mental Health - Fears of suicide for the child with Asperger's Children who have Asperger's Syndrome are more susceptible to mental health issues (including thoughts of suicide) than the general population, especially during adolescence. Because of their difficulty with decoding social cues and information and their problems translating the world in a way they can understand, children with Asperger's tend to feel isolated and alone. These feelings can be exacerbated by . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - I need help with melt downs and managing anxiety.
Aspergers Mental Health - I need help with melt downs and managing anxiety. Young people with Aspergers suffer anxiety every day due to fears of new situations, strangers, and making mistakes. This builds a lot of anxiety for the young person. Often anxiety is expressed in anger, resistance to new situations/going places, and meltdowns, as you have seen. Dr. Judith Reaven, of the University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Centre, USA, confirms that children with autism spectrum disorders are at high risk for . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - How do I understand the difference between an Asperger's related behaviour and a true ADHD one? My son's school can't tell the difference, and my son's doctors tell us that he doesn't have ADHD; his poor attention is just his Asperger's and medication will not help!
Aspergers Mental Health - How do I understand the difference between an Asperger's related behaviour and a true ADHD one?  My son's school can't tell the difference, and my son's doctors tell us that he doesn't have ADHD; his poor attention is just his Asperger's and medication will not help! Hmmm…this is a difficult question because ADHD is often diagnosed before a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome is made later in a person's life. It's not just parents and school personnel who have difficulty telling the two apart, so do doctors! My first suggestion is . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - What do I say to my son when he says that he hates himself and wants to kill himself?
Aspergers Mental Health - What do I say to my son when he says that he hates himself and wants to kill himself? An increased risk of suicide is observed in children with Asperger's, with the risk rising in proportion to the number and severity of other diagnoses, such as OCD. Asperger's is probably undiagnosed in many suicide cases because a lack of . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - What is the likelihood of an Aspergers diagnosis combined with a bipolar diagnosis? My son who just turned 14 has been struggling in and out of hospitals for the past year due to what I believe is severe anxiety that leads to psychosis. On last admission they added ? bipolar. He is also crossing boundaries with sexual inappropriateness with staff and even his sister (12) and me. I am very concerned about this. I don't want him to violate anyone. Could there be a problem here or is it just hormones and lack of control?
Aspergers Mental Health - What is the likelihood of an Aspergers diagnosis combined with a bipolar
diagnosis? My son who just turned 14 has been struggling in and out of
hospitals for the past year due to what I believe is severe anxiety that leads
to psychosis. On last admission they added ? bipolar.

He is also crossing boundaries with sexual inappropriateness with staff
and even his sister (12) and me. I am very concerned about this. I don't
want him to violate anyone. Could there be a problem here or is it just hormones
and lack of control? Hi there - Thanks for your question ... There is an excellent piece on Aspergers and Bipolar at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/159/1/13 It's quite long and academic in places - so if you are short on time I would just skip to the conclusion for the best part. There is also an interesting article looking at possible mis-diagnosis around this area at . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - Is there a connection between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Asperger's?
Aspergers Mental Health - Is there a connection between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Asperger's? Within the past few years, doctors and psychiatrists have seen a consistent, steady increase in the number of patients being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). This has been most prevalent in children and adolescents. When the symptoms of Asperger's become persistent and extreme, many doctors will . . . keep reading
Aspergers Mental Health - What can I do to help my son handle his fears / negative thoughts?
Aspergers Mental Health - What can I do to help my son handle his fears / negative thoughts? Negative thoughts and fears are connected.  The negative thoughts create fear and fear causes more negative thought.  It's a vicious circle.  Many children with Asperger's have fears related to social situations, such as fear of crowds, fear of holding conversations with peers, fear of shopping, etc.  Other fears may be . . . keep reading
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