Archives for April, 2016
Children with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD) are often labeled “ODD,” Oppositional Defiant Disorder. There’s a reasonable question in my mind as to whether there is a difference between AS/NLD children whose behavior is misunderstood and ODD. I find that ODD is sometimes simply a description of behavior without a cause.
Parents of any child with differences struggle with feeling isolated. One of the challenges for families with Aspergers Syndrome (AS) and nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD or NVLD) children is that these children don’t look different. They’re bright and verbal; their quirkiness, sensitivities and apparent oppositionalism aren’t easy to understand. As a result, parents often feel blamed for their children’s special challenges.
For students with Asperger’s and NLD, coaching in social understanding and skills must be embedded throughout their day in real time, and not relegated to a social skills group and a weekly meeting with a counselor. Professionals and parents have to recognize social misunderstandings when they occur, and teach rather than correct or blame.
Over the next three blogs, I’ll address three areas parents and adults need to understand in practical terms once they have an Aspergers or Nonverbal Learning Disability diagnosis: emotional reactivity, social challenges, and inflexibility. I’m addressing reactivity first, because emotional self-regulation underlies handling all other issues.