Asperger Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (or Pervasive Developmental Disorder) characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Those with Asperger Syndrome, or AS, may exhibit a lack of empathy for their peers, clumsiness, and atypical use of language, though none of these symptoms are required for a diagnosis.1
The pain of coming to terms with having Asperger's is still very real for me right now. There is a tremendous sense of grief. Grief for all that I suffered through to try to be "normal" and grief for how short of "normal" I always have been. There is also great relief to know that I am not crazy and that not everything can be traced back to an abusive past in the sense that some of what I experience is not choice/emotional but neurons/physical. The greatest challenge I face right now is trying to figure out which is which. This is not easy.
One of the most common side effects of a number of antidepressant medications is loss of sex drive. I could forgive our friends at fine companies such as Eli Lilly, Bristol Meyers Squibb, and Pfizer if dry mouth, irritability, disrupted sleep patterns, loss of appetite, sloth, and social phobia were the sole issues related to the medications I take on a daily basis. However, it is the sex thing I find most challenging.
Anhedonia is the technical term for the inability to experience joy. When people are in the depths of depression, nothing touches them, not the most intensely pleasurable activities, not the most familiar comforts. They are emotionally frozen. In this state, people either have to get professional help or simply wait for weeks or months until the depression lifts by itself; nothing is going to make them feel better.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects one person in every hundred.
Depression is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems, currently felt to affect one in every four adults to some degree. Depression is a problem with mood/feeling in which the mood is described as sad, feeling down in the dumps, being blue, or feeling low. While the depressed mood is present, evidence is also present which reflects the neurochemical or "brain chemistry" aspects of depression with the depressed individual experiencing poor concentration/attention, loss of energy, accelerated thought/worry, sleep/appetite disturbance, and other physical manifestations. When this diagnosis is present, the individual will exhibit at least five of the following symptoms during the depressive periods:
This series of tips may help your child succeed both at home and at school.
ADHD students often have difficulty writing, including poor handwriting, grammar, and spelling errors. The sequence of listening, taking in information, processing it, and then writing it down is very challenging for them. They may also have trouble understanding what they are told or expressing their thoughts effectively.
More than anything, children with ADHD may need extra time. Teachers should develop abbreviated assignments or provide extended time for children with ADHD. Taking points off for poor handwriting or grammar will require your child to expend enormous effort and it may be best to let some things slide. Providing a few extra moments for verbal questions can also be very helpful.
Parents should provide extra support to their children with ADHD. This can include writing down answers the child provides orally, using a word processor and providing positive reinforcement to emphasize your child's strengths. Create an encouraging language-rich environment in your home and never shame your child for slow processing or misuse of words. Early intervention is critical.
Children with ADHD have difficulty keeping track of information and time and often fall into patterns of handing homework in late. They usually want to be compliant, but lack the organizational skills.
Children with ADHD need a high degree of supervision and structure. Systems that provide cues and reminders can help. Always make sure your child writes down the assignment and has a homework folder. For longer-term projects, it may be useful to track the child's progress periodically. Homework corrections should also be positive and instructive.
Help your child develop a system that will provide support from the beginning to the end of a project. Some ideas include checklists and labeling or color-coding books, binders and folders by subject. Establishing a routine is important. Don't let your child procrastinate. Allow him or her more independence as a reward.
ADHD is not just an inability to pay attention, but an inability to control what one pays attention to. Children with the disorder are unable to inhibit their response to distractions, such as noise or movement from outside, or their own inner thoughts.
Encourage your child to sit close to the teacher and away from doors or windows. Privacy dividers may help limit distractions during study sessions. Teachers should use a variety of visual, auditory and kinesthetic lessons to keep your child involved. Short lesson periods with a variety of pacing will help keep your child engaged. Teachers should use nonverbal cues to refocus attention, rather than reprimanding (e.g., patting child on the shoulder).
Establish a daily homework routine, which can include a break between school and homework, or even multiple breaks during homework time. Help your child set up a distraction-free environment and sit with them if necessary to help them stay focused. Alert the teacher when your child does not have the skills to complete an assignment or if it takes an inordinately long time.
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