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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Asperger syndrome is a lifelong brain development disorder that leads to problems with social skills, behavior, and coordination. Your child's condition may not be diagnosed until he is in preschool, because his speech and development may be normal in other ways.
- Sleep medicine: This medicine may be given if your child has trouble sleeping. It may make him feel drowsy during the day.
- Serotonin reuptake inhibitors: These medicines help decrease your child's anxiety and improve his mood. They may also help decrease behaviors that are repeated over and over.
- Antiseizure medicines: This medicine is given to control or decrease seizures.
- Antipsychotic medicines: These medicines are given to decrease anger and anxiety. They may also help keep your child from hurting himself.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
Take your child to therapy as directed:
- Social skills training: This kind of group therapy can help your child learn to approach and respond to other people.
- Behavioral therapy: This therapy helps your child learn to control his emotions. It also teaches your child how to manage his routines and rituals.
- Occupational and physical therapy: Therapists help your child improve his coordination. They will work with him to master skills such as dressing himself.
- Speech therapy: A speech therapist can help your child learn how to talk to others more effectively.
How to help your child at home:
- Follow your child's treatment plan: Healthcare providers will teach you how to help your child gain new skills. You may need to spend many hours each day teaching new skills to your child.
- Keep a schedule: Your child may be comforted by routines. Introduce changes slowly.
- Say what you mean: Your child may have trouble understanding jokes or word play. He may not understand facial expressions and gestures.
- Create a bedtime routine: Sleep problems are common with Asperger syndrome. Put your child to bed at the same time each night and limit daytime naps.
- Build on your child's strengths: Help your child find activities he enjoys and does well.
- Keep your child active: Regular exercise can help reduce your child's stress and anxiety.
- Watch for symptoms of anxiety and depression: Seek help if your child develops new sleep problems or tries to hurt himself.
For support and more information:
- Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support (OASIS)/MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome
P.O. Box 524
Crown Point , IN 46308
Phone: 1- 219 - 662-1311
Web Address: http://www.maapservices.org
- Asperger Syndrome Education Network
9 Aspen Circle
Edison , NJ 08820
Phone: 1- 732 - 321-0880
Web Address: http://www.aspennj.org
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child's eating or sleeping habits have changed.
- Your child is less active or sleepier than usual.
- Your child is more worried or upset than usual.
- Your child is more active than usual. You may notice more risk-taking behavior.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your child has a seizure.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.