In this article, you will find:
- The Importance of Understanding
- Reasons for Rigidity
- Not Understanding How the World Works
- Frames of Reference
- Preferred and Nonpreferred Activities
- Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors and Anxiety
- Behavioral Manifestations of Anxiety
- Black-and-White Thinking and Mindblindness
- Questions to Ask about Your Child's Behavior
The Importance of UnderstandingYou need to understand what your child or teenager is thinking, how he interprets what is going on, and how his deficits cause problems before you can begin any intervention strategy. Do not rush into action until you have collected enough information and analyzed what is going on. If you do not know the reasons behind the behavior, you may very likely do the wrong thing. If you know what is going on, you can help things go better.
Realizing that your child will not be a good observer of his behavior is your first step. The Asperger child often does not know what to do in a situation. He does not know the appropriate behavior because he doesn't understand how the world works. Or, if he knows a better solution, he cannot use it because he becomes "stuck."
Not knowing what to do, or being unable to do what is appropriate, results in anxiety that leads to additional ineffective and inappropriate actions. An Asperger behavior is usually a result of this anxiety, which leads to difficulty moving on and letting go of an issue and "getting stuck" on something. This is rigidity, and it is the most common reason for behavioral problems. See the sidebar for a list of reasons for rigidity. You must deal with rigidity and replace it with flexibility early on in your plan to help your child. Flexibility is a skill that can be taught, and you will make this a major part of your efforts to help your child.