Aspergers can be a difficult condition for those living with it as an adult, and as a young person, it can be even more tricky. Balancing the common hurdles of growing up, such as relationships, peer pressure, and education, with the additional challenges Aspergers brings can cause stress not only for the young person but their parent or caregiver.
Thankfully, things seem to be changing. There are now services specializing in helping those with Aspergers, such as assisting with young offender cases Toronto, and more awareness and education. If you are the parent or caregiver of a young person with the condition, there are steps you can take to support their transition to adulthood and make their lives just a little easier.
Help By Providing Strategies
Coping strategies are an essential part of helping manage normal daily life and activities. These can range from a plan set up alongside a medical professional, such as a psychologist or physician liaison, to teaching your child to deal with the pressures of social media. This can include limiting their access to potentially damaging social media influences, reducing television and video game access, and setting healthy boundaries.
Support With Basic Needs
It may seem simple, but providing support with basic needs can be an invaluable tool to give an individual. This includes helping them to understand and plan a healthy diet, and assisting with selecting materials and cooking simple recipes. A good routine including personal hygiene and teeth brushing is also helpful –these are all steps to independence which will help your child to live a normal and fulfilled life. These steps can also have other benefits; a good diet will improve health and wellness, and independence can foster positive psychological benefits and confidence.
Help Your Child With Social Relationships
Many people with Aspergers may struggle to form social relationships and interactions. There is a range of points you can work through together to help build and develop their confidence. These include ideas such as:
- How to accept constructive criticism without losing confidence
- How to start a conversation, and keep it going
- How to get your point across clearly so you are easily understood
- How to discuss political topics which may be sensitive
- How to use visual cues and body language
- When it is and isn’t acceptable to initiate physical contact, and what to do if you receive unwanted physical contact
- How to use different forms of communication, such as verbal and written, to form and keep healthy relationships
Keep Communication Open
One of the best things you can do with any young person is to keep clear lines of communication open. Make sure they know they can come to you with any concerns, questions or fears, and you will help them achieve a solution. Knowing they have someone always on their side is a hugely valuable thing for any young person, and you may not realize how crucial this relationship can be.