William Hogan – Síndrome de Asperger – Parte 1


hello hello welcome to our webinar on high-functioning Asperger’s children my name is William and for those who have been to our Sun Rise Program start-up our advanced trainings welcome good to have you here with us yet again I hope your programs are going good you’re enjoying yourself and you’re you’re seeing the changes in your children that you want to be seeing now for those this is your first time here visiting and seeing us welcome let me just introduce myself a little bit give you an idea of who I am and why I’m talking to you I am I’m William I’m a senior teacher senior trainer here at the autism treatment center of America been working here for over 18 years with families with children on the spectrum of autism from severe autism all the way up to high-functioning Asperger’s children and it’s been the most amazing experience to work with with all the children with all the families that I have worked with I’m also a sunrise program father having run a program with my daughter Jade who had autism and me my wife we run a program with her for a number of years and she’s fully recovered is no longer autistic she’s in school she’s doing magnificently she’s doing wonderfully so as I talk to you you talk with you here today I’m talking from not only a teacher from being a teacher who has learned a lot from my experiences but also from a point of view from a father who has known the 24-hour experience of having a child with autism and with the challenges and the beauty that comes with that so welcome all of you as we talk about this specific topic which I know you’re excited about which is high-functioning Asperger’s children how to help them become more socially able more socially capable in their lives weather is with mum and dad weather with their peers whether in school whether with siblings because helping them be more socially capable will not only help them obviously within their relationships but it will also help them in handling all the challenges all the dynamics of the world in a more capable and more a more of a way that will be more beneficial for them and also the people around them now when I talk about Asperger’s or high-functioning children I’m talking about children who are highly verbal the considered highly verbal they speak in sentences in paragraphs you can have conversations backwards and forth yes maybe about a certain just one particular topic but you can have that with them that they may be academically doing great in school might even be ahead of their age level so they are doing fine academically there are also children who can demonstrate and show an understanding of the world around them to the degree that they do it and so what what we’re going to do is be talking about these children now one of the things that tends to come up with these types of children and I see children and I mean children whether they’re 8 years old 16 years old 25 years old because there’s somebody’s child and so as I talk about them I’m talking about your particular child whether your child is older teenager or younger the thing is as people look at your children that they they were take a snapshot they say wow they seem very capable they seem very are able to handle certain situations they’re doing great at school yet the type of autism that your child has can be easily overlooked easily not seen and because because they are so capable in other areas and people then expect them to be able to be fully functioning fully capable when in fact they’re not they still have this challenge they have a specific challenge there’s something you could say awry in their neurology that makes it difficult for them to socialize to the degree that maybe you or I socialize or their neurotypical sibling socializes yet you see them when they come home you know maybe after school or the environment they were in they might have a meltdown they might cry in my screen they might shall you see those types of things you see as you talk with them longer they’re actually perseverating on the topic that they’re talking about you see that and you may even see to that for some of your children because they have a challenge trying to understand and get what they want is certain times they might even be moved to using physical ways to get what they want or you might see how they after coming home from school or whatever the situation how they go off and they isolate themselves not connecting very strongly with you Marie dad or the other members of the family and yet what we’re wanting to do is then really help them with this aspect of their abilities they are either doing great with all these other aspects maybe academically hygiene or whatever it might be yet when it comes to socializing and relating with other people this would be their number one challenge being able to have and sustain ongoing meaningful relationships with other people again whether it’s with you mom dad with peers siblings teachers anybody who they come into contact with wanting them to be able to socialize and be flexible be spontaneous is key fundamental not only in social relationships but handling other all other aspects of what life will present to them there was what I remember one particular mother she came to our intensive program she had an 18 year old son he had Asperger’s and we had the look his time working with him during his time here with us that week and she shared Tywin about when he was 7 8 years old how the kids in the neighborhood he wasn’t making friends with them and so she would invite them over she would get cake he would get fizzy drinks and she would invite them over thinking that that would help him so there’s all these children around and he’s in there and they’re there’s some talking back and forth but when it came to the time when all the cake was gone and the kids went out to the garden or back into the neighborhood to play with one another she was still left standing with her because he lacked that ability that social as I say stickiness to be able to create relationships and sustain relationships with other children with his peer group and as we work with him at 18 years old we work with him you work with him at the level he was at and now as I spoke to his mother he he has friends his friends he goes on vacation with he has a girlfriend his relationship with his mum and dad and his sister has never been stronger and he has a job and he is just doing magnificently and so there no matter where your child is there’s something you can do to help them right here right now to help them take the next step forward and their social ability so the three strategies I’m going to talk to you about starts with really they’re repetitious behaviors whether it’s verbal or whether it is manipulating objects or doing activities is really about starting where your child is and he’s starting with number one with how do you feel about it is your attitude towards your child’s behavior alright now this behavior could be absolutely anything it could be I mean we have we’ve I’ve worked with children who will talk about garbage trucks over in over and over again or the London Underground talked about that over and over and over again I’ve worked with children who will keep asking the same question again and again who do you think’s going to come next who do you think is going to come next as he was asking the question about who’s going to come in and play with him next but he kept Ansett asking the question over and over and over again even though I told him a thousand times he was still asking the question all right so no matter what your childhood we’ve had chili and fifteen year old child who would just write over and over on grains of rice he would write names just on and that was the thing he did over and over and over again there is one particular child 13 year old he was what into watching soap operas and he watched this one he loved it you watch it again and again and again he went to his computer he went to the website downloaded a picture of all the cast and he put them up and then that became his fantasy world that he played with in in a very solitary way and so now this child again was hot consider high-functioning Asperger’s and so it could be any activity any activity that your child is doing now the know typically what tends to happen is as people view these types of behaviors is this there’s a sense of judgment since the frustration towards these behaviors in part part of it can come from seeing that hey my child is so capable I almost get I forget that they have this challenge that they have this neurological challenge and so we expect there’s an expectation that boy they should not be doing this he should be moved on this should be real easy to get over yet if it was as easy as that I suppose we wouldn’t be talking right now it definitely is more of a challenge that requires more energy more effort and a particular type of approach to help your child move beyond these repetitious behaviors so our attitude is important I have a quote here from a mother who she wrote she has a high-functioning autistic daughter and she wrote this and this did and she was very honest about her attitude which at Richard I loved she said since so she says about her daughter she seems so capable sometimes and I often forget that some things are very difficult for her I feel annoyed and then I feel guilty for letting myself be annoyed by her and so maybe that’s something you have that when you think about your child’s particular challenges take a moment right now I just take a moment I just think when you think about that behavior that your child is doing again and again how do you feel about it do you feel annoyed do you feel frustrated is there a sense of fear fear of the future what does this mean but what’s the feeling that comes up within you and be aware of it and because it will definitely have an impact on your child so the first place is really saying yourself okay I’m aware of having this feeling and I’m going to give you a few ideas of maybe helping you feel more easy more relaxed and in our programs and in our material there’s a big part we put towards helping families feel more easy more relaxed when approached with the challenge of the child’s repetitious there is a me behavior so be aware of that note something that you can do something you can think about that might help you is having an understanding seeing that your child because your child is doing this repetitious which is not neurotypical in its behavior which really says that their neurology the wing the way that their brain is wired isn’t the same as their neurotypical brother or sister or their peer group or maybe you and that they have a challenge and so they’re doing it for whatever the reason might be could be this they don’t process the world like you’re i they’re easily overwhelmed by the stimulus whether it’s visual whether it’s hearing throat smell tasty can be over stimuli by this and then what’s happening is they have a difficult time trying to comprehend and understand human interaction which can be a very complex forever changing a thing in their lives and so they got to put this all together and they can be they can be easily overwhelmed they might look like they’re doing good but really what they’re doing is surviving versus thriving and what you’re wanting to do is help them actually thrive versus survive and so you want to shift to having understanding now I’ve answered a question where a child as I said earlier was saying who’s coming next who’s coming next I give them the answer it’s Linda it’s Linda it’s Linda every time they ask that question of me and I’m answering the question with fun with ease and delight because what I’m thinking to myself it’s not about the question is not about the answer what they’re seeking is a sense of predictable less a sense of control a sense of sameness in their lives because everything else is a bit more chaotic and not controllable so this question and getting this answer oh that’s the sameness that’s the predictor bonus that will help them feel centered feel calm and feel relaxed look if you’ve had an overwhelming day think about it when you’ve had an overwhelming day is being over stimulating there’s a lot being happening don’t you just want to come home and sit down maybe some of you just sit down and go ah maybe you got a glass of wine maybe you sit and read a book maybe you listen to your favorite piece of music you do something to ah just find a sense of calm a sense of centeredness our children who have bigger challenges are doing this on a moment to moment to moment basis so really understanding that they’re doing the best they can and this is the way that they take care of themselves you can rest assured that they don’t wake up in the morning saying you know what I think I’m going to be a pain in the butt for mom and dad I’m going to ask that question over over and over and over and over again I don’t think they’re doing that they’re doing this because they are having a challenge so when you see them asking those questions again and again or do neck tivity again and again you can look at them and saying they have challenges but they’re actually trying to find a centered calm place inside of themselves good for them they’re doing the best that they can and so you can have a sense of understanding a sense of acceptance a sense of compassion towards how they’re looking after themselves you could also think to which is this and I’ve seen this with children the come up and they’ll ask you the same question over and over and over again or they’ll talk about the same topic garbage trucks or the London Underground over and over and over again because they want to interact but they don’t know how and the only thing they know is garbage trucks so they do the same topic over and over and over again because they don’t have the ability or the understanding right then and there to take it further for themselves and so part of it is also saying oh wow my child doesn’t know how to go beyond this doesn’t know that okay there’s other ways to communicate so what you’re wanting to do is have a sense of the acceptance to say it’s okay what they’re doing you even want to go one step further not only do you want to say it’s okay you want to enjoy yourself you want to enjoy yourself as you’re interacting with your child as they’re doing this saying oh wow this is so much fun I’m interacting with my child because your enjoyment your sense of acceptance and your enjoyment will give them that added thing in their environment which is oh wow ah even mum and dad they’re enjoying this so everything’s okay things are controllable things are compatible because you do know I’m sure you do know when you get frustrated you get annoyed you get tight then it makes your child get tight and then it escalates into maybe friction maybe child going off maybe some other interaction going on but it really doesn’t help your child feel more relaxed and more easy so this strategy is a strategy but I think it’s a way of life in being with your child when they had these challenges because it will help you feel more relaxed and it will also help your child feel more easy more centered and then more ready to interact further in a to a greater degree with you all right so this is the strategy number one or technique number one which is those repetitious behaviors under feel and understanding towards them love them accept them and then we go to the second strategy is how can we help our children go further how can we help them expand this repetitious behavior how can we help them be more flexible more spontaneous as the interact in this repetitious isn’t me sort of way with you all right so the first thing to do is understand there you are you’re loving it as your child talks about garbage trucks or you’re loving it as they talk about Legos or Barbie dolls or you’re loving it as they talk about whatever it might be you’re just or the activity you’re just loving it and enjoying it so you’re in the bubble of their world as a fellow enthusiast enjoying this activity as best you can so as you’re doing that then you’re looking for a timing a space when you can actually come out and say at an actual child to take a step outside of what they’re doing to expand on the activity that you’re doing so you’re looking for timing no timing is this could be could be this initially your child’s very controlling very repetitious very rigid talking about the London Underground or garbage trucks or who’s coming next or playing with that the rice over and over there’s very controlling and there really is no space to put in anything other than just to be there enjoying what you’re doing now as your child feels your acceptance and as when they’re ready maybe there’s a pole or a natural space within the interaction maybe as your child’s talking about garbage trucks they’re talking about garbage trucks and they’re talking their voice is very fast and they’re just wanting you to listen and you’re excitedly listening to them as a way to say hey I’m here and then when I’m sister starts to be a cause and then maybe a back and forth as you talk about garbage trucks then that’s the opportunity when there’s a space and natural pause a natural breathing space for you to come in and invite them to expand now I’m going to talk about what you can do exactly in a minute but you’re looking for these these place of timing all right of where you can expand that maybe they ask you a question and maybe as you answer them you can add an expansion on to your question you can add something in there that might be another place where you can do it so now let me tell it talk to you a little bit about how to expand all right I’m going to use some examples let’s use an example of the boy who is riding on the rice so there he is he’s riding on the rice so there I am do my best to write on the rice and I have a piece of rice and I can tell you it’s quite difficult but if you persist you can do it so here he is and there I am I’m writing on the rice and he would just write people’s names who he knew on the right so I’m writing people’s names I know on the rice as well as I’m writing I’m in the game I’m in the bubble of his world I’m enjoying myself I’m feeling relaxed I know my attitude is helping him feel there’s a predictable mess and there’s an acceptance in the world for him and then why I was is he’s writing a name and then I write a name and there’s that natural pause and space and I and I say oh I’m writing Becky on mine hey you know what I’m gonna do I’m gonna write something I think about Becky so I can put on this piece of rice I’m gonna write here look I wrote loving yeah yeah hey yes yep Becky I find Becky to be loving and I’m gonna put that with a rice because I’m gonna give that to her later on and I know she’s going to enjoy June now new Juna why I said she was loving well she’s loving because she is when I see her she was gives me a hug she was very kind and says nice words to me if I need help she comes across says hey can I help you and so that’s what that’s what she is to me oh I see you just wrote down on that one now what could you write about that what’s one thing you could write about dad now he sat there any thought for a moment about it he says and then he write um you put plays he put that allied oh wow he plays okay well what kind of stuff does he do do with you well he comes sometimes he plays rice with me he also to go throw ball with me and he does other activities with me so that when I think of him I think of a person who plays with me so you could see where we built this interaction was in the rice and for a moment in time he starts thinking and expanding beyond his current activity and adding in a dimension he’s being flexible and while we’re doing this were interacting now let me tell you another example there is that we had this little little guy where his little guy is about eight years old and he loved this little cuddly toy it was a snowman and when he was in our intensive program he’s in his playroom he built a little house for his number and we have a slide and in the within the slide you can open the door and there’s a little hole underneath and in there he put a pillow you put a blanket in there he put a bottle of water in there he would put a few crackers in there for him and so we built this whole little home for him and so he’s totally telling me about this home and as he’s talking to me and he’s and he keeps telling me about the home he’s telling me things he’d already told me before and there I am I’m just loving and accepting him having the best time as he’s telling me about this snowman in his home and then there comes a space in in as he’s telling me and I said that is the best home do you know what I think snowman will like there’s something that’s missing that I think will help him especially if you come to visit him or if I come to miss visit him or hey if Elmo comes to visit him he’s gonna need this ah he’s gonna need a doorbell on that door so that his home so he’s in there and he’s asleep and then the doorbell goes he’ll wake up and he’ll be able to come in answer the door this is so exciting let’s put a doorbell on there and he sits there and he thinks about it he goes okay yeah he needs a doorbell and he gets really excited and so we put a doorbell on his house so here he was he was talking about his house initially and he was caught up in just his going to blanket in he’s got a pillow need up drinking the crackers if he needs it and he kept on talking within that one loop of conversation and then when there was a space I was excited and presented an addition and expansion to his world we actually went on he had a doorbell in the house we also built a garden with bricks around it we actually sat down and we drew flowers that we could put in this garden then he came over and helped me build my house for Elmo and we interacted and we built an incredible world together but we were together and he was practicing being social being spontaneous being flexible but it all grew out of step by step variation to what he’s doing so we’re not talking about changing the activity we’re talking about expanding the activity expanding the activity comes from you enjoying it and then you putting in a variation and one of the keys here is actually as you present something you are presenting it with excitement yes the doorbell oh my god or Becky loving wow she’s gonna just so love this you’re gonna be excited about it versus oh you know let’s listen I think you might want a doorbell if you hit your flat energy you don’t have any 3yz a very passion your child’s going to look at you and say well you’re not very excited about it why why would I want to do it so you have to be passionate about it so now here’s a little thing a trap people fall into particularly high functioning high verbal Asperger’s children they will as a way to expand do the what we call the interrogation they will ask them questions so what are you doing what’s he doing where’s he sleeping what’s he going to do here and they’re bombarded her childhood questions because they think that’s going to help the interaction asking a question isn’t expanding the interaction and what can happen is then our child can just shut up because they’re just being either interrogated or tested to make sure they still have those same skills and they’re still interacting what you want to do is don’t ask a question to begin with initially what you want to do is say what do I want to do was the expansion I want to put in here be really excited and present your idea with excitement with fun with the light as you do that your child’s more likely to want to come along with you asking a question asking the tenth question over and over again isn’t much fun all right so really what you’re looking to do is enjoy yourself and expand expand with with what you have to offer all right now let’s see if there’s something else just one other point on this which is as you do it just know as you’re playing as you’re interacting with your child the interaction that your child is practicing how to be flexible even if they do say no to the game initially they are still practicing interacting with you they’re seeing that you’re controllable they’re seeing people predictable you’re seeing that people are enjoying their world and if people are enjoying their world then they’re going to learn hey that’s what you do you can enjoy someone else’s world so we’re actually modeling the very quality that we want them to establish in themselves so this repetitious behaviour now in terms of expanding it also to a quality you’re going to want to help establish in your children is that quality of being able to interact in other people’s activities and this is the third strategy I’m going to talk to you about because when you break down human interaction you could break it down into two two main areas I know there might be some other errors but two main areas are learning to include someone else within their activity and being flexible spontaneous and creative and interactive in their activity then there’s also oh going to somebody else’s activity and saying boy how can I interact with in someone else’s activity how can i play with appear within the game they want to play can always play what I want to play exactly the same way I want to play it peer relationship requires reciprocity a give and a take so that ability to be able to play in another person’s activity is important and essential so what you’re looking for here is timing again you’re looking for timing you’re looking for an opportunity and the time for when you can present the game the activity that you want to present to your child so the first thing is that the timing might be something like your child on a transition when a new person comes in you go and you come in with your activity they’re looking they look up at you you burr and you can say hi hey I’ve just come and I’ve got this great game that I want to play with you and here it is and then you present the game to them or you could be a time when they finish doing the repetitious behavior and they’re looking like they’re in between games they’re looking like Oh what am I going to do right now and so what you do there is you then say hey I have a game I want to present something to look at this game and you present your game in a fun and exciting way all right so tightening your also to going to prepare a little bit before you go in think of the game or an activity you would want to play with your child and then as you is you think about that think of maybe you could bring in a few props some stuff that will actually help them get engaged and hold their interest for example I remember playing a game and doing an activity with Jade when she was at this level where I was trying to encourage her to play our games our activities I remember she was very into Legos and so before I went in I bought a $3 Lego car alright was a little tractor and I broke all the pieces up got all the pieces and I had these plastic eggs these old plastic eggs and in each egg I put a piece of Lego or a couple of pieces of Lego then what I did is I put a piece of tape on each of them I came in it came into the room and I had it in a paper bag and then g’d seen the paper bag she said what’s in there I said I got a toy I got a toy that we’re gonna play with and so act is a wonderful game of them playing John a play and I showed of the eggs and I said oh I said this no no you want to play and she says yeah I’ll play I’ll play just so she’s really excited so I said well what now I need to set it up a little bit alright so why do you turn to the wall alright and we’ll count together so we counted where I said we’ve got to count to I think 40 but it won’t be enough so then I stopped these eggs up on the ceiling alright and there were different color eggs and we each with a different part of the the like okarin and then she turns around she sees the leg up Wow well I honest okay now what we’ve got to do we’re going to run together as a team to get each of these pieces each of these eggs down because look see this picture in each one of these Legos is a piece of this car in order to make it we got to get them all down but we got to do a particular way we’ve got to come up with different ways to get the eggs down we gotta talk about it and find out and and so she was really excited and so for the first one I go I said what would I’ll do the first one first one is I can pick you up he can get that first egg down so I pick her up she gets the egg she brings it down and she brings the Allies to puts out the leg ok great got a certain part of it now she’s so excited she’s motivated because she’s in talega so when you think about creating a game put a little bit of their motivation in there for them to want to be involved in the game and so we went on in this game in this activity for for an hour just working out different ways to get the different eggs down and it was just a great game where we were talking backwards and forth we were thinking about different ideas she would say an idea and I said well I’m not sure we can do that there’s sort of negotiations going on within it and it was magnificent we just had the best time she was looking and talking and just being so flexible and spontaneous coming up with her ideas and so that was a game I brought in with her and you can do the same with your child you can bring in a game an activity now if they say no to it and there were times that Jade said no she’s saying no put it outside so we like okay is going outside and when you okay we could bring it in tomorrow or the next day and then we got down to just playing with her wherever she wanted to play giving control is very important and very essential as you work with your child you know your child is very sensitive about control about predictable happiness about having things done the same way and so what you’re going to want to do is if your child says no you say absolutely you have control no and then you pick up from where they are and if they say now a hundred times you can say excellent okay because maybe they need to hear it a hundred times in order to feel I have control because what they’ve heard a thousand times is now do what I want to do know do what I want to do know do what I want to do No do what I want to do so we really need to show them reverse that message to say the world’s predictable is controllable I’m predictable and controllable and so it might mean saying yes again and again and again to when they say no you see yes absolutely I’m going to put this way yes absolutely we don’t have to play this right now all right so that would be bringing a game and activity and we talked extensively about these types of things particularly within our advanced training programs new frontiers also to maximum impact helping families with being creative generating ideas having this attitude that will just help them create a deeper connection with their children now a couple of other pointers I want to say before I’m going to go to answering questions I know that some of you’ve already sent in questions now one of the things is this this is particularly for those who haven’t been to our startup program which is you want to create a space for those who’ve come to the startup program I know you I hope you have a focus room or a summarized program playroom where you can go in and just dedicate a certain amount of time working with your children and I know I’ve seen some emails where some people said it was a challenge at first getting my child in there but now loves it even though they’re 14 so it good for you I’m excited that you you’re able to persist and to make that happen but for those for the first time you’re listening to this and you haven’t been to our startup program create a space in your house quiet space where you can be with your child where you’re not going to be distracted where you’re gonna have 30 minutes a day put aside 30 minutes a day just to try out some of the stuff I have been talking about or the other material that you might have read or looked at on our website so 30 minutes in a quiet room in the house would be ideal we do that every day and I believe you’re going to see some changes from that

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