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How do I explain Asperger's to my 8 yr old?

My eldest 15 dd, and my 13 ds have Asperger's. My 13 yr old son also has some delays. DS got a diagnoses when he was 4, dd didn't get hers until recently and she says she doesn't believe she has it.

I haven't told the younger 3 about the eldest, they do vaguely know that ds has Asperger's but we've never talked about it.

My dh told my 8 yr old my eldest has Asperger's but didn't explain and now she's confused. Eldest is much higher fuctioning and very tempermental, Ds has mild delays and is very mild and quiet in temperment. They are like fire and ice, complete opposites.
The eight year old now wants to know if Asperger's girls are all mean and all boy with it are nice, I told her no, just like everyone else people with Asperger's all have different personalities, Asperger's is just a difference.

She also wants to know why her brother can't figure out things she can, yet he's much older.

I know this didn't satisfy and I'm likly to get more questions later.

How should I handle this and what should I tell her? What else can I do?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:36 AM on Jun. 18, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • do you have a spectrum supprt group in your area?
    i have been to a few, and even though my daughter is not yet four, i have gotten some good ideas from toehr parents (and the experts there to speak on topics) the ones i have been to are very much geared towards kids in this age range
    look up local chapter on autism, they have these free get togethers and lots of resources
    as a parent of a child/children in spectrum we all know each child is different and all things we try are really trail and error, so hearing what has worked with other parents helps alot
    sorry i have no info help (as my child is much younger - i could learn from you)
    good luck

    Answer by fiatpax at 9:43 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • There is a fabulous book out there called What It Is To Be Me. It is a very good book that explains the traits most Asperger's Children display in a fun and understandable way. There are a few others but that one has been my favorite for explaining Asperger's to my DS who is 6.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:50 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • It is a good sign that your dd wants to learn about her siblings condition. As children grow older all the questions and answers have a more meaningful sense.
    Call the the school your children are attending and ask for "Siblings of Students with Aspergers" workshops. These workshops group families with your similar situation and can help you and your family with this issue. Don't your children's school parent coordinator now! (Sorry to sound like a Public Service announcer....)

    Answer by Cafemomoftwo217 at 10:20 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • If there is an autism society near you, they have sibling support groups which might be of some help.

    Answer by missanc at 11:28 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I was just going to recommend a support group in your area and I see it's already there.
    That would be where I would go for advice on this. Where people are more specialized and experienced in how to handle this situation for the best outcome possible.
    GL!! :-)

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 3:13 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Do you watch the show Parenthood on NBC? One of the families had to discuss this with their child, and I think they did a good job. See if you can find a clip if you don't watch the show. Let me see if I can find anything for you.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:29 PM on Jun. 19, 2011


    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:31 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • The parents asking the doctor for advice after their first attempt at explaining it to their son,

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:36 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • This is the first clip, where they were caught off guard and tried to explain it. I would watch them in this order...

    My last post first, second post second, and first post last. Sorry it's backwards!

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:39 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Or, you could watch the whole episode here...

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:41 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

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