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Your Asperger Child: Preventing Problems Rather Than Reacting to Them

When your child misinterprets a situation, your language can be used to reframe the situation, allowing your child to reinterpret it appropriately. This reframing can also be used when your child engages in inappropriate behaviors. Through your language, you provide alternative responses for the future. More important, your language can be used to introduce new ways of thinking or rethinking previously held beliefs.

An example of this would be the introduction of new foods into a child's repertoire. This was a goal for Mitch, an eleven-year-old who would eat very few foods. More disturbing, the particular foods he ate made him seem unusual to his middle school peers (the same soup brought from home each day, cold noodles, etc.). In beginning to work with Mitch, the idea of eating new foods was introduced by linking the eating of new foods with age-specific skills. The discussion began by asking him to recall different skills he had learned at different ages (crawl/walk/run, cry/sounds/words, drink from a bottle/sippy cup/regular cup, etc.). This led to the development of a new system to classify how a child changes: the preschool way, the elementary school way, the middle school way, the high school way. Trying, eating, and then incorporating new foods into his diet was put into this system with specific foods for each category. Items such as pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers – typical adolescent foods – were included in the middle school category. This language approach was paired with a step-by-step program to actually introduce the new foods. In addition, we helped Mitch to view eating these new foods in a different way (we reframed his approach to new foods).


From Parenting Your Asperger Child by Alan Sohn, Ed.D., and Cathy Grayson, M.A. Copyright ฉ 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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