Teaching Boys with Asperger Syndrome to Man Up

By Dan Coulter We have an opportunity here. An opportunity to help boys with Asperger Syndrome and similar forms of autism to "man up." I’m not talking about being macho. I’m talking about learning about things such as sexuality, protecting oneself from sexual predators, and using a public men's room. If you’re responsible for a boy with Asperger Syndrome, do you know how and how much he’s learning about these aspects of being a man? The other day I read about a male teenager with autism who generated startled looks in public restrooms because he always dropped his pants to his ankles when using a urinal. This is a common thing for a small child to do. As boys grow older, most take the soc

The Summer of Social Skills

By Dan Coulter Another summer is coming. How can you help your child use it to make things better for the next school year? If your child has Asperger Syndrome or autism, you might consider making it “the summer of social skills.” I remember hearing a radio interview with Shari Lewis, the driving force behind sock puppets Lamp Chop, Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse. Shari said when she was young, her parents arranged for her to focus on learning one skill each summer. Sadly, we lost Shari Lewis in 1998 at the age of 65. Her bio says that as she was growing up, she got instruction in performing stage magic, acrobatics, juggling, ice skating, baton twirling, piano, violin and ventriloquism. I

Vanquishing Victimhood

By Dan Coulter Bullying, being embarrassed in front of a class, and similar incidents can leave lasting impressions on young minds. Negative experiences can cause some children to relate to the world as helpless victims. Because children with Asperger Syndrome and autism are often misunderstood and teased, they can be at higher risk of casting themselves in this role. In serious cases, this can require professional help. But there are a number of things you can try if you see this tendency developing in your child. First, take reasonable precautions to shield your child from malice and misunderstanding. For example, there are many good programs to prevent bullying. Make yourself aware

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