• A Parent’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome

    If your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, you may have heard the disorder labeled as a milder form of autism or a high-functioning form of autism. Children with autism and those with Asperger’s do share some symptoms that are similar, such as those that affect social skills and communication. However, children with Asperger’s syndrome typically do not struggle with speech and language delays, and they do not usually experience intellectual impairments. The unique challenges of Asperger’s syndrome can make it difficult for a child to succeed at school and with personal goals. Fortunately, an ABA therapist can help with these challenges.

    Conversation together

    Detecting the Social Challenges
    Like children with autism, those with Asperger’s often have difficulty making and keeping friends. However, this doesn’t mean that they want to become socially isolated; they simply aren’t sure how to maintain friendships. Children who are developing typically may find it difficult to interact with them. This is sometimes because children with Asperger’s often develop obsessive interests in one or two narrow topics, and they may talk about these interests to the exclusion of other topics.

    Understanding the Communication Difficulties
    Children with Asperger’s do not typically have limited speech; however, they often struggle with using language correctly within a social context. They may have trouble interpreting facial expressions, body language, and other subtle language cues. They often interpret language literally and have trouble with abstract language.

    Identifying the Atypical Behaviors
    In addition to experiencing social skills deficits and communication difficulties , children with Asperger’s syndrome may display some atypical behaviors. For example, you might find that your child has repetitive habits, such as wringing his or her hands and twisting his or her fingers. Your child may rigorously adhere to certain rituals or routines and become upset when they are interfered with. They might also be considered clumsy or awkward in their movements.

    If you suspect your child has Asperger’s syndrome or similar challenges, you can turn to the therapists of The Behavior Exchange for help. For almost 20 years, our therapists have been helping families in the DFW with programs based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques, such as our behavior classes and social skills classes. Call our center in Plano at (972) 312-8733 and ask us how we can help your child.

  • Mark Your Calendar for Summer Camp at The Behavior Exchange!

    Summer Camp

    The Behavior Exchange offers a variety of programs to help your little one work toward his or her goals. Since learning doesn’t take a break for the summer, we don’t either! Consider enrolling your child in our summer camp to give him or her a head start for the following school year. The summer camp at The Behavior Exchange is an excellent opportunity for children to practice their social skills. Your child can make new friends, learn to interact appropriately, and practice expressing his or her feelings in healthy ways.

    Like all of our programs at The Behavior Exchange, our  therapists use only evidence-based therapy techniques throughout summer camp. Your child will work toward his or her goals with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques. In addition to improving your child’s social skills, we can help him or her adapt to appropriate behaviors such as compliance, instruction following, and much more.

    To learn more about our summer camp or our other programs, please call The Behavior Exchange at (972) 312-8733. Our autism therapy center is conveniently located in Plano.

  • How Does Autism Affect Siblings?

    Just as no two children with autism are alike, no two siblings of children with autism will experience the challenges in the same ways. Siblings of children with autism may have trouble understanding what the diagnosis means for their brother or sister, and they may experience both negative and positive responses. It’s a good idea for parents to encourage siblings to discuss their feelings and explore their own challenges, and possibly to become involved in their brother or sister’s autism therapy program. 

    Three brothers

    Siblings May Have Trouble Understanding Autism

    Young children may have never heard of the word “autism” before their siblings’ diagnosis, and while older children may be somewhat familiar with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), they may have numerous misconceptions about them. Siblings, regardless of their age, may take it personally when their brother or sister doesn’t want to play with them, recoils from a hug, or doesn’t respond to their attempts at communication. These children may need frequent reminders from parents that their siblings aren’t displaying feelings of animosity toward them; they’re simply experiencing the symptoms of autism.

    Siblings May Express Feelings of Jealousy

    Parents of children with autism know all too well the significant demands the diagnosis places on their time and resources. It can be challenging to carve out a space in the schedule for family time. Siblings of children with autism may become a little jealous of the attention their brother or sister is receiving, even when they know the reason for it. Parents can address these issues by setting aside some time each day for one-on-one time with the siblings.

    Siblings Often Display Protectiveness and Devotion

    When both siblings are attending the same school, the differences in the child with autism will become apparent to classmates and friends. Siblings will often show remarkable devotion to their brother or sister, jumping to his or her defense in the face of bullies. However, they may feel somewhat conflicted when doing so. Parents can encourage siblings to talk about problems at school to help them work through these issues.

    The therapists of The Behavior Exchange strive to empower families through parent training classes. These classes will help you learn how to arrange an optimum home environment and facilitate healthy, positive relationships with siblings and other family members. Parents are invited to call our Plano location at (972) 312-8733 to learn more .