As a parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome, you may be wondering what changes they will experience as they transition from childhood to adolescence; or you may have already found out the hard way that behavior and moods can change drastically. It is important to keep in mind that Asperger's is only one facet of your child's behavior; they may still experience all the angst that a neurotypical child does with growing up; however, they will likely not have the same emotional resources to help them navigate their way through it.
Things Your Child with Asperger's Syndrome Wants You To Know....
The hormonal onslaught brought about by puberty can affect my moods and behavior, and may drive me to become more isolated and even less communicative. I need understanding and patience; not criticism and blame. Even if I am not talking to you, telling me that you understand may help me.
Giving me opportunities for physical outlets can help me manage the effect that my hormones have on me. Don't force me to do things I don't want to do, but try to provide activities that are in my areas of interest. Solitary physical activities may be better for me, since interacting with others may bring additional challenges.
Remember that I process language quite literally and may not understand the way that my peers speak to me at school, because they use a lot of slang. I may need help in understanding what others are saying, particularly when I try to socialize. I may also be embarrassed by my inability to understand what is going on around me.
School Brings A Lot Of Pressure To Fit In
Keep in mind that middle and high school bring a lot more social pressure and a greater need to fit in. My differences may be more recognizable, and may increase my discomfort. Remind me that I am unique and worthwhile by clearly stating my attributes. This makes me feel better because I know you understand me.
I may not be able to use words to tell you how I am feeling, so please watch my body language for signs of distress. Provide me other outlets for communication such as games or drawing.
As a teen with Asperger's Syndrome, remember that I am more sensitive to all the stimuli in my environment, but with a lot of love and understanding, I will transition successfully through adolescence more smoothly.